The men’s soccer team’s successful season was driven by an unusual pair of players: identical twins.
First year students Chance and Chace Beckham played a major role in bringing home the team’s first conference title since 2009, each contributing numerous goals and assists. Their successful debut season was no surprise.
The brothers won back to back state championships at Rose Hill High School and received first team all-state honors as well as multiple MVP and player of the year awards.
The brothers began playing soccer together in second grade and have been on the same team ever since. They believe this has played a key role in their success.
“Not everyone has someone constantly by their side to practice with for their entire lives,” Chace said. “Since we’ve played together for so long we always know exactly where to find each other on the field and we work well together, it makes it so much easier to play.”
According to Chance, playing soccer with his brother has made him a better player in every way imaginable because their competitiveness and desire to outdo one another is one of their biggest sources of motivation.
Head coach Fatai Ayoade believes the twins’ drive brought a special contribution to the team: hard work.
“The Beckhams have been phenomenal; I wish I could clone them,” Ayoade said. “They’re hard workers, dedicated to their sport and their studies and that’s why they started almost every game as freshmen.”
While it was nearly impossible for their teammates and coaches to tell them apart at the beginning of the season, their play quickly allowed them to identify themselves as two unique, individual players.
“They don’t even act as if they’re twins on the field,” Ayoade said. They do their own thing and they play their own role.”
Chance, the eldest by two minutes, played in the midfield and finished the year with three goals and three assists, while Chace played forward and finished the season with six goals and two assists. Chace was also awarded the KJCCC Player of the Week Award.
According to teammate Jordan Evans, while they are two individual players, they both share the ability to put the ball in the back of the net.
“They always seem to be in sync when playing together,” Evans said. “They’re both skillful, tactically sound and competitive. Their confidence and level of play throughout their youth has shown that they have the ability to play at any level … Their experience and willingness to get better makes them standout.”
The brothers set high expectations for their final season at the college. Their coach’s expectations are even higher.
“I expect them to be leaders,” Ayoade said. “I know they are going to increase the level of expectation for themselves without me pushing it for them because I know they love the game.”
As for their future after Johnson County, Chance and Chace are hopeful to further their athletic careers at a university — together of course.
But no matter where they may end up, they will always share an inseparable bond.
“At the end of the day you always know you have one person there for you wherever you go and you also always have someone to blame things on,” Chance said.