Notre Dame Prep's Keegan Barger has established herself as one of the top high school midfielders in the nation. Now a junior, she committed early in 2014 to play lacrosse at Johns Hopkins. Her cousin, Brooke, is a freshman at NDP and has already committed to Michigan. They discussed their relationship on and off the field with PressBox.
PRESSBOX: How much lacrosse did you and Brooke play with one another growing up?
BROOKE BARGER: She played for a different team, but we did play against each other multiple times.
KEEGAN BARGER: Whether it was in our backyard or trainings, Brooke and I have been playing lacrosse together since we could walk.
PB: How do you support one another at school and on the lacrosse field?
BB: We have always had each other's backs through everything. Keegan drives me to school every morning, and it's great to have older cousins and relatives that you can learn from and look up to.
KB: My grandmother, Mickey Barger, would pick up the cousins and take us to one another's school functions or sports games. We always loved supporting each other. Since Brooke and I play for the same lacrosse club, I always try to sneak over to some of her games during summer tournaments to cheer her on.
PB: What are each of your goals for the upcoming season?
BB: To meet new people and win the championship.
KB: My upcoming goals for this season are to be more of an offensive threat on the field, to become a leader in order to bring our team together and prepare myself for the next level of lacrosse.
PB: What went into your decision to commit early to college?
BB: I think the recruiting process goes a lot smoother when you have family, friends and coaches that have your back through everything. When you know, you know.
KB: My club lacrosse team, Sky Walkers, put me in a great position to be able to be recruited early. With the help of my high school and club coaches, I had the opportunity to visit a variety of schools nationwide. It was a great experience, and I was never pressured by any coach to make a decision. Johns Hopkins stood out to be the best fit for me, and I felt very comfortable deciding early after spending lots of time with the coaches and players.
PB: Who is your role model and why?
BB: I think my two biggest role models would be my two older cousins, Riley and Keegan. They always have my back, and I know if I ever need help with something, they are always there to help me.
KB: My role model is my older brother, Gavin. He has always pushed me to be my best, since I was little. If we were outside playing lacrosse or soccer, he would give me so much advice on how I can improve. When I wasn't doing my best or not making the right decisions, he was there to pick me up and get me back on track. Instead of lacrosse, Gavin's passion was soccer, and he worked his hardest to be the best he could possibly be. Not only was he smart on the field, he was even smarter in the classroom, proving to his classmates that a great soccer player can be a great student, too. He is now a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, playing soccer. I'm so proud to see my big brother grow and achieve his many goals through all of his hard work and dedication.