Oak Hall's Spiker siblings share a unique bond on and off of the lacrosse field
Oak Hall lacrosse is home to two players who have been together since birth. Thad and Alex Spiker are twins, and each player is an Eagles defenseman.
“I don’t really know what it’s like playing without him," said Alex. "Ever since we were little kids we played football together, hockey together and since sixth grade lacrosse together.”
Becoming lacrosse teammates almost wasn’t a reality. Thad, who’s considered one of the top defensemen in the state, thought about choosing hockey over lacrosse. The time commitment for hockey was much greater because the closest ice rink was in Orlando, and he had to travel there at least twice per week.
“Alex signed up to try out for the Florida Generals travel ball program. I was still playing hockey at the time. At the last second I decided to sign up for lacrosse as well and I’m very fortunate that I signed up for lacrosse because I didn’t have a future in hockey.”
The two now share the same future in lacrosse. Both seniors are committed to play for Villanova, which is currently ranked the 16th team in the country.
“We were lucky enough to both be recruited by Villanova at the same time. We were actually offered at the same time over the phone which worked out really nicely.”
“They definitely wanted to go to college together," said Oak Hall head coach Jonathan Montes. "There’s a lot of opportunities for guys with their skill set to play at the next level. Villanova, I’ve sent a couple guys there in the past, and it was a great fit for them academically, socially and certainly for lacrosse.”
You hear stories about twins having telepathic connections, and while the possibility of that may just be folklore, the Spiker siblings do have an undeniably unique connection on the playing field.
“It’s kind of been a running joke the last couple years that we can communicate without talking," said Alex. "I don’t know if that’s a product of sharing the same room the last eighteen years or always spending time together, but that’s a huge benefit. We kind of always know where the other one is on the field.”
Montes added, "What makes the Spiker brothers special is not only their ability to communicate, but also their innate ability to pick up things within the offensive structure. We do a lot of double teaming. We pressure the ball. They kind of read each other really quickly and they can react fast.”
While the twins are similar in a lot of ways, each brother sees a talent in the other that he'd like to have.
“He’s always going up there and facing off as a pole, which I think I could do, but I don’t think I could do it as well as him," said Alex about Thad's ability as a faceoff specialist. "They don’t really utilize me that way here but I really respect the way he can do that, just with the snap of the fingers he goes up there and takes faceoffs.”
“Alex is usually the one who guards lefty attackmen," said Thad. "I wish I could guard lefty attackmen the way he does."
When Montes was asked whether one of the twins has a strength the other lacks, he couldn't list one and was quick to point out the skills each brother possesses.
“What they both have that stands out among other defensemen is they give relentless effort and they have unbelievable leadership," Montes said. "I don’t mean leaders as in they’re nice guys and they’re friendly, but they’re absolutely fantastic leaders. They clean the bus for us when we come home from games, they pick up cones, they move goals and they eat last when they get off the bus. They’re just great kids.”