Once they graduated from Batavia High School, and got out of each other's hair, sisters Libby and Hillary Cooper headed to different Division I colleges to play soccer.
Opposites apparently aren't the only ones who attract. Libby, a senior, transferred after her freshman year at Wisconsin-Milwaukee to Lewis University, where she's now a senior forward. Hillary, a year younger, went to Eastern Kentucky and a year later she too transferred to Lewis in Romeoville.
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"The reason I transferred was I wanted to be closer to home," said Hillary, who went to defense after playing forward as a sophomore. "Libby talked about how she really liked the school and I figured I would, too. I'm really enjoying it ... I like to see my parents (Jim and Jerri) every weekend, go home once in awhile."
Libby greased the skids.
"I just kind of helped her make contacts with the coach (Chris Koenig) to see if she could come on campus and check it out," Libby said. "She made this decision by herself. She was unhappy down there and I think she was looking for an alternative."
In Libby's case, she'd been an honor roll student every semester at Batavia. The larger class sizes at Wisconsin-Milwaukee were a little intimidating.
"I can't learn when there's 300 kids in the class," she said. Libby has since earned Academic All-Great Lakes Valley Conference and, what's more, was named a recipient of Lewis University's Delahanty Award for student-athletes. She's studying marketing and will graduate this fall or winter.
The sisters hope for a better season than last year, when the Flyers finished one spot out of the GLVC tournament at 6-8-1 in conference and 6-9-1 overall. Five games they lost in overtime, including the last three straight.
"I'm pretty excited," Hillary said. "I think it's going to be a good year."
Lewis started out 3-0 and is now 4-2 entering Friday's game at Kentucky Wesleyan. Also playing for Lewis are freshmen Jordyn Cikesh of Batavia and Jessica Saffell of West Aurora.
The Cooper sisters -- there's also a third, older sister Cate Drake -- were mainly club players who teamed up only one season at Batavia, Libby's senior year.
The girls say their proximity hasn't altered their relationship, other than the familiarity they share on the soccer field.
"We've been close in age and close in everything, so there wasn't much room to get closer," Hillary said.
They may be a good thing. Both women mentioned sisterly spats that teammates often find "comical" and which pass quickly. At least they don't share a roof as in Batavia; Libby lives on-campus, Hillary off.
"It's no different than any other time," Libby said. "It's not as drastic as it would be at home, because we're not on top of each other."
Not par for the course
This fall is the first time in Jim Parker's eight years as Aurora Central Catholic boys golf coach that a football player switched over to golf his senior year.
But there at tryouts was former Chargers offensive lineman and linebacker, Pat Marcoux.
"I said I'd probably have to cut and he'd have to be good enough to make the team," Parker said. "And he was."
Marcoux, a senior listed on last season's football roster as 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds -- he's dropped about 15 pounds without the football training, Parker said -- currently is ACC's No. 3 varsity golfer. Averaging about 46 shots for nine holes, Marcoux follows juniors Sean Harreld and Daniel Miller. Last Saturday Marcoux carded his best 18-hole score of the season at the ACC Invitational at Phillips Park, a 90.
"Not having put the time in, having been a football player all those years, that's hurt him a little bit, but he's working at it," said Parker, who said Marcoux may apply to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Parker taught him in calculus last year and called him a "great kid." He said the likable Marcoux has fit in fine with the rest of the golf team.
Last fall Marcoux started on the offensive line for the Chargers football team, playing all nine games. On defense he made 35 tackles with 10 tackles for loss. His 3 sacks all came in the 2011 opener against Rockford Lutheran.
Obviously a strong boy, he drives tee shots about 250, 260 yards -- but has the same bugaboo as most golfers.
"His short game is costing him strokes, but that's the case for a lot of people," Parker said.
Flash some leather
The Bulls/Sox Academy, in conjunction with the White Sox, is collecting new and used baseball gloves to donate to Chicago youngsters in the Inner City Youth Baseball League.
If you plan to be in the area through Saturday (the "Gift of Glove" drive ends Sunday) and have an unused glove looking for some action, drop it off at the Academy in Lisle or one of the satellite facilities in Glen Ellyn, LaGrange or even Schererville, Ind.
The individual who donates the most gloves, at each of the four locations, will win four tickets to the Sept. 28 White Sox game against the Devil Rays, where they will meet a White Sox player during pregame and receive an autographed jersey.
Visit BullsSoxAcademy.com for details and directions.
The Don Beebe Multimedia Tour
It's not like Aurora Christian football coach Don Beebe is busy or anything.
In addition to coaching the defending state champion and current No. 1 team in Class 3A, the former NFL receiver flies around the country opening House of Speed sports training locations.
He also recently finished contributing his second biography, "Six Rings from Nowhere," written by Sun-Times Media's Denise Crosby -- mother of Casey Crosby of the Detroit Tigers' organization and a Kaneland High School graduate like Beebe.
"It's my life story going from a construction worker to an NFL football player in a matter of a year," Beebe said. "Being a team's first pick in the NFL Draft from pounding nails in less than 24 months is a remarkable story, really. It tells about ups and downs, a never-giving-up attitude."
Beebe has several book signings scheduled, starting Sunday at a Franklin Graham Festival in Buffalo; Graham is the son of evangelist Billy Graham. In early December he'll have another signing at a House of Speed in Green Bay, his other NFL city. He's planning on another signing later, in North Carolina.
"Six Rings from Nowhere" will at least initially be available at the coach's website, donbeebe.com, and houseofspeed.com.
Not only that, Beebe has been filming an hourlong documentary of his famous strip of Dallas Cowboy Leon Lett in Super Bowl 27. This February will be the 20th anniversary of "The Play," and to get "the inside story" of it he's filmed at Northern Illinois University, at Aurora Christian and even at Beebe's house interviewing his parents and Lett.
"It's just telling kids about never giving up and persevering in life, just centered around that play," Beebe said.