One is a scorer. One is a protector. One is an all-around athlete.

They all play soccer.

Edmond prep sports have consistently benefited from athletic families in recent years, whether it be the Allens behind center, the Weedens on the mound or the Muonelos on the court. Now, Santa Fe is reaping the benefits of the Okwuonus. And what these kids know about more than anything is soccer.

“I don’t know if they were born kicking a ball or not, but that’s what they do. That’s what they love,” Wolves head boys soccer coach Brian McWatters said. “They know how to play and what to do.”

Santa Fe begins the postseason Tuesday with a tough road match at Norman. The Wolves will do so with three Okwuonu brothers in the starting lineup. Preston is a senior forward, while Scott is a junior defender and Kenny a freshman midfielder.

What they’ve meant to the Wolves this season can hardly be judged. Preston has been one of the top scorers on the team for four years now, Scott is a big defender with big-time college potential, and Kenny is perhaps the top freshman in town.

And that’s leaving out a younger brother, Boyd, who is only a seventh grader and rumored to be quickly on his way to becoming the best of the bunch.

“They’ve meant a lot, especially this year. All three of them have been really crucial to the success we’ve had,” McWatters said. “And we’re going to have them around for the next six years.”

The father of the family, Ike, was raised in Nigeria and came to the U.S. with lots of soccer skills in tow. He even played collegiately at then-Central State in Edmond.

That meant the lessons started early for the boys. As far back as they can remember, they were playing soccer against each other, as well as neighbors, like former Edmond North star Bright Dike.

When Preston arrived at Santa Fe, he already was set to shine. As a freshman, he scored 11 goals, kickstarting a high school career that saw him score double figures in goals every year. He has 10 goals and six assists this season, giving him 42 goals for his career.

He’s played on some of the best teams in school history during his four seasons, and has been a key figure the entire time.

“When he first showed up, we thought he would be something special. He was a hard worker, and you could tell he knew a lot about soccer,” McWatters said. “This year, he hasn’t had the kind of numbers he’s had in the past, but he’s had his best year.”

Scott is the most imposing of the brothers, thanks to his 6-foot, 200-pound frame. He seems the perfect kind of athlete, not only for soccer, but the American brand of football, as well. At least that’s what the coaches at Santa Fe were thinking last season when they talked him into taking on a new sport.

It didn’t go exactly as planned.

“Practice was tough. It was different,” he said. “It was so hot and it was difficult with the helmets and pads. But it shot my work ethic up a lot.”

Kenny — also known as Willie — also plays football, but has been at it longer and is considered to be a potential standout for the Wolves.

“Scott is an animal, physically. He just wasn’t real familiar with (football), he wasn’t comfortable with it,” McWatters said. “Had he played it since early like Willie, he’d be unstoppable.”

The Santa Fe soccer coaches found out just how strong Scott was in a recent match. That was also when they learned how protective he is.

“It was against Northwest Classen, and somebody took a cheap shot at one of our guys. It made Scott mad, and it took six or seven of us to hold him back,” McWatters said.

“He doesn’t like people messing with his teammates.”

Kenny began the season at sweeper, but was moved to midfielder because Santa Fe needed help there. His coaches say he could play anywhere on the soccer field, and is a threat at numerous skill positions on the football field.

“Willie’s going to be unbelievable in both sports,” McWatters said. “He’s only a freshman and he’s a co-captain. That tells you something.”

Like all brothers, they’re also a bit competitive with each other. It shows more than ever during a match.

“The first time they stepped on the field together for us was against Mustang, and all they did was argue. I thought, no way we’re going to do this all year,” McWatters said. “But that didn’t last. They worked it out and now they kind of take care of themselves.”

“We do get mad at each other a lot,” Preston said. “It’s just in the game, though. Off the field, we’re not like that.”

The demeanor of the three brothers is as different as their positions. Scott has a reputation for being intense, Preston is a hard worker and Kenny is a combination of both.

“They’re three brothers, and they’re three totally different personalities,” McWatters said. “But they’re all good at soccer.”

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