Haman twins fight one relentless style
Editor’s note: This article ran in the Douglas (Wyo.) Budget in February. The Haman twins are the sons of Rugby native Pete Haman, whose parents Clemence and Katherine live in Rugby. After original publication of this article, Hunter Haman won his second state title and Colter Haman placed second.
The Haman twins learned how to gain a competitive edge at a very young age, as the twins were competing against each other – in everything.
Soon, Colter and Hunter Haman will be stepping onto the mat looking to take home state wrestling titles, something that Hunter accomplished last year.
“Everything was always competition,” Hunter said, “We started wrestling when we were little. Everything we did when we were kids, we wanted to compete. If we were just racing or just having fun, someone would want to win. Then, when one of us did win, we’d usually end up in a fight.”
Colter feels that having a twin brother gives them both an edge, especially when competing.
“No matter what, any time you have competition, it always betters you,” Colter said. “Being lucky enough to have a twin, it was competitive everyday. Having a twin, everything was a competition growing up. So, being competitive with each other just made everything easier. In the competition level we’re at now, most kids never had someone to always compete against them. So, it was easier for us because we were always competing. We’re used to it.”
While most kids growing up were out playing baseball, football or basketball, for the Hamans, the main sport was wrestling.
“Mostly, we did wrestling,” Hunter said. “They had some kids’ football leagues and we’d do that, too. Wrestling was mostly our main sport because the season was long. We went to national tournaments even when we were little.”
When they were always competing and always wanted to win, each also always wanted the best for his twin, so they helped each other get better.
“When you’re playing with your twin brother, you always want to see him do great,” Colter said. “I know he wants to see me do great. It’s just one of those things where if you see something different from a different point of view, you can always help them out. It’s always been special. He’d see things that I can’t see, and I see things that he can’t see, and we’d help each other out.”
Hunter had an unfortunate accident when he was in the fourth grade and it ended up costing him the sight in his right eye.
“When I was in fourth grade, we were playing with sticks,” Hunter said. “One of the kids hit a stick against a tree and the stick hit me in the eye. I was in the mountains outside of Casper, Wyo., so we had to get to Casper where they air lifted me to Denver. I had to have two surgeries to fix it and needed to have stitches. I couldn’t do much for awhile and I had to get checked-up in Denver every week for six months to see how I was doing.
“Now, I go to Denver once a year to see how I’m doing. It was just one of those things, we were hitting the sticks for fun, so it could have happened to anybody. It was pretty rough for awhile because I had to get used to playing with one eye, especially in football, because I’d get blocked. I had to get used to turning my head more to see the ball. But I got used to it. This year, I played left corner, the coaches try to help me and what also benefits the team. Wrestling, it bothered me at first, but now it doesn’t because we’re touching and you’re right there. You learn to adjust to everything. Now it’s like nothing. I don’t remember what it’s like to see out of two eyes, so it doesn’t bother me anymore.”
These days, the Hamans are two of the top wrestlers in the state, with Colter fighting at 170 pounds and Hunter at 152 pounds. Hunter won the state title in 2013 and both Hamans recently won titles in their weight class at the prestigious Ron Thon Invitational tournament, the biggest wrestling tournament of the year.
The Hamans also play football, playing side-by-side on the Bearcat defense. Being so competitive, the sting of the championship game loss to Powell hasn’t quite worn off yet.
“It still hurts,” Colter said. “There’s always going to be that strive to be the best and we came in second place. It never feels good to come up short, especially losing to a good team like Powell. … We went undefeated all the way through, until the last game. Definitely, really happy with the way we played all season long. Playing with Hunter is always awesome.”
Being two of the top wrestlers in the state, the Hamans also feel it’s important to give back to the community and help out the younger kids who also want to become state champions one day.
“It’s really important to give back,” Colter said. “All of these coaches have done a lot for me. There were always other high school kids helping us when we were younger.”
Hunter has the same sentiments in giving back to the next generation of grapplers for Douglas High School.
“It’s important to me, too,” Hunter said. “All of these kids really look up to us. I remember when I was that age and I was looking up to all these big high school kids. I couldn’t wait until I was in high school and started wrestling.”
The Hamans are grateful for all the support they’ve received over the years, from their parents Pete and Linda Haman, to their grandparents, to the Bearcats coaching staff.
“Our parents come to just about everything,” Hunter said. “They’re there for everything. My mom films the matches we have. It’s great. Sometimes we’d watch it and see what we did wrong. I can’t imagine if there wasn’t someone there to watch you while you wrestle.”
Now, the Haman brothers are focusing on the regional and state tournaments and would like nothing better than to take home a pair of twin championship trophies.
“It would be awesome if we both won state titles,” Colter said. “Hunter won it last year, so I’d really like to match him and get one. If he wins another one, I’ll still feel great.”
Douglas coach Bob Bath will also be pulling for the Hamans, along with all the other wrestlers on the Bearcats team.
“They go out there with the idea that they’re just going to take it to them,” Bath said. “They’re always a step ahead of everybody, they’re just great competitors. Being twins and growing up and wrestling with each other all along, they just both have become great competitors. It’s good for both of them because they both push each other.”
There’s really only one way to describe the brothers’ wrestling style relentless.
They’ve both been wrestling for 13 years and know every opponent’s move. They’re one step ahead. In watching them grapple, you can see how methodically they attack their opponent. For each move, they have a counter move. They keep pushing and pushing, draining their opponent’s strength with each move.
Coach Bath and his staff have taught them well.
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