Tucson has become familiar with successful twin athletes at Arizona and the high school level, but a family with two sets of athletic twins has never come into the public eye.
Get ready to hear and read about Adrian, Julian, Christian and Gabriel Diaz in the next few years at the high school level and beyond.
Adrian and Julian, who are 15, were part of the freshman football team at Salpointe this season. Christian and Gabriel, both 12, are seventh-grade flag-football standouts who are also part of the Tucson Raiders association in the Tucson Youth Football and Spirit Federation.
All of them are members of the successful Tucson Turf Elite Youth Football program that is known for its champion flag football and 7-on-7 teams.
“We had the four of them under the age of 3 at one point, so that’s four diapers,” their father Julio said with a laugh. “It’s fun because they get to compete. We were just up there at the 7 on 7 Red Zone Elite Tournament (in Phoenix) and it was a blast. They got to compete with each other and they work out with each other as well. They’re growing that bond.”
Julio was a standout soccer player at Mountain View who went on to play at Pima College and NAU, and the mom, Amy, was a cheerleader at Salpointe.
Sports is in the blood of the Diaz boys.
Julio was observing his sons as they trained with Bobby Rodriguez, owner of Jet Sports Training. He could see himself, four times over, at the same ages training for soccer but not like that. He commented that back in the day he would run around on the fields without a structured training regimen.
Went to new facility for Jet Sports Training owned by former @SSBDFootball & UA football player @JetRodriguez34. Impressive with the space, the training of athletes of all ages throughout the city and the continuing impact on southside kids & families. https://t.co/e52E0LXqrz
— Javier Morales (@JavierJMorales) February 12, 2021
For two years now with Rodriguez, the Diaz boys have undergone speed, agility and strength training.
Julio credits his wife for keeping their sons this dedicated to training with Rodriguez and getting the most out of their ability.
“Her goal since we got married was to find a way to financially get them there, and we’ve been blessed and able to get them there, and they’re enjoying it,” Julio said.
Twins have become headliners in Southern Arizona athletics over the years.
The Singletons (Kevin and Chris) in football, the Witts (Madison and McKenna) in beach volleyball, and most recently, the Tubelis twins (Azuolas and Tautvilas) in men’s basketball are some of the unique brotherly and sisterly bonds at Arizona who have excelled.
Twins at the high school level recently such as Alex and Jordan Lopez of Walden Grove football and Libby and Caroline Axen of Catalina Foothills golf have also enjoyed successs.
Laura and Priscilla Pimienta were twin soccer players who went on to compete well at Arizona after stellar careers at Mountain View.
None of them had another set of twin brothers or sisters to emerge as athletes.
Adrian, Julian, Christian and Gabriel have a competitive bond among each other, especially the younger ones, that makes for some interesting and entertaining times at home.
“Me and my brother (of the same age) Julian, we’re the chill ones,” Adrian said smiling. “The two little ones just love to wrestle and fight. They’re competitive too. Me and Julian aren’t so at each other’s necks.
“But they are competitive, in their face. That’s what they’re like.”
Julian mentioned that the competitive nature at home extends to their parents.
“We’re just like any other household in that everyone fights but everyone also loves each other,” Julian said. “We’re all very competitive. As brothers, we always want to win, even if it’s doing homework or reading, we want to beat each other at it.
“Both of our parents are very competitive, my dad maybe a little more than my mom, but they’re both competitive, especially at family game night.”
Twins run in the family. The two sets of Diaz twins have cousins who are twins on both sides of the family.
“It’s very weird. It’s very astonishing,” Julian admits.
Watching the twins go from drill to drill together at Jet Sports Training is certainly unique with their similar skill sets and appearance. They interact like teammates, pushing each other to train harder.
Julio views the workouts that take place three to four days a week with Rodriguez as a necessary way for his boys to become stronger in all facets.
“He works with them not only on the physical part but the mental part,” Julio said. “There’s times they want to quit and you can tell he won’t let them.
“In the Red Zone tournament, we had a couple of injuries and they were tired. They had to push through it in the championship game and they did, so the mental aspect of it is just as important to Bobby and it helps our kids.”
Rodriguez, a former Sunnyside football and wrestling standout who walked on to Arizona’s football program under Mike Stoops, believes the Diaz boys “will be athletes to watch in the near future, for sure.”
“I’m excited what these guys will bring to the table,” Rodriguez added.
Adrian said he and his brothers always look forward to the wisdom Rodriguez shares with their training and life in general.
“It’s just good to have someone to go to if I need help with even homework or weights, anything I need to know, stretches, anything, I go to him,” Adrian said. “He teaches us so many life skills. He even teaches my dad stuff that he doesn’t know.
“They both teach us everything we need to know for our future.”
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.