Brooke and Kelly Boyd have St. Paul’s girls lacrosse opponents seeing double.
The identical twins are key midfield attackers for the No. 14 Gators and will take their tandem act to Virginia in the fall. Veterans of the Skywalkers club program, the twins were IAAM A Conference All-Stars last season and are listed among ESPN High School’s Top 100 seniors. Brooke is No. 19 and Kelly, No. 54.
Both ‘A’ students considering majoring in business, the Boyds, 18, spend most of their time together and have been honing their lacrosse skills in the back yard since they were 5. They also played doubles for the Gators’ tennis team.
Which of you is older?
Brooke: Me, 30 seconds.
Kelly: I don’t think it’s 30 seconds.
Brooke: Maybe a minute.
Kelly: It doesn’t count. She always holds it against me. It’s barely anything. You were in the world a minute more than me, that doesn’t give you an advantage (laughs).
Do you have battles out at the back yard goal?
Kelly: When we were younger whenever we got a free second, we would just always be outside either passing around or taking each other one-on-one. It definitely helps when you have that automatic partner who’s always available.
To what level have you been competitive?
Brooke: We’re actually working together to get each other better when we’re outside practicing, instead of competition. We help each other with our stick skills and just constant repetition of things, getting our passing and stuff as good as it is now. It’s more that than competitive.
Kelly: And I can always count on her for honest feedback, like really honest, brutally honest.
What other sports did you play?
Kelly: Growing up I played tennis and I swam a lot, but in high school, we decided to focus just on tennis in the fall and lacrosse in the spring and then take the winter off to train. We’ve been doubles partners for tennis since freshman year on varsity and we’ve really enjoyed that.
Brooke: I think it’s helped instead of being three-sport athletes having the winter off to train for lacrosse. I think it’s hard on your body to do that every season especially at the level of varsity. It really helps to take the winter off.
Of course, I have to ask about the twin thing. Do you have a special feel for each other on the field?
Brooke: Definitely. It’s been noticeable to even spectators since we were probably in third grade. We just have this connection. I don’t even have to look up. I know where she’s going to be and I always feed it to where she’s going. It’s almost magical. I can’t really explain it. Other twins understand it, not really from the sports aspect but just emotions too. Everything’s just like in line and it works out on the field really well.
Kelly: We spend so much time together, probably every single second of our life growing up, so every aspect of our life is in sync. We just always connected really well like that. Then practicing outside all the time just makes it feel natural when you get on the field. She can always anticipate my cut before I even make it. Sometimes the ball ends up in my stick before I even realize I was cutting. Sometimes I have to have to take a step back and realize how weird it is. I don’t know how it happens.
What do you do separately?
Kelly: Socially, we hang out with a lot of the same friends.
Brooke: But I have a boyfriend so that takes me away a little bit.
Kelly: We pretty much do everything together.
Brooke: We have a lot of the same interests, mostly all of the same interests. In college, we won’t be rooming together. We’ve roomed together for 18 years.
Kelly: I think it’s time to try a new roommate (both laugh).
Was there any chance that you would choose different colleges?
Kelly: We didn’t even consider it, because we knew it was such an advantage the way we play together.
When you went to Virginia did coach Julie Myers like the package deal?
Brooke: We were on the earlier end of recruiting, so it was easier for teams to have two open spaces.
Kelly: A lot of coaches were very open to taking both of us right away.
Brooke: We visited and I didn’t even think twice about it. I didn’t think that was how it was going to be at all, because I had heard stories from older girls, but I went to the campus and I met the coaches and right after we got in the car, I’m like, “Mom, Dad, we want to go here.”
Kelly: I knew it too. The coaches were awesome and my dad actually went to Virginia, so he told us stories about the academic side of it. He didn’t play sports, but we had been to the school before. I knew I liked the campus. It’s gorgeous. I didn’t know anything about the lacrosse program until I got a little bit older, but we just both loved it right away.
Brooke: We called the next day and committed.
What are your roles on the field this year?
Brooke: I consider myself a big feeder. I feed Kelly a lot in clutch situations. That’s mostly when we have our connection, at the end of games or when goals are really needed. I’m a feeder, but she’s definitely more of a finisher.
Kelly: I take people one-on-one more and I’m more of an aggressive attacker. Brooke’s more of a finesse feeder. She’s really good at weaving it in to people in tight situations.
Do you think your roles emerged as complementary ones, finisher and feeder, because you practice so much in the backyard or do you go more one-on-one?
Kelly: We usually do more feeding. I guess it’s all the drills we used to make up when we were younger where there’s always been one of us passing to the other and then going in to shoot.
Brooke: I get a lot of satisfaction out of assisting and she gets a ton out of goals.
Kelly: I’m surprised one of us didn’t end up goalie and the other attacker, because we could have gotten a lot practice out of that.
What did you do for your community service?
Kelly: We spent a lot of time at this place in Timonium called Gallagher Services. It’s a non-profit for adults with Down Syndrome. Some people come for the day and some live there and it’s all ages from mid-20s to 70s and 80s. We spent a lot of time with the more elderly people. It was a really good experience.
Brooke: We started freshman year and fulfilled our hours by sophomore year, but then we kept going throughout the summers and days off school. We just loved going there.
I’m sure they enjoyed your visits, but what did you get back from that experience?
Kelly: I definitely realize how much I take for granted being able to do all the things on my own and they depend on every single person there so much for just basic things like eating. I definitely realized how lucky we are.
Brooke: And how happy they all are. They don’t realize the situation they’re in and they’re so happy and sweet with each other and kind. They seem like really good people and we just had a lot of fun with them.
Who do you look up to?
Brooke: My dad’s my biggest role model.
Kelly: He’s probably one of the most honest and intelligent people and throughout my entire life, he’s just been the one that drives us to go outside and play, not in a pushy way, but he’s really supportive. He’s always out there in the back yard with us passing around and giving us new ideas for cool hard catches to do and pushing us to go to the next level and he always has feedback after games.
Brooke: Good and bad.
Kelly: I don’t know what I would do without him.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
Brooke: We like to sing a lot, but we never sing in public, just in the car.
Kelly: We do a lot of duets together that no one would ever know about or probably want to know about (both laugh).
Are you any good at it?
Brooke: We like to think so but…
Kelly: I’m sure other people have different opinions.
How sorry are you going to be to see this lacrosse season come to an end?
Kelly: I’m going to be very upset. Everyone’s really close this year. Everyone seems to be good friends with each other and there’s no drama. It will definitely be sad to leave all that.
Brooke: And just leaving the high school lacrosse environment that’s so comfortable. That’s probably going to be hard, but I’m still excited. And going from being the oldest to the youngest, like going from middle school to high school, that all over again.