Athletics a driving force in a family bond


Illustration by Kody Kahle

Pictured: Left: Kelsey Laumann; Right: MacKenzie Laumann

Walking into the lobby, two girls sit on different couches some distance apart from each other. A feeling of fear creeps in at the thought of a profile on two people who don’t like one another.

After being escorted to another room, the dynamic changes as they sit closely and we begin to discuss their lives.

Kelsey and MacKenzie Laumann are like many students in that they are two sisters who both attend NKU, but unlike many siblings on campus, they both play sports.

Kelsey, 21, is a redshirt junior  forward for the women’s soccer team and MacKenzie, 19, is a sophomore member of the women’s golf team.

The two sisters also grew up with an older sister, Morgan, 22, and younger brother, Ben, 18.

While all of the siblings are close now, MacKenzie says that it used to not always be that way.

“Now that we’re all separated we all get along a lot better,” MacKenzie said.

The girls cited an incident of their indifference, referring to a time when they shared a room and MacKenzie took it upon herself to dismantle Kelsey’s bed and move it to a different room.

“I kicked her out because my brother moved down to the basement,” MacKenzie defended. “I thought maybe she wanted her space or something, but we’ve always been really close.”

Along with supporting each other more these days, both girls continue to receive a tremendous amount of support from their family.

Both girls discussed their parent’s constant attempts to be at every match and game that they can be at.

“If not one was there, the other was there,” Kelsey said.

While it often isn’t easy to make all of their games and matches, their mom, Susan Laumann, says it’s all worth it in the end.

“I really enjoy going to all of our kid’s events,” Susan said. “It’s really a blessing that they go to schools so close that we are able to make Kelsey’s home games.”

Being athletic runs in Kelsey and MacKenzie’s family bloodline as their dad, Chuck Laumann, is the coach of three sports, varsity girl’s soccer, varsity baseball, JV boy’s basketball, at Oak Hill High School, their sister Morgan was a cheerleader for the University of Cincinnati, and their brother Ben plays golf for Wright State University.

MacKenzie and Kelsey also both played basketball growing up before moving onto their respective sports. In their basketball days they did occasionally play on the same team.

“There were times when I’d do something stupid and she’d yell at me and I just wouldn’t say anything because she was the older sister,” recalled MacKenzie.

The Laumann siblings after their brother, Ben's, Senior Night in high school. Pictured: Front: Morgan Laumann; Back: Kelsey, Ben, and MacKenzie Laumann
Photo provided by Susan Laumann
The Laumann siblings after their brother, Ben’s, Senior Night in high school. Pictured: Front: Morgan Laumann; Back: Kelsey, Ben, and MacKenzie Laumann

After they were in high school both girls decided to focus in on one sport that they felt would better suit each of them.

MacKenzie said her reasoning for choosing golf came easy to her, as her short stature didn’t exactly work in her favor in basketball.

With both girls attending NKU and playing sports, there’s bound to be a sibling rivalry of sorts, but for MacKenzie and Kelsey the competition comes in a positive manner, according to Kelsey.

At the beginning of the 2014 soccer season, Kelsey was voted the Atlantic Sun Conference player of the year, thus giving MacKenzie a goal to achieve.

“I was like ‘Wow, now I got a lot to do,’” MacKenzie said. “So that pushes me to do better, so she definitely sets the bar high… in a good way.”

With a very different environment established by the end of the interview, it’s clear that there was no need for panic in the beginning as the two girls who sat apart from each other are about as close as sisters come.

“She’s my sister but she’s pretty much my best friend,” MacKenzie stated with an interjection of “Jeez!” from Kelsey and a quick “You knew that!” in response.