Sanford’s Hope Tarbox is called quiet and tough by her coaches, traits which may help her in the U.S. Marines. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

Her Sanford High coaches, Ellie Agreste in girls’ soccer and Rossie Kearson in girls’ basketball, use two words to describe senior Hope Tarbox: quiet and tough.

So her decision to recently enlist in the U.S. Marines initially surprised them. But the more Agreste thought about it, the more it made sense. “She fits the bill when it comes to toughness,” she said of Tarbox. “I think she’ll thrive in the military.”

The 5-foot-4 Tarbox has always been a skilled player. In soccer, at midfield, she was the distributor, always setting up teammates for a scoring change. “Her vision on the field is top notch,” said Agreste.

In basketball, she’s the Spartans top outside shooter, hitting 43 percent of her 3-point attempts while averaging 6.7 points and 1.2 steals. And, according to Kearson, she takes about two offensive charges per game. “She’s basically been that tough kid for us this season,” he said.

Her Marine recruiter, Staff Sgt. George Hamil, said Tarbox has qualified for about 24 Military Occupational Specialties, meaning she has a lot of job possibilities ahead. She’ll report to Parris Island in South Carolina about two months after graduating from high school to begin an eight-year commitment, four of the years on active duty, four on inactive duty.

We recently sat down with Tarbox to talk about the Marines, sports and life in Sanford.

Q: How did your decision to enlist in the Marines come about?

A: Last summer I realized I wanted to go into the military. I didn’t know quite what branch yet. And then I looked into all of them and I just decided I wanted to go into the Marines.

Q: What is it about the military that drew you to it?

A: I really just wanted to serve my country and if I can, why wouldn’t I?

Q: Is there anything in particular about the Marines that drew you to them?

A: To me, the Marines are like a family. And it’s about honor and respect and pride and I just fell in love with that.

Q: Has anyone in your family served in the Marines?

A: My (grandfather), Richard Chevalier.

Q: What was his reaction?

A: He was happy for me.

Q: You have two months here in the summer before you leave. What will those be like for you?

A: Just getting ready, putting in some work.

Q: You play both soccer and basketball. Has your lifestyle here prepared you in any way for what’s ahead?

A: Sports are a team thing and it’s also going to be a team aspect when I go into the Marines.

Q: And you’re always working out, right?

A: I always have to be in shape.

Q: In talking to your coaches, they use two words to describe you: quiet but tough. Are those accurate descriptions of you?

A: Oh yes.

Q: Are you just naturally quiet?

A: I’m quiet when I want to be.

Q: When are you not quiet?

A: I like to respect the coaches and respect the time with them and be a coachable person.

Q: Which sport is your favorite?

A: Soccer. I’ve basically grown up on the soccer field. My dad (Adam Tarbox) was the president of the soccer association here for as long as I can remember. I started playing when I was 3 or 4. I’ve grown up with it around me.

Q: You play midfield in soccer, guard in basketball. Do you have similar roles?

A: In basketball I’m more of a shooter. That’s kind of my role. Soccer was kind of opposite. I would get the ball and dribble it up and pass it for someone to score.

Q: Is it unusual for a high school student to take this career path?

A: There’s actually four of us (at Sanford) who enlisted (in the Marines). Before I made the actual commitment, I talked to a couple of them about it.

Q: Is there anything in particular you plan on doing in the Marines?

A: I actually haven’t decided my (Military Occupational Specialty) yet. Me and my recruiter will sit down and talk about what would be the best fit for me.

Q: Your basketball season began with high hopes but it’s been a little struggle so far. What can you do to turn it around?

A: I think we can just keep pushing through and keep playing as a team. Don’t let our losses get to us. Play for the whole game and come together as one and push through. Because we know we can.

Q: What would you like to be remembered as here at Sanford?

A: That’s a tough question. I guess someone who just follows her dreams. A lot of people say if you’re from Sanford you can’t really do anything and I don’t think that’s true. We’ve proved here, with Paige (Cote) going D-1 basketball and me going to the Marines, you can do it if you want to. You have those choices.

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