Maggie and Jamie Fries are seniors at Oley Valley High School, and members of the Oley field hockey team. The fraternal twins are very close, and will remain close when they go off to college together. On March 31, both signed their national letter of intent to attend Kent State University to continue their academic and field hockey careers.
Maggie is going as an undecided major, but she would like to work in the health field. However, the business field is an option for her.
Jamie will major in bio-chemistry in order to become a pharmacist. Their mother, Jean, is a pharmacist, so Jamie decided to follow in her foot steps.
“It (the college search) was stressful, but once you figured out and narrowed it down to a few schools, it got a little bit easier,” said Jamie. “You went to visit and you got to learn about the coaches and the team. That made the decision easy for me.”
Maggie said that she and her sister didn’t go out with the plan that they would definitely go to the same school. It just turned out that Kent State was a good fit for bothof them.
In fact, Maggie wasn’t even sure if she wanted to go to the same college as her sister. She admits that, like most sisters, don’t always get along.
“We weren’t really into going to school together, but it kind of happened,” said Maggie.
Jamie also said that it wasn’t the original plan, but as they continued to look at colleges, they thought that it also made it easier for their parents going to the same school to watch their daughters play field hockey, and not go in two different directions.
“It brings a little bit of home with you,” said Jamie. “You’re not as home sick and you have a friend going into college with you, which, in the end, is why we chose to go to school together.”
Why Kent State? For Maggie, it’s not too far away from home, but it’s far enough from home. She liked the campus and they have a lot of tutors to help athletes keep up with their studies. Maggie also liked the coaches and the team because they were all very welcoming.
The coach of the Golden Flash is Kathleen Wiler, whose team went 8-11 during the 2013 season, and lost to Central Michigan in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) playoffs, 3-1. The two had a chance to visit with their future coaches and teammates.
“They were accepting of your questions and they were very knowledgeable,” said Jamie.
“They also made it aware that academics are always more important than athletics,” said Maggie.
Maggie noticed that the team wasn’t very cliquish, and they were all one big happy family.
“When we got there, they made us feel at home,” said Jamie. “I felt like the team was like my high school team. Our high school team bonded well together, and so does the team at Kent. They all have close relationships and I was excited to be a part of that.”
“They kind of remind me of my team. They all care about each other,” said Maggie. “They’re not in it for themselves, they’re working as a team. The campus isn’t really small, but it’s not really big. It made me think of Oley.”
The jump from high school to D-1 college field hockey is huge. Just working to earn playing time will be tough. Both admit to being a little nervous about the jump.
“I’m excited to start fresh and starting a new life, because Oley is so small,” said Jamie. “You know everyone in Oley, but now it will be good to start over again and meet new people.”
“I’m just excited to pursue my dream and see where it takes me,” said Jamie.
“I’m excited to start a new chapter in my life,” said Maggie. “No one is really going to know me. They won’t know that I’m a twin and I can be my own individual person.”