Family's football rivalry: hotter by a few degrees

The mother said her loyalties will lie with whomever she is talking to at the time.
& lt;a & gt;By SHERRI L. SHAULIS & lt;/a & gt;
HUBBARD -- Anne Kerpsack is struggling with what to wear. Should she lean more toward scarlet and gray, or opt for orange, green and white?
Kerpsack, the mother of five Canfield High School graduates, watched her children pack up after graduation and head to college.
Three children graduated from Ohio State University and two got their degrees from the University of Miami.
Friday, she faces a major crisis: who to root for when the two school square off in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Championship football game.
"This is a first," said Kerpsack. "It's easy for them; they already know who they are rooting for. I'm the one who has to choose."
How it started
The school traditions for the family started with their father, Dr. Robert Kerpsack, who owns and operates the Kerpsack Veterinary Clinic on South Meridian Road. Anne said her former husband received his bachelor's degree from OSU and stayed on to graduate from the School of Veterinary Medicine.
The couple's son, Robert Jr., graduated from OSU in 1983 and works as an attorney in Columbus.
The tradition of Buckeyes in the family continued with Steve, who graduated from OSU in 1987 and from the School of Veterinary Medicine in 1991. He lives and works as a veterinarian in Austin, Texas.
Jim is a 1994 graduate of OSU and works as chief resident of orthopedics at Mount Carmel Hospital in Columbus.
The other Kerpsack children shifted their allegiance, however, with Heidi Kerpsack Murphy graduating from the University of Miami in 1984. The former Hurricane cheerleader now works as a flight attendant for American Airlines and lives in Grayslake, Ill., with her husband, Mark Murphy, who attended OSU.
Finally, there is Joe, a 1990 graduate from the University of Miami, who lives in Salem and works as an obstetrician and gynecologist at Salem Community Hospital.
Won't be together
The children's mother said at first it didn't occur to anyone in the family that the schools they are loyal to would face off in the biggest college football game of the year.
"We were all together for Thanksgiving and started talking about it then," she said. "The two teams haven't played each other in all these years, and now we have to choose who to cheer on."
Kerpsack said the family was disappointed that it wouldn't be together to watch the game, but she said she expects the phone calls to keep them busy that day. She will be in Texas, visiting with Steve and watching the game with him.
"I think it will just be kind of fun," she said. "I have shirts from both schools, but I don't know which one to wear."
Loyalties will shift
Kerpsack, who was accepted to the University of Miami when she was a teenager but didn't attend, said her loyalties during the game will shift, most likely depending on which child she is talking to and which team has the ball.
"I'm going to have to find a way to root for them both," she said.
The No. 1 Miami Hurricanes and the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes will battle it out at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., for bragging rights as best college team in the country. The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl will air on ABC at 8 p.m. Friday.
& lt;a & gt; & lt;/a & gt;

Subscribe Today

Sign up for our email newsletter to receive daily news.

Want more? Click here to subscribe to either the Print or Digital Editions.