EDMORE — This Sunday will be a day to remember for the Tarrant twins.
Jacob and Noah are set to graduate from Montabella High School, as well as celebrate their 18th birthday. They will also have their graduation open house this weekend, as well as a going away party before they head off to college this fall.
It’s going to be a “big party weekend,” the brothers agree.
Jacob and Noah lived and went to school in Mount Pleasant until the seventh grade. While the fraternal twins are easily distinguishable today, they looked markedly similar in their childhood days — and, as twins do, they often took advantage of this fact.
“People used to think we had telepathy, so of course we had to play along,” Jacob recalled. “I’d say, ‘What I am thinking?’ and Noah would answer and I’d say, ‘Yes, that’s exactly right!’”
Noah, who has epilepsy, was supposed to stay indoors during recess so teachers could help him when he had one of his frequent seizures. Noah, of course, wanted to play outside with everyone else and sometimes Jacob wanted to stay inside and relax. So the brothers would switch their school name tags and no one would be the wiser.
Except for one person.
“Mom knew,” said Jacob with a grin. “She’d walk in school and go, ‘Where’s your brother?’”
The brothers relocated to Edmore in the seventh grade when their mother, Debi, married Brad Peterson. The Petersons own a charter boat company together, Angler Management in Manistee.
Upon arriving in Edmore, the outgoing brothers immediately made friends and found the small school atmosphere refreshing.
“It’s a lot more one-on-one and I really liked that,” said Noah of Montabella Community Schools. “It was so much easier to learn and teachers would take the time to actually work with you.”
“They actually cared,” Jacob added.
The brothers live up to some of the widespread generalizations about twins. They finish each other’s sentences. They often seem to know what the other is thinking. Jacob describes Noah as stubborn and impatient, but kind-hearted and friendly. Noah says Jacob is cocky, but has a caring nature underneath his teasing attitude.
“No matter where I’m at, he always knows what’s going on and how I’m doing,” said Jacob, recalling how he spent a long summer in Canada and could always count on a telephone conversation with Noah to set him right.
“We have a special bond,” Noah agreed. “We fight a lot, but we’re just joking around.”
Despite their tight relationship, the brothers are definitely individuals.
Jacob has been active in football and track in high school. His favorite class is wood shop with teacher Max Simon, who’s “down to earth and blunt, which I like,” Jacob said.
Jacob loves to work with his hands and build. He plans to study construction management at Ferris State University in Big Rapids this fall. He credits the Montcalm Area Career Center’s construction management class, taught by Mr. Bill and Scott Jarrett, for helping him learn the trade. His dream job is to own a construction business which would allow him to take time off to travel the world and go hunting in exotic lands.
Noah has enjoyed the sport of wrestling for the past 11 years, even attending a MYWAY state championship. His favorite class at Montabella is personal health and fitness and his favorite staff member is wrestling coach Shaun Belhorn, who has been “like a father,” Noah says.
After enduring years of seizures and memory loss and missed days of school, Noah hasn’t had a seizure for a year now thanks to new medication. He plans to study criminal justice at Lake State Superior University in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. this fall and hopes to join a police force in the near future. He credits Theodore “Ted” Nelson’s criminal justice class at the Montcalm Area Career Center for preparing him to study law enforcement.
As the Tarrant brothers prepare to part ways to pursue their passions, they know they share a bond that will overcome any distance. They are both outdoorsmen and will have one last summer of hunting, fishing and mushrooming before college calls. They’ve fished every known lake in the northern Montcalm County and southern Mecosta County area, as well as Lake Michigan.
Jacob and Noah – who Montabella High School Principal Shane Riley describes as “engaging and fun-loving” — will accept their diplomas and throw their caps into the air and cheer this Sunday, along with their fellow graduates. And they will mark their 18th year together and set out to explore the world of adults – often on their own, but never alone.