CHS sports are a family affair


Photo courtesy of Louis Avena.

Mia Gallo

Family history and upbringings play a part in what sports students choose to pursue throughout high school and beyond. While there may not be families of the caliber of the Mannings at CHS, athleticism is definitely passed down from generation to generation in some CHS families.

Some students develop the passion for their sport on their own while others are born into an athletic family and playing sports was just a given. For sophomore Kyle Wheeler of Wall and junior Matthew Avena of Middletown, they have experienced the latter first hand.

Wheeler attributed his choice of sport to his family. Since all of his siblings – two of whom are CHS alumni – and cousins played soccer, it was natural for him to take up the sport as well. His sister, Allie Wheeler, Class of 2016, and his brother, Michael Wheeler, Class of 2015, were big influences in Kyle’s athletic career.

“I want to succeed in soccer because I want to be better than my siblings,” Kyle Wheeler said.

Kyle Wheeler also mentioned that this sport brings his family closer. He said that whenever they are together, all of his siblings and cousins always play soccer together, which helps them bond. But athleticism is not a new trait of his family.

“A lot of past generations in my family have been athletic because on my mom’s side both of my grandparents played hockey,” Kyle Wheeler said.

Avena has soccer in his blood as well. Avena’s parents signed him up for soccer at a young age, and he continued to play.

“[My family] always push me and try to help me do my best,” Avena said.

Avena also talked about how soccer is a bonding activity for his family. Since Avena’s brother, Louis Avena, Class of 2016, and all of his cousins play or have played the sport they sometimes go to a field and play together. Matthew Avena feels as though it’s a good way to spend time with family while partaking in a common interest.

But for some students, like sophomore Grace Treshock of Monmouth Beach, the sports their siblings play didn’t necessarily influence their decision to start playing their sport. Treshock plays tennis now but said that during her childhood she played recreational basketball because her older brother did. Her brother was always the tallest and biggest man on the basketball court, leaving Treshock with some metaphorically and physically large shoes to fill. And since Treshock was just your average height forward not a monstrous center, she ventured out to other sports, such as tennis. As soon as Treshock began to play tennis, basketball was no longer a blimp on her radar.

“When I started playing tennis, I never looked back on basketball,” Treshock said.

When they were younger, basketball was one of Treshock and her brother’s easiest ways to bond. Now that they are older, there are other topics that they can discuss while basketball is still one of them.

Many students at CHS, such as Kyle Wheeler and Matthew Avena, have older siblings who went to CHS as well that play a large role in their athletic careers. Also some students, like Grace Treshock, decided to deviate from the path their family had laid out for them.