The brothers stood next to each other for a quick photo during a water break at Monday’s practice.
A teammate couldn’t resist blurting, “So, who’s cuter?”
For identical twins Cade and Cole Wyant, that’s secondary to their own quest to show who is just plain better.
Cade is the quarterback, praised by his Rocklin High School coaches and teammates for his decision making, accuracy and leadership. Cole is the team’s standout linebacker, the quarterback on defense known for his versatility and grit.
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Cole is a backup quarterback. And he long snaps, and he plays fullback, and he plays tight end and H-back. He’s everywhere.
The Wyant brothers are shadows of each other. They’re best friends. They share a 2006 Jeep as their ride to school every morning. They encourage each other in the weight room, in class where they sport perfect grades, and on the football field.
Cade is 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds and Cole is 6-1 and 200. But their smiles and attitudes are mirror images.
“It’s been awesome having a twin brother,” Cade said. “He’s got my back and I’ve got his. We definitely have a healthy competition going. Who gets the better grades, who had the better practice, who broke down film better.”
Said Cole, “I love my brother to death. I’d do anything for him. He pushes me, and I emulate that and do my best to push him.”
The boys were born seven weeks premature, Cole arriving at 5 pounds, 1 ounce and Cade at 4 pounds, 11 ounces. They spent two months in intensive care, and once out, they never seemed to slow down.
“I played basketball with the brothers when we were in second grade,” Rocklin teammate Charlie McBride said. “They’ve always competed, they’ve always worked hard and challenged each other every day. They’re just complete human beings.”
The brothers credit their parents for raising them right.
Their father, Drew Wyant, is a longtime Rocklin quarterbacks coach. He was a 1980s Sacramento State all-conference performer who set a bevy of school passing marks and for years tossed touchdown strikes in the annual Pig Bowl charity game between firefighters and law enforcement. He retired last week as a captain and patrol commander for the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.
“We were never the biggest, fastest, strongest guys, but he taught us that we can work hard,” Cole said. “He’s more proud of what we do off the field and in the community.”
Their mother, Lana, is a lawyer and “the intellectual star of the family,” Cade said, with Cole laughing in agreement.
The brothers can hold court, too. Rocklin coach Greg Benzel asked them last week to speak to scores of Rocklin youth players, coaches and cheerleaders to talk about the benefits of football, teamwork and goals.
Said defensive coordinator Jason Adams, “We couldn’t have done a better job of speaking than what those two did. They inspire everyone by doing things right. They eyeball everybody and say hello. They’ve made an impact on our campus. They are who you’d want your kid to become, and they’re great football players.”
Cade has passed for 1,166 yards and eight touchdowns with one interception, and he’s rushed for two scores. Cole averages 6.6 tackles a game.The brothers hope to play in college together, but for now are appreciating their final high school season.
They expressed gratitude that their father is out of law enforcement, understanding the emotional toll it can take. An uncle of the boys — Rob Patton — is a sheriff with Sacramento County who worked closely with deputy Mark Stasyuk, who was shot and killed on Monday. Patton and Drew Wyant were teammates and roommates at Sac State.
“Dad used to work SWAT, dealing with bad guys, and we were too young to understand it,” Cade said. “By the time we were older, he was a captain, in a leadership role. We definitely always worry about any of the officers or deputies.”
Drew Wyant grew up in Vacaville, taking the bus to school for years with Eric Cavaliere, now the Oak Ridge coach. They became key cogs for Vacaville High football. No. 17 Rocklin (2-3) visits No. 6 Oak Ridge (3-1) on Friday for a Sierra Foothill League game. Like father, like sons, Cavaliere said.
“I can remember Drew as far back as 8 or 9 years old,” Cavailere said. “I really looked up to Drew. Everyone looked up to Drew. He was the star QB, rocked the preferred ‘feathered’ hair cut of the ’70s, and was the coolest kid on campus. Drew was friends with everyone.
“Having met his kids a few times, it sure seems they are chips off the old block.”