Oct. 8, 2012
***The following piece appeared in the Oct. 6 game program.***
HUNTINGTON - No you're not seeing double but it might seem like it with all the twins and siblings that are currently playing in a Marshall uniform.
There are four sets of twins and three set of siblings that take the field, court, course and pitch for the Thundering Herd. The seven pairs might be an unofficial record at Marshall and it is definitely an eye-opener.
Marshall in the past has had its fair share of twins and siblings but nothing like what is seen in 2012.
Football had the Merrick brothers, David and Willy that played together from 1991-92. Softball had twins Amanda and Jessica Williams suit up from 2003-06 and cross country had a brother pair run for them two years ago in Adam Frohnapfel, who has now graduated ran with his brother, a junior currently, Eric.
The current twin and sibling count includes the very notable Fro-to-Fro, quarterback to tight end connection of Blake and Eric Frophnapfel (and no they are not connected to the cross country Frohnapfels).
Andre and Andrea Snipes-Booker are twins playing football and volleyball respectively. Celia and Zoe Leonard are twins running for Jeff Small's cross country squad. And rounding out the Herd twins are women's golfers Caitlyn and Kristyn Morrone.
In the sisters category Kelly and Kristine Cullicerto are currently donning the green and white for Kevin Long and the women's soccer squad. Samantha and Megan DiDomenico are sisters on the women's golf team while sophomore Kristina Braxton has been joined by her younger sister and freshman Shaelynn Braxton on the softball team.
Back to the Morrone golfers. They might be the most unique duo to play at Marshall and that's because they compete on a team that doesn't have many spots (only nine make the spring roster).
The Pinehurst, N.C. natives came to Marshall via Texarkana Junior College and Kristyn said the decision to come to Marshall was easy because it was the only school willing to take both.
"We had a few schools that were interested in us, and our junior college coaches told us we would have to split up, but Marshall was the only school that was interested in both of us and had the spots for each of us," Kristyn said. "Most schools could only take one of us because of the size of the team."
The opportunity to play and going to school with your twin and siblings is also a big plus.
"It's really good to have someone at school that is in your family and it helps you not get homesick," Kristyn said. "It's really nice to be able to play together."
The Morrone's head coach, Meredith Knight-Rowsey, when recruiting them, knew bringing them in together would be worth it.
"When (retired men's golf coach) Joe Feaganes and his golfers brought the ladies to my attention and when I talked to Caitlyn and Kristyn they said they weren't a package deal, but I wanted them both because they were wonderful girls. I knew we would benefit from having them on the team, not just as players but as people."
Knight-Rowsey echoed the sentiment that it helps the Morrone twins to have each other at Marshall.
"It really has to help them. They major in the same topic and take the same classes. They go hand-in-hand."
Caitlyn and Kristyn might be nearly impossible to tell apart, but they are two completely different people in terms of their personality.
"When I had lunch for the first time with their parents, their mom said they are two completely different girls and she never had trouble telling them apart," Knight-Roswey said. "But their dad said he still had trouble telling them apart, so I said I would be more like their dad."
"But now once I have got to be around them and get to know them, I rarely get them confused."
Current and past twins and siblings have made a great impact at Marshall. The Williams sisters combined for eight all-conference honors while playing for softball. They also played the same amount of games (229) which has them both tied for second in the Herd record book.
Amanda, who is the current assistant coach for the Herd is the single-season leaders for doubles (24) and hits (75) at MU. She also appears in the top three in the majority of the career Marshall records.
Shae Braxton, in just her third and fourth games with the Herd during softball's fall exhibition season had five hits plus a walk-off home run.
When the football Frophnapfel's scored late against Western Carolina this year with a Blake to Eric 29-yard pass, it not only sent their family contingent into a frenzy, it excited the Herd faithful.
The Snipes-Booker siblings are another notable pair attending Marshall. Andrea, a senior volleyball player, says having twin brother Andre with her has really helped her transition.
"Having him here has definitely made my transition to a different state away from my parents and family very easy," Snipes-Booker said.
"We have been to school together since grade school and it's something I admire and cherish."
Snipes-Booker echoes what most twins and siblings find the most comforting about playing and attending school together.
"We haven't been separated since birth and when I found out I was getting an opportunity from coach (Mitch) Jacobs I was ecstatic because who wouldn't want to go to college with their twin."
The old lore in twins says when one feels pain, happiness or other emotions, the other one feels it.
"I don't feel pain, but the lore does exist," Snipes-Booker said. "It has happened in the past but not when it comes to sports."
Here are other sets of siblings and twins courtesy of Woody Woodrum:
Dave (1974-75) and Bill (1974-75-76) Forbes were a defensive end (Dave) and linebacker (Bill) for Jack Lengyel (1974) and Frank Ellwood (1975-78).
Ray (1975-76-77-78) Crisp, David (1977-78-79-80) Crisp and George (1978-79-80) Crisp were all members of the 1978 Herd football team.
Rick Dardinger and Bob Dardinger were identical twins on the 1968 Herd. Bob lettered in 1968 (he left the team after one season) and Rick in 1968-69-70, and was killed in the crash.
Louis "Louie" Gibson (1947-48-49) and Donnie Gibson (1946-47-48-49) were both from Winding Gulf, W.Va. and played for Cam Henderson.
The 1981 Herd football team had brothers Jim Hynus (1979-80-81), a senior offensive tackle, and Billy Hynus (1982-83-84), a flanker.
Also on that 1981 team were Greg and Larry Fourquean, a pair of brothers from Low Moor, Va.
The 1982 football team had Mike and Dan Staggs, from Gallipolis, Ohio and Gallia Academy. Mike Staggs was a senior (1980-81-82) and two-year starter, but was hurt, Dan, who transferred to then I-AA Marshall from Ohio, took over and lettered three years (1982-83-84).
Danny and Tywanda Abercrombie was brother and sister from Coalwood, W.Va. Danny played football (1982-83-84-85), and Ty played women's basketball (1982-86).
Walt Walowac (1950-54 basketball, and baseball 1951-52-53) and his brother Ed Walowac (baseball 1952-53-54) both were from Logan, W.Va.
Jessica Johnson (2000-04) was coached by her sister, Laurie (Johnson) Mercer in 2000-03, then by her brother-in-law, John Mercer (2003-04).
Todd Ellwood (1976-77-78-79) played receiver for his father, Frank (head coach 1975-78).