It’s not that uncommon to see a set of twins playing sports.
It happens a lot where you see the siblings on the court, or field, together.
What’s a little less common is finding a set of twins who combined for five sports this year, none of them the same.
A set of twins that have both won NTL, and District 4 titles, in completely different sports.
That’s the case with Sophie and Emma Adams.
Emma is the all-state softball player, the all-time hits leader at Athens. She helped lead the Wildcats to a share of the NTL softball title this year, their first in school history, and she was a key member of Athens district title winning soccer team.
Sophie is one of the Wildcats top distance runners. One of the better cross country runners in the NTL, and a member of NTL and District 4 winning track and field teams. She’s also a starter for the basketball team.
When the two were young, they were like many twins, playing every sport together.
“That was a change, we had always done the same sports, soccer, basketball, softball, we always did it together,” Emma said. “It definitely was hard at times because Sophie was doing basketball, I was doing soccer, she was doing track, I was doing softball. We tried to support each other as much as we could, it was hard just because we’d have practice, then games.”
When high school started, the two did a lot of the same sports.
Both were on the basketball team early on, and both played soccer together.
But, Sophie started to move toward running, and even though it was tough, she left soccer.
“That did factor into my decision with soccer (Emma),” Sophie said. “It made me want to stay with the sports, but in the end, it wasn’t right for me.”
Sophie had run track and field in junior high and through high school, and it was in track and field she realized she was meant for cross country.
“My freshman year track season in the spring, I got to high school and realized I was a terrible sprinter, I can’t be with these people, so I thought what can I do? I can run longer,” Sophie said. “All the girls that run long distance for track run cross country and they were telling me you should run, you should run. They were noticing I wasn’t getting a lot of playing time for soccer and they were like you should join the cross country team, you could really help us out and finally something clicked and I realized it was meant for me.”
After her sophomore year Emma left basketball, and the two weren’t playing the same sports anymore.
“I think once Sophie and I started to realize we liked different things it ended up better for us,” Emma said. “I always liked playing sports with Sophie, but it was better to see her enjoy what she was doing rather than just doing it because I was there.”
Emma thought about coming back to basketball this year, and even played a summer league game last summer for Athens, but in the end she decided not to play the sport again.
“I do wish I could have played basketball this year,” Emma said. “Especially with Sophie on the team, and I could have helped out, but I was thinking for myself I didn’t want to get injured before going to Albany. It was fun being able to play in that one summer league game, but that’s Sophie’s sport.”
Next year, the two will be in different places. Emma will play softball at Albany and Sophie will be at Binghamton.
But, the two have always been a little bit different.
“I think we have always known we were very different,” Sophie said.
“We have always had differences,” Emma said. “I’m very outgoing, Sophie is shy at times. We have always known, my parents have always known. When Sophie started to say she wanted to do cross country my parents were like, we understand that, it will probably be good for you.”
For a lot of people, they can’t even believe the two are twins.
“Most people don’t think we are twins,” Emma said. “Every few people we meet when they see us they say are we twins and we say how did you pull that off?”
“No one ever knows that,” Sophie added.
“New people I meet are like no way you have a twin,” Emma said.
The two look a lot different to. Emma has blonde hair, Sophie darker hair. They have always known there were a lot of differences.
“It’s always been Sophie’s my mom, I’m my dad, that’s always how it’s been,” Emma said about how people think they look. “People have always said Emma, you look like Mike, Sophie, you look like Dodie, that’s always how it’s been.”
One thing that made doing different sports easier is that the two always kind of knew they were meant for different things.
“I think it definitely helped from birth we weren’t identical, we weren’t set on the same path, we weren’t the exact same,” Sophie said.
One of the biggest challenges when the two started doing different sports was for their parents, who had a lot more events and practices to take the kids to.
“We owe them everything, they never missed anything,” Emma said. “They were always there for all our sporting events, that’s hard as a parent.”
And, it was tough for the sisters to get to see each other compete all the time, but they always knew they supported each other.
“It was hard, we both know we support each other as much as we can, even though we might not get to a game, or a meet, we are supporting each other.”
While the two knew they took different paths, it’s crazy for them to think they aren’t doing any of the same sports anymore.
“You honestly shocked me, I didn’t realize that until now,” Emma said. “I’m speechless now, I didn’t even realize that.”
One thing both figured out is that what their sibling does is tough, and something they don’t really want to try.
“Softball is such a hard sport, I quit in like second grade, I couldn’t do it,” Sophie said.
“There is no way I could run two miles, I couldn’t do that any day,” Emma said.
It’s also been nice that both won titles in their sports.
“I have always been jealous the track team gets to do it (win districts) and I’m glad we got to do it (with soccer),” Emma said.
“Of course without me,” Sophie joked about the soccer title. “I am happy we both got the chance.”
Because the two do completely different sports, it also means the two don’t have to deal with comparisons by others of which one is doing better.
“No one can be like this is the better twin,” Sophie said.
“It’s nice,” Emma said. “I do appreciate that we each get our own sport and our own recognition in that sport.”
Tonight, the two will get their diplomas, and graduate from Athens. Their names will be back to back in the program. They will be called one after the other.
Like most twins, Emma and Sophie are as close as can be. But, that doesn’t mean they are the same.
They both had success in high school sports.
They both are ready to see what college has to offer.
But, it was different sports, different colleges. They are two twins, with two different stories of success.