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Christopher Brignall and Matthew Trepanier's relationship revolves around one constant: Soccer.

It began with kicking the ball around during recess at Leaders Heights Elementary and moved to shoving matches when Christopher, the tall, lanky defender, had to guard Matthew, the much shorter midfielder.

Soon, they traveled together and stayed in the same hotels at tournaments. On the road, the boys used phrases from Clash of Titans all too much and manipulated their voices using an iPad app.

Before they knew it, they were best friends.

"I think soccer really bound the friendship together at a very young age," Brignall said. "Once we had that, it just naturally happened."

So it seems fitting that, on Aug. 16, both Brignall and Trepanier, seniors at Dallastown Area High School, verbally committed to play soccer at Temple next fall. They'll be joined by club teammate Nick Sarver, a West York senior

After almost a decade of playing together, Brignall and Trepanier earned another four years.

"We said it would be cool to go to the same school, but we never really talked about it," Trepanier said. ". . . [I'm excited] to be playing on the same field as him, playing Division I soccer together."

The boys' journey to college soccer took nearly identical paths. They started playing in the York Youth Soccer League, where Matthew's father, Keith, and Christopher father, Ken, coached their sons against each other.

"I remember seeing them, but I didn't know them at the time," Keith Trepanier said of the Brignall family.

It wasn't until 2006 that the boys met. The Trepaniers and Brignalls moved their sons up to the Dallastown travel team at the same time, and the boys would never play on different teams again.

After a few years with Dallastown, the two friends made the FC York Premier team, one step down from Elite. A year later, they moved up to the Elite team together.

"It was kind of me and Matt that kept going to the next level every single time," Brignall said of the journey. "It was kind of a progression. Whatever happened to one, the other happened to as well."

Brignall and Trepanier competed with FC York in 2010 and 2011 before coaches recommended the boys, along with teammate Sarver, try out for the PA Classics in 2012. The club is an Academy team based in Lancaster.

After two years on the U-15 Pre-Academy team, the boys again moved together to the United States Soccer Federation U-15/16 Development Academy team. To play Academy soccer, the boys could not compete for their high school teams.

However, Classics head coach Stephen Klein said the sacrifice would help them reach their goals.

"All the kids in our program are designed to go play Division I or a high level of college soccer," Klein said. "I definitely think Chris and Matt pushed each other to get better. They are both blue-collar kids that will work the whole game. I think there's definitely that similar trait between the two kids."

This June, Brignall and Trepanier made the trip to Indiana for the U.S. Development Academy Playoffs with the U-18/19 PA Classics. College coaches came from all over the country to watch, and the boys, along with Sarver, caught the Temple's eye.

A few weeks later, all three were invited on a joint recruiting trip to Temple to tour the school and meet the coaching staff. They visited in mid-July and were hooked immediately.

"I had been on five or six other visits by myself, so I thought this trip to Temple was kind of unique," Sarver said. "It was definitely my favorite visit, just being there with Chris and Matt. I think all of our impressions of the school were that is was great and that we could all see ourselves there."

The players' families were expecting to wait weeks, maybe months, to get an offer from any school, let alone Temple. However, the calls came just under a month after the official visit.

Trepanier got the call from Temple and had to hang up and check with his mother, Jo-Ann, before eventually verbally committing.

Brignall answered the call from assistant coach Brian Clarhaut, accepted the offer and broke into tears. He was going to his top school along with Trepanier and Sarver.

"It's nerve-wracking when your child goes to college," Christopher's mother, Jeanne Brignall, said. "But to have him close enough to see all of his games and then to know he has the security of two very good friends to share the experience, it's beyond our wildest dreams."

The mothers quickly called each other to break the news that both boys verbally committed. Brignall and Trepanier kept it brief by texting.

"Bro, this is awesome," Trepanier said.

"Dude, I'm so pumped," Brignall said.

When Brignall and Trepanier and Sarver, saw each other for the first time since committing, it was at practice. They slapped congratulatory high-fives and went back to work on the field, where it all began.

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