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Two of a Kind

Two siblings juggle being students and above average athletes

Photo+by+Sidney+Henkensiefken+
Photo by Sidney Henkensiefken

Photo by Sidney Henkensiefken

Photo by Sidney Henkensiefken

Kaili Sitz, Writer

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Whether it is natural talent, extra practice or the fact that their father is the football coach, Hannah and Ty Black have both risen above the average high school athlete. Junior Hannah is a varsity athlete for three sports: volleyball, basketball and track. Ty is a junior varsity football player as a freshman and back up starter for varsity football.

A sports sibling duo from a very young age, they learned from their parents that passion is what it takes to do something well.

They both vividly recall playing sports in the backyard with family members. Ever since their parents gave them the opportunity to play sports, they both realized they enjoyed it more than they originally thought with the support of their dad.

“They always hear two things from me, to do your best and have fun,” varsity football coach Bo Black said. “I like that they learn life lessons from sports. It takes hard work to be successful.”

Hannah remembers her first real experience finding out that she wanted to take volleyball and run with it. She began her sports journey in recreation league basketball in second grade and on a volleyball team in fifth grade. She now plans to move forward into college volleyball. Ty, however, had a different experience. He didn’t like playing soccer at all, which was the first sport he played. Even so, it didn’t stop him from pursuing other sports, such as golf and football.

“I started playing sports when I joined rec league soccer; I hated it.” Ty said. ”I always played golf with my dad and he used to always beat me, but now I always beat him. And there’s definitely pressure on me to do as well as Hannah. People tell me that I better catch up to Hannah and I tell them, ‘I’m working on it.’”

Hannah and Ty both say how competitive they are. They face pressure as siblings in a competitive family, and there is definitely the tension they both sometimes feel when they are compared.

“I want him to do well,” Hannah said, “But since I’m competitive, I also don’t want him to be better than me.”

Ty feels pressure despite being a freshman already staring on the junior varsity football team, but Hannah thinks this drives both of them to do better. Although they both say talking about who’s better is fun, the Black family believes in supporting each other above all else.  

“Our mom always comes to my volleyball games and, if Ty has a game, we immediately go to his games after mine,” Hannah said. “During volleyball season, my mom hates missing my games or any sports game.”

Constant support led the two to doing what they love. It shows, too. Game after game, when the Black siblings step onto their field, they have a support system rooting for them whether they win or lose.

“I support Hannah a lot at home. If I notice she’s had a bad practice or game, I’ll be like, Hannah you did a good job.” Ty said.

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