They’re identical twins born just a minute apart who moved to Evergreen from their native London, England, by way of Florida, when they were 6 years old.
Ethan and Matthew Jackson have that British accent, too, that draws the attention of teenage girls as much as they use it on the playing surface to mentally focus themselves on the task at hand. And they’re not above using it when arguing with a family member.
But what makes the dark-haired brothers stand out more than anything else is their play on a soccer field.
“We’ve been playing since we were 2 years old. We have a family-based background of soccer junkies,” Ethan said. “Every weekend we’ll usually watch a game or two. My whole life is based around soccer.”
That includes being members of Evergreen High School’s boys soccer team. The Cougars are 11-1-3 in 2012, which includes a third straight 4A Jeffco League championship and the No. 3 seed in the upcoming 32-team state tournament.
But why have the Cougars, and in particular the Jacksons, been so successful?
“It starts off just being able to practice and participate every day. Every day, we try to get better and better. Coach forces us to get better. He pushes us all the way,” said Ethan, a senior forward who leads the team with 13 goals and six assists. “We’re lucky we have a very good coach in Peter Jeans, who takes care of us and pushes us hard to succeed.”
And there’s been no shortage of success in recent seasons.
Evergreen is 49-10-7 the past four seasons, including a 30-game unbeaten streak in league play the past three years en route to a trio of 4A Jeffco League championships. The Cougars reached the Final Four two years ago and played for a state title last October, only to fall 1-0 to Mullen.
But that was then and this is now. The Cougars, especially the Jacksons, aren’t looking back on the past and certainly aren’t resting on those laurels as they take an 11-game unbeaten streak into this year’s state tournament opener Oct. 25 at home against Coronado (8-7).
“We’ll take it one game at a time. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. We’ll take it one day at a time,” said Matthew, who has been reduced to just six games this season due to a lingering hamstring injury. He’ll play left defensive back during the postseason. “We may not be as strong as last year, but I think team bonding will pull us together.”
“We’re developing from last year, trying to get better and better to get to that last game,” Ethan said. “During practice we’ve got to be serious in everything we do from here on out with a purpose.”
For Ethan and Matthew Jackson, who have college offers to play at Division II Adams State or Mesa State, that’s certainly never been an issue. With each game they play they have a purpose to be the best they can be in order to help their team achieve the highest success possible.