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It runs in the family: The Morrison siblings take on Miami athletics

<p>Next year, three Morrison siblings, (from left) Kaylin, Makenna and Brayden, will be playing Division I sports at Miami</p>

Next year, three Morrison siblings, (from left) Kaylin, Makenna and Brayden, will be playing Division I sports at Miami

Junior Makenna Morrison loves the soccer field. Sophomore Brayden Morrison is at home on the ice. 

This sibling duo from Calgary, Alberta, has found a new home here at Miami University competing on the varsity soccer and hockey teams. Makenna and Brayden’s younger sister, Kailyn Morrison, will join Makenna on the soccer team next fall, officially making three of the four Morrison siblings RedHawks. 

“It’s pretty awesome we can go to each other's games and support each other,” Brayden said. “I had to move away for juniors, so [my siblings] didn’t really get to see much of me and vice versa.”

The siblings only wish that Miami had a women’s hockey team for their youngest sister, Taylor, who is 15 years old and playing triple-A hockey for Little Caesars, one of the premier youth organizations in the United States, to come and play at Miami too. 

Makenna was the first in the family to commit to Miami in October 2020. She’s a biology pre-med major and starts as a midfielder. She began playing soccer when she was 5 years old.

Her experience on the team so far has been nothing but positive. She described the locker room as a “supportive environment” and a place where teammates can uplift each other. 

“This is a space where you’re like, this is your family away from your family,” Makenna said. 

However, she is not going to be “away” from her family for long. She’s very excited to get the opportunity to play soccer on the same team as her sister for the first time, especially at the collegiate level next year. 

“I’m so excited,” Makenna said. “I think it’ll be so fun … I’m also excited to be here for her for the guidance she needs going into school.” 

As the two have gotten older, their relationship has grown closer, and now getting the chance to become teammates is exciting for both of them.  

Kailyn, a senior at Northville High School in Northville, Michigan, committed in March 2023, before Brayden, who transferred after two seasons playing junior hockey and a season at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She currently plays as an outside back.

“I’ve always looked up to [Makenna],” Kailyn said. “She’s super competitive, but then also a great leader … I think she’s super excited for me to come, and then I’m super excited to be able to be a part of [Miami soccer] with her and share the college experience at the same time.”

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When deciding on her commitment, Kailyn considered how Makenna already attended Miami. She also fell in love with the school herself. She described how it felt like the best fit for her, and she wanted to remain fairly close to their family’s new home in Michigan.

“I definitely wanted to make that decision regardless of Makenna being there,” Kailyn said. 

Brayden, the oldest Morrison sibling, was the last to commit in June 2023. He’s studying economics and plays left wing. 

After the past few years of being separated from family due to travel hockey, he is happy to get the opportunity to go to college with his siblings. Before this season, he spent the last three years in Okotoks, Alberta, then Madison, Wisconsin, and then Dubuque, Iowa.

Despite some initial hesitation on Makenna’s behalf concerning Brayden’s possible commitment, their relationship has grown while being here. The two set aside time to hang out at least once a week for a family dinner in spite of their busy schedules. They also chat over the phone regularly.

Brayden enjoys the team camaraderie and has a positive outlook on this season with his new teammates. He is still figuring out how to adjust back to a school environment after coming from his junior team, where his life was all hockey, all the time. He said his biggest challenge so far is managing his time to create a balance between schoolwork and athletics. 

Growing up, Brayden’s biggest mentor for hockey was his father, Brendan. Brendan played hockey at the University of Michigan and then went on to play nearly 1000 games for a variety of professional hockey teams in the NHL over 15 years. 

“I’d say I’ve learned a lot from him,” Brayden said. “He’s been super influential in my life.” 

Not only does their dad have a history of playing sports at a high level, but their mom, Erin, also played volleyball in college at Western University in Ontario. 

Given this background, it was important for the Morrison parents to make sure their kids were enjoying themselves and carving their own paths with sports.

“As a parent and professional athlete, I didn’t want to put any extra pressure on my kids and make them feel like this is what they had to do,” Brendan said. “But it seemed like they all gravitated towards sports, and they enjoyed playing.”

A competitive atmosphere has developed at home with all six athletes living under one roof. They described how growing up, everyone was very passionate about what they were doing, but ultimately wanted to see the best for each other. This mindset has paid off, because now three of the Morrison siblings have landed themselves on Division I college rosters.

The parents' athletic ability has rubbed off on their kids, and now they are thrilled to be able to support them all at the same school. 

“From a parental standpoint, we’re proud of our kids,” Brendan said. “They’ve worked hard … and we are excited to see them kind of follow their journeys for school and where it takes them afterward.”