By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (October 11, 2017) — Hailey Martin of Stephenville has received scholarship offers over the past two weeks from the track and field head coaches at Dallas Baptist and Tarleton State, both of NCAA Division II.
A three-time regional qualifier in multiple events, Martin has her eyes set on the UIL State Meet as a senior, but first, she will be in the playoffs with Honeybee volleyball program and is one of several players returning from a regional tournament qualifier in girls basketball.
Martin is known for her quickness but slowed down long enough for a Flash Sports Q&A, part of an ongoing series published weekly on TheFlashToday.com.
Q) What were the first thoughts through your head when you received that first offer from Dallas Baptist?
A) I was extremely honored and excited because I’ve always wanted to compete at the next level and it felt like all my hard work was paying off.
Q) Is there tension relieved when that first offer comes through after you have been waiting for the security blank of knowing you a have a written offer to attend college with at least part of the cost covered by an athletic scholarship?
A) Yes, it’s a huge relief knowing that I had received financial compensation to help my parents pay for college.
Q) Adding a Tarleton offer, what does that mean to you, and does it mean more for it to come from Coach (Pat) Ponder, who has seen you compete so many times as a father of one of your past teammates?
A)It’s a huge honor coming from someone like Coach Ponder because he has seen me perform and he knows what I can do. I’m super impressed by his coaching and the teams he is building at Tarleton.
Q) You have competed in sprints, hurdles and jumps throughout your high school career. If you had to pick one favorite to specialize in what would that be and why?
A) I would have to pick jumps just because I have focused and worked so hard on them for so long now. It’s super fun cleaning up all the technical parts of jumps. I guess I like how it challenges me to become better every day.
Q) You’ve shown your versatility, doing everything but distance throwing events. Have you considered competing in something like the heptathlon?
A) I’ve never done the throws but the heptathlon has been brought up in many conversations with Coach Ponder. I’m looking forward to taking on the challenge of training for the multi-sport event.
Q) You’ve received some attention as a volleyball recruit, too. If that turns into an offer, do you know what you do? Volleyball, track and field or perhaps both?
A) I love the game of volleyball and it’s just such an honor to get a scholarship offer for any sport at this point. When it comes to choosing it would have to be what is the best fit for me and my family and what each program has to offer.
Q) What roles will influential persons such as your parents, coaches and teachers play in your school selection process?
A) I, of course, value the opinion of all those people. My parents will have the biggest influence in choosing a school. I’ve been honored to be coached by the best coaches in the business, and their opinions will have an impact, as well.
Q) What are some things you already know you are looking for in a program and a university to even keep considering it?
A) I’m looking for a good family dynamic on the team, with the athletes and coaching staff. I’m planning on studying nursing so that program is also a big deal in making a decision. I know that God has a plan for me, and wherever I end up is where he has given me favor. I’m just really looking forward to what God has in store for my future.
Q) What has the Honeybee athletic program meant to you?
A) The Honeybee program is like a family to me. I’ve grown up in it and devoted so much time to it. It’s taught me how to set goals and achieve them. Without this school and the coaches that I have had, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. The new leadership role I have been given this year has been so beneficial to who I am as well! I’m so sad that in a few months I will be leaving Stephenville High School and a family like the Honeybee program, but once a Honeybee always a Honeybee!
Q) Goals? What’s left that you hope to achieve as a senior?
Team goals for my last seasons are to make it as far as we can and work as hard as we need to to get there. I’ve had a goal since freshman year to make it to state in track, so this being my senior year, I hope I can accomplish that.