News 3 Sports would like to congratulate our latest classroom champions Ashley and Amber Eckenrode of Mumford High School. Ashley has a 4.278 grade point average and ranks 2nd in her class, Amber has a 4.23 GPA and ranks 3rd.
Ashley and Amber are members of the National Honor Society, All Regional Band and they are members of their church's youth group. They've also been on the A honor roll, received the Citizenship Award, and are in dual enrolled in college classes.
"They're both very competitive they like to excel," said Pearline Halsell, "and so they do that academically as well as on the court. They challenge each other, they're the most competitive to each other, I'm sure, both on and off the field and in the classroom, and that helps them be exceptional students. They're just a real joy to have in the classroom."
Athletically, the twins play volleyball, basketball and tennis. Amber received 2nd team All District honors for volleyball her sophomore year, and 1st team honors her junior year. She was also All District Co-Defensive player of the year for basketball her junior year.
Ashley was 2nd team All District her junior year for volleyball. She was the basketball newcomer of the year her freshman year, she got 2nd team honors her sophomore year, and received 1st team honors last year. Her sophomore year she was a regional qualifier in tennis.
The twins work well as a team, not just to push each other, but their teammates as well.
"Not only do they support their teammates as far as on the varsity," said Larry Jackson, coach, "but also the younger players. They encourage them, even more so, you never see them criticize them. They're always encouraging them, and that's a great thing for us, it helps out the younger kids, they don't get discouraged as much. ”
"I try to stay positive," said Ashley, "and if one of my teammates gets down, or does something, you know, that they think was bad, I just try to tell them its OK, everybody makes those mistakes, you'll get it next time. Together, I don't know, we just act goofy together, so, that might cheer people up. "
"I depend on her," said Amber, "she's like my best friend, I always have to have her there. Like my support, if I'm down she'll pick me up."
"Just having her there is like a support system and we're always there," said Ashley, " like if we're having a bad day we'll try and pick each other up, joke, and laugh, so its really cool."
Not only do the twins help to encourage and teach the younger players, they've also learned some life lessons along the way.
"It helps me work hard," said Ashley, " cause Coach Jackson and Coach D, they teach us things in basketball and volleyball that not only apply to on the court, but they apply to life to, so having them as our coaches and mentors helps us it really helps us, in my opinion, to get ready for the future."
Both girls are looking into Texas A&M University, however Ashley is hoping to earn a basketball scholarship, so isn't fully committed to one college just yet.
Congratulations to Ashley and Amber Eckenrode of Mumford High School. This week’s News 3 Sports Classroom Champions.