Seeing double, twice, at Germantown Academy

The family that plays together: At Germantown Academy, the Rueter brothers (from left), seniors Tom and Tim, and sophomores James and Matt, form a formidable team.
The family that plays together: At Germantown Academy, the Rueter brothers (from left), seniors Tom and Tim, and sophomores James and Matt, form a formidable team.
Posted: October 17, 2012



"Get your brother."

"Which one?"

"All of them."

Such an exchange is not that uncommon for the coaching staff or players on the Germantown Academy boys' soccer team, as four Rueter brothers play on the Patriots, forming more than one-third of the starting lineup.

Tim and Tom Rueter are senior twins and play on the left side of the field, with Tom at left back and Tim in front of him at left outside midfielder. Their younger brothers, Matt and James, sophomores twins, make up the right side of the defense, with Matt at right back and James at right outside mid.

Just one minute separates each set of identical twins, with Tim and James being the elders.

The 2012 soccer season marks the first time that all four boys have played together. If you don't count games they have played in their backyard, that is.

"I have enjoyed playing with my three brothers," Matt Rueter said.

"Especially with Tim and Tom, since this is the first year we played on the same team together. So far it has been really fun."

That means there are plenty of postgame debriefings in the car ride home, where the older Rueters are admittedly harder on their younger brothers.

"I knew they were going to critique me. It is fun. I get to give it back to them because we are on the same team," James Rueter said.

A typical postgame car ride or morning drive to school could get a little heated, but the conversations always stem from good intentions.

Matt Rueter is likely to be the most critical of the bunch, while Tim tends to think he always played well.

"Yesterday, Tim should have had a goal and I let him know that he should have had a goal," Tom said.

"So yes, we let each other know when we mess up, but we also praise each other," Tim added.

But it isn't all just serious soccer talk. The upside to having your brothers around all the time? The Rueters are unanimous: It's fun.

Energetic and obviously close, the Rueters feel as if the familiarity with each other's games and style of play, as well as their communication skills, make them a strong unit on the field. Off the field, it is all about the jokes.

When forming teams at home for Wiffle ball, video games, or various other activities, Tim and Matt Rueter are on one side, with Tom and James on the other. It's the only fair way to make teams, they all agreed, before Tim added, "With two twins versus two twins, there is nothing more competitive."

While the experience has been great for the siblings, it has been even better for their parents, who in the past had to split up fields and/or times so that one parent would be at one of their sons' games.

It is something their parents won't be able to get used to for spring sports, as Tom and James play lacrosse for the Patriots, Tim is on the track team, and Matt plays tennis.

GA, at 4-4-4 overall and 2-0-3 in the very close Inter-Ac League, has had opportunities to put teams away. Instead, the Patriots have ended up with three league ties.

"It is unfortunate," Tim Rueter said. "We are in third place, but are technically undefeated. We have to start winning the rest of our games."

With five league games left, the Patriots are chasing Haverford School, which is 4-0-1 in league play.

On Nov. 10, the Patriots will host rival Penn Charter in what will be the last time all four brothers play on the same field competitively, or at least for GA. The Rueter brothers say that the already typical emotionally charged game will be extra special this year.

"It is going to mean a lot," James said, adding that he would miss seniors Tim and Tom next season.

"A wwww," Tim and Tom said in unison.

No doubt James will hear about that one on the car ride home.

Contact Kate Harman at

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