Texas State athletics made an impact on the San Marcos community when two softball players gave back their time to local fans.
Kortney Koroll, former Texas State softball player, and Kelli Baker, senior second baseman, volunteered at the Reading Heroes summer camp for young children with reading disabilities.
“It’s pretty much a summer program that helps the kids improve their reading skills and develop confidence for the school year,” Koroll said. “Kelli and I read them a story or two and talked a lot about our softball careers and what type of work ethic is required to achieve their goals.”
Baker said the atmosphere was “awesome” as soon as they arrived at the camp. After getting to know everyone, they finished the day by going outside and throwing the softball around.
“It meant a lot that they were very excited to introduce themselves to us,” Baker said. “Seeing them wear Texas State gear was awesome. They all had jerseys on, they all had their hats and some had brought their gloves.”
It came as a surprise to Koroll to learn how many of the kids had parents that were alumni of the university. She felt it was a great confidence boost for her and the team during the season to know the community was supporting them through everything.
“Honestly, when the fans come out to the game it means so much to us,” Koroll said. “Even at the end of the game when we’re signing autographs and just seeing their faces light up means everything.”
Baker understands the type of role models the athletes become—not only for the school, but also for the girls who are chasing the same dream the players had growing up.
“There’s a lot more to life than just softball,” Baker said. “I think us being individual athletes puts us on a pedestal to where these kids look up to us. I feel like it’s our responsibility to be positive role models and give back to them.”
While it is important to be successful on the field, Baker, Koroll and many of the athletes understand the significance of having support off the field.
As Texas State continues to grow in size and popularity, the success of the athletic programs can be attributed to the fans as well.
“I think it’s big for all of our athletic programs to go out and give back to our community,” Koroll said. “Everything’s not just about softball. It’s about giving back to this community that has always been here to support us. We just want to set the standard and show what being an athlete is all about.”