RICHMOND — Ever since Max Viselli can remember, his sister Lila has been by his side.

Whether it’s on the soccer pitch, the basketball court, or playing baseball and softball in the spring, the two have grown closer partially because of the athletic experiences they’ve shared.

Siblings Lila and Max Viselli pose for a portrait before their soccer games Sept. 11 in Richmond. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“We started playing peewee soccer forever ago. Lila actually played up with us when she was just three or four (years old),” Max Viselli said during practice on Tuesday. “I feel like I got her into it but I know she picked up the game in stride just like I did.”

It’s not uncommon for siblings to represent their school in athletics at the same time. But for the Viselli siblings (or Viselli twins, as Richmond girls soccer coach Troy Kendrick likes to call them), their soccer bond dates back beyond the first time they each donned a Richmond uniform.

“My parents got us into it when we were young,” Lila, a sophomore said on Tuesday. “I just wanted to keep up with him and play with him even though I was a year younger.”

With athletics comes competition, something both Max and Lila take very seriously, especially against each other.

“Oh yeah, we make each other better,” said Max, a junior. “It’s great for us. We each have someone who can make each other better basically at all times.”

Added Lila: “You’re always looking to compete and when you have someone to compete with you always want to be better than them. I’m just lucky to have someone basically at all times.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, forcing students to remain home and have little to no physical contact with each other, the Visellis were still able to train at home, just like they have been for years.

Richmond’s Lila Viselli kicks the ball during a girls soccer game against Sacopee Valley on Sept. 11 in Richmond. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“It was tough that we couldn’t train with our teammates, but Lila and I were able to keep at it in the barn at our house,” Max Viselli said. “It has concrete floors and is pretty large, we can train with one another in there even during the winter.”

The all-season homemade training room is predominantly where the two train with one another, no matter what sport is in season.

The competitive spirit of the Visellis go beyond the pitch, it also reaches the baseball/softball field and the hardwood.

“It’s nice to have a defender guarding me when we play together,” Max Viselli said. “It’s definitely better than not having a partner there.”

Scope Valley’s Jonan Naratil, left, and Richmond’s Max Viselli collide during a boys soccer game Sept. 11 in Richmond. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

From growing up in youth sports to both representing multiple varsity level athletic teams at Richmond, the Viselli siblings cheer each other on whenever given the opportunity.

“It’s really cool, especially here at Richmond,” Lila Viselli said. “If we have games on the same day we sometimes can watch each other play which is awesome.”

Away from athletics, the two share similar hobbies.

“We’re both very into fashion so we talk about that a lot,” Max Viselli said. “She’s one of my best friends, we definitely hang out quite a bit.”

Added Lila Viselli: “Whenever one of us is bored we know we have someone to go chill with or take a drive.”

And as for who’s the better athlete?

“Oh, me for sure,” Max Viselli said with a smile.

“It’s pretty close, we’re better at different things,” Lila Viselli said. “He’s quicker than me but I like to think I have a similar skill set.”

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