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   Welcome to our first print edition of 2014, and our first awards issue of the 2013-14 school year.    Well technically not the...

   Welcome to our first print edition of 2014, and our first awards issue of the 2013-14 school year.

   Well technically not the first award issue. The first award issue was released online only as the first SportStars Digital Weekly. It featured our first All-NorCal Football Team. You can read more about all that in our Locker Room section on Page 9.

   As for the awards bestowed in this issue, there’s quite a few. We named our NorCal Football Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, as well as Fall Athletes of the Year.

   In compiling our Fall Athlete of the Year stories for each edition, I couldn’t help but notice that both of the Bay Area winners — football standout Nsimba Webster of Deer Valley-Antioch, and water polo star Kat Klass of San Ramon Valley-Danville — had something unique in common. Both athletes shared the field and pool with siblings.

   Nsimba (pronounced, sim-bah) has had the luxury of playing with his twin brother Nzuzi (pronounced, zoo-zee) his entire life. But for Klass, a junior, this was her first year having her sister Sarah as a teammate. Sarah Klass started for the varsity as a freshman this season. 

   Siblings that are afforded chances like that always make me envious. My younger brother and I were just far enough apart in age that we never had such an opportunity. Oh, we played sports together a lot, but most of the time it was against each other. And more than a few times it got overly competitive and ended with one of us storming off after chucking a bat or ball at the other. 

   But there were still a few times once we were older and both out of high school that we’d go to an open gym together and end up on the same team. And I can still remember the first time it happened. 

   I was visiting my brother who was attending Chico State and we dropped in on a rec hall basketball game. It was a moderately competitive 5-on-5 game, and even though my brother and I had never really played competitively together before like that, we both knew each other’s games and I remember the intuitive connection we had. 

   I’ve heard siblings who are teammates say things like how playing together is like having four hands instead of two, simply because you know how the other two hands like to work. And that’s what I remember. 

   I also remember us winning a lot that afternoon. It’s a favorite memory that I’ll hold on to. And if that two hours of pick-up hoops can elicit that feeling, I can only imagine what being part of a competitive team together. I’ve yet to meet a sibling combination who doesn’t cherish the opportunity. I’ve also yet to meet a combination that doesn’t have some level of success. 

   And with all that said, I’d be disappointed if the Webster Brother or Klass Sisters haven’t chucked a few things at each other in the spirit of competition. Because sometimes, you just can’t let your sibling win.  

   Read more by Chace Bryson… Raising Our Game

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