EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)- El Paso’s twin football stars Aaron and Alvin Jones of the Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Ravens are back in town hosting their annual Jones Brothers Skills Camp, but there’s a special connection that goes beyond the gridiron that keeps the brothers returning to the Borderland.
For Toby Swopes, an El Pasoan living with special needs, he grew up with the Jones brothers, knowing them since middle school and graduating from Burges High School with them.
“When Toby walked across the stage, Alvin and Aaron were the first ones to jump up and scream his name and it was an emotional time for us anyway so that really hit home,” Toby’s legal guardian and aunt, Nancy Swopes, said.
The Swopes family said they bonded with the Jones family ever since then.
“From then on we just formed a family bond, we’re a family now,” Nancy Swopes said.
Aaron and Alvin paid a visit to Toby at Camp Kadima, a camp for special needs campers. Toby’s family said they also visited him at the same camp the previous year.
“Toby is very engaged when they’re around and just as importantly they’re just as engaged with him and so that social interaction again is just huge I think for both sides,” Michael Swopes said.
The feeling goes both ways according to the Jones brothers.
“Toby’s just a guy that no matter what he’s going through he’s never going to show it he always has a smile on his face,” Aaron Jones said.
“People don’t understand the effect you have on them or they have on you so it’s kind of nice to hear things like that,” Alvin Jones said.
The Swopes family is now on the Jones Family Committee, helping plan skills camps.
“These little things they do with the campers at their football camp make a huge impact and I don’t even know if they realize it but they do,” Nancy Swopes said.
The Jones brothers also paid a visit to children in the Intensive Care Unit at Las Palmas hospital. This not coming as a surprise to those who know them.
“That’s just their heart so in addition to being stellar athletes, professional football players they have really good hearts and are men of character and integrity,” Michael Swopes said.
Toby said he now looks forward to watching his best buddies do what they do on the field this upcoming season, especially when the Packers and Ravens are set to play each other, but plans to root for both.
“I think I could wear like a split jersey you know like one with a 33 on it one with the 58 on it,” Toby Swopes said.