Skills Video 2011
Come check out my skills video on the Video's Page.
Come check out my skills video on the Video's page.
Four Boden Sisters True Chicago Pioneers
Lakeside golf team a quartet of siblings
By Matt Nascone
Staff / Alicia LavenderFrom left, Susanne, Stephanie, Lauren and Allison Boden. The Boden sisters are the four players who competed in the GHSA Girls’ State Golf Tournament last week.
Forming a family-like bond was simple for the members of the Lakeside girls’ golf team. The four members of the team already had one thing in common — a last name.
The Boden sisters, senior triplets Lauren, Stephanie and Allison and sophomore Susanne, never had to go through the early tribulations most teams have to go through to get to know one another.
“I have grown up playing with them, so it is really cool to do it on a high school team,” Stephanie said.
The Boden sisters do not limit themselves to one team. They go from softball in the fall to basketball in the winter to golf in the spring. Lauren, the oldest sister by a minute, said she has enjoyed competing with her sisters.
“We have just gone from sport to sport, and it is nice,” she said. “The rides to get places for all the sports have been fun.”
Riding together is fun for the ladies, but Stephanie said there was a narrowing process when they were younger.
“When we were younger we played soccer and a couple other things, so we had to vote on what we wanted to play,” Stephanie said. “It was just too much to go from field to field.”
The sisters won the DeKalb County Tournament for the second year in a row this year, and they placed eighth in the state tournament last week.
“We just know how everyone thinks and we help each other out,” Stephanie said. “We kind of have this bond that is different than other people.”
Susanne is two years younger than her triplet sisters, and she said there is a friendly competitive angle to being the youngest of the four.
“I want to do better than them, so I am always trying to get my score lower,” Susanne said. “But I just relate to them so well. I really enjoy playing with them because they are always there for me.”
Lakeside head coach Greg Lester said he had an easy job in 2010.
“They do a great job of balancing school, social life and sports,” Lester said. “The unique thing about these girls is they start out with softball, then pick up basketball and then pick up golf. So to be able to place in the Top-10 against girls who play year-round is great.”
Lester said the Bodens are a happy group.
“I don’t ever see a frown and they are always smiling,” Lester said.
Triplets overachievers times three in DeKalb
The Boden triplets, Lauren, Stephanie and Allison, are state-ranked athletes and top scholars — but they occasionally face defeat.
Defeat came one recent afternoon in the form of little sister Susanne, who crushed Allison at arm-wrestling.
“Well, she was born breathing,” said Allison, nodding at Susanne. “How easy is that?”
For Allison, who weighed 2 pounds at birth, a life of triumph didn’t seem a sure bet. At 4 pounds, Stephanie needed steroids to “mature” her lungs. Only 3-pound Lauren could breathe without assistance. Since then, they’ve been hustling to catch up.
They’ve done pretty well.
This year the 17-year-old triplets finished in the top three academic slots at Lakeside High School in DeKalb County. Lauren, with a GPA of 4.28, is the valedictorian, and Allison and Stephanie, who tied with GPAs of 4.23, are both salutatorians.
It’s the first time that 1,600-student Lakeside has had two salutatorians, as far as assistant principal Jason Clyne knows. He sees this event as a typical Boden performance: Somehow, all three nosed into a winners circle usually reserved for two.
The competitive spirit doesn’t quit there. The Boden triplets, and sister Susanne, 15, twice led the school’s golf team to the state championships, all are members of the softball and basketball teams, and Lauren and Susanne both pitch for a church-league boys baseball team, regularly striking out their male opponents. Lauren’s fastball is in the Guinness Book of Records.
How did a trio of 32-week preemies create this sorority of excellence? Their success is a testament to the benefits of steady effort, high expectations, masterful time management and a relentless drive to excel, in both parents and children.
Lakeside, one, two, three
Softball coach Tricia Newmyer said the triplets earned their honors the hard way. Each took five advanced placement courses this year — literature, psychology, physics, computer science and calculus.
Like gymnasts shaping a routine, the triplets planned their senior year by weighing difficulty and execution. AP courses offer extra points, but are harder to ace. Green-eyed Allison and blue-eyed Stephanie would have backed away from calculus, but they knew brown-eyed Lauren had signed up.
Calculus provided the differential, giving Allison and Stephanie their first B grades and Lauren the brass ring.
Stephanie and Allison have practiced a response to this turn of events, reciting in unison: “BC calculus: Ya gotta love it,” followed by a sardonic high-five.
Despite the jokes, all three seem proud of each other. “They would tell you, if it wasn’t them [coming in first], they’d rather it be their sister,” said father Scott Boden.
