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HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS (Four)tunate careers blossom



Published: Sat, February 5, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Geauga County quadruplets so far earned all-conference honors in five sports.

KIRTLAND (AP) -- Football. Basketball. Track. Soccer. Cross country. Golf. The McNicholas quadruplets have done it all during their high school careers, nudging each other along the way they have for 18 years.

No one is surprised that Lindsay, Ryan, Brynn and Connor -- all born within 90 seconds of each other -- have teamed up so well.

"I've always said they were good at sports because they were so competitive," said their mother, Phyllis. "At home, they compete even for food. The mad dash for the garlic bread. That used to disappear no matter how many packages I made."

There's been more teamwork involved at Kirtland High School in Geagua County, where the quadruplets have combined to earn all-conference honors in five sports as well as statewide recognition in football, soccer, track and cross country.

"As much as we love to beat each other at sports, it also brings us together," Ryan said. "During the soccer, football and golf season, we'd have seven matches a week, at least. It was a way for us to bond. The number of games we've had through the years is just staggering, and it's helped us grow through the years."

They were born on Oct. 16, 1986, in Minneapolis. Kevin McNicholas, a sales and marketing executive, and Phyllis, a nurse, already had three sons. The family moved to Chicago and then to California before relocating to northern Ohio 10 years ago.

All are athletes

They've become well-known on their sports teams, making reputations for themselves and their family.

Ryan and two of his older brothers hold almost every school record for punting and kicking. Lindsay and Brynn played soccer, ran on an 800-meter relay team in a state track competition, and form their school's starting backcourt in basketball. Connor broke his leg severely in the eighth grade, limiting his sports options, but played basketball for one year and golf for four.

"I'm definitely a fan of the family," Connor said. "I almost enjoy it more, being in the stands, yelling and screaming, because it's a lot of fun and you get to cheer on your brothers and sisters."

The quadruplets also have excelled in academics.

"They've always been good kids," Kirtland athletics director Al Russ said. "They've been good citizens. If you wanted something done, they've been the kind of kids who step up."

Their high school careers will end in a few months, and the four of them will go their separate ways for the first time. They'll be as far apart as Michigan and California in college, a distance that will redefine their relationship.

"We want to get away from the idea of being quadruplets, but still love each other so much that when we come home, we have a great time," Ryan said.




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