Twins Raigan and Jace Barrett, a pair of freshman guards, has the Rogers High basketball world excited.
Late last season as the Rogers girls team was making its way into Regionals — the sweet 16 of the Class 4A state tournament — there was one comment often made from Rams players and fans alike.
“Wait until next year when Raigan Barrett gets here.”
From her aunt and girls basketball coach Amy Looker to the teammates she fights alongside each and every game, everything was building to this moment.
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“We’re a family here. We really are,” said Looker of the Rogers basketball programs.
“It was always (Jace’s) goal, and it was always my goal: To start on varsity as a freshman,” Raigan said.
The hype surrounding Raigan, along with her commitment to the University of Washington softball program as a shortstop back in August, somehow overshadowed her brother and fraternal twin, Jace.
Rogers family connection
Raigan, the eldest of the two by 12 minutes, seemingly always took the spotlight from her brother as her multisport status, added with both their aunt coaching the girls team, came first on many people’s minds.
But Jace never seemed to mind the attention his sister received. He always felt he’d have his time when given the chance.
“My sister a little bit more known than me from softball and from my aunt,” Jace said. “So not a lot of people know me (outside) of basketball.”
His outlook was always something the twins’ parents, Traci and Greg, saw in him over the years.
“Jace was always outspoken and confident, while Raigan used to be shy and hide behind my legs,” said Traci, who is an assistant coach on the Pacific Lutheran University women’s softball team. “It never seems to bother him how much attention she has received this year. He’s just happy to play basketball.”
While Traci travels to whoever has the away game, Greg takes the duties to be at home games when the two play.
“I wish we had it like at Ballou (Junior High) last season, where both girls and boys teams played back to back at the same gym,” Jace said. “I’d love to see her play a league game.”
“I would love to be able to cheer him on,” Raigan agreed.
Basketball, and sports, have been a major factor in the Barrett household. Traci played volleyball and basketball for Tacoma Community College and Golden West College in Huntington Beach, California, and Greg played for Rogers while in high school. Both graduated Rogers in 1991.
Their eldest son, Cade, was a senior receiver for the Rogers football team the past two seasons under the watchful eye of Dane Looker, his uncle and the Rams’ offensive coordinator.
“To have Dane coach Cade these last two years have really been a blessing,” Traci said.
As Cade entered his final season with Rogers football, he tried one last time to convince Jace to join him, but for that to happen, a deal had to be struck.
“I tried to convince him to come out so we could play together. And he tried to have me come out for football,” Jace said. “I didn’t want to play football, so we each decided to go our own way and play our own sports.”
Basketball has been life for Jace as he’s spent countless hours working on his craft to reach his chance make the Rogers boys basketball team.
Hours upon hours of one-on-one basketball games — ones where Jace always seemed to beat Raigan when they played each other — had led the twins to share the dream of playing games for Rogers.
“Let’s just say he gets in my head a little bit. He’s a talker,” Raigan quipped of her one-on-one record versus Jace. “Let’s just leave it at that. But he’s can control the tempo, and he’s a really good shooter. He can be explosive.”
With Raigan playing for Looker on the girls team and Jace playing under the guidance of boys coach Rico Ancheta, both twins have been living their dream this season — both were even named opening night starters. It was an easy call for Looker to make knowing what she knew before the season.
But for Ancheta — after a handful of practices, he too knew the call was easy as he saw in his new freshman guard a sense of “fearlessness” in matching up with the rest of the 4A SPSL.
“We’re always confident, even though we don’t have a lot of ‘W’s’ in the win column, we’re always going hard at each other and trying to get better,” said Jace of Rogers’ 2-11 overall record.
The toughest part about this year for these two has been the discrepancies between where both the boys and girls teams are at this point in time.
Raigan entered a time where the Rogers girls program is expected to return to the Regional round, and enter this week sitting in third place (9-4, 7-2) with a postseason outlook on the near horizon. Jace enters when the Rogers boys program is going through a rebuilding year.
The situations couldn’t be more opposite at the moment, but as each closes in on the season finale, one thing is for certain between the two: Family means more than anything else.
They did this together.
“I’m going to cheer her on when they get to the playoffs,” Jace said. “Right now the focus is winning as many games we can the rest of the season, but whenever I can, I’m going to be there cheering her on.”