Brotherly love: Macdonald twins bring energy to Titans’ lacrosse team

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 16, 2023

By Jay Spivey
For the Clemmons Courier

If you’re at a West Forsyth boys lacrosse game and you think you’re seeing double, there’s no need for you to go see a doctor. You’re seeing twins.
To be more accurate, you’re seeing twins Brody and Ryan Macdonald, seniors for the Titans. Brody plays midfielder and Ryan plays attack.
“Every time we bring the ball down, I already know what (Brody) is going to do with it,” Ryan said. “I can see if he’s trying to draw the defenseman, or he’s going to take it down and shoot every time. I can kind of tell what he’s going to do with it just because I’ve been playing with him so long now.”
Like most twins, they think alike. However, they’re both individuals and have different opinions.
“I think, not even just in lacrosse, because we’ve been playing sports together since we were 5, all kinds of sports, I feel like I just know what he’s going do already. We already have that chemistry. I don’t need to really tell him to do something.
He’s going to know what I’m trying to — he knows what I’m thinking before I say it. So, we kind of have that chemistry together.”
One person who sees the relationship and chemistry that Ryan and Brody Macdonald have is Coach Jacob Able, who is in his second season as the head coach for the Titans.
“It always makes practice a lot more competitive,” Able said. “Every time they go up against each other in any drill it’s very physical. They like to get after it. Whichever one wins there’s a lot of trash talk right afterwards.”
Able has never coached twins before. The only thing even remotely close to coaching twins this season and last is coaching the Barghouts — Matthew, a junior goalkeeper, and Ethan, a freshman midfielder.
“They’re both soccer players (Barghouts) and decided to start playing this year. So, they’re figuring things out. Plus, one’s a goalie, one’s a midfielder,” Able said. “It’s not quite the same. They definitely talk smack to each other and get on each other. They’re not going up head-to-head against each other like Brody and Ryan are.”
The way the twins interact trickles down to the rest of the players at West Forsyth.
“It’s — the energy that it brings. Whenever they’re up against each other everybody gets excited, everybody is saying who they think is going to win. And they hype each other up,” Able said. “They start talking trash to one another. It just — it makes it a lot more competitive and a lot more exciting because the energy that they get from going up against each other, the team feeds off that energy.”
That mentality and energy that the twins provide goes all the way back to when they were children, picking up a lacrosse stick for the first time.
“It never stops, you know what I mean,” Ryan said. “Every time there’s a play that happens it keeps going. There’s no stop and start like all the other sports.”
Even though the twins play two different positions, they still have to communicate with each other.
“Middie (midfielders) kind of plays both sides. I play attack and defense. So, I get to play offense and defense and find out everything in the middle of the field,” Brody said. “Ryan, as and attackman, he’s only playing offense. But he has to go up against the deep hole.
“So, he has to play against guys that have a 6-foot pole, which is obviously playing against guys with shorter sticks. So, sometimes it’s harder for him like to dodge on that kind of guy. I’m doing a lot more dodging, but he’ll do the finishing, get the shots and the easy goals.”
Through Tuesday morning West Forsyth is 2-1 overall with Central Piedmont 4-A wins against Mount Tabor and Glenn, and lost 15-9 last Thursday to Reagan. West Forsyth was scheduled to have played Davie County in another conference game this past Tuesday, and it was also scheduled to have played at Southern Alamance on Wednesday in a nonconference game.
“I like (attack) because it’s less running,” Ryan said. “How about that? Middies kind of have to do the in-between stuff a lot, a lot of time, like getting the ball down from each end and stuff like that. So, there are definitely more gaps. They have to come off and like sub out for offense every now and then. So, it’s nice that I know I get to play offense every time I get the ball.”
Both twins are racking up the goals and assists for the Titans. Ryan is leading the team with 11 goals, and he also has four assists. Brody is second on the team with nine goals, and he also leads the team with five assists.
“I’d say they just do a really good job of leading by example, especially this year with a lot of changes in the coaching staff, and just changes in what we’re doing in general,” Able said. “Because there’s been a lot of learning, especially with this year having a lot more freshmen who are contributing and being involved — a lot of young guys in general being involved. Just guys who are new to the game.”
West Forsyth plays perennial power Reynolds in Clemmons on Friday night in another Central Piedmont 4-A clash. Reynolds finished 12-0 in the conference last season.
Despite the season being young it won’t be long before both twins finish their high school lacrosse careers and graduate.
“I think it’s been huge what they bring to the program,” Able said. “A lot of guys who live in the West Forsyth district, they end up transferring somewhere else like Reynolds to go play lacrosse because West hasn’t had a good team.
“And the twins — there are very few guys on the team who grew up playing lacrosse. I think we have five guys on the team right now who grew up playing lacrosse in middle-school or even before middle-school. And the twins are two of those guys who grew up playing lacrosse forever.”
No matter how the season finishes for the Titans, both twins will graduate in June and head to college in August.
“For me, I’m a little scared because I’m thinking about in two months my athletic career, basically since I was a little kid, not even just lacrosse, but playing any sport, my athletic career is coming to an end in two months,” Brody said. “That’s scary for me because I’ve put so much emphasis on sports in my life that, competitive sports at least, maybe not intramurals or that kind of thing.”
Ryan is going to North Carolina, and Brody said he’s leaning toward going to N.C. State. So, they’ll be apart, and it will be a house divided.
“I’ve been dealing with him for too long now,” Ryan said, sarcastically. “…He’s just another brother, I guess. We just happen to be born on the same day.”