Payton Martinez, bottom-middle, signs her NLI to play volleyball and softball at Coastal Bend College. Pictured are, back row, from left, CBC Head Softball Coach Roland Salazar, ACISD Athletic Director Jay Seibert, RFHS Head Softball Coach Melissa Reyes, ACISD Superintendent Dr. Joshua Garcia, RFHS Principal Rhonda Mieth, RFHS assistant softball coach Morgan Hale, and RFHS assistant softball coach Mark Jeffery; bottom row, from left, CBC Head Volleyball Coach Macy Olness, Becky Martinez, P. Martinez, Richard Martinez, and Brandon Martinez.

Former Rockport-Fulton High School (RFHS) Lady Pirate volleyball and softball player Payton Martinez signed her National Letter of Intent Monday, May 2 to continue her career as a dual sport athlete at Coastal Bend College (CBC) in Beeville.

RFHS Girls Athletic Coordinator and Head Softball Coach Melissa Reyes said the last Lady Pirate to continue playing two sports collegiately was Brandi Huff in 2010.

Martinez has been a starter on the softball team since she was a freshman and a starter on the volleyball team since she was a sophomore.

A standout in both sports, Martinez couldn’t decide which sport she wanted to keep playing in college. She wanted to keep playing both, but most of her interest from other schools resorted in her having to choose one and give up the other. So she chose the school that allowed her to continue playing both.

“I love both sports the same and getting the opportunity to do both made me feel like that was the best opportunity I could get and being able to do both would make a big impact on my career in the future,” said Martinez.

Martinez had interest from various schools in Texas, Minnesota, and New York, but said CBC was also a great fit for her because it was close to family.

“My family moved down here to be close to us and I didn’t want to move super far away from them,” said Martinez. “I also wanted to stay into my niece and nephews lives and CBC was the best fit for me.”

CBC Head Volleyball Coach Macy Olness was in attendance of Martinez’ signing and said the combo of playing volleyball and softball works well together and would only help her.

“With volleyball and softball being in separate seasons, it’s going to be great for her. She’ll be in shape for softball and be in great shape for us,” said Olness. “She’s a great player. I watched her in the playoffs last season and she did amazing. She’s a fast, supportive libero/DS that we’re excited to have.”

CBC Head Softball Coach Roland Salazar was also in attendance for Martinez’ signing and said she’s a very versatile player that can play a variety of roles.

“She’s got speed, she’s a slapper, she can hit, play the outfield, and we’re always looking for girls who can run the bases, and I know she’s got some speed,” said Salazar.

RFHS Head Volleyball Coach and assistant softball coach Mark Jeffery said CBC is getting the picture perfect student-athlete to play for their program.

“She’s probably going to step in and be the best athlete on both teams. I’m sure they have phenomenal athletes there, but Payton’s athleticism is something you really only appreciate when you witness it firsthand,” said Jeffery. “She’s team-oriented, always wants know what she can do to help the team and a great overall teammate. She has good grades, great family support system; I mean if you could draw up a kid for a college athletic program, Payton would be a pretty good mold.”

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