Christian and Tyler Davis have competed against each other their entire lives. When the two Christopher High senior twins lived in Hawaii from age 5 to 8, their stepdad routinely took them out to a field to play 1-on-1 football. Often times, it wasn’t pretty.
“We’d tackle each other on dirt or hard grass, and he would just let us go and have at it,” said Tyler, who has rushed for a team-high 538 yards on 70 carries and six touchdowns, while also making an impact at the linebacker position. “We’d go out to this school with a super big field, and he would let us go at each other. Someone would always end up getting hurt, but it is what it is. It toughened us up at an early age, that’s for sure.”
Christian, who plays wide receiver and returns kicks for a Cougars team that entered the week at 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the Pacific Coast League’s Gabilan Division, had similar memories.
“We’d tackle each other and were pretty competitive, so that builds up a bit,” Christian said. “We’d get a little mad sometimes and end up leaving dripping in sweat because no one wanted to stop until someone gained a substantial lead. It just kept on going back and froth until someone said they were tired.”
Although the twins are close, they definitely beat to their own drum. Translation: They’re not inseparable as a lot of identical twins tend to be growing up. In fact, one gets the sense that both of the Davis brothers will be more than content to not live in the same house as they go their separate ways after high school.
“Even though we hang out with the same friends, we’re fine on our own,” Tyler said. “We have very different personalities. I’m a little more calm and he’s hyper,”
But in a conversation with a reporter, Tyler answers questions bluntly and isn’t prone to being politically correct. In other words, he says what’s on his mind. While Christian said the two are close to being best friends, Tyler said, “We’re not best friends—we’re brothers. We get along obviously, but (sometimes it seems like) it’s a love-hate relationship.”
Whether they’re getting along or not—and for the most part they do—on the football field, the Davis’ are always in cohesion. Defensively, they play on the same side of the field, and communication plays a vital role in their success.
“We still have our twin telepathy,” Tyler said. “That is why we’re on the same side of the field on defense and don’t see many big plays to the house (end zone) on our side. What I don’t pick up, he will and what he doesn’t pick up, I will. If I miss a tackle, he’s going to clean it up. We can say something to each other and no one else will pick up the hint but us. We don’t even have to verbally communicate sometimes to know what the other is trying to say.”
The Davis’ are undersized but not at a disadvantage, as they use that as motivation to be as physically strong against bigger players on the field. Both are listed at 5-foot-6, with Tyler listed at 152 pounds and Christian 150.
“He’s been two inches taller than me our whole life until recently,” Christian said. “He’s probably got a good 10 pounds on me, but we’re exactly the same height now. If anything, I might be a little taller.”
Said Tyler: “Everyone we play is bigger than us—that’s how it’s been since we were young. So we’ve always had to play bigger than we are.”
The twins certainly played big in last year’s Central Coast Section Division IV championship game, where the Cougars rolled to a 24-7 win over Leland. Tyler rushed for 143 yards and Christian was his usual solid self in the victory. In addition to their determination and toughness, the duo are dynamic playmakers, utilizing their speed and agility in the open field.
Tyler credits his offensive line of tackles Thomas Vasquez and Joe Fleming, guards Jesse Ramirez and Ray Miriles and center Damian Ramsey for creating holes for him to run through.
“I can’t do anything without my line,” Tyler said. “They’re the key to everything with me. I need them to have success. I don’t rely on myself because I need them. I think of us as one unit.”
In addition to being impact football players, the twins are strong on the academic side as well. This year Christian has a 4.17 GPA and Tyler a 4.0, and Christian couldn’t help but rub it in on his brother.
“He talks a lot,” Tyler said of his brother.
Christian has enjoyed his expanded role on offense this season, as he is the team’s second leading receiver behind standout Jason Scirigione. Even though the twins said they’ll be more than fine after high school is over, they’ll miss playing football together. After all, it’s something they’ve been doing together since the first grade, first on dirt fields in Hawaii and then in an organized league starting in the fourth grade with the Pop Warner Gilroy Browns.
“We had really good times with the Gilroy Browns,” Christian said. “I was the QB and he was the running back. We ran the read option, and those were really good years.”
No matter where their post high school paths take them, one thing is for certain: They’ll always be there for each other.
“The thing I appreciate most about Christian is he’ll always have my back,” Tyler said.
“We’ll go through times when you can’t tell certain things to friends,” Christian said. “But with Tyler, I’m willing to talk to him about anything. He’s the one to talk to in those moments.”