STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
MARBLE FALLS — The culmination of time and energy paid off for Marble Falls High School senior softball player Elicia Gonzales as she signed her National Letter of Intent on Dec. 11 to play for Lamar State College-Port Arthur.
Gonzales said she wanted to start at the junior college level to get her basics out of the way.
Lady Mustangs head coach Tim Richter said Gonzales is the type of athlete coaches dream of: a complete student-athlete who works as hard in the classroom as she does on the field.
“She’s awesome, physically gifted and mentally gifted,” he said. “I don’t have to worry about grades.”
Her work ethic is what stood out to Richter last year in his first season of guiding the program. He noted most athletes don’t figure out how to work hard and smart until they are in their last year of eligibility, but that wasn’t the case for Gonzales. He added that many dream of playing on the next level, but lack the commitment and drive to set that type of goal and then go after it every day.
Gonzales acknowledged she has given up many weekends to play in showcases that allowed college coaches to see her.
Richter closed by talking about another important character trait: being unselfish. Going into 2018, the Lady Mustangs needed a center fielder after Taylor Dixon graduated. Gonzales went to Richter and offered to move to the outfield after being the team’s shortstop, a position that typically goes to the fastest infielder on the team.
“We made that transition,” he said. “She did that all summer long. I’m very grateful to her and her parents.”
The senior said she played right field in the past, and the transition back to the outfield felt natural.
“Going from the outfield to the infield is worse,” she said.
She was thankful to her family and Richter for their encouragement and being there every step of the way.
“Coach Richter always says, ‘If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done,’” she said.
The daughter of Mistee and Jesse Gonzales wants to be a veterinarian.