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The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

Twins wrestle for the same team

Siblings share a bond over their love of the sport
Livi Ralston
Sophomore Jonathan Burnham ties up with his teammate at practice so that he can prepare for upcoming wrestling matches.

Last October through February, sophomore Addie Burnham watched her twin brother Jonathan Burnham wrestle on the mat from the stands. But this year, she has decided to join her brother in

Sophomore Addie Burnham drills
with sophomore Ella Mathewson
as they train for the upcoming girls
state tournament. “We both joined
the wrestling team together {and]
practice every single day,” Burnham
said. (Livi Ralston)

the sport.


Due to a lack of after school activities and abundant time, she came up with a plan to give it a try.

“I don’t have anything else to do after school. I guess I’ll go ahead and do it and my one friend was like ‘I’ll do it… so, that’s how it started,” Addie said.

Addie began wrestling in November. However, she still remembers how difficult the sport was when she first started. To Addie, it was not that the sport was particularly hard, but rather that it was tough to get used to.

“It was my first week and I knew nobody. My brother was my partner and this was my first week, so I was still toughening up,” Addie said. “I don’t know what he had against me that day, but I almost started crying.”

After that first week, Addie soon adapted to her new sport. She made friends with some of her teammates and her bond with her twin brother grew stronger due to the addition of wrestling in her life.

“I feel like I can talk to [him] more about wrestling. Now I understand what he’s talking about,” Addie said.

According to Addie, the wrestling team already had multiple sets of siblings.

However, things are different for Addie and Jonathan because they are the only group of twins on the team.

“It’s so fun because we went to Augusta and it was our birthday,” Addie said. “That was my first ever tournament and it was super fun. Since then, Addie has gone to multiple matches and tournaments where her teammates and brother continuously support and inspire her.

“If we’re doing laps around, and they see somebody walking, you start pushing their back to make them,” Addie said. “It’s always like, you need to work

Livi Ralston

on this, push harder, get stronger, to do better. And everybody’s super supportive about motivation.”


Addie’s twin, Jonathan, also supports his sister while she balances her new sport.

“I hold her accountable to practice well,” Jonathan said.

He still even recalls how he felt after his sister’s first match in her wrestling career.

“After she won her first match it [was] all happy and congratulating her. I was proud of her,” Jonathan said.

Although Addie and Jonathan are twins now competing in the same sport, one of their wrestling coaches, Victor Ortalano, sees striking differences between the two.

“[Addie’s] more outgoing. She’s always the first one to say hello to someone,” Ortalano said,.“[Jonathan] is kind of a little reserved.”

Livi Ralston

However, Ortalano believes that their opposing personalities allow them to push and motivate one another, something similar to what he has seen in the numerous sets of twins he has coached in the past.

“I’ve coached three sets of twins in Pennsylvania and they just feed off of each other,” Ortalano said. “Once they become competitive in a sport, they want to be competitive against each other.”

To Ortalano, the twins’ motivation is one of the things that the seemingly opposite set of twins have in common.

“They’re the same because they both have the fire in them to want to be better. They want to be good. They want to win. They want to be part of a team,” Ortalano said.

He also believes that because of the twins’ wrestling past, they will excel in the future.

“Wrestling teaches you how to push yourself, push your limits, and get over those limits. By wrestling and having a wrestling career, they’re not going to have any hurdles that they’re not going to be able to get over in life,” Ortalano said. “They’re going to always look back and say this isn’t nowhere near as hard as wrestling was, and if I got through wrestling, I can get through this.”

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