Brothers competing on varsity at Crete High this winter include, from left, Josiah Gardiner, Sam and Ethan Rasgorshek and Josh and Ivery Hoyos. Jabin Gardiner is not pictured.

Athletes often describe their team as family or brothers. For some, however, that’s literally true.

Crete High has three sets of brothers competing at the varsity level this winter. Josiah and Jabin Gardiner and Sam and Ethan Rasgorshek play basketball, and Josh and Ivery Hoyos wrestle.

Sam and Ethan

Sam and Ethan are identical twins, both listed at 6-5. They agreed that Ethan may be a little taller, but Sam is a minute older.

While they don’t fight very often, according to Sam, they are more likely to criticize each other, according to Ethan.

“It’s not too weird,” Sam said.

The two play one-on-one a lot during the summer and often go against each other in practice.

“It works out well,” Sam said. “I think we’re harder on each other.”

Both play post, and Sam fills in at guard occasionally.

On the court, Ethan said, they like the high/low play where they can pass to each other. But they look for whoever’s open.

With a name like Rasgorshek, they’ve heard every pronunciation possible – including radio calls and a lot of track meets, Ethan said.

They have tried switching places, they said.

“We did switch in middle school,” Ethan said, adding that one teacher was in on the plan, while the other was quite confused.

Ethan plans to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Sam is still deciding between UNL and Creighton. Both are going to study computer science and software engineering.

“We share a lot of experiences,” Sam said. “When I look back, it’s been a lot of fun.”

They said their last game together will be difficult, but, as Ethan said, “there’s always the hoop on the driveway.”

Josiah and Jabin

Note: Jabin was sick the day of the interview and unable to participate.

Josiah, a 6-6 senior, said he and Jabin, a 5-11 freshman, have a lot of inside jokes the rest of the team don’t always understand.

He said it’s more fun when they compete against each other in practice. Jabin plays more point guard and wing, while Josiah is a small forward.

“He fouls a lot in practice,” Josiah said with a smile.

Since Jabin is a freshman, he doesn’t see as much playing time, but Josiah said they still talk about Crete’s games.

“It’s nice to play with someone you can talk to afterward,” he said.

He tries to give his younger brother advice, and he listens sometimes, Josiah said. His main advice is to not hesitate.

Advice is a two-way street, and Jabin often tells Josiah to shoot.

Josiah said his last game with Jabin will be bittersweet.

Josh and Ivery

For the Hoyos brothers, having a brother’s support is great.

“You have someone to wait for you after, win or lose,” Ivery said.

Josh is a junior and Ivery is a sophomore on the Crete wrestling team. They wrestle different weights, but sometimes square off in practice. Josh prefers to take the top position, while Ivery would rather start out on the bottom.

Ivery said it’s harder when they wrestle each other because “I want to be the brother on top.”

“Neither wins,” Josh said.

When they’re both in the lineup, they wrestle back to back. Ivery said he offers advice to his older brother.

“Sometimes he needs to shoot more,” he said.

Ivery said when Josh wins, it motivates him to go out and do the same in his match.

They don’t usually sit together on the bus on the way to a meet, but they’ll break down each other’s matches on the way home.

Their rooms are across the hall from each other at home, so when one sneaks food, the other can hear him.

“It helps keep us accountable,” Ivery said.

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