Sibling rivalry not just for the Super Bowl

Photo provided by Alaura McKemie
Photo provided by Alaura McKemie

Alaura McKemie (left) and her sister Aly like the challenge of competing against each other.

By Samantha Morrison

Staff writer

Sibling rivalry in the sports world is kind of hard to miss: Eli and Peyton Manning, Venus and Serena Williams. And, heading into the Super Bowl this Sunday, also dubbed the “Harbowl,” the spotlight is on the Harboughs, Jim who coaches the San Francisco 49ers and John who coaches the Baltimore Ravens.

Rivalries of a similar nature run deep at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, whether it’s sisters who attend SMWC at the same time and play the same sport, or siblings who compete academically.

As the Harbough sibling dynamic is examined by sports writers and others in the media, it brings common themes to light: outwitting, outplaying and more. But, what happens after the competition? Hard feelings or not?

Competitiveness between siblings varies depending on the relationship they share. Meet three pairs of SMWC siblings – the Luetholds, the Watsons and the McKemies – and learn how they handle the competition.

Sisters Kayla Leuthold, who graduated in 2012, and current student Paige Leuthold played on the same soccer team for four years, two in high school and two in college. They not only competed with each other every practice but even at times in games.

“It’s exhausting at times,” says Paige.

The age-old desire to meet your own expectations and be better than your sibling can push competition outside of events like sports.

Current SMWC students and roommates Cortney and Katelyn Watson find competition through video games, grades, and family debates. The Watsons are also identical twins. Luckily one has long hair and one has short hair, lessening confusion over who is who.

When competing with a sibling it becomes easier to discover the other’s strengths and weaknesses. Especially when they finish each other’s sentences and often say the same thing at the same time, as the Watsons did during their interview for this story.

Strategies evolve and new tricks are needed to outdo the other. Put into simpler terms, “you need to update the play book,” says Katelyn.

Now that they are juniors, the Watson’s have less of a rivalry in areas of study. Katelyn is focusing more on writing, while Cortney is focusing on Graphic Design.

Being in constant competition has its positives and negatives, according to Alaura McKemie, current SMWC student and Pomeroy basketball player, when explaining her rivalry with her sister, Aly.

During an interview with Alaura in person and Aly on a video call, they often challenged each other’s answers, showing competitiveness doesn’t stop off the court.

Alaura says she likes “kicking [Aly’s] butt, b-u-t-t, watching her suffer and get really mad” when she loses.

Aly shared a similar favorite aspect about competing with Alaura, stating she enjoys the “satisfaction [of] rubbing it in her face.”

But no one wins all the time.

Gloating and feeling upset are common downsides to sibling rivalry, especially when they compete against each other all the time. Losing to a sibling can be more upsetting to some, but not to Alaura. She feels that if she must lose, she would rather it be to Aly.

Hopefully the Harbaugh brothers feel the same way. Catch the game on CBS this Sunday. Kickoff of the “Harbowl” will be 6:30 p.m. EST.

Got a story to share? Send your story of a sibling rivalry to Elaine Yaw, adviser to The Woods, at



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