If you look at the Shields Valley roster, there are two Flatt brothers. Only Dylan Flatt suits up, though.
That’s because Dylan’s twin brother Cole was in a car wreck nearly a decade ago that began to cause problems down the road.
“We were actually coming home from a flag football game in Livingston and we were meeting someone on a bridge who fell asleep. And we hit them head on, on a bridge," Dylan Flatt recalled.
“I played all through junior high and my freshman year, then out of nowhere I had a couple seizures and I was sent to the hospital and got an MRI and they found – it’s called a Chiari malformation, it’s in your back. It’s too much spinal fluid getting clogged," Cole Flatt said.
“They both were starters together their freshman year. To have that kind of get taken away from them I think has been tough. But Cole would be the last one to tell you that," Shields Valley head football coach Mitch Ward said. "He’s just super positive around the team and loves being a part of the team still and is great to have around.”
He had the malformation removed, but it left his spinal cord susceptible, especially to hits that could come to the top of the head. Cole may not pad out for Shields Valley, but he’s been a critical piece for the Rebels while making his presence felt from the sideline.
“He’s really good at communicating sometimes the things that the guys don’t want to tell us. Cole’s really good about being the middle man between the players and communicating that to us as coaches. Sometimes there are some things that guys don’t really want to come and talk to us about, but Cole is really good about, ‘Hey, we kind of see this with the guys right now. They’re bringing it up to us,'" Ward said. "The other thing he does that I think is really good, is he’s like our third set of eyes. He loves football, he’s a competitor. I think that he sees the field really well, especially offensively. There are times where I’ll go over to him at halftime or between quarters and be like, ‘Cole, what do you see? What do you think we can do differently offensively?’ He usually has a couple really good ideas for us.”
“He’s another eyes and ears, for me especially, because I can’t see everything on the field," Dylan Flatt said. "When I come off the field on a timeout, he’s always there to tell me what I’m doing wrong, tell me to keep my head, stuff like that to help me do better.”
Shields Valley’s football team remains unbeaten, and Dylan’s efforts on the field this season are a big reason why.
But it isn’t all football all the time for the Flatt brothers. Come December, Cole and Dylan will trot out on the hardwood together. It’s no surprise when they link up.
“I swear we have twin telepathy sometimes. We just find each other on the court. I really wish we could do it in football, too," Dylan Flatt said.
“It’s been great. I’ve been playing varsity. I’ve got all the minutes and get to play with the guys that I get to sit on the sideline with, so that’s nice," Cole Flatt said.
Before that, the Rebels have some work to handle on the football field against Power-Dutton-Brady in the quarterfinals on Halloween weekend.