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Sykes brothers push through adversity

Attitude, faith drive brothers through injuries


To say the Sykes brothers have had a rollercoaster senior year is an understatement. The Willow Park Trinity Christian Academy twins have a setback-to-comeback story that is a lesson in positive perseverance.

Athletic, energetic, and with always-present smiles, Matthew and Jackson Sykes don’t show disappointment when describing their football injuries two months apart that kept them off the field of play their last year of high school.

Jackson tore his ACL the day before the TCA Eagles’ first game. Matthew broke his leg in the second-to-last game of the season while making a touchdown.

“I’m not scared,” Matthew said calmly just a couple days before his surgery. “I know everything is going to be alright. It will.”

The brothers proved they were on the road to a comeback at a track meet March 29 hosted at Eagle Stadium. Jackson placed third in the high jump even with a full brace on his left knee.

Matthew, after weeks in a brace and just days before surgery, was recruited for the shot put team.

Assistant athletic director Perry Myers called around and received a doctor’s permission for the student to compete without pivoting his leg or shuffling his feet. Matthew placed fourth without the typical techniques of throwing the shot even without competing in the event before.

“He checked with the doctor and he asked me if I wanted to do it,” Matthew said of his coach. “I said ‘Yeah.’ I thought it’d be fun and I’d always want to do it.”

Myers, who is also the Eagles’ strength training coach, schooled Matthew on throwing using only his torso and upper body minutes before the competition.

“The Sykes brothers are so special,” Myers said. “Being twins, they feed off each other's energy. They even went to physical therapy together. Their commitment to each other and their commitment to the Lord shows in everything they do.”

Few people could be more anxious about the boys’ injuries than their mother, Kelley Sykes.

“Jackson was just released to start jumping not even seven months after having ACL surgery,” the mother commented. “He went to state last year in high jump and after tearing his ACL he didn't think he would be able to jump again, so this was a big boost for him mentally.”

After graduation the brothers intend to go to Oklahoma State University, joining some classmates who also plan to go there.


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