Alison Williams, Bulldog Blitz
Imagine connecting so well with a teammate that you know what their next move before they make it. Or confusing your opponent because they cannot tell you apart.
That’s what life is like for twin soccer players Joshua and Caleb Sprinkle.
These brothers have grown up around the sport of soccer, from playing in recreation leagues to playing at the collegiate level.
They have never been on separate teams. These twins are a package deal.
The Sprinkles played varsity for Evangel Christian all four years of high school as defenders and played on the varsity team as eighth graders. Their high school career began during the 2016-17 school year, and the two went 31-22-6 for their high school career. according to MaxPreps.com, a division website of CBS Sports. Joshua played all five years, while Caleb struggled with a back injury for a brief time during his senior year.
Caleb and Joshua played for the same team all during their high school career, yet the pair –along with their teammates — played in three different divisions, ranking in the top three in the AISA, ACSC, and the ACSR.
The teams ranking increased every year the pair played, ranking third in the Alabama Independent Schools Association AAA Region 2 their first year on the team; first their junior year; and second their senior year in the Alabama Christian Sports Region.
The two then ventured to Samford and began their collegiate careers on the university’s club team.
The twins say playing at the collegiate level is a new challenge.
“It’s just a little bit faster,” said Caleb. “There’s a lot of good players. I mean I’ve played with good players before, but every time you go up a level, it increases the speed. It’s getting used to playing faster than you have before.”
“The structure is a little more informal than the high school competitive teams we played on,” said Joshua, “There’s not a whole lot of differences besides the positioning since we both played defense in high school and now, we’re playing more offensively, and that’s been the main difference.”
The brothers say playing on a club team is a nice change of pace. “There wasn’t much pressure,” said Caleb. “Being on the team last year, since it was a club team, I wasn’t as nervous going in since I had been on the team. It was just fun. I hadn’t played soccer in a while, and it was fun to play soccer again.”
What makes it more fun for both Caleb and Joshua is being able to play together.
“I like being able to play with Joshua since I know him,” said Caleb. “The twin relationship is there, and you’re really close to that person. It’s fun being able to play with him and succeed.”
“It’s been a special experience,” said Joshua. “It helps with just how I play because I play better when he knows what I’m going to do, so our chemistry is just really good.”
Chemistry is a large part of what allows for a team to mesh together, and this year, the club team has a foundation of chemistry which is being built upon.
“I knew more of the players, and we connected better,” said Joshua. “It’s part of the reason I like playing with Caleb because I know how to play with him, and knowing how to play with the rest of the club guys really helped me.”
Practice has just begun for Samford’s club soccer team, and there is a lot of work ahead of these players. They say they’re ready and looking forward to the season.
“I think it will be better than last season because we were only practicing one time a week, and the people were less committed,” said Caleb. “I think with two practices a week and hopefully the new club captains will hold people more accountable, and I think we’ll get better.”
The brothers say they’re excited to get to know their teammates and form that bond that allows them to know what their teammates will do next without having to practice, just like their special twin bond.