Some of Alice High School's former Lady Coyote basketball players are coming together for a worthy cause.
The first Alice Lady Coyote Alumni Basketball Tournament is Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Alice High School gym. Proceeds from the tournament will go toward the Ariel Lichtenberger memorial scholarship fund.
The tournament will include four teams made up of Alice girls basketball alumni. The former players who enter the tournament will be divided into the four teams. The players will be separated by even and odd years and then teams will be picked through a drawing.
Entry fee per player is $24 to participate, and the deadline to sign up is Sept. 30.
Alice coach Janay Gonzalez, who played basketball for the Lady Coyotes between 2005 and 2007, said the tournament has created a lot of excitement.
“There are a lot of girls participating,” she said. “It’s for a good cause, and it’s also an opportunity to hang out with former teammates and play some basketball.”
Lichtenberger, who passed away earlier this year from brain cancer, was one of the top female athletes to come out of Alice High School. By the time she left Alice High School, Lichtenberger had more than made her mark on the Lady Coyote athletic program. In fact, she was the basketball and softball team MVP every year that she played.
As a junior, she helped the Lady Coyotes to the 2005 Region IV basketball tournament at the University of St. Mary’s in San Antonio. In softball, Lichtenberger led the Lady Coyotes in batting in each season that she played. She was then one of the first girls from the program to play college softball.
Lichtenberger “walked on” to the Texas A&M University-Kingsville softball team as a freshman. Like she did in Alice, she quickly settled in and became a cornerstone of the program. She started in a handful of games in different roles as a freshman in 2007 and then had a break-out season in 2008 starting at first base in 55 of the team’s 56 games. In 2009, she was back at shortstop and earned Lone Star Conference honors. She was among the team’s top hitters that season with a .306 batting average. Lichtenberger finished out her college career playing shortstop for the Javelinas. As a senior, she again won All-Lone Star Conference honors. She hit .281 with 10 doubles, seven homers, and a .541 slugging percentage. She set a school record earlier in the season when she hit a home run in five consecutive games.
Alice High School honored Lichtenberger by inducting her to the Alice Coyote Athletic Hall of Honor in 2016.