Stoshak Attack

The record books await the Stoshaks, who could become the first set of siblings to see game action together in school history.

Mohammed+F.+Emran+%7C+Asst.+Creative+Director

Mohammed F. Emran | Asst. Creative Director

Zakaria Sadik, Contributing Writer

In the landscape of Division I college sports, it’s a rare occurrence to find a set of siblings playing for the same team in the same sport at the same time.

However, this year’s Florida Atlantic football team will field a set of brothers – Jenson and Jake Stoshak – who play on opposite sides of the ball.

“Not a lot of people can say they’ve gotten to play college football with their brother,” said Jake, the younger of the two. “I think it’s a great experience being on the same team and trying to achieve the same goals together.”

In the first 14 years of Owl football, the team has only had two other sets of siblings suit up in blue and red (the Fischers and the Bartels), but none saw simultaneous game action.

Jenson, a senior wide receiver, has played in at least 10 games in each of his first three seasons in the program. He’s caught four touchdown passes. Jake, a redshirt freshman defensive back, hopes to have the same opportunity with the team on defense after training this past year, he said.

Both of their parents were athletic growing up. “I always told them they didn’t have a choice, they had to be athletic,” their mother Julie joked. As children, Jenson says their father played a role in influencing them to play football initially. “We played Pop Warner together and just fell in love with it,” the brother said. Growing up in Jacksonville, Florida, the Stoshak brothers competed in anything and everything.

stoshak_quote1“It’s always been competitive between us in everything we do,” Jake said. “Whether it’s school or any sport we play together.”

The brothers played football, baseball, and basketball for their high school, University Christian in Jacksonville. Jenson also ran track without Jake.

The two complemented each other in any sport they played, Julie said.

“When they played basketball, it was like they were one person out there on the court,” she said.

Their football team saw mostly average returns when they played together, but the program did make a run after Jenson left. “Jenson was gone by the time Jake’s team won the State Championship,” Julie said.

Jenson says participating in the same sports over the years has made him closer with his brother. “I think sports in general build a camaraderie between people,” Jenson said.

The brothers have played about six years of football together.  . “Last season there were a lot of close games that didn’t go our way,” said Jake. “Hopefully this year will be different.”

Stats - HEIGHT: 6-1, WEIGHT: 195, YR: Senior, POS: Wide Receiver, MAJOR: Psychology Photos by Mohammed F. Emran | Asst. Creative Director

Stats –
HEIGHT: 6-1, WEIGHT: 195, YR: Senior, POS: Wide Receiver, MAJOR: Psychology
Photos by Mohammed F. Emran | Asst. Creative Director

Jenson:

“Being the oldest, Jenson kind of led the way and carried the Stoshak name,” said mom, Julie. “And that’s important because he sets the standard. And then Jake coming along has to live up to that standard of being dedicated and having a good work ethic.”

Jake notices the work his brother puts in each and every day.

stoshak_quote2

“Everyone respects him because he’s a leader and the way he works and how he performs on the field,” Jake said about his brother.

“It’s great having someone to look up to. He’s the person I look up to most on this team,” Jake said. “He’s the hardest worker, never really complains about anything, always keeps his head down and does his job. He leads by example.”

Jenson says getting older earns you more respect, and by producing on the field people will begin to look up to you.

When it comes to who the better football player is, Jenson believes he has the advantage although he’s the one that had to pay for school coming out of high school.

“Jake got a scholarship coming out of high school and I didn’t, so you could argue both ways,” Jenson said.

According to Jake, being the older brother usually gave Jenson an athletic advantage; “He always had a little bit of an edge on me, so he was usually better than me when it came to football,” he said. “It was fun going against him and trying to get better.”

Jenson said the worst part of playing alongside his brother was getting mocked whenever he lost. “We both hate to lose. We’d never let the other win. That helped our competitiveness.”

Stats - HEIGHT: 6-0, WEIGHT: 180 YR: Freshman (RS), POS: Defensive Back, MAJOR: Pre-business Photos by Mohammed F. Emran | Asst. Creative Director

Stats – HEIGHT: 6-0, WEIGHT: 180 YR: Freshman (RS), POS: Defensive Back, MAJOR: Pre-business
Photos by Mohammed F. Emran | Asst. Creative Director

Jake:

Growing up, they had a basketball hoop in the driveway of their Jacksonville home where the brothers often played — many times including their 13-year-old brother as well. “I don’t know how many times we’ve played on that hoop, but we would just go at it,” Jake said. “I’m sure I’ve beaten Jenson more times than he’s beaten me.”

The brotherly connection the Stoshaks share adds to the competitive nature between them. Jenson says the best part is just competing every day.

stoshak_quote3Once the brothers made it to college, their bond became even stronger. “It’s cool having someone that close to you just to hang out with,” Jenson said. “When you come to college you don’t know anybody — I didn’t know anybody when I came. So when he came, I was that big brother he could come to.”

“College is supposed to be some of the best times of your life and getting to do that with your brother is a great experience,” Jake said.

However, having an older sibling at the same school isn’t always a positive thing, especially if they set a poor example. Luckily, Jake can only look up to the legacy his brother is forming.

“Coming to college, it’s a big experience in your life, and having someone to go to like a family member is always good to have and it’s helped me through my college experience so far,” said Jake.

“The worst part of playing with [Jenson] is probably getting put under his shadow a little bit, but it’s a good shadow to be under knowing my brother and how hard he works,” Jake said. “I do my best to follow his steps while trying to make a name for myself as well.”