BULLARD — Marissa Quevedo and Morgan Fore sat holding hands at a table set up at the Kyle Lake Athletic Center at Bullard Brook Hill School.
The two longtime friends and classmates had overcome a lot to be here and wanted to share their moment together.
"Marissa and I went to middle school together at Grace (Community) and then we both came to Brook Hill," said Fore, who committed to play softball at Mary Hardin-Baylor. "It's just a surreal experience and exciting. I am excited."
Quevedo and Fore both donned T-shirts from their next schools with many family members and friends joining them. Quevedo signed a full scholarship letter of intent for tennis to Seton Hall, with Fore receiving academic money to go to UMHB.
"I think the craziest part about it all is there was a point in my life that I didn't think I was going to be able to accomplish this," Quevedo said. "With the help of my friends, family and God pushing me; we were able to be a part of this."
Quevedo shined as a junior tennis player winning several titles, but began to complain about some pain in her hip. After winning U16 Doubles at the Capsher Grand Slam, Quevedo decided enough was enough.
"She walked off the court, got her trophy and asked for an MRI," her mother, Stephanie Quevedo, said about the turning point. "All tests showed it was a labral tear (in her hip). It would require surgery and six months of physical therapy."
Quevedo's blossoming tennis career was threatened, with doctors saying she could never get back to where she was.
Fore was dealing with her own obstacles on the softball field. At catcher, Fore had shown promise and had aspirations of continuing to the next level.
Her coaches thought otherwise.
"I actually had a couple club coaches who really put me down and said I couldn't play softball in college," Fore said. "They said I was too little and were just really negative."
Both took a break from the game they love. Quevedo had no choice with her surgery and rehab taking all her time. The sophomore eventually regained enough strength to walk, but still could not step on a tennis court.
Fore left softball and began to play basketball at Brook Hill.
Quevedo slowly but surely began to regain her once unstoppable tennis game. She lived in Spain for a while to train on a softer surface, then moved into a small apartment in Dallas. She trained six days per week all with the hopes of getting back to a four-star status, the minimum she would need to attract college coaches.
She rose 600 spots in the rankings and is now, according to tennisrecruting.net, the 10th-ranked high school senior in Texas by Babolat and 185th nationally. She is also now a four-star player.
Fore returned to softball and last season made the TAPPS all-state team.
Quevedo chose Seton Hall among offers from Texas, Arkansas and others in the area because she liked the Big East Conference and wanted to experience a new region of the country.
"I was looking for great academics at a place where I would be in the middle of the pack on the tennis team so I would play (as a freshman) but also be pushed; and I wanted a small school but to also have the ability to have numerous opportunities right at my doorstep," Quevedo said. "The fact that I can step on a train and be in New York City in 20 minutes was also very appealing."
Fore liked Belton's quaint surroundings.
"The campus is tiny and I really didn't want to go to a big school," Fore said. "I just want to finish off strong and leave a good legacy for others to follow."