Kennedy’s Valent brothers go their own ways

The fraternal twins from JFK are continuing their football careers at Rice and Baldwin-Wallace

Staff photo / Neel Madhavan Warren JFK’s Thomas Valent, right, plays covereage defense on Ursuline’s Will Burney during the Jack Arvin All-Star Classic.

Patrick and Thomas Valent have been inseparable for most of their lives.

Growing up, the twin brothers did everything together. They both went to Warren JFK from a young age and played football all throughout school, but being fraternal twins, they played different positions. Patrick was an offensive and defensive lineman, while Thomas was a safety and tight end for the Eagles.

The most amount of time they had ever gone without seeing each other was three days, according to Thomas, but that’s about to change.

Now, as they’ve graduated from high school, they’re set to go their separate ways for the very first time.

“It still hasn’t really set in,” Thomas said. “They say twins have an inseparable bond. I think that’s true and I’m going to miss him a lot. Being able to play football with him for that long, then to play in a state championship game side by side — it was special.”

Last week, the Valent family helped Patrick move to Houston, where he’s set to play football for Rice. Meanwhile, Thomas is staying in Ohio, where he will continue playing football at Baldwin-Wallace.

“Him being gone, it’s kind of like part of me has gone too.” Thomas said. “But he’s doing his thing and I’m excited for him and to see where the future goes. I couldn’t be more proud of him.”

Thomas wasn’t able to go down to help move Patrick move in and get settled due to his own football commitments.

He has begun lifts and workouts at Baldwin-Wallace to prepare for fall camp in August, while he was also practicing with the Trumbull County all-star team for last week’s Jack Arvin Classic.

“(Champion) coach (Tom) Conrad did a great job and his staff helped us get prepared for the game,” Thomas said. “It was cool having the experience playing with people from all across Trumbull County. It was unique.”

Since Patrick had to leave at 3 a.m. in the middle of the night to make the 1,300-mile trek to Rice, the two brothers didn’t get to say goodbye to one another.

Plus, the grind and rigors of Division I college football keep Patrick busy with class, study hall, workouts, practice, film, meals and more.

“I haven’t been able to talk to him much,” Thomas said. “So I will probably call him on weekends to see how he’s doing, but it has been tough.”

Thomas’ football life keeps him busy as well, but the schedule and rigor at the Division III level is slightly different than what happens at the Division I level.

“His life is a little different than mine,” Thomas said. “He’s got hot tubs, cold tubs — I don’t really have that kind of luxury. He gets meals every day that they bring in house, which is awesome. So it’s a little bit different. But at the end of the day, college football is college football.”

While both players are hoping to make an immediate impact for their respective programs, they still hope that they can continue to keep their bond strong and visit one another throughout the school year and even during the season.

“I hope to be playing at B-W, but when we’re on our bye, I hope, if I’m allowed, to fly out to a game at Rice,” Thomas said. “So hopefully I can do that and go watch him play, and maybe he can livestream our games when he’s not practicing or playing.”


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