The Spartans have five seniors on their roster heading into football season, including twins Garrett Whited and Grayson Whited.
The brothers put up big numbers during their junior season. Garrett, a running and receiving threat, had over 1,600 yards and 16 touchdowns in total offense. Grayson had over 400 yards and six touchdowns receiving.
Many twins have a special connection, and that’s the case with the Whiteds. That special bond carries onto the football field.
“I’ve been closer to him than anyone else in my life,” Garrett said. “So when he gets hurt, it kind of affects me too in my game. Without him, it’s kind of hard to win a game.”
Grayson sees having his brother on the field as an advantage.
“It’s hard to stop one of us — and then there’s another one,” he said.
ONE BROTHER DOWN
Grayson was sidelined with an injury last season, which increased the workload for the remaining Spartans — especially Garrett.
“Well, it stunk,” said Garrett. “I got more carries, which made me more tired, and sometimes it’s hard to carry the load he has.”
Grayson’s absence affected Garrett’s game even before Eastside took the field.
“Mentally, it did make me a lot more nervous knowing he didn’t have my back because he’d be the first person I’d go to,” Garrett said.
Both are back and ready to roll this season — and with an on-field advantage most players do not have.
“We know what we’re going to do,” said Garrett, the more vocal of the twins. “We just look at each other and we know.”
A WAY OF LIFE
The brothers have a love for the game of football and — like with many other families in Southwest Virginia — Friday nights and Saturday and Sunday afternoons in the fall are dominated by one conversational theme.
“Football is all we really talk about,” Garrett noted. “With us and all of our friends, football is just the thing we love to talk about.”
Grayson agrees completely.
“We love this sport. We’d play all year if we could,” he said. “We talk about it all the time.”
CLOSER TO KICKOFF
The brothers and the rest of the Spartans have a sense of excitement with the start of the regular season a mere three weeks away.
Eastside opens the regular season on Aug. 30 by hosting Wise County rival Central.