As Joshua Gober finished his valedictorian speech at Flowery Branch High School in May, his brother, Isaiah, took to the stage.
As it turned out, the twins ended up with the best grade-point averages for the class of 2008, with just one extra class that Isaiah took separating them between valedictorian and salutatorian.
But for the young men, the pressure was more on giving the speech in front of a couple thousand people rather than competing neck-and-neck in classes since they were in pre-kindergarten.
"I just tried to do the best I could," Isaiah said recently of his academic career. "I don’t really care about beating anyone or whatever."
Both will be attending Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta this fall, where they will be studying chemistry — the favorite subject of both young men, they said.
Joshua said the two never got very competitive, eventhough they took similar classes and performed well in them.
"We weren’t really that competitive; we helped each other out," he said. "Sometimes we had the same classes but different teachers."
Joshua and Isaiah were awarded Flowery Branch’s Falcon Award, which recognizes a student’s character and integrity, along with a $1,250 scholarship from the Flowery Branch Yacht Club.
Parents Corrine and Gregory Gober said their sons have always been high achievers, but they never made their academic success a big deal.
"They don’t like Bs or anything less than that. They’ve always strived in excellence," Corrine Gober said. I’ve probably not had to help them with their homework since at least sixth or seventh grade."
She added that while she knew the boys would graduate either co-valedictorians or first and second in their class, she didn’t tell anyone until right before the ceremony.
"Some kids, they don’t know how to take (it). It’s like they get a big head and they think that they’re incomparable, and I didn’t want (Joshua and Isaiah) to get that kind of mind-set," she said. "I congratulated them both, but I still demand that they instilled in them that God is the one that helped them succeed to the point that they are.
"If you start to get a prideful attitude ... pride cometh before a fall, and if you (have) pride in a negative way, then God says you’re always going to fall to that."