Rio Sports Live

“Coach Avi” Gonzalez taking in final run at state

By KEVIN NARRO | Rio Sports Live 

Calallen’s Aviana Gonzalez swings at a pitch during a non-district game April 24 at the Texas A&M University Kingsville Softball Field. (Mark Molina / RSL)

AUSTIN — For a second time in the last three years, Calallen is back at the state tournament with senior Aviana Gonzalez along for the ride once again.

While this is the second trip back to the state capitol for Gonzalez, this year is a little extra special for the senior. 

Gonzalez, a four-year letterman who is Calallen through and through, has overcome a few hurdles her senior year. 

Back in January, Gonzalez needed an emergency appendix surgery that would put her on the shelf for a month before returning in February. 

“For her, she had been working hard all fall and did everything she needed to do,” Calallen coach Teresa Lentz said. “It broke her heart and it broke my heart to see her off to the side and not being able to do anything.” 

While Gonzalez spent a month sidelined, it gave her a chance to explore softball in a way she has wanted to for years and that is in the form of coaching. 

“I’ve always wanted to be a coach ever since I was a kid,” Gonzalez said. “When I play, that comes out for me to help people — it is something I have a passion for.” 

Gonzalez spent time coaching the infield, helping the freshmen girls with different drills and teaching them the ropes of the program. 

“Before you know it, Avi was helping coach the girls,” Lentz said. “She would tell them what to do and if I was late for practice because of a class or a meeting, Avi would get things going for us.” 

Gonzalez was so good at what she did, she earned the nickname “Coach Avi” 

“I guess when I started helping out, they just started calling me Coach Avi and at first it was a joke. Then it kind of just stuck,” recalls the senior.

Having Gonzalez lobby between first and third, allows Lentz to flex her infield and having Gonzalez on the field is like having another coach on the field. 

“People just fall in love with Avi,” Lentz said. “She is great and she is smart. She is a great student and is a program player. We will have some big shoes to fill when she graduates.”

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