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Fastpitch: Sisterly competition nears end
POULSBO — Cassidy Johnson and Kalie Weible grew up playing sports together. The sisters were on the same Little League softball team until they reached middle school, then their sports worlds changed.
Johnson went to Kingston Middle School, Weible went to Poulsbo Middle School. The two began competing against each other in volleyball. The rivalry — it’s not really a rivalry, they’re friendly toward each other — continued through high school.
The two played their final games on the volleyball court against each other fall quarter — Weible and the rest of the North Kitsap team went to State, winning the first game in program history at Evergreen State College.
This month, Johnson and Weible will play their final fastpitch games against each other. Ultimately, it could be the last two times they ever face-off in a sporting event.
During the last Kingston/North Kitsap volleyball game Oct. 13, Johnson said she was upset.
“It’s always fun when we play each other,” she said Tuesday afternoon. “I’m never going to get that feeling back again.”
Weible expects fastpitch to be more emotional than volleyball.
“Because we grew up playing it together,” she said.
The last two team rivalry match-ups between the Bucs and Vikes are April 11 and April 30. The Vikings are 0-3 in league play. The Bucs are 2-1.
Despite the outcome, both Johnson and Weible will have support from their fans. The two said family and friends show up to support both teams. Family typically wears neutral clothing and roots for both.
“We joke around, but to us … Everything’s on the field,” Johnson said.
Is there any part of them that wants to see the opposing team win?
“Nope,” Weible said laughing. “I especially want to see our team win, because [KHS fastpitch] wins all the time.”
Response: “Hey, you won in volleyball. It’s my turn.”
Ultimately, Weible said, it doesn’t matter who wins, as long as they play hard.
Typically, when the two wake up, they’ll wish each other luck, Johnson said.
Vikings coach Jamie Heins said she has not really noticed Johnson and Weible bantering on the field. However, she has heard the two give each other a hard time at the plate when Weible is up to bat — Johnson is catcher for the Bucs.
“It’s sisterly love,” Heins said. “Nothing worse than two best friends.”
Actually, many of the girls on the teams are friends outside of school. They hang out with one another and most have played Little League together, Heins said.
As for the team rivalry, Heins said her team is always more “amped up to play.” Kingston has a strong program, with a lot of talent.
“Our girls tend to want it more,” she said. “I’m sure Kingston wants it more, too.”
Bucs coach Joe Schiel has similar feelings.
Schiel said the game is always good — “very intense,” he said. With the girls all knowing each other, being “the top dog” in the game “takes special emphasis for each one of them.”
The Bucs and Vikings play April 11 at 4:15 p.m. at North Kitsap High School. They play again April 30 at 4:15 p.m. at Kingston High School.