Reed City soccer twins set to get job done

DOUBLE DOSE: Eric, left, and Kyle Voelker get ready for their next soccer practice. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)
DOUBLE DOSE: Eric, left, and Kyle Voelker get ready for their next soccer practice. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

REED CITY — Eric and Kyle Voelker look alike, play alike and excel on the field alike.

And that’s good news for Reed City’s soccer program.

Both Voelkers are getting ready for their senior seasons. Official practices start next week.

It’s their fourth year of high school soccer including their second on the varsity. Both recall playing soccer at a young age during American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) days.

The Coyotes are defending district soccer champs.

Eric plays defense for the Coyotes.

“He’s a lot more aggressive,” Eric says of his brother. “I’m probably a little more laid back. The position he plays you have to be up top. I’m expected to play the whole game every game. I started every game but two last year.”

For soccer, Kyle plays anywhere between midfield and forward.

“Last  year was good,” he said. “We had a lot of strong seniors who saw the field quite a bit.”

“Last year, everybody underestimated us,” Eric said. “Big Rapids thought they’d blow right past us. They beat us twice during regular season. But we beat Ludington 4-2 in the district finals and Big Rapids lost to them. Everybody underestimates us. I think we have a chance to be in the district finals again. Big Rapids will get moved up to Division 2 (from 3) so we won’t have to deal with them.”

Kyle recalls scoring a couple of goals last year.

“We just go out to win,” he said.

Both run track for Reed City. Last spring, Kyle focused on the pole vault and scored a lot of points for the Coyotes in that event. He was ranked in the conference and regionals all season and top three in the area.

They were one of two sets of twins in track. The others were Michael and Eric Bradford.

Eric also had a big season in track.

“I battled shin splints all year long,” he said. “I don’t think I ever really ran the best I could. They threw me in the 4 by 2 at the end with the Bradfords and (Eric) Reed. We got first at conference. Nobody thought we would. It was an upset. We also made it to state finals. We did not do well there. Our anchor got hurt.”

Eric has run track since middle school.

Snowmobiling is Kyle’s main activity during the summer. Eric focuses on indoor track.

Eric figures that on paper, track may be his better sport.

“But since I played more soccer, I like it,” he said. “But I have been doing pretty good track.”

Kyle notes that soccer is more of a team sport and getting district medals has been a highlight. This could be more of a challenging season.

“We’re hoping to be under the radar, have a couple of big upsets and try to be a runner for conference,” he said. “We hope to surprise people at districts.”

“I’m not here to go through the motions,” Eric said.

Being twin brothers comes in handy, he added.

“It helps us out because we’re extremely competitive,” Eric said. “It helps out the team and helps us individually.”