With siblings, it seems like everything can be a competition. With twins, that competition seems to intensify, or is at least the case with a pair of Rapid City Stevens wrestlers.
The Malone twins, Declan and Darien, both wrestle in the 106-pound weight class. Saturday their sibling rivalry came to a head in Yankton, when they faced each other for the title of the Yankton Invitational.
"It’s just way different," Declan said. "It’s your bother, you know what he’s going to do he knows what I’m going to do. It could have gone either way but he got it this time."
Darien echoed that statement, saying it can be somewhat of a stalemate because of their familiarity.
"He knows what you’re going to do and you know what he’s going to do, so you’ll defend your moves and you’ll defend his moves," he said. "Nothing really happens, and then in other situations anything is possible."
Begrudgingly, Declan admitted that Darien got the best of him in Yankton, winning the title 11-3.
The sophomores said it is the first time they have faced each other in a final while they were in high school, but the faced each other numerous times while wrestling the AAU circuit as kids.
Darien said the battles would go back and forth back in the day, and still do now.
Saturday in Yankton, the two knew in the back of their minds that there would be a possibility that they'd face each other in the finals.
Declan said both of the twins try not to look ahead in situations like that, but both admitted that is hard to do.
"I think in the back of our minds we know there’s a possibility we’ll have to wrestle each other here," he said. "We just focus on one match at a time."
"That’s a unique thing for us, we know that’s a potential in those tournaments," Stevens coach Travis King said. "They’re both great kids and they’ve continued to work, improve and challenge each other and it’s only made both of them better by having that part of the season."
They are both better to the point where every week King has a tough decision to make. He's usually allowed to take one wrestler to large invitationals at the varsity level, so the twins have been battling for that varsity spot all season.
"I had a good idea of who’s going to be there (in Yankton) and we’re trying to pick the best one," King said. "They’ve been wrestling off against one another for about half the season, and that’s always tough because it doesn’t stay here, it goes home."
Darien started the season off in 113, but he and the coaches decided he would have more success at 106. Declan had the varsity spot, but was given recovery time because King said he had trouble keeping weight over the holidays.
"I beat him out for a varsity spot for awhile and he’s been killing it at J.V. tournaments getting first and second place there," Declan said. "I think we’re doing great and having a great year."
Although there is a rivalry, it is clear these two brothers want what is best for each other. They both said there's no trash talking before the match, but after the match even though they are happy for each other they do exchange in some trash talking.
"They’re best friends, they pretty much do everything together," King said.
What is next for the twins is hard to tell. Declan said they probably won't stay in the weight class going forward because he believes both are good enough to take a varsity spot in a weight class.
King said both are going to have to wrestle for their spot, before the dual meet with Rapid City Central and before regionals.
"They’ll both grow into this," King said. "Whichever one comes through this wrestle-off series I think they’ll have a chance at being a region finalist and a chance to be in the state championship talks, they’re both that quality of kids. You never count them out, and they’ve both only gotten better on the year."
Stevens and Central wrestle at Naasz Gymnasium Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
Other athletes considered:
Brain Petereit, Rushmore Thunder boys' hockey: In the the Thunder's three weekend wins, Petereit was the main offensive focus. He scored 10 points, with six goals and four assists as the Thunder swept the Oahe Capitals and Watertown Lakers.
Dayson Kohlus, Cheyenne-Eagle Butte boys' basketball: Kohlus scored 26 points as the Braves squeaked out a win over Winner 66-62 Saturday
Danielle Schmidt, Rapid City Stevens gymnastics: Schmidt's two second place finishes powered the Raiders to a state meet appearance, with a second place finish the in East-West State Qualifier in Sioux Falls.
Schmidt took second in the all-around and bars as well as third at the vault. Stevens finished second behind Sioux Falls O'Gorman.