SPORTS: Twins for the win

Siblings reflect on the experience of playing the same sport together

Running across the field, senior Jaime Nunes makes eye contact with her twin sister Michelle Nunes and gives her a look. Michelle, knowing what her sister wants to do, plans her run accordingly.

Jaime and Michelle have been playing soccer together since they were four years old. For Jaime, despite experiencing some exasperating days, the benefits of being on the same team with her sister outweigh the drawbacks.

“Some days it is really annoying and bad and I don’t want to be near her, but then there are other times where it is really fun,” Jaime said.

According to Jaime, chemistry in sports, especially team sports, is crucial for the team to succeed. She believes that since she and Michelle are twins, it adds to the chemistry their team already has.

“Having chemistry on the field, especially in soccer, is really important. Even some teams that could be better (than us) 1v1, if you can pass and have that good chemistry, you can beat those teams,” Jaime said. “I think having Michelle and myself can help benefit that. Just having good chemistry overall helps everything go better and smoother.”

Like the Nunes twins, seniors Ethan and Kyle Silva also notice their sibling bond helps them on the soccer field. Kyle finds that due to their close relationship, he is able to better work with his brother.

“Off and on the field, Ethan and I are very close; therefore, I kinda know all his moves, what he’s going to do and all that, and it helps improve the game,” Kyle said.

Furthermore, both of the Nunes twins have found that their sibling relationship helps them communicate better on the field. According to Jaime, she and Michelle are able to give each other looks to determine where she will pass the ball. Michelle feels the same way.

“I know Jaime’s style of play,” Michelle said. “I can predict where she is going to pass the ball, so that helps me be able to plan my run and go where I need to.”

Jaime finds her sibling relationship to be the same inside and outside of sports. This is because she believes both her and her sister express themselves similarly off the field.

“The way Michelle plays on the field matches her personality off the field. Sometimes she is more shy and reserved, so sometimes she doesn’t want to get the ball. Then other times, she wants to really go at people, and that is a side that a lot of people don’t get to see,” Jaime said. “For me, I would say that my personality is also the same on and off the field. I want to help people out the most I can, so I’ll tell them if they need to do something better.”

Michelle agrees. She believes that the way she and her twin act on the field in terms of leadership styles and how vocal they are identical to how they act off the field.

“On the field, she (Jaime) yells constructive criticism or always has feedback, but I don’t really say anything to her,” Michelle said. “Outside of soccer, I am the same. I comply with what she says and I listen to her more, and she gets to boss me around. Then it is the same on the field.”

Not only do these sets of twins spend time together at home, they also spend time together in their extracurriculars. Like many siblings, bickering and fighting is not a rare occurrence, especially with so much time spent together. Despite long periods of time together, Jaime finds that any quarrels with her sister do not last long nor cause problems with the team.

“We have fights where we really go at each other, but we get over it very easily. So on the field, it’s the same thing. We’ll get really mad in the moment, then 10 minutes later, it’ll be fine,” Jaime said. “We’ll have a mini argument in the car, and then the moment we start practice, we’ll forget about it and we’ll laugh.”

Jaime acknowledged that the times where she gets mad at her sister are rooted in wanting her to do better. Michelle feels similarly, explaining how she and her twin correct each other with intentions of helping one another improve.

“We have high expectations for each other, so if I do something that she doesn’t approve of, she’ll make a comment and tell me to do better in whatever it is,” Michelle said.

This is the same case for the Silva twins, as they often keep each other in check on the field.

“Since I am one of the captains, I pick on him a lot because I want him to do better. So if he loses the ball or does something wrong, I correct him,” Ethan said.

For some siblings, and even more for twins, being compared to one another is inevitable. According to Jaime, being compared to her sister was more common as a kid but has become less apparent as they have grown up.

“As a kid, we used to wear the same stuff, act the same and we even liked the same stuff too,” Jaime said. “Sometimes people get our names wrong and call me Michelle by accident, which is fine. It has gotten better from when we were younger.”

Michelle described that playing different soccer positions has aided in not being compared as much.

“Soccer-wise, I think people get compared more when they play the same position, but we play different positions,” Michelle said. “I have a more defensive mindset and she has a more attacking mindset, so it isn’t very comparable.”

In some cases, Jaime and Michelle will play the same position, and in those cases, they get compared. Jaime recognized that being compared can be beneficial.

“Sometimes we’ll play the same position,” Jaime said. “Michelle can kind of play any position, so sometimes when she plays midfield, we kind of get compared, but there are also times where it’s good. We can tell each other what we need to do better if she does play that position, and we can help each other out.”

The Silva and Nunes twins believe they have been able to depend on each other while growing up with their sport. Starting as twins, they have become teammates who are able to communicate with each other and use their chemistry to their advantage.

“We’re just some homies playing some soccer,” Kyle said. “Whether or not we are on the field, he is always someone I can rely on.”