By Josh Brown
TROY — Aaron and Jenna Stone are not the typical set of twins.
Except when it comes to one thing.
“It’s a competition,” Jenna said.
“It is a competition,” Aaron quickly followed when they were asked what it’s like bowling together, both without a second thought.
When it comes down to it, though, the Troy boys and girls bowling teams have both benefited from that rivalry as the Stones, now both juniors at Troy High School, have led their respective teams the past two years and continue to do so this season, with both pushing each other to new heights.
And they couldn’t have been happier to talk about that competition, not leaving even a breath between each other’s sentences.
“We’re always out to beat each other,” Jenna said.
“I always ask what she gets in a tournament, just so I know whether I did better or not,” Aaron said.
“We’ll be bowling in a match, and he’ll look at me and ask what I bowled in my first game — just to see if he’s up or not,” Jenna said.
“They’re the pillars both teams are built around,” Troy bowling coach Rob Dever said. “Aaron is the stabilizer for the boys. We can always count on him bowling well, and then sometimes he’ll have that really big day. We can always count on him to keep us in a match. And Jenna, she’s definitely one of the hammers on the girls team, and she’s got a good supporting cast around her.
“Those two are so enthusiastic about bowling. They’re here (at Troy Bowl) all the time. They’re learning the game better and making better decisions on the lanes.”
They’ve been growing as people, too.
“Last year, it was more that we had to beat each other,” Jenna said. “This year, it’s more pushing each other to be able to beat each other. It’s more friendly. It pushes me to do better, just to know I have to get close to where he is.”
“Basically the same,” Aaron said. “I always look to her to see if I’m doing better, to know if I’m in a good area.”
Jenna won the Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division Player of the Year award in her freshman and sophomore seasons, posting a 196.7 average two years ago, a 208.5 average last year and is currently carrying a 206.7 average this season — first place in the division each time. Aaron, meanwhile, has posted the top average for the Trojans each season, with 204.4 as a freshman, 206.0 last year and 214.5 this season. He finished fourth in the division as a freshman, second last year and is currently second this season, as well as being a two-time All-GWOC North first team selection.
The important numbers to them, though? Aaron’s 297 high game and 736 high three-game series compared to Jenna’s 289 high game and 729 high three-game series.
“When he was getting near 300, I was rooting for him — but on the back side, I was kind of hoping he didn’t get it,” Jenna said with a laugh, drawing a knowing smile from her brother. “Because if he did it, then I’d have to get there, too.”
With the help of that strong supporting cast on the girls team, though, Jenna has one extra piece of hardware — a team state championship. And in the decisive final game of the final head-to-head matchup against Beavercreek, Jenna struck out in the 10th frame to seal the victory.
“My mom (Rhonda Stone) realizes that I get all the praise because we won state,” Jenna said. “But then she’s like ‘well your brother still beat you to this.’ They try to make it equivalent so I don’t get bragging rights — but I still throw it (the state title) out there every now and then.”
But there’s still one prize missing from the Troy bowling program’s collection that’s ripe for the taking. Alicia Benson has an individual state title on the girls side, both the boys and girls have won a team championship … but no boy has won an individual state crown yet.
“I want to win state as an individual,” Aaron said. “I just need to practice more and keep doing what I do every day to get there.”
That doesn’t mean that Jenna is immune to expectations just because the Trojan girls already have their title.
“I’ve had a lot of people come up to me that want a two-peat,” she said. “So we have to push for that. It’s been us and Beavercreek a lot again this season, but I’m hoping we can go back and get the state title. If we’re together as a team, that helps us out a lot, and we’re all pushing each other to do better and helping each other get to where we want to be.”
Just like family should.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.