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Jun 15 2017

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Rio Hondo sends two more athletes to college

By Houston Van Nest
Special to the News

 

When great deeds are achieved, successful people are recognized.

On June 14, in a small ceremony on campus, Rio Hondo High’s Jennifer Flores and Alexa Castellanos were honored for their achievements within the Lady Bobcat softball team, their placement within the Elite 8 this past season and the scholarships awarded to them from Sul-Ross State University.

“After the playoff game, my coach told us that this Sul-Ross person was interested,” said Flores. “So we went to visit, and we were like ‘We love the school, and we love the way the softball program was.’”

The university resides in Alpine, Texas, about a nine hour drive from Rio Hondo. At first, the distance was concerning.

“It’s pretty intimidating because it’s so far, and none of my family members live that far,” said Castellanos.

Despite the distance, the two have found courage through their mutual history of overcoming challenges in softball as teammates, a time frame that goes as far back as when the two were 7 years old.

“Knowing that Alexa is going to be with me makes it so much better because we know each other really well,” said Flores. “We started playing softball together.”

According to Castellanos, Alpine’s small town feel is familiar to Rio Hondo. In fact, according to both Flores and Castellanos, they both can’t wait to get back on the field.

“The small town environment is really nice,” said Castellanos.

It is a bitter-sweet moment for all involved. According to Coach Brett Esparza, many of these girls on the team have been a part of his life alongside many of his own life experiences, from marriage to the beginning of his family.

“They’ve been a big part of my life, so of course I’m going to miss them,” said Esparza.

The two will be moving to SRSU, where Flores aims to attain a masters degree in athletic training. Castellanos will be studying biology, where she hopes to then go into orthodontics.

“I just like fixing people’s smiles,” said Castellanos.

As the page continues to turn within the final chapter of their high school years, Flores and Castellanos are looking forward to their college experience.

“I look forward to the new experience,” said Flores. “The coach told us it was going to be different, but we are used to having challenges, so we’re ready for it.”

Permanent link to this article: http://sbnewspaper.com/2017/06/15/rio-hondo-sends-two-more-athletes-to-college/

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