For some high school students, it is not uncommon for siblings to be a big part of a support system for one another.
For one Wapakoneta family, the support group grows a little larger, as the Knippen triplets are always there for each other in their lives.
Wapakoneta High School seniors Ashley, Courtney and Jim Knippen have been able to lean on each other through the years, and with this being their last year in high school they are thinking about the next chapter in their lives — college.
“We are each other’s biggest supporters,” Courtney said this week as all three were coincidentally dressed in black.
The siblings have been together for the last 18 years and are enjoying their last year before going their separate ways to attend different colleges next year.
They said they are excited to enter the next chapter of their lives, but they are open enough about their feelings to realize they will miss each other, along with missing attending each other’s sporting events cheering them on.
“I’m going to miss going to their games,” Jim said, of his two sister’s sporting events.
Courtney is a member of the Redskins golf team in the fall, while Ashley serves as the goalie on the Redskins soccer team. In the winter, Courtney and Ashley lace up their shoes for basketball season, and in the spring they are tying their cleats for softball games.
“And, I’m going to miss Friday night football games,” Ashley said.
Jim plays defensive line for the Wapakoneta Redskins football and has played some on the offensive line and backfield in the past.
Fall is the busiest season for their sporting events, as each of the triplets play a different sport, but it works out with each having matches and games on different nights of the week.
Between all of their sports schedules, they said they definitely keep their parents, Pat and Joe Knippen, busy, but it seems to work out now since everyone has a different schedule when they play their games.
“I don’t really let them watch me play golf, and Ashley’s games are throughout the week and Jim’s games are on Fridays,” Courtney said.
But while the triplets were in middle school, Jim also played basketball and baseball, so more of each other’s games would fall on the same nights.
“When this happened, our parents would split up, and one would go to one game and the other would go to the other’s game,” Jim said.
Not only just being their to support their siblings at athletic events, Courtney said that being a triplet is a big support system for anything — especially since each sibling is going through similar situations at the same time.
“If I were going somewhere, I always had someone to go with me,” Courtney said.
With college quickly approaching, the siblings will be splitting up for the first time.
“We lived with each other for 18 years, but we’re going somewhere to make it on our own,” Courtney said, of going away to college to study law. “When people see you are a triplet, they associate you with each other.”
“We’re always there for each other, but we are all independent,” Courtney said.
Jim agreed and said that he and his two sisters are independent from each other and they each do their own thing, but when they go away to college, they will all be on their own.
“When we go to college, no one is going to know that we are a triplet, until we tell them that we are,” said Jim, who plans to study environmental engineering or finance.
While each have different college plans and career plans, they also are looking forward to exploring life outside of Wapakoneta.
“I like Wapakoneta, but I want to get out and explore and depending what is out there, I may come back,” Ashley said, of her future plans for studying criminal justice and to play softball in college.
Each of the siblings said they will miss each other when they go away for school.
After high school, the siblings talked about how much spare time their parents will have on their hands.
“When we go to college, mom and dad won’t know what to do with themselves,” Courtney said.
“Mom even admitted that she won’t know what to do with herself,” Ashley said.
Before the triplets got their license, their parents had to chauffeur them around to different places and sporting events.
“Mom called herself our chauffeur when we were younger,” Jim said.
But when the siblings turned 16-years-old, they all got their own cars.
“Each of us got our own car because of going in different directions,” Courtney said.
Recently, Courtney and Jim were named Wapakoneta High School homecoming queen and king.
“I’m happy for them,” Ashley said, of her siblings’ award.
After getting crowned, the pair chest bumped on the field, which was planned out in the event they would win.
“Mrs. Courter said she wanted the king and queen to kiss after being crowned,” Jim said. “I said that I’m not kissing my sister.”