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November 22, 2012

Special bond links Kirkwood stars

Converting on a fourth down, the Kirkwood Pioneers' play read Bishop to Bishop. Senior quarterback Jordan Bishop found his twin Jarrod for a 20-yard touchdown pass on a slant route. The score gave the undefeated Pioneers a 14-0 lead with 6:31 remaining in the first quarter of the Missouri Class 5 semifinal game Friday Nov. 16.

"That kind of moment is always special because that does not happen too often," Jarrod Bishop, senior linebacker and tight end, said. "It was the first one of the year so that was pretty special. Hopefully it happens again."

Though it was the first receiving touchdown of the year for Jarrod, the Bishop to Bishop play is far from foreign. Jordan has handed off the football 28 times to Jarrod for 235 yards and one touchdown. The catch against Parkway Central was the fourth of the year for Jarrod, and gave him 42 yards receiving.

Jordan and Jarrod have a history of such teamwork. Ever since they were children, they were always on the same team, whether it was football, basketball or baseball.

Both brothers have found their calling in football. Jordan was named the 2012 Suburban South Offensive Player of the Year while Jarrod was the defensive selection. They agree their best moment together occurred almost a year ago during the Missouri Class 5 Championship against Staley. Down 7-0 after 29 seconds, the Pioneers orchestrated a 15 play 77 yard drive which ended with a 2 yard pass from Jordan to Jarrod.

"It was just special because we were down 7 to 0," Jarrod said. "It was a long drive and we finished it off by Bishop to Bishop. Now that's a memory that I will never forget."

Though the play may read Bishop to Bishop, teammates and coaches do not notice it at first.

"I really don't think about it at the time," Matt Berry, senior lineman said. "Usually at the time I'm too excited to notice that. But it is pretty cool. I block for Jordan, if Jordan happens to throw the ball to Jarrod that's awesome. No big deal."

Since they play completely different positions, both Bishop's believe there is no room to compete against each other. Even as children there was little competition in sports.

"We were more competitive towards other people than ourselves," Jordan said. "We compete with each other because we're brothers but it's not a 'hey I'm better than you' kind of thing."
According to head coach Matt Irvin, it is the brotherly bond that improves the team chemistry.

"Obviously they're teammates, and they trust each other a whole lot," Irvin said. "I can't think of a stronger bond than the one they share. I think that trust impacts those around them."

Berry agrees the Bishop's trust and teamwork helps the team, especially during games.

"It's weird out on the field," Berry said. "One can kind of look at the other and understand him. Jordan might be messing around in the backfield talking to the coaches, meanwhile Jarrod is up with us making sure we know what we are doing. They have an understanding with one another."

Though their bond may be close, as brothers naturally they have their disputes. Jordan was born 35 minutes before Jarrod, making Jordan the older of the two. However, the 6 foot 1 220 pound "younger" brother sees it differently.

"I feel like I'm the older brother just because I'm bigger and stronger," Jarrod said. "But [Jordan] never forgets to remind me that he is actually older."

Both have found a common ground competing for a the Pioneers' first state championship.

"Most people really want that moment where they can play with their little brother," Jordan said. "For me and my brother to do that all of our lives, it's amazing. I know a lot of people want to be able to have that kind of moment with someone in their family."

Jarrod agrees the opportunity is special.

"It's an experience I will be able to share with him my whole life because I will be with him for the rest of my life," Jarrod said. "He's not just a friend or anything. He's my brother."

Though they may see each other as lifelong siblings, Berry sees it differently.

"They're just two teammates," Berry said. "They both obviously do a lot for our game: one is a linebacker, the other is our quarterback. It's pretty cool when one throws a pass to the other or one makes a block for the other. Otherwise, you don't really think about it. You just think 'that's my teammates'."



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