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Brotherly sports success

Hard-working Galley twins spell double trouble for foes

Best-friend siblings excel in all sports — especially basketball, lacrosse, football and ice hockey
By Ken Waltz | Apr 06, 2020
Photo by: Ken Waltz; artwork by Holly Vanorse Spicer Oceanside Middle School's Cohen, left, and Carter Galley.

Owls Head — When athletic opponents see the Galley brothers — Carter and Cohen — step on the basketball court, lacrosse and football field or skate onto the hockey ice, they might think, at first glance, they are seeing two of a kind — which, of course, they are — but what they do not immediately comprehend is the talented fraternal twins, ultimately, are about to prove double trouble.

Trouble with a capital T and with an exclamation point.

Why? Because those foes are in for the battle of their athletic lives against two of the Midcoast's most intense, hard-working, determined, athletically-gifted youngsters.

So, more likely than not, those opponents might want to prepare for a loss because, if the siblings have anything to say about it, another victory is in the Galley team's immediate future.

Over their budding sports careers, the brothers have been, well, all about #winning.

Essentially, since they were able to walk, the Galleys have realized amazing success in a multitude of sports.

Now, the Owls Head residents are eighth-graders at Oceanside Middle School and coming off an undefeated Busline League basketball season in which the sharp-shooting, hard-driving, defensively-tenacious guards helped lead the Mariners to the championship.

For the 13-year-old siblings, who also are honors students, there has been plenty of winning over the years, at the local, regional and state levels in school basketball, Amateur Athletic Union basketball, football, club lacrosse and ice hockey and wrestling.

And, individually, along the way, the brothers have compiled incredibly-impressive statistics and personal achievements. But it has been less about that and what the dynamic sibling combination has done to assure team success.

Rivals, teammates, friends

Surely, as most siblings do, the Galleys have battled for family sports supremacy, but they also have made each other individually and collectively better. They, without a doubt, have brought out the best in one another. Call it a brotherly gift to one another.

One person who knows just what the youngsters bring to the athletic table is Travis Doughty, their coach in several sports on several levels.

"I have coached for six or seven years all sports — I have no kid in the program, he stopped playing in peewee — [and] I’ve never seen more dedicated players then these two. They are up to work out before school most days they go get shots up after school. They’re constantly getting better.

"When I first started coaching them it was because their dad, Brad, who has become a very good friend, said he wanted a different voice [than him for the boys]. I told them in the lobby of Ash Point School [at] one of my first practices if they can form a bond instead of a battle [between themselves] they can be the toughest tandem ever in Maine. And I truly believe you are starting to see the beginnings of that bond. I love them like my own. They make me look like I know something."

Since third grade, the boys have helped their football teams win league titles each year but one and have seen only two losses in their gridiron careers. In fact, they helped the OMS football team finish unbeaten two years in a row.

In basketball, from third through eighth grades, they have lost only two games, and won the championship every year but fifth grade.

In middle school football and basketball, for seventh and eighth grades, they were unbeaten. That means, in those sports, they never lost a game during their final two years of organized middle school ball.

Oh, they also have won state championships previously in wrestling, elite level ice hockey and in AAU basketball have been on national qualifier teams (in fact, Carter was a New England All-American selection).

The work that binds

And while the siblings certainly are natural athletes, they succeed because they work hard to succeed. They get out of bed at 5 a.m. most mornings to work out and practice on their own

"These boys are winners," said Doughty. "These two are special talents, especially in this community."

The sons of Brad and Danielle Galley of Owls Head simply love to compete — and, of course, love to win. And sports is the medium in which they can do that.

The two started playing sports at age 3. "My mom said … it kept us from fighting," said Carter. Cohen remembers a little basketball hoop in the brothers' playroom — an item that ignited the spark in their little athletic souls.

To this point, the rest is history.

While many believe, at first glance, the two are identical twins, they are fraternal twins, born at the same time, but not identical. They have physical differences and mannerisms. But they, of course, have many physical and personality similarities.

There are two types of twins — identical and fraternal. Now scientists are adding a third category to the list — semi-identical twins. Researchers say, semi-identical twins are more genetically alike than fraternal twins, but not genetically identical like identical twins.

"We actually are not identical, but most people think we are," Carter said. "I am a little taller and have a bigger head."

Cohen said his brother is "a little bit bigger" physically.

The brothers said their personalities are "pretty similar" and their competitive fires burn deeply — a common thread that bonds the teenagers.

Carter, at 5-foot 7-inches and 140 pounds, is a point/shooting guard in basketball, wing in hockey, midfielder in lacrosse and quarterback in football. His favorite professional and college sports teams are the Boston Celtics and Duke University men's basketball.

