BY RANDY SCHULTZ –
Emma and Erin Roland are twins. They are juniors at Williamsville North High School.
They are both athletically inclined. They play on the Williamsville girls high school hockey team.
But that is where the comparisons end. Emma is a forward on the hockey team, scoring a record 28 goals, a new Williamsville girls high school team record. Erin is a defenseman and hardly ever scores a goal.
But the Roland twins, along with their 21 other teammates, combined to lead their Williamsville team to its first Section VI Federation championship this past Wednesday. Williamsville defeated the defending New York State girls high school champions, Frontier/LakeShore/Orchard Park (better known locally as FLOP) in OT, 4-3.
Yes, Emma contributed two goals to the winning cause. But it was Erin who scored the winner at 2:10 of OT that sent Williamsville to the NYS Girls High School playoffs that begin on Friday, Feb. 8 in Buffalo at Harbor Center. Nice timing for a player who has scored only two goals all season.
So just how much alike are the Roland twins?
“I think we have a lot of same interests,” remarked Emma. “We are both competitive with each other.
“But we also have a tendency to go off and do our own thing.”
Interestingly enough, Emma began he playing career on defense but eventually switched to forward. Erin started as a forward and then switched to defense.
“I think we work well together on the ice,” added Erin. “I just try and keep feeding the puck to Emma and she takes care of scoring the goals.”
Even more interesting is that Erin began her “skating” career with figure skating.
“But I saw Emma playing hockey and I wanted to play on a team sport,” said Erin. “So I switched over to hockey.”
Their competitive spirit is evident.
“In all the sports we’ve ever played in we want to win,” said Emma. “That spirit helps our teams and helps us.”
“We’ve always wanted to do our best,” added Erin. “We want to help our team go as far as it can go.”
The twins spend time with each other going over games.
“We definitely spend time talking about the games for a long time after they’re over,” stated Emma.
For Williamsville girls’ hockey head coach, Rick Hopkins, it has been interesting, to say the least, to have the Roland twins on the team.
“I first saw the girls when they were back in fifth grade,” recalled Hopkins. “I saw the athleticism in both girls.
“I saw them playing hockey in a clinic that I was at. I could see the talent in both of them.
“They are both very polite, good students, well mannered and great team players.
“They are both very mature and show great leadership qualities. And I think the one thing that sticks out about both of them is that I rarely seem them not smiling. They’re always smiling.”
Emma was voted a captain on the team by her peers.
Interestingly, both girls have interests in going into the medial field, specifically becoming a Physicians Assistants.
But for now the daughters of Tracy and James Roland are focusing on hockey. It is amazing what a difference a year can make.
A year ago the Roland twins were playing travel hockey and travel lacrosse. Then back in September Hopkins heard that both were trying out for the varsity girls’ hockey team.
The rest, as they say, is history.
“Right now our team focus is to see how far we can go,” concluded Erin.
“We saw what FLOP had to do last year to win it all. We know we have our work cut out for us,” added Emma.