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Boys To Men: Keaten & Destin Wade’s Summit HS Football Legacy Ends In 3rd Trip To State, Kentucky Awaits


CLOUT COVER STORY: Get To Know The Hearts Behind The Most Popular Twins in Spring Hill, TN [Story and Interview]

*I interviewed the Wade Twins before the start of the 2021 football season (August). At the time, we knew that they and their teammates faced a giant challenge… Trying to repeat… the hardest thing to do in sports… Trying to go to the State Title game for the 3rd year in a row and win a second State Title, while moving up a division to 6a. We did a Photoshoot at The Lab in Spring Hill and then rolled to Nashville to create some more. At the time, you could tangibly feel the anticipation of what was to come. 14 straight wins, 25 wins in a row and TWO Mr. Football finalist noms later, we are on the eve of the High School Football game of the Decade. Two undefeated defending State Champs, colliding in Chatt for the Repeat.

Destin & Keaten Wade. Summit Spartans. Kentucky Wildcats. Image: JB Brookman, Seniority Photography/CLOUT
Brothers. On and off the turf, you can feel the bond. Image by JB Brookman, Seniority Photography/CLOUT

CLOUT: Might as well start with the one everyone wants to hear about… What are some things that made you both choose Kentucky?

Destin: “It had a great family-feel, the SEC is one of the best conferences and it’s not too far away. I liked the connection I had with the coaching staff and how they didn’t stop recruiting us. I like the opportunity to develop as a high caliber player on and off the field.”

Keaten: “SEC, they treated us like family and I could see myself succeeding and being developed.”

CLOUT: On Decision Day, did you already KNOW that you were going to be Wildcats? Or did the actual decision come down to the wire? 

“We already knew. We had made the decision after we visited- although there was a lot of pressure from competing schools that made it difficult.”

CLOUT: I feel like an energy was created when both of the “WADE TWINS” committed to Kentucky… What type of energy change or culture change do you see yourselves bringing to the program?

Destin: “I see myself bringing a winning mentality and good work ethic.”

Keaten: “I see myself bringing a competitive energy that wants to win at the highest level.”

CLOUT: It’s pretty cool to see so many guys from the WillCo area recently landing at SEC schools… Will there be any extra rivalry to play, say a Walker Merrill when you face Tennessee? 

“No, they’re all just players to us.”

Twinsanity. (Thanks Coach Tae Martin for the phrase) Unstoppable. Image: JB Brookman, Seniority Photography/CLOUT

CLOUT: To be honest, I don’t care if Destin and Keaten Wade win on the field, as much as I just want to see them smile. Because when one of them smiles, it’s like the world around them lights up and the whole stadium, gym or room becomes a partner in their Joy. They are both special and gifted- both as a pair and individually. They are anointed to carry the weight of their skyrocketing popularity and they do it with a grace and a patience that makes everyone want to be around them. Their purpose is much, much more than football… but, wow… we may never see football like this again…

My wife recently looked up from behind her computer (she’s a graphic designer and not a huge football fan) and said- “What’s it going to be like next year shooting football, when everyone else looks smaller? Do you think it’s going to be less exciting?” I laughed, but she was on to something. Of course we will continue to love and celebrate our players and there’s nothing like WillCo Friday Night Lights. But… Spring Hill sports will never be the same the day the twins step off campus and head North to Lexington- maybe our entire city won’t either. It’s truly saying something when the most popular two people in the entire city are 18 years old. But, it’s true. Destin and Keaten can rarely go anywhere in Spring Hill- or for that matter in most places in Middle Tennessee- without being recognized.

As a celebrity photographer for most of my life, I know the weight that it carries. Humans were not created to be worshipped, but to worship. So, “the Twins” accomplishments must also be framed through the story of them carrying heavy expectations, coupled with a loss of anonymity. It’s a lot to carry. A lot. They do it with such grace. It’s easy to forget that they are developing young men and face a lot of the pressures of that transition between high school and their future ahead in College and possibly the League. The lines for pictures and autographs has gotten a lot longer this year. That’s why my favorite times around “Atari” (cuz he looks like a video game out there!) and “Missle” is when they are around their 3rd brother, Senior do-it-all stud Brady Pierce. The laughs, the smiles, the inside jokes… the communication between the 3 is the special sauce within the Summit Spartans ballclub. There’s a certain way that the 3 (not forgetting the 4th Team Captain Cooper “Chef” Koch) lead the rest of the team… Not necessarily in a demonstrative loud way- although they definitely bring the emotion when needed- but, in a consistent, loving and joyful way that is as contagious as their winning culture. You get around those 3 and you expect to win. You also expect to be treated with respect and kindness and I have seen the three brothers treat the most important scout or the least important adult in the stadium the same. It’s huge. And you sit in excited anticipation of those smiles…

Senior LB/RB/WR Keaten Wade is the most disruptive defensive player we have seen in a long time in this area. Image by JB Brookman, Seniority Photography/CLOUT.
Destin Wade in Nashville. Image by JB Brookman, Seniority Photography/CLOUT
Keaten Wade in Nashville. Image: JB Brookman, Seniority Photography/CLOUT

CLOUT: OK, now let’s run it back to the beginning…

CLOUT: How old were you guys when you first strapped on a helmet? 

