It appeared the entire student body at Canfield High School showed up as the Ross twins signed their acceptance letters to attend West Point Military Academy this fall. The event was a rare one for Canfield as well as for West Point, as twins are not that common for the nation's leading military school.
"I've been a West Point advisor for 27 years," said Chuck Coleman, a Canfield graduate who serves as an admissions officer for West Point. "It is very rare to have two brothers attending West Point at the same time. It is very rare for twins, but those who make it do distinguish themselves."
He said during the signing ceremony on Thursday that he believes there have been other cases of twins, but he would have to check back through the records. Later that evening he found one other pair of twins who attended.
Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Proud parents Anthony and Lisa Ross pose with their twin sons Mike and Anthony, following their official signing to attend West Point Military Academy this fall.
He discovered the last set of twins was in July of 1935 when Edward Elliot Rager and his twin brother Elmer Earl Rager entered West Point.
For the Ross twins, they weren't certain of making the rare distinction of accepted twins until two months ago. Both Mike and Anthony have a mirrored record in at Canfield High School. Both have a 4.0 GPA and both rank at No. 1 in their class of 238. They are both members of the National Honor Society, Leo's Club, Key Club, have both earned their three-year letters in football, were both baseball team captains, and are class of 2012 officers. Anthony is class president and Mike is class vice president.
In baseball, Anthony earned his three-year letter while Mike earned a two-year letter. Both were selected to attend Buckeye Boys State and had both attended a summer seminar at West Point and at the Air Force Academy.
"My brother has always been there to push me," Mike said. "It's nice to know he'll still be around."
Both had applied to West Point last year. Anthony was nominated by Rep. Bill Johnson and Sen. Rob Portman. Mike was nominated by Johnson and Sen. Sherrod Brown.
On Sept. 1, 2011, Anthony got his letter of acceptance from West Point. He was excited as were his parents.
"I worked hard for this most of my life," he said. "It's all because of my parents and now I am doing something for them."
It would be four more months before Anthony knew where his brother would be heading. In January of this year, Mike got his letter, or letters. He received appointments to West Point and to the Naval Academy. It didn't take long for him to choose West Point.
This fall, both Anthony and Mike will head to West Point for the six-week basic training and then four years of schooling. Both are looking at degrees in engineering and will both graduate with the rank of second lieutenant. The estimated scholarship for the four-year education is $475,000 each.
After Anthony and Mike signed their acceptance, the gym filled with cheers. CHS Principal John Tullio said told the crowd, "I'll sleep better at night," referring to the Ross twins serving the country as officers.
For the twin's grandmother Linda Blott, it was a special day as well. She said, "I remember the day Tony told me Lisa was pregnant with twins."
For their father Tony, it was a Hallmark occasion that brought tears to his eyes.
"To see how hard they worked and the time they put in has made us very proud," he said.