SHERIDAN — Just this past weekend, Toby and Wade Jacobs connected with one another to score a goal for the Sheridan Hawks. Wade found twin, Toby, for a third-period goal that helped seal the Hawks’ first victory of the young season.
A connection years in the making.
“I know where he’s going to be on the ice,” Toby Jacobs said. “I can’t really explain it. I think we just think the same.”
Joel and Justin Bailey share a similar feeling as the Hawks’ second set of brothers, making ice time at Whitney Rink at the M&M’s Center act like an extension of family time for this quartet of key Sheridan contributors.
Justin, a senior, represents the elder statesmen among the Bailey duo. He has an edge over Justin, a sophomore, in experience, size, height and, perhaps most importantly, hair.
“We’ve always, in the Bailey family, had hockey hair,” Justin Bailey said. “In the hockey season, you grow it out. Right now mine is a little longer than his.”
This season marks the second straight year in which the two Baileys sport the same uniform on game day. But the two have always been close to a stick, a puck and one another.
The Baileys grew up playing hockey with, and against, each other.
They’d both wake up early, and get to the rink for some practice time.
Puck-handling drills, slap-shooting activities and speed work encompassed some of the things on the docket each morning.
It was here where Justin gave his younger brother a valuable lesson, one Joel has not forgotten.
“He really taught me to keep my head up,” Joel Bailey said. “Sometimes he’d just lay me out to teach me how to keep my head up.”
A hard lesson to learn from Justin, who has been deemed ‘the bruiser’ on the Hawks for his physical play. Justin may have caused a few other bruises off the ice, as well.
Whether it’s playing Xbox, wrestling, or most recently, playing a family-friendly game of football over Thanksgiving break, each Bailey aims to avoid being shown up by the other.
“It gets pretty competitive,” Justin Bailey said.
The Jacobs share a similar sibling rivalry. However, unlike Joel and Justin Bailey, there’s no age difference or size disparity for the Jacobs twins. But that doesn’t mean one isn’t more skilled than the other.
At least according to one of them.
“I think I might have a step on him in speed in football,” Toby Jacobs said. “In soccer, I don’t know who’s better. I mean, I made varsity.”
And the competitiveness doesn’t halt there. Toby and Wade try to best one another in the weight room, looking to log just a single rep more than the other.
That mentality even leaks over within the home atmosphere when it comes to video games or what to watch on television or who gets the last snack in the pantry.
The constant battle ensues in the classroom as the two compare GPAs.
It doesn’t matter what it is, the Jacobs continually compete from the time they wake up in the morning until the time they turn in for the night. And while Toby matter-of-factly admits he may have the upper hand in many of the activities in which the two compete, Wade lets the numbers do the talking on the ice.
Through four games this season — while both have found the back of the net once for the Hawks — Wade has an extra assist, giving him a 3-2 points lead.
Toby and Wade have been playing hockey together for years. They started at a young age growing up watching Colorado Avalanche games with their father. That spawned a motivation to play, and the countless hours of ice time has brought Toby and Wade even closer — if you can believe it.
So close that similar skill sets and mindsets blossomed.
“When we see a play develop, we read it the same way,” Toby Jacobs said. “He goes where I want him to go, and I pass him the puck and he scores, and he passes to me and I score.
“That’s how it works.”
The Hawks hope it continues to work.
The competitive waters among Sheridan’s two sets of brothers show no signs of calming. Things can get heated and blood can boil for most of the day, but when the four lace up their skates and don matching hockey helmets, they have one common goal — win.
That’s just how the Hawks want it.