Freeport's Hochbein twins bring experience on both sides of ball
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Freeport's Hochbein twins have given teachers headaches by showing up at each other's classes and have fooled football coach John Gaillot by trading their helmet and jersey numbers at practice.
This fall, juniors Brandon and Dylan Hochbein will prove whether they can make opponents' heads spin with their double dose of versatility.
Returning starters on both sides of the ball, the Hochbeins resemble each other in physical appearance (6-foot-2, 175 pounds), demeanor and athletic abilities. Both likely will shape Freeport's season as receivers, safeties, returners and even punters.
“I think we're basically identical on the football field and in track and basketball and everything,” Brandon said. “I don't feel like I have better hands than he does, and it's not like he's quicker than me. And we both put forth as much effort as we can.”
The brothers performed well as part of Freeport's mass of underclassmen starters in 2013. Dylan finished with a team-high 15 receptions for 185 yards, five carries for 53 yards, 34 tackles and one interception. Brandon had 11 catches for 156 yards, 12 tackles and one interception.
Brandon also punted 18 times and averaged 34.94 yards per attempt, while Dylan had three punts and a 29-yard average.
As much as the twins want each other to succeed, they still tend to earn the title of more talented brother. Between football, basketball, off-road quad/dirt bike racing and track, where they excel as hurdlers and mid-distance sprinters, the Hochbeins have numerous opportunities to test one another.
“It's always about having to beat your brother whether it's in any sport,” Dylan said. “Especially in track. If he beats me by a time, the next race, I have to beat him by the same time. So it's just a thing in my mind. But in the end, it's always about the victory for your team.”
The twins' similarities make it easy for coaches, teachers, friends and even family members to mistake one for the other. Even Brandon and Dylan struggle to identify what sets them apart. So they've learned to shrug at the use of “Hochbein” as the way for coaches and teammates to communicate with either at practice.
“I just kind of mess with them,” Brandon said. “I say, ‘What are we, objects now? We're not even individuals?' It never really gets on my nerves. I just correct them once in a while.”
Gaillot enjoys the quirks that come with coaching twins. He had the Carson twins who graduated in 2012, and, as a track coach, he also has dealt with the Jack twin sisters. The current punchline among the Yellowjackets is that the Hochbeins share all information and wisdom with each other.
“That's our joke now: If one knows it, the other one should know it,” Gaillot said.
Each brother sees track as his option for his collegiate athletics. Off-road racing gets the Hochbeins almost as wound up as track. In a rare departure from sameness, Dylan rides only dirt bikes, and Brandon prefers quads. But football is where they get the largest audience to see their bond.
Brandon and Dylan, noted goofballs at Freeport, don't want to disappoint with their two-man act.
“They've stopped calling us by our first names,” Dylan said. “We're basically the same person, so they refer to us as the same thing.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- High school notebook: Thomas Jefferson, Clairton head into enemy territory
- Aliquippa wins 16th WPIAL title, ends South Fayette’s 44-game winning streak
- Central Catholic wins 5th WPIAL football title
- Thomas Jefferson uses defense, running game to capture WPIAL title
- Clairton captures 12th WPIAL football championship
- Franklin Regional football team ends its season one win short of Heinz Field
- WPIAL Class AAA notes: Title games draw 16,500 to Heinz Field
- WPIAL Class AA notes: South Fayette’s Saxton sets WPIAL finals record
- Jeannette junior Swinton says ‘football is my life’
- WPIAL Class AAAA notes: P-T unable to snap playoff skid vs. Central Catholic
- WPIAL Class AA final preview: Rivals South Fayette, Aliquippa to play for title for record 3rd straight season