Horner family looks to take Columbia football all the way this season
Twin brothers Nic and Sam Horner have every reason to want to follow in their father’s footsteps.
As second-year starters on the Columbia High School football team, the two are doing all they can to accomplish what their father and Carlyle head football coach, Scott, did back in his days as a three-sport star three decades ago.
“He doesn’t talk a lot about when he played at Carlyle,” Nic Horner told the Belleville News-Democrat of his dad. “When I asked him, he said he played quarterback ... and that they won the state title. I’d like to be able to follow in his footsteps and maybe win a state title here at Columbia.”
And the pursuit doesn’t end there, just as his sons do now at Columbia, Scott Horner also played three sports at Carlyle. Just weeks after leading the Indians to the 2A state title in football, he was the starting point guard on the Carlyle basketball team that won the Class A state title.
“That was a long time ago,” Scott Horner said. “There were a lot of good times. To be able to get to the highest point (twice) with a bunch of great guys that I played with, certainly, it’s special.”
Nic and Sam Horner tasted a bit of that euphoria in leading the Eagles to a 36-35 come-from-behind win over Mascoutah in their football season opener.
At quarterback, Nic completed just a shade less than half his passes, including a 34-yard scoring strike to Blake Warner; and Sam, a receiver, caught three of his brother’s passes for 18 yards, then added the game-winning extra point to boot.
The brothers readily admit they get their edge from their father, which goes a long way in making their unique situation one that works.
“There is a little pressure being his son,” Sam told the News-Democrat. “I enjoy it because I’ve been around it for so long, and I know how my dad runs things. If you are going to be a leader on the field, then you have to hold yourself accountable. It’s a lot of pressure, but I enjoy it because it motivates me.”
Playing the same position his father once starred at, Nic Horner admits that his situation might be a bit more stressful. But at the end of the day, he readily embraces being his father’s son.
“I think he’s tougher on me,” Nic said. “Him being a quarterback has really helped me. He is able to tell me how to do things. I see him every night at home, and he tells me things that I need to work on, and I can talk to him about things I think we can install that will work for us. I’m a lot like my dad in that I’m very competitive, and I don’t like to lose in anything. It makes me angry.”