Senior day is special for any football player.
Families are on hand as the athletes are honored for the work they put in for the program.
The moment was certainly a big one for Oregon State defensive tackle Andrew Seumalo.
When Seumalo’s name was announced before the Beavers’ game against Oregon, he jogged over to his family waiting on the Reser Stadium turf.
Nothing exceptional about that except that one of those waiting for Seumalo was also in full uniform. Another was in coaching gear.
OSU freshman center Isaac Seumalo is Andrew’s brother.
Defensive line coach Joe Seumalo is their father.
They were there, ready to take on Oregon, along with Andrew’s sister Jessi, brothers Levi and Noah, mother Karen and other relatives.
“It was awesome to see the whole family and for them to all come out and support me, that was a very great experience,” Andrew said.
This season is the first time that Andrew and Isaac have played together.
Andrew had already graduated from Santiam Christian High by the time Isaac started high school there. Isaac transferred to Corvallis High beginning his sophomore year.
Andrew is the more outgoing of the two. He’s 6-foot-4, 290 pounds and was an honorable mention all-Pacific-12 selection this season.
Isaac (6-3, 302) is the quiet one. He’s the starting center for the Beavers, an unusual accomplishment for a true freshman.
The brothers both had strong seasons and contributed to OSU’s turnaround 9-3 record.
They took two different roads to arrive at this point.
Andrew walked on at OSU. He redshirted in 2008 and played in the season-opener against Portland State in 2009. He gradually added heft, played in all but one game in the last two years and worked his way into a starting spot in 2012.
Isaac arrived as five-star offensive lineman recruit and has settled into a starting spot.
“It’s been a great ride, especially with Andrew going on his last year and Isaac being here,” Joe said. “I try to cherish every moment.
“The growth and development with them personally as well as players has been great to see.”
Andrew has enjoyed watching his brother play.
“It’s great,” he said. “When I’m on the sidelines and the offense is on the field, I get a chance to see him and see all the great things he’s doing and the progressions he’s made. It’s just great.”
During the season, the brothers have stayed with their respective units and haven’t crossed paths on the field.
In fall camp, they had a few chances to run up against each other in practice.
Isaac said the matchups against Andrew and the starting defensive line prepared him for the season.
“He’s a good player,” Isaac said. “I think the whole D-line and defense is really good, so it’s always good to go up against them. I really get a pretty good look at a really good defense.”
Needless to say, football is big in the Seumalo household.
It’s not unusual for Joe, Andrew and Isaac to spend their time together talking ball.
“If it’s not Oregon State football, it’s Pac-12 football. Football’s just really been a mainstay in our lives,” Isaac said. “The times we get together it’s been really nice.”
Having the two older sons on the same team has no doubt made life a bit less hectic for Karen.
Prior to this season she was busy shuttling between OSU, CHS and SC for games and practices.
“It’s been easier for her,” Isaac said. “I think she likes to come watch us both and now that we’re both playing, it’s cool.
“I think it’s been pretty nice for her.”
Jessi is a senior at Santiam Christian and has played volleyball and basketball for the Eagles.
Noah is in the eighth grade and is following in the Seumalo tradition as a football player.
Levi is 2 and spends his time with Karen.
Staying close to home and family was a major factor in Andrew’s and Isaac’s decisions to play at Oregon State.
Andrew has been able to play for Joe. Isaac has been working under offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh, who is also a close friend of the family.
“He’s the same with everyone else,” Andrew said of playing for his father. “He expects the same, so I wouldn’t say he’s any tougher or easier. I know what he expects out of all of us and I’m perfectly fine with it.”
Isaac said Joe has had a great influence on his football career and life.
“He’s been huge,” Isaac said. “I wouldn’t be the player I am if it wasn’t for him. He pushed me and I think that stuck with me to be the best that I can and always give my best effort and if I just continue to do that, I’ll be good.
“I think most of the stuff he’s taught me is to be humble. Not always football things, just try to be a good person, that’s all. Football really relates to life, I think. Out of any of those sports with a bunch of guys and you have to really work together.”
Isaac will wind up his first season with the Beavers against Texas in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29.
Andrew will play his final game for the Beavers and look to the future.
“I’m sure it will be emotional, but at the same time, Andrew’s going to enter into another aspect of his life in terms of moving on after college and after football and we’ll see what happens after that,” Joe said. “I’m excited for that but I’m also excited for what’s ahead of us for the coming season.”