Cyrus and Tydus Lo eat, sleep and breathe football. It’s their lives.
The brothers started playing the sport when they were attending Cole Elementary School in Clovis.
As they continued through school, their skills and love for the game developed exponentially. Being Hmong, their prospects of playing football at a Division I High school program were not high due to stature, their father John Lo said.
So when the older Tydus made the varsity football team at Buchanan, the entire family couldn’t have been more proud.
Tydus experienced immense success as a defensive lineman on a Buchanan Bears team that made its way to the 2017 Valley championship game against Central High.
Unfortunately for Tydus and the Bears, Central walked away with a 29-7 win and a Central Section crown.
But Tydus wasn’t satisfied with just an appearance in the Valley title game, and made it his mission to return and face the Grizzlies the following year and exact revenge.
It wasn’t to be, as the Bears lost in the CIF Central Section semifinal game against Liberty-Bakersfield.
A heartbreaking loss, to be sure. It was Tydus’ senior year; there wouldn’t be another chance to get back at the Grizzlies one more time. That is, until Cyrus, also a defensive lineman, decided he wanted to carry on his big brother’s legacy as he too prepared to play varsity football at Buchanan.
“He decided to wear my number to represent me,” Tydus said. “He wanted to be a good brother and represent me because he knew how badly I wanted to win the Valley championship.”
It was a tangible expression of love; one that goes deeper than just words. Cyrus was determined to do whatever he could to capture that Valley crown for the both of them.
“He is such a great leader and such a great brother to me,” Cyrus said of his older brother. “I just thought I would carry on his legacy and try to be even better.”
And for most of the 2019 season, things seemed to be going according to script.
The Bears had yet another fantastic regular season, securing the No. 2 seed in the Valley playoffs.
Buchanan dominated Bakersfield and Liberty en route to the rematch that not only Tydus and Cyrus wanted, but the one that Valley football fans wanted; the Central Grizzlies would once again be the team standing in the way of a title.
A fast paced, hard-hitting affair ensued, but the result remained the same. The Grizzlies defeated Buchanan 28-21 to win their third consecutive Valley title.
But mom Christine Vang said that the result in the end isn’t what matters to her when she thinks about what her sons have accomplished.
“The game of football isn’t just a game. The victories, the defeats, it all doesn’t matter,” she said. “It’s the inspiration, the spirit, and the love that brings people together. It doesn’t matter what race, role, and status you are. Whether you’re playing or watching, it brings people together and that is the true human spirit. I am so proud of my boys.”
Still, Cyrus has one more opportunity to get the job done. He will be a senior for the 2020 season, during which he will continue to wear his brother’s No. 63 jersey.