Eighth graders Lucas and Sam Bowers are not only twins; they’re absolute characters. Throughout our interview, they can’t resist the temptation to roast the other into oblivion and leave us cutting up. In response to a comment from Sam that suggests he’s more popular with the ladies, Lucas reminds his brother that he’s the only one holding onto school records in track. “He likes to rub it in my face that he has school records,” Sam says, laughing as Lucas calls himself “humble.”
FROM LEFT: LUCAS AND SAM BOWERS
Aside from the twin thing they no doubt receive plenty of attention over, Lucas and Sam are like all other Vandalia boys their age. When asked about “twin intuition” or a special connection, they make fart jokes. They’re both heavily involved in sports and plan to carry that over into college. It’s here where their individuality outside of twindom first reveals itself. They both run track but specialize in different events. For Lucas, it’s the high jump and 4 x 200. Sam takes on hurdles, the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400. Lucas has his eye on a college basketball scholarship, while Sam plans to lean more into football post-high school.
Their views on living in Vandalia differ slightly, as Sam wants to move on to the “big city” when he graduates. Lucas says he’s satisfied with sticking around in Vandalia or a similar-sized local town. Regardless of where they go or what they end up doing, they both say they plan to return for a visit or two. “Everybody knows everybody,” Lucas says. “You’re going to see a new person every day. You go to Walmart, and you’ll see a few friends.” Sam agrees with his brother’s evaluation of the close-knit community and praises the school in particular: “A lot of people are nice. The teachers are amazing and make sure you understand what’s happening.”
We ask Sam what Lucas’s friends would say about him and vice versa. The Bowers, as always, can’t resist a potential opportunity to dunk on their brother. Lucas says Sam’s friends would likely say Sam “is pretty mean and bullies them.” Sam protests. “That’s not true!” he interrupts playfully. “Maybe a little bit of teasing every once in a while. Normal friend stuff.” Sam tells us Lucas’s friends would describe him as “social” and “fun to be around,” to which Lucas adds the aforementioned comment, “I’m pretty humble.” Sam can’t help but laugh. “I don’t know about humble,” he teases.
The Bowers are still planning their trajectory in life, but if pressed to make a difference in the world, they each have a unique focus. “I’d probably work on bullying,” Lucas says. He’d achieve this through “something” related to sports, and we can’t help but wonder if he’s considered coaching. “I don’t like people littering,” Sam proclaims. When we inquire about a potential solution to the littering crisis, Sam responds matter-of-factly, “More trash cans.” We wait patiently to see how Sam’s environmental activism will pan out and if his campaign for a trashcan on every corner makes a dent in the litter epidemic.
While the mythology around twins may be interesting to us and exhausting to them, it’s intriguing to see how they’ve formed their own personalities separate from that. Sure, it might be nice sometimes to have a nearly identical you to bounce your ideas off of, but the Bowers don’t suffer from a lack of distinction (together or apart) in the slightest.