NEWBURYPORT — Tensions are getting tense in the Bartol household again.
Late for field hockey practice one day last year, Newburyport’s Emma Bartol grabbed one of her younger sister Delaney’s sweatshirts and headed out. She had no idea what she was in for.
“It said ‘Bad Dogs’ on it,” Emma said of the offending sweatshirt, which was emblazoned with the girls soccer team’s nickname. “My team wasn’t too happy.”
Needless to say, Emma got a hard time from her teammates. But it’s nothing compared to what she endures from Delaney when she gets home during the fall season.
“That’s the only thing we fight about,” said Emma. “Because there has always been this rivalry between soccer and field hockey. They call themselves the Bad Dogs. We call ourselves the Clippers. It can get pretty awkward. We argue and my parents have to calm us down. She thinks that soccer takes more skill and I think that field hockey does. It gets real heated.”
Currently a senior center-forward and co-captain (along with Mary Pettigrew and Molly Stanton) for the Clippers field hockey team, Emma now vies for her parents’ attention with her sophomore soccer-playing sister. Delaney played outside-back as one of only four freshmen Bad Dogs last year in a program with a long and storied history, tallying nine assists along the way.
“We fight sometimes,” said Emma. “But when it comes down to it, she’s my sister.”
Things weren’t always like this for the sisters.
“When I was little and (Emma) was playing soccer, we used to play together,” said Delaney. “Because my dad (Todd) was the coach, and he would let me play with her, which was a lot of fun.”
Field hockey eventually called out to Emma when she reached high school, while Delaney remained on the pitch.