Chavez named Female Athlete of the Year

Chavez named Female Athlete of the Year


After a beautiful closeout that won her the league championship, Lamar University cross country’s Evelyn Chavez was voted the Southland Conference Women’s Athlete of the Year.

Along with Chavez’s award, Keith Fallon took the Male Newcomer of the Year honor, and cross country coach Tony Houchin won the Men’s Coach of the Year award.

Chavez, a native of Porter, Texas, finished out the 6,000-meter race with a very strong final 1,000 meters and took over first place and outraced Sam Houston’s Ana Moreno, who was second by two seconds. Chavez’s teammate Jannika John finished was third.

“There isn’t a more deserving athlete than Evelyn. She works extremely hard and is a good teammate. She is everything a Lamar Cardinal should be,” said Houchin.

Chavez won the fourth Female Athlete of the Year award for Lamar and is the third athlete to do it, joining Minttu Hukka in 2014 and Clerc Koenck in 2006 and 2007. With the men’s side included, Big Red has taken five-conference athlete of the year awards since 2013.

She finished the tight course in 21:12.7, short of her best time of the year at the Texas A&M Invitational (20:52.4).

Fallon is the fourth Cardinal to win the newcomer award since its introduction in 2006, joining Sam Kosgei (2006), Tallam Kipruto (2010) and Ash Harrell (2013). Fallon was LU’s fifth point-getter with a 19th-place finish on 25:05.0, and helped the Cardinal men to their 10th title in 11 seasons.

“A person’s first semester on a campus is a big transition period, and it’s hard to tell how someone will respond to so many new things. Keith has done great job of adapting and adjusting to it,” said Houchin. “Our team is only as strong as our fifth scorer, and we’re lucky he came in as strong as he did, especially as a newcomer.”

Houchin took his second-straight coach of the year honor, and is the fourth Lamar coach to go back-to-back and seventh coach from the Southland Conference to do so. The LU coaches he joined are Darren Gauson (2013-14), Jake Stewart (2009-10) and Sita Waru (2006-08).

“This award is a reflection of the athletes on the team, history of the program and support of Coach Clark and they university,” said Houchin. “I’m just one in the lineage of great coaches to come through here.”

Next up for Lamar University is the NCAA South Central Regional Championships, hosted at Arkansas in Fayetteville on Nov. 11, and from there, qualifiers will compete at the NCAA Championships on Nov. 19.

Men’s golf

Lamar University senior Mans Berglund was named the Southland Conference Golfer of the Month for October.

Berglund placed in the top five in all three tournaments he competed in during the month, including winning the Bayou City Collegiate Classic for his second career victory. His efforts helped the Cardinals win the OGIO Utah Invitational, finish third as a team at the Steelwood Collegiate and seventh at the Bayou City Collegiate Classic. Berglund averaged 69.88 strokes per 18 holes, with a low round of 67.

“It’s great for Mans,” LU coach Jessie Mudd said. “He has had a great fall season, and is well deserving.”


Lamar junior midfielder M.J. Eckart was tabbed as an honorable mention selection on the Southland Conference’s all-conference women’s soccer team.

Eckart, who started all 19 games for the Cardinals, led LU with 12 points and six goals, both career highs. She had both game-winning goals for LU this season, including the only goal in LU’s 1-0 win over archrival McNeese in the season finale. Her three career game-winning goals are tied for the fourth most in LU history. She also led the team with 40 shots and 16 shots on goal.

“I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this than M.J.,” LU coach Steve Holeman said. “She has been a tremendous leader on this team throughout the season. Her work ethic and defensive presence kept us in games while also being our most dangerous player on attacking set pieces. She is a true team player and we are excited to have her back next season.”

Eckart will enter her senior season sixth on LU’s all-time goals list with 11 and tied for ninth on the school’s all-time points chart with 23. Her 57 games started are ninth in program history.


Abilene Christian had an efficient offensive showing and handed Lamar University a 3-0 (15-25, 21-25, 18-15) loss Nov. 5 at the Moody Center in Southland Conference action.

Lamar’s Chelsea Grant moved her double-figure kills streak up to 14 matches with 13 kills on 39 attacks, followed by six from Tomar Thomas and four from each Nicole Parish and House. With Grant’s kills, she upped her career total to 1,077, making her 19th all-time at Lamar University.

The loss dropped Lamar to 6-20 overall, 6-8 in conference. LU will host its final two games of the season with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Thursday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. and Incarnate Word on Saturday, Nov. 12, at 1 p.m.


For just the second time in program history, and the first time since 1983, the Lamar University football team left Thibodaux, Louisiana, without a victory. Nicholls jumped out to a 21-3 first half lead then rolled to a 35-10 win. It was the third consecutive loss for the Cardinals who fall to 3-6 on the season, and 3-4 in Southland Conference play.

The Cardinals managed just 241 yards of total offense and were held to minus 14 yards rushing. Nicholls finished the game with 404 yards of offense including 235 on the ground. True freshman Adam Morse of PN-G was 19-of-37 for 255 yards and a touchdown in his first career start for the Cards.

The Cardinals return to action Saturday, Nov. 12, when they host Incarnate Word on Senior Night. The game is slated to kick off at 6 p.m. from Provost Umphrey Stadium. It can be seen live on ESPN3, and heard live on Newstalk 560 KLVI. Tickets for the regular-season finale can be purchased by going to or by calling the LU Ticket Office at (409) 880-1715.