All in the Family

Buy Photo Sean D. Elliot/The Day Middletown offensive linemen and twins David Bednarz, left, and Anthony Bednarz run during a practice on Oct. 22.

Middletown's line includes twins and triplets

Middletown - There have been moments during games where Middletown coach Sal Morello gets worked up, as coaches are wont to do, and begins barking out instructions to senior left tackle David Bednarz.

Unknowingly, Morello is often talking to senior left guard Anthony Bednarz.

It's easy to get players mixed up when they're wearing helmets.

It's even easier to get players mixed up when they're identical twins playing next to one another.

"Anthony and David look like each other in a lot of ways, especially when they've got their helmets on," Morello said. "Anthony has lost a little weight, but I don't know how many times I've looked at Anthony and started yelling, 'Dave, you have to do this', and Anthony corrects me and says, 'right now, it's Anthony.'"

It's slightly easier for Morello to instruct the right side of the line as Derek and Kevin Bonaparte are fraternal triplets.

Yes, Middletown starts a set of twins on one side of the line and two triplets on the other side.

"Kevin and Derek tend to let it go whoever I'm talking to," Morello said about confusing the two during games. "I'll call Derek 'Kevin' all the time, and Kevin 'Derek.'

The Bednarz, Bonapartes, and center Jeff Woodcock have helped pace the Blue Dragons to an 8-0 start. They'll be relied on again to control the line of scrimmage when Middletown plays at New London on Friday night.

The game will be streamed at www.theday.com starting at 6:15 p.m.

Pairing the Bednarz and Bonapartes together wasn't by design, Morello said. David Bednarz was the only returning starter on the offensive line last season, and the rest just fell into place.

"(David) has been our left tackle the last couple of years," Morello said. "Him and Anthony seemed to communicate a lot better. And it ended up with Derek over there (at right guard), and then Kevin ended up winning that right tackle spot as well.

"It just worked out that way."

The Bednarz's, who are seniors, are 6-foot-7. Both have mustaches and nearly identical haircuts. They definitely have the identical twin interaction going, too.

"It's been interesting (playing next to one another)," David said. "We're always together we're focused in on the same thing."

Anthony injected, "We're always on the same page. We just click. When we get to the field, we work well together."

"We rely on each other," David adds, finishing the conversation. "We know what we'll do."

There are differences between the two. David wants to pursue business management. Anthony likes drawing and painting.

David, who plays center on the basketball team, is faster than Anthony, both said.

Anthony plays power forward and has more "burst," according to David.

The Bednarz's are still reviewing their college options. Wagner, UMass and Syracuse have shown interest.

"We're going together," they said in unison.

"We're pretty cool (with one another)," David said.

"It's a perfect match," Anthony finished.

No one will confuse the Bonapartes. Kevin is 6-2 and 260 pounds. Derek is 5-11 and 230. They are juniors.

"We're complete opposites," Derek said about he and Kevin.

"Yeah," Kevin said.

"I'm really social, and he's kind of shy," Derek said. "I'm really competitive. He's competitive, too, but not as much as I am."

"I agree," Kevin said. "He's more out there. I keep to myself."

Sister Rachel completes the Bonaparte triplets.

"She's like the boss of us," Kevin said.

"She tries to be the boss of us," Derek said.

Both agreed that Derek is the more passionate of the two, while Kevin is the more "strategic" one. Derek wants to be an ESPN broadcaster. Kevin wants to work with computers. Despite their differences, they do have some triplet synergy.

"I talk fast sometimes," Derek said, "and he's the only one who can interpret (for) me. My parents will be like, 'what is he saying,' and Kevin will explain it."

Kevin got sick and missed three games, so he and senior RaJahn Johnson have split time at right tackle.

"Whenever I was playing next to (Kevin), I felt like we had better communication," Derek said.

n.griffen@theday.com

Derek Bonaparte (64) starts at right guard for the Middletown football team. His brother Kevin plays right tackle.
Buy Photo Sean D. Elliot/The Day Derek Bonaparte (64) starts at right guard for the Middletown football team. His brother Kevin plays right tackle.
Kevin Bonaparte (72) splits time at right tackle for Middletown while his brother Derek starts at right guard for the team.
Buy Photo Sean D. Elliot/The Day Kevin Bonaparte (72) splits time at right tackle for Middletown while his brother Derek starts at right guard for the team.
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