For the most part, the expression “Big brother is watching over you” is not a positive one.
But what about “Big sister is watching over you?”
In the case of Haverhill freshman Jeremy DeRoche, a stalwart on the Hillies’ boys volleyball team, it’s definitely a positive.
DeRoche. a 5-foot-11 rookie who just began playing the sport as an eighth grader, gets plenty of counsel and advice from older sister Haley, a senior captain on the MVC Division 2 championship team in the fall and a manager for the boys team.
During practice, at home and even during the games, big sister is not hesitant to help out her younger brother.
“She gives me pointers and tells me what I need to work on,” said Jeremy, who started the season as an outside hitter but was then switched to libero. “In timeouts during the games, she’ll tell me things after the coach is done talking.
“I like it for the most part. She’s been playing a lot longer than me and she really knows the game.”
As far as Haley is concerned, she’s just returning a favor. She remembers when she was younger and trying to improve her game.
“When I first started out, he was there to help me,” said Haley, who hopes to continue her career at Springfield College next year. “Whenever I needed someone to pass the ball to me, he was there.”
The DeRoche family has a net in the backyard and nowadays, when it’s up and assembled, brother and sister will practice together for the benefit of both. There, and on Haverhill’s court, Haley has seen steady progress from her brother.
“I’m definitely impressed with how well he’s done so far,” said Haley. “He’s really good at passing. He just needs to work on his hitting so he can play in the front line more.”