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Standout student athlete Celeste Salazar shines brighter off the field, earns scholarship

The Tant family presents the Jace Edward Tant Memorial Scholarship each year to a Lamar State College Port Arthur student athlete.

The main requirement is to be a leader on and off the court or field. This year’s winner exudes leadership, kindness and community involvement.

Celeste Salazar is a sophomore softball player for the Seahawks and the 2020 winner of the scholarship.

LSCPA coach Vance Edwards said the announcement didn’t surprise him because of Salazar’s work ethic and demeanor.

“She’s never high,” Edwards said. “She’s never low. She’s an even-keel person. She is well deserving of the scholarship.”

Edwards said Salazar is one of the team’s best motivators.

“First of all, she’s a great person,” he said. “She’s kind to other people, very polite, and then on top of that she’s a good teammate. She always wants to help out and if the newer players need extra work, she’s the first to volunteer. She is also a good student, makes good grades and is just an all-around good person.”

Salazar said receiving the scholarship has been a blessing in disguise.

“Winning this scholarship it’s a big thing to me,” she said. “I just think it pushes me to be better in school, because people are always watching you on and off the softball field, and you never know who might be looking up to you. You’re just doing what you do best and to know that someone sees you as a leader is really uplifting.”

The scholarship varies from $500 to $1,000. Salazar said she’ll be using the funds to buy books or take an extra winter mini-class to get ahead in her academics.

“I’m hoping to take more kinesiology classes to help pursue my career as chiropractor,” she said. “I’d like to get more experiences in working in my chosen field and I hope to do that once I finish my career here at Lamar.”

Besides focusing on her academics, Salazar hopes to lead her softball team into a successful season.

“I want to encourage my team to be better,” she said. “Not just on the field, but to have better team camaraderie and bond on and off the diamond. Being a team leader and pushing everybody helps us form one solid team altogether, and I hope I can be that for us this season.”

Salazar is thankful for the opportunity to further her studies and continue to play a sport she loves.

“I just want to thank Mr. Joe (Tant) for everything he’s done for us,” she said. “We are all really appreciative of him. I’d also like to thank my parents as well for always pushing, guiding and motivating me to do my best in everything. That’s been really beneficial to me in my everyday life.”

Joe and Dabevya Tant developed the Jace Edward Tant Memorial Scholarship along with LSCPA Athletic Director Scott Street after the Tants lost their son at 36 weeks.

One scholarship winner is selected per year.