RICHMOND - Kristin and Kayla Prokopakis have been together since conception.
The twins spent a lot of close bonding time together before that moment they were first welcomed into the world.
Every second of every day of every month.
SISTER, SISTER — Edison High School seniors Kristin, left, and Kayla Prokopakis, flanked by their parents John and Kelly, will continue their academic and athletic careers at the next level. Kristin will attend Tiffin University where she will major in human resource management. Kayla will attend Ashland University where she will major in chemistry. Both will play softball. Also on hand for the signings were, from left, Edison Athletic Director Ron Smyth, Road Runners Elite coach Rick Sherman and Wildcats veteran softball coach Spencer Bendle.
And, it's not like they have spent a lot of time apart since that day.
That will change come August.
Not longer after the sisters finish 1-2 academically at Edison High School, where Kayla is the valedictorian and Kristin the salutatorian, the sisters extraordinaire will go different directions come the first day of college - although both are headed to Division II schools.
Kristin is going to Tiffin University, where she will major in human resource management.
Kayla is off to Ashland University, where she will major in chemistry.
They will both play softball, their first love.
"It was always a conclusion that I would play softball in college because I have played since I was seven years old and I love the game," said Kayla. "I could not imagine not having the competitive game in my life when I had the opportunity to play."
"I knew since I was young I would play softball in college because I have always had a passion for it," said Kristin. "I have played softball since I was seven years old and still enjoy playing as much as I did back then."
The pair will be about 57 miles apart.
"We did not really talk about going to the same school or not," said Kristin. "We have said from the beginning we would go to the school that is the best fit for us whether that was together or separate.
"When I made my first visit to Tiffin I instantly knew it was the school for me. I really liked everything about the campus, the academics they offered, and the softball program.
"I honestly do not know how I will feel when we go opposite directions. We have been together our whole lives and never played on opposing teams. I'm sure I will have mixed emotions about separating because I think it is good for us to go opposite directions and finally have the chance to play against each other. But, at the same time, it will be so different than what we're used to, it may take some time to adapt to. But when we step on the field to play against each other I definitely want to beat her."
"We discussed going to the same school a lot but it was always said we will each go where ever we feel comfortable and if it happens to be the same school then we'd go together and if wasn't, then that'd be fine too," said Kayla.
"The biggest reason I chose Ashland was because the campus is in a nice town and when I visited the first time I liked it a lot. Every campus I visited after, I would always try to compare it with Ashland but none ever surpassed it. Also, I meshed with the softball coaches and players extremely well.
"When Kristin and I go in opposite directions it will definitely be hard. We have played and been together our entire life. It will be hard but I also feel it will be beneficial to be on our own. We are only an hour away so we can drive and meet each other if we start to feel homesick."
The duo are going from teammates to rivals in a snap. Ashland and Tiffin are members of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in the South Division.
"I plan to stay at third base, but also some first base," said Kayla. "Third is a good position for me because it's mostly a reaction position and I feel as if I can react quick when the ball is hit. You play so close to the batter, you do not have time to think, just react."
Kristin played center field and catcher for Edison.
"I would prefer to play center but I will play wherever the coach puts me and where is best for the team," she said. "It is a good posistion for me because I am quick and have a strong arm."
Kristin played soccer, basketball and softball and Kayla volleyball, soccer, basketball and softball.
They spent every summer playing travel softball with the Road Runners Elite team.
"Playing travel softball with the Road Runners was extremely beneficial for me in continuing my softball career," said Kayla. "It gave me the experience and the opportunity to play in front of college coaches. Also, I played for three wonderful coaches in Ben Taylor, Jim DiCarlo, and Rick Sherman, whom are friends with a lot of coaches and got my name out there."
"Playing travel ball for the Road Runners was crucial to my development because I was able to play for three great coaches over the past few years," said Kristin. "Ben Taylor, Rick Sherman, and Jim DiCarlo have helped me improve in all aspects of the game and put me in contact with college coaches. They have also taught me some of lifes greatest lessons.
"Coach Ben was 'the greatest man' I have ever met. He taught me not only how to play softball but how to live life and enjoy everyday to the fullist. He was always there supporting me in everything I did including soccer and basketball. I miss Coach Ben but he has left an everlasting impact on my life and I know he is up above watching over me. I have also had the opportunity to play with some of the best players in Ohio."
They were always easy to find on any athletic field and leave as two of the best athletes to ever put on a Wildcats uniform.
"Coach (Spencer) Bendle is a great coach who was always there for me," said Kristin. "I enjoyed the four years I got to play under him and will treasure the memories forever. I will truly miss Coach Bendle and the rest of the softball coaching staff.
"I had a great basketball and soccer career at Edison and would not change it for anything. Coach K (Tony Kovalesky) and Coach (Jason) Ensinger made basketball fun while also getting what needed acomplished done. I will miss Coach Ensinger's 'Character Building Days.'
"This soccer season we made school history by making it to the regional finals. We could of never accomplished that goal without having two great coaches in Coach (Jeremy) Angelo and Coach (Chris) Dopp. The girls I played with in all three sports were great teammates and even better friends.
"The experiences I have gained through playing sports at Edison, I will cherish always."
"Playing softball for Coach Bendle was an awesome opportunity," said Kayla. "He runs the softball program very well and organized. He is very supportive and would do anything for anyone of us.
"As for athletics overall, it was an honor to play for Edison. All of the coaches are truly some of the best people you could ever meet. They were not only my coaches but became my friends and if I ever need anything I know any one of them would be more than glad to help.
"I am proud to say I was part of Edison athletics and I have made some of the most amazing memories and I thank the school for giving me that opportunity."
The twins know and understand they did not make it to this fork in the road and amazing opportunity that lies ahead without a lot of help.
"I would like to thank my family for always being supportive and especially my parents for putting in the time and effort in taking me to every practice and game," said Kayla. "I would also like to thank the Edison High School administration and staff for being behind me and my team every game and giving me the opportunity to play, all of my coaches and teammates for pushing me to do my best and brining out my competitive drive, and finally God because without him I would never have had the opportunity to do any of the things I have achieved or be who or where I am today."
"The first people I would like to thank are my parents John and Kelly," said Kristin. "Without them I would not have had the numerous opportunities they have allowed me. Also, they have continually supported me in everything and are always there for me when I need them the most. I would also like to thank my sister Kayla because she has pushed me to be my best in everything I do and is always there for me. My brothers John and Tyler have always been supportive of me. I would also like to thank my family, friends, teachers, coaches, and the entire Edison community."