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Brooks Sisters Embody Eagle Pride

Brooks Sisters Embody Eagle Pride

Sister’s Mattie Brooks and Bailey Brooks Phillips know eagle pride as well as anyone. The Brooks family has sent 14 different cousins to East Jackson for high school education, so Ms. Phillips (the 9th) and Ms. Brooks (the 13th) can’t help but feel like family in the midst of their eagle community.

Phillips is a science teacher at the high school. She is also the head coach for the middle school tennis team, and assists her sister in coaching the girls basketball team at the middle school.

Phillips was the first of her three siblings to attend East Jackson and graduated in 2015. She contributes a lot of her success to the teachers and coaches who led her throughout her journey.

“Melanie Lawhorn is just an amazing person and role model. She will just give it to you so straight and so truthfully, and you love her for it and hate her for it at the same time. She was like my school mom for those four years.” Phillips said. “Her and Katie David are the ones who pushed me to coach and teach, because otherwise, without them, I probably would not have done that”

Mattie Brooks is the youngest of the Brooks siblings and teaches PE at the middle school, something she had dreamed of doing in high school as a multi-sport athlete. Brooks' athletic success continued throughout college as a softball player at Truett McConnell. After graduation, she interviewed for her dream job.

“Coach Wheeler always told me don’t give up on my dream when I told him I wanted to be a PE teacher, and now, here I am," Brooks said.

As a former player, Brooks knew the mindset she had to have to properly represent East Jackson.

“We had to do everything we could to work as hard as we could.” Brooks said. “There is no picking and choosing when to give 100%. You always give 100%.”

Brooks and Phillips both grew up under that model of thinking as athletes, and they want their players to live to that same standard.

“That is something we are wanting to instill in our middle school girls. 110% effort. You better run off the court, run onto the court. Sportsmanship better be top notch.” Phillips said. “We are holding them to a higher standard. I am not going to coach someone who catches an attitude with a referee or another player.”

While Brooks and Phillips represented eagle nation as athletes in high school, they also believe that Eagle pride starts even earlier.

“I think it is a big thing that we are both coaching at the middle school level, so that we can instill that sense of EJ pride, community, team, and sportsmanship,” Phillips said. “That is the biggest thing we push for, especially on the court. Your sportsmanship, your attitude, the way you carry yourself are a direct correlation to us as a coaching staff and as a team.  Getting it in their head East is a sense of pride, family, and community. That is the goal, to get them to buy-in now, so that when they get to high school they can have that overwhelming sense of Eagle pride.”

While Brooks and Phillips love living out their Eagle pride, perhaps the only thing they love more is watching their players make the decision to properly represent East Jackson.

“It is awesome to see the kids buy-in to Eagle pride,” Brooks said. “It is giving me chills right now just thinking about it. Especially me being a first year head coach, seeing the girls persevere through different challenges. Like seeing my girls down by 20 and bringing it back within two. It’s like man we got so close but I am so proud of them for fighting and going all in. It is so good for me as a coach to go, man, they are trying and hustling their butts off. I can’t ask for anything more of them.”

The Brook sister are a prime example of what it means to be an East Jackson Eagle. Phillips said “East Jackson is my heart and soul. I love East.” After looking at their astounding sense of Eagle pride, there probably isn’t anyone who would believe anything less from the Brooks sisters.