A look into the close knit brotherhood of these neighborhood rascals. East Sac boys, a phrase used best to describe Valente Araiza (’16), Luke Harris (’16), Nick Heller (’16), and Michael Sparks (’16). This neighborhood squad is well known for their kindness, smarts, and good looks. Since Kindergarten, the boys have been important in each others lives. […]
A look into the close knit brotherhood of these neighborhood rascals.
East Sac boys, a phrase used best to describe Valente Araiza (’16), Luke Harris (’16), Nick Heller (’16), and Michael Sparks (’16). This neighborhood squad is well known for their kindness, smarts, and good looks. Since Kindergarten, the boys have been important in each others lives.
This brotherhood started in 2002 at Sacred Heart Parish School in East Sacramento, and has only grown stronger since. Luke explained how 12 years of friendship with the same group of guys “is rewarding because it’s not so much a friendship as it is a brotherhood.”
None of the seniors remember the first day they met, but all have fond memories of hanging out at Sacred Heart playing sports and messing around. Valente recalled playing basketball with Luke, Nick, and Michael at recesses.
“We would play basketball at every recess and we even played with some Sacred Heart teachers,” he shares. “We became really close and bonded through sports”.
Walking home from Sacred Heart was also a big deal during their childhoods as it gave the guys a sense of freedom and allowed them to walk to each other’s houses to hang out together.
Most of the hanging out occurs at Nick’s house.
“He has the hangout spot because of his man cave with the big TV and parents who support us with snacks,” Valente explained. Nick’s spacious man-tuary gives the guys enough privacy to play FIFA and trash talk each other — respectfully of course. The home does not just belong to Nick, it belongs to all of them.
“It is always a good time at Nick’s, no matter what we are doing,” Michael explains.
Valente, with a grateful look on his face, explained how the boys are the family he got to choose.
“I have an older sister, but she is seven years older than me. Basically being an only child growing up it was cool to have people my age to confide in and especially since we have done it so long, it’s natural now,” he shared. “To have somebody that has been with you your whole life other than your parents, is a gift.”
Since they have grown together through all these years, it is hard to imagine life without each other. The four boys are more than just friends, they are family. The brotherhood is more than just hanging out, it is about appreciation and respect despite disagreements, which happen frequently. The comfort they feel with each other allows them to be honest and confide in each other, without feeling shy or embarrassed.
With college on their minds, what will happen to the group’s dynamics?
Valente explained “It will be different because we won’t see each other everyday, but we will definitely keep in touch and catch up during breaks.”
All the boys agreed that they will keep the brotherhood strong despite being miles away. As cliche as this friendship sounds, it is remarkable because they will always have the strength and love of the group, despite majors changes in the future.