BULLARD – Being twins doesn’t mean Holden and Haden Bryant have everything in common. In fact, Hayden is bigger than his brother and is usually quick to point something else out.
“Being a twin, there’s a lot of pressure on you,” laughed Haden, born seven minutes after Holden. “Especially with my twin brother, because he always does the right thing and is the perfect child. Everyone thinks I’m supposed to be perfect just like him.”
Besides those two things, the differences are few and far between for the Bullard juniors. This week, Holden and Haden celebrated their 17th birthdays and will help lead Bullard (2-1) into Friday's showdown at Troup (3-0).
The Bryants have been key contributors to a resurgent season for the Panthers, who have sandwiched a pair of blowout wins around their lone setback. Haden starts at receiver and safety while Holden leads the way at cornerback, but also sees considerable action at receiver.
“Both are good kids that work hard,” Bullard coach Shannon Wilson said. “They’ve grown up in a family that’s all been involved in athletics. They’ve definitely picked up that drive to succeed in sports.”
That drive can largely be contributed to the standard set by their parents, BISD Superintendent Keith Bryant and BHS tennis coach Tanya Bryant. Prior to becoming parents to three sons (including former Panther receiver Kirk Bryant), Keith and Tanya were athletes at Texas Tech; the former in the track (110 hurdles) and the latter in tennis.
Four-sport athletes themselves, Holden and Haden share many hobbies and interests outside the lines.
Both enjoy alpine activities such as hiking, skiing and snowboarding, in which they get to partake during the Christmas and spring breaks. One of their favorite video games is Call of Duty: Black Ops. Both consider Christian music -- rock and rap -- to be their favorite music genre.
That said, another noticeable difference can be found when it comes to their favorite movies. That’s because Holden chooses the comedy of “Anchorman” and Haden prefers the drama and action of “Saving Private Ryan.”
“It’s very competitive,” Holden said of being a twin. “You are always compared to him I guess. If you play ping pong and lose you get mad, and if you win you rub it in and have bragging rights for the day.”
On the field, Haden leads the offense with 13 receptions for 177 yards and a touchdown and Holden headlines the defense with two interceptions. That’s helped secure wins against Quitman (50-6) and Palestine Westwood (36-18).
“Haden does a great job for us at receiver and safety,” Wilson said. “And Holden is doing a fantastic job at cornerback.”
With another year of high school ahead of them, Holden and Haden hope to carry their athletic abilities to the collegiate level. Their older brother, Kirk, is a member of the Mississippi College football team.
The Profile: Holden and Haden Bryant
Positions: Holden plays receiver and cornerback; Haden plays receiver and safety.
Favorite Music: Holden's is Christian rapper Lecrae, while Haden's is Christian singer/songwriter Phil Wickham.
Favorite Vacation Spot: Wolf Creek, Colo.
Did You Know? Holden and Haden grew up in West Texas (Lamesa) and moved to East Texas about four years ago. Upon arrival here, they were surprised by the high density of trees and humidity after battling desert conditions and scorpions during their earlier years.