CHICAGO (CBS) — Brothers grappling with each other may not be uncommon, but a pair of Dekalb wrestlers refused to take their sibling rivalry to the mat.
Damian and Fabian Lopez were each other’s first wrestling partners. Ten years later, the trash-talking is endless.
“A lot, a ton, only a handful of times we have been at dinner and wrestling hasn’t come up; but that’s just how life is in the Lopez household,” said Fabian Lopez.
“He trash-talks a lot,” said Damian Lopez. “Just have to get used to it.”
Fabian won the IHSA state title this year as a sophomore and has already committed to University of Illinois. His brother, Damian, will join him as a freshman at Dekalb High School.
“Every time we are wrestling, we go at it. If i’m not doing good, he’ll tell me to step it up. He keeps me in check,” Damian stated.
“I depend on him more than anybody else to make me better,” Fabian agreed.
“Their talented, but really competitive,” said Coach Sam Hiatt. “They seem to compete the best at the biggest stages.”
Last month at Nationals in Fargo, North Dakota, Damian did not make weight, so the brothers were in the same 132 pound class. They both kept winning and became only the third set of siblings since 1985 to meet in the national final.
The brothers were given three options by USA Wrestling: wrestle each other, one forfeit to the other, or be co-champions. They decided to share the glory.
“Everyone said, ‘Just wrestle, why, why ruin someone else’s dreams, especially when you’re brothers, flesh and blood,'” said Fabian.
Damian agreed, “You would bring that up at family events. He would bring it up. It wouldn’t be pretty.”
The boys’ mom, Ninfa Lopez, says the boys are both strong and supportive of each other.
The brothers thought of a fourth option: rock, paper, scissors in front of everybody to decide the national championship, but USA wrestling would not let them do it.