The four students standing inside the entrance to Roseburg High School look nothing alike to some people. To others, there are clear similarities.
Their blood ties are apparent after a few minutes of conversation.
“We could tell her the diaper story,” Mitchell Eibel says.
“No! We are not telling her the diaper story,” the three voices of Alexis, Cole and Lucas Eibel respond in unison. The four lock eyes as if silently daring each other to relate the tale.
The four Eibel siblings are fraternal quadruplets, and at 17 are preparing to enter their senior year at Roseburg High School. Though their speech patterns and glances may suggest they can speak a secret language, akin to the popular YouTube videos of babbling identical infants, the quadruplets deny any such ability.
“Our only secret language is ‘Mitchell did it,’” the teens joke.
“When we were younger we’d all get together and get one of the four of us in trouble,” Alexis explains.
“Yeah, and usually that was me,” Mitchell finishes.
The Eibel siblings say not much has changed in their relationship growing up, except for an increase in bickering and fighting during car rides.
Their family moved to Roseburg in 2008 from Salem.
“It was always a pleasure working with them,” says their middle school and high school counselor Jason Tate, who is working at Fremont Middle School this year. “They’re always polite, nice kids, and a great family.”
Since elementary school, at least two of the four have shared a class, but never four at once.
“They probably wouldn’t be able to handle all four at once,” Cole said. The other three laugh in agreement.
The quadruplets enjoy sharing classes, as each gets the benefit of having the other sibling collect the homework if one is sick.
And they’re not the only ones who enjoy this perk. Roseburg High School’s graduating class of 2015 has two sets of twins and one set of triplets in addition to the quadruplets.
Despite shared classes, they say they don’t get too competitive, “because I’m always the best,” Alexis jokes.
“Those three are all honors students,” Mitchell says.
While they all share a birthday, their interests are diverse. Alexis likes art and aspires to apply her skills at Disney. She is on the high school tennis team with her brother, Cole, who enjoys history. Mitchell wrestles and likes drafting and welding classes. Lucas works at Wildlife Safari; his favorite class is chemistry.
Cole and Mitchell are excited high school is almost over, though Mitchell says he’ll miss the teachers.
“It’s been fun,” Alexis said of her high school experience. “I’ve enjoyed the different kinds of people that I’ve met.”
The four are fairly certain they’ll attend Umpqua Community College after graduation to save money before attending a university. Their older brother Jacob, age 21, also did this, and is now studying at Oregon State University.
Some students at the high school still don’t know they’re related.
“It’s always funny to see people’s reactions,” Lucas said, when people discover the family bond.
“It’s always ‘Oh, my gosh, you’re quadruplets!’” Mitchell widens his eyes, imitating.
They’ve been nicknamed The Quad.
Their gym teacher refers to all of them by “Eibel,” to which they respond, “Which one?”
“Thank God we don’t all look alike,” Lucas said.
And while Alexis said they often receive similar questions from people about what it’s like to be quadruplets, they don’t know anything different.
“To me it’s normal. It’s just like growing up with a lot of siblings,” Alexis said. “It’s not different.”
•You can reach reporter Kate Stringer at 541-957-4208 or firstname.lastname@example.org.