By LARRY GAGE
Special to the PRESS
Port Isabel High senior Marina Wise-Herring signed a letter of intent with Austin College Wednesday afternoon. The signing took place in Tarpon Gym with students and faculty on hand, as well as Wise-Herring’s parents and brother.
With the signing Wise-Herring committed herself to attend and play softball for Austin College. The Division III school is located in Sherman about 35 miles north of Dallas and just east of Hwy 75. She has been a pitcher and outfielder for the Lady Tarpons team.
“Yeah, it’s pretty exciting,” Wise-Herring told the Press afterwards. “I’m glad to have it over with. It’s very relieving.”
Wise-Herring plans a double major in media studies and communications and plans to become a journalist. Currently she ranks second in her class, according to grade-point average, and has qualified for an extremely generous scholarship award.
“Actually, the top three – we’re all very close, grade-wise. So at the end it could be any sort of order. I could be first, I could be second, I could be third. I don’t know yet so I just have to keep working hard.”
Danno Wise is not only Marina’s father but also her coach. He became the head softball coach at PIHS this year after assisting for the last three.
“Obviously I’m very proud of her and very happy,” Wise said before the ceremony. “Hopefully she’s just one of several that we have this year. She’s got some senior classmates that are also looking to play softball at the next level. Academics were important and that’s one of the reasons she chose Austin College. It’s a highly rated liberal arts college.”
“I think it’s really amazing,” sophomore Tarpon basketball player Fernie Lopez said. “She being our manager in basketball and she’s really good. She’s cool and funny and obviously smart, and a good softball player.”
“I’m extremely happy for her,” P.I. head football coach and athletic director Monty Stumbaugh said afterwards. “She’s a great kid and she’s a prime example of what happens with hard work and determination. She’s going to do fine.”
“I’m in charge of moral support and some of the meals,” Marina’s mother, Marissa Kahn said on her way out of the gym. “My husband … has been an excellent father and coach. He knows how to balance that all with respect, love and kindness.”
Marina’s brother, sophomore Dagan Wise-Herring, said; “I’m very proud of my sister. She’s worked hard to get to (this point). She’s going to do what she loves and that’s playing softball.”
“I’m positive,” Wise-Herring said when asked if she was sure she made the right decision on where to continue her education and play a little softball while she’s at it. “I’m very comfortable there. It’s a very small setting and everyone’s very close. I’m really excited to be going there.”
She was also asked if there were any problems with her father also being her head coach for the final season of her high school career. “He’s been my coach since I was seven years old. I’m very comfortable with him. On the field he’s just my coach, not my dad.”
Softball practice begins on Jan. 22. The Press was unable to find out what, if any, penalties would be handed down if Wise-Herring should ever miss or be late for practice without good cause or advance notice.
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