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updated: 5/9/2013 8:29 PM

Reedy, Patton ready for senior swan song -- together

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  • By the sixth grade, Brian Reedy, left, and C.J. Patton had already been best friends for about six years.

      By the sixth grade, Brian Reedy, left, and C.J. Patton had already been best friends for about six years.
    Sumitted photo

  • Conant's Brian Reedy performs his floor excercise routine during Ralph Krupke Invitational at Lake Park in March.

       Conant's Brian Reedy performs his floor excercise routine during Ralph Krupke Invitational at Lake Park in March.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Fremd's C.J. Patton competes on the parallel bars during the Mid-Suburban League boys gymnastics meet at Hoffman Estates last month.

       Fremd's C.J. Patton competes on the parallel bars during the Mid-Suburban League boys gymnastics meet at Hoffman Estates last month.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

 

Those awkward moments.

From kindergarten and staying overnight at a friend's house ... to saying goodbye, for good ... missing an easy trick in the gym.

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Conant's Brian Reedy and Fremd's C.J. Patton have shared all of them.

Now as seniors and competitors, they will have the opportunity to share a trip to the 61st annual boys gymnastics state finals Friday and Saturday at Lincoln-Way East in Frankfort.

Reedy and Patton grew up just blocks away from each other in Hoffman Estates. They attended Fairview Elementary together, and that is when the friendship blossomed.

"We knew each other, but it was not until kindergarten that we became best friends," Patton said. "We hung out quote a lot and I had my first sleepover there. He was like my brother, and his parents were like mine. "Even his dog, Jordan, who hated people, loved me."

Reedy shared almost the same stories.

"We have been friends ever since kindergarten," Reedy said. "He lived just the next neighborhood over. I was always at his house and he was always at mine."

The friendship became even stronger when both enrolled at Palmer's Gymnastics in Bloomingdale. Now it was car ride and 4-hour gymnastics practices that went 4-5 days a week. And the bond became even stronger.

"I would be driving and they would be in the back seat just talking and talking," said Denise Patton, C.J.'s mom. "And it was almost like they would finish each other's sentences."

"I always enjoyed the back and forth between them," said Linda Reedy, Brian's mom. "Because they were young, we would stay with them and the parents would talk and the boys would always keep talking to each other."

But midway through fifth grade, the Pattons decided to move about 10 minutes away to Palatine. But unlike many youthful friendships, it was just goodbye, and not so long.

"We had our gymnastics," Brian Reedy said. "So I always knew I would see him."

"It was really weird at first because we were at each other's house all the time," C.J. Patton said. "But our parents continued to carpool, so we were able to stay close."

They remained close during the grammar school years, working out at the gym and traveling to Michigan, Ohio and Iowa for meets. The boys were teammates and very close.

When high school began, both Reedy, who attended Conant, and Patton, who was at Fremd, found themselves competing against each other for the first time.

"We knew it was inevitable, but that still didn't make it easy," Patton said. "But it was great to see each other at meets."

"When we were younger, we weren't that competitive with each other," Brian Reedy said. "But in high school, that competitive nature came out."

Despite competing in the all-around against each other the past two years, they still find time to talk during the meets. At the state meet this week, they will stretch together on the meet floor, and their parents will be together in the stands.

While the competition between the two will end after this weekend, the gymnastics will not. Both have been invited to represent team Illinois at the national senior meet.

"I can't wait for the senior meet," Brian Reedy said. "It will be great to be teammates again."

"It is a great way to end our high school career," C.J. Patton said. "Teammates again."

Both boys will attend Illinois in the fall -- Reedy in Champaign, Patton at UIC. Reedy is giving up gymnastics, while Patton will be a pommel horse specialist.

They still will attend their annual Vans Warped Tour concert before they head off to college. And then it will be text messages, cell calls and Facebook until the Thanksgiving break.

Meanwhile, Linda Reedy, who is usually armed with her camera at gymnastics meet, has pictures to keep the boys going.

"I always like to get candid pics of the boys," Linda Reedy said. "And I love the ones best when they are walking past each other and bumping each other as they pass. They then turn and give each other a look."

Some friendships are made to last a lifetime. This looks like one of them.

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