Softball tournament to help UHV students achieve dreams

Community members can help raise scholarship funds for students in need by forming teams and registering by June 7 for the Achieve Your Dream co-ed softball tournament.

Keith Akins

The Letting Education Achieve Dreams and Student Recruitment Department at the University of Houston-Victoria is hosting the second annual event on June 26 after last year’s tournament raised almost $3,000.

LEAD and Student Recruitment’s goal is to establish an endowment fund to generate UHV scholarships for underrepresented students, said Billy Lagal, softball tournament organizer and senior LEAD program coordinator. At least $10,000 is needed to start the endowment.

“We’re hoping to raise another $3,500 with this year’s tournament,” Lagal said. “College is important, but it’s also expensive. It’s our hope this endowment will help alleviate some of the financial burden that comes with advancing an education, and this tournament is a fun way to do it.”

All of the registration fees from the tournament will go toward the endowment, but company sponsorships also are vital since they brought in almost $1,500 of last year’s proceeds. Lagal would like to attract even more contributors from the community this year. The deadline for sponsorships is June 15.

“We know money is tight right now for everyone in this economy,” Lagal said. “We wanted to give smaller, locally owned businesses a way to get involved and contribute to the community.”

Sponsorships come in a variety of packages and range from $10 to have company logos appear on tournament banners to $750 to be the main sponsor on all event T-shirts. A new sponsorship package this year offers businesses exposure on the LEAD website for $75.

“Our focus is not only to provide scholarships for deserving students but to increase awareness of higher education,” Lagal said. “If we can get the community involved, we all benefit.”

The tournament will consist of 12 teams with at least 12 players each. Registration is $100 per team, plus a $10-per-game umpire fee. One limited-edition T-shirt for each player is included in the registration.

Each team will play five games in a round robin format to determine seeding, followed by single game elimination to decide the winner. A traveling trophy, as well as small, individual awards, will be presented to the winners.

UHV alumnus Daniel Goyen organized a team last year from Goyen Electric in Victoria, a business owned by his grandfather.

“We enjoyed the tournament so much last year we’re playing again this year,” he said. “There were a lot of close games, the competition was excellent, and all the teams displayed quality sportsmanship. It’s really well organized, and it helps us get our company name out there. But the No. 1 reason to be a part of an event like this are the scholarships. We’re 100 percent behind that and the opportunities UHV is providing for our community.”

The event will begin with opening ceremonies at 9 a.m. at the Victoria Adult Softball Complex, 510 Proctor St. The first game will be at 9:30 a.m. The games are open to all spectators.

“We invite everyone to come be a part of a fun day that will combine the sport of softball, the importance of education and the value of community all into one worthwhile event,” Lagal said.

To register a team or for sponsorship information, contact Lagal at 361-570-4865 or

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Paula Cobler