Most of the time, Crystal and Chris Carr don't have time to think about how busy they really are.
The Joppatowne High seniors juggle schedules that include sports, jobs and study. And they manage it all with great success.
Crystal, captain of the Mariners' field hockey and lacrosse teams, stands fifth in a class of 176. Chris, an All-County offensive tackle who also played basketball, ranks in the top 12 percent of the class. Both participate in a handful of school activities and neighborhood recycling programs as well as wait tables at the local Pizza Hut.
"It does get stressful sometimes," said Crystal, "but you just have to learn to put things in priorities, and I think that's one of the most important things in life."
Wednesday night, however, the Carrs will find time to join 18 other graduating senior athletes from Harford County at the eighth annual Al Cesky Scholarship Fund's awards banquet at the Richlin Ballroom in Edgewood. No other set of siblings have ** been honored, much less in the same year.
Crystal, 18, is a true senior, but Chris, 16, caught up with her when he skipped the third grade.
"I learned a lot from watching my sister when she went to school," said Chris, who made the honor roll nine times in high school. His sister made it every semester.
"It'll be the first time we're going to be apart," said Crystal, who plans to major in political science and global relations. "We're going to totally different colleges. We have totally different outlooks on different things, so we're going to have different things to bring back to each other."
Chris, who will play football at Frostburg, plans to major in mass communications.
Both siblings have extensive resumes filled with the athletic accomplishments, academic excellence, extracurricular activities and community service required of Cesky awards honorees.
Crystal, treasurer of Joppatowne's National Honor Society chapter, has experience in diplomacy as chairman of the public relations committee of the Harford County Regional Association of Student Councils.
"We try to keep more open relations and make sure the SGAs at the different schools communicate with each other," said Crystal, who also studies Spanish and hopes to work on improving interracial relationships in Latin America.
Last summer, Chris volunteered with Habitat in Western
Maryland working to rebuild roofs for elderly homeowners.
"It was a good experience because you got to see how people live firsthand," said Chris, whose grandfather had made the trip many times before. "I want to make a living for myself, but I also want to help other people who don't have the opportunities I have."
At Wednesday's Cesky banquet, one boy and one girl will receive $5,000 scholarships. Each of the other finalists will be awarded $500.
The other nominees are: Lanell Ward and Zack Fowl, Aberdeen; Jen Emig and Timothy Hintz, Bel Air; Chad Boyle and Julie Jakum, C. Milton Wright; Nicole Chmura and Jim Morrison, Edgewood; Pam Toth and Dan Bowers, Fallston; Jen Kreisel, Harford Christian; Jason Snyder, Harford Tech; Kerrie Bauer and James Jenkins, Havre de Grace; Amy Dean and Jeff Raymond, John Carroll; and Christine Pardew and Chris Mills, North Harford.