DOBSON - Two Surry Community College softball players have had a successful time not only on the field but also in the classroom.
Brittany and Jessica White, 20-year-old twin sisters from Boonville, were both recently named Academic Student-Athletes by the National Junior College Athletic Association. Brittany and Jessica earned the honor for Exemplary Academic Achievement for maintaining above a 3.6 GPA. Jessica had a 3.71 GPA and Brittany had a 3.65 GPA.
“Both Brittany and Jessica are most deserving of this extremely prestigious award. They are excellent leaders both on the field and in the classroom,” said SCC’s Athletic Director Mark Tucker. “Having two of the 12 student-athletes from the North Carolina Community Colleges recognized by the National Junior College Athletic Association for academic achievement is an extraordinary accomplishment for our college.”
Brittany and Jessica are the daughters of Amara and Tim, and they have two other siblings: 11-year-old sister Kennedy-Grace and 3-year-old brother Rylan.
The sisters have played softball together since they were five years old. While at Starmount, they were varsity softball players all four years before graduating in 2011. The girls ventured off to play a couple of different sports their freshman year of high school; Jessica played volleyball while Brittany played basketball. Then, they both played golf their sophomore year, but softball has been a consistent part of their lives.
Brittany and Jessica played softball both years at SCC before earning their associate of arts degrees in the spring with plans to transfer to UNC-Charlotte. Brittany played starting left field for the Knights while Jessica, who is the older sibling by only a minute, was the starting catcher.
For the season, Brittany had 24 runs, 44 hits and 20 RBIs with a batting average of .436, an on-base percentage of .487 and a slugging percentage of .525. Brittany made First Team All Region X in 2013; 2013 Runner-Up Region X Player of the Year, Region X Softball All Academic Team for 2013 and 2012. She was on the SCC President’s List and was a 2013 Surry County Student-Athlete of the Year for Community Service. She participated in the Central Middle School Mentor Program and served as a SCC Softball Camp Instructor along with helping at the Knights Athletic Club Bingo.
Jessica got 27 hits and had a batting average of .342 and an on-base percentage of .395. She was named to the All Region X Second team in 2012; All Tournament Team in 2013 and 2012; and Region X Softball All Academic Team for 2012 and 2013. Jessica was on the SCC President’s List and was a 2013 Surry County Student-Athlete of the Year for Community Service. She served as a Central Middle School Mentor, a SCC Softball Camp Instructor and was a Finalist for the SCC Ambassadors.
“These awards are a testament to our entire college, and we are very proud of Brittany’s and Jessica’s distinguished success. It really speaks volumes to see students like Brittany and Jessica balance academics and athletics along with making positive contributions to our community,” Tucker said.
Brittany plans to get a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a marketing concentration. Jessica has goals to earn a bachelor’s in Elementary Education. The ladies are enjoying spending more time with family and friends this summer before they head off to Charlotte in the fall.
“You have to have your mind set that you are going to do it,” Jessica said about keeping up her grades while playing ball. “I would have to find some motivation sometimes, but when you play softball you have to pass to play, so that should keep you going.”
The players had to make homework a priority and chose to do school work instead of recreational activities. They would do homework on the bus as the team traveled and spent time in the hotel hitting the books during away games. They had to manage time efficiently around their 2.5-hour practices that were usually four days per week.
“You have to make wise choices,” Brittany said. “We would make ourselves stay on campus and do homework in the library before going home. You have to choose what is going to benefit you in the end.”
The Surry Knights Softball team was the Region X tournament champions beating the top seed, Florence-Darlington Technical College, twice before going on to become the district runner ups, making for an exciting and challenging season. Jessica and Brittany have been noticed by other teams in the Region for their stellar performances on the field as well racking up First and Second Team All Region honors and All Tournament in both of their two-year terms.
“They have impacted the program here at Surry helping the team to a first-place regular season finish in 2012 and Region Tournament Champions in 2013. Academically, this is the second year that they have received excellent academic status, as well as distinguished academic awards among other teams in our Region,” said SCC Softball Coach Amber Reid.
“Jessica and Brittany are so deserving of the Academic Student-Athletes awards as they have worked so diligently in the classroom and maintained superior grade point averages while still juggling the intense schedule that the softball program brings here at Surry. Both girls represented this college well in every aspect. I am going miss them and what they have brought to our program. I wish them nothing but the best moving forward as I know they will be successful because Surry has prepared them for the university level, and they are certainly being rewarded for their hard work.”
Brittany’s and Jessica’s accomplishments will be recognized on July 15 during the Surry County Commissioners Meeting at 7 p.m. in Surry County Government Center in Dobson and with a reception beforehand at 6:15. The Surry Knights Softball Team and Surry Knights Golf Team will also be recognized for their seasons’ outstanding accomplishments at this time.