It’s not unusual for a high school soccer team to have one, two, or even three sets of siblings, but this fall Floyd Central’s girls’ squad checks in with four couplings — not to mention a pair of coaches’ daughters.
The sisters include junior Kady O’Farrell and freshman Maggie; junior Cylie Miller and freshman Christin; senior Kaitlin Hein and freshman Olivia; and senior Lauren Haley, along with her younger sibling, freshman Taylor.
And then there’s head coach Lewie Stevens’ daughter, Carly, a freshman, while senior Cassie Holland is the daughter of assistant coach, Tony.
“I suppose that it could be a bit unusual having that many sister combos,” Lewie Stevens told Kick It.
“It has not changed the team dynamics so far. I have seen more encouragement than quarreling, although sometimes the older sister is disparaging toward the younger one.”
The only real arguments so far seem to have centered on a particular pair of sweaty socks. Bill Haley, father of Lauren and Taylor, explained.
“Most girls will argue about cute shirts, nice shorts, hair products or make up, but the girls seem to fight over a favorite pair of sweaty socks to wear to practice,” he said.
“Even when they had their two-a-day practices and the socks were drenched, they would argue over whose turn it was to wear them.”
However, Haley added the experience has been great for the two girls and really brought them closer together.
“They never really fought over much growing up, but this summer with them going to practices together they have really bonded,” he said.
Cylie and Christin Miller said that playing together at Floyd Central has definitely been a different experience for both of them – not to mention a load lifted off their folks’ plates.
“We have never played on the same team before, so a positive for our parents is that I can now drive and take Christin along with me – it saves them a few trips,” joked Cylie. “We get along really well most of the time; there are always those occasions of course where we don’t. But so far it’s been fun trying to compete with each other.”
They also hope to puzzle spectators along the way.
“We both wear the number ‘7’ shirt and plan for most people to get confused at which Miller girl they are cheering for,” said Christin.
Kady and Maggie O’Farrell, meanwhile, played together with Net-Surfers U11s, so they are old hands when it comes to sharing the same field.
“Kady had asked me at that time if she had to treat Maggie like her little sister while playing and I said no, you just need to treat her like a teammate,” said mother Deede. “It worked out really well.”
Although all the freshman sisters will start out on the junior varsity team, Kady is hopeful that she and Maggie will kit out together on varsity before season’s end.
“I think Maggie is a really good defender and hopefully, with a lot of hard work, will move up,” she said. Maggie added that she is “really looking forward” to getting to play with Kady this year.
Amy Hein, mother of Kaitlin and Olivia, said the duo have always been really close growing up.
“Don’t get me wrong, they argue just like most siblings, but they are always there for each other and I think they will always have each other’s back – especially in soccer.”
Newcomer Olivia said that Kaitlin really pushes her to do her best.
“I think it puts good pressure on me to live up to her abilities,” she said.
Kaitlin agreed that she is a tough taskmaster.
“Even though I know I can be hard on my sister, it’s because I want her to be the best she can be,” she said. “I am really proud of her.”
Coach Stevens said that he and his wife had discussed with their daughter Carly for the past few years the subject of playing with Floyd Central.
“She’ll have to figure out her role and how it relates to her teammates but she is a smart kid and I think she’ll be fine,” he said.
“She played for me at Highland Hills but the intensity of high school soccer is quite a bit more ramped up than middle school. We have a great relationship but I do have to try and not to go harder on her than the rest. I’m sure Tony (Holland) and Lynn Kaiser, our other coach, will help me in that regard.”
In fact, Holland can certainly offer some advice, as his daughter Cassie now enters her senior year.
“I am very sensitive to perceptions of bias or favoritism,” he said, “but rather that take the whole ‘harder on my own daughter’ approach that seems prevalent with coach/player relationships, I just let her be herself and let her play without any pressure from me.
“I’m just trying to enjoy the short amount of time I have left watching her play her final season of soccer at Floyd Central. I love the sport and it is such a blessing to be part of my daughter’s playing career as a club player and in high school.”