Landry Chappell and Bryan Dutton have been close for almost as long as they can remember.
When Chappell was in third grade and Dutton in second, Dutton's father asked Chappell's father why his son was “so crazy.”
“My dad told him it was because of wrestling,” Chappell said. “That's when he got started with that sport.”
Sports have been the centerpiece of their friendship, first with football, then wrestling and baseball. Especially now that they're in high school, they see each other constantly between practices, games and workouts.
“We've been best friends ever since around third or fourth grade,” Dutton said. “When you're around a person for 14 years, you get to know them pretty personally. We've just kind of bonded over sports.”
Dutton, Guthrie's junior quarterback, is the unquestioned leader of the offense, even as an underclassman. He's started at the position since he was a freshman and threw for 2,400 yards last year for the 11-2 Blue Jays.
Chappell, a four-year starter, has the same role on Guthrie's defense.
Last season, he had 178 tackles and five sacks.
“Ever since we were little kids, he's always been one of the best if not the best kids on any of the teams we've been on, whether it's football, basketball or wrestling,” Dutton said.
“I think I could be even better if I just played one, but I just love being in competition too much to give any up,” Chappell said. “I might not be the most athletic guy on the team, but I'll do anything I can to find a way to win.”
Dutton was named an All-American in baseball and will likely have opportunities to play any of his three sports in college.
“In Guthrie, football is everything,” he said. “I don't know what I'm going to play in college, but football is so big up here, and it's so much fun being a part of this team.”
Even though he's been a leader in the past, by virtue of his position if nothing else, there will be extra pressure on Dutton this season with Kentrell Brothers and Devonte McCully, his two top targets from last season, having graduated. Brothers went on to Missouri while McCully is at East Central.
“Any pressure is good pressure, I guess,” Dutton said. “I had a lot of weapons around me last year. This year, it's going to be more on me, and I'm going to have to make plays with my feet more often.”
For Chappell, his main goal is breaking through from being a contender to being a football champion.
“I want to get to the show instead of being right outside,” he said. “We're not the most athletic team but we're one of the toughest and work the hardest. We're tired of getting beat when it matters.”
Oscar Madison and Felix Ungar, The Odd Couple
Guthrie's Bryan Dutton and Landry Chappell are certainly different.
Late one night, Dutton decided to shave the sides of his head and cut a star in one side and his initials in the other.
Chappell said he'd never consider doing such a thing.
“My mom would kill me,” he said.
Dutton is the offensive leader for the Bluejays. Chappell is Guthrie's defensive face.
But while the pair are in different classes, have different personalities and bring different attributes to the field, they spend as much time together as any duo around.
Through football, baseball and wrestling seasons, Dutton and Chappell are together.
By Ryan Aber