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A HocKea Family: Jack, Eli and Natalie Kea join forces for first time on Mt. Pleasant hockey team WITH PHOTO GALLERY

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Having multiple kids in high school, all playing a sport in the same season, is a nightmare for most parents, especially when that sport is hockey and they're tasked with lugging around a bulk of smelly equipment the entire campaign.

For Jeff and Anne Kea however, the job just became a whole lot easier. Because, for the first time in 2015-16, all three of their kids – Jack, Natalie and Eli – are on the same team: the varsity hockey team at Mt. Pleasant.

“I think they're real pleased with the travel arrangements,” joked head coach Mike Willett. “It's also funny, with Jack being the only driver of the three, he's constantly getting after them about getting to the car on time.”

Yes, despite neither Natalie or Eli having their licenses, Jeff and Anne don't even have to give rides anymore as Jack, a senior, is now the de facto chauffeur for the trio, impatiently waiting for his brother and sister to emerge from the locker rooms after games and practices.

“It was a summer workout day and Eli was taking a little too long in the locker room getting changed,” Willett remembers. “I'm standing out there and all of a sudden, Eli comes out, 'Coach, did my brother leave me?' And I said, 'I don't know, maybe he did.' And about two minutes later, Jack came tooling around and I asked him if he forgot his brother. And he said, 'No, I was just going around the block to tell him to hurry up a little bit the next time.'”

Jokes aside, the chance to have three siblings playing on the same high school team is a rarity, and one that's had an overwhelmingly positive impact on everyone involved.

“We talk about it a lot after games and stuff,” Jack remarked. “Just getting even more perspectives because we all have different roles on the team, so to bring our heads together like that is cool.”

“I think it definitely brings us closer together,” Natalie added.

The arrangement has also been beneficial for the Oilers as a whole as Willett can already see the traits that has made Jack an integral part of the team translating to his younger siblings.

“Jack's a four year varsity player and he's a hard, hard worker,” Willett said. “He's been out with a separated shoulder, but it's his work ethic that has gotten him to the spot he's at. He and Natalie both play forward and you can see that hard work translating right to her. She's a very hard worker, very fast too. Very similar to Jack. All three are also very attentive. They follow suit all the time and you never have to be worried about the Keas being in tune.”

Both Natalie and Eli admit that their attentiveness is drawn directly from Jack who has provided the perfect role model for how to behave around the team.

“I'm a freshman so I'm new,” Eli said. “I'm just trying to learn the ropes, see how things work with the team... [Jack] helps with how to act around the team and it helped because when I got to the high school team, everybody already knew who I was. It adds that competitive thing too, you know?”

Though the Keas join the Trucks as the only biological siblings on the team, with the tight-knit hockey community in Mt. Pleasant, really, everyone of the Oilers is pretty much family.

“A sport like hockey, there's only so many players in Mt. Pleasant, so, not only do you have the biological family ties, but there's a hockey family as well,” Willett said. “There's several players that treat each other like brothers and act like they're brothers and sisters, so even though we only have a couple of actual siblings, there's a lot that seem like they're actual siblings.”

“We're always in the hallways like, 'Are you ready for the game tonight, you know?'” Eli added. “It's just another family I guess you could say.”

But though both Willett and the Keas believe that the family dynamic is a big factor in Mt. Pleasant's rise as a hockey program over the last several years, Jack is only worried about the one who have to get in his car to go home.

“If you have to ride around with all your siblings in the car... everybody has to shower after practice,” he finished.

Last Updated: 12/20/2015 6:48:44 PM EST