It’s no surprise that players from Stephenville and Granbury know each other. The towns are just more than 30 miles apart. But two competitors in tonight’s District 8-4A clash between the Yellow Jackets and Pirates know each other especially well.

Stephenville linebacker Jared Slemmons and Granbury linebacker/wide receiver Matt Slemmons, both juniors, are first cousins on their dads’ side. And unlike remote cousins who see each other only at the occasional family function, Jared and Matt are good friends.

“We go hunting together, take family vacations or just ride four-wheelers,” Matt said.

“Definitely,” Jared said. “We’re close friends.”

That won’t stop the cousins from competing their hardest against one another tonight.

“We’re both so competitive and want to win at everything we do,” said Matt.

“I don’t know if the winner will brag about it much, but we’ll probably dog on each other some,” Jared said.

Both cousins say they will be sure to seek the other out after the game, but that likely won’t be the only time they communicate tonight.

“Before the game it’s all business,” Jared said. “During the game we’ll probably talk some trash, and we’ll definitely talk after the game.”

“We’ll both be busy before the game starts, but I’m sure we’ll run into each other during the game at some point,” Matt agreed.

The family rivalry involves more than just the cousins on the field. Jerry Slemmons (Matt’s father) and his younger brother Terry (Jared’s dad) have a small bet on the outcome.

“I think they’re betting lunch,” Jared said with a laugh.

One thing’s for sure - this is one family reunion none of the Slemmons will forget.