Family affair is a net gain at Broadneck

September 27, 1994|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Sun Staff Writer

The only way Broadneck coach Leann Shuck can tell the Bajus triplets apart is by their soccer shoes.

Jenna is the one with the black soccer balls on her white shoe laces. Rachael is the one with jagged lightning-like white stripes on her shoes and Jessi has the black shoes and black laces.

"They're the hardest ones of all the sisters to identify," Shuck said.

Of all the sisters? Indeed, Broadneck girls soccer is peppered with sisters -- 14 females on the varsity and JV, including the Shucks, head coach Leann, assistant Jenn and Corinne, TC freshman on the JV. A fourth soccer-playing Shuck, Rachel, is on the way as a seventh-grader.

Call it Broadneck's answer to Severna Park's Sister Act. Or call it the Sister Connection.

"When I played at Broadneck, we always had pairs," said Jenn Shuck, who is awaiting the results of her Maryland bar exam. "Leann and I and others. But fourteen? This is a lot."

The Bajus, juniors playing on the varsity, plunged into soccer in the second grade in Annapolis, encouraged by their father, Dan.

Broadneck's twins, freshmen Fran and Vicki Schlossman, are relatively easy to tell apart. Leann Shuck says Vicki, a defender, always wears makeup and fusses with her hair, while Fran, who shuttles between the varsity and JV as a goalie, "has no concern for her hair, and it's a triumph when we get her to put it in a ponytail."

The Schlossmans began playing soccer in a Cape St. Claire program seven years ago. Fran became a goalie because nobody else would. She was all of 7.

"I went in and did well," Fran said. "Being a goalie takes a lot of work; they say only one person out of five can do it. You can't be scared of the ball. That makes me feel special."

The other Broadneck sisters are senior Kellee and freshman Jaime Flynn, senior Meghan and junior Molly Branning and senior Heather and sophomore Maria Conley.

Kellee Flynn was in gymnastics for eight years, grew weary of it and started in soccer as a freshman. Jaime has been in soccer all along.

The Brannings were born in San Mateo, Calif., and moved here four years ago. This is their third year on the varsity together.

"Coming to a new school, soccer made the transition easier," Meghan said. "All our friends play sports."

The Conleys, also products of the Cape St. Claire program and coached initially by their father, John, "have loved soccer from the first day," according to Heather. As is frequently the case, Maria followed big sister Heather into the sport.

The Shucks have been active in Cape St. Claire soccer since the family moved here 18 years ago from Alabama. Their father, Jim, began as Jenn's coach and still is coaching, currently working with Rachel. He also has coached at Broadneck, South River and Anne Arundel Community College, and for a while played on a men's rec team.

Leann, 25, and Jenn, 26, still are playing, and Leann is hobbling now with a torn knee ligament, "which serves me right for playing in a Sunday men's league."

When they played at Broadneck, Jen was an All-County wing and Leann the county's leading scorer as a striker. Both went on to Essex Community College and the University of Maryland.

Over the years, there has been an oft-heard comment in the Shuck household from Corinne and Rachel: "We'll go to Essex and Maryland, like Jen and Leann."

And then, perhaps, back to Broadneck to coach.

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