Even their first names are almost similar.
But the similarities don’t stop there for Mount Carmel’s Kristen Nuss and Rummel’s Kristian Fulton.
Both won their first state title as freshmen.
Both are LSU-bound.
And both could have just chosen to play one sport, but neither did.
So it’s easy to understand why their busy high school careers seem like a blur.
“It went by so fast, it feels unreal,” Fulton said. “You wish you could do it all over again. But it was great while it lasted.”
Indeed it was.
Together, they won eight state championships in four different sports during their stellar high school careers.
Nuss won five, winning three in volleyball and two more in basketball.
Fulton won three, hoisting two state championships in football and then taking top honors in track in the final race of his high school career.
Nuss and Fulton now get one final title: Nuss is the Girls Athlete of the Year, and Fulton is the Boys Athlete of the Year on The New Orleans Advocate’s Star of Stars, a list of the best of the best local high school athletes in each sport.
“I came to Rummel and did multiple sports, and it was just something I wanted to continue to do,” Fulton said. “I wanted to do it for the school. Rummel helped me, so I wanted to help them.”
“I think it’s good to play multiple sports,” she said. “It can help you. Playing basketball helped me in volleyball, so I’d definitely recommend playing multiple sports. If you focus on one sport, I think you may get burned out playing it your whole life.”
Nuss also dabbled in soccer during her high school career, reaching the state title match in that sport as a junior. Fulton, meanwhile, also played basketball during his time at Rummel.
But it’s all those championships that the two said they will remember most.
Nuss won two of hers as a senior, leading the Cubs to a volleyball title in the fall and a basketball championship in the spring.
She was named Louisiana’s Gatorade Player of the Year in volleyball after recording 571 kills and 625 digs as a senior.
“It’s definitely been a special five years at Mount Carmel,” Nuss said. “I’ll remember the two state championships my senior year the most. That was a nice way to go out.”
Perhaps even more impressive, she was named Most Outstanding Player of the championship game in both sports.
She saved one of her best performances for last, scoring 20 points and dishing out nine assists in the Class 5A title-game victory over Denham Springs.
Fulton saved his best for last as well, winning the 300-meter hurdles in the final race of his high school career. His time in the event (38.29 seconds) was the fastest among all classifications at the LHSAA state meet. It capped a career that began with him helping the Raiders win back-to-back football titles as a freshman and sophomore.
Rated one of the nation’s top cornerbacks, he finished his prep career with a school-record 22 interceptions.
And while both are proud of the championship rings and the personal accomplishments, there’s something else they both said they will remember fondly.
“I’ll probably just remember the friends that I’ve made over the years, knowing I can stay in touch with them when I go off to college,” Nuss said.
Fulton had similar thoughts.
“I had a great time doing it, but I had great teams that did it with me,” he said. “I’ll remember my teammates the most. They are the ones who made it fun.”
For Fulton, who was recruited to play football by schools across the country, it has been a journey he admits he never saw coming.
“I just thought I’d be a regular high school student, playing football and running track,” he said. “I definitely didn’t think I’d be where I am right now.”
He hopes to someday play professionally in the NFL. Nuss would like to someday play professional beach volleyball, the sport she will play at LSU.
Both hope to reach those goals using the same formula they used throughout high school.
“Just staying humble,” Nuss said, “and knowing that hard work pays off.”