After more than 100 years of intense, competitive matchups, the Longhorns and Aggies will square off on the tennis courts for one final Lone Star Showdown on Saturday.
The game will also be a family reunion of sorts for one Longhorns tennis player.
Freshman Jacoby Lewis will don burnt orange, while his older brother John will put on maroon for the Aggies. While the two teams have already battled it out on the courts twice this year, with the teams splitting the meetings, this match is more important.
“I think this match means more,” Lewis said. “It’s conference play and it could be the last time we ever play [A&M].”
Of course, playing across the net from his older brother, who is a senior, also adds more meaning to the match.
“I want to take it as just another match,” Lewis said. “But it definitely means a little more to me, and I’m sure to [John] as well, being siblings and not wanting to lose to your sibling. We’ve played each other growing up and it’s always been really competitive, so this will be interesting.”
Being from Alabama, Lewis knew about the Texas-Texas A&M rivalry but did not get the full scope of the mutual hatred between the two until he got to Austin.
“I knew it was a pretty big rivalry,” Lewis said. “Coming here and just seeing what Texas people think about A&M people and what A&M people think about Texas people is just ... It kind of put it on another level. You definitely want to beat them every chance you get.”
Several schools recruited Lewis, including Texas A&M, but Texas ultimately won out, even with his brother trying to convince him to join the maroon side of the rivalry.
“[John] did try to persuade me, but he also wanted it to be my decision,” Lewis said. “It was a tough decision, but I liked the school, the athletics, the academic part. I thought I could get the most out of my college career here at UT.”
Growing up with his older brother, there was a bit of competition in just about every aspect of life, Lewis said.
“We’re always competing, trying to get the best of each other,” he said. “Whether it’s a pick-up game of basketball or just seeing who does better in school; just anything really.”
As with any rivalry, trash talk is a given — sibling rivalry is no exception, although brotherly support is also sprinkled in.
“It’s a little bit of both,” Lewis said. “We’re more supportive of each other. He’s really helped me this year, told me some things like how to handle the first year, what to do, what not to do. So he’s been really helpful, but there’s also a little trash-talking sometimes.”
On Saturday, the younger brother is looking forward to being the one holding the Lone Star Showdown trophy with his teammates and earning bragging rights in the sibling rivalry.
“I’m really looking forward to playing against my brother for the last time, possibly,” Lewis said. “Just really wanting to get the win and have that last word.”
Printed on Friday, April 13, 2012 as: Bitter rivalry brings brothers together