Coldspring twin brothers graduating top of their class

Avery and Ashton Hickman are identical twins.

"He thinks the same thing that I do most of the time," says Ashton.

They’re seniors at Coldspring-Oakhurst High School in Coldspring.

They’re best friends but also each other's biggest rival. The only times they fight is when one goes to tutoring without telling the other.

"There’s so many times that I’ll come home from school and he’s not home," explains Avery. "I have to call him and he’s at school and he’s doing extra credit behind my back."

When they were in 8th grade, they met the valedictorian of their high school and set off to compete with one another for that top spot.

"Us being so competitive, we’re like, it has to be one or the other," recalls Ashton.

On Thursday, they found out, they did it. After a tight race, Ashton is valedictorian and Avery the salutatorian.

"They’ve done everything and more that I could ever ask for," says their mother, LeAnn Hickman, beaming with pride.

LeAnn is a single mother and says her boys started working when they were 13 to help out.

Also, when the twins were toddlers, they had to have surgery to correct hearing loss. Fearing they would get behind, LeAnn put them in remedial courses.

"I always want them to never be in a position where they hurt or they struggle," adds LeAnn. "It was always do better than I did."

The boys credit their mother and their older sisters with helping them get to where they are. They both hold jobs at a nearby restaurant and are involved in numerous extracurricular activities. 

After graduation, they plan to start at a community college then transfer to Sam Houston State University. Both of them want to study nursing and say they’ll keep competing with each other.