‘Tis the season for Senior Days and Senior Nights — those occasions when senior athletes are honored for their participation in varsity sports.
Rhonda and Kenny Hageman have seen their share of both over the past six months.
It’s emotional enough to have one child going through the last season of high school athletics. But when you’ve got two kids, both in their senior year, in five different sports … let’s just say the Hagemans have the routine down to an art.
At some point, though, it’s not so much emotional as it is a relief to watch the high school sports come to a close, especially when both of your kids will compete at the collegiate level next year.
There’s been plenty of glory and medals, but Rhonda Hageman tends to keep things in perspective about having two highly successful athletes in the house.
“You don’t even want to know about laundry,” she said. “Laundry is not fun at our house.”
No doubt there’s been plenty of sand from the long jump pits and those little rubber pellets from the artificial turf at CMH Field that have gone through the Hagemans’ washing machine.
But the high school careers for twins Darian and Trey Hageman will be over soon — for Darian this weekend at the state track meet, and for Trey whenever the last out comes for Fishermen baseball.
By the time they graduate, Darian and Trey will be one of the most highly decorated brother-sister tandems to have passed through the halls of Astoria High School.
Trey will continue his baseball career at Linn-Benton Community College, while Darian has landed a scholarship to compete in track at Oregon State.
“Maybe it hasn’t kicked in yet, but right now I’m just excited for high school to be over,” Darian said. “It’s time to move on and go on to the next part of track. That’s exciting for me.”
Watching, cheering, coaching
For the most part, the entire family has been able to set aside the emotions for the final month of high school sports.
“They’re both moving on, so that part doesn’t bother me,” Rhonda Hageman said.
Trey adds, “I wouldn’t say emotional. We’re both excited and nervous at the same time. This is our last week of high school sports, but we’re also kind of excited to get into the swing of collegiate things.”
And besides, over the course of any season, things are emotional enough for teenagers playing sports — something every parent of an athlete knows all too well.
The Hagemans have figured that part out, too, handling the ups and downs of a high school athlete, times two.
When it happens, “you just don’t talk to them,” Rhonda Hageman said. “You know when they need their time and their space. You respect that and let them have it, and when they’re ready to talk to us, we’re there to listen.”
And therein lies much of the success of the Hageman siblings. Rhonda and Kenny have been there all along, to watch, cheer, coach — even drive the entire team.
“With my mom being a bus driver, she can drive us to our functions, and she gets to watch and do her job at the same time,” Darian said.
Said Rhonda, “we’re not at home a whole heck of a lot. We’re always on the road.”
Traveling to sporting events started long before high school for both Darian and Trey.
Darian was a gymnast and softball player before she became a track standout. Trey grew up playing football and baseball, and eventually turned into a state qualifying wrestler in high school.
As you might imagine, the count is getting pretty high for medals, ribbons and trophies in the bedrooms.
“I wouldn’t say we keep a medal count, but we both like to have our medals up in our room,” Trey said. “If we ever want to compare, I think I might have to take the win on that.”
Darian also claims victory in the medal count.
Before she took up volleyball and track at the high school level, rumor has it that she would have been an all-leaguer in softball, for sure.
And then there’s gymnastics.
“Darian will always have a passion for gymnastics,” Rhonda says. “She still teaches at the gymnastics facility in Astoria. I think it will be something she carries with her.”
In addition, the sport has done a lot for Darian’s track career. She hasn’t soared to state championships in the long jump, triple jump and high jump without some help from gymnastics.
Being a gymnast has helped “tremendously,” she said. “I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am, if it wasn’t for gymnastics. I started at such a young age, and got active and so much stronger than my peers, and it taught me a work ethic that really helped me.”
And she likes the “individuality” of both gymnastics and track.
“I like that a lot. You can’t blame anything on anyone else. It’s all you.”
Rhonda Hageman played sports until the eighth grade, then “I chose horses over sports,” she said, and Kenny didn’t play sports in high school.
So where did their kids get all that talent? Maybe growing up in a small town, and not specializing in just one sport.
Then there’s just the competitive nature between the two. A friendly sort of sibling rivalry has turned both into pretty good athletes.
No matter the outcome this weekend, Darian is the owner of multiple state titles, while Trey leads this season’s Astoria baseball team in several categories. He’s on a short list of athletes for Cowapa League Player of the Year honors.
“We’re definitely competitive,” Trey said. “It might have been different if I had gone out for track. My career has been a little different than hers, but we’ve competed in different ways.
“We’ve become a lot closer these last few months,” he said. “We’re supportive of each other. She’s at football games and baseball games, and I go to her volleyball games and everything that I can.”
His parents also “go to everything that they can, and they’ve been very supportive of all our decisions. They try to lead us in the right direction. They got me and Darian both with a trainer, and upped our game even more this past winter and into spring.”
Rhonda says, “They are competitive with each other, but it was a blessing that I had a boy and a girl to even out the competitiveness, because they’ve never really been involved in the same sports.”
Darian added, “we used to be competitive a lot when we were kids. Everything was a competition — who could do the most pushups or pullups, who could do the coolest back flips on the trampoline. Now that we’re in different sports, it’s hard to relate to competition.”
And hard to match both Darian and Trey Hageman in their respective sports, whatever time of year it may be. They are both, you might say, outstanding in their fields.