Twins follow Raider father's footsteps

May 26, 2009 7:24:11 PM PDT
When your father is a well known athlete, he can cast a pretty big shadow. The challenge for the Atkinson twins is out running dad's shadow and they might have the speed to do it.

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Former Raider George Atkinson was one of the most feared safeties ever to play the game. He's now reliving his athletic career through his twin sons, Josh and George III.

"As far as my shadow, they've got to be their own person. They got to be the best they can be. What I am to them is an example," said George Atkinson.

The 16-year-old sophomores followed in their father's footsteps, both playing football and running track at Granada High School. They're also used to "the shadow."

"Like when I meet people and they ask for my name and say, 'Oh, that's familiar,'" said George III.

"We run track because our dad told us about his track days, you know, we want to live up to that," said Josh.

And dad proved it to them one day three years ago when the twins were talking smack. Dad pulled the car over in a parking lot.

"I'm in street shoes, they're in sneakers. We marked off 40 yards, I gave them two yards and ran past them at about 20, 25 yards," said George.

"His belly might have crossed the finish line first," said George III.

"Nah, his belly crossed the finish line, that's what happened," said Josh.

Both have the top times in the state this year, George III in the 100 and 200 meters and Josh in the 400. They pull for each other but are also very competitive.

"We push each other every week, that's how we get better, I think," said George III.

They're getting noticed in both sports by colleges and have dreams of playing at the next level. Then that may be the first time they'll be separated as twins.

"He's going to miss me the most," said George III, pointing to Josh.

"No, no. You'll miss me... it's okay... you can call me," said Josh.

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