Bob Hope’s key words: Discipline, success

Published 11:55 pm Thursday, October 29, 2015

Written in between brackets, “success story” is emblazoned on the front of Holly Marshall’s T-shirt she often wears when she’s coaching the Bob Hope School varsity volleyball team.

“This is from a physical therapy clinic I used to work at,” the 23-year-old recent Lamar University graduate said. “But I wear it all the time. It’s a confidence thing when they see the word ‘success.’ I read about it. You see the word, you believe in the word. So I just wear it all the time here.”

What may be a small accomplishment for many volleyball teams across Texas is a big step for a school that’s only in its sixth year of existence and second as a card-carrying member of the University Interscholastic League. The Bob Hope Lady Eagles have qualified for the 2A playoffs for the first time in their very short history.

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Quite honestly, Mid- and South County should celebrate. That’s three local teams now that can compete for a championship.

But, it’s extra special for these Lady Eagles. They are the first athletic team from Bob Hope to qualify for the postseason.

The idea of being playoff-bound started with a word not on Marshall’s T-shirt: Discipline.

“Not so much like, when you do something wrong you should pay the price, but more like, they weren’t paying attention to the little things, like passing form, hitting form,” Marshall said. “When I came in, [my thought was]: ‘Discipline. Think about those things. Focus on these things.’ We already worked on mentality, because they were not confident at all when I first started working here.

“Me and Coach G [assistant coach and athletic director Keeli Gothia] worked a lot with the girls on discipline and mentality, getting them some confidence.”

Once the Lady Eagles got that down, they could envision success. And they’ve tasted a little of it, too.

“I’m actually proud of my team and how far we’ve come, considering we actually did do a lot of confidence-building,” senior Yesenia Gutierrez said. “We went to go visit the U of H team, and that helped us out, too. Being able to go through all of that with the team and watch everyone grow, especially with this being my last year here and being able to leave a mark, it’s very awesome.”

Marshall didn’t immediately know Bob Hope’s record, but the team finished 8-6 in District 24-2A, good for the fourth and final playoff seed. Evadale, Hull-Daisetta and West Hardin, in order, took the top three places.

The difference from last year to this, junior Daniela Gutierrez said, is hard work.

“We’ve improved a lot, a lot,” said Daniela, no relation to Yesenia. “Especially with Coach Marshall coming in, we worked really hard, conditioning and everything.”

Bob Hope will take on either Groveton or Colmesneil next week in the bi-district round of the playoffs, as those two teams will meet Saturday in a one-game playoff for the 23-2A championship.

No matter how the Lady Eagles’ postseason debut goes, Marshall has already assured herself success as a rookie varsity coach.

“Coming in, I didn’t know about Bob Hope,” the Nederland High alumnus said, adding she had always heard the program was the underdog. “Coming in, my attitude was, I’m going to change that. I don’t want them to be the underdogs anymore. I want people to look at them and be like, ‘they are competition.’ They’re not an easy game, an easy win. That was my mentality coming in, and I think that carried over into them. It’s worked.”

The Lady Eagles get to share in that success with Marshall. They’re just hungry for more.

“I do think we’re a little bit nervous,” Yesenia Gutierrez said. “As long as we show up as the team we’ve been showing up at for practice most days, we will make a mark there, too, and we will show them who Bob Hope is.”

I.C. Murrell can be reached at 721-2435 or On Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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