NEW LONDON -- Hudson Dunaway was with his parents, Dan and Missy, when they dropped older brother J.D. off on "R-Day" or Reporting-In Day at the Coast Guard Academy in 2013.
"My mom made a joke about dropping me off here in two years. I laughed really hard," Hudson Dunaway said, recalling that day. "I had my shaggy hair. I wasn't one for all the yelling and the military lifestyle."
Hudson, at 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, is now a starting member of the Coast Guard offensive line, the Bears' sophomore right guard, playing right next to his brother, J.D., the 6-foot-1, 260-pound senior center.
There's also another set of siblings playing for Coast Guard (1-3), Chip and Patrick Crowley, adding to the sets of successful brothers that have dotted the Bears' roster throughout the seasons. Charlie and Sam England, Joe and Victor Rizzardi, Mark and Jake Behne.
"There's something special about going to play at a service academy," Hudson Dunaway said. "There's something really special about going to play at a service academy with your brother.
"... I came to the St. Lawrence game here my senior year of high school and the game ended and the cannon went off. I thought, 'It wouldn't be so bad if you ended up here.'"
The Dunaways, who grew up attending games at Navy, where their dad played football, hail from Virginia Beach, where they played for Ocean Lakes High School. They exchange verbal jabs regularly, whether it be as linemates or lunch mates as they were Wednesday when J.D. said he preferred to play against noseguards who are short and fat and Hudson asked if he liked playing against himself then.
The big thing: they're also a part of an offensive line which has allowed Coast Guard to lead the New England Football Conference in pass offense with 310.8 yards per game through four games, protecting record-setting quarterback Derek Victory, as well as recent fill-in Ethan Goldcamp.
Chip Crowley, a 6-2, 180-pound sophomore, starts at wide receiver and punter, while Patrick, a 5-10, 165-pound freshman, starts at left cornerback, as well as kicker.
Chip has 10 catches for 105 yards and a touchdown, while Patrick is 10-for-10 kicking extra points, has a 31-yard field goal to his credit, an interception, and made quite an impact on the coaching staff when he came in to the Bears rivalry game with Merchant Marine due to an injury and defended the triple option without a hitch.
The Crowleys are from San Marino, Calif., where Patrick was 106-for-107 on extra points and had seven interceptions last season for his high school team in what was a program record 15-win season.
"It's definitely an added bonus to have your brother here," Patrick Crowley said. "When you go through the tougher parts of the academy, you know you could probably do it. It definitely weighs into your decision, whether you admit it or not, knowing what he just went through his fourth-class year."
"I wanted him to make his own decision," Chip Crowley said. "I knew he would be watching how I was doing as a fourth class."
Coincidentally, both sets of parents rented houses in the area for the football season, so they can attend games and keep tabs on their sons. The Dunaways have spent time in New London, with Jon and Carolyn Crowley not far away in Mystic, a handy location considering their daughter Kelly is also on the East Coast as a freshman women's soccer player at Holy Cross.
Coast Guard coach Bill George said the older brother almost take care of recruiting the younger brothers for him.
"When you look at the type of people that come to this academy, they're leaders in sports, leaders in the classroom. People look up to them," George said. "It's only natural that their brother looks up to them, too."
George, whose team takes on Maine Maritime beginning at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in New London, is also the offensive line coach, and sees the sometimes comedic rapport the Dunaways have.
"If you were playing touch football, they'd be on opposite teams or there'd be a fight in the huddle, like my brother and I," George said.
"We're pretty hard on each other," J.D. Dunaway said. "He has no problem letting me know when I mess up ... or when he thinks I mess up."