They may look sweet, but two of the toughest girls in the county can be found at West Union. Claire and Carley Wilkerson are fierce competitors who are involved in a lot more than just sports.
Not wanting to miss an opportunity for a new experience, the duo are a part of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Claire is a part of the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), both are members of the yearbook staff, one is Student Class Reporter, the other Treasurer, and that is just the school organizations they are a part of. The only thing more confusing was listening to them list each one, making sure I could differentiate between the two.
What they are best known for, however, is what they accomplish on the field and the court. Both are veterans to the West Union softball and basketball programs, while Claire also runs cross country and Carley is a manager.
“I get to boss her around,” Carley laughed.
They have been known to get on each other’s nerves more often than not, but they are good at feeding off of one another, as their longtime coach explained.
“It’s a lot to keep them at peace with each other. Like any set of twins, deep down they love each other, but they fight like cats and dogs. They do feed off of each other. If one is doing well, the other will feed off of her,” Andy Kirk explained.
At any given game, they can be heard yelling at one another, but they said it is helpful and motivating.
“I know her, she knows me because we’ve been around each other forever. Like in basketball, we’ll just yell at the other because we know what the other one is capable of,” Claire said.
“We have a funny relationship. Like when she pops a ball up, I yell ‘Claire you’ve got to get it down,’ and she’ll yell ‘Shut up and do your thing,’ but like I told her what to do and she’ll tell me to be quiet and do my own thing,” Carley added.
Playing sports for many years has given the seniors a lot of great memories, including a trip to the 2007 1A state championship in slowpitch softball.
“I think going to north half and beating Smithville because no one thought we could do it. Ingomar got put out, so we advanced and no one thought we were making it out of that game,” Carley said. “Getting ready for that game, we barely went to school that day. We were all at the field and had tarps, cement blocks, whatever we could find to get the field ready, and we were all slip and sliding while doing it.”
For Claire, big games, such as last Saturday’s win at Nettleton are what she enjoys the most.
“Most memorable moments would have to be when we’re the underdogs, like the case with Nettleton,” Claire said. “Around this time of year, Nettleton is a big deal, so to do that senior year, knocking them off from number one is a big deal. Anytime we’re the underdog, we find a way to come through.”
Going from one activity to another can be stressful, but the twins cannot imagine life not being this hectic.
“You get burned out sometimes, but it’s fun and we wouldn’t know what to do without it,” Claire said.
This year’s Lady Eagle has a lot of potential with the Wilkerson duo just two of the team’s eight seniors, something that has the twins excited for what they can accomplish.
“We really do have a lot of potential, and that’s what Coach Kirk was talking about to us earlier, he was like ‘We have eight seniors, and someone has to step up,’ so that’s what we all take from each other,” Carley explained. “We’ve played together for so long, and he told us we need to step it up, and we all know what the other is capable of, so we just feed off of each other, I think.”
Though their high school careers are slowing down, these twins show no signs of slowing down and expect big things for the Lady Eagles this season.