Dad inspires Mathis brothers at linebacker for Bethel football

The Mathis brothers stand out for their hair and hits.

 

Seth Mathis’ brown hair looks to be about 10 inches long. But he has lost the race with his brother, Landon, whose hair has grown out to about a foot.

They’ve been able to keep tabs on each other’s hair length while dominating as linebackers in the Bethel defense. But soon they will be back to bald heads.

In 2009, their father, Don, was diagnosed with cancer. And, as a show of support, the Mathis brothers decided to grow their hair during his fight. Don Mathis had surgery in the fall of 2009 and remains cancer-free today. He also remains a fixture at Bethel games, as the Royals have reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III playoffs. Bethel, 11-0, will play host to North Central on Saturday.

“After every game he tells us how proud he is of us,” Seth Mathis said.

After watching their father beat cancer, the brothers could have cut their hair and moved on. But they came up with another idea. They decided to donate their hair to Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that provides hairpieces to disadvantaged children suffering from long-term medical hair loss. They had to grow their hair out to a 10-inch ponytail to donate. And they are just about there.

The Mathis brothers, who played at Anoka High School, learned a lot about their father during his cancer fight.

“Right after he was diagnosed with cancer, he lost his job after 28 years with Wilson’s Leather,” Seth Mathis said. “They shut the building down, he didn’t get any severance. Two years he didn’t have a job.”

Seth and Landon have three other brothers and a sister, so there were challenging times.

“It was tough on him,” Landon Mathis said. “You could see it with him dealing with two devastating things in a row. But the amazing thing was that he did an excellent job of taking care of us. It was incredible to see. It taught that things were going to be hard in my life, too, and he was an example of how I can be and how I need to react in those situations.”

Seth, a senior, and Landon, a sophomore, have been forces in the middle of the Bethel defense this season. Seth leads the team with 124 tackles. Landon is next with 88. The two never played together in high school. It’s worked out for them with the Royals because Seth took a year off after high school before enrolling at Bethel.

“It’s an experience like no other,” Landon said of playing with his brother.

Royals coach Steve Johnson has an explosive offense, led by quarterback Erik Peterson — who hopes to recover from a shoulder injury in time to play on Saturday. But the Royals defense is fast and has several hard hitters, including the Mathis brothers.

“I feel like they are pretty sharp guys,” Johnson said. “They are humble guys. They are incredibly hard workers in that weight room. They are pretty talented. They can run and are powerful and they work for everything.”

On Saturday, they’ll jam their flowing locks into their helmets and try to help Bethel reach the semifinals. Their father will be in the stands, and they will be reminded of how he dealt with adversity — and remember how much he loves watching his sons play football.

“He’s got some serious resilience,” Seth Mathis said of his father. “Plus he raised six kids.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 88 FINAL
Washington 101
Orlando 102 FINAL
Charlotte 94
Memphis 67 3rd Qtr 1:33
Miami 66
Indiana 50 3rd Qtr
Brooklyn 47
New Orleans 45 3rd Qtr 12:00
Chicago 49
Atlanta 27 2nd Qtr 4:25
Milwaukee 28
Philadelphia 5 1st Qtr 5:35
Utah 12
New York 9:00 PM
Sacramento
Minnesota 9:30 PM
Golden State
NY Islanders 3 3rd Prd 4:03
Buffalo 3
Detroit 2 3rd Prd 7:04
Ottawa 2
Carolina 0 3rd Prd 6:15
Tampa Bay 2
New Jersey 1 3rd Prd 4:20
NY Rangers 2
Boston 2 3rd Prd 9:30
Columbus 6
Winnipeg 2 3rd Prd 10:58
Minnesota 1
Washington 1 3rd Prd
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 3 2nd Prd 9:49
St. Louis 2
Philadelphia 1 2nd Prd 8:27
Nashville 1
Anaheim 1 2nd Prd 6:53
Arizona 1
Chicago 1 1st Prd 12:33
Colorado 1
Edmonton 9:00 PM
Calgary
San Jose 9:00 PM
Los Angeles
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
UAB 58 FINAL
North Carolina 89
IUPUI 55 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 87 FINAL
BYU 80
Mercer 77 FINAL
Georgia 86
San Francisco 77 FINAL
Pacific 71
Wright State 55 FINAL
Ohio State 100
Presbyterian 65 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Brescia 30 2nd Half 9:30
Western Ky 63
Tennessee St 26 2nd Half
Tennessee 29
Kennesaw St 8 1st Half 12:14
Illinois 22
Colorado State 6 1st Half 10:21
New Mexico St 14
Portland 6 1st Half 10:37
San Diego 12
Wayland Baptist 13 1st Half 10:54
Utah State 15
Bristol University 24 1st Half 10:07
Weber State 22
Sacramento St 13 1st Half 11:46
Utah Valley U 17
Southern Utah 9:00 PM
UNLV
SD Christian 9:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 17 2nd Qtr 11:13
(24) USC 17
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
SMU 45 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 96
UCF 64 FINAL
Houston 50
BYU 62 FINAL
Gonzaga 78
Pacific 92 FINAL
San Francisco 54
St Marys-CA 62 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
San Diego 57 2nd Half 13:24
Portland 36
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

<
Gophers Football Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What's your favorite Gophers football uniform colors?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close