by Eduardo Lerma
Kat Conner has been the Texas State women’s soccer coach since 1999, but she is now facing her toughest opponent: cancer. She’s not going through this fight alone, though. On Sunday November 15, the Texas State Athletics staff and the San Marcos community participated in a fundraiser at Dixie Cream Donuts to support Conner and her fight against cancer.
Dozens and dozens of people came to show their support to Conner, including her entire team, plus coaches from Texas State and other universities. The head coach of Corpus Christi A&M, Shanna Caldwell, traveled to San Marcos to support her friend. Texas State Softball Coach Ricci Woodard also attended. It was the grand re-opening of Dixie Cream.
Coach Karen Chisum
Texas State Volleyball coach Karen Chisum says she was very pleased with the turnout that was on Sunday. Chisum said that Conner is well known in the community and was impressed with the tribute. Chisum says that there is usually a love/hate relationship between coaches and their athletes, but deep down inside the athletes really love and appreciate their coaches and the staff. And because of that, Chisum was not surprised to see Coach Conner’s entire team there to support her.
Ali Jones & Kira Zapalac
Junior Defender Ali Jones and Sophomore Midfielder Kira Zapalac shared some of the best experiences they have had with Coach Conner this season. One of these happened during Halloween, when Conner had her players do practice drills with their Halloween costumes on. Jones and Zapalac said Conner continued to go to their practices and focus on the team even though she is going through her treatments. Zapalac and Jones said Conner is the most selfless person they have ever met. Because the Texas State Women’s soccer team has become a family, the players were not hesitant to support their coach through these tough times.
Dixie Cream Donuts & Pink Heals
Ruben Becerra is the owner of Dixie Cream Donuts and Gil’s Broiler, and has been a longtime friend of Kat Conner. He was asked to help organize this fundraiser. Becerra agreed to give 100% of Sunday’s grand re-opening purchases from Dixie Cream Donuts and Gil’s Broiler to Kat Conner.Becerra is a Texas State Alum and has specifically donated funds to support Bobcat soccer.
The Hays County chapter of Pink Heals also came to the fundraiser to support Conner. Pink Heals is an organization that strives to bring together communities all over the country to support women in need and their families.