Freshman twins Drew and Bret Neuville excel as Royal student-athletes
Sports | Weston DeWitt for The Clarion
Freshmen Bret and Drew Neuville, twins from Green Bay, Wis., have been successful in baseball and football, respectively. Bret, left, is currently hitting .274 on the season; Drew was an All-MIAC honorable mention on the Royal football team this year. | Photo for The Clarion by Kristine Schmidt
It is common for twins to have enhanced chemistry on the athletic field, the result of growing up together and competing alongside one another since birth. Bret and Drew Neuville, freshmen at Bethel, are attempting to harness that chemistry and have it transcend sports, as Bret is the starting first baseman on the baseball team, and Drew played tight end on the football team. Bret is hitting .274 with 20 RBI through 24 games, and Drew was an All-MIAC honorable mention on head coach Steve Johnson’s team this fall, racking up 17 catches for 169 yards and two touchdowns.
Growing up in Green Bay, Wis., the Neuville twins often engaged in friendly competition, which sometimes ended with fights and black eyes.
“It was unique,” Drew said. “Bret and I were always super competitive with each other right off the bat. There were a lot of fights growing up, whether it was Xbox or street hockey.”
“Everything between Drew and I was a battle,” Bret agreed. “If it didn’t end in a fist fight, it was close to ending in that. It got a little rowdy sometimes, to say the least.”
The brothers were very active in their high school days. At Bayport High School, they both played baseball, football and hockey, but in the end, Drew committed to football and Bret committed to baseball. The pair initially planned on playing at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, but they both ended up in Royal uniforms.
Drew was able to jump right into his athletics experience at Bethel, playing a part in the football team’s undefeated regular season and conference championship.
“I knew the program had a good history, but I didn’t know how good we were going to be this year,” he said. “Getting the opportunity to play with a lot of the guys while starting at the same time was a big deal, and it was very cool to play with a lot of football players that were really talented.”
One of the highlights of the season was playing the first-round playoff game against St. Scholastica in the Metrodome. Drew described the experience as something he will never forget.
“We took it to them pretty well,” he said. “Honestly, the coolest thing about it was just going onto that field thinking that some of my favorite players and the guys whom I have looked up to have ran onto the same field and out of the same tunnel.”
Five months later, Bret hit the baseball diamond. The team started 10-1 in MIAC play with Bret anchoring the right side of the infield at first base. He said he is enjoying his first season and the atmosphere around him.
“We have some guys right now who are just playing out of their minds,” he said. “Some of the guys have the potential to be even better than they are now. So once we get clicking on all cylinders, we are going to be a hard team to beat. We have the playoffs coming soon, and I really think that we will give the MIAC a run for its money.”
Both Drew and Bret continued to play hockey when they got to Bethel, lacing up the skates and taking the ice together for the club hockey team this year. The competition and pressure is significantly less than NCAA sports, but it’s a chance for the brothers to play together in a sport they love.
The Neuvilles have both enjoyed the athletic successes they’ve experienced at Bethel thus far, but they also cherish the opportunity to live together on campus.
“My favorite thing about Bethel is that if I have bad day, I can go to chapel and be uplifted there, which is amazing,” Drew said. “The availability of going to chapel and having your teachers pray with you at the start of class is amazing.”
“It is a lot of fun,” Bret added. “There is a lot of pressure, and some games we might struggle and have a tough day, but we are young, and we still have room to grow. It is definitely a supportive community.”
As the twins familiarize themselves with Bethel’s academics and athletics, they will also work to familiarize the MIAC with the Neuville name.