Brooks County High School
follows in her
sister's footsteps as one of Brooks's most studious athletes
younger sister, Shelby
, now occupies the same space.
Both young ladies are grounded in their faith, very talented athletes and superb students.
Carrilee Hiers's academics and ability on the golf course secured a scholarship at Bryan College
in Dayton, Tennessee.
, a senior softball player, has also earned a college scholarship - to the University of Arkansas
, where she
will continue her
was younger, her
father, Stephen, took a job as a pastor for a church in Colorado.
When the family adopted a fourth child, Luke, they returned to Quitman.
While in Colorado, Hiers
began getting serious about softball.
The sport went from an activity in which she
participated just to have fun and hang out with her
friends to something much more involved.
returned to Quitman in her
sixth-grade year, she
brought with her
a growing involvement in the sport.
Around Hiers's seventh-grade year, she
moved from the middle of the infield to behind the plate.
For the last five years, that has been her
lot in her
softball life - being catcher.
can't imagine playing anywhere else.
"I really love it.
I wouldn't trade catching for anything in the world.
I love the plays at the plate, being in control of the game and leading the team," she
is a very strong player who maintains intense focus throughout her
ability to concentrate makes her
a very good defensive catcher.
is one of the region's most disciplined hitters, one who can change the outcome of a game with one swing of the bat.
Last season, Hiers
finished the season with a batting average north of .400, eight home runs and more than 50 walks.
As of September, Hiers's power numbers were down but her
batting average was off the charts.
was hitting over .700 with three home runs.
, an All-State selection last year who has also made the All-Region
team every year of high school, was named Offensive Player of the Year last season.
would also like to beat rivals Berrien or Cook.
career progressed, Hiers
began to realize that she
had the skills to play softball in college.
During the summer between her
freshman and sophomore years, she
locked in at the plate, became more consistent, and posted some really good on-base percentage numbers.
attended camps, her
poise behind and at the plate caught the eyes of coaches from colleges across the country.
A year later, she
started getting flooded with emails from college programs all over the country.
In the end, she
decided on Arkansas and committed to the Razorbacks last December.
And you would be hard pressed to find a better student-athlete anywhere in South Georgia than Hiers
is one of the top students in her
class and has a shot at being the Brooks County Class of 2013's valedictorian or salutatorian.
The daughter of a schoolteacher, Hiers
hasn't really had a choice when it comes to grades.
has to perform well - there is no other option.
is humble when it comes to her
academic achievements, she
also acknowledges that school has always come relatively easy for her
There have been times when school was more difficult for her
, and she
always buckled down and did what she
had to do to maintain her
Heirs's approach to academics is reminiscent of other student-athletes.
looks at grades as a competition, and she
wants to win at academics just as she
wants to win on the softball field.
"I want to do better than everybody else," she
is willing to put in the extra time at practice to get better at softball, and she
is willing to do the same thing in the classroom.
"Sometimes, homework takes longer than normal.
When that happens, I just get it done.
I don't mind staying up late if I have to," she
The spirit of academic competition isn't just between Shelby Hiers
It also extends to her
older sister, Carrilee.
Not only has Shelby
sister on the pages of this magazine, she
will also likely eclipse Carrilee's class rank at graduation.
is in sight of being the Class of 2013's salutatorian and could very well become its valedictorian.
Either way, Shelby
should finish higher than Carrilee, who was fourth in her
"Yeah, I'm trying to finish higher than Carrilee.
knows I'm a little smarter than she
is," laughs Shelby