Pack Mentality Keeping Crofton’s Arens Sisters Together At USD
Third Arens Sister To Join Coyotes Next Year
VERMILLION, S.D. — It’s the first thing that comes to mind when you watch Bridget and Allison Arens play for the Coyote women’s basketball team.
“They’re tough. Both of them. Maybe in a little different ways but just physically, mentally, just really tough kids that take care of business.” USD Women’s Basketball Head Coach Dawn Plitzuweit says.
And it came from competing with their four other siblings and cousins on the family farm near Crofton, Nebraska.
“Growing up we didn’t really get to go many places just because we had so many kids and the farm, we were really busy at home.” USD Sophomore Forward Allison Arens says.
“We have a basketball hoop right out the front door and the kids, rain, shine, it seemed like there was always a couple kids out there shooting.” Father Gary Arens says.
Rather than become a rivalry parents Gary and Joselyn, who played college basketball herself, helped basketball bond them.
“We never got away with fighting, even if it was just nagging each other.” Allison says.
“They’re competitive but at the same time they help each other. The things that they learn, they were always out showing each other moves.” Gary says.
“We kind of had this motto that we could get beat by ourselves so we’ve got to stick together.” USD Senior Forward Bridget Arens says.
That helped Crofton become a Nebraska power that won five straight state titles from 2012 to 2016, setting each on a path to USD.
“That bond between us never really allowed us to separate. And when I was making a college decision I remember asking Allison several times if this is somewhere she would go because I said I want to play with you again. I want that feeling back.” Bridget says.
Though Bridget is graduating, another Arens comes to Vermillion next year, younger sister Monica (youngest sister Alexis will be a sophomore at Crofton).
“Maybe a little pressure but it gives you something to work for and you always have encouragement and support.” Monica says.
“Biggest mistake we made was we didn’t have Monica soon enough so she could play with Bridget!” Mother Joselyn Arens says.
Continuing a pack mentality that keeps them enriching each others lives….
“We feel very blessed to have had the opportunity but it’s also exciting at the same time.” Bridget says.
….and making the Coyotes Crofton tough.