Johnston brothers stick together on and off rugby field

Written By Joshua Croup

                                                                                                           photo by Justine Wiley
The Rugby Club lost 34-­10 to Fairmont State University (5-­0) in West Virginia on Friday.They will play undefeated Franciscan University this Saturday for Franciscan’s homecoming game. Franciscan is coming off of a 55-­13 victory over Allegheny College. 

 

Troy and Travis Johnston have been an inseparable dynamic duo since they were young, doing everything together from playing in the backyard to now leading the Bison Rugby Club. 

The twin brothers’ journey through life has taken on them on almost identical paths from childhood to college. At Beaver High School, the two were almost always together competing on the track, in the pool and on the football field. They are now in their senior year at Point Park studying sports, art and entertainment management (SAEM) together. 

Despite being teammates on the field, the Johnston brothers have always had a silent competition between each other. 

“We wouldn’t let each other know we were competitive. We would never trash talk, but I would never want him to do better than me as he would never want me to do better than him,” Travis Johnston said. “It’s still the case now.”

Along with the silent competition that the twins have, they can also communicate without words. 

“There are some instances where we know how [the] other is feeling. We understand and can relate to each other instantly,” Travis Johnston said. “We go through the same experiences together, so it’s easy to relate to each other.” 

The twins shared a room growing up and often followed the lead of their older sister, Paige. They bonded with each other daily by watching TV, climbing on furniture to avoid the imaginary lava on the floor and sneaking around behind their babysitter’s back. 

Along with an older stepbrother, the Johnston twins have a large supporting family that has always been in their corner. Their parents separated when the twins were 8 years old, but they say that their transition was simple. 

“Our parents were still always there. Ever since we’ve had this type of family, we’ve had the largest support group ever,” Troy Johnston said. “We always have people behind us 100 percent. I wouldn’t want to change a single thing about growing up.” 

That largest support group is about to be one person larger, as their sister is expecting a baby boy in the coming weeks. The twins are looking forward to being uncles and Troy is excited just to hold a baby, never having held one before. 

When the time came to decide on their futures, the twins were split in their decisions. Travis wanted to major in SAEM, while Troy wanted to major in business management. Without even discussing it, they applied and were accepted to the same schools. Troy changed his major to SAEM after a winter visit to Point Park during his senior year of high school. 

“I don’t know if we ever thought we weren’t going to go to the same school,” Travis Johnston said. “We don’t talk about things like that. It just kind of happens.” 

As the twins prepare to graduate in May, they will be apart for the first time in their 22 years together. 

“Because we’ve been together for so long, the understanding of certain things just sort of don’t need to be discussed because no matter what, we’re still brothers, we’re still there,” Travis Johnston said. 

For now though, the twins continue to lead the rugby club together. Troy is the captain of the backs, and Travis is a former captain of the forwards who passed the position to junior Richie Carver this season. Travis joined his brother as a back for their senior year and is playing right by his side. 

The two have seen the Bison Rugby Club grow from having eight members with few matches to an entire squad with a full schedule and a conference membership. The twins hope that the next step the club takes is hiring a coach who can help them grow as a team and not just a club. 

In the middle of their last season in the rugby club, the twins hope that they have left a good impression on the current club members. 

“I hope they remember me as being a good player and someone who had no fear of going out and playing,” Travis Johnston said. “I want them to do that for themselves and pass that down to other players.”

“I hope that they see that I’m working as hard as I possibly can,” Troy Johnston said. “If you put in all the effort and you give back what everyone else has given, the club will be successful.”