- Last Updated on 12:22 PM 04/23/12
- BY Doug Ford
There have been many siblings who have competed simultaneously in various sports at Halifax County High School.
Among those competing together the last several years are sisters Nia and Melyse Brown, who recently finished their final season as Comets’ soccer teammates.
Nia, a senior keeper, is on her way to Lynchburg College, while Melyse, a junior keeper turned forward this season has one year remaining.
The Brown sisters are relative newcomers to soccer, having playing basketball together for about 10 years, with both being named All-Western Valley District in that sport this year.
Nia Brown said it’s meant a lot to have her sister play with her in two sports.
“We really get along well, especially when it comes to sports because we have the same love and the same passion for everything we do,” said Nia Brown.
“We give each other pointers no doubt, and sometimes Melyse is a little hard on hearing, but I think I’ve helped her become a better player,” Nia Brown noted with a grin.
“I’ve also learned from my mistakes,” she quickly added.
Nia, the older sister by 18 months, said playing sports with her sister has been a positive experience.
“I’ve been honored to play with my sister, explained Nia, who played Comets soccer for only three years after having competed in basketball since an early age.
“Actually, I like both sports, and I’ve grown to like soccer as much as basketball,” she pointed out.”
What Nia likes most about soccer is the support of her teammates and the close-knit nature of the sport.
“It’s been like a family atmosphere and everybody supports each other,” she said.
“We love each other and I like the soccer atmosphere.”
Melyse Brown followed her sister’s lead and started playing soccer her sophomore year in high school.
“We’ve been playing sports together for a long time. I started playing basketball when I was eight, and started soccer two years ago,” the younger sister said.
Nia started playing basketball when I was nine or ten,” she added.
“I like doing different things, but I like soccer because it’s like a family environment, much like basketball,” noted Melyse, whose soccer skills are beginning to match her natural athleticism.
“My skills are coming along okay and I think I’ve improved. This is my first year on the field after playing goalie, but I think I’ve caught on quick,” she explained.
“My teammates have been supportive and have helped me out.”
Head varsity girls soccer coach Sid Young said both Browns have been a welcome addition to the soccer program.
“Nia has kept us in most of our games and Melyse is playing forward this year but played goalie last year,” said Young.
“For three years Nia has been a super keeper. She is really good and her main sport has been basketball but in my opinion she could easily go to a Division III school and play soccer.”
Melyse Brown moved from the keeper position to the field this season, added Young.
“She’s a good enough athlete where we put her at the midfield,” he noted.
“She and I talked at practice one day and she told me she wished she had better foot skills.
“It’s not something you pick up overnight and we work on it some, but she’s done a good job in midfield.”
Neither sister would trade their time together on the soccer field for any other sports experience.
“It’s been a crazy ride in high school, but I wouldn’t change it for anything,” said Nia, whose highlight in soccer came during her sophomore season.
“My soccer highlight would probably be the very first time I played goalie as a tenth-grader, I was scared to death, but I went ahead and did it.”
Melyse hopes to play both basketball and soccer her senior season.
“I actually am going to keep with soccer if I can,” she explained.
“It depends on which sport I like better, and goalies have their good moments. I played center mid and stopper in soccer and like playing stopper.
“But, one of my favorite moments came last year in goal when I had to contend with a penalty kick. I was really nervous but I blocked it.”
The bond between sisters goes beyond the soccer field.
“It’s been good. I’m going to miss her, she talks to me like no one else on the team, and she pushes me,” said Melyse Brown.
“I’ll miss that next year.”
Both Browns share the love and passion for the sports they choose to become involved in, and that will continue beyond this year.
“Most definitely the love and passion we show for the sports we play will be what defines us in high school,” said Melyse.
“I’ve had to grow into my role as a leader through the years, and I hope my sister does the same,” added Nia.