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Marianna softball signees ink their future

Pictured are Deana Holland and Chole Temples surrounded by family, Coach Scott Wiggins and Athletic Director John Donaldson Pictured are Deana Holland and Chole Temples surrounded by family, Coach Scott Wiggins and Athletic Director John Donaldson Shelia Mader

Wednesday afternoon, friends, family, teammates and supporters gathered in the Marianna High School auditorium to watch two senior Lady Bulldogs ink their way to the next level. Deana Holland Chloe Temples will be moving on up.

Marianna High School principal Carlan Martin welcomed everyone, “I’d just like to say what an honor it is to sign an athletic scholarship.” He asked the families to stand, then the coaches and faculty, “Please give them a hand. This scholarship is just as much an accomplishment for you as it is for these girls. It’s taken long hours at the ball park, expense and unselfish commitment for the success of your child.  To the coach, you too are an important piece to success. I appreciate all of the hard work, dedication and commitment. At this time, I’d like to turn the program over to athletic director John Donaldson.”

Athletic director and head football coach John Donaldson said, “This is a great day. This truly is a great time for these families. It’s a dream come true from several, several years ago. I just want to take a few seconds to just thank you and your families for your effort and commitment to Marianna High School.”

Head softball coach Scott Wiggins welcomed Jackson County School Board member Stacey Goodson before saying, “Yes, it is truly a great day for Marianna softball. This is going to be our first direct D1 signings here at Marianna High School.  We have had players who have signed and went on to play at Division I schools but Deana and Chloe are going to be our first to sign out of high school to a four-year school. I just want to say that Coach Donaldson talked about the success this program has had in the last four years. You know this is going to be the senior class to have the most wins of a senior class, we’ve had 20 plus wins for three straight years. You know we’ve set the standards and we’re not going to back from that now.  These are leaders and they’re going to continue to step up. You don’t usually see one of the, you see both of them in the cages working their tails off and it’s paid off for both of your and I’m just so proud of both of you.”  

Deana Holland signs with Alabama State University 

Assistant principal Sybil Rivers said of Holland took the microphone to speak about Holland, “Good afternoon, Deana asked me if I would speak in reference of this day for her. I’ve known Deana since middle school, I’ve known everyone in this senior class when I became an administrator at the middle school and I moved over to the high school with them. Deana has made a special mark on my heart, because not only is she an athlete, but she is a young woman who is talented, courageous, ambitious, with heart felt love. If you Deana, you know how she feels about you. She has demonstrated the accolades her parents have instilled in her and ASU won out. They’re quite fortunate to have Deana Holland as an athlete on their campus, as an individual who will be in their classes and a young lady who will always be an alumna of that university, of that HBCU (Historically Black College University). So, I want to say again Deana, we are so very proud of you. I know your parents are, your family is so very, very proud of you for accomplishing what you have set out to accomplish. I remember you saying that this day was going to come and I told you then I would be there to see it. Halleluiah, this day has come and I am here to see it and not only that, but I get to publicly recognize and acknowledge you for those accomplishments. So, congratulations young lady, you did that thang girl.” 

Wiggins said from the time Deana moved in (she was a transfer) she was a team player and always had a smile on her face. Jokingly, he said that the smile would fade when her dad would get on her but they’d run him off and she would be fine. This brought laughter from Deana as well as those in attendance.

Deana’s dad, Don Holland has been on the coaching staff at MHS through her time there but was obviously a little more emotional than normal, “I can’t express how grateful I am to have all of you here with Deana this afternoon. I’m especially grateful to you who have helped Deana through this long journey. I’d like to thank God for his daily blessings, my mom, and my sister Tabitha.  Holland thank the MHS administration, the coaches with special praises to coach Tina Bigale who he said wears many hats.  

In her three seasons at Marianna High School, Holland has a .350 batting average, 85 stolen bases and as .950 fielding percentage as the third basemen for the Lady Bulldogs. 

