AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los Angeles Now entering their junior season, Justin and Ryan McKillop are expected to help anchor the Centurions’ 3-4 defense. The almost-identical McKillop twins bring plenty of speed and aggressiveness. Both standing at 6 feet and with wavy long hair, they look like rugged, trash-talking linebackers. But at 220 pounds, Justin is an inside linebacker with quiet demeanor. He lets his run-stopping tackles and hard hits do the talking. His brother, a slightly slimmer 200-pound outside linebacker, is of the same cloth. Justin and Ryan McKillop can almost always be found together and are often referred to by one nickname. Teammates and coaches call the pair “The Kills.” Together, the 16-year-old brothers sit through their first three classes, watch film during lunch hour and go everywhere. To their father’s advantage, they share a car: a white Cadillac Escalade. On the football field, the twins seem to think alike. They can often be found making a tackle together. “With their long hair, they look like they should be in a rock band,” said Jason Bornn, Saugus’ fourth-year head coach. “But they are a couple of blue-collar workers who are not into vanity. They’re quiet, and they have to be put into a position of leadership.” The McKillop brothers have accepted taking the leadership position. After a sophomore season in which Ryan led the team with 50 tackles and Justin registered a team-leading five sacks, the McKillop brothers want to help the Centurions reach the playoffs and win. “We got to be the team that beats the other teams, instead of being the Saugus that came so close against Notre Dame (of Sherman Oaks),” Justin McKillop said. “I think this year we all, as a team, set a goal to be the one that beats the Notre Dames, the Harts and Valencia.” In Bornn’s mind, the twin linebackers are capable of leading the team and together rank among the best in Division II football. Foothill League rival Canyon High’s Coach Harry Welch agrees. “I think these kids can play in any team,” Welch said. “They work hard and play well in a high level of competition.” For the McKillop brothers, taking their young talent to compete at the varsity level proved less challenging than making the choice. “It took me awhile to decide,” Justin McKillop said. “But I knew if (Ryan) went, I was going to go too.” [email protected] (818) 713-3607160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAUGUS – After their freshman football season, Justin and Ryan McKillop had to make a choice. They could be assured of playing time as starters at the junior-varsity level, or jump to varsity and risk sitting on the bench. The Saugus High linebackers picked a shot at varsity. All it took was some fatherly advice. “I told them if they played three years of varsity, it would give them a little edge,” said John McKillop, the twins’ father. “I wouldn’t be able to live with them on a team and they didn’t play. I knew they were not guaranteed to play, but I thought it would help them in their last two high school seasons.” The risk paid off. It didn’t take long for the twin brothers to see varsity action. Both earned spots as starting linebackers their sophomore year. They were named to the all-Foothill League team that same season. Ryan McKillop earned first-team defense honors, and Justin McKillop made second-team defense.
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