50th Anniversary: Family Legacies in Blind Brook Athletics

Being part of a family with a strong history at Blind Brook High School comes with its own set of expectations and pride, especially in sports. For Michael Berman-Annunziata, a Blind Brook soccer play and committed lacrosse athlete to Clark University, the legacy of athleticism runs deep. His mother, Lisa Berman, won all-county awards in both softball and volleyball at Blind Brook. Michael sees himself as more than just a student-athlete; he sees himself as a bearer of his family’s legacy. “To me, it’s very important that I carry on my family’s legacy, and growing up with a parent who also played sports at the same school has provided a unique perspective and support system,” he explains. Michael feels fortunate that his mother understands the demands and joys of being a student-athlete at Blind Brook. “I feel like my mom having played a sport at the same high school as me has made an impact in the way that she knows exactly what my experience is like, so it’s helpful having someone to relate to,” he shares. Despite his family connections to athletics, Michael doesn’t feel pressured by his mom. However, he does admit to putting a lot of pressure on himself to make his family proud. 

Blind Brook High School has a rich tradition of producing talented athletes, and Michael and Lisa Berman are just one example of the multi-generational athletes who have left their mark on the school’s sports programs. Understanding the impact of multi-generational athletic legacies extends beyond any one school. Research shows that children of athletes are more likely to become athletes themselves, as they are influenced by their parental role models and are raised to appreciate the nature of sports. Nonetheless, family expectations can also lead to stress and performance anxiety. In communities with multi-generational athletes, there’s often a sense of tradition and pride. Overall, family ties in sports shape individuals’ experiences and broader sports cultures, both within and beyond schools.