DeLeon signs with Spoon River College

Richard Zowie/The Highlander
Marble Falls High School softball player Jaden DeLeon signed a letter of intent to play at Spoon River College in Illinois. Joining her as she signed May 9 were, from left, MFHS Softball Coach Timothy Richter, her mother, Stassja Floyd, her stepfather, Jason Alvarez, her brother, Maddox DeLeon, her grandmother, Elaine Floyd, her stepsister, Lexie Edwards, and her grandmother, Yvonne Edwards.

By Richard Zowie

Highlander Sports Editor

 

Goodbye, purple, gold, and Mustangs. Hello, navy blue, green, and Snappers.

Marble Falls High School senior softball player Jaden DeLeon’s next step will take her to Spoon River College in Canton, Illinois.

Canton is almost 200 miles southwest of Chicago.

Shy in public, DeLeon said little as she signed her letter of intent with her family and softball coach, Timothy Richter present.

“I’ll have to learn how to drive in the snow,” she said, which made many in the room laugh.

Richter believes DeLeon will be in good hands. Her head coach at SRC will be John Bassett, who previously coached at Division I’s Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne.

“SRC has a Division I facility,” Richter said. “Jaden will have the luxury of playing at a nice place. It’s a very competitive team. That school has talent. They have a great coach she can learn from.”

While some might wonder why DeLeon is playing for a community college that’s 977 miles away, Richter said it boils down to going where it feels right.

“She can always transfer back here when she’s done, but I encourage her to go out and try to do something,” he said.

Richter described himself, using what he described as a 1980s term, as “super-stoked” that DeLeon is continuing her softball career at community college.

“She’s a senior who’s done a lot,” he said. “To me that’s one of attributes I really love about her. I’ve asked her to play third base, I’ve asked her to play second base, and I’ve asked her to play outfield. More importantly, I asked her to turn around and start slapping it her junior year. I know she has struggled, but there are plays if you saw this year where she put the ball right back to the pitcher and was beating out the throws. She has raw speed, and speed kills in college ball. She’ll only get bigger and better and do a lot of things.”

DeLeon said she’s interested in dentistry and in working with special-needs children.

After opening in 1959 as Canton Community College as the first public junior college to be organized in West Central Illinois, in 1968 the college was renamed Spoon River College.

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