Seeing double…make that triple…on the pitch

L-R: Illiana and Isabella Romero, Paige and Madison Ebanks, and Shataya and Shanaya Millwood.

It’s not that shocking to see a pair of twins suit up for the same team. But what about adding another pair to the mix? Or even a third pair (almost)? Well, that’s  what you’ll see when the young ladies of Elite Sports Club take the pitch in the CIFA U11 Girls League.

That’s right: three sets of twins. They’ve got Illiana and Isabella Romery, Paige and Madison Ebanks, and Shataya and Shanaya Millwood – who’re really two-thirds of a set of triplets. Count them. That’s six of seven players needed on the field at any given time and that’s been the case this past season.

Think that’s tough for opponents to keep track of? Spare a thought for the coach.

“When I first started coaching, I couldn’t tell them apart,” said Tyanna Jan, a senior player, who coached the youngsters for the first time this season. “I would just say a name and hope for the best. Sometimes I turn around and I’ll be like ‘yes, I got it correct’ or sometimes I would get a stare and a ‘that’s not my name’.”

As the season went on, knowing the players became easier. “With Illiana and Isabella, it’s a bit easier because one plays forward and the other plays defense, so they are definitely separated. Shataya and Shanaya, they play right and left back but you find them switching sides and Paige and Madison pay together in the middle. More often than not, they are right next to each other all the time. So, I have to really try hard to make them spread out and stay focused in their positions,” she said.

Ironically, the twins, as well, have issues identifying each other when they’re all on the field. “When the other twins are on the field, it makes it’s confusing and kind of weird,” said Paige. Isabella added: “It’s kind of confusing because they all look the same.”

As you might have guessed from their coach’s description, they all have personality. Take Shanaya and Shataya, for example. We couldn’t get them to agree who is the better player. To settle the argument, we decided to call it a tie but they each still insisted they each were better.

Isabela, made a point to let us know that she is older than Illiana by a minute, although the latter is several inches taller. Taking the “big sister” role a bit too seriously at times, she sometimes yells at her sister because “she doesn’t listen.”

Paige and Madison said they enjoyed playing together. “I like playing on the same team with her because we understand each other more and we can pass to each other and help each other score,” Madison said. Paige concurred: “Yes. It makes it a lot easier.”

They all get along well and have great team spirit. However, it’s not just on the weekend you can find them together. The all go to Sir John A Cumber Primary School where five of them are in the same class.

The twins and their Elite SC teammates play in the CIFA U11 Girls FA Cup Final against Savannah Tigers at 9:00 a.m. this Saturday (29 April, 2017).

Elite U11 Girls. Coaches Tyanna Jan and Brianna Poy-Fong in green.

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