SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – Bright and early at St. Francis High School Wednesday morning there were bouquets, balloons, hugs and some tears in celebration of a dozen Troubadour student-athletes taking the next step to play their sport in college as part of National Signing Day.
“Hard to fight back the tears,” said mother Kathleen Jenkins, whose twin daughters Grace and Hope Jenkins will play softball together at the University of Connecticut next fall.
“We’re celebrating the efforts and achievements of athletes who have really committed to what they do. Not only as athletes, but as students, and also celebrate the supporters that have helped them along the way,” said St. Francis athletic director Mark McGreevy.
Family, coaches, teachers and counselors were all on hand Wednesday, at a time where college scholarships have been at a premium.
“The market, if you will, for collegiate sports scholarships has changed a little bit,” McGreevy explained. “The NCAA has been offering waivers, COVID waivers, and the athletes at the other end of it – seniors that would be normally graduating and moving on – may be staying and taking up scholarships that normally would be available for students coming out of high school.”
Receiving a college scholarship is rare enough, but both Grace and Hope Jenkins received scholarships to play for the Huskies.
“I’m into my tenth year St. Francis. We’ve certainly had some twins and some very talented and athletic twins, but this is the first time I can remember that both will be playing the same sport and going to the same school,” McGreevy told FOX40.
“It’s definitely something rare, but we’re beating those odds and it’s pretty cool,” Hope Jenkins said. “Especially as a pitcher-catcher duo as Grace mentioned before, it’s something you don’t see every day.”
“Shortly into the process, we realized we really couldn’t do it without each other,” Grace Jenkins explained. “If one of us is going, you’re going to have to have the other one so, yeah, it just worked that way.”
“They’re perfect teammates,” Kathleen Jenkins added. “For example, I will tell you they’ll get up in the morning and go to the gym, one will come home and start breakfast, and the other will be packing the lunches. They just literally know how to work as a team.”