Crance, CdM's man in the middle

*This post has been corrected

The way Coach Scott Meyer describes two of his linebackers you begin to think he is talking about the same player.

"Really smart, really good at communicating, really active, and really good at football," Meyer says of Hoyt Crance and Hugh Crance.

Hoyt and Hugh also happen to be fraternal twin brothers.

They play right next to each other on Corona del Mar High's defense, Hoyt in the middle and Hugh at outside. They go to school together, Hugh drives and Hoyt sits shotgun because Hugh has a parking pass near the pool.

Parking at CdM is like trying to score a touchdown on CdM's defense. It can be a struggle.

Hoyt and Hugh also take the same first three classes together. They don't sit next to each other, though.

The brothers are competitive. Just last week, during a Pacific Coast League game against Woodbridge, they got into a verbal fight.

"I wrapped up one of their running backs and kind of slid off him, and then my brother came in to finish the tackle, but he missed and he just dove right into me," Hoyt says. "I just kind of got mad at him."

Hugh apologized.

"I missed. It won't happen again," Hoyt says Hugh told him.

On the next play, Hugh jumped offside during a punt.

"I kind of rolled my eyes at him," Hoyt says. "He started yelling at me."

Hugh is the oldest, barely by a minute. Nevertheless, out of the two, Hoyt is the one who has been playing on varsity the longest.

Hoyt is in his second year as a starter, and again he's making a difference for the Sea Kings. Since last year, when the Sea Kings called up Hoyt from junior varsity, CdM hasn't lost a game.

The Sea Kings made it 17 straight wins with a 14-7 road victory against Woodbridge last week. Hoyt helped set up a score when he intercepted a pass. Later on, he recovered a fumble to stop a drive, and at the end, he collected an onside kick, allowing the Sea Kings to run the clock out and extend the school's longest winning streak.

As a junior, CdM (7-0, 2-0 in league) is asking Hoyt to do more and he's delivering as he leads the team with 44 tackles. He also moved from outside linebacker to middle linebacker after Alex Moore, an All-CIF Southern Section Southern Division performer, went down with a knee injury on Sept. 27.

Moore made it out to practice on Wednesday, marking two weeks since he underwent surgery to repair a torn anterior crucial ligament and meniscus. The day also happened to be Meyer's 49th birthday.

Hoyt and Hugh, along with the rest of the team, sprinted toward Meyer and sang "Happy Birthday" to him. Another birthday coming up is the Crances' special day.

Hoyt and Hugh turn 17 on Oct. 30, the day before Halloween. They might end up celebrating their birthday with teammates, because on Wednesdays, the team eats dinner at Wingnuts in Costa Mesa.

Wherever Hoyt and Hugh go, you can tell them apart. Hoyt has short brown hair and Hugh has blond hair. Hoyt is also laid back and Hugh is outgoing.

On the field, they're the exact opposite. The loud one is Hoyt and the quiet one is Hugh. There's a reason for the reversed roles.

"You have that leader aspect of being kind of the man in the middle and you got to direct your defense," says Hoyt, whose brother replaced him at outside linebacker when Moore went down for the season.

Hoyt and Hugh always seem to play defense, no matter the sport. The two are also standouts on the CdM boys' lacrosse team. Hoyt is the goalie and Hugh a defender.

Lacrosse is the sport the brothers plan to play in college. They have some time left to accomplish more at CdM before moving on to the next stage of their lives.

Hoyt Crance

Born: Oct. 30, 1996

Hometown: Newport Beach

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 185 pounds

Sport: Football

Year: Junior

Coach: Scott Meyer

Favorite food: Burrito

Favorite movie: "The Hangover"

Favorite athletic moment: "Every time we've won CIF in lacrosse and in football."

Week in review: Crance, a middle linebacker, intercepted a pass, recovered a fumble and collected an onside kick, helping CdM beat Woodbridge, 14-7, in a Pacific Coast League game.

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