Cousins fill Ironton basketball roster
The Kratzenberg Klan.
Four players and a coach are all cousins and members of the Ironton Fighting Tigers’ basketball program this season.
From the Bob Kratzenberg family tree, assistant coach Chase Kratzenberg and players Phil Kratzenberg, Tyler Webb and Kyle and Ryan Bryant are all cousins.
“I yelled for Kratzenberg and I noticed there were five of them,” said Ironton head basketball coach Mark LaFon.
“I stopped practice and said, ‘Listen, I can’t have too many of anything in this gym. Before you know it we’re going to have more than half the team of Kratzenbergs in here’ and we all started laughing.
“But they’re all really hard-nosed kids. It’s just unfortunate we can’t get them all out there together.”
Phil Kratzenberg, Ryan Bryant and Webb are all starters but they have been out of the lineup recently due to injuries.
“It’s not fun to watch. We’re hurting so all we can do is support the others,” said Phil.
It isn’t the first time the relatives have played together. In fact, it is a common occurrence.
“We play together all the time. We always do. We always do everything together,” said Phil.
Ryan Bryant just likes the opportunity to be together.
“I like any time we can get a chance to just hang out,” said Ryan.
“It’s fun. I don’t know how to explain it. We’ve pretty much been together all our lives playing everything together.”
Phil and Tyler played together during the Gus Macker as an added bonus. Tyler — an outstanding football lineman — didn’t play basketball the past two seasons but opted to play this year.
“I just love to play because I get to hang out with my cousins. The team is like my family. I just love playing the game,” said Tyler.
“I didn’t play the last couple of years trying to get my other game (football) built up.”