Fall semester is in full swing at Mississippi College, which can only mean one thing: football season is upon us. With the start of a new school year comes the beginning of a new athletic year as well. The Choctaws have added a new offensive coordinator, Coach Tommy Laurendine. Coach Laurendine is joining the Mississippi College family for his first season as offensive coordinator. With a new name on the coaching staff, the Choctaws are also implementing a new offensive. New athletes have also joined the program as well. This year though, something else is out of the ordinary for the Choctaws. There are three sets of twins on the roster.
That’s right, the Mississippi College football team has three sets of twins all on the roster this season.
One set of identical twins are transfers from Jones County Junior College, Detric and Derric Hawthorn. Detric plays quarterback for the Choctaws, while his brother plays defensive back. “I go by Fat; he goes by Runt,” Derric said. These brothers have always grown up playing sports together. Derric says that he hopes he and his brother can work together to be a big help to the team, but the brothers are still competitive with one another. “I’d say I’m the better athlete. I can play any position on the field,” Derric said. Detric explained that his love for playing quarterback started at a young age. “Ever since peewee, my coach tried me at quarterback, and I liked it. During middle school, coach moved me to wide receiver, and I didn’t like that. My eleventh grade year, I got moved back to quarterback. I told my coaches I didn’t wanna get recruited for anything besides quarterback. I love it,” he said. Although the boys are identical, Derric says he doesn’t think they look alike. “I’m definitely the better looking twin,” Derric said. Looking forward to their first season with the Choctaws, the Hawthorn twins are excited to try to get some wins on the board for Coach Bland, coming off a 1-9 season last year. “That’s what we came here for, to try to turn things around,” Derric said. “We think we can be a big help to the team.”
The Choctaws’ set of fraternal twins, Ja’Moz and Ja’Mori Mark, are both transfers from East Mississippi Community College. These brothers are the easiest to tell apart, and their classifications in school are different as well. Ja’Moz is a senior, while Ja’Mori is only a junior. Ja’Moz plays wide receiver, and his brother plays running back. “We really hope the team can be more of a brotherhood, and that we can actually get on the right track to win some games,” Ja’Moz said.
The third set of twins to join the Mississippi College football team this season are from Batesville, Miss., and transferred in from Northwest Mississippi Community College. They are identical like the Hawthorns. Turner and Cole Rotenberry are pretty easy to tell apart too, since Turner has long hair, and Cole’s is cut short. “It looks cool flowing out of the back of the helmet,” Turner, who plays defensive back, said. “I had mine long, but I had to cut it. It got too hot,” Cole said. Cole, like Ja’Mori, plays running back. Turner and Cole admitted to always knowing they wanted to play together at the collegiate level. “If they didn’t get me, they weren’t getting him,” Turner said. “We talked about it, and we decided if one of us got a better offer, we would take it. We could still FaceTime and text every day. It wouldn’t be that big of a deal,” Cole said.
Many changes are coming in the football program at Mississippi College, and the twins are all excited for what’s to come.