Godman Brothers Strike Out Baseball Season
By Cabria Kirby
The start of spring baseball is right around the corner. Jacob and Jaret Godman have been training all year, waiting for this moment to finally suit up, swing the bat and get dirty!
Jacob and Jaret Godman are twin brothers. They’re bonded by baseball. Las Vegas natives, four siblings, Nevada state champions for Baseball and graduates from Palo Verde High School.
Jacob Godman, sophomore, is a catcher for the Rebels. Godman helped lead the Palo Verde Panthers to a 31-9 season and the NIAA state title in 2018. Jacob also earned many titles during his high school days including Second Team All-State and First Team All-Sunset Region Team honors. Jacob started in 37 out of the Rebels 42 contests at the catcher position in 2019. He had a few highlight moments of his freshman season including seven multi-hit games and three multi-RBI games and 1 game-winning RBI against UC Santa Barbara. Jacob is a psychology major at UNLV.
Jaret Godman is a sophomore pitcher and infielder for the Sooners of Oklahoma. Jaret in high school ranked No.15 third baseman in the 2018 class by Perfect Game. Award for Jared included 2018 Nevada State Player of the Year with a perfect 12-0 record and 1.27 ERA on the mound. His freshman year at OU included 19 games and two pitching starts and went 3-0 with a 3.56 ERA with 35 struck out batters. Jaret is a sociology major at Oklahoma.
The brothers started playing at a very young age and since then they have never wanted to play without one another. Until it came to college…the brothers knew that staying together would be tough, and they had to each make decisions that would best benefit their futures. Leaving his brother is something Jacob struggled with, “I never imagined not being able to play with my brother, when he chose OU that was tough for me because he was going to be so far away from our family.” What keeps Jacob motivated is that there are not many brothers or even siblings that get to play the same sport at the D1 Level and that itself is history.
Last summer the brothers reunited and played on a team called the Green Bay Booyah. This team is part of a developmental league for college players, each university sends its baseball players to participate on these teams. The summer league allows the players to be exposed to other coaches and collegiate players across the country in hopes of advancing to the next level, the MLB. Being reunited made the brothers so full of joy. “You are reminded of how much chemistry you have with your brother and just being back on the field and being able to joke with him and just bring back old memories. That is special,” Jaret says.
The brothers luckily have never had to play against each other. UNLV and OU were not set to face each other anytime soon. The thought of playing against each other seems like a good one to Jacob. “We have never actually played against each other, I sometimes wonder what that would be like. We are both athletes, and we have a special bond. I feel like I would be able to know exactly what he is going to do, so I kinda hope that happens one day.”
Fall came around and went. Workouts, pitching, catching and swinging.
Then spring arrived. The Rebels suited up for their first game on Valentine’s Day to spread the love against Central Michigan. The Sooners got dirty against Virginia on Valentine’s Day as well. After 17 games for the Rebels and 18 games for the Sooners.
That was the end.
Jacob was only able to start two games for the Rebels this season before he was injured. Jaret appeared in 7 of the 18 games for 9.0 innings pitched for the Sooners.
The COVID-19 pandemic put an end to the season. NCAA announced on March 12 the following:
“Today, NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors canceled the Division I men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships. This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to the spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities.”
“It doesn’t feel real…I am at a loss for words. For those of us in spring sports, we wait for this moment all year long and train long and hard and now the rest of our season is gone.” Jacob said. He understands that this is the best decision to be made but, he is trying to cope with the season ending so soon.
COVID-19 has raised a lot of concerns for spring sports, the biggest regarding eligibility. Many spring sport athletes have either not yet started the season or have played very few games and never got to fulfill a full season. “Luckily I am not that much affected by the season because I am only a sophomore and I still have two more years to play. However, for the seniors that could’ve been their last time.” Jared said.
The NCAA has addressed the issue on March 13 and released a statement that reads,
“Council leadership agreed that eligibility relief is appropriate for all Division I student-athletes who participated in spring sports. Details of eligibility relief will be finalized at a later time. Additional issues with NCAA rules must be addressed, and appropriate governance bodies will work through those in the coming days and weeks. “
Jacob felt some of the pain the seniors felt, due to his season-ending very early for other reasons. “My circumstance is a bit different because my season ended early because of an injury. I am glad that the NCAA is taking steps to allow the seniors to get another shot. I couldn’t imagine how they feel knowing they may have had their last swing or at-bat.”
This is something that our nation and many student-athletes never thought would happen. A pandemic. Strip closed. School closed. Cities in a shelter in place. Seasons ended. Families broken apart. Many lost due to COVID-19.
“This is bigger than baseball and sports. No matter how hurt we are by a season ending there is a bigger issue on hand. When MLB, NHL and NBA big name organizations are not allowing professionals play we should not be playing as well,” Jaret says.
Since the ending of the brothers seasons, Jaret has returned home from school and reunited back with his family. Jacob is happy to have his brother back especially to help him from his injury. “My brother has always been my rock and my biggest motivation. The fact that he was able to come home will have a big impact on my recovery and we keep eachother motivated.” Jacob said he can’t wait to be back on the baseball diamond.
While the season ended rather quickly due to the pandemic COVID-19 is something that everyone is being faced with. The brothers will make the most of this off season and train harder than ever for their junior season. The bond cannot be broken.