Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Sisters encourage each other

By CLINTON DICK, Herald Staff Writer | 6/19/2013

It isn’t hard to tell Brianna and Brittany Pfizenmaier are sisters by the way they look. It is their personalities that set them apart.

“We look the same. We’ve always got comments on that,” Ottawa High School senior Brianna said. “But we are completely different. I like to be outside a lot, and Brittany likes ‘Criminal Minds.’ She likes to cook, and I like to do the dishes.”

It isn’t hard to tell Brianna and Brittany Pfizenmaier are sisters by the way they look. It is their personalities that set them apart.

“We look the same. We’ve always got comments on that,” Ottawa High School senior Brianna said. “But we are completely different. I like to be outside a lot, and Brittany likes ‘Criminal Minds.’ She likes to cook, and I like to do the dishes.”

Those were just a few differences rattled off by the eldest Pfizenmaier. Brittany, who will be a sophomore in the fall, agreed about the differing characteristics.

“She likes to study and I like to be on my cell phone a lot,” Brittany said.

Even on the court — the two sisters, who have both played basketball since they were six ­— are distinguishable. Ottawa High School girls basketball coach Kelli Fischer said they have completely different demeanors.

“If you told Brianna to run through a wall during practice, she’d do it with a smile on her face and come back and say, ‘Thanks coach,’” Fischer, who was previously the assistant coach for the past two years, said. “Brittany would look at you and say, ‘Why do you want me to run through a wall?’ It is fun watching them grow as players. They both have a lot of energy.”

Both sisters use that energy in the plethora of athletics they each participate in for the Cyclones. Besides basketball, Brianna plays volleyball and soccer, while Brittany participated in volleyball and track.

The sisters last week attended the OHS girls team basketball camp.

“It was definitely a good reunion to see all the girls,” Brianna said. “You don’t get to see them a lot during the summer.”

The sisters hope to be on the same team at the varsity level this winter.

They played on the same teams in basketball camps, including a church camp last year and with an Ottawa Recreation Commission team at a young age.

The sisters may have their differences, but they attempt to make each other better through competition.

“We are very positive and encouraging,” Brittany said. “We push each other and we never get mad at each other on the court.”

Brianna agreed, “I think we have high expectations for each other. It is really cool seeing Brittany play. She has really surprised me with her endurance.”

Brittany can tell she is stepping into a new world on the basketball court.

“It is a little scary,” the sophomore said. “The players are all so big and can probably squash me, but coach Fischer pushes me and never gives up on us.”

The sisters and the rest of the team received pointers from Fischer’s college coach Dennis Darting.

“I’m excited to learn from coach Darting,” Brianna said. “He has a lot of knowledge and he can help give experience to an unexperienced team. We’ve also never came in during the summer before, which is good this year.”

Brianna plans to attend Benedictine College in Atchison to study Theology after her senior year and doesn’t figure to play collegiate sports.

Brianna and Brittany are the two oldest of four siblings in the Pfizenmaier family. Brandon, 13, and Brady, nine, are the younger brothers.

The sea of ‘B’ names doesn’t stop there. Bill and Brenda are the father and mother of a close family.

“We always eat together as a family,” Brittany said.

“The best way to describe my family is the other day I just started my job at Sirloin (Stockade) and I worked all day,” Brianna said. “My family all came for dinner and the waitress who was waiting them came in the back and asked me ‘You’re a church family aren’t you?’ and I said, ‘Yeah, thanks for noticing.’”

The Pfizenmaier family will have much to cheer for if the sister duo makes the cut come mid-November at tryouts.

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