116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — “Wanna go play outside?,” the boy begged his older sister.
“Ew, no. Get out,” she said, closing the door in his face.
Situations like this appear all the time in sibling relationships. Values are different, standards are higher and competition always is present. Despite the bickering, these situations seem to be what makes the relationship stronger as the siblings age.
A key example of this is the relationship of Xavier High School junior Carson Jeffery, goalie for the boys’ soccer team, and his sister Taylor, a 2020 graduate who is continuing her soccer career at Clarke University.
Their mom, Sheri Jeffery, has seen their bond grow.
“They have the typical sister and brother relationship growing up in a competitive family,” Sheri said. “They have always tended to push each other in the classroom and on the field in hopes of being better than the other. Now that Taylor is away, I feel that the separation has softened the competitiveness and they have gained a mutual respect for each other.”
Carson agrees, but also talked about how soccer has brought him and his sister together — for better and for worse.
“I would say that soccer is a huge part of our relationship because it is something we both understand,” he said. “Often one of us knows more about something than the other so we can help train and guide each other.
“Sometimes it can also split us apart because I can be harsh and critical. But the love we have for each other never goes away and never will go away, so we always come back together.”
Carson and Taylor agree their fondest memories together were the times they spent in the car talking about soccer, among other topics, on their way to and from Xavier.
“It was a time where it was just me and her and no one else,” Carson said. “It didn’t matter how long the drive or the destination.”
Even when there is tension in the relationship, Carson still inspires Taylor every day.
“His drive to be the best he can be and how he is not happy until he gets there is something I see in him every day and is something I aspire to gain from him,” Taylor said.
Ryan Jeffery, Taylor and Carson’s dad, sees this spark between the two and talks about how he encourages the bond to grow.
“I try my best to provide opportunities for advancement in training, camps and watching games live from venues around the states,” Ryan said. “It was the chances we got to go kick a ball around in the backyard or at a park that really put this fire for greatness between them.”
Not only has soccer given Taylor and Carson a strong relationship, it also has bonded their family as a whole.
“I tend to take all of the sacrifices that they have (Sheri and Ryan) made for me to be able to play soccer and see my dreams come to life and I do not think I can ever say thank you enough or I love you in the right way to really show them how much it means to me,” Carson said. “I remember when I was 14 years old coming home from a showcase in Florida and my dad said to me, ‘The world is yours,’ and I do not think I will ever forget that because of everything my mom and him have done to give me the world.”
When it comes down to it, Ryan and Sheri have an indescribable amount of pride and love for their children.
“I am just in awe of Carson’s ability to know what he wants, how to get there and the self discipline he has to achieve it at his age,” Sheri said.
Ryan said Taylor “has taken something that she enjoys and made it a priority in her life. She decided to not leave it behind in high school and carry it with her to college despite the obstacles that have been thrown her way such as a crucial knee injury as a junior.”