Roland and Richard Pitts share more than just a last name and wrestling. The twin brothers share the passion to make each other better.
Richard, 20, a third-year sociology student at FSU and Roland, a third-year criminal justice student at Florida A&M, were born nine minutes apart. The brothers are a part of the FSU-FAMU wrestling team, the only joint sports team between the two campuses.
“They’re both cool, funny, and very active in ROTC,” FAMU coach Reginald Snowden said. “They’re disciplined. I can always count on those two guys to be on time and handle whatever I’m asking of them.”
The Pitts brothers have two main things in common: wrestling and the plan to join the U.S. Army after college.
“We share both army and wrestling together,” Richard said. “I got him into wrestling and he got me working on getting into the U.S. Army. We push each other in each event.”
Roland said a fight with his brother inspired him to get involved with wrestling.
“My brother started wrestling when he was in seventh grade,” Roland said. “I wanted to play football like everyone wants to do. We got into a fight one time and he started to put me into some wrestling moves. I could not move or get out of them. I took up wrestling because of that.”
Roland’s achievements overshadow his late start. He is the captain of the FSU-FAMU wrestling team and has placed fourth in the state. He won district and regional championships while at First Coast High School in Jacksonville. He has also attended and wrestled for Citadel Military College in South Carolina.
“I used to get beat all the time my freshman year, but those guys were the best of the best,” Roland said. “My first year in college, those guys could last longer than me and they had good technique.”
Richard wants to be an All-American and one of the seven best in the nation before he graduates.
“As long as he keeps working hard with his brother, who is an All-American, I think that is the best preparation you can get to become an All-American,” Snowden said.
The brothers are also working toward much higher goals related to their military careers.
“My aspiration after college is to become an officer in the U.S. army,” Richard said. “My goal is to be in the army and lead troops.”
“I’ve always wanted to join the army, because I always wanted to be U.S. Army Special Forces,” Roland agreed.
The the brothers will all have their chance to come closer to a national position at the National Collegiate Wrestling Association regional tournament.
“The stuff I don’t know he is probably good at, and the stuff I know he is probably not good at,” Richard said. “If I struggle with academics, I can go to him; personal problems, I’m his go-to guy.”
Their closeness, however, does not prevent the brothers from competing against each other on the mat.
“Looking from the outside looking in, it looks like we hate each other,” Roland said. “I would go off on him in a second and he will do the same to me, but between him and I it’s really competitive. He’s always a challenge, a constant challenge.”
The wrestling team and the brothers will all have their chance to come closer to a national position at the National Collegiate Wrestling Association regional tournament.