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Twins Give Gators' D Some Grit

By ZACH GREENWELL The Daily News 783-3239

Greenwood seniors Stewart and Spencer Windham share plenty of similarities as twin brothers.

Beyond the physical comparisons, they each battled through the same injury last season, and they’ve come back even stronger to help the Gators’ defense stand tall through the first two weeks of the season.

“They’re hard-nosed kids who’ve battled through injuries and played,” Greenwood coach Chris Seabolt said. “They just want to play football.”

Spencer, a defense lineman, and Stewart, an outside linebacker, each suffered a torn labrum in their shoulder one week apart this time last season.

Spencer tore his in week two last year against Allen County-Scottsville, which Greenwood beat 49-14 last week. Stewart was injured the following week against South Warren, which the Gators host Friday.

But they both put off surgery so they could play through the injuries. Stewart has once again been fighting through some pain, playing with a large wrap on his arm after breaking his thumb in the season opener two weeks ago.

It’s been worth it to watch the Greenwood defense make strides. The Gators forced six turnovers against ACS and returned two fumble recoveries for touchdowns – one of them a 34-yarder by Spencer.

GHS has given up 23 total points in two games. It allowed at least 30 points in six games last year.

“We take some pride in it, but we stay humble,” Spencer said. “We want to come to work every single day and do what we need to do.”

The Windhams began playing as freshmen in 2011 under former coach Greg Cavanah, helping the Gators move on after longtime coach Mark Nelson left in 2010 to start the South Warren program.

They combined for 76 tackles as sophomores, and Stewart was the team’s leading tackler last year in the first season under Seabolt.

“It means a lot,” Stewart said. “We’ve gone through some coaching changes, and to finally start playing at a high level, it means a lot to be a part of something special.”

The twins have become “new football players” under the latest coaching staff, Spencer said.

They plan to help tough defense become Greenwood’s calling card in their final year, and no matter what obstacles come their way, they’re going to do it together.

“It’s pretty awesome,” Spencer said. “I always know I’ve got somebody who’s got my back.”

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