Football runs in the Grunhard family, so when senior Cailey Grunhard decided she wanted to be a part of the Bishop Miege football team, coach Jon Holmes didn’t hesitate saying yes.
No, she’s not playing, but the superstar swimmer, who has signed to swim at Notre Dame next year, is serving the team instead. She is one of the team’s water girls, but it’s a job that means more than just handing out water.
“I’m there to support my brother (Colin) and my dad (Tim),” Cailey said. “Coach Holmes and I have known each other for a long time. I like being part of the team and having fun.”
This season will be the first and only season Cailey will be on the sidelines. She spent her freshman through junior years in the stands. What prompted her to approach Holmes was she wanted to experience another sport. She wanted to be a first-hand witness to seeing all the emotions on the sideline.
So far her favorite memory was a district game at Eudora when it was only Cailey and her sister on the field, barley any students in the stands. She said being one of the only ones to go and support the team at an away game was pretty cool.
“I think it’s fun to watch Colin around her as well,” Holmes said. “You throw coach Grunhard in the mix and it’s a family gathering. It’s fun to see because they don’t have many of these days left and it’s fun to see her, who’s an elite-level athlete — she was at the Olympic Trials this summer — she’s making sure our guys stay hydrated on Friday nights. To see a girl who’s that caliber of an athlete want to do, that’s pretty fun to watch.”
Cailey, Colin and Tim will have one final game together as the Stags face Buhler for a chance third-straight state title on Saturday in Topeka.
Colin said it’s been awesome having his sister on the sideline.
“We mess around a little bit on the sidelines, especially when it’s a game when it’s in the fourth quarter and I’m not playing any more,” Colin said. “It’s fun to talk to her and see what she thinks about it. It helps out that she’s pretty good at it.”
He said she’ll try to give him advice during the game, but he’s not too sure how great she is at it. However there is one thing Colin will always take from Cailey and that’s water.
“I took water from another person one time and she didn’t like that,” Colin said. “Every time I go find her on the sidelines and make sure it’s her water. It must be special, but it works every time.”
Cailey is happy she and her twin brother have that special bond. When Colin is injured, she feels obligated to take care of him.
The two are good friends and have done things together since they were born from swimming to school.
With Cailey heading to South Bend, Ind., next fall, Colin could possibly join her as a member of the football team.
“It would be awesome to spend more time with my family and enjoy four more years together because after that it might not be the same way,” Colin said.