MERIDIAN Lounging on the couch after both returned home from practice, Ross Schultz and adopted daughter Hannah Frakes were all smiles and jokes Tuesday afternoon.
By Thursday morning, the smiles and jokes will be gone.
Schultz and his Timberline High girls soccer team play Frakes and her Mountain View teammates in the first round of the 5A state tournament. The match starts at 10 a.m. MDT at Lake City High in Coeur dAlene.
The father and daughter have faced this situation before and it wasnt easy.
During the regular season, Mountain View beat Timberline 2-1 on Aug. 17 and the teams played to a 1-1 tie on Sept. 19. The stakes are much higher this time around.
It sucks that we have to go against each other in the first round because it would really be ideal if we could go against each other in a championship round, Frakes said. In this game, you lose and youre out. You cant make it to the final.
In the past, the highly competitive duo have teased each other before games. This week, theyve decided avoidance is an easier solution.
We havent talked about it a whole lot. Weve tried to avoid the situation. ... Last year was my first year at Timberline and I didnt handle (playing Hannah) too well. We had heated moments, Schultz said.
Shes very prideful and Im very prideful. Were two competitive people and neither one of us handled it very well. This year we went into it saying we just have to separate this. We have to be a family still.
Last year, Frakes scored the game-winning goal in a game against Timberline.
He said a squirrel could have blocked my shot, Frakes said.
Holding the middle ground is mother and wife Marla Schultz.
Shell be at Thursdays game in neutral attire, and plans to cheer for both sides.
There is going to be a winner and theres going to be a loser. Theres no way around it, Marla said. I just take it as whatever happens is going to happen. We are a family first and, yeah, soccer is a huge part of it. But at the end of the day, they love each other, we all love each other and thats what it really comes down to.
The bond between Frakes and her legally adopted parents is strong.
The 17-year-old senior has lived with the Schultz family for 2 years, but has known them since she was 9 or 10.
Frakes and her four sisters have had a difficult childhood, bouncing from one home to another with their father in prison and their mothers whereabouts unknown.
Ross can emphasize with Frakes desire for a stable home life. He spent 1 years in an orphanage when he was 5 or 6.
We connect on those things because its very tough for someone to come inside someone elses home, especially later in life like she did, Schultz said. Thats why I respect her so much when people find out about the battles that shes had in life, theyre much tougher than what most people will ever face on a soccer field.
Family ties aside, Thursdays meeting between top-seeded Timberline (10-3-4) and No. 4 Mountain View (9-5-4) will be a competitive one.
If they win, I will definitely root for Ross team to make it through and be the champions of state because I feel like they deserve it over the other teams that are going to be performing, Frakes said. Honestly, I know what work theyve put in. I see Ross schedule. I hear about what the girls do at practice. ... I know theyve been working hard and I know that I cant take them lightly.
But until the final whistle, Frakes who has already committed to play for Boise State will be doing her best to make sure the Mavericks win.
If he knows my weaknesses, I am going to show him that I have no weaknesses, Frakes said. I am going to be the barrier. I am going to be woman impossible.
Rachel Roberts: 377-6422,Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX