Hornet basketball program has unrivaled twin power

Error message

  • Warning: array_merge(): Argument #1 is not an array in _simpleads_render_ajax_template() (line 133 of /home/pdccourier/public_html/sites/all/modules/simpleads/includes/simpleads.helper.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to get property of non-object in _simpleads_adgroup_settings() (line 343 of /home/pdccourier/public_html/sites/all/modules/simpleads/includes/simpleads.helper.inc).
  • Warning: array_merge(): Argument #1 is not an array in _simpleads_render_ajax_template() (line 157 of /home/pdccourier/public_html/sites/all/modules/simpleads/includes/simpleads.helper.inc).

Four sets of twins (including one that has a triplet sister) are on the high school boys basketball team at Wauzeka-Steuben Schools. Pictured (front row, from left) are sophomores Zach and Nate Martin, freshmen Jonah and Isaac Reichmann; (back row) seniors Nate and Nick Benish and sophomores Brad and Ethan Karnopp. (Submitted photo)

By Correne Martin

The Wauzeka-Steuben High School boys basketball program has written such an explicit narrative this season that you might wonder if there’s something in the water. 

It has little to do with the successful 21-1 record the Hornets have achieved. It’s not that the varsity conference champions secured its first regional win last night. It’s not even the personal achievements (Carter Lomas’ all-time scoring record) or the diverse talents of the team.

It’s something more of a phenomenon. 

It’s an unexplainable marvel really that there are currently four separate sets of twins on the boys basketball team. 

This includes one set of seniors, two pair of sophomores and one set of freshmen. They are Nick and Nate Benish, Zach and Nate Martin, Isaac and Jonah Reichmann and Ethan and Brad Karnopp, respectively. 

“It’s pretty crazy. Most people think we’re cousins or maybe just brothers. They don’t believe us,” said Nick, the most talkative of the group. 

“They think it’s a joke,” Zach added. 

What makes this rare occurrence all the more unbelievable is that the Reichmann brothers are actually two-thirds of a set of three. Their triplet, Maddy, plays on the girls basketball team. On top of that, there are two more sets of twins at Wauzeka-Steuben—one in the middle school and the other in the high school—for a total of six sets in K-12. Four years ago, the district had nine sets of twins (some have since moved). Also, one of the team’s scorekeepers happens to be a twin too.

Though the young twin athletes, as a group, had no answer for why there’s such an abundance of multiples in their small school district, they realize that, with a high school enrollment of 105, it’s not unusual for most boys their age to be out for basketball. 

The twins acknowledge they have a natural chemistry and way of communication that could be an advantage on the court. Spectators notice it too.

“A look, or a movement of the body, is enough to cue the other and vice versa,” stated Tom Martin, dad to Zach and Nate. 

He added, “Having such symbiotic relationships has done nothing but enamor our program’s mission and vision. Our sons (and daughters) know their potential and are working each and every day to get to it.”

The twins definitely agree.  Zach and Brad pointed out that all the boys, both varsity and junior varsity, have put in a lot of hard work and dedication over recent seasons. 

Most of the eight twins have played the sport since fourth or fifth grade. The Benishes have both been varsity members since they were freshmen. The Martins and Reichmanns are all pulled up to varsity for the current post-season. 

“You wouldn’t be able to just pull up one twin,” Nick said, joking about the problems doing so might cause between the twins. 

Truthfully, JV coach Isaiah Okey noted that each of the boys within this exclusive group is equally talented. 

“They have their different strengths but, for the most part, we don’t favor anybody,” he stated. 

Admitting it was difficult to tell the twins apart at first, especially the identical Martins and Reichmanns, Okey said their teammates, classmates and school community know them all pretty well because they’ve watched the twins grow up together. As a third-year teacher and coach, Okey shared that he and varsity coach Gary Hines simply resorted to calling the twins by their jersey numbers. 

“There’s definitely something about having twins on the team. They push each other to be better,” the JV coach said. “The challenges the twins have within themselves help to push everyone else to be better too.”

The Hornets success may be attributed to this anomalous connection. But going from one lonely win three years ago to 21-1 this season is certainly due to a lot more than twin luck. The bond and sheer talent extends beyond the twins throughout the team, which has been ranked in Division 5 all year long. 

Two seasons ago, the Hornets didn’t make it past the first round of regionals. Last year, they made it to the regional finals but went home with a disappointing loss. This season, the boys are on track to advance further into the playoffs and achieve the kind of dreams all high school athletes desire. 

With a little twin power, their chances seem good. 

After all, the odds of having twins is three out of every 100 births (and triplets are one out of 840 births). And, Wauzeka-Steuben has six sets of them. 

Rate this article: 
Average: 4.8 (117 votes)