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There’s twin trouble at New Utrecht High School

November 6, 2023 Andy Furman
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Relax — your eyes haven’t been playing tricks on you.

There are two. On the field.

Sometimes even at the same time.

With the same last name.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

And if you’ve attended a New Utrecht High School football game you know about the Honan twins: seniors Dylan and Tyler.

“In my 25 years of coaching, these are the first twins on my roster,” Head Coach Alan Balkan told the Brooklyn Eagle after his Utes defeated Eagle Academy, 14-6 for their Homecoming win last week.

“On the practice field,” Balkan said, “I’ll yell for one, and it’s usually the wrong one and the wrong name.”

Dyler is a wide receiver who also plays halfback band linebacker while “older brother” Tyler — by two minutes — is a corner and linebacker.

“Both young men do great things, in the trenches,” said the coach, “Yet both have different qualities.”

But what they both have is the bug to compete.

“Everything, and I mean everything involves competition between us,” said Tyler. “From the smallest thing to the biggest. From grades in school to football.”

In fact, Tyler even says he’s the smarter of the two.

For three years, they both toiled on the varsity football team for the Green and White. “There’s pressure every single day,” Tyler admitted. “Yet we push each other not only to get better, but to help our team.”

And with the daily pressure of competing comes a bit of controversy.

“There’s always some confusion in getting names correct, from our teammates as well as the coaches,” said Dylan.

On the social side, Tyler said meeting the young ladies at Utrecht isn’t as much a problem for him as it is for the females.

“Honestly, the girls can’t tell us apart; Dylan or Tyler,” Tyler said. “In fact, usually whichever one of us they see first is the one they’ll stick with.”

The one thing both stick to is their jersey numbers — Dyler wears number three and Tyler is five.

“We’ve always thought of changing numbers at halftime,” Tyler admits, “But we haven’t done it – yet.”

That competition may come from their parents. “They’ll bet us who’ll be better before each game,” Dylan said.

Yet sometimes the urge to be better — and the competition bug — can be a little too much.

“Like in our junior year, I took an Earth Science test for Dylan, “Tyler said. “I passed with a 98. I don’t think Dylan would ever see that.”

Certainly his teacher didn’t.

The competition may continue to college, both admitted.

“We’re thinking about attending the same school,” Dylan said. And, by the way, both play baseball for New Utrecht as well.

“Ever since we started playing sports, we just thrived on getting better,” Tyler said.
The Honan twins are in fine football company.

Before 2023, there were five sets of twins taken in the same draft and this year another set of twins were selected. Sydney and Chase Brown are 23-year-old identical twins and played together for three years at the University of Illinois.

Now they are starting their NFL careers at the same time, after being selected in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Sydney is a safety and was picked by the defending NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles in the third round with the No. 66 pick. Chase, a running back, was taken in the fifth round with the No. 163 pick by the Cincinnati Bengals.

As for Coach Alan Balkan, well actually he’s very lucky. He’s not coaching in Azle, Texas. The Hornets of Azle High School have brothers all over the field. They have four sets of twins taking the field on Friday nights.

Andy Furman is a Fox Sports Radio national talk show host. Previously, he was a scholastic sports columnist for the Brooklyn Eagle. He may be reached at: [email protected] Twitter: @AndyFurmanFSR

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