Reinbold twins of Anchorage set to play college football for Cornell, MIT

KYES News at 6
Published: Feb. 17, 2022 at 10:25 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Dimond High School twins Billy and James Reinbold played rock paper scissors to determine who would speak first after signing their college football letters of intent Feb. 10 in front of supporters, just another chapter in a lifelong competition between the brothers.

The Anchorage football players grew up doing everything together, which will actually lead them to part ways come fall 2022.

James will play linebacker at Cornell University’s FCS Division I program, while Billy will play on the defensive line of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Division III program.

“James and I are like, so much different in so many ways, but we are so similar,” Billy said.

“I’d say Billy is a little more tenacious in academics and I would say most people would consider me more like the ‘athletics guy’ a little bit,” James added. “... There are just subtle difference between us but overall, our goals kind of come together as very similar.”

As talented as they are on the gridiron, it is their talent in the classroom that separates the nearly inseparable duo. Billy, a self-proclaimed ‘nerd’ interested in chemistry, is Dimond’s Class of 2022 valedictorian, while James, the storyteller interested in literature, is ranked fourth in his class academically, yet another competition between the two.

While it is always a battle, whether on the field, in the classroom or simply in rock paper scissors, they are always the first to lift up one another.

“It happened their freshman year, James had caught an interception and he was running down towards the end zone,” their mother Jennifer recounted prior to the signing. “He was, for all intents and purposes, seemingly unopposed, except for one lineman, and you know, lineman aren’t really known for their running capabilities. But here comes this one lineman. His teammate, his twin brother, Billy, running after him to be the first one to congratulate him in the end zone as he scored.”

“They truly have each other’s back.”

Dimond has not been recognized for on-field success in football in recent years. The Reinbolds have had four coaches in four years, while the team went 1-6 during their senior seasons. With their academic success, they say they could have hung up the cleats and just focused on school, but that was never in their game plan.

“When I thought about it for a long time, I realized that I really couldn’t give up the sport of football,” Billy said. “The values that football teaches you last forever; respect, hard work, teamwork, those are just some of the things that football has to offer, and just the sport itself is beautiful.”

“For me it was a little different than Billy,” James explained. “I had to have academics and football balanced equally to go to the Ivy League and play football. I was able to go to the Ivy League because I went to a recruiting camp and got recruited there. At the same time, if I didn’t have the academics, they would have never recruited me either, so I needed both. Of course, I am trying to reach high for my academic standards, but I also just love football, I am super passionate about football.”

The Reinbolds are among the smartest kids in their class and have carved out enough time to have a social life that saw plenty of friends and supporters at their signings.

“You think that you don’t have an hour to spare, but really you do,” Billy said when asked about time management. “Your body, your mind finds ways to make up time and it also finds ways to take up time.”

“I am going to agree with him on that,” James chimed in. “Humans are really adaptable you know, you can adapt to a certain condition and like he’s saying, there is always room for more. You don’t think so at the time but if you just keep on working, keep on pushing at it, you can make it, you can adapt to that.”

Together since birth, the Reinbolds will be parting ways come fall, but they’ll always have each other’s back.

Correction: This article has been updated to correct that the twins did not earn scholarships. They signed ceremonial letters of intent to play for the schools.

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