Cohen, at 5-6 and 130 pounds, plays point/shooting guard in basketball, quarterback in football, wing in hockey and attack in lacrosse. His favorite pro and college teams are the Boston Celtics and New England Patriots, as well as Duke University men's basketball and Notre Dame football.

One of the things the two do differently is Carter is right-hand shooting dominant and Cohen left-hand shooting dominant in basketball. They can do many things ambidextrously, but Cohen also throws right-handed in football and shoots right-handed in hockey and lacrosse.

Love of competition

So why do the brothers play sports?

"I play because they are fun and I love the competition," said Carter, but "I also enjoy being part of a team."

"I love to compete and they are fun," Cohen said.

Carter said his favorite sport is basketball "because it is my best sport and I have always loved it. My dad and two uncles played in college so it has always been big in our house."

Cohen echoed his brother's passion for basketball "because I feel like I am the best at that and I play almost year round."

The boys certainly have speed, skill, quickness and tenacity, but practicing with one another — and often butting athletic heads in family activities and one-on-one sessions — has made them stronger and, ultimately, better.

"I feel like my competitiveness is my best ability," Carter said. "Having a twin brother we have competed since an early age."

Asked what he believes are his best attributes he brings to the table for his teams, Cohen said, "I feel that I am a good leader and a smart player."

One only has to watch the brothers compete to see they are intense, driven and motivated. Playing as hard as they can for as long as they can is the only way to compete and, more often than not, win.

"I enjoy competing and I enjoy winning," Carter said. "My dad taught us at an early age if you want to be the best you have to outwork everyone else so that is always in the back of my mind."

Cohen said he and his brother have put in the hard work and been both pushed and supported by their parents.

Cohen said what he enjoys most about sports is, well, of course, "winning" and has a clear vision as he enters high school next fall.

"I always want to win and the goal the next few years is to lead teams to a gold ball," he said.

A keen work ethic is a common bond between the siblings.

"We have worked really hard both in-season and off-season," Carter said. "My dad spends lot of time with us, especially when we where younger. Now we are fortunate to have good coaches and trainers that we work with on a regular basis."

For 12 months a year the Galleys are doing some sport, on a field, court or ice. So some level of motivation and dedication has to be on display each day.

"I think our parents keep us grounded and we motivate each other," Carter said.

"All of this for a chance at a gold ball," Cohen said.

Teamwork and support

The brothers readily admit there can be a bit of rivalry between the two, but as they have matured it has turned from rivalry to a common bond of teamwork and support. Instead of working against one another, the Galleys, more often than not, work in unison for the good of themselves and their teams.

"We spend a lot of time together but we are best friends," Carter said. "People may see us playing sports and maybe we have an argument and they think, 'Oh those twins are bad kids,' but we are kids who spent every second together and who are both competitive and want to win. If you spent 10 hours a day with somebody for 13 years you might occasional argue as well."

"We wouldn’t be the players we are if we didn’t have each other," Cohen said. "We fight sometimes, but at the end of the day we are best friends."

They have experienced a bundle of success in so many athletic endeavors that it might be difficult to pick a favorite moment, but not so fast. The brothers can narrow it down.

"In 2018 we won the state championship for AAU [basketball] and got rings," Carter said. "That was pretty cool."

Cohen has two favorite moments, one that matches his brother. "Team winning the sixth-grade AAU state championship in 2018, followed by [the] Squirt hockey team winning state championship in 2016."

Carter, who hopes to one day play college basketball, said the other hobbies and activities he enjoys are weight training, hanging with friends and being with his family at their summer camp.

Cohen, who hopes to win a high school gold ball in basketball and football, score 1,000 career points in high school hoops and play sports in college, said he also enjoys weight training and "tubing at the lake in the summer."

Ultimately, there are a couple of elements the siblings mention about what makes them tick as young athletes.

"You have to work hard and be dedicated," Carter said.

"I know if I want to achieve my dreams and goals I have to work hard and outwork everyone else," Cohen said.

Hard work, focus, dedication, plus talent, usually equals winning for the Galley brothers — and almost always double trouble for athletic opponents.

Cohen, left, and Carter Galley. (Courtesy of: Cohen family; artwork by Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Cohen, left, and Carter Galley love their sports, including football, basketball, lacrosse and ice hockey — as well as other sports, such as wrestling — through their youth. (Courtesy of: Galley family)
Oceanside Middle School's Carter, left, and Cohen Galley. (Photo by: Ken Waltz; artwork by Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Carter Galley, left. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Cohen Galley, left, and Carter Galley, right. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Cohen Galley. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Carter Galley (23) and Cohen Galley (24), among other Oceanside teammates, celebrate the Busline League eighth-grade basketball championship. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
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