There have been a lot of big weekends for the Sewell family over the past decade as their four sons have progressed through the high school and college football ranks. This weekend takes the cake though, and it’s not even really close.
On Saturday, Noah Sewell starts at linebacker for Oregon as it plays at No. 2 Ohio State. Later that night, Nephi Sewell lines up for Utah against BYU.
Then on Sunday, Penei Sewell makes his NFL debut as a starting offensive lineman for the Detroit Lions against the visiting San Francisco 49ers.
The Sewell parents will divide and conquer on Saturday to make sure the family is represented at both the Horseshoe in Columbus, Ohio, and LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo.
“We have to make sure we evenly spread it out. We don’t want anyone to feel we favored one child over the other,” said father Gabe Swell.
On Sunday though, both Gabe Sewell and his wife Arlene will be in Detroit to catch the NFL regular-season debut of Penei Sewell, who was taken in the first round and seventh overall by the Lions.
Penei Sewell opted out of last year’s COVID-19-shortened season at Oregon, which means Sunday will be his first meaningful game in 20 months.
“He’s not a big emotion guy before the game. He doesn’t wear his emotions on his sleeve until he straps it up and gets on the field. He’s pretty even-keeled. I know inside he’s pretty excited,” said Gabe Sewell.
Gabe Sewell’s oldest son, Gabriel, played his college football at Nevada and finished his career in 2019. He had a tryout with the Broncos this summer but recently decided to move past football and focus on the next chapter in his life.
That includes a newborn son who was born Aug. 31, the second grandchild in the Sewell family after adding a daughter last February.
Big brother Sewell will be glued to his TV in Utah this weekend watching his brothers play on the biggest stages of football.
As far as settings go, it’s tough to imagine topping Noah Sewell playing at Ohio State — a school that recruited him as well.
“These are athletes’ dream scenarios. You get to play against some of the biggest schools on the biggest stages historically. It’s Ohio State. You get to play at the Shoe. He’s pretty much throughout his career stepped up to the biggest challenges, and hopefully it holds true,” said the father Sewell.
For Gabe Sewell, the football weekend actually gets underway Friday, as he’s the head coach of the Orem High School football team that plays in Las Vegas in the Polynesian Classic against Liberty, Nevada.
He said his focus is on the Tigers at the moment as they try and bounce back from last week’s season-opening loss to Skyridge.
On the bus ride back to Utah though, his mind will certainly wander with excitement about the weekend ahead for his boys. He’ll be watching Oregon game on TV on Saturday morning but will be smack dab in the middle of the Utah parents section in Provo on Saturday night. Then it’s an early morning flight to Detroit on Sunday to cap the football weekend.
“You sit and think of where the boys are, what they’ve accomplished and the stage of what they’re playing on now, and you can’t help but think more about the journey than the destination,” said Gabe Sewell.
With the high school football season in Week 5, college football in Week 2 and the NFL in Week 1, this type of chaotic weekend will repeat itself over and over and over in 2021 and beyond.