March 5, 2010

By Kelly Taylor
Sports Information Student Assistant

When the Maloney brothers were introduced to lacrosse in the third grade, they never imagined that they would eventually compete on the same collegiate squad, hustling down the field wearing the blue and gold of the Fighting Irish.

Junior lacrosse players Billy and Patrick Maloney are not only brothers, they’re twins. As two of the six players from Georgetown Prep, one of the nation’s primary hubs for elite lacrosse athletes, they have always grown up amidst lacrosse, and amidst each other.

According to Billy, they have always been involved in sports. Not only that, but they have consistently competed in the same sports, on the same teams, with the same coaches. “We’ve always played on the same teams since we were younger, even summer camps,” Billy said. “It just so happens that we’re still competing together in college.”

Natives of Bethesda, Md. outside of Washington D.C., the two began participating in lacrosse due to its large popularity on the east coast. “Lacrosse is really big out where we live,” Patrick said. As overtly athletic and competitive individuals, it seemed like only a matter of time before the two competed in lacrosse at the next level.

As lacrosse and hockey players at Georgetown Prep, the brothers took home the state title during their junior year, in which their team was ranked No. 1 in the nation. “It was a lot of fun competing on the same team in high school. Our team had a really good environment and everyone worked hard,” Patrick said.

When asked about the transition from high school to college, the brothers reflected on the immense impact of their high school experience. “It’s been cool to see how many kids have come from our high school, and it’s created a pipeline between our school and Notre Dame,” Billy said. The other Georgetown Prep athletes currently on the squad include fellow junior Kevin Ridgway, sophomore Jake Brems, and freshmen Pat Cotter and John Kemp.

Delving into the effectiveness of their recruiting trip, the brothers noted how Notre Dame made them feel the most comfortable. After receiving standard recruiting letters, the brothers visited the school after having always maintained a substantial interest in the Fighting Irish. “When we came for a visit, they took us to a football game and we even went down on the field beforehand,” Patrick said. After that, it seemed as though there were no other contenders in the running.

To the surprise of many, despite their parallel lives, the Maloneys never planned on attending the same college.

“We didn’t plan on going to school together, it just kind of worked out that way” Billy said. “Notre Dame was interested in both of us and we both liked it the best.”

Both brothers also explained how they have the luxury of being on the same field at the same time.

“Every time we play together, we have a really good sense of what the other person is going to do,” Billy said. “We’ve played together for so long that we have the advantage of being able to read each other really well.”

However, along with the cooperativeness, the brothers noted that their highly competitive attitudes have caused some minor rifts in their relationship in the past.

“We’ve always been extremely competitive in everything we do,” Patrick said.

“When anyone asks who is better at lacrosse, I’m obviously going to say myself and Patrick is going to say himself,” Billy added. “It’s just what we do.”

Despite the heightened competition, the brothers asserted the fact that they are each other’s greatest allies on and off the field.

“We’re with each other all the time, and we basically have all of the same friends,” Patrick said.

“A lot of people come in freshman year not really knowing anyone, but being on the lacrosse team allowed us to make friends right away, and not everyone has that,” Billy noted.

Most assuredly, the brothers clearly recognize their good fortune.

“Having 44 other guys there with you, whether you’re living, playing, or eating with them, makes it so much easier,” Billy said.

“The camaraderie you see in the locker room is unlike anything else,” Patrick said.

This camaraderie also seems to help in influencing each other to remain on track with their studies.

“Time management is a huge deal, and it’s a lot of work especially in season,” Patrick said. However, both brothers share a similarly focused state of mind. “We are always really busy, getting out of practice late and what not, but it’s most definitely doable,” Billy said.

As if their paths could not intersect more closely, the brothers are each pursuing similar academic paths. While they both started off in the Mendoza College of Business, each of them found their niche within economics. Billy coupled his economics major with a major in political science as well.

“I really just liked the economics classes a lot better, and it seemed like a good fit for me,” Patrick said.

In regards to their team goals for the season, two words seem to overshadow all else: Final Four.

“We would really love to get to the Final Four; we’ve come really close before, and this year we don’t want to come up short,” Billy said.

Individually, both brothers claim that they wish to work towards the success of the team above all else.

Maintaining a classic story of twin livelihood, the Maloney brothers represent the epitome of brotherly bonding. Perhaps, their paralleled paths will continue on as the future unfolds. Regardless, they hope to make great strides towards aiding the Fighting Irish this season.

— ND —