LCHS seniors make an impact as multi-sport student athletes
For four straight years the LCHS girls volleyball, girls basketball and girls soccer programs have had one constant that has consistently made those teams better. That constant is the Foster twins.
LCHS seniors Hope and Holly Foster have been multi-sport student athletes their entire high school career. And, although they may not have been the star players or the obvious choice for MVP in those sports, the Fosters bring a competitive fierceness, work ethic and desire to make their teammates better that has strengthened the Tribe at LCHS.
A desire to win is something that the Foster twins have had burning in their bellies for as long as they can remember.
“We’ve always been raised to win,” said Hope. “We don’t like to lose. We always have to be first. If you’re not first, you’re just a loser. That’s how we were raised, it’s in our blood.”
“I just like to win,” said Holly.
The Foster twins’ upbringing fueled the competitive spirit in the two student athletes and pushed them to satiate their thirst for winning by joining the high school volleyball, basketball and soccer teams in their freshman year.
Although the twins had only played soccer in middle school, they were up to the challenge of playing multiple sports and relished the opportunity to contribute to their teams. Whether by scoring a much needed basket on the court, sending a well-placed pass into the box for an assist or timing the perfect spike for a kill, the Foster twins delivered an all-out effort that couldn’t be missed by those who saw them compete. But, for the Fosters, it wasn’t the glory or recognition that kept them motivated. It was the opportunity to help their teammates improve that kept the Foster twins going.
“I like to see what a team is missing and be able to put the pieces together like a puzzle,” Holly said. “I don’t always need the glory, but I’m like I got that assist to the assist. I just like to help other people be their best and become better players.”
“Just being able to everything together is awesome,” Hope said. “It doesn’t always have to be about you. It’s about the team, that’s the important thing, that’s what it takes to win. We are leaders. We love to lead people. We’re not selfish or all about ourselves. We like to help others get better.”
What the Foster twins brought to each of the sports they played throughout their high school careers did not go unnoticed by their coaches.
“As athletes, Hope and Holly are bulldawgs, they’re going to hunker down and get it done,” said LCHS head volleyball coach Katie Powell. “Through injury, pain and exhaustion, they still manage to dig deep and give their all. As young women, they are two of the greatest role models for young athletes you could ask for. Hope and Holly are both natural leaders. They each are well respected by their teammates and coaches and they are what every coach hopes for, athletes who lead by example.”
“Hope and Holly are what I call true gamers,” said LCHS head girls soccer coach Don Brock. “It doesn’t matter what the game is or who they are playing, they give their all. You can depend on them to want to win, and they are willing to work as hard as they can to get there. They will rise to the challenge, you can depend on it. As young women, they are caring, concerned individuals. There is not a cruel bone in their bodies. They honestly care about others and do not want to see anyone treated badly or unfair. Keep in mind, this is not during competition. They are the kind of people you want around you, your family and friends. They have grown to be great leaders. They have always been the players the team looks to on the field, and everyone wants out there. They have been leading in one way or another for four years on our team. They truly lead by example. It has been fun to watch them grow into it.”
In just his one season as the Foster twins’ coach, LCHS head girls basketball coach David Dowse easily recognized what the Fosters brought to the Lady Indians basketball team.
“Hope and Holly are both solid high school athletes, but their determination and character are what set them apart from many of their peers,” said Dowse. “Both are team players who accepted their roles with enthusiasm and purpose. They were among our most vocal palyers during practice, encouraging their teammates and providing leadership in a new system with new expectations and a heightened accountability. Undoubtedly, their most outstanding attribute on game day was their effort. They are competitors and always played with an all-out, fearless effort.”
The leadership the Foster twins displayed is a product of the two sisters pushing themselves to be better at everything they did. The competition between themselves helped spur a desire to help those around them perform at a higher level.
“Even though we played different positions in our sports, we like to be better than each other,” Hope said. “It pushed us to try and be better at everything and help others get better as well.”
Although few student athletes compete in multiple sports, the Foster twins’ coaches believe that the Fosters are a shining example of the benefits that not getting tied into one sport can have on young athletes.
“I think it [playing multiple sports] has kept them from having the typical soccer related injuries,” Brock said. “They have not been injury free, but it is not from overworking the same joints and muscles. I think it has also fed their desire to compete as hard as possible every night.”
“It saddens me when athletes feel as though they have to choose between sports, especially when you come across athletes like the Fosters,” Powell said. “They play year-round and, while there were days where they were straight up exhausted and days where they would miss an off-season practice for their in-season sport, I firmly believe that they were better in all sports because they chose to focus on more than just one. I’ll truly miss all the points scored off the Fosters’ feet from where their soccer skills couldn’t help but come out on the volleyball court.”
“I believe it is important that student athletes have the opportunity and choice to play multiple sports in high school,” Dowse said. “Certainly, there are benefits to playing multiple sports which include but are not limited to injury and burnout prevention and the development of diverse skill sets like eye-hand coordination, footwork, vision and decision making.”
With the end of their time at LCHS coming with graduation this year, the Fosters hope they have left a legacy of being team players behind for younger student athletes to look up to. It is a legacy that their coaches believe is already set.
“After our final game, I addressed the team and told them how proud I was of their effort and the improvements we made over the course of the season,” Dowse said. “One day soon, playing in the State tournament will be an expectation and hanging banners will be among our annual goals. When that day comes, we will owe a debt of gratitude to our departing seniors. Hope and Holly will be remembered for having helped establish a foundation of excellence for future Lady Indians.”
“They may not have broken every record book or been the shining star of every team, but Hope and Holly Foster were integral parts of so many accomplishments for both Lumpkin teams and their teammates. Their athleticism, work ethic and leadership will be missed, but all those characteristics will help carry them far in life.”
“I know a whole host of opposing coaches that will be glad to see them graduate,” Brock said. “They will leave LCHS having set a high bar for competing as hard as possible in every match. Stepping up in the big competitions and being willing to take on whatever role the team needs. High quality, multipurpose players are hard to come by.”
Throughout their high school journey, the Fosters knew that they couldn’t have done the things they accomplished without the help of their family, friends and coaches.
“I would thank pretty much everybody,” Hope said. “Everyone that has been there supporting us through everything, especially Coach Gordy [LCHS assistant soccer coach Gordy Hunt]. Ever since we were little he’s been like a dad to us and he’s always been able to push us and talk to us to help us grow with God, through sports and as people in general.”
“I’d like to thank our parents because I know we’ve been really expensive,” Holly said. “But, they’ve always been by our side and have never thought less of us. They’ve always just pushed us to our limits and made us better people.”
The Foster twins said that they will either attend Brenau University or Truett-McConnell College after graduation. The twins said they are leaning more towards Truett-McConnell, as they have an opportunity to play college lacrosse there. Although neither has played the sport before, they are intrigued by the challenge.
“We’ve never played, but they told us because we are athletes they can teach us how to play in about four weeks,” Hope said.
“It’s super exciting,” Holly said. “We’re always up for another challenge.”
One thing is for sure, the Foster twins will not be separating from each other when they go to college.
“We’re a package deal,” the Fosters said simultaneously.