Goddard twins are dual force for Hurricanes

Goddard twins are dual force for Hurricanes

May 21st, 2013 by Gene Henley in Sportsspringfling

East Hamilton High School senior classmen Jalen Goddard, left orange vest, and his brother Jonah Goddard, right orange vest, attempt to gain possession of the ball during practice Monday. The Goddards will be helping lead their soccer team as mid-forwards during the TSSAA Spring Fling this week in Murfreesboro Tennessee.

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Jalen Goddard is one minute older than his twin Jonah, which in the competitive spirit of the brothers makes Jalen one minute better.

Both are key players on the East Hamilton soccer team that plays tonight in the Class A/AA state quarterfinals in Murfreesboro. The Hurricanes (19-1-2) will face Christ Presbyterian Academy at the Richard Siegel complex at 8:30 EDT.

It's the Hurricanes' second trip to the state tournament in three seasons. They advanced to the 2011 state semifinals before falling to Memphis Kingsbury.

The twins' dad, Jon Goddard, is the basketball coach at East Ridge. Both have grown to be about 6-foot-4 and claim to be good basketball shooters but chose to go the soccer route when the middle school seasons for the two sports conflicted.

"I'm just glad they're playing something," Coach Goddard said Monday. "I kind of wish they would have played basketball, but they were in the gym so much when they were young that I think they got tired of it."

Jalen said that even though his dad doesn't say the two would be solid on the basketball court, "I know he thinks it a lot." Jalen said he's a better shooter in basketball than his twin but acknowledged that Jonah probably is a better shooter in soccer.

Jonah has 14 goals and nine assists for the Hurricanes this year, with Jalen right behind him with 13 goals and five assists.

"He's a better shooter because of the passes I give him," Jalen said with a laugh.

What makes them different makes them special -- when they're clicking.

"Jalen is a more vocal leader," East Hamilton soccer coach John Millard said. "Both are obviously talented, and I'm fortunate to have had them for four years. It's fun to see them give one another a hard time and there's clearly a competitive rivalry between the two, but when they're playing well and on the same page, it's pretty exciting to watch."

Three seasons ago, the Hurricanes dropped an 8-0 decision to a Chattanooga Christian team that eventually was state runner-up. Last season, the Chargers defeated them 2-1 in overtime in a state sectional. This year, East Hamilton got some revenge, scoring three second-half goals to win 4-0 and earn a spot in Murfreesboro.

"I'm glad we got the chance to go back to the state tournament," Jonah Goddard said. "Right now, we're clicking and are playing the best we've played all year.

"If we continue that, we have a good chance to win it all."