They may only be 17, but Amy Rickel and Rebecca Sharp already have spent more than a decade as best friends — and most of that friendship has played out as teammates on the soccer field and the volleyball court.
On Thursday night, Rickel — a senior and varsity volleyball player at Meadowdale High School – and Sharp — a senior on the volleyball varsity squad at Edmonds-Woodway — will mark a milestone in their friendship: They will face off for the last time as cross-town rivals, when the Wesco 3A Mavs meet the 4A Warriors in a non-league match at Meadowdale.
Ironically, during their 11-year friendship, which began in first grade as members of the same Brownie troop, high school is the only time that they have been on opposing teams. Starting in 2003, when the two second graders played soccer together for the first time as the “Shoccers,” they have been on every team together — not only soccer but softball, basketball and — for the past five years — on the same club (select league) volleyball team.
Sharp’s mom, Debbie, noted that the girls always made it known to coaches during tryouts that “they were a package deal.” And now that the two high school seniors are looking at college choices, it’s no surprise that they are hoping to attend the same school — and even become roommates.
“We made visits together in the past year,” Rickel said.
“University of Portland is our favorite,” Sharp added.
Both girls say they don’t plan to participate in sports other than intramurals when they get into college, which makes playing this final game in the same gym bittersweet.
According to Debbie Sharp, those feelings extend to the girls’ respective moms and dads. On Thursday night, “all four of the parents will be crying in stands,” she said.