In a typical show of solidarity, all three plan to attend Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., this fall. Lauren announced an early decision to attend the small private school. Her siblings revealed their intentions just last week.
“Y’all are such copycats,” she told them.
Parents have hands full
New Jersey native Scott Boden earned a summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania. He was a trombone player and drum major in the marching band. He also took excellent notes.
In medical school, also at Penn, Scott met fellow doctor-in-training Mary Caulfield. Mary, from San Rafael, was a graduate of Stanford College and a nationally-ranked lacrosse player. She discovered that Scott’s class notes, with their elaborate highlighted sections, were unsurpassed.
“I found out that if I just read the stuff he’d highlighted three times, then I’d ace the test.” She was smitten.
They married and were living in Cleveland when the triplets were born. The day after the babies came home from the hospital, the family moved to Atlanta, where Scott Boden teaches orthopedics at Emory University, runs a clinic and performs spine surgeries.
He is, in other words, very busy. Mary, 49, also has her hands full. After Susanne and Michael arrived she had five children in the house under the age of 4.
Evenings were devoted to baseball with the big girls. First they swatted at pitches in the driveway, then in the yard, then on the school grounds. Finally, dad built a 65-foot batting cage in the back yard, with a pitching machine and lights for night practice.
“It looks like the Taj Mahal,” says one admirer.
Is that a girl?
The benefits of early training are apparent on a recent chilly, cobalt spring evening. Mary Boden is watching Lauren and Susanne pitch a Colt League baseball game on the fields behind Rehoboth Baptist. They are the only girls on the ball field. (Both have also pitched on the boys junior varsity team at Lakeside.)
Michael, 13, is running the scoreboard and offering a little commentary on his sibling’s performance. “Susanne needs glasses,” he jokes.
Mary, parked in the bleachers with a sheaf of scorecards, is keeping stats for the team. Lauren “is methodical,” she says. “She works the plate. She has an uncanny way of remembering if she’s faced this batter and what worked before.”
Lauren throws a high fast one that is called a ball. “Ooh. She thought that was a strike,” says Mary. The batter walks. “That’s all right,” says Mary. “Pick ‘em off.” Lauren strikes out the other five batters she faces.
All four girls have played varsity softball since they were freshmen, but Lauren and Susanne prefer baseball. Lauren began playing on boys teams at age 13, and her teammates seem to accept her without reservation, though opponents are sometimes caught flat-footed.
“They say ‘Oh you guys must suck ’cause you’ve got girls on your team.’ And then we beat them,” Lauren told the Champion Free Press.
“She has good movement on her fastball, and her change-up is fantastic,” said pitching coach Bill Melvin, who comes to the Boden house each Sunday evening to offer lessons to Michael, Susanne and Lauren. Scott, 49, suits up in protective gear and catches all three, usually until about 10 or 10:30 p.m.
All the Boden children know they must finish homework before their athletics, but the children are adept at getting schoolwork done in the back of the car or in the dugout or on the airplane to a national (or international) competition.
“When they came back from Australia [where all four girls competed in January in the 2010 Sydney Women’s Invitational Baseball tournament] they turned in five [computer] programs,” said Bryan Cox, their computer science teacher.
They manage to juggle a buffet of extracurriculars, including Beta Club, the yearbook, student government, the student newspaper, Girl Scouts and volunteer work. The honey-blond Stephanie even found time to win the Miss Lakeside contest this year, with a talent routine she borrowed from the movie “Miss Congeniality.”
Certainly they learned about multi-tasking by watching their parents. Both are physicians and both are heavily involved in their children’s activities. Mary was senior medical executive with Cigna, responsible for four states, until she retired last year to help steer the girls through college applications.
“You prioritize,” she said. “Each day I look at the calendar, see what we’re committed to and then wonder how in the blazes we’re going to get from point A to point B.”
Slow game in the fast-lane
Two days before the state golf championships, the triplets are at the Druid Hills Golf Club practice range, methodically driving balls 150 yards. As she watches, mother Mary pantomimes a swivel motion to one of the girls.
“In golf, you have to coach non-verbally, because you’re not allowed to talk to your kids,” Mary explains under her breath.
Golf is Allison’s sport. The dark-haired triplet has an 8 handicap and usually shoots an 86. Scott arrives from work and takes Michael to his baseball practice.
The girls head home, feed the dogs and plan a late study-session, after supper at IHOP. (Mother’s cooking skills are not universally celebrated.) More friends are expected; the house is usually full of teenagers.
“When you add one or two kids to a group this size you hardly notice,” Mary says.
This is why she sees the coming departure of the triplets to college as a jarring experience. She went from zero to three children in three minutes. Now she must adjust to a reduced crowd.
“I’ve never had two!”