After seeing their children put in years of hard work, culminating with Friday's cap-and-gown ceremony, one Johnston County family had twice as much reason to feel proud.
They had not one, but two, valedictorians standing up for the class of 2003.
Nicole and Ashley Edwards drove together on graduation day at Clayton High School. They do just about everything together, including represent their class as co-valedictorians.
"I thought it was more special because it was both of us, together, than if it had been just one of us," Nicole said.
Said Ashley: "If it had just been me or something, I would have been happy. But I would have been, kind of like, because we do the same things, she would have deserved it just as much as me.
"It would have been just like one bad day, one bad test grade That would have been the difference, probably."
From the day they were born, Mac and Kathy Edwards knew their twin girls were something special.
"They're good girls," their father said. "They study hard, work hard, play hard."
They have their sibling rivalries. It just seems to bring out the best in them.
"We both ran track, and so we try to compete to finish the race first," Nicole said. "We would always be real close, so I had to push real hard to try to beat her."
So competitive, yet so close. From the day they were born, their similarities were striking.
"Actually, I was really frightened when I brought them home that I would get them mixed up," Kathy Edwards said.
There's no confusing the sisters' abilities. Both are at the top of their class -- 1A and 1B.
That's the way it's been their entire lives. Sisters, side by side.
Even college won't separate them. Both plan to attend the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill this fall -- where they will be roommates.
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