Sports keep Still family busy

Coye and Sherra Still have three daughters involved with the Hickory Ridge volleyball team. But when it comes to sports in the Still household, volleyball is just the tip of the iceberg.

Once the Ragin' Bulls season comes to an end, junior Anna as well as freshman fraternal twins Hope and Eden will move on to other things. But then it will be time for their senior brother, Seth, to start his season with Hickory Ridge's basketball team.

In the spring, the high school sports take a break but the oldest sibling, Coye IV, a 2010 Hickory Ridge graduate, will begin his track and field season with the UNC Charlotte 49ers.

"Sports are important to us because of what they teach us," Anna said. "It's something that helps us keep our grades up. It's something we can focus on day-by-day and it's always been a part of our lives."

Anna established the volleyball trend when she started playing in seventh grade. She is a two-year varsity player at Hickory Ridge and also plays club volleyball.

As a front-row player, Anna helped the Bulls to the South Piedmont Conference championships this year in the regular season and the conference tournament.

Hope followed Anna to the volleyball court. She played with the Hickory Ridge junior varsity team this year and was sometimes recruited into serving as a line judge for the varsity games.

Hope plans to play her first season of club volleyball this winter.

Eden has never played volleyball but has always participated in a supporting role. Set back by scoliosis, Eden had spinal fusion surgery just a year ago.

A middle school cheerleader for two years, Eden supported her sisters from the sideline in more than just a casual role.

Hickory Ridge varsity coach Patti Chason tabbed Eden as the scorekeeper for the junior varsity team and sometimes needed her services for the varsity team.

"It's just really great to be on the front lines," said Eden. "I understand volleyball a lot more now. It's a great experience and I'm learning a lot."

Eden looks forward to spending the next three seasons at the scorers table so she can earn her varsity letter.

At 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, Seth hopes to crack the basketball team's starting lineup this year as a power forward. As a key reserve, he has helped the Bulls to playoff appearances each of the last two seasons.

"They are very supportive of one another," said Sherra. "They cheer for each other. Coye set the bar very high. He encourages them to do their best. They try to do their best and are team players."

Coye was a 3A state champion in the high jump his senior year. His siblings all ditched school the day of the state meet so the family could be together to cheer him on.

In his freshman year at Charlotte, Coye finished fourth in both the long jump and in the high jump at the Atlantic-10 Outdoor Championships.

Each others' sporting events are among all of the Still's itineraries. But the family kicks back on Sunday afternoons and Monday nights to watch NFL football.

The football fix comes from mom and dad. Sherra is a Tennessee Volunteers fan and Coye III played collegiately at Wake Forest and Furman.

Coye III is a pastor at a Charlotte church so the kids try to keep sports in perspective.

"Our lives basically revolve around sports, school and church," said Hope. "But it's always church first."

And Eden plans to take that one step farther. She wants to be a missionary after high school.