Archive for Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Tait: Stepping into the limelight

February 6, 2008


Rosie Hull has been through this before.

Three years ago, as a freshman at West Junior High, Hull watched as twin sister Maggie was injured during Free State High's softball season. Maggie missed the rest of the year. Rosie went on to earn second-team all-Sunflower League honors.

The very next year, however, as sophomores at Free State, both Hulls were back in action and Maggie returned to the spotlight, sending Rosie to the shadows.

Maggie earned all-state honors after her sophomore season and quickly became one of the most well-known, up-and-coming softball players in the state. Rosie simply became known as "Maggie's twin sister."

"Watching her get a hit every time she came up to bat was not always easy for me," Rosie said. "When you're a twin, you try not to compete with each other but it's really hard not to. For us, we're as close as it gets, but Maggie just always had more confidence and that opened up more opportunities for her."

That held true in softball, basketball and most social circles, and Rosie tried not to let it get her down.

This year, when Maggie was named the starting point guard for the Free State girls basketball team, Rosie sat back and wondered quietly how she could make her mark. At first, she couldn't.

Her mind was sharper than that of most girls on her team, but transferring her thoughts and knowledge of the game to her hands and feet wasn't always easy.

Then, during the second half of the Firebirds' first-round victory over Hutchinson in the Firebird Winter Classic basketball tournament last month, Maggie went down again. This time it was torn ACL and Maggie was finished for the season.

Without a moment of hesitation, Rosie jumped in to take her place.

Who knew that all this time, as the Firebirds struggled to find their way through the first half of the season, a capable and skilled ball-handler sat on the Free State bench?

Truth is, nobody knew. Not FSHS coach Bryan Duncan, not Free State's upperclassmen, not even the team's new starting point guard herself.

"To be honest, it has been a surprise," Rosie said. "When Maggie first went down, I wasn't really sure if I could handle it. But all you need is minutes under your belt."

And a light to brighten your shadow.

Both twins admit that Maggie often overshadowed Rosie when it came to athletics. But both have been more than happy to see the older of the two - by two full minutes - shine in her place.

"Last year I was fortunate enough to earn all-state and all-metro honors," Maggie said. "I've had my time, and it's Rosie's chance now. What better time to do it than with me sitting out."

In the four games since her sister went down, Rosie has been a completely different player than before. She's more confident than ever and has proven to be a fantastic leader. She also has flashed the ability to get her teammates in the right spots and create opportunities for herself.

In a double-overtime loss to Shawnee Mission South last Friday, Hull shook a defender at the top of the key drove to her left and hit a runner in the lane with her off hand.

If she's this confident playing basketball, just imagine what she'll do this spring on the softball diamond.


mom_of_three 9 years, 10 months ago

The girls are something to watch on the softball field. What great athletes.

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