Altamirano, Blackman to represent Los Fresnos at softball All-Star game

LOS FRESNOS — The Los Fresnos Lady Falcons will have one more accomplishment to celebrate when junior slugger Victoria Altamirano and former coach Traci Blackman suit up for the Texas Girls Coaches Association all-star softball game.

Altamirano, a left-fielder, was one of 14 seniors-to-be selected to represent the Class 5A-6A Blue all-stars in today’s game, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Workman Softball Complex in Arlington. She will be playing with fellow Rio Grande Valley standouts Destiny Menchaca of McAllen Rowe and Kaylee O’Bryan of Edinburg North.

“I know getting on this list was really hard, so I’m very blessed to be on this list with these girls,” Altamirano said. “It’s very exciting to know I’ll be playing against top competition. I play with some of these girls that are on the team, so I’m really excited to see the outcome and the experience I’m going to have over there. I’m excited for the other two Valley girls that are coming up with us as well.”

Altamirano is looking forward to representing Los Fresnos alongside Blackman one last time after the coach stepped down to focus on her health following the 2021 season. They’ll be in opposite dugouts as Blackman serves as the Red team’s assistant coach because of the UIL rule prohibiting high school coaches from coaching their athletes during the offseason.

Blackman will be coaching with Judson’s Theresa Urbanovsky, who has two players on the Blue team, and said being on “opposing” sides won’t stop them from cheering on their players and celebrating their success during the game. Blackman nominated Altamirano because of her stellar season and competitive drive.

“It’s good for her. It’s important to her to be successful and to be good. She’s always competing, always wanting to win, she absolutely hates to lose. That’s going to take her places, when you have that in you, because it’s not something you can teach,” Blackman said. “I’m proud of her and so excited for her.”

Altamirano is expecting a competitive game, because she knows the pitchers and hitters selected are all very talented. She has spent her summer traveling with select organizations, so she’ll fit right in with the high level of play. And she’s just as happy for Blackman as she is for herself.

“I’m so grateful that I’ll be able to be on the field with her one last time. I’m glad we’re both able to represent Los Fresnos,” Altamirano said. “She always has a positive attitude. There’s not a time she brings a girl down. She always has faith in us, and that really helps with confidence at the plate, with the pitchers and just as a player in general. She just loves us so much, and I think she deserves this.”

Blackman was invited to the TGCA all-star game for the first time after her senior season at Devine. She called it very exciting to be representing the Lady Falcons program with a rising star in Altamirano.

“Having played in that game my senior year and getting to coach it now is just amazing,” Blackman said. “At first I was like, ‘This is crazy. There are really good coaches in this game, I don’t know if I belong on this list.’ And my husband’s like, ‘You’