Kenwood siblings suit up for shot at Public League title

The Broncos are one win away from their first Public League baseball championship — they play Payton in Monday’s final at Guaranteed Rate Field — and their roster features three Thunderbird brothers: seniors Kevin Jr. and K’Vion and junior Kevari.

SHARE Kenwood siblings suit up for shot at Public League title
Kenwood’s Kevari Thunderbird, Kevin Thunderbird and K’vion Thunderbird (left to right) pose for a photo before practice at Cornell Field.

Kenwood’s Kevari Thunderbird, Kevin Thunderbird and K’vion Thunderbird (left to right) pose for a photo before practice at Cornell Field.

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

One last time, the Thunderbirds are taking flight together for Kenwood.

The Broncos are one win away from their first Public League baseball championship — they play Payton in Monday’s final at Guaranteed Rate Field — and their roster features three Thunderbird brothers: seniors Kevin Jr. and K’Vion and junior Kevari.

Kevin, a first baseman committed to NAIA Rust College, is the lone senior starter for the Broncos (25-4). Kevari is a left-handed pitcher committed to Eastern Kentucky, while Kevin — an Arizona State football recruit — is also a pitcher.

K’Vion didn’t play baseball last season as he prepared for his Power Five football career, but couldn’t pass up the chance to suit up with his brothers one last time.

“It means everything having another year with them,” he said. “I’m blessed to have two brothers on the same team.”

The sibling relationship has always included some good-natured banter.

“Of course we grew up boosting each other’s egos,” K’Vion said. “If somebody strikes out,we’d get on them.”

“It’s always been competitive among us as brothers,” Kevin said. “[But] when we step on the field, we’re together as one.”

Kevari appreciates the example of his older brothers.

“He just gave me motivation, really,” he said of K’Vion. “His story is a little different from ours. He didn’t [always] have such support as we did growing up.”

“Kevin taught me how to be a leader and a role model,” Kevari added. “He’s like an old soul. One of [those] guys you’ve got to listen to.”

It’s been a full-circle moment for fourth-year Kenwood coach Romey Bracey, who grew up playing baseball with the brothers’ dad, Kevin Sr.

“They’re good kids,” Bracey said. “A lot of charisma, open to being coached.”

And all bring something unique to the table.

“Kevin is a big-time run producer,” Bracey said, but that’s not all.

“Kevin leads very quietly like the big brother figure,” the coach added. “He doesn’t say much. But when he does say something, [teammates’] eyes light up.”

Kevari, whose velocity is in the 85-89 mph range, has taken a big step forward this spring in terms of consistency. He and Bracey give credit to pitching coach Carnell Blackmon.

Now they’re among the marquee players for a team that includes two more Division I commits: junior center fielder/pitcher Khamaree Thomas (Michigan State) and junior right fielder/pitcher Savion Flowers (Eastern Kentucky).

It’s a program on the rise that’s dreaming big. Besides winning the Public League for the first time, Bracey wants the Broncos to become the first predominantly minority team to win an IHSA title.

“If we would have won [city] last year, we thought we would be ahead of schedule,” Bracey said.

Now, with the Thunderbirds back together for one last ride, that kind of success would be coming right in time.

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