NORMAL, Ill. — It’s been going on for long time.
“I’ve been competitive with my family since I was super young,” said Normal West sophomore Averie Hernandez. “We’ve always had the competitive vibe.”
Hernandez and her brother Cole don’t really remember a time when sports was absent from their lives. Their mother Hilarie played college volleyball at Illinois-Chicago and their Johnny played basketball at Eastern Illinois University.
So they grew up loving sports. And loving to compete with each other.
“We would go out there and practice (basketball) with my dad when we were younger,” said senior Cole Hernandez. “She was big enough and strong enough to play with me.”
This week is bittersweet for the Hernandez siblings. As Averie gets ready for volleyball regionals, her older brother is entering his final playoffs as a high school football player.
“Cole has always been a role model for me. We obviously play different sports,” said Averie Hernandez. “He’s been their to challenge me and I’ve been there for him.”
Hernandez will lead the 8-1 football team into a class 6A playoff game against Providence Catholic Saturday. On Tuesday Averie and the West volleyball team plays in the Minooka regional.
“It’s bittersweet, knowing it’s going to be the end. But it motivates me knowing it’s my last season,” Cole Hernandez said. “We know we want to work hard, try to get to the spot where we can be the best we can be.”
The siblings say they are very competitive. For years they have challenged each other in sports, card games, board games, just about everything. As they were growing up, those competitive juices once led to a very interesting race.
“We used to fight about (playing) all the time and my dad said, ‘We’re done fighting about it. Let’s do a race around the house.'” Cole Hernandez said. “She beat me and I was super upset.”
Now they gladly pull for one another. And they are hoping to make this a memorable last month of the fall sports season at Normal West.