The Vermillion High School soccer team had eight sets of sisters on the team this past season. Thirteen were on the varsity roster, and four of the six seniors had a younger sibling on the team. Regardless of their age, each enjoyed getting to play with a family member.
Many pairs of sisters had things in common with others. Older players were motivated to be better for their younger sisters to look up to, and the younger ones liked having someone close for support.
“My favorite part is watching her grow and become better each year and learn new skills,” said senior captain Kenzie Mockler.
Sophomore Lilly Mockler enjoyed having an older sister for guidance.
“I enjoy that she is always there for advice on the field,” said L. Mockler. “It has made it easier because it makes it more fun to have someone to challenge and shoot around with, out of practice.”
Kenzie said having a sister has fueled her love for the game even more because she feels good after teaching her sister new skills.
“When I come back in the future to watch games, I’ll get to see how much she’s improved and grown as a player,” said K. Mockler.
Brenna and Lauren Mockler, cousins to Kenzie and Lilly, have similar thoughts.
“I have enjoyed having a sister by my side in soccer to help coach her with things she’s struggling in and to practice and make each other better in the offseason,” said senior B. Mockler.
Brenna said she appreciates soccer more as she wants to be a better player for her sister.
“I will most appreciate having someone there who will look up to me and follow in my footsteps,” said B. Mockler. “She also plays defender.”
Lauren said she is inspired to play like her sister.
“She encourages me through my games,” said freshman Lauren Mockler. “It makes me want to stick with it and play like she does.”
Despite Brenna graduating this year, Lauren looks forward to Brenna helping with skills in the future and cheering her on from the stands.
The Vermillion sisters enjoy having each other for practice in the offseason, especially if each plays on different-leveled teams.
“I’ve most enjoyed being able to practice with her during the offseason and help her improve in her skills,” said junior Lilly Johnson. “We motivate each other to get better and always work hard, and that has helped us come together and be able to work and play together.”
While it can be overwhelming being around one another so often, many appreciate the support.
“She encourages me and pushes me to be the best player I can be,” said freshman Carley Johnson. “It can be challenging at times because we can get frustrated at each other. I will always be able to look up to her and get support from her.”
As some start reaching their senior year, they learn to enjoy having a sibling along the way.
“As I have gotten older, I have become more appreciative of having a sister so close in age to practice with,” said junior Hannah Gruhn. “I am lucky to always have someone to motivate me and to have the opportunity for us both to improve.”
Hannah enjoys the healthy competition between her and her sister, freshman Laura Gruhn because it motivates her to be a greater player and person
The Bradys love playing soccer together because it builds their family bond.
“I enjoy getting to play with someone that I’ve been with my whole life,” said sophomore Mackenzie Brady. “She is really supportive and is always a great teammate to have on the field.”
Freshman Megan Brady also enjoys having someone close to her in soccer and throughout life.
“One of the best things about having a sister playing soccer with me is knowing we have each other’s backs on and off the field,” said Megan Brady. “Also, playing soccer together created a stronger bond between us.”
Senior Cami Regnerus has had an older sister in her first years of high school soccer and finished her high school career with her younger sister playing by her side.
“The ability to play with my sisters has fueled my love for the game by having a constant teammate by my side to challenge me and help me enjoy every single moment of the game, season, practices, and everything in between,” said C. Regnerus. “Having a sister on the team also has its challenges. For Maddie and me, she was always challenging me to do my best and getting after me on the field, and I feel like I now do the same to Livi. I will most appreciate how we’ve grown with our skill level over the season and how soccer has brought us closer.”
Cami enjoyed learning from both sisters and getting to celebrate her most memorable moments of high school with each of them through soccer.
Freshman Livi Regnerus was grateful for having Cami help and support her through the start of her high school soccer career.
“She has motivated me to never give up and to always have a positive attitude which makes every situation better,” said L. Regnerus. “I know we will miss her a lot next year, being the team captain and backing up the team. I appreciate her being an easy person to talk to about soccer and her being so encouraging.”
Senior Morgan Kerkman said having a sister on the team has made her even more excited for an upcoming season as both enjoy talking about the sport.
“I’ve most enjoyed being able to play with Kenzie on the same team, especially after we both started playing defense," said M. Kerkman. "We know each other and how we play really well, so it feels like we don’t even really need to communicate in order to know what the other one is doing.”
Both agree that they knew what move the other was going to make in a game.
“The thing I enjoyed most was the fact that we got closer through the season, and when we played with each other, we knew what the other person was going to do,” said sophomore Kenzie Kerkman. “Playing with my sister has fueled my love for soccer because she pushed me to work harder, and I pushed her to work harder.”
Despite both not being able to play this past season due to similar injuries, Morgan is grateful to have had her sister help her through the challenges.
“As this season ends, I’ll be really appreciative of Kenzie helping me through tearing my ACL since she tore hers in the summer,” said M. Kerkman. “It’s been kind of nice to be able to ask her about my knee and if what’s happening is normal. I know we’re both really sad that we missed out on our last season to play together, but I can’t wait to see her play next year because I know she’ll do great.”
Eighth-grade twins Chandler and Jenaya Cleveland have also enjoyed pushing each other in their first year of Vermillion High School soccer.
“The thing I enjoy most about having a sister by my side to play soccer with is that we are always there for each other through our success,” said C. Cleveland. “Whenever Jenaya has a good shot or pass, I can’t help but feel proud of her.”
Chandler said having a close relationship with her sister has fueled her love for the game as she always has a practice partner.
“However, having a twin on the team has also always sparked competition,” said C. Cleveland. “When I am in goal and she is shooting, the competition is highest because she wants to score, and I want to make sure she doesn’t.”
Overall, the Vermillion soccer sisters enjoy having someone close to help push each other and to go to for advice.
As the season wrapped up after the quarterfinal playoff game, many said they will enjoy the memories made with their sister and the team throughout the season.