Pike County’s Jackson Twins push each other to success

Published 2:46 pm Monday, May 20, 2024

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Braylin and Kaylin Jackson have become successful athletes at Pike County High School and they’re also twins.

Braylin Jackson earned All-Messenger honors in football this past season and is also a member of the basketball and track teams, earning state runner-up finishes in back-to-back seasons in the 100-meter dash. Kaylin Jackson has won back-to-back state championships in the 100-meter dash and also won another state championship with the 4×100-meter relay team this season. She’s also a PCHS cheerleader.

The twins said they have a great relationship with Braylin Jackson calling his sister his best friend. They also push each other as athletes and their successes motivate each other. Braylin Jackson said he had no doubts that his sister would repeat as state champion this season.

Braylin and Kaylin Jackson’s parents were both athletes. Dechari Thornton, center, was a Pike County cheerleader. (Photo by Josh Boutwell)

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“I wasn’t surprised at all,” he flatly said. “She puts in the work all year, on and off the track. She makes me want to push even harder to get a (state championship) myself.”

Kaylin Jackson said it’s been emotional and rewarding to find the success she’s had.

“It’s emotional because I worked really, really hard to get there,” she said. “I came in third in the state my first year running track and then to be able to win a state championship twice, back-to-back, is special.”

The Jackson twins have athleticism in their DNA. Their mother, Dechari Thornton, was a cheerleader at PCHS. Their father, James Jackson, was an All-State running back on the PCHS football team and helped the Bulldogs to back-to-back state crowns in 2005 and 2006.

“I’m so proud of them,” Thornton said of her twins. “Kaylin coming from third all the way

Braylin and Kaylin Jackson’s father, James Jackson, was an All-State running back at Pike County. (The Catch)

to first has meant so much. She’s been running track since the seventh grade and puts in all the work every weekend, after school, everything. Braylin saw her and decided he wanted to run track, which is really good because you’re a football player and that takes speed. Them being on the track team together has been really great to see.”

PCHS Track Coach Major Calvin Morris called the twins a joy to coach.

“They have a great relationship and they’re very respectful kids and they’re very humble,” Morris said of the Jacksons. “Their dad and mom were athletes, so they have that background and they’re really just a joy to coach.”

Neither of the twins are satisfied with their successes yet either. Braylin Jackson has already earned scholarship offers in football, while Kaylin is hoping to earn a track scholarship herself heading into her senior year of high school.

“I just want to make it far in the sport, make something out of it,” Kaylin Jackson said of her goals. “I’m trying to go back-to-back-to-back as a state champion, especially going into senior year.”

Braylin has lofty goals for both his football and track career.

“My goal is to graduate, go to college and play football and run track,” he said. “I want to hopefully make it to the NFL one day or even to the Olympics.”