Scholar-athletes of the week: Knightdale twins pursue separate sports

tstevens@newsobserver.comMarch 24, 2014 

  • Scholar-athletes

    Abbie Sargent


    Knightdale, Sr.

    Academics: 4.3 on a 4.0 scale with extra credit for advanced courses.

    Athletics: Four-year starter in soccer.

    Book that had an impact: “’The Kite Runner’ (by Khaled Hosseini) was a really good book. I read it from cover to cover. I really like learning about a different culture.”

    Person who had an impact: “I have had the same club soccer coach, Todd Dameron, since I was 10 years old. We’re really close.”

    Ideal guest list: Dr. Jen Arnold, Abby Wambach, chef Buddy Valastro

    Add to Mount Rushmore: Rosa Parks

    I was fascinated to learn: “About anatomy. Learning how the human body works is amazing”

    Favorite childhood toy: Trampoline.

    Favorite course in school: Science.

    Career goal: “Something in health field or in animal science.”

    Josie Sargent


    Knightdale, Sr.

    Academics: 4.7 on a 4.0 scale with extra credit for advanced courses.

    Athletics: Four-year starter in centerfield in softball.

    Book that had an impact: “I love animals so’Where the Red Fern Grows’ (by Wilson Rawls) was special to me. I loved the bond between the boy and the two dogs.”

    Person who had an impact: “Cherie Pettiford was my softball coach at East Millbrook Middle. She inspired me. She loved coaching and was always straight with me.”

    Ideal guest list: Jackie Robinson, Dr. Jen Arnold, Morgan Freeman.

    Add to Mount Rushmore: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    I was fascinated to learn: “How to white water raft.”

    Favorite childhood toy: Trampoline.

    Favorite course in school: Science and math.

    Career goal: “Something in animal science. I’d like to be a vet.”

Josie and Abbie Sargent are easy to identify on the field even though the identical twins look so much alike that many of their friends can’t tell them apart.

Josie is the one in the Knightdale High softball uniform. Abbie plays for the Knights’ soccer team.

The two seniors have done most things together for much of their lives. But when it came time to hit a ball or kick a ball they diverged.

Josie loved T-ball when she was 5 years old. Abbie hated it. She said she’d just as soon watch when it came time to register for T-ball the following year.

Soccer became Abbie’s sport about three years later, and despite efforts by various coaches through the years to land the other sibling, the inseparable sisters have remained separate in sports.

“I think it has been good for us to help establish our own identities,” Josie said. “We do almost everything together except for sports.”

Josie roams centerfield for the Knights while Abbie roams the back of the Knightdale soccer defense from her sweeper position.

“I love the mental aspects of softball,” Josie said. “You never have the same situation twice. You have to know what you are going to do whatever happens.”

Abbie embraces the team aspects of soccer.

“You’ve got to all work together,” she said. “The defense can be great, but if nobody scores you can’t win. And if the defense is bad, you can’t score enough.”

The separate sports often meant double transportation through the years, but neither remembers a time when they felt their athletic pursuits were a burden on their parents.

Looking back, they don’t know how all the transporting took place. “It just always got done,” Abbie said.

The girls’ similarity is in the eye of the beholder. Some people can’t tell them apart. They completely fooled one of their fifth grade teachers once by swapping classes.

They also have friends who say they don’t look like identical twins at all.

They once paired the left side of a picture of one’s face with the right side of a picture of the other to see if they fit. “It looked like a real person,” Abbie said.

They also have differences about their pets. They share Lucy, the beagle, and Dakota, the chocolate lab, but the Indian Runner Ducks, who strut around like penguins, are Josie’s. She raised Goober and Pickles as part of a school project and planned to give them to a neighbor who has a pond.

“But when it came time to let them go, Josie couldn’t do it,” Abbie said.

Guy Blough, the Knightdale athletics director, said they are identical in attitude.

“These two are great kids,” he said. “They are a couple of the most humble people I have ever been around.”

Josie is the better student. She has a 4.7 overall GPA to Abbie’s 4.3. They have enjoyed different courses of study although they signed up to be in the same classes this year.

They plan to go to the same college, too. They have applied to N.C. State, Meredith and East Carolina, but are waiting on a decision.

They aren’t sure on sports either. Josie has hit at least .400 every year and is batting better than .500 this season while Abbie is a four-year soccer starter.

“We don’t know how the sports thing is going to work out,” Josie said. “But we’re going to play intramurals at least.”

No word yet on which sports.

Stevens: 919-829-8910

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