This week the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Battlin’ Bears were holed up in their den, plotting the upcoming game with the Lumberton Raiders. There was time to look at other things. Among the things that make the Bears unique in the local high school sports picture is the fact that two of the most diehard Bears are not only brother and sister, they are twins!

Bailey Gilbeaux is the captain of the Honeybears and her twin brother Stephen is the biggest Bear on the football team. For their first year the twins stayed close in size, only about 18 ounces separated them. Things changed and now there is about twice as much Stephen as there is Bailey.

Physical differences aside there is the closeness and the bond that only twins can relate to. They are support each other. Each has pride in the other’s abilities and accomplishments. They have the typical brother and sister moments. “They argue and fuss like any other kids, but they always have each other’s back,” said mom, Valrie Gilbeaux.

The active lifestyle and athletic ability of the twins come, no doubt, from the parents and grandparents. Maternal grandfather Glyn Ebarb is a long time area coach. Paternal grandfather Raymond Gilbeaux was a football standout at St. Mary High School. Mom Valrie was an All-State basketball player at Vinton High School. Their dad, Troy Gilbeaux was the first Texas High School champ at LCM High School, winning the gold medal in high hurdles in 1986 and the bronze medal in 1987.

Early on Stephen played baseball and basketball, but preferred football and decided to focus his energy there.

Bailey played all the girl’s sports in junior high, but decided that dance was her forte’. Bailey has 15 years of dance experience, all gained through the Thayer Dance Academy.

Stephen suffered a disabling knee injury that cost him his junior year of play. He is back on varsity this year and ready to support the team in any way he can.

At center he has another player vying for playing time. “I have my best friend competing with me for playing time; as much as I want to play I also want to see him play. We compete, but we are both happy for each other,” said Stephen.
“I want to go to the Naval Academy and play football there. I do not think that my knee will be an issue. I can get an appeal on my entry requirements and I am playing well. I just hope I can make the team there.”

Stephen is compiling the necessary paperwork to submit to Congressman Kevin Brady in the hopes that he can gain one of the two appointments allowed the congressman.

Bailey is spending her time as the leader of the Honeybears with mixed emotions. She has chosen to end her drill team career at high school and hopes to join the LSU Tiger Girls dance team. “They dance hip-hop and that is what I love to do,” said Bailey. “I am sad to think that this is my last year to be on the field with my drill team, but I know that I can have a great time if I can make the Tiger Girls.”

Competition will be strong but she is sure that her years of training from “Miss Rose” (Thayer) will serve her well.

Both twins want to go into the medical field.

Bailey aspires to be a neonatal nurse. “I have always loved to be around babies.”

Stephen has wants to graduate with a biology or science degree from Annapolis. “I hope that I might be able to get an advanced degree and maybe get into one of the large medical schools like Johns Hopkins. I would like to be a reconstructive surgeon,” said Stephen.

They both set ambitious goals. They have been working for years to get there. Both are members of the National Honor Society and keep grades in the A and B range.

Bailey is the NHS Historian and has been selected as a STAR student several times.

Of the two, Bailey is the most emotional about their high school careers coming to an end. “It is a little hard to think about all the things I am used to–not being here anymore. This year I don’t have to worry about…learning new dance routines and going to camp. I can just sit back and direct. I don’t like to think that I will walk through the door at Miss Rose’s for the last time. But, at the same time I am a little excited about going to a new place and learning new things,” said Bailey.

Stephen is a little quieter, but it is easy to see that he feels the same way. Leaving Orange for the Naval Academy is a huge step. Stephen is a big boy; young man really; and he will be able to take that step.

Bailey, full of pride summed up how they feel about each other when she said, “It was so neat to see my brother on varsity and raising his helmet at the end of the first varsity game this year.”

The proud grandparents of this remarkable duo are; Glyn and Margaret Ebarb of Vinton, La. and Raymond and Jo Ann Gilbeaux of Little Cypress.