Faced with choosing a last meal, Wharton High graduate Alex Deevers says he would pick gnocchi; his brother Dane says he’s going with mashed potatoes and a steak…or maybe a burger.
For a pump-you-up jam, Dane likes Kid Cudi and Travis Scott; Alex leans more towards Mac Miller and Kendrick Lamar.
And when asked what their favorite sports are, Alex is going swimming, and Dane is running track, although both admit to sharing a special affinity for lacrosse.
So, as you can see, these identical twins are pretty similar, but not exact replicas of each other.
In the classroom, however, there was little difference between the two.
In fact, the twins pulled off a pretty rare feat in 2022 — finishing with the exact same grade point average of 9.12 and sharing salutatorian honors at Wharton.
Believe it or not, the Deevers Duo didn’t take all the same classes or set out to finish with the exact same GPA. It just kind of happened out of necessity.
“I think, at one point, we were competing,” Dane says.
However, before either brother could pull ahead in the race to be class valedictorian, they made a tough decision. The twins had so much going on outside the classroom, something had to give. Thoughts of realistically being valedictorian faded with each mile Dane ran in track and cross country, and with each lap Alex swam for the Wharton swimming team he captained and every shot they each took in lacrosse.
Mix in their social calendar, and there was barely time to sleep.
“Freshman year was kind of a competitive thing,” Alex says. “If he took more classes, I would take more classes. I didn’t want to be left out. If he did it, I’d do it, and we kept going and going to the point where we got to the point our junior year we might have to take our foot off the gas or we weren’t going to have any free time. We needed to find a balance.”
The Deevers found that balance, putting the scholar into scholar-athlete, while maintaining their busy social lives. And, they were still able to compete in school…well, kind of.
“You didn’t want to be the one that dropped off,” Alex says. “That wouldn’t have felt good.”
“But it probably would have felt great for the one who ended up in front,” jokes Dane.
Although they are twins, the brothers have each carved their own identities.
They are both headed to the University of Florida, where older brother Blake is currently in the dentistry program, and will live in the same dorm — but not as roommates.
Dane, who earned his single engine land private pilot’s license in his spare time — his childhood dream of being a military jet pilot did not die easily — wants to study engineering, while Alex wants to be a doctor.
Both credit their older brother and their mother, Stephanie Deevers, for helping guide them through their younger years, before they grew into the self-sufficient pair they are today.
“I’m really proud of both of them, they are going to do great,” says Stephanie Deevers, their mom. “They didn’t need any help. They did an amazing job.”
But, how did they do it, actually?
By making sacrifices and managing their time.
“It’s all about time efficiency,” Alex says matter-of-factly.
Sometimes, it meant skipping a track meet or a party to study for a big exam (and when you’re taking a heavy load of Advanced Placement and dual enrollment classes, they are all big exams).
Mostly, it meant fitting in studying when you could, like taking advantage of an extra period at school to get some homework done because you knew when you got home late after lacrosse practice you’d be too tired.
“It could be extremely difficult,” Alex says. “Sometimes, you had to pick between certain assignments, or whether to go to a sporting event or study for an exam. You were forced to choose. You just had to spend a little extra time doing things that maybe you didn’t want to instead of something you wanted to do more.”
The twins agree that having your brother along for the ride definitely made those decisions easier.
“Having someone who is that close to you, who can understand you, is definitely a big help,” Alex says. “As long as you’re together, you don’t feel alone in doing anything. But at the same time, we do butt heads a lot.”
It was putting their heads together, however, that led to the Deevers brothers having etched their names in the annals of Wharton history.