Sisters by Chance, Teammates by Choice: Siblings connect in sports while playing together in high school


Photo courtesy of Avery Kurt, Danielle Lenihan, and Faith McCallop.

The Kurt, McCallop, and Lenihan siblings pose for the camera. All three sets of siblings play on the same sports teams.

Laina Vossen, Contributor

The final buzzer sounds at the state championship game and the first person sophomore Avery Kurt goes to congratulate is her sister, senior Lexi Kurt. Even though there was a crowd of all her other teammates, she went to her sister first to congratulate her on her last basketball game ever. 

For Avery playing sports with her siblings has its ups and downs, along with other sibling athletes at Miege.  

When we won state basketball together, it was fun being able to experience it with them before Lexi leaves,” Avery said. “It was a sweet but kind of bitter win, knowing that I would never play basketball with Lexi in high school ever again.”

Avery has grown up playing sports with her siblings and she said that has contributed to a lot of her success. 

“Since we spend so much time together we l know what we all are thinking,” Kurt said. “I can always look to them for support and teamwork, and I’m always just kind of connected to them in a way.”

Avery has two sisters, so the pressure and expectations are twice as high. Junior Carly Kurt, a point guard, also plays basketball with Avery. According to Avery, Carly is a scrappy player and hustles for every ball.

“Even though she might be pretty short, she gets a lot of rebounds because she never gives up on the play,” Avery said. “She is also just so fun to watch because she is so good.”

Similar to Avery, sophomore Danielle Lenihan has many memories while playing sports with her sister. Danielle and her sister Rose Lenihan have played soccer together in their years of high school.

“We have played for two years together, my freshman year and this year,” Danielle said. “Playing with her has definitely helped me find confidence and not be so self-conscious about my skills on the field.” 

Danielle feels that she can also be her unique self around her sister. They are able to have a good time together, while also growing their skills on the field. 

“It’s fun to joke around with her,” Danielle said. “It just makes me not care about making mistakes or anything, but we still push each other to get better every chance we get.” 

Making their siblings better is also freshman Faith McCallop’s goal when playing basketball. McCallop takes every chance she has on the court to compete with her sister, sophomore Grace McCallop.

“When we play together, we make each other better,” Faith said. “We are both super competitive, so we like to challenge ourselves, while also having fun doing what we love.”

When it comes to being compared to Grace, Faith has no fear. She believes that she and her sister are both very skilled in what they do. She can keep up with Grace, and still show her unique talents.

“It’s not pressuring at all playing with my sister because we have pretty similar skills,” Faith said. “We are also never negative toward each other, so she makes me feel confidant in my skill.” 

For Avery, Danielle and Faith, confidence has played a big role in their game. Having their sisters by their side helped them get through their ups and downs throughout the seasons. 

“The best thing you can do is not beat yourself up about mistakes you make,” Avery said. “When I did make a mistake, my sisters were always there to pick me back up. That is what sisters are for.”