By Sam Shimada, Sports Media Intern
SACRAMENTO, Calif - Being an identical twin that is a student athlete has its perks, but also its struggles. Thankfully, Serena and I play different sports now. I play soccer and Serena runs track, but we both used to play soccer, softball and ski race together. The competition between us grew to the point where we would constantly be fighting. After that, we decided it was time for us to try our own things.
I played volleyball for three years, and then decided to go back to soccer. Serena went her separate way with track and never had a thought about playing soccer again. Now, it’s cool being able to watch each other’s meets and games. We have separate friends and have grown to be more independent through our separate sports.
“I think it’s cool that we get to meet so many more people through each other’s sports,” said Serena.
We both support each other’s sports and still work out together and help get each other back again after injuries. The competition between us has not stopped even while playing two completely different sports. It’s frustrating at times, especially if I’m the one that isn’t as strong or isn’t as fast, but we both have our strengths and weaknesses.
Overall, we only push each other to be the best athlete we can be. I think it’s pretty cool to be able to say that we both are student athletes, especially at St. Francis where there is such high standards for school and sports. I constantly feel like I am involved and a part of not just my sport, but also Serena’s. I always know when she has meets and what events she is running and we always text each other “good luck” before games and meets.
When we both get home from games or practices we completely fill each other in on how it went and talk about the highlights of our practice or game. Serena added, “I feel like I am a part of Sam’s team when she tells me about soccer and all the people on it. We are always there for each other after a bad game or bad race, we are each other’s built in support system.”
Alisha and Myra Anwar both play tennis for the St. Francis tennis team. Myra is a senior and Alisha is a sophomore.
“Tennis has definitely brought Alisha and I closer,” said older sister Myra Anwar. “We do support each others matches and cheer each other on. No matter who Alisha is playing, I always want her to win and I do get happy when she does. Alisha both started playing tennis when we were very young, so it's nice to go through something your whole life and have someone to do it with. I'm not sure if I will play college tennis, but I hope she does so I can go out to her college matches and continue to watch her play and dominate.
"One struggle about playing tennis with Alisha is the competitiveness.. Alisha and I are both really competitive and if we do end up playing each other, it gets to be too intense at times. We both like to take charge and want to win, but it's hard when the person you want to beat is your sister. However, this is shadowed by the good parts of playing Alisha, which is that we can support each other. Unlike other siblings, we both play tennis, so it's easier for us to cheer each other and support each other. We both understand the nature of tennis, so we both know how to give each other tips on how to win, stay relaxed, and improve. It's nice to share a sport with her because I can come to her with any problems that I have and she would understand.”
Alisha agrees the competition is tough.
“I currently play the #2 spot on the varsity tennis team, and my sister plays #1,” said Alisha. “A really big struggle that comes is that we have to play each other during tryouts, which is never fun. It's always bad when I have to play against someone that I personally know. But playing against my sister is really tough. We both are very competitive, so things can get really serious, and we may not be smiling afterwards. But with the struggles, there are also the good times. Even when playing a tough match, and I hear her cheering me on the side, it motivates me to do better. Knowing that I have support from my sister really pushes me to do better in my match.
We both started playing tennis when we were really young, so we literally grew up with the sport and each other. Through all of the tears that came from losing matches, or the blood stains that came from injuries, I always had her right beside me. I knew that whatever pain I was going through, she had gone through and overcome it. So that made me feel that I could also overcome it. We aren't the type of sisters that are always hugging, but we know how to make each other laugh and feel better. When either of us are in a match, we cheer each other on, and do our best to make the other feel better.”
The Anwar sisters have learned to balance their competition and lean on their sisterly bond.
Natalie Chan is a senior and has played basketball, lacrosse and is currently swimming for St. Francis while her sister Isabelle Chan is a sophomore. She has played soccer freshman and sophomore year and plans to continue playing.
“It’s fun because we play different sports but represent the same school,” said Natalie. “It has definitely brought us closer. We share the same determination and work ethic. We are competitive with each other both in sports and in the classroom, but we always support each other in whatever we do. For me, I love having Isabelle around because if I have a bad practice I can talk to her and she makes me feel better and want to get back out there. Even when we aren’t playing sports at SF, we like to work out together because we push each other. I think sports and just being active really brings us closer together.”
Isabelle and Natalie can always rely on each other to talk about their games or practices.
Isabelle Chan said, “The good parts are that we can support each other. Since our sports are different seasons and don’t conflict, we can watch and support each other. It’s nice to have each other to talk to about practice and games. We are definitely closer through sports, I love when Natalie comes to my games and I can hear her cheering for me. I like hearing about Natalie’s practices or meets and how she did. Although we play different sports, both of us being determined, active, and competitive has brought us closer.”
Through sports, the Chan sisters have learned to always support each other. They have grown closer together and have sports to bond over.
Current Troubadour Sister Acts
Myra and Alisha Anwar (Tennis)
Anne and Erin Ayotte (Soccer/Swimming/Cross Country/Track and Field)
Savvy and Lu Bajar (Soccer/Lacrosse)
Ava and Amelia Barkett (Cross Country)
Abbey and Madeline Berg (Water Polo/Soccer)
Natalie and Isabelle Chan (Swimming/Lacrosse)
Brielle and Kailee Davis (Lacrosse)
Frankie and Bella Evers (Basketball/Arts)
Ellie and Mia Fleming-Mullins (Track and Field/Basketball)
Miriam and Sarah Ford (Track and Field/Swimming)
Marcela and Ivanna Forero-Pretto (Soccer/Swimming)
Hayden and Sydney Galvins (Soccer)
Marisa and Delia Gagnon (Diving)
Kathleen and Mairin Gale (Swimming/Volleyball)
Sydney and Grace Galvan (Soccer)
Sophia and Charlize Garaygay (Swimming/Soccer)
Meredith and Reagan Garcia (Swimming/Water Polo)
Jane and Ada Gregory (Soccer/Swimming)
Gabbi and Daniella Guerrera (Softball)
Julia and Lillian Hayes (Basketball/Soccer)
Faith and Jayme Hendrickson (Track and Field)
Jackie and Gigi Koerwitz (Soccer)
Hope and Grace Jenkins (Softball)
Hannah and Abby Malek (Basketball/Track and Field)
Corrine and Crystal Roddy (Track and Field)
Sam and Serena Shimada (Soccer/Track and Field)
Haley and Claire Silva (Cross Country/Track and Field)
Alexis and Lindsey Soloaga (Soccer/Basketball)
Chloe and Sydney Smith (Softball/Diving)
Ruby and Johanna Stevenson (Diving)
Katya and Sasha Utter (Track and Field)
Elise and Caroline ‘14 Urkov (Soccer/Water Polo)