By LARRY GAGE
Special to the PRESS
Port Isabel High Lady Tarpon all-around athlete Kelcie Swink will be moving to Nebraska next fall. On Monday she signed a letter of intent to attend York College on a softball scholarship. The signing took place in the Tarpon Gym at the high school with Swink’s family, coaches, and quite a few students on hand to offer applause and congratulations.
“I think it’s fantastic,” Port Isabel High Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Monty Stumbaugh said Monday. “She’s going to get to play the two sports she likes the most. I’m very excited for her and her family. She’s a very deserving young lady. She put in a lot of hard work to get where she’s at.”
The scholarship is for softball but Swink also plans to play basketball.
The first contact was actually made by Swink when she e-mailed the coaching staff at York months ago and got an unexpectedly quick reply. “We were planning on visiting another college in Nebraska,” Swink said Monday. “I thought there’s no way they’re going to e-mail back, because they never do within a week or so, and she did. She was very interested … and I stayed in the dorms with the team, and I felt like I was part of the team already.”
In addition to softball and basketball, Swink played volleyball all four years at Port Isabel High. She is well aware of the importance of setting priorities and maintaining grades. “I love volleyball but I feel that I don’t have the dedication that you need to have at the college level to play volleyball. And my grades are most important.” Swink currently maintains a 3.95 GPA which ranks her 7th in the Class of 2015“It feels really good,” Swink said after she had signed on the dotted line. “Now I can relax a little bit. I feel very confident … and happy.”
Swink played one final basketball game as a Port Isabel player last week. On Saturday she was on the East squad in the fifth annual All-Valley Showcase at State Farm Arena in Hidalgo. The East team beat the West 72-58 and Swink scored eight points.
“I loved it,” Swink said. “They treated you like you were an NBA player. It was really cool.”
“I’m very proud of what she’s accomplished,” Lady Tarpons Softball Coach Jesus Garza said Monday. “It’s easy to coach somebody who wants to play, and she works very hard. She always went 110 miles-an-hour.”
“I’m very proud of her dedication,” Swink’s father, P.D. said after the signing. “Kelcie’s never been the top talent but she’s always worked hard at whatever she does. As to her decision to go to York, her mother and I tried to stay out of it. She had options. We think she chose well.”
York College is an NAIA school in athletics and is located in the town of York, about 50 miles west of Lincoln in Eastern Nebraska.
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