Local coaches have been where Harbaughs now go
Wednesday, 30 January 2013 12:18

Fishell, Saradis sisters talk of sibling rivalries

by Bill Gates

    While there never has been anything like a Super Bowl on the line, Patapsco field hockey coach Emily (Fishell) Krich and Sparrows Point field hockey coach Ashly Fishell-Shaffer know what it’s like to look at the other sideline and see their sibling directing the opponent’s team.
    And the stakes are even higher. We’re talking about local bragging rights, here.
    Twin sisters Emily and Ashly have coached against each other for the past three years after being teammates at Patapsco High in the 1990s.
    Ashly’s team has won every game.
    “I don’t really approach it any differently than I do any other game,” Emily said. “However, I do feel it sometimes puts added pressure on my players.
    “They feel extra stress to play better because of the sibling rivalry, so I try to stress that it’s just another game and to do their best.”
    The past two years, the two teams have shared pizza after each game, a level of comradeship that possibly didn’t exist between the Patriots and Pointers prior to the sisters becoming coaches.

Unlike John and Jim Harbaugh, however, one of Emily and Ashley’s parents does not remain neutral: their mother is Emily’s assistant coach.
    “Mom takes it the hardest,” Emily said. “She is truly mad and gets very upset with Ashly, but it goes away after a day or two.”
    During the 2012 season, Sparrows Point clearly had the better team and beat Patapsco easily.
    In 2010 and 2011, however, Sparrows Point beat Patapsco four times with each game either going into overtime or being decided by one goal.
    When visiting their parents, Ashly would jokingly tease Emily about her team winning.
    “Then she asks Mom if she is really mad at her, and Mom says ‘yes!’,” Emily said. “I laugh, my dad laughs, and Ashly and Mom go back and forth for 10 minutes.”
    Sparrows Point coaches Vicki Saridis and Lindsay  (Saridis) Snyder are also twin sisters who, so far, coach at the same school.
    “We’ve never coached against each other, but I would imagine that being the ultimate competition,” Vicki said. “I do not envy the Harbaugh brothers for being in that situation, but at the same time, if you are going to lose a Super Bowl, at least you are losing to your sibling — or maybe that’s even worse?”
    And don’t think brothers would naturally be more competitive in athletics than sisters.
    Vicki graduated second in their high school class, and Lindsay was third by four-hundredths of a GPA point.
    “Everything was a competition,” Vicki said. “She was always the better basketball layer and I was always the better softball player, so we got various newspaper headlines and performance awards for our respective sports and we accepted that.”
    But, during basketball practice and faculty pickup basketball games, the Saridis sisters rarely guard each other when on opposing teams.
    “We are quite vicious to one another,” Vicki joked.
    Emily and Ashly also were competitive with each other while growing up, but it has been tempered a bit by adulthood.
    “As twins, you go through life trying to create your own identity and yet there is someone who people cannot help but compare you to constantly,” Emily said.
    “We compared everything when we were younger, but now as we are older and real life sets in, it all seems to be a moot point. We are both coaches, wives and mothers, and once you reach this point, life starts to become less and less about ‘us’ and more about the children we are raising and the ones we are influencing on the field.”