By Gary Lloyd
They instruct and encourage from the sidelines, and they lead weight room and on-field workouts.
Stephone and Stephen Sheffield are twin brothers, both about 5-foot-4, who will be seniors on this year’s Clay-Chalkville football team. Stephone is a running back who rushed 43 times for 389 yards and four touchdowns last season. Stephen is a linebacker who recorded eight tackles and one tackle for loss a season ago. Their 2012 statistics aren’t earth-shattering, especially compared to teammates, but their impact is felt elsewhere, on the sidelines and in the weight room.
“They have all the energy,” said Clay-Chalkville head coach Jerry Hood. “They’re our energy guys.”
The brothers, Hood said, came up with a postgame workout routine in which all players do pushups and other exercises. The Sheffields lead the workout.
“That’s just how we are, always energetic,” Stephone said. “We always bring energy. They motivate us, so we motivate them.”
Stephone is three hours older than Stephen. Stephen said Stephone came up with the energetic workout. He followed his older brother’s lead.
“I look at him as my leader because he’s older than me,” Stephen said. “I just look toward him because he’s the perfect guy for it.”
Stephen has tackled Stephone in practice. They understand it’s an interesting aspect of the game, but it is still a game.
“Brotherly love, but it’s still competition,” said Stephone, who wants to play college football and eventually get into sports broadcasting.
Stephen said he leads from the sidelines because Hood has looked to him to be a team leader on defense this season. The bulk of Clay-Chalkville’s linebacking corps from 2012 were seniors.
Hood said the twins are good kids and honors students.
“They stand for the right things,” he said.
The brothers began their football careers at age 7. They want to be like each other on the field because they each see how motivating their twin is to the team, to each other.
“It’s really a blessing because it’s someone just like me, pushing me, making me better,” Stephone said. “Everybody always compares us. When I see him, it makes me want to be better.”
Contact Gary Lloyd at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.