Faith Academy of Marble Falls basketball player Aaron Marks and softball player Whytne West signed to play for Howard Payne University and for Oklahoma Baptist University, respectively, on April 26. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro
STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
Faith Academy of Marble Falls celebrated two of its seniors, Whytne West and Aaron Marks, who will play college sports after graduation.
West is heading to Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee as a catcher for the softball team, and Marks is going to Howard Payne University in Brownwood, where he will play basketball. Both signed national letters of intent April 26.
At Oklahoma Baptist, West will major in education in the hopes of becoming a first-grade teacher. After college, the daughter of Charlotte and Gerald West plans to teach in the United States during the school year then spend summers abroad as a missionary instructing youngsters.
In fact, the main reason she chose Oklahoma Baptist was because of its missionary program.
Marks, a leader on and off the basketball court the past two years, captured multiple individual honors, but that only tells part of his story.
Marks, who also runs cross country tore a hip labrum during the 2017-18 school year. He had surgery July 10 and spent the next five months rehabbing in order to return to the hardwood.
Flames head coach Zakk Revelle said Marks was the program’s lead passer during the preseason because that’s all he could physically do for his teammates. But in the locker room, Marks reminded the Flames that they needed to spend time every day getting better with the goal of getting to the state tournament.
While the Flames lost in the first round of the playoffs in Marks’s final two years, Revelle said that won’t always be the case. And when Faith does win a playoff game, he’ll point to players like Marks, who helped set the foundation for success.
The son of Julie and James Oakley plans to major in biology and minor in theology at Howard Payne.
Marks said he felt wanted by the university’s coaches, which made it the ideal home.
“Most of the process of being good happens behind the curtain,” Marks said. “I heard a coach say, ‘You’re not a great athlete without a comeback story.’ It taught me a lot to persevere and keep going.”