NEW PALESTINE — With three teenage girls, it’s always a busy time at the Black household, but particularly so in the fall when Lauren, Alex and Mackenzi Black, triplets, are involved with school, sports and part-time jobs.
Mackenzi is a golfer for the New Palestine Dragons, while Alex and Lauren are cheerleaders in the fall for the Dragons football team.
Between getting their children to school, practice, games, matches, part-time jobs and more, parents Tracy and Jeff Black have their hands full; but they wouldn’t want it any other way.
“It’s always been busy at our house, since the day they were born,” Tracy Black said.
The couple has thoroughly enjoyed watching their girls grow up with a built-in support system, sisters always being there for each other helping and pushing each other in their chosen sport and in life.
The three girls, fraternal triplets, turn 18 on Sept. 30, and are New Palestine High School seniors.
They have been student-athletes through their 12 years in the Community School Corp. of Southern Hancock County.
When they’re not focused on their own chosen activities, the sisters are always working on helping each other be their best.
Mackenzi, who just recently accomplished the rarest of feats — getting a hole-in-one and a top-score of 75 at the New Palestine Invitational last weekend to help the Dragons win first place — loves hanging with her sisters.
Despite her dedication to golf, part-time work and school, she always finds time to go to Friday night football games to watch her sisters cheer.
“There is no doubt I like looking out there and seeing them cheer,” Mackenzi said.
She stays and supports her siblings until at least halftime of the high school football games before heading home to get some rest; she normally has a match to take part in the next day, since girls golf is also in the fall.
Lauren and Alex in turn go and watch Mackenzi play golf whenever they can. Alex often has to work one of her part-time jobs in her spare time, but Lauren, who was born first, doesn’t miss a match and likes to tease her sister Mackenzi that she could one day beat her in golf.
“She’s always telling me she can play better than me,” Mackenzi said with a laugh.
Lauren, who has Down syndrome, always has taken part in everything her sisters have tried. From youth sports to cheering with Alex, it’s all about inclusion and making sure Lauren is just one of the sisters.
All three sisters started out in cheer when they were tiny tots until Mackenzi branched off into golf with her dad when she was in third grade. Alex said she loves the fact she and Lauren found a sport the two love to do together.
“I like always having her by my side,” Alex said. “I really like to cheer with her.”
Lauren can always count on Alex to be there and her with the more difficult cheers, she said.
When their busy fall schedule permits, the girls enjoy hanging out at home together, but they will go their separate ways after graduation.
Mackenzi wants to study business at either Marion University or Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne; Alex plans to study physical therapy and special needs at Ball State University; Lauren is looking forward to going to Franklin College, where she plans to learn more about special needs, animals and technology.
Their father has enjoyed watching his daughters not only do well in their chosen sport but also in the classroom. All three of the girls are good students. The family spent the summer visiting more than a dozen colleges helping their daughters figure out their next steps.
Regardless of where they go, they’ll always be sisters and support each other, they said, noting it’s nice to have lifelong fans.
The girls’ parents said they are thrilled their daughters have their own interests and do well individually while still taking the time to be there for each other.
“They all excel in their own things and are special in their own way,” Tracy Black said. “They actually don’t compete against each other, but support each other in all the things they do.”