In an interview with Holland, she says that she will report to ASU in August and plans a major in criminal justice. 

When asked who she would like to thank for where she is today, Holland said, “I would like to thank my coaches, family and my peers.  I want to thank Mr. Martin, Mr. Blanton – roll tide always, Ms. Rivers, I’ve been in her office quite a few times and my teammates, Chloe, she’s the best. I would like to thank my dad for pushing me to my limits. I love all of ya’ll.”

Holland excels in other areas at MHS as well as a member of SGA (Student Government Association), NHS (National Honor Society), Beta, S.W.A.T. (Students Working Against Tobacco) and Juniorettes. She is also a member of the senior homecoming court. 

She is the daughter of Don Holland and Lacy Daniels, and has siblings Ciara Holland, Brenden Remdensanavustin, Tyreke Holland and Kendra Daniels.

Chloe Temples headed to the circle at Stetson University 

Coach Scott Wiggins talked about Temples years at MHS and what an honor it was to have coached her saying, “There’s not many times a coach can throw someone in the circle and know the outcome and that goes back to Chloe’s freshman year when we threw her in the circle as a freshman in a district playoff game.  We knew then you were a true competitor and you will be one of the most successful pitchers to come out of Marianna High School.”

Temples success does not stop on the softball field.  She is dual enrolled at Chipola College, has maintained a 4.0 unweighted GPA, is a member of National Honor Society, BETA, FCA,HOSA, Juniorettes, and Anchor Club.

Chloe Temples fate was set when she was eight years old and missed turning an erred bunt into a homerun by one base. Chloe’s dad, Lee Temples told of her start in softball. The erred bunt came in the final game of her inaugural season of softball and her dad (and coach for many years) told the story with Chloe not even flinching. According to dad, Chloe was the worst player on the team and had not a hit all season. It was the last game and he opts to give her the bunt sign which she lays down a bunt down third base line. An overthrow allows her to go to second and on to third. A funny thing happened on the way to third – Chloe tripped over her own feet, falling to the ground and crawled her way to third base safely before the throw reached third base.  Dad Lee says Chloe was upset it wasn’t a homerun. Fast forward to the final inning and Temples is up to the plate again. It worked once so why not go for another bunt?  That works great except the coach (Dad) forgot to tell her a missed bunt on a third attempt is an out but Chloe didn’t have to worry after connecting on her final attempt.  The ball was right down third, a good clean field and throw and she’s out. Luck was on her side one more time as the throw is off and Chloe is off to the races, making sure she doesn’t trip this time. The ball is being thrown in and dad is waving the stop sign from third as she rounds second base.  There’s no stopping her as she rounds third without a minute’s hesitation and heads for home. The throw is in route home and it’s a sure out – EXCEPT the throw is off the money and Chloe has a homerun. When Lee Temples asked Chloe after the game did she not see his hands up for her to stop, she said yes, sir she had and that although her brain said stop, her heart said go, “That’s when I knew I had a softball player.” 

Chloe said her dad kind of stole her thunder because that was the story she was going to share but she remembered it a different way, “My sister Kaleigh was signing up and I asked her what she was doing and she said she was signing up for softball. Well, I’m thinking tennis and when I went out the first time, I thought this is NOT what I signed up for and of course like my dad said, I was not exactly the athlete I am today. I was on a not so good team and I went home one afternoon and was so tired of not being able to throw a strike so I got a net that was about four feet wide and I got out in my yard and I started throwing and I couldn’t even get it to the net but I kept trying. I finally got one to the net and I was so excited I forgot all about all the ones I had missed. I went in and told my parents to come look at me, I can throw this ball.” She praised and thanked her parents for always believing in her, giving everything that she needed to be where she is, she thanked her teammates and coaches before signing on the dotted line. 

Congratulations to these two athletes on their past and future successes from the publisher and staff of the Jackson County Times. 

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