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Students struggle in siblings' shadows

SUN. | 03-06-22 | FEATURES

     Living in someone's shadow could mean their achievements and abilities are so great that you may feel you’re not noticed or valued. Rose freshman Justin Grimes and Rose junior Jah’quarious Brown know this feeling; both of them have an older sibling who has made major accomplishments in sports.The older brother of Jah’quarious Brown, Rose senior Klavon Brown, has been on the news for football and the older brother of Justin Grimes, Rose senior Jayden Grimes, has won a state championship for baseball. 

     Justin Grimes and Jah’quarious Brown have both been playing sports from a young age.

     “I started playing baseball when I was five [and] I was originally supposed to play rookie lead, but the coaches didn’t think I was ready so I played T-ball,” Grimes said. “But since I was too advanced at T-ball, they placed me in the rookie lead.”

     Baseball was not the only sport Grimes played at a young age.

     “I didn’t start playing basketball until I was six and then I started playing both sports,” Grimes said.

Siblings shadow

Photo contributed by Janari Carmichael

     On the other hand, Brown found his way in sports a little later.

     “I started playing football when I was ten and fell in love with it, so I kept playing it,” Brown said.  

     Family members have positively influenced Grimes’ and Brown’s participation in sports.

     “I was inspired by my brother to play baseball because once I saw him playing, it inspired me to play,” Grimes said.

     For Brown, however, his inspiration came from elsewhere.

     “My dad inspired me because he always pushed me and told me football was my ticket out and my way to get exposure,” Brown said.

     Ever since Grimes’ and Brown's brothers have gained popularity due to their success in sports, they feel like it has affected them in school in different ways.

     “Older people will come up to me and ask me if I am Jayden Grimes' brother and sometimes people would even come up to me and say I'm acting like I don’t know them,” Grimes said. “And I don’t know them; they just know of me because of my brother.”

     But for Brown, the way he is treated in school is totally different.

     “Since my brother has gained popularity with football, it hasn't changed the way anyone has treated me,” Brown said. “I am still treated the same and as an equal.”

     Grimes has had some experiences where he has had special treatment because of who his brother is. 

     “When I was in 7th grade playing basketball and baseball, the coaches from baseball already knew who I was because my brother and it helped me moving on into high school,” Grimes said.

     There have been instances in which Grimes and Brown feel the expectations are higher for them when playing sports. 

     “Since me and my brother both play football, the coaches expect me to push harder because they know if my brother can do it, I can too,” Brown said.

     For Grimes, he feels the expectations are different with what's expected of him in baseball.

     “With baseball, since me and my brother both play and he has won a state championship, it feels like the standards are already set and I should do the same,” Grimes said.

     Even though Grimes’ and Brown’s brothers have gained popularity from sports, that hasn’t changed the relationship they have with their siblings.

     “Me and my brother have a great relationship and we talk everyday,” Grimes said. “He takes me places because I don’t have a car and we will go get food or we will watch the game together.” 

     However, Brown’s relationship with his brother is focused on motivation and activities. 

     “My brother and I motivate each other by saying ‘you aren't better than me' which makes us work harder,” Brown said. ”We also work out together.”

     Brown and Grimes are working on making a name for themselves because they want people to know that they’re their own person.

     “To make a name for myself, I will improve each year with travel ball, baseball and basketball,” Grimes said. 

     Brown’s ability to make a reputation for himself consists of his football performance.

     “Since I am an offense player, I hope to make 120 tackles to make a name for myself,” Brown said. [I want to] show people I am an equal to my brother, as we both have talent for different things.”

     Even though it can sometimes feel like they're living in their siblings' shadows, they continue to grow into their own person and make a name for themselves. Brown and Grimes set goals for themselves in order to achieve this.

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