Manheim Township’s Josh and Sam Emge are beasts.
The Blue Streaks linebackers are identical twins, regarded by their teammates as the strongest guys on the team.
“They certainly — they will come at you,” said head coach Mark Evans.
The aggressive style is two-fold. Twice the power means twice the pain, but the Emge’s are counting their blessings.
“My parents tell me all the time,” Sam said. “It’s a miracle that we’re even here.”
It is a miracle. The two suffered from twin transfusion syndrome, a rare and potentially deadly disease. The two were born three months premature.
“I was just scared actually though, when I knew they were going to be born because I didn’t know what to expect,” the boys’ mother, Kelly, explained. “Just a lot of anxiety and worry about the health of our whole family.”
Josh and Sam each weighed around two pounds at birth, small enough to fit into the palm of their father’s hand. It’s hard to conceive their struggles when you see them in the weight room. Both Emges are able to bench over 350 pounds and squat over 400 pounds.
“It’s crazy, how much we’ve shot up,” Josh said. “I definitely never thought I would be benching what I am.”
From weighing a pound to benching over 350, the boys are putting the ‘iron’ in irony.
“I just feel so blessed as a mom, that they were progressing (as infants),” Kelly said. “I almost can’t believe how strong they are.”
These two juniors are leaders on the Manheim Township squad, which is following up one of the best seasons in program history. But these twins aren’t interested in identical results, they want a state title.
“(We want) the same thing as last year and more,” Sam said. “Everybody on this team is always pushing and we’re ready.”
The Blue Streaks open their season on Saturday night against Central Dauphin East.