Lone Star Conference cancels spring sports for semester, head coach and student athlete share thoughts


Courtesy of SEU Athletics Communications

Sophomore Kate Malazonia was set to make a big leap this spring as she was named ITA Region Rookie of the Year and All-Heartland First Team last season.

Due to the rapid spread of COVID-19, all spring athletic events have been canceled for the remainder of the year. The Lone Star Conference recently made a statement suspending further games and tournaments. 

Debbie Taylor, Associate vice president of Athletics, comments on the suspension. 

“The NCAA canceled the basketball tournaments on March 12. That same day, the Lone Star Conference Council of Presidents met via phone conference to discuss COVID-19 and keeping our student-athletes and community safe,” Taylor says. “In the best interest of the health and safety of student-athletes, staff, spectators, etc, the decision was made to cancel all competition for the remainder of the spring semester.”

Taylor mentions that the coaches talked to their respective teams and emails were also sent out to student athletes. 

Estevam Strecker, head coach of the men’s tennis team, shares his thoughts on the NCAA’s decision.

“At first it felt almost surreal as if things are happening in an alternate world and the only one who is not affected is you. Then, slowly, things started sinking in. My players started texting me and asked a ton of questions, which I had no answers to,” Strecker says. “That was the hardest part for me, to make sure they were OK and they had the information they needed. Needless to say, we had some chaotic moments that followed.”  

Strecker also talks about some of the concerns the players had. 

“On Tuesday, three days before we were starting practice, I could tell the vibe was different. So I stopped and asked,” Strecker says. “We had a long conversation about it and everyone shared their concerns. I think the real disappointment came a few days later when we realized everything was shutting down.” 

Kate Malazonia, a sophomore on the women’s tennis team, also gives her thoughts on the cancellation. 

“I was very shocked. I didn’t really know what to think because five days ago, I was ready to play our next game,” Malazonia said. “I don’t think it’s hit me that I had a season taken away from me.”

As for how the season might’ve played out, the young team was preparing to compete in some of their more difficult matches. 

“Our harder games were approaching and I was looking forward to seeing how we handled them,” Malazonia says. “I guess it wasn’t meant to be.”