Just don't ask the Schneider twins, because you'll get two different answers
Roxanne and Liz Schneider are twin sisters, but you'd never know it. The Schneider sisters, residents of Hoboken, are so very different. In fact, they don't even look at all alike. Liz is a good inch taller and blonde, while Roxanne's shorter and dark-haired.
"We went through the entire sixth grade without our teacher knowing we were even related," Roxanne Schneider said.
"Even after we told her that we were twins, she didn't believe us," said Liz. "It was very bizarre. We are very different looking. No one believes we're twins."
The Schneider sisters were extremely close during their days at Hoboken's Hudson School, but when it came time to choosing where they wanted to spend their high school years, their parents allowed them to decide.
"It came down to St. Dominic Academy and High Tech for the both of us," Roxanne Schneider explained. "It was that way until the last day [before registration]. I knew that High Tech didn't have a girls' soccer team and I wanted to play soccer. I also honestly wanted to go to a different high school. I knew Liz would always be around at home and I'd always see her, but I thought I'd like it better if we went to different schools."
"I thought it would be good as well if we went to different schools," Liz Schneider said. "It would give us less time to get on each other's nerves. It was good to break away and be on our own. She decided to go to St. Dominic and I was going to High Tech. That's just how it went."
Both Schneider sisters were always athletic. Roxanne played three sports, namely soccer, basketball and softball, while Liz just played basketball and softball. They were content with their separate high school lives.
Roxanne established herself as one of the finest all-around female athletes in Hudson County. As a soccer goalkeeper for the Blue Devils, she has no peers and could possibly be the finest netminder in the history of girls' soccer in the county. Only a junior, Roxanne also plays varsity basketball and softball at SDA and is a key member to both programs.
"It does get pretty crazy at times," Roxanne Schneider said. "I had three days this year when I wasn't in season with some sport. Then, in the summer, it gets worse, because each coach puts pressure on you to play for the summer teams. One day last summer, I had to play in three games for the three different teams. I packed three different bags and spent the whole day going from game to game."
Liz, obviously also a junior, became a solid member of the High Tech girls' basketball and softball programs, joining the powerful softball program that hadn't lost a single game in the HCIAA Seglio Division in more than four years.
However, this spring, a funny thing happened on the way to bliss in the Schneider household. Roxanne and the Blue Devils kept winning and winning. So did Liz and the Lasercats. St. Dominic became the toast of the town in the HCIAA Coviello Division. High Tech continued to hold fort in the HCIAA Seglio.
Sure enough, three weeks ago, an amazing thing happened. Both teams won their respective league championships. The Blue Devils defeated Holy Family to capture the HCIAA Coviello title for the first time in 14 years, while High Tech defeated Hoboken to win the school's fourth straight Seglio Division crown.
Two Schneider twins, both laying claim to a county championship. Roxanne is the SDA starting shortstop, while Liz mans left field for the Lasercats.
"It really didn't hit me until afterwards," Roxanne Schneider said. "Someone said that it was wild how we both won and I started thinking, 'What are the odds?' Both of us won championships in the same year."
On the same day, no less.
"A friend of mine said, 'Hey, Liz, isn't it crazy that you both won?' and then I started thinking," Liz Schneider said. "It's amazing. It's really weird."
Of course, it's sparked a debate that will go on in the Schneider household, perhaps until the end of time, far more reaching than any squabble over the television remote or who gets to use the hair dryer first in the morning.
Which team is better? Is it the HCIAA champion St. Dominic Blue Devils, or the HCIAA champion High Tech Lasercats? High Tech lost only one game, to Emerson Borough in the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 1, Group 1 semifinals, going 24-1 for the season. St. Dominic was 24-6, but faced tougher competition and defeated Holy Family three times during the season, while High Tech defeated HFA once.
If you ask the Schneider sisters, of course, you're going to get two answers.
"I think we're No. 1," Roxanne Schneider said. "We're just playing very well as a team. Leigh Ann [Murduca, the SDA ace pitcher] keeps getting better and better. Plus, they don't face the competition that we do."
OK, Liz, the floor is yours.
"We are No. 1, of course," Liz Schneider said. "We have a really strong team. We bring a lot to the table, in terms of hitting, fielding, pitching. We have everything that makes a good team."
There was some talk that the two teams could play a game that would have settled the debate once and for all.
"We really wanted to play," Liz Schneider said. "But it didn't work out."
"I'm disappointed that we didn't get a chance to play them," Roxanne Schneider said. "It would have been a lot of fun. I wanted to get it straight who would win."
So for now, the debate will linger.
"Oh, yeah, there's been a lot of discussion about it, which team is better," Roxanne Schneider said. "We've been talking trash talk to each other over it. It never gets too heated or serious, but it keeps going back and forth. It's been an ongoing thing. We can never convince the other one who's better. It just keeps going."
"I'll never say they're better," Liz Schneider said. "Even if we did play and lost, I would never say it. Whenever it comes up, we defend each other's team, and that will go on until we play. I think we should play them. It would settle a lot."
It certainly would answer a lot of the problems inside the Schneider home. For now, the trash talking will continue.
In any case, it remains pretty remarkable that two sisters who play for two different schools would be members of the two top teams in Hudson County. There's no quarrel over that fact. SDA and High Tech are the two best.
Just which one reigns supreme? It may go on for a while.
Still, there's a level of pride among the Schneiders.
"Just the fact that we're talking about it is really special," Roxanne Schneider said. "In the beginning of the season, no one would have thought that. They've always done real well and we won for the first time. That just fuels the debate. But the debate will keep going on and on, until we play for real."
Until that day arrives, the trash talk will be a thing of regularity among the Schneider twins.
However, Liz will always have an upper hand in two areas.
"I'm an inch and a half taller and a minute older," Liz Schneider said. "That will never change."
Sometimes, nature always has the last word.