It’s an experiment that has true benefit and merit, but also one with a big hill to climb before permanent implementation throughout...
BEND — Dennis Gettman held his clipboard firmly and jotted down defensive statistics during his son's football game on Saturday.
Meanwhile, another one of Dennis' boys — Tim, the youngest of 16 children — kept the offensive stats as Cascade Christian beat Nyssa, 41-6, in the Class 3A state final at Summit High.
Jared and Andrew, two more of Dennis' sons, watched from the sidelines as their brother, head coach Jon Gettman, guided the Challengers to the crown.
Dennis' wife Gail was there in the stands, as were Jon's wife Kim and the older of their two children, Jacoby. Jared's boy Aidan (an 8-year-old ball boy) came along, too.
For anyone who embraces the value of family, this was a special scene: Sons, fathers, brothers, husbands, moms and wives together for something that will always be remembered.
And there are plenty more Gettmans where they came from.
Dennis and Gail have 34 grandchildren. Ten of their 16 children (10 boys, six girls, all Cascade Christian graduates) have spouses, making 60 Gettmans.
Not all the kids were in attendance: Joshua (who lives in Portland), Caleb (Klamath Falls), Sarah (Medford), Liz (Lincoln City), Josiah (Beaverton), Rebekah (Lincoln City), Hannah (Medford), Sam (Texas), Deborah (Lincoln City), Jacob (Medford), Lydia (Medford) and Phillip (Medford) were absent, but Jared and Andrew are certain most were watching the game online.
Gettman math requires a scientific calculator. To recap, four of Dennis' kids were watching the triumph in-person on Saturday (Jon, Tim, Jared and Andrew). Two grandchildren (Aidan and Jacoby) and one wife (Kim) also came.
Dennis and Gail used to drive the gang around in a tan Ford van that held 15. On Saturday, mom, dad, Jared, Aidan, Andrew and Tim rode in the family Honda Odyssey while Jon, Kim and Jacoby went in Jon's rig.
The talk from Medford to central Oregon was, naturally, football, and the gridiron memories flow with this bunch. Andrew, who is four years older than Jon, actually coached little brother when he was on the junior varsity team. Jon coached Tim and Jacob.
"He wouldn't admit to being hurt," Andrew says of Jon. "He was driven."
Dennis never coached. Frankly, he was too busy. But he's done anything to support his children, his boys say. He and Tim have kept stats for a few years for the program (Tim took over for Andrew).
"It's my excuse to be on the field," Dennis says with a friendly chuckle.
At the end of Saturday's game, Dennis, Tim, Jared and Andrew stood at the end of the 50-yard line as Jon shook hands with Nyssa players. Dennis watched and waited. The two eventually shared a moment, one that Jon tried to play down afterward — "My dad, anyway, is my role model to this day," he said. "And, yeah, it's awesome."
The tremble in his voice said something much deeper. It said all you need to know about the Gettmans.
Reach reporter Dan Jones at 541-776-4499, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.facebook.com/danjonesmt or www.twitter.com/dljcards