Staff Photo: John Bohn Senior Katie Frerking, left, and sophomore Lauren Frerking, right, are playing basketball together this year for the Wesleyan School. The siblings have similar appearance and skills on the court, often being referred to as twins by opposing coaches.
NORCROSS -- Maybe their parents knew. Maybe it's a coincidence. But without much to tell Katie and Lauren Frerking apart, anything helps.
When the two were younger and were dressed for the family portrait Katie drew the blue and Lauren the pink.
"It's definitely telling," the elder Katie said. "That's funny."
The senior Katie, an Auburn commit in basketball, describes her sister, Lauren, as the "girly girl" claiming only to out-do Lauren in her selection of clothes.
"(Lauren) is like makeup, stylist professional," Katie said. "She does my hair and makeup."
"You have better clothes though," Lauren retorts.
"We make it work," Katie answers.
That, they certainly do.
In any real sense, this is the first season these two sisters have played basketball on the same team. Lauren watched the varsity from the bench her freshman season, but this year has worked her way in and out of the starting lineup in the same position as her Division I-bound sister.
"This year, just that she's on the court with me, it was weird at first, like, 'That's my sister out there,'" Katie said. "But it's really fun. She knows me really well, she knows my game. It's actually the same way I know her game. She's actually really easy to play with."
And on the court, the differences are as subtle as hair vs. clothes -- easy to miss in a glance.
Katie uses her speed, slashing to the basketball. Lauren prefers to shoot first. But with similar heights, sibling features and long ponytails they can be confused by opponents.
"We've definitely been asked if we're twins," Katie said. "I've heard people say, 'Get the twins.' I don't think we look alike, but ... "
Those differences are just as small.
But this is Katie's team, a truth her sister understands and, in fact, relishes -- even if she forgets in the moment.
"It's always nice when they are trying to give you advice or feedback because she's way more experienced, than I am. She's two years older than me," Lauren said, then hedged. "It's always nice to get feedback, but sometimes, I'm like, 'I know I made a mistake, I feel terrible about it.'"
Said Katie: "Sometimes I'd go to, not yell at her, but kind of get on her, like I do with all players and, 'That's my sister.' It's just weird."
For sisters playing on the same team, the Frerkings give head coach Jan Azar less stress than her previous sister pairings of Nikki and Laura Luckhurst and Carolyn and Elise Whitney.
"The last sisters that I coached, Carolyn and Elise (Whitney) used to fight in practice. Lauren and Katie never fight. Laura and Nikki (Luckhurst) used to fight in practice," Azar said. "Lauren and Katie are very ... they get along all the time. I've never seen them go at it. But I've also gotten smart enough not to have sisters guard each other."
The two, even when tense, stay amicable enough to spare an embarrassing story from their head coach.
The worst things get are quiet car rides home and a cooler conversation later on.
"Yeah, it's silent," Katie said. "We never really yell at each other but there are definitely times when it's kind of tense."
But there are more times when they just play: Katie slashing, Lauren shooting and, as always, Wesleyan winning with defense.
"I feel really comfortable playing with her," Lauren said.
Said Katie: "It's nice and it's fun and especially with it being my senior year and my last year it's good to have her out there."