Molly and Jake Gervase. Brother and sister and two of Assumption’s success stories.
Jake, now in the NFL with the Los Angeles Rams as a Super Bowl champion, Molly finishing out her soccer career at Iowa after three years in Denver.
“I didn’t know anything different. Going and watching him play at the next level. That’s exactly what I wanted to do. There wasn’t anything else I wanted to do growing up,” Molly said. “Watching him do it made me want to do it a little more. We still compete, even being older. We still have water volleyball games, different stuff like that on family vacations. There’s never a lack of competitiveness between Jake and I. I think just overall he set the standard and I wanted to reach it.”
The feeling is mutual.
“I’m so proud of Molly. She’s been through a lot in her athletic journey. Starting out playing soccer at Denver and had some bumps in the road with injuries and things not going her way,” Jake said. “For her to go through those tough times and be able to still walk-on at the University of Iowa, be back home. Wear the black and yellow. It’s pretty special to see.”
Being four years apart, that competitiveness in the younger versions of themselves has grown into an admiration for one another.
“It’s definitely a good chunk or balance of, he’s older but not that much older. When I was younger, I couldn’t stand him. We would fight all the time,” Molly said. “You know how siblings are. I don’t think I would ever tell him how much I look up to him until I’ve gotten older and learned to respect him and everything that he’s done. It definitely goes both ways, where he’s like, ‘Hey that’s not my little sister anymore.’ I’m a full adult now and when I was younger it was like, ‘Let’s compete,’ but now we can both just be proud of each other.”
And they are.
“I’ve lucked my way to where I’m at, but Molly, in terms of talent, if she didn’t have a couple of bad injuries, I would give all the athletic ability solely to her,” Jake said.
While both can complement each other on their accomplishments, it doesn’t happen without the support of their parents, Steve and Sheila, who did it all despite not having athletic backgrounds.
“My mom and dad were the greatest support. They were never too hard on us. Never yelled at us after games. It was always positive,” Molly said. “Even if it was bad, always cheering us on. Also my mom probably didn’t even know what position I played in soccer until I was a senior in high school so that kind of thing. So them not really being involved in sports made it better because they never put pressure on us, it was always the pressure we put on ourselves. Of course, the goal is to make them proud and we’ve definitely done that.”
That support means everything.
“I think our parents did a great job. They never pushed sports on us but always gave us the opportunity to play the sports we wanted,” Jake said. “I think the drives, the countless practices, wrestling meets, baseball tournaments, all across the state, it helped developed not only me and Molly but all four of us siblings to have success starting in high school.”
By receiving that Super Bowl ring, Jake had the chance to say thank you, bringing his dad on the field after the game, creating a lifelong memory.
“It was always his dream to go to the Super Bowl. He said he always wanted to go as a fan,” Jake said. “To be able to share that moment with him after a huge win and for him to come celebrate with my wife Hailey and I, it was something really special and something I will always see as a way for paying him back and paying my mom back for everything they’ve done up until now for the whole family.”
Molly is finishing grad school with a degree in finance while Jake is in his fourth year with the Rams. He’s playing linebacker and becoming an impact on special teams catching a pass on a fake punt earlier this season.