Driscoll triplets play for their late father at St. Joe football games

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The Driscoll triplets, John, Patrick and Ryan, are all entering their senior year playing football at St. Joseph High School in South Bend. They’re all soaking in their last year together.

"Being a triplet is so much fun," Ryan said. "It’s like having your two best buddies around all day."

"I think as the season goes on by, I think it is going to start being a bittersweet feeling," Patrick said. "Not too many people can say they played football with their triplet brothers."

Being the mother of high school football-playing triplets certainly can be stressful, but Kara Driscoll says raising her boys has been a lot fun.

"They are such good kids," Kara said. "They really get along with each other, so that makes my job really easy. But the younger years, 0-5, were complete chaos. They would always run in three different directions, and it was just me. So, that was really hard."

Kara has been a single mother ever since the boys were 16 months old. Her husband and John, Patrick and Ryan’s father, John, passed away from a brain tumor in 2002.

"When you’re very young, it’s hard to understand how deep of a situation that is, not knowing you don’t have your biological father with you," Patrick said. "As you get older, that’s when it started hitting the worst."

The boys' father played lacrosse at the University of Virginia, where he wore the No. 32. On their 18th birthdays, both John and Ryan got tattoos to make sure they carry their father’s memory with them everywhere they go.

"I always had the idea that I wanted to get one," Ryan said. "I made my final decision to get it on my side so he’s always on my side."

"I think just keeping that really close to my heart has been another way of reminding me that he’s never really left us," John said.

Kara said she feels like John is still in her home every day. Every time she turns a corner and she sees one of her boys, she sees her late husband.

"John was just a really kind person," Kara said. "He had a lot of compassion. The best of him he passed on to his children. It’s so great to see that."

And despite never knowing their father, the Driscoll boys say they are very close to him.

"I just need to have that close relationship with him, even though physically, it was never there," John said. "Spiritually, it is there. I think inside of us it is definitely there."

And inside of the Pearly Gates in the sky, the Driscoll boys know their father is looking down at them, watching every step of the way.

"I think he is proud of all of us," Ryan said. "We all resemble him in some way. We’ve all been successful in school and sports, so I really do think he respects us."