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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Siblings follow each other to Texas State athletics

brotherssports
brotherssports

Sports were always present in the Ortega-Jones household. On any given day, Isaiah and Julian could more than likely be found playing outside with their friends or on one of the teams they were part of.
Inseparable since day one, they have always followed closely in one another’s footsteps. Their close bond led them to attend and play sports at Texas State together, Isaiah as an outfielder and Julian as a wide receiver. 
“We’ve always loved sports,” Isaiah said. “That’s really kind of made us who we are in a way. It shaped our personalities and how we move in life.”
Isaiah is 14 months older than Julian, and because of that age gap, Julian often played up in most sports to stay close to his brother.
When Isaiah played baseball in high school during his senior year, the baseball team needed an outfielder. Julian’s name was the first to pop into his head.
“I played [baseball] in high school because it was the only chance I had to play with my brother,” Julian said. “As soon as he graduated, I quit … playing with my brother, honestly I wish I could do it today.”
Growing up, their parents supported their interest in sports however they could. Whether it was standing on the sidelines cheering the boys on or taking them across the country for sports camps, they were there for all of it.
Having such support from both parents gave Isaiah and Julian the confidence they needed to find success.
“They pushed themselves in playing every sport there was. From the time they were little until now, they always were ready to play,” the boys’ dad, Dietrich Jones, said. “It wasn’t because we pushed them, it was because they loved it.”
After a journey at Bowling Green College and an ACL tear that left Julian questioning his college football career, he received an offer to play football at Texas State. Julian said that on the FaceTime call with his family, Isaiah was visibly the most excited. 
“It’s always been a dream of ours to go to college together so it was just kinda cool how it all came back together in the long run,” Isaiah said. “I got to spend my last year with him by me.”
Being at the same school meant a lot to the boys, as they were able to support each other at every home game and some away games. The handshake that they shared with their dad became their pregame tradition.
“Growing up, we always had a handshake with our dad so now before every game or whenever we see each other, we do our handshake,” Isaiah said.
During Isaiah’s senior year of college, the Texas State baseball team had its best season in history. Julian was right there to watch Isaiah throughout the whole season, cheering him on every step of the way.
In June, the Bobcats traveled to Palo Alto, California, for the NCAA Regionals. Isaiah was on the field for all nine innings of the final NCAA Regional game against Stanford. He put everything he had into that game and having his family watching from the stands only made him work harder.
“It just fills your heart to see your kid out there and see his name up in lights and hear the announcer talk about him,” Julian said.
Texas State lost the game against Stanford and the next few days were difficult for Isaiah. He was excited about the history the team had made that year but the loss marked the end of an era.
When Isaiah got back to San Marcos, Julian was ready to lend support in any way that he could.
“He was just telling me how proud everyone was of me and I couldn’t hold it back so I just started bawling,” Isaiah said. “I don’t think he’s ever seen me cry like that, to be honest.”
For Isaiah, that was a big moment in their relationship.
Isaiah has since graduated from Texas State with a general studies degree and Julian is now an applied arts and sciences senior. The brothers still live together in San Marcos and they try to spend as much time together as possible.
They now both have plans to become real estate agents. Isaiah received his license and has been working for a little over a month. Julian will pursue the same path when he graduates.
Throughout the ups and downs, they have always been there for each other and they always will be.
“We’re inseparable, probably the closest set of brothers you’ll meet,” Julian said. “Honestly, we’re probably going to be close like this for the rest of our lives.”

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