Familial tensions around sports are nothing new, but one Kentucky family may have taken that concept to another level in late April.
According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, the baseball game between Bryan Station (Kent.) High and Henry Clay (Kent.) High featured three different members of the merged Curtsinger clan. Tim Curtsinger, the familial patriarch, served as public address announcer for the game, providing a certain level of impartiality. When he announced Bryan Station's batters, one of the hitters who came to the plate was his son, Nathan Curtsinger. When Henry Clay hit, one of the batters was his stepson, James Hendron.
Between Tim Curtsinger and his wife, Tracy, were left with a complete range of emotions by the time the game ended in a 2-1 victory for Bryan Station, which rallied for the win after trailing in the bottom of the seventh inning.
"I felt bad for Henry Clay, and James was heartbroken," Tracy Curtsinger told the Herald-Leader. "But I was happy for Nathan. I congratulated him and gave him a hug."
While the one-off face-off left one of the stepbrothers heartbroken, the duo agreed that the rest of the time the entire family lives in harmony, cheering each other along. The only exception has come when Henry Clay and Bryan Station play each other, a scenario which brings a weeklong ban on baseball talk in the Curtsinger house.
The same rules apply for fall football, where the seniors also faced each other. Perhaps fittingly, both wear jersey number 32 on the football field.
Any of the natural tensions between step-siblings are alleviated in the Curtsinger household because of the pair's prior relationship with each other. The two were friends and tee-ball teammates in the youth and provided little resistance to their parents when the two married in 2000.
Now the two teens will never compete against each other again, and future inter-sibling competition is also all but offlimits. Both Austin Hendron (sophomore) and Bryce Curtsinger (freshman) attend Bryan Station.
"We cheer for each other when we're not playing each other," Nathan Curtsinger told the Herald-Leader. "Whoever wins when we do play, we look at it as bragging rights till the next game. But most of all that gets left at the ball park."