There’s a story idea that gets pitched to us frequently. It goes something like this:
“So there are these two really good athletes on the same team, and, get this, they’re related.”
Our response is thanks but sibling teammates are not that uncommon.
Take the Camas girls basketball team, where sisters Parker and Kendall Mairs were key contributors on last year’s team that placed fourth at state.
But it’s in the fall where the Mairs’ story takes an interesting twist.
In the fall, Parker Mairs, a junior, is a standout midfielder on the Camas girls soccer team that is looking to defend its 4A state championship.
Her younger sister, sophomore Kendall, is the team leader at the net for the Camas volleyball team that is ranked fifth in the state and headed to another league title this week.
Kendall considers herself a basketball player who discovered volleyball in part because of the pandemic.
“I used to play soccer when I was younger,” Kendall said. “But when COVID started, I didn’t play club basketball. But club volleyball was a thing that was going on at the time. So I just tried it and loved it.”
For Parker, soccer has been her love since she was very little.
“I started out playing that little indoor soccer as a little kid, and I’ve just carried that on,” Parker said. “I played basketball on the side. Soccer has become my more prime thing to do.”
With both sisters following different passions in the fall, it puts their parents in a tough spot.
During most of the seasons, both Camas’ soccer and volleyball teams played on Tuesday and Thursday night.
“Usually they just split it,” Kendall said. “One goes to one game, and the other goes to other game.”
But sometimes the schedule provides openings for the sisters to support each other.
“Some days when we have a game on Monday, there will be volleyball game on Tuesday, and I’ll go watch my sister,” Parker said. “The whole soccer team will go after practice and watch. It’s fun.”
And the volleyball team reciprocates.
“If we don’t have a game, most of the volleyball team will go out to support the soccer team,” Kendall said. “And the soccer team comes and watches us. We’re just a big team all together here.”
The postseason schedule will make things tougher on the Mairs family schedule.
The soccer team had matches Tuesday and Thursday this week in the bi-district playoffs, while the volleyball team is finishing off its league schedule — on Tuesday and Thursday.
Next week, when the volleyball team competes in the bi-district tournament in Tacoma, the soccer team hopes to playing a match in the state quarterfinals.
And if all goes well, the schedule culminates with the volleyball state tournament Nov. 18-19 at the Yakima SunDome, while the soccer state final four is the same two days in Puyallup.
That is how it played out last fall.
“So my sister had state obviously the same time that I had state soccer,” Parker said. The volleyball team “didn’t make it to the finals. They placed fifth last year. So after my mom watched all of my sister’s matches, she drove all the way from Yakima to Sparks Stadium to watch us play in the state soccer finals that same day.”
After the fall season is over, the Mairs sisters will move on to basketball, where the Papermakers hope to be celebrating all together again at the Tacoma Dome in March.
And then comes peace in the Mairs house in the spring.
Or maybe not.
“The whole family is great, and we’re lucky to have them,” Camas athletic director Stephen Baranowski said. “I’m going to see if I can’t get (Parker and Kendall) to come out for softball, because I hear they can play.”
Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/preps coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at 360-735-4538, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow his Twitter handle @360TMart.