They are similar, yet different.
Ben Easton and Katie Easton are twins who love to spend time with family and friends.
They strive to succeed academically and athletically as seniors at Archbishop Hoban High School.
The Eastons, 18, are articulate and engaging, and both have created their own niche as soccer players who participate in several other activities.
“Katie and Ben are exemplarily Hoban student-athletes in every way,” Hoban Executive Director of Advancement and Athletics Michael Del Medico said. “They are very coachable and they are very involved in school. They are a couple of kids that we use as ambassadors when we have other students visiting. They understand what our mission is about. They are a great example of the Holy Cross values that we teach here.”
Ben and Katie, Wadsworth residents, are in their fourth year as varsity soccer players. Both are National Honors Society members who also volunteer in the community.
Ben is a 5-foot-8 outside midfielder-forward. He is in his third year as a starter.
“From a sports perspective in soccer, I like to be quick and clever when I can,” Ben said. “I am not as physical, ironically, even though I am the guy. I always like to make a quick move around a player. I use my speed when I can. Katie is really good at bodying up. For some reason, I never really got used to it. I have always had that way of playing. Katie is really good at establishing her position.”
Katie is 5-foot-3½ and seven minutes older than her brother. She is in her fourth year starting and mostly plays center midfield, but also can play sweeper and forward.
“I like sprinting in and running up for the headers and making contact,” Katie said. “I am definitely the social butterfly. I love going out and being with my friends. Ben likes reading. He still has a core group of friends that always come over. He likes to be a homebody and I like going out every Friday and being front row at the football games. That is where we are different, but we do have the same core group of friends.”
The siblings enjoy being twins. They attended Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Wadsworth prior to Hoban and are close friends.
Academics come first
Ben is at the top of class academically with a 4.47 grade-point average and Katie is near the top with a 3.93 grade-point average.
“I was a chaperone on a trip to Italy for two weeks and I got to know Katie more,” Hoban Associate Principal for Student Services Kevin Hillery said. “She is a bright personality. She has a huge smile and is always upbeat. Ben is a little more serious. He is also a very pleasant personality. He is a little more intense. They are focused and super involved. If you had a school full of kids like the Easton twins, you would have a pretty great school.”
The twins learned to balance school and sports through their parents, Tricia and Chris Easton, and older brother, Joe, 22, who is a 2010 Hoban graduate and a senior at Notre Dame.
“I give credit to their brother,” Tricia Easton said. “He has really good study habits and he has a positive attitude. He is such a good example for them. He would always come home and get his homework and studies done right away. They saw that and followed it.”
The Eastons hosted a Chilean student for six weeks last school year and then Ben was an exchange student in Santiago, Chile, for four weeks this past summer. He also went on a mission trip to Ghana, and he and Katie have plans to travel to Honduras for school.
Ben is interested in studying English, literature and philosophy in college, and is open to coaching soccer at the youth level someday.
“I am looking to apply to Notre Dame and I am also applying to Stanford, Duke and Wake Forest,” Ben said. “No. 1, would be getting into Stanford, but that might be a reach because it is really hard to get into on the West Coast. No. 2 is Notre Dame, and that is a really close second. Joey is there. If I can go there, I would love it.”
Katie is interested in studying Physical Therapy or Education in college, with plans to possibly be a high school teacher and soccer coach.
“I really love Miami (Ohio) University, Dayton and Ohio University,” Katie said. “I don’t think I would play [Division I soccer]. I want to focus on academics and the rest of my life. I would probably play club. Miami is my first choice, just to be to a student. If I do decide I want to play soccer, I would want to go to a school like Walsh University or Ohio Dominican.”
Ben loves to read, write for the school newspaper the Visor and play piano and guitar.
“We both love music and movies, it is just the kind,” Ben said. “That is where you get the differences. I am a big Woody Allen fan in terms of films. I like Jack Johnson and John Mayer, mellow type of music and rock. Katie is into the party music. She associates that music with dancing and the high school life.”
Katie loves to sing, and has been in musicals since fourth grade. She has performed in three Hoban productions, including playing the lead role Red Riding Hood in Into the Woods.
“Katie is just outstanding at everything she does,” Hoban girls soccer coach Patrick Dobbins said. “She is a very good student, and an a extremely good captain. She is a good motivator for the girls. She leads not only by her voice, but also by example. What bad can you say about Katie? She has an infectious personality and always has a big smile on her face. … She is a tireless hard worker and a quality player. Her work ethic doesn’t stop. Even in a cool down lap, she is pushing it.”
Katie has four goals this season for the Knights, who are 9-0-1 overall and 2-0-0 in the North Coast League. She is a tri-captain with seniors Natalie Comeriato and Mykaela Zingale. Senior Maddie Diestel and sophomores Alex Sheldon, Ashley Dobbins and Madeline Grosklos have also been efficient.
Ben has six goals for a Knights boys team (6-2-1, 1-0-1) that includes talented seniors Jordan Sarver, Ben Naragon, Andrew Markowski and Michael Londa and up-and-coming juniors Christopher Thomas and Matty McGee.
“Ben is an outstanding player all these three years that we have been together,” Hoban boys soccer coach Tavi Muresan said. “Any coach is very happy to have a player like him. He is intelligent with excellent technical and tactical ability. He has a good understanding of the game and amazing speed. Ben is like Landon Donovan on the [United States] national team. He is that type of player in terms of playing ability and intelligence. Any coach would like to have a player like Ben.”
Parents’ busy schedule
Ben and Katie’s school and soccer schedules keep their parents busy.
“We divide and conquer and we are also lucky enough to have grandparents who help us out,” Chris Easton said. “My father, Bob, and Tricia’s parents, Lou and Joan, go to a lot of games. They support the kids. The scheduling conflicts are not that bad.”
Chris, who is originally from western New York, moved to Akron as a teenager due to his father’s job with Goodyear. Chris graduated from Firestone and earned degrees from Ohio and Akron. He is the service director in Wadsworth.
Tricia is a graduate of Wadsworth, Bowling Green and Akron. She is an accounting manager for an engineering firm in the area.
“There is always a parent at one of the games and most of the time we can both go,” Tricia said. “We have had two conflicts this season and they were this past week.”
The conflicts are minimal as they get to see their twins have fun on a consistent basis.
“In a sometimes typical week boys will play Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, and girls will play Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday,” Chris said. “If you go to the football game Friday night, then you are going to a stadium Monday, Tuesday Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. You get used to being there. We love it. It is really a blessing to watch your children have fun.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.