CUBA CITY — Rarely does a high school athletic event cause family members to choose sides in such a way.
But that was exactly the case for the Reuter/Chitwood household last Friday night when Cuba City hosted Platteville in the 2018 football season opener for both schools.
Platteville senior running back/linebacker Carter Chitwood earned family bragging rights that will last a lifetime when he and his Hillmen teammates got the best of his stepbrother Cuba City senior Mason Reuter and stepfather’ Shaun Reuter’s Cubans in a non-conference clash at CCHS, 28–14.
The younger Reuter is a starting halfback and
linebacker for Cuba City. Shaun Reuter, who is a physical education and algebra teacher at Highland High School, is in his fourth and final year as volunteer defensive assistant for the Cubans.
Mason Reuter — who was a first-team All-SWAL running back and a second-team all-league linebacker a year ago as a junior — scored the game’s first touchdown Friday night, but it was Chitwood that got the last laugh, and the victory, to run his all-time record against stepbrother and stepdad to 3–0.
Chitwood’s Hillmen beat the Reuter’s Cubans 34–7 in the 2017 season opener, but Chitwood and Reuter played a much larger roles Friday night in the first game of their senior seasons. Platteville also defeated the defeated the Cubans 21–13 to begin the 2016 season, but neither Reuter (missed the game with a broken foot) nor Chitwood (wasn’t on varsity as a sophomore) played in that game.
“I think it was really cool” said Shaun of Friday night’s game. “I think back to playing softball when I was younger and I always wanted to beat my brother or my best friends way more than anyone else and I think that was the same for Mason and Carter.
“I know this year definitely meant a lot more to both of them because Carter is a starter now too and they both played bigger roles in this year’s game.”
Chitwood started at inside linebacker and spent time at nose tackle in Friday’s win, finishing with two tackles and a fumble recover early in the third quarter that set up Platteville’s third score. He also rushed for 24 yards on five carries as Platteville’s number two halfback.
Reuter rushed for 26 yards and a TD on five carries and finished with six tackles, including a sack.
“They get along so well and they know a lot of each other’s friends,” said Reuter. “Friday afternoon, I went down to Mason’s room to wake him up from a nap because I didn’t want him sleeping all day and I found him and Carter hanging out looking at memes and videos on their cell phones. They have great relationship.”
Retuer started dating Chitwood’s mother, RaNah, when Carter was just three years old and has been part of his life every since.
RaNah Reuter, who is the principal at Westview Elementary, was certainly rooting for Platteville Friday night, but the choice wasn’t as easy for the Reuter’s 7-year old son, Jake.
“It pretty obvious who RaNah and I were rooting for, but it wasn’t so easy for Jake,” explained Reuter. “He goes to school in Platteville, but a lot of times he comes with me to practice and is on the Cuba City sidelines as a ball boy. During last year’s game he wore a Cuba City shirt with Platteville shorts. This year he wore all Cuba City gear, but he brought a friend from Platteville with him to the game. But RaNah told me afterwards, he was rooting for Cuba City all the way.”
Prior to the opening kickoff the elder Reuter gave Chitwood some good natured ribbing.
“He was lined up near our sideline on the opening kickoff and I hollered at him, ‘we’re coming right at you Chitwood.’ He just smiled at me and winked.” said Reuter.
After the game Reuter stopped in the line and gave Chitwood a hug, congratulating him on the win. Then the family stuck to tradition and took a family photo with Reuter in the middle for the third and final time.
“There was a lot of trash talking during the week, but the game was a lot of fun,” added Reuter. “Unfortunately for us, Carter won all three meetings during their careers, but it was a really neat experience for our family.”