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Twinning at Jackson Academy

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The Jackson Academy Lady Raiders took home their fourth straight MAIS 4A, Div. 1 state title. Something else that came in fours this season for the Lady Raiders, the number of twins.

They’re seniors Avery and Erin Hederman, sophomores Emma and Elena Roberts, and Emily and Natalie Thompson.

“It’s been fun to get to hang out with them and get to see the different kind of similarities and differences in their relationship versus ours,” said Avery Hederman.

“We’ll have like competitions for who scored the most points, younger twins or older twins,” Emma Roberts said.

“I think would be separated if we didn’t have as many sisters and twins because we wouldn’t all have anything to bond over,” said Natalie Thompson. “Just having the other twins has really like brought us all together.” 

And, the fourth set is their head coach Jan Sojourner and her sister Nan. 

“I can’t image not being a twin,” Sojourner said. “I can’t imagine just having a regular sister, that’s just a sister. Being a twin is just pretty special, no doubt about that.”

She said it was her twintuition, that helped to successful coaching three sets of twins.

“I get a chance, where a lot of coaches would never have that chance where they’re not twins, that I know exactly what’s taken place because I’ve been through it,” said Sojourner. “If something happens where a teammate has done something, just been pretty physical in some areas or something, how they’ll walk over to each other and just kind of go ‘you okay?’. They just have each others’ back, you can see that.”

“In practice, if we’re going at it,” Emily Thompson said. “She doesn’t get mad or anything because she understands what it’s like to have that competition.”

That competiveness is what allowed her to pick up her 930th career win Saturday in the state championship.

05:21:36,07 “It’s kind of been something that we set our eyes on at the beginning of the season,” said Avery Hederman. “Everybody always talks about the tradition of JA Lady Raider basketball and that was something that, for us, we really just wanted to live up to that.”

The Lady Raiders’ season ended in the MAIS Overall quarterfinals against Lamar.

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