McConvey Brothers Thrive for UVM Men's Lax

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Growing up with a brother right around the same age isn't always easy

"Back home, you know we didn't have many TVs so usually we'd fight over the TV," said UVM freshman midfielder Thomas McConvey. "I'd wanna watch sports, he'd want to watch his other shows so we'd go at that for a bit."

But when you have aspirations of playing college sports, it probably helps to have a sibling around to push your growth.

"It was awesome," said Thomas' older brother Jonathon, also a freshman midfielder at UVM. "We've been in the backyard like shooting balls, passing together. Every year we've played together growing up, so there hasn't really been a year off. It's just the pushing each other to be better, and it's really helped I think both of us become better players."

Unless you're twins, it's unlikely you'll get the opportunity to begin your college careers together. But that was just the chance Jonathon and Thomas McConvey were presented about a year and a half ago

"I'm a year older than him and originally I did a post grad year," Jonathon said.

"Earlier in my senior year, around the beginning, (UVM head) Coach (Chris) Feifs called and he said, 'Do you want to come together?' And we thought it was a good opportunity," added Thomas.

"You know, I thought they could both make an impact here really early," Feifs said. "I thought they're both really unique talents. They do different things well and they both have a really high lacrosse IQ and they're great students. So I felt where we were as a culture and a team they could really help us."

So the brothers both matriculated to UVM in the fall of 2018. For some, the transition to college can be hard. But it wasn't too much of a change for the McConvey brothers.

"Yeah, we've shared a room our whole lives, we had bunk beds most of our lives and then we live in a smaller house so we still share a room to this day at home," Jonathon said.

"Yeah it's nothing new, we're used to it now," added Thomas. "And we've gotten in some odd fights but we're there for each other and we always know that we've got each other's back."

A pair of college age brothers who've spent most their lives sharing bunk beds...I guess it shouldn't be much of a surprise that both Thomas and Jonathon list the Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly classic 'Step Brothers' as their favorite movie.

"Yeah it's a funny correlation and I love that movie," Jonathon said.

"It's a classic," Thomas added. "I can watch it forever."

When asked what their favorite scene from the movie was, Jonathon said, "I like the karate in the garage."

"I like the bunk beds and then the Catalina wine mixer is pretty funny," Thomas added.

The Catamounts have developed a bit of a Canadian pipeline over the last few years, and arguably the best player in program history was Ian MacKay, a Canadian midfielder who graduated in 2018. MacKay wore number 45, a number that Jonathon McConvey picked up this season. Part of that was wanting to honor that Canadian legacy, but it wasn't the only reason.

"He's a huge role model to look up to, playing in the PLL, the NLL, doing great things. It's really been amazing to see all the things he's done," Jonathon said." And also we wanted to go with 44, 45, and then our real good buddy from home is Liam Limoges, who's 46, so we thought it'd be pretty cool if we went back to back to back."

The Canadian influence has been huge for Vermont this year with the McConvey brothers, Limoges, and two other Ontario natives, Ben French and Rob Hudson, all ranking among the Catamounts top ten scorers this year, something the McConvey's attribute to growing up playing indoor box lacrosse.

"Yeah it brings a unique skill set over the not many maybe traditional American players have," Jonathon said. "It helps a lot with moving the ball, finding open spaces. Even with like the two-man game. I think it really helps."

And although they're just freshmen, the fact the McConvey brothers have been key contributors since day one has them convinced that they're a little more experienced than you might think.

"I think we're still relatively inexperienced, but those ups and downs have made us seem like older than we actually are," Thomas said.

"Yeah I agree," Jonathon added. "A lot has happened since the start of the season, whether it's coming back from big leads, losing big leads, beating big teams, losing to good teams...I think we've experienced maybe what some people don't even experience in their whole career in a season. And I think it's really helped us in the long run and even our whole team just to continue and take the next steps in this program."

That next step they're aiming for? Picking up a couple wins in the America East Tournament, which begins on Thursday as the Catamounts face Albany in the semifinals at 4:30 p.m.