Lexi and Laci Meurer have plenty of things to keep themselves busy this summer.
The AFC grads are shaking off enough rust from their basketball games to hopefully give a good showing at the Sauk Valley Media All-Star Classic on Thursday at Sauk Valley Community College.
They’ll once again be members of the Amboy Rage travel softball team, with an eye toward staying sharp for the next team they will compete on – at Joliet Junior College, where they’ll be freshmen this fall.
And last, but not least, they must remember to walk the pigs.
Lexi, Laci and Levi Meurer are triplets born on Oct. 24, 1998 and the children of Dave and Kelly Meurer, and reside on a farm near Ashton. The family tends to about 1,500 pigs on the farm – “Feed to finish,” Lexi said – but there are another 25 animals that the kids take to fairs for judging contests across the midwest. They plan to have animals judged at about 10 fairs this summer.
Relatively small amounts of money and ribbons are the tangible items at stake, but mostly it’s about bragging rights. That was the case at the World Pork Expo held June 7-9 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.
“The competition out there was crazy,” Lexi said. “It’s good experience, and kind of gets you out there so you can make connections with other people. It’s about having fun, making connections with other kids that show, and just going to have a good time.”
Lexi noted judges are looking for animals with good muscle definition, but are also mobile. That means taking them for walks, just like a normal pet.
“Some people walk their dogs at night after work,” Lexi said. “We walk our pigs. We teach them to roll on their bellies – all that good stuff.”
“Half the time they’re just playing in the grass,” Laci added. “They’re just like dogs. People think you can’t walk a pig, but you can walk a pig.”
The Meurers will each carry their farm background to college, as Laci will major in veterinary tech, while Lexi will major in agriculture education.
They also will both play softball, and are spending one more summer playing for the Amboy Rage to prepare.
They both started with the Rage when they were 12, and have been teammates with Amboy athletes such as Delaney Wilhelm, Karlee Doege, Emma Lindenmeyer, Haley Varga, Kylie Highbarger, Bailee Highbarger, Shannon Lytle and Summer Bulfer for many summers.
Many of those Clippers play basketball, so it’s like a reunion, albeit a competitive one, when winter comes and it’s time to play basketball.
“The rivalry starts the moment you walk in the gym that day,” Lexi said, “but you’re best friends at the end of the game most of the time. We spend all summer together.”
The Raiders and Clippers play twice in the regular season, and also met in the title game of the Amboy Christmas tournament. AFC won two of those games this past winter, a highlight for the Raiders.
“We will practice 2 weeks before and that’s all we talk about in practice – how can we beat Amboy,” Laci said. “It’s the best time of the year when you play Amboy. It’s just a good game, and you hope you come out winning or else you’ll hear about it.”