BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) – Twin brothers Prince and Patrick Poku first took the soccer pitch as kids growing up in Ghana.
“When I was a kid, my mom used to play soccer,” Patrick said. “So, I used to go to her games and eventually she started teaching us how to play soccer.”
The family moved to Virginia when the twins were in seventh grade. Upon arriving in the states, they were hesitant to participate in sports, but eventually came around.
“We played soccer all our life, so I would say it was kind of easy to get into soccer over here,” Prince explained.
And for the Poku’s, the game took on a different meaning.
“There wasn’t as much opportunity over there to play soccer and have fun with it – like right here,” Prince said.
“The time you got on the ball was the time you got to show what you actually can do,” Patrick said of playing in Ghana. “Here, you’re not in a rush, you’re taking it slow and learning and building your team up, which is nice.”
The brothers attended Virginia High in ninth grade and quickly found a new sense of camaraderie in the soccer team, as well as a balance in the game they loved so much.
“You take it serious, too, but you have more freedom to just have fun and enjoy the game,” Prince said.
“There’s times for fun and games and there’s times for working hard and trying to get better – building chemistry and win games and stuff,” Patrick added.
Last spring, the Bearcats pieced together a successful season, qualifying for the Class 2 state tournament. However, the team dropped a 5-1 decision to Glenvar in the quarterfinals, bringing the season to an end.
This season, the squad is undefeated with a record of 14-0-1 headed into postseason play – and they have their eyes on the ultimate prize.
“This is probably going to be most of our seniors’ last time playing organized soccer with friends and people they care about,” Patrick said. “So, I feel like everybody is dedicated to going to state and trying to prove that we can actually do it.”
“Now is the time for us to leave our legacy,” Prince said.
The Poku’s soccer journey will not end at Virginia High, however, as both brothers have committed to playing for King University starting next season.
The Tornado are getting two guys who both think they are superior soccer player in the family.
“I mean, I would say I’m better,” Patrick said.
“Well, I’m better so … I ain’t gotta say too much,” Prince responded.
But, they use that mindset to make each other better each day.
“Whenever I practice with him – during practice I know I can go 100 percent because I know he’s going to make me better,” Prince said. “I don’t have to hold anything back. Because, if I do – he’ll get the best of me.”