Brotherly Roommates

Brotherly Roommates

This Saturday marks the fourth of a five game road stretch for the Dolphins as the team travels to Marist in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. for a 12:00 pm contest.

Thank goodness Montavis Mack has his twin brother, Montaque Mack, with him on the Jacksonville football team otherwise he might not have a roommate on the road.

"We room both here and on the road because 'T' (Montavis) snores,'' Montaque, known as 'Q', said.

"Yeah,'' T said. "Nobody will room with me because I snore.''

"You've got to go to sleep before T.''

"They say he's got a better shot at it because he's dealt with it 22 years.''

That the twins, Q Mack is seven minutes older than his brother, are quick to joke around a little publicly is quite a testament to how each has grown since becoming Dolphins. A couple of years ago, you couldn't get them to say boo to a ghost.

"I really feel like I've grown as a man,'' Montavis, majoring in sports business, said. "It's not so much us together, but you take your individual path and walk your life on Jacksonville campus and I've really matured in that way. Two years ago I was shy and it takes me a little bit to warm up to people but once we're good, we're good.''

Montaque, an exercise science major, has become one of the spiritual leaders of the team and many times leads the team prayer.

"I feel like you've got to have some type relationship with God and that's the main focus,'' he said.

One of their other main focuses since childhood has been sports. They like that sports are fun and also the discipline it teaches.

From recreational football to Kirby Smith Middle School to Jackson High School and all other sports, they always have been on the same team whether it was in their hometown of Darlington, S.C., of Jacksonville, where they moved when they were 12.

"It was us over everybody else,'' Montaque said. "Oh, yeah, we'll tag team anybody.''

That's not to say there hasn't been, and isn't still, competition between the two but they both are happy to have their brother around.

"There's a rivalry because I don't want 'T' to outdo me,'' Montaque said. "Last year he got the PFL honors and I know that's what's motivating me this year. From day one we've been competing with one another.''

"It's naturally a good thing because you get to see each other's flaws,'' Montavis, who began his Jacksonville career as a special teams player, worked his way to the defensive line then to offensive line, said. "You see each other 24 hours a day so you know if you're working hard, what you're doing, if you're doing the right thing. We look out for each other and try to help the team to a championship (as they did in 2010).''

And, they admit to having some squabbles as brothers are wont to do.

"There's every day (type) bickering,'' Montaque said. "A few days ago, T called me sorry.''

"You always hold your sibling to a higher standard, they aren't ever going to be as good as what you think they should,'' Montavis said. "We've been able to separate, like if we're having problems off the field, we keep football on the field between the lines and might shake each other's hands after the play and say 'that was a good one'.''

Another good one would be a second Pioneer Football League title, a repeat of what they did in 2010.

"We talked about this and for us it's about going 1-0 every week,'' Montaque said. "Instead of looking past opponents and the previous seasons we had, it's about going 1-0 each week, taking care of business and putting in the work. It would be really special to win another one.''

All the while their mom, Malissa Henderson, has been steadfast in her support.

"She's our number one fan,'' Q Mack said. "She goes to every game. She's going to leave work, take vacation, do whatever she's got to do to be at the game.''

"JU calls the fans Finatics,'' Montavis said. "She's truly fanatic.''

-          Jim Nasella