POONA FORD COULD START FOR THE LONGHORNS AS A SOPHOMORE

The label "undersized" is not typically associated with a 5-foot-11-inch, 286-pound mass of mostly muscle like Poona Ford, who until he arrived at the University of Texas as a freshman defensive tackle couldn’t recall a time when he wasn't the biggest player on the football field.

Such is the current landscape of major college football that a mountain of a young man like Ford could stand to be a little larger. But anyone who thought that might hold him back doesn't know much about Ford.

JESSICA GELTZ NEVER IMAGINED HERSELF A CREW COXSWAIN UNTIL SHE WAS RECRUITED IN LINE AT PANERA BREAD.

Jessica Geltz never imagined herself a crew coxswain until she was recruited in line at Panera Bread. Nearly four years later, the 17-year-old Hilton Head High School senior can’t imagine life without the sport.

“I love being in the water, I love the tradition of the sport and the camaraderie that comes from giving it everything you have inside you,” Geltz said. “Crew takes the idea of teamwork to a whole next level. There has to be perfect synergy in the shell to lead to a win.”

Marley Maiers: More than a shrimp boat captain

Marley Maiers grew up fishing and crabbing off the Jersey shore, but had never aspired to make her living on the water. Sometimes, though, you can’t resist the beauty of the beach, the pull of the tides — or the entrepreneurial spirit of the water-loving man to whom you’re married.

Her husband, John, who had been a clammer in New Jersey and had worked on ocean-going boats in Maryland, had already been putting his captain’s license to good use by leading sailing tours on the 45-foot Morgan sloop Cheers when the owner of the Tammy Jane approached them two years ago about buying his boat and taking over his business.

RETIRED VET OFFERS PHOTOGRAPHIC SALT MARSH TOURS

Larry Watts operated a popular veterinary practice on Hilton Head Island for nearly 30 years. When he wasn't busy treating the area’s animals, he could usually be found out on his boat, indulging his passion for wildlife photography. After taking an early retirement in 2005, Watts channeled his love of animals and photography into an exciting second career offering photography cruises of the local salt marshes.

Sport keeps Holly Feltner’s life in balance

Years ago, Holly Feltner knew where she wanted to live someday: Hilton Head Island.

She and her husband, both from Kansas, were married on the island 15 years ago and set a goal to eventually move here.

The “where” was established.

CAPPY THE CLOWN HAS SOMETHING FOR THE CHILD IN ALL OF US.

If you’ve been to any event on Hilton Head Island where there was even the slightest chance that children would be present, odds are good you’ve seen Cappy the Clown.

And if you’ve seen Cappy the Clown, you know her trademarks: the big red chair, the impressively complex Gordian Knot balloon animals she makes, the Boston accent, the quick wit.

Bluffton is well represented by Hannah Joy Brown, its first Miss Teen Bluffton.

If you see Hannah Joy Brown while you’re out and about in Bluffton, make sure you stop and say hi. She’ll be easy to spot — she’ll be the one in the sash and crown. And even if she’s not out in her official capacity as Miss Teen Bluffton, you’ll know her by her infectious smile and boundless enthusiasm.

So take a minute and say hello. It’s one of her favorite things about life in Bluffton.

FORMER INTELLIGENCE ANALYST KEEPS LIBRARIES OPEN LONGER

The scene lacked a hero.

Library staff were stretched thin, and disagreements sparked between library trustees and county administrators: Could the county budget support extended library hours?

The answer, no, would be seen this summer, the library board of trustees announced. That’s when the 10 hours added at three branches — Bluffton, Beaufort and Hilton Head Island — would again be cut, following earlier cuts in 2011.

CONSERVATION A RESPONSIBILITY AND PRIVILEGE FOR LOCAL DNR OFFICER

Some of Michael Brock's favorite childhood memories are of times spent outdoors with his family — experiences that taught him a great respect and appreciation for nature, as well as the importance of environmental conservation. Now, as a law enforcement officer with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Brock enforces state and federal laws designed to preserve the Lowcountry's pristine natural beauty for future generations. For him, it's more than just a job; it's a privilege.

EXPLORER KENT GRIMES CIRCUMNAVIGATES AREA ISLANDS

Give Kent Grimes some nautical and tide charts and you get in return a day’s paddle around an area island, riding the tide most of the way.

Kent and his wife, Pennie, moved seven years ago to Hilton Head Island from Memphis. About three years ago, he took a part-time job as a kayak guide and instructor at Outside Hilton Head.

He and a few staff members took a Master Naturalist class together and became friends. 

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