Seymour’s Shuffitt twins have distinct styles

David Shuffitt III and John Shuffitt are like most twin brothers when it comes to athletics.

The two like to outdo one another and admit to having had some pretty fierce battles during their careers.

Both are seniors on the Seymour wrestling team. They normally follow each another onto the mat, as John has wrestled at 126 pounds throughout the season and has compiled a record of 17-4, and David has wrestled at 132 pounds most of the season and is 16-4.

John said having a brother on the team “is just someone else to beat.”

“We’re running partners. If we need to lose some weight, we’ll lose weight. I’ll help him lose weight. We have other opponents in practice, but every now and then, we’ll wrestle each other,” John said.

David wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I love (having a brother on the team),” David said. “He has ups on me, but I also have ups on him. We battle back and forth. There is always competition. We always try to beat each other. That makes it fun.”

Todd Weaver coached the Shuffitts, Dalton Miller, Cheaney Reichenbacker and Bradan Thomasma in eighth grade, and Weaver became varsity coach the following year when they became freshmen.

The brothers tried a variety of sports when they were younger. They played football and wrestled their freshman years at Seymour High School, but the past three years, they concentrated on wrestling.

John made the varsity lineup his freshman year, but David didn’t become a varsity regular until the following winter.

John began to take wrestling seriously in seventh grade.

“I had coach (Matt) Martin, and coach Martin is really what helped me start wrestling,” John said. “I’ve wrestled 126 all four years. I like the fact that it’s you and the other guy on the mat. You can’t blame your coach for losing. You can’t blame teammates for losing. The only one you can blame is yourself.”

Both said they like to gain control of their opponents from the start.

“I like to try to dominate him at first to get his mental aspect going down,” David said. “Then I can just take him down and (dominate him) to the point where he can’t take it anymore. I just want to keep going and not stop.”

On the mat, John tries to get a pin by going from a front headlock to a cradle. John said he is pretty successful with that move but admitted his brother has a little more success with it.

In his senior year, John said he thinks that he has found his perfect place on the team.

“(Experience) has helped a lot,” John said. “For a while, I was wrestling the same people over and over. Now, I get fresh people, and they don’t know me, and I don’t know them, so when I wrestle them, I actually have to go out there and wrestle. I can’t just lay back and let it happen. I have to find a way to beat them. It’s not like I know what they’re going to shoot or I know what moves they’re going to hit. I have to figure it out.”

David went through more of a learning curve than his brother.

“I’ve learned not to do rookie mistakes,” David said. “My brother wrestled as a freshman, and he got over those mistakes really fast. When I wrestled varsity as a sophomore, I didn’t get those chances like he did, so the earlier you start, the better chance you have to do well later on.”

Over the years, John has noticed a shift in the program at Seymour.

“When I was a freshman, we only had 25 to 30 people in the crowd — 50 tops,” he said. “Now, we’re having double that and sometimes more, so I’m happy more people are coming out to cheer for us. In the past, we didn’t see any high school students out there. This year, we’ve had some high school students come out and watch us. That’s a positive.”

Both wrestlers said they look forward to the Mooresville Holiday Classic next week, and they think the team has wrestled a very competitive schedule that prepares them for the sectional. Both have been regional qualifiers.

David has high aspirations at the holiday competition.

“My goal is to get top three,” David said. “It’s going to take a lot of hard work and determination. Practice is important. If you don’t work hard in practice, it’s not going to pay off in the meets. If I slack off in practice, it’s going to show up in the second period of my match. I’ll fall off the cliff.”

The brothers have enjoyed being students at Seymour.

David said he is glad he has taken dual credit courses, as those will help him in college, while John said he thinks all of the students are treated equally.

John said a lot of soldiers who are in special forces wrestled when they were in high school, and he said if you go out for wrestling, don’t quit, and compete hard to the end.

The two have learned numerous life lessons through their sport.

“If you can make it through wrestling, you can overcome any problems that will come along later in life,” David said.

David III file

Name: David Shuffitt III

School: Seymour High School

Parents: David Shuffitt II, Melissa Evans

Siblings: John, Jacob and Zoe

Sports: Wrestling, four years; football, one year

Athletics honors: 2016 Evansville Memorial Invitational runner-up, regional qualifier

Organization: Seymour Wrestling Club

Plans after high school: Attend college and study business administration

Favorite food: Steak

Favorite TV show: “Psych”

Favorite musician: Casting Crowns

Favorite movie: “Vision Quest”

Favorite teams: Texas Longhorns and Indianapolis Colts

John file

Name: John Shuffitt

School: Seymour High School

Parents: David Shuffitt II, Melissa Evans

Siblings: David III, Jacob and Zoe

Sports: Wrestling, four years; football, one year

Athletics honors: 2015-16 outstanding wrestler (MVP), two-time regional qualifier, top freshman award, Evansville Memorial Invitational champion, two-time Evansville Memorial runner-up, Hoosier Hills Conference runner-up

Organization: Seymour Wrestling Club

Plans after high school: Attend Ball State University and study construction management

Favorite food: Watermelon

Favorite TV shows: “The Flash” and “Psych”

Favorite music: Casting Crowns

Favorite movie: “The Pursuit of Happyness”

Favorite teams: Indianapolis Colts and Notre Dame football

Author photo
Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.