Kickoff Classic pits Vero Beach brother against Sebastian sister

VERO BEACH — Tonight’s Fourth Annual Kickoff Classic will pit more than just the two teams against each other – the game will split one Vero Beach family in two.

The Whitehouse teenagers, while normally close and often hang out with each other, are now finding themselves on opposite sides of the football field.

EmiLeigh Whitehouse, is a senior at Sebastian River High. Her brother, Adam Whitehouse, is a freshman at Vero Beach High. The two are taking pot-shots at each other, razzing the other about tonight’s game. And, they’re making predictions but not willing to bet on it.

“Vero’s going to win, no doubt about it,” said Adam. The Indian’s will make sushi out of the Sharks.

His prediction? 47-0 Vero.

EmiLeigh isn’t so quick to predict a win, but rather, “Hopefully it’ll get rained out at halftime, tied.”

Her prediction? 27-26 Vero.

“As much as I hate to admit it, Vero Beach is going to win,” EmiLeigh said. However, she doesn’t believe it’ll be a blow out.

“It’ll be a good game,” she said.

Dad, David Whitehouse, predicts the game will be 21-5 Vero. Mom, Debbie-Kay Whitehouse, refuses to predict a score.

“I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the game,” she said.

The whole family plans to attend tonight’s game, leaving one unresolved issue:

“Where should I sit?” asked their mom, Debbie-Kay Whitehouse.

She posed the question to the high schools’ principals, who came up with their own suggestions.

“Because you have a senior at Sebastian River high School, both parents should sit the senior,” said Sebastian’s principal, Daniel Gilbertson.

Vero Beach principal, Eric Seymour, took a different tack.

“The senior deserves the honor,” he told Whitehouse. “Let the senior decide where the parents should sit.”

Adam said his principal’s recommendation was “unfair” and that he should get the say.

In the end, the family has made its decision.

“I guess the testosterone sticks together!” said Mom.

Dad will sit with Adam on the Vero Beach side and Mom will sit with EmiLeigh on the Sebastian side. They will wear T-shirts supporting their respective team. But, to show support for their “rival,” the parents plan to wear the other teams’ baseball cap.

“I think that’s a bad idea,” Adam warned.

Neither he nor EmiLeigh think their parents wearing the “wrong” hat is good – they’ll get their kids in trouble.

After this year, when EmiLeigh graduates from Sebastian River High through the International Baccalaureate program, she’ll head off to college. What school remains to be seen.

Playing Devil’s Advocate, EmiLeigh threw out one college rivalry scenario – she attend Florida State and Adam University of Florida.

“Oh, wow,” Adam said, his head already spinning. “I’d still be on the winning side!”

Adam would still be an Indian (Seminoles) and EmiLeigh would still be aquatic (Gators).

But before they can move on to college, they have to get through the Kickoff Classic, where Sebastian River High’s Sharks will host the Vero Beach Indians.

“Good luck,” Adam told his sister.

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