Sports

No Pratt-falls for these two

South Kitsap’s Pratt sisters — senior Betsy, 18, and freshman Melissa, 15, are teammates on the girls’ golf team. - Jesse Beals/Staff Photo
South Kitsap’s Pratt sisters — senior Betsy, 18, and freshman Melissa, 15, are teammates on the girls’ golf team.
— image credit: Jesse Beals/Staff Photo

t Sisters tee off together on

SK’s golf team.

Golf perhaps is the perfect sport for Betsy and Melissa Pratt.

It’s an intricate game that requires constant work before success is achievable. Fortunately, the Pratt sisters, who compete for the girls golf team at South Kitsap High School, have the requisite patience.

In her limited spare time, Betsy, a senior at South, trains dogs, while Melissa, a freshman at Cedar Heights Junior High, works with pigs through Future Farmers of America.

Melissa has done it for three years and just got her fifth piglet Tuesday. She said she works with it four times a week to train it with a cane for shows at the Kitsap County Fair & Stampede and the Puyallup Fair.

In a sense, working with pigs and tweaking her golf swing aren’t much different.

“You have to be very patient,” she said. “A piglet can’t be cane-trained in one day. They’re both alike in some ways.”

Betsy, who trains her chocolate-colored lab, Hershey, for 4H, also has been involved with Girls Scouts and Relay for Life.

“I learned values along the way with all these different groups that have transferred over to sports,” she said.

She said she tries to impart some of that wisdom on her sister. Betsy is the Wolves’ No. 1 golfer, while Melissa is ranked fourth.

“I’m trying to show her to work on her golf, but also have fun while she’s out there,” she said. “Don’t worry about what they’re doing.”

Golf is a family sport in the Pratt household and Betsy said she can golf “just about anywhere” because several relatives have memberships to local courses.

She said her father, Tim, is an avid golfer and constantly has worked to hone her skills. In preparation for the Narrows League Golf Tournament, which was held Thursday and Friday in Spanaway, they went to the driving range four times last week.

“We both were taught by my dad, so he’s played the mentor role,” Betsy said. “It all funnels down. I’ll have my dad teach me something and then I’ll show it to my sister.”

South girls golf coach Mandy Wood said she’s enjoys working with both Pratts.

“I’ve coached sisters in the past with dance,” she said. “I think those two get along as well as any I’ve seen. You can tell she’s a positive motivation in Melissa’s life.”

As with most siblings, they’re quick to point out their differences, though. In addition to the animals they train, they both are set on different colleges.

Betsy wants to attend Olympic College to earn a degree in arts and animation and then transfer to the University of Washington with an eye toward a science-related major.

She hopes to utilize both experiences as an animator someday, a possibility that has intrigued her since childhood when she would doodle in Dr. Seuss books.

Melissa sees herself pursuing a medical-related field and wants to join the athletic-medicine program at South. After that, she hopes to attend Washington State University.

Those are just some subtle differences, though. As far as character and demeanor are concerned, Wood sees plenty of similarities.

“She takes after her sister in that respect,” she said of Melissa. “If Betsy’s work ethic is any indication, I definitely look forward to seeing more of her.”

Both also continue to work of their swings. Betsy wants to straighten her swing on longer shots; Melissa’s working to shorten her back swing.

Through patience and perseverance, they hope it comes together.

But regardless of the outcome, they’re happy to experience the sport together.

“It’s just something we can do together and have fun,” Melissa said. “Golf is one of those things that can bring us together.”

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