BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) — In our digital series ‘High School Standouts,’ Digital Sports Reporter Michael Epps features local athletes with incredible talent, hoping to take that talent to the next level.
These are athletes that stand out both on and off the field.
This week’s High School Standouts are Patrick and Prince Poku, sophomore boys soccer players at Virginia High School.
At times, soccer can be a slow and patient game.
Not for this star duo at Virginia High.
“Their ability is phenomenal they’re doing stuff that most players don’t start doing until maybe their senior year of high school or even college their soccer iq is through the roof and their ability comes out in games,” Virginia High head boys soccer coach Kevin Wright said.
Patrick and Prince Poku are twins, and watching a game can see the sophomores absolutely fly up the field.
“I like to dribble a lot but lately I’ve started passing because soccer is about teamwork and stuff and it’s not only about one player so I like to pass I’d say my strength is passing,” Patrick Poku said.
“I know how he likes to play and to give him the ball when he’s open and he gets me the ball when I’m open and helping each other get better,” Prince Poku said.
These two have that brotherly competitiveness going on.
“It’s fun, as children he would always say he was better than me but I think I’m better than him but it’s fun playing with him because we get to see each other’s skills and stuff and see how good we are on the field,” Patrick Poku said.
“The only thing that he does better than me is dribbling the ball I don’t really like to dribble I like to pass the ball get open and score the goals that’s me he just likes to do the most like embarrass people,” Prince Poku said.
So it’s a predictable answer when asked who’s the better player of the two.
“I am but he’s gonna say otherwise he’s gonna him but I’m better at dribbling passing I’m better at everything that I do,” Patrick Poku said.
“I am, every time we play I always do better than him every time we’re in a game I score more goals than him I have good passes he does the most in the game,” Prince Poku said.
The brothers have been playing soccer since they were four years old back in Ghana. They moved with their mother in 7th grade.
“She said we’re going to move to America one day and we’ll have a good career in soccer because a lot of people that try to go in Ghana there’s not really that many people watching so it’s kinda hard to get scholarships and stuff so she brought us here to the United States to get a good future,” Patrick Poku said.
“I was watching movies and kept hearing New York so at first I thought we were going to New York then when I heard about Virginia I was like what is this place, until I came here and met these people on my team my friends and started liking it at first I didn’t like it because I didn’t know anybody and they say when you move to a new place it’s kinda hard to make friends but when I came here it was kinda easy because,” Prince Poku said.
When they were over there they fell in love with the sport and started dreaming of comparing themselves to some pretty impressive role models.
“I’m just simple, you know Messi, yeah I’m like him I wanna be better than him I don’t want to be like him I want to be better than him but he’s my role model,” Prince Poku said.
“I wanted to be like Christiano Ronaldo because I liked the way he played I wanted to be just like him but as I keep going I figured I gotta add more skills to my game and I wanna be better than him one day,” Patrick Poku said.
“They’re the first ones to want to pick up a ball get the lines organized for passing drills or getting a game organized on the weekends they always want to be on the soccer field even this past weekend I had to make sure they didn’t turn on the lights on the field at night I didn’t want to get in trouble for that haha,” Wright said.
Now they’ve found a home here, they’re stars for the Bearcats and still holding some very high gials for themselves.
“I’m trying to break school records I’m trying to leave my name in this school everywhere I go I try to leave my mark so that people can remember me and don’t forget about me and I wanna be the best player in the world,” Prince Poku said.
“I wanna make it to the league and be a really good player I wanna be a player that wherever I go people know me and stuff I wanna make my family proud my coaches proud my school proud and helping my teammates get better including me so that we can go to state and get our coach a ring,” Patrick Poku said.
Follow this series throughout the year as WJHL’s Michael Epps finds the High School Standout every week on WJHL.com.