Cathy and Brian Mack often find themselves splitting up as they leave their Ashburn home on Friday nights.
Brian Mack will drive to the nearby Ashburn Ice House to watch his 17-year-old son Trevor, a senior, play for the Stone Bridge High School club hockey team. Cathy Mack tends to trek a bit farther, to Claude Moore in Sterling, Oak Marr in Oakton or Audrey Moore in Annandale, to watch their sophomore, Andi Mack, take to the pool for the Bulldogs.
But wherever they go and which ever kid they’re watching, the Mack parents are never disappointed.
Trevor, who plays right wing for both Stone Bridge and the Ashburn Xtreme travel team, made the Northern Virginia Scholastic Hockey League’s All-Star team as a junior. With 26 points this season, good enough for fourth in the league, he’s poised to make another appearance in this year’s All-Star game. In March, Trevor and the Xtreme traveled to Michigan to compete in nationals, where they reached the semifinals.
But little sister Andi is not one to be outdone. As a freshman, she finished second in the state in the 200 freestyle and fourth in the 100 free, breaking three school records in the process.
This year, as a sophomore, Andi has already won her second consecutive district title in the 200 free. This past summer, competing with the Ashburn Village AquaJets, she placed first in nearly every individual event she entered. To top it off, Andi trains with the Nation’s Capital Swim Club (formerly Curl-Burke), an elite program in the Washington D.C. area that’s trained Olympians, including 2012 gold medalist Katie Ledecky.
And while the Macks admit they’re athletic individuals, they attribute their success to simple hard work.
Finding a niche
For Trevor, finding his sport was easy.
“Back in kindergarten, my mom decided to take me and a couple of friends to the Ashburn Ice House to skate around,” Trevor said. “I picked it up from there. I just loved skating and once I got skating down, I got into hockey and stick handling.”
By second grade, Trevor had moved to playing with the Ashburn Xtreme and relished in practicing, both on ice and on rollerblades. During free afternoons, Trevor would suit up his younger sister as a goalie and practice ripping shots.
For Andi, finding her passion was a bit harder.
“I played a lot of sports when I was younger,” Andi said. “I wasn’t very good at them because I don’t have much hand-eye coordination.”
But Andi took quickly to the water and from there, her competitive nature took over.
“It’s very competitive, because it’s kind of all on you. It’s not a team sport,” Andi said. “I like that.
And rather than wane as they got older, both the Macks’ passions for their sports only continued to grow and so did their commitment.
Andi wakes up at 4 a.m. during the week to practice at the Claude Moore Recreation Center with her club team. She attends school during the day, then spends the afternoon at school swim practice. Additionally, she spends some evenings working with a personal trainer with the hope of getting strong enough to shave time off her swims. On average, she tries to finish up schoolwork and be in bed by 7 to 8 p.m. to repeat the process.
“Sometimes we have to remind her, ‘chill, it’s OK to go out,’” Cathy Mack said.
While Trevor doesn’t have to suffer through early mornings, he takes to the rink three to five times a week. He tries to hit the gym at least twice a week and also works with a trainer. After practices and homework are done, he works a part-time job at the pro-shop at the ice house.
Trevor and Andi say that although their parents are supportive, they never felt pushed into any of their activities.
“They do as much as they can for us,” Andi said. “But they never put any pressure on us to do anything. They never made us do anything we didn’t want to do.”
Cathy Mack notes they didn’t need to pressure their kids into anything. “Once they found the sports they liked, it’s all they wanted to do.”
Both siblings have long and short term goals for their sports. Trevor hopes to play in the All-Star game again and help the stalwart Bulldogs win yet another NVSHL championship.
Beyond that, he wants to help the Xtreme bring the first national title to Ashburn and then play at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in the fall.
Andi has two more years of high school, but after finishing less than a second shy of a state title last year, is already a contender as a sophomore. Her ultimate goal, however, is long term.
“I really just want to swim at a Division I college,” Andi said.
But regardless of what either kid decides to do, one thing is sure: Brian and Cathy Mack will be there watching.
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