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Saturday Sports Buffet: Subtle differences; Identical twins find little common ground

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, January 25, 2014

Common ground doesn’t exist on many topics for Philip or Paul Walker.

TWINS IN FLIGHT – Paul and Philip Walker fight for a jump ball. The identical twins struggle to find common ground but have helped the Decatur Eagles to a No. 9 state ranking in Class 3A. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

“We agree that I’m better at basketball,” Philip suggests.

His identical twin, Paul, quickly counters: “We don’t agree on that.”

Who is the better-looking one?

“Definitely me,” Paul said.

Philip makes the same claim.

But no one will argue about the Walker twins’ contributions to the Decatur Eagles’ success. The seniors are averaging a combined 28 points per game for the ninth-ranked Eagles. Paul is putting in 16 points per game, and Philip 12.

Along with supplying points, Decatur coach Drew Coffman said the twins provide plenty of laughs and intrigue.

“It’s always interesting,” Coffman said. “There’s always going to be some heckling between those two and some type of bickering.”

The two don’t deny the biggest competition on the court is between them, especially when they get matched up against each other in drills or during scrimmages.

“It gets gruesome,” Paul admits.

The two have given up trying to play each other one-on-one at home.

“When we play one-on-one it always ends up in a fight,” Philip said.

Paul adds: “We never finish a game.”

In open gym, the two are usually on opposing sides in games, which is nothing new. They were on different teams in peewee, and even then there was no verdict as to which one had the upper hand.

“We ended in a tie,” Philip said.

The twins say some people struggle to tell them apart. But Coffman said the two carry themselves differently. He said Philip walks more straight-up with his shoulders back, and Paul often has his head down and is more laid-back.

On the court, Coffman said Paul is the better shooter and better around the basket. Philip gets the nod as the better defender and ballhandler.

The twins agree they had large shoes to fill, following former Decatur star point guard and their older brother Ross.

“He was always giving us a hard time about filling his shoes,” Paul said.

Philip adds: “I don’t think he was ever on a team ranked No. 9 in the state.”

The Walkers hope the Eagles finish better than that ranking. Maybe then they can find some common ground on those other topics.

SIDEDISHES

  • Before their showdown with the Boyd Lady Yellowjackets Tuesday, the Alvord Lady Bulldogs presented Taylor Ragsdale with flowers. As detailed in last week’s Sports Buffet, Ragsdale was sidelined a few weeks ago with blood clots. It was a great display of sportsmanship and shows the unique bond and camaraderie that exists between Wise County schools. Boyd school officials also presented Taylor with a check for $1,449.61. The money was raised from an auction and donations collected in the past few weeks
  • The Decatur Eagles are the area’s top-ranked team in the latest TABC rankings at No. 9. The Northwest Texans fell out of the Class 5A top 25 after two straight losses. In the girls polls, Paradise checked in at 12
  • Sign the times are a-changing: the once-dominant Krum Bobcats came to Decatur winless in District 9-3A. It’s been a far fall for the Bobcats, who went 12 years from 1988 to 2000 without a district loss. The Bobcats broke Buna’s 36-year-old record for consecutive district wins of 138 on Jan. 7, 2000 in a game I attended. Two weeks later the streak was broken by Gunter in a 39-34 loss
  • Softball practice began for area teams last week. Friday, baseball teams took the diamond for the start of workouts. No Wise County teams are in preseason rankings for either sport
  • Generally, I prefer college football to the NFL, but it’s hard to top what we saw Sunday. Peyton Manning displayed near perfection at the quarterback spot, throwing for 400 yards and completing 32 of his 43 attempts. Seattle and San Francisco then provided a hard-hitting, grudge match that came down to the final 20 seconds. Can’t wait for next week’s Super Bowl
  • I can’t say I knew much about Richard Sherman before last Sunday’s interview with Erin Andrews and his kind words about Michael Crabtree. I will say I did enjoy the pro wrestling element he brought. I break out my prediction for the big game next week
  • Finally, if turning 36 last weekend didn’t make me feel old, two anniversaries didn’t help. One was AMC pointing out that “Pulp Fiction” is 20. The other is my guilty pleasure KTCK “The Ticket” turning 20. While many of my colleagues are talking about an item on NPR, I’m more worried about what Fake Jerry, the Ticket Mouse or the Crazy Prospector will say.

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