Jordan and Taylor Latest in Family to Excel as Student-athletes
They helped Revere Pop Warner win four national cheerleading championships but that was just the beginning of their success in athletics.
The Sullivan twins â€“ Jordan and Taylor, have been involved in sports since the age of seven. They are 18 years old now, graduates of St. Maryâ€™s High School where they led the softball team to an outstanding 2019 season.
The 5-foot-6-inch Sullivan sistersâ€™ final appearance representing their high school was in the Harry Agganis All-Star Softball Game Sunday at Fraser Field. Their parents, Eddie and Tracy, watched with bittersweet emotions from the stands, knowing that a legacy of interscholastic excellence was coming to an end for the family, but new roads beckoned as the two scholar-athletes head to the University of Maine to begin their college careers.
Beginnings in T-Ball at St. Maryâ€™s Field
The Sullivansâ€™ initial entry in to sports was in the T-Ball Division at St. Maryâ€™s field. They became All-Stars players for the U-10 and U-12 teams, Jordan, a catcher, and Taylor, an infielder.
Their first coach was their father, Eddie, a son of Charlestown who became a multi-sport superstar at Pope John XXIII High School in Everett.
They soon began their cheerleading careers in Revere Pop Warner under the direction of Melissa Elam. With Jordan and Taylor serving side-by-side as bases, the Revere squad won two national cheerleading championships in the â€˜Câ€™ Division at Disney World and matched that achievement in the â€˜Bâ€™ and â€˜Aâ€™ Divisions.
â€œI really think our Pop Warner cheerleading helped us improve our athletic skills,â€ said Jordan.
â€œOne hundred percent â€“ cheering for Pop Warner made us better leaders,â€ said Taylor.
At Revere High, their cheerleading positions gave them the opportunity to root on their brother, Eddie, who as a RPW quarterback almost led the Junior Patriots to a New England title. Eddie became a solid two-way performer for the RHS football team, but his most memorable contributions were as a record-setting scorer for the lacrosse team. He now plays college lacrosse.
All-Star Seasons St St. Maryâ€™s
After playing softball and participating in cheerleading for two years at Revere High School, the girls transferred to St. Maryâ€™s in Lynn for their junior year.
Jordan, who started every game at catcher the past two seasons, was a Catholic Central League All-Star, while Taylor, who returned to the team after missing almost all of her junior year due to a torn ACL injury (she injured her knee while participating in a Powder Puff football game), received Honorable Mention recognition.
Jordan was the leagueâ€™s best all-around catcher, with opponents rarely attempting to steal. The other half of the battery was ace pitcher Angelia Pepe, also of Revere.
â€œAngelia had a great season,â€ said Jordan.
Interestingly, Jordan drew 24 walks, which means that opponents were â€œpitching aroundâ€ her all season.
Taylor led the league in home runs (8) and RBIs (26) in addition to compiling a potent .402 average. Her eight home runs are a school record, including three round-trippers out of spacious Rogato Field in Lynn.
Both Jordan and Taylor were also selected to the All-Tournament Team in the John Holland Tournament (that was won by St. Maryâ€™s) and as Lynn City All-Stars. They played volleyball as well.
St. Maryâ€™s outstanding 19-5 softball season ended in a 2-1 loss in eight innings to CCL rival Austin Prep, who would go on to win the Division 3 state title.
At St. Maryâ€™s, the girls played softball for Coach Paige Licata, a former Revere standout.
â€œSheâ€™s a great coach,â€ said Jordan.
â€œShe was very supportive and pushed us to be better players,â€ said Taylor.
Paige Licata said the Sullivan twins are â€œnot only great athletes, but great kids.â€
â€œThey were great senior leaders and I was excited and lucky to have them,â€ said Licata. â€œTheyâ€™re going to be greatly missed, for sure, in our program. Iâ€™ve been lucky enough to have upperclassmen on all my teams, and to have them transfer in as juniors and fill that void that we had at that point â€“ it was perfect timing for us. I got a huge break when they decided that St. Maryâ€™s would be a good fit for them.â€
â€œJordan started both seasons, every single game, she did not miss one game, which is impressive,â€ said Licata. â€œWhatâ€™s so great about Jordan was that nothing got by her at catcher and she has a great arm. Sheâ€™s such a hard worker. She always hustles on the field and she has tremendous toughness. I couldnâ€™t ask for a tougher kid. We looked to her to create a spark, make something big happen offensively and defensively, and she did.â€
Licata said It was crucial to the teamâ€™s success to have Taylor back full time this season.
â€œTaylorâ€™s personality made her a sparkplug for the team,â€ said Licata. â€œWhen Taylor was hitting this year, everyone started hitting. People would get on base and Taylor would be the batter who either hit a home run, a double, or a triple to move all the runners or drive someone in. Taylor was a huge part of the momentum shifting our way in games.â€
â€œItâ€™s a great family,â€ said Licata. â€œTheir parents were super supportive, always looking to see what they could do to help our program. The whole family will be missed. I wish them the best of luck at UMaine.â€
Support From the Family
Eddie and Tracy Sullivan were there every step of the way for their twin daughters.
And from the beginning, Jordan and Taylor had the benefit of watching their older brother perform exceptionally well on the field.
â€œHe [Eddie Jr.] taught us how to stay driven and you can accomplish big things if you do,â€ said Taylor. â€œHe taught us how to stay focused,â€ said Jordan, who with her sister never missed their brotherâ€™s football and lacrosse games.
But their biggest praise for setting the foundation to their athletic career goes to their father.
â€œMy father taught us everything,â€ said Jordan.
â€œHeâ€™s been our coach ever since St. Maryâ€™s (softball),â€ added Taylor. â€œHe taught us to be the best of our abilities, push ourselves, always work hard and not to give up.â€
While in middle school, the girls had thought about enrolling at Pope John, where both parents are alumni.
â€œBut I think we made the right choice and we had a great experience at St. Maryâ€™s,â€ said Jordan, concurring with her sister that former principal Jim Ridley was a positive influence and excellent motivator at the school.
Whatâ€™s it been like sharing every athletic and academic accomplishment with each other?
â€œWeâ€™re best friends – itâ€™s been great always having a friend around,â€ said Taylor.
â€œWeâ€™re always there to support each other,â€ said Jordan.
They are considering a tryout with the Division 1 Maine softball team.
â€œWe may try to walk on,â€ said Taylor.
Jordan intends to major in Psychology and pursue a career as a psychologist. Taylor will study Child Development and Family Relations and hopes to attend law school.