CRIDERSVILLE — Looking up with the same ornery grin, brothers Jack, 7, and Joseph, 8, Hoel admit they have a lot in common.
“We both like Legos,” Joseph starts out. “And baseball,” Jack says, before Joseph continues, “and football.”
And the list goes on.
They have the same favorite video game and say it in unison, without any prior discussion — “Call of Duty Black Ops II.”
Jack, a first-grader, and Joseph, a second-grader, at Cridersville Elementary School get good grades and had perfect attendance until just last week, when they had to miss two days after becoming ill.
Their favorite subjects are gym, art and computers.
They see each other three times a day at school, and while they ride the same bus, they do not sit together.
They play football outside together when they can.
Joseph likes the Denver Broncos, while Jack likes the Atlanta Falcons.
They are quick to explain that both teams would have made it to this year’s Super Bowl if the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers hadn’t won in their respective conference championship games.
The boys, who play basketball in a school program, said some day they would like to play for the NBA or NFL.
“Most of the time we are best friends,” Jack said.
Unless they are fighting, Joseph pointed out.
Arguments between the two typically center around what to watch on TV or who gets to spend the night at their grandmother’s house.
Real disagreements seem to be few and far between for the freckled red heads, who admit they are glad to have each other in a small village like Cridersville, where “barely any” cars go by and the only time they leave is to head to Wapakoneta or Lima.
The sons of Jenelle and Jason Hoel have a younger sister, Lola, 5, whom they take turns picking on and protecting.
“Sometimes our mom makes us play with her, but most of the time we just play together because we play rough,” Jack said.
Jack said he is more like their mother, while his older brother is more like their father, because they both think “banging on stuff is going to make it work.”
Joseph’s favorite colors are green and red, while Jack’s are red and black.
They both like listening to music by Eminem and Big Time Rush.
They turn the TV to “Lizard Lick” and “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.”
“He is like a hair bigger than me,” Jack said of his brother’s height.
“He’ll catch up really soon,” Joseph said in response.
Living in Cridersville, they like to catch frogs by the creek, but in Tennessee, where they lived until a couple years ago, they preferred lizards they found around their house.
Joseph and Jack share a bedroom, which they are happy with, except for one thing — their TV is too small.
Well, that and their hamster, Jo, who runs on his wheel so loud in the middle of the night that it can be hard to get sleep. The brothers have taken the wheel out of the cage on occasion when Jo’s running gets particularly annoying.
They do have a soft spot for animals though, as the brothers’ current mission is trying to catch a “baby kitty” that has a hurt leg.
Jack suggested they borrow some of the neighbor’s cat food to lure her.
“We want to fix it and give it back to its mom,” Jack said as they began scheming the best way to catch the kitten.
“We could catch the mom first and then her babies would come to her,” Joseph said.