story by Carlos Molina
Many sports have their fair share of siblings playing side-by-side.
From tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams, to football’s Eli and Peyton Manning, playing with (or against) a sibling can help create a chemistry (or an advantage) between the two.
Jeffersonville High School’s Kurtis and Konner Kimmel fit that same category — the brothers both play Varsity soccer together for the JHS soccer team.
Growing up, Konner and Kurtis played on the same club soccer team (Javanon Soccer Club) for years. Since then, they’ve teamed up a couple of times on a 3-on-3 indoor team at Mockingbird Valley in Louisville, but have never played in anything more than recreational soccer together.
Despite this season being the first time the duo has shared a team on an organized squad, they have a pretty good idea of each other’s chemistry.
“He knows how I play and I know how he plays,” Kurtis said. “ I can always count on him to know what run I’m making and get me the ball.”
Konner, a freshman, agreed with his older brother.
“I am excited about playing with my brother because it is the first time I have gotten to play on the same team as him,” Konner said
With this being Kurtis’ last year as a decorated Red Devil footballer, Konner will have big shoes to fit. As a freshman, though, he is already showing big promise, as he is one of just two starting freshmen on this years Varsity team.
Boys soccer head coach Carson Webb has been there every step of the way with the Kimmel brothers, and sees the link between the two.
“Konner’s very competitive. He’s got his own drive,” Webb said. “They’re three years apart, but they know what they’re doing. Being on a high school team, they know where each other are going to be, (which) makes it neat to watch from the sideline.”
Despite being the older brother, Kurtis sees the potential in Konner’s game, but still claims to be the top dog in the family.
“Konner’s technique is exceptional for his age,” Kurtis said. “I think it’ll take some time before he develops vision and decision-making that I have.”
Being a senior, the role of team captain was awarded to Kurtis. A four-year starter, his involvement and dedication led to the honor.
For Konner, his career is just starting to take shape, and will continue even after his brother graduates.
“I think (Konner) will miss his brother like anyone else, but I also think he’ll step up and it’ll be good for him to be his own person instead of living under Kurtis’ shadow,” Webb said.
As the season comes to an end, so is Kurtis’ high school soccer career. With his departure, also comes Konner’s era to lead the team.
“I have always looked up go my brother,” Konner said. “Watching him play, I would like to learn how to be a team leader and improve the players around me.”