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Twice as nice

By DON HOHLER • Feb 8, 2019 at 1:00 PM

Two is better than one.

St. Paul varsity basketball coach Mike Smith certainly believes that to be the case. He calls on two sets of twins — seniors Alex and Ian Kashian and sophomores Nick and Nate Winslow — in every game. The Winslows and Kashians are two of five sets of twins who play a part in the winter athletic programs at St. Paul.

Cheerleader adviser Lisa Reer oversees the work of seniors Kaitlynn and Regan Olak, while two other sets, sophomores Logan and Luke Haynes and freshmen Zack and Luke Meyer, are in the bleachers as pep band members.

Smith has high praise for both of his sets, the senior sons of Jeff and Jody Kashian and the sophomore sons of Jeff Winslow and Kellie Deeter.

“All four of them have played key roles in our success story this winter,” Smith said.

The Kashian brothers, both 6-foot-1, take turns at playing the post.

“Ian averages around six points a game and finishes well inside,” Smith said. “A 52-percent shooter, he is second in rebounds. He saw playing time last year and now is nicely complemented by his brother.”

He is a bit more quiet than Alex, who is more serious, the coach said.

“Alex is third in scoring, is a 62-percent shooter and leads the team in rebounds,” Smith said. “We ask him to come off the bench and give us that quick scoring punch. He shows 72-percent accuracy from the foul line. He probably has slightly more offensive skills than his brother. But for their size, they do a great job of playing that center position. Their strength is finishing and/or offensive rebounding, where Alex has 51 as the team leaders while Ian has 42.”

Smith calls the Kashian “horses” inside.

“When you look at them, you would not think they could get up and down the floor under that kind of control — but they certainly do and they do it well,” he said. “They are just two of the good kids I am so fortunate to have on this team. 

“The Winslow boys love the game of basketball. Their father, presently the coach at Upper Sandusky, put a basketball in their hands early in life and they have fun with it. It’s the only sport they play.

“Nick (6-0) runs the point for us and as good point guards do runs the show efficiently. He is second in the conference in assists and leads us on offense with 13.2 points per game. He plays hard,” Smith said.

His brother, Nate (6-1), is right behind Nick in scoring with a 10-point average. His coach said Nate’s strength is getting to the basket. He leads St. Paul in steals and plays with as lot of emotion.

“Nate kind of beats himself up sometimes if he feels he has made a mistake,” Smith said. “But that’s because he cares so much about the game.

“Nick is more serious about the game and overall more quiet and reserved while Nate can be somewhat of a jokester. He is a people-person, attracting people because of his charisma. He is friends with a lot of kids his age at any numbers of schools,” Smith said.

The Olak twins, the daughters of Kathy and the late Tom Olak, started cheering as freshmen. It is just one of many activities that fill their days.

“It seems like they are involved in every possible activity here at St. Paul,” Reer said. “I know they have been heavily involved in 4-H ever since they were kids. One was the fair queen this past fall and the other was first runner-up. They are also involved in Team Leadership (Corps) and both dance as members of a local studio. They play golf and I believe they are now or have been class officers.” 

The sisters are in the process of selecting a college, possibly John Carroll or Baldwin Wallace universities.

“One funny thing I have to mention, Kaitlynn does not want to go to the same college as her sister,” Reer said. “On the other hand, Regan wants to follow her sister. So the waiting game is on. Kaitlynn, wanting to venture off on her own, is waiting for her sister to make her choice and then she will pick the other one. And that is so against the grain of the two because over the years they have done everything together.”

The Haynes brothers are the sons of David Haynes and Julie Fox. Logan is in the percussion section while Luke plays the trumpet.

Brooke and Andrew Meyer are the parents of Zack and Luke. Zack plays the tuba and Luke the baritone.

St. Paul music director Chris Clark said while they are twins, the two sets are nothing alike.

“The Haynes boys look very much a like and the Meyer boys look very different,” Clark said.

“The Meyer boys are completely different. Different personalities and different likes. The Haynes twins are very much alike. It is very strange to have all of those twins in there at once. I also have some younger twins. .... They are new this year and I can’t tell them apart at all.

“This school has a ton of twins.”

The pep band, unlike the marching band in the fall, is very informal.

“Whoever shows up gets to play,” said Clark, who has turned around the St. Paul music program in recent years. “We have fun with it. We show up for the end of the jayvee game, play between games then leave. We let the kids play what they want.”

Clark, while leading the band, usually has his own instrument and plays along.”

The Flyers will be home twice this weekend — tonight against Western Reserve and Saturday against Sandusky St. Mary.

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