Tracy Gray has a quick answer when she’s asked about the often near-frantic pace of raising quadruplets.
“They do sleep sometimes,” she said with a laugh. “But they’re really good children. We’ve been blessed.”
They’re not children anymore, either. The Gray quadruplets are coming to the end of their school careers, soon to head off to college. Jeffery, Rudy, Brianna and Sarah are enjoying their senior years at Polk County and everything that comes with it. And they’re enjoying it together.
Of course, that’s how they’ve always done most everything. And they’ve embraced the incredibly unique circumstances that set them apart.
“It’s nice to have other people going through the same things we’re going through,” Brianna said. “We can’t complain to each other, because we’ve all gone through the same things.”
The siblings said it became evident that they were different from their classmates early in their elementary school days.
“It was probably first grade,” Sarah said. “Definitely when we moved schools to here.”
Jeffrey and Rudy are identical twins, while Brianna and Sarah are not. But that’s not how they were split into classes way back then, and Jeffrey said that likely helped both the quads and their classmates.
“Me and Sarah were together in a class, and then Brittany and Rudy were together in a class, so there were four new kids, all of them the same age, all of them with the same birthday, and two of them looked the same,” he said. “I think all four of us in the same class would have been a shock.”
Their similarities don’t define the Grays, though. Tracy said that’s something that’s been evident their whole lives.
“They’ve always had their own personalities, and have always been individual in everything,” she said. “You can definitely tell they’re separate people, even though they were born on the same day.”
That’s not to say they don’t share interests, though. The boys both played football for Polk County, with Jeffrey continuing into his senior year, and Rudy electing to fly the drone for the football program this season.
“I heard Coach (Dustin) Fry needed someone to fly the drone, so I approached him about it,” Rudy said. “I learned the ropes, and now I bring it up in practices and record each individual play.”
Rudy said his background at offensive and defensive line helps him with his filming duties.
“It definitely helps,” he said. “A lot of it’s the cadence, or if I see motion before the play. I know to start recording so I don’t miss anything.”
Jeffrey, meanwhile, continues in his role on the offensive and defensive lines. He said the only real adjustment to not having Rudy on the field is a difference in practice drills.
“There was always one or the other of us on the field,” he explained. “We played the same position, so we would be in and out. When we played together it was nice, but we were really competitive during practices. We’re shorter than everyone else, and we were always the two who were against each other.”
“I think it was entertainment for everyone else to see us go against one another,” Rudy laughed.
Jeffrey said that good-natured sibling rivalry carries over for the boys.
“It’s sometimes a lot,” he said. “We share a lot of the same hobbies. We both like football. We both like video games. We also share the basement together, and a bathroom, and a lot of things. We’re in most of the same classes together. Sometimes I’ll get mad at him and it will carry through the whole day. At the same time, if we’re on a roll and we’re best friends, that can last the whole day, too.”
Sarah said it was quickly evident which brothers everyone would get.
“You can tell pretty early how they’ll be,” she laughed.
“They get along great, and they fight like boys, and it just depends on how the day is going,” Tracy said of her sons. “And sometimes it changes during the day.”
The girls are both on Polk County’s cheer team, and both play basketball as well. The competitive nature is evident with them as well.
“Our new basketball coach never puts us in a drill against one another,” Sarah said.
Brianna said the girls’ bond helped them in their sports as well.
“We finish each others’ sentences a lot,” she said. “The whole twin telepathy thing isn’t real, I think it’s more just that we live with each other and we think alike. When we see the same things, we’ll tend to say the same things. We play the same position. And I think it does help. If one of us is really stressed out it helps to have someone to talk to who really understands.”
Understanding helps them in cheerleading as well, something they’ve been doing together since first grade.
“When you’re doing stunts together we have more trust in each other if we’re doing something really scary,” she said. “We can tell each other exactly what’s wrong. We don’t have to sugarcoat everything.”
Sarah agrees with her sister.
“We can just bluntly tell each other what’s wrong,” she said. “We don’t have to spare each other’s feelings, and it’s not common to be able to talk that bluntly to a teammate in girls’ sports.”
The Grays are expecting to continue their bonds – and their rivalries – when they head to college. Jeffrey and Rudy want to attend N.C. State, where Jeffrey is planning to study Crop and Soil Sciences and Rudy wants to major in Sports Management.
“I hope we dorm together,” Jeffrey said. “I’d rather have ups and downs with Rudy than with any other roommate.”
The girls are thinking of going to Chapel Hill. Brianna wants to enter the medical field, while Sarah is still undecided.
How will the rivalry between the schools play out with the siblings?
“They’re really not big football fans,” Jeffrey said.
“We’ll still just think our school’s better anyway,” Sarah interrupted.
Tracy is thrilled to see that the quadruplets have already charted a course.
“It makes us feel like we kind of did a good job,” she said. “They know what they want to do. I never really knew. It makes me so excited to see that they have a plan.”
For now, though, she plans to just soak in the end of the quadruplets’ high school days.
“You always want to be able to root on your child in high school, in their senior year, and we get to do it times four,” she said.