Georgetown University's football season has been no picnic this year. But for one trio of brothers on the team, the 1977 season marks a happy reunion.
The Boland family of Rockville has always been close, but the six boys of the family usually manage to play their football at different times and on different teams.
Jimmy Boland, 21, played alone at Georgetown for three years. He did all right by himself; as a matter of fact, he did quite well and earned his teammates' designation as one of the squad's co-captains.
Now, two of his younger brothers - John, 19, a sophomore transfer from Villanova University in Philadelphia, and Kevin, an 18-year-old freshman - have joined Jim for his final year of football with the Hoyas.
"I knew Kevin was going to be coming. But I wasn't sure John was going to be coming until the end of last year," said Jim, who like like Kevin stands 6-feet tall and weighs 190 pounds. "When I found out, I was pretty happy."
On a team that has struggled through a 1-5 season thus far, the three brothers have offered each other competition, so they continually seek to improve, and solace, to lessen the disappointment of their defeats.
"We all played in high school at different times, so we never saw each other play," said John, who did manage to sneak in one season with Kevin at Georgetown Preparatory School in Rockville. "But now we can compare. It's very competitive. It's also good when you're down like this season. You have someone to talk to."
Georgetown has always been a magic word to the Boland clan, which also includes two daughters and a granddaughter. All five of the college-age boys in the family have attended Georgetown. Louis Jr., the oldest offspring, and Sean, who started his college career at Duke in Raleigh, N.C., have obtained their degrees from Georgetown and Sean is enrolled in the Georgetown law school.
Additionally, all the brothers except Louis went to Georgetown Prep. including 15-year-old Mike, who is a sophomore reserve quarterback for the Little Hoyas. Louis went to Woodward High School in Bethesda.
Louis Boland Sr., president of a Rockville air conditioning firm, served for five years on the Georgetown Prep board of trustees.
While the senior Boland said he would have liked one of his sons to attend his alma mater, the Naval Academy at Annapolis, he found Georgetown a good second choice because of the quality of the education there."
"I directed them (to Georgetown) with a very heavy hadn on the education," said Boland. "What I like about it most is they're at a great university where they can satisfy their male egos by playing football."
The boys all take their studies seriously. Jim will graduate this year with a degree in marketing, John is studying finance and Kevin is enrolled in the business school.
"I'd say football is an avid hobby," said John, who is the biggest of the three brothers at 6-2, 210 pounds. "We do prepare for it, it's always on the mind. But academics are first. If one of us was messing up, which we're not, I think we'd get serious."
Jim and John live in the family home at 11221 Stephalie La. Kevin resides in a dormitory at school.
All three brothers start for the Hoyas. Jim, after previously playing quarterback and linebacker, is now leading the team in rushing with 423 yards in 114 carries from his fullback slot.
John starts at defensive tackle and Kevin can be found playing linebacker.
"I think Jimmy's as fine as fullback as we've had at Georgetown," said Scotty Glacker, now in his 10th year as head coach of the Hoyas. "And his leadership qualities make it that much better. Jimmy is a quiet leader. He doesn't say much. He leads by example.
"Kevin is a raw individual who is going to need work to become a good linebacker," Glacker continued. "He has the size, speed, and determination to become a great linebacker. The biggest problem John has is he didn't play football last year. Like Kevin, it's just a question of time. He eventually should become a good defensive tackle."
While the three maintain they have always been close, they agree playing together this season has brought them that much closer together.
"Since we started playing football here, it's different," John explained. "Before, Jimmy had his friends, Kevin had his friends, and I had my friends. Now we have our set of friends."
"I think it's brought them closer together," agreed their father. "They've always been close - when they're not wrestling or punching each other."