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College-Bound Berwick Twins Jackie & Lexie Nevel Leave it All on the Field

Dec. 07, 2020, 1:50 p.m. (ET)

Content Courtesy of Matt Bufano, The Citizens' Voice

The biggest statistical categories in field hockey — other than wins — are goals, assists and saves. 

Senior midfielder Lexie Nevel scored plenty of goals and assists for the Berwick Bulldogs. Her twin sister, Jackie Nevel, a goalkeeper, added a ton of saves.

But, no statistic tells the story of Lexie and Jackie Nevel’s high school field hockey career like games played.

They never missed a game in four years of varsity play, even despite Lexie’s offseason knee surgery and Jackie playing a position so physically demanding.

“She’s such a hard worker,” Jackie said of her sister. “I don’t know where I would be and where the team would be without her.”

Lexie returned similar praise in the other direction.

“I love playing with my sister,” Lexie said. “It’s something that we could enjoy and bond over together.”

The twins will split up in college. Jackie signed Wednesday to play field hockey at Bloomsburg University. Lexie is verbally committed to Wilkes University.

However, that doesn’t mean the longtime teammates are done playing with each other.

“We’ll probably end up at home in the backyard or at the track; me hitting on her and her blocking,” Lexie said.

It’s that type of dedication and love for the sport that has keyed the Nevels coming so far since they began playing field hockey in seventh grade.

Prior to the start of their field hockey careers, the Nevels were members of the Berwick Youth Football League.

Jackie played football, while Lexie was a cheerleader.

“We are complete opposites,” Jackie said. “I’ve always been the bigger one. She’s always been the faster one. We’re just polar opposites.”

Jackie’s “football toughness” translated to field hockey, according to Berwick head coach Amy Daniel, who recalled Jackie’s first time playing goalkeeper.

“Jackie had no fright about putting on pads,” Daniel said. “She was like, ‘Yep, I’ll do it. Who can I take out?’ We’re like, ‘Oh, no, no, no. You can’t take people out here.’ But there was no fear. She stepped right in there as a seventh-grader, ready to go.”

When they joined Daniel’s varsity squad, Jackie and Lexie both made the starting lineup as freshmen.

From there, they’ve made plenty of good memories, but also a few worth forgetting, like a few years ago when Jackie tried sending the ball down field and accidentally knocked Lexie in the head with the ball.

“She actually took it like a boss,” Jackie said.

Replacing the Nevels will be a major task for Daniel’s Bulldogs, who went 3-9 in 2020.

While Jackie is now signed to play at Bloomsburg, Lexie has been accepted to Wilkes and is now awaiting acceptance into its pharmacy program, she said.

College field hockey represents a new chapter that the twins didn’t know they were capable of reaching when they began playing.

“Part of me feels like it is natural-born talent for both of us,” Jackie said. “But I know we’ve both put in the hard work and dedication to come this far.”