“5 years old”

CLOUT: Do y’all have NFL aspirations? Is that a silly question?

 “Yes, we’d love to play in the NFL and have wanted to ever since we werere young. We do have other aspirations also.”

CLOUT: What or who encouraged you to start pursuing your football careers? 

“Our older brother played football and we wanted to play like he did.”

CLOUT: Who are a few of your biggest supporters? 

“Our parents, family and friends.”

CLOUT: You each have your certain positions you love to play, but do you have another position you also really love- or dream you could also play?

Destin: “I like wide receiver also. I really just love the game of football.”

Keaten: “I like playing running back.”

CLOUT: Was there a moment in your Youth, where the light turned on and you knew you were going to dominate the Game of Football? 

“Not really, we just love playing football.”

CLOUT: Who is the better athlete?:)

Destin: “I am.”

Keaten: “I am.”

FIRE ROUND! LETSGOOOO!

FAVORITE THING TO DO OFF THE FIELD? 

Work out

FAVORITE VIDEO GAME? 

Madden

THE NEW COLLEGE NIL RULE- GOOD OR BAD FOR THE GAME? 

Good

MJ OR LEBRON? 

MJ

BRADY OR MAHOLMES? 

Mahomes

WHICH ONE OF YOU IS THE BETTER HOOPS PLAYER? 

It’s a tie.

FAVORITE SONG AT THE MOMENT… BANGER…

Lil Migo

FAVORITE TYPE OF MUSIC TO CHILL TO? 

Anything

FAVORITE QUOTE?

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO A 10-YR OLD FAN WHO PLAYS FOOTBALL AND LOOKS UP TO YOU? 

Have fun and keep working.

-KEATEN and DESTIN Wade, August 2021

Here we go… next up, let’s talk some SPARTY NATION…

CLOUT: Two years ago, you went to State and came home with the L… In what ways did that Loss help the Summit ballclub grow and mature to the level where you took home Rings last year?

 “It gave us more experience and a strong desire to get back and win it.”

CLOUT: Who is your best friend on the Summit Football team?

Destin:  “Other than Keaten – Brady Pierce”

Keaten: “Other than Destin – Brady Pierce”

CLOUT: You guys got beat early by a streaky Franklin ballclub early last year (2020)… What was the mentality after the early loss, with so many high expectations?

“We really wished Keaten was able to play because we felt the outcome would have been different. We also wanted to re-do those last few plays but overall we just wanted to move forward and put it behind us. 

CLOUT: Keaten… you were injured a lot of last season… What was it like to have to sit on the sideline and watch your brother’s battle, without being able to help them?

“It was hard but I felt like Destin had the talent to do it.”

CLOUT: Is there a certain Coach at Summit who means a little extra to you in your development?

“They’ve all been helpful and supportive to our development as players.” 


CLOUT: How has Summit shaped you into the young men you are today, what wisdom or life lessons have you learned from playing on this team?

D: “I learned about adversity and how to always play through it and never give up.”

K: “I learned to be humble and thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given and for the support from family, friends and community.” 

CLOUT: So many athletes are at least a little bit superstitious… Do you have any Gameday rituals? Like eating the same food or pregame patterns, etc?

D: “I always read a bible verse in the locker room for inspiration and listen to a certain song. I wear a bracelet under my wristband that says “In God we trust.”

K: “I pray before I go out onto the field. I do a handshake ritual with my teammates. “

CLOUT: How does Faith play into your life and Game?

Destin: “My faith is important because I know God is with me, giving me strength and the ability to perform.” 

Keaten: “My faith helps me feel safe and protected on and off the field.”

CLOUT: Yo, Destin… How did it feel to sweep the WILLCO awards, with your team?

Destin: “It felt great, like all the hard work paid off for me and my teammates. I appreciated the voter’s confidence in me.”

CLOUT: What Game on the 2021 Schedule hypes you up?

“All of them”

CLOUT: Any predictions about the jump up to 6a, in arguably the toughest Conference in Middle Tennessee?

We’re going to win most of our games but it’s going to be challenging.” 

CLOUT: Anything else you would like to add?

Thank you for giving us this opportunity to be showcased in Seniority Clout Mag. We really appreciate it.”

The Spartans face the Oakland Patriots in the High School game of the Decade in Chattanooga today.

CLOUT SPORTS MAGAZINE

NOVEMBER 2021

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