AOTW

Athens Academy junior Popi Marquez has been working with the school's webcast team for the last year.

Popi Marquez loves asking questions.

In her softball career she remembers being the person raising her hand in a drill to get clarification on how to do something or why it’s done.

In class, her hand raises constantly with inquiries.

Her quality of curiosity as well as her speed has made Marquez a college-level softball player.

“My mom has always told me growing up that being shy won’t get you anywhere,” Marquez said. “I’ve never really been shy.”

Marquez’s knack for loving sports, namely baseball and softball, and her natural curiosity has been useful in her sharpening another passion.

Since her school, Athens Academy, doesn’t field a softball team, Marquez has been working as a sideline reporter during football and a color analyst for basketball games for the school’s web cast team for the last year.

Marquez has quickly fallen in love with the journalism field. Marquez has always looked up to FOX broadcaster Erin Andrews even before she started eyeing a career in sports broadcasting.

With her love of broadcasting has come a curiosity of things that could make her a better reporter.

“I’ve played softball and I’ve given it my everything my entire life,” Marquez said. “I loved being able to get that work in, even if it isn’t ideal at that certain time. I would get in trouble because before a softball tournament I research all the teams we were playing. I’d get so caught up in that. I’d try to find out who their pitchers were and I’d try to find out all about them. I feel like it’s really just the passion and drive that I have. Preparation comes with that. When I want to be good at something, I naturally want to do everything that I can to meet that goal and excel at it.”

In her time playing softball, Marquez has played all over the field. Recently, she settled in center field. If needed, Marquez could play any position on the softball field.

She hopes to have that type of versatility in the journalism world one day.

“I know what every other position on the field would do in every sort of play,” Marquez said. “That’s motivated me in media to learn every aspect of media. You never know when some opportunity could come where you’d need to do camera operation or run the wire cast.

That’s given me a broader perspective of not being close-minded on sideline reporting and experiencing all aspects of media and broadcast journalism.

The more knowledge you know, the better off you are.”

Marquez hasn’t decided on which college she wants to attend. She is only a high school junior. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is her dream school.

Softball is still part of her plans despite stepping away from the sport this summer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The sport no longer will make the decision for her.

Oconee Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation/Oconee Enterprise Athlete of the Week is chosen by the sports staff of The Oconee Enterprise. You are welcome to email nominations to sportseditor@oconeeenter-prise.com by Monday at 10 a.m.

Oconee Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation can be reached at www.oconeept.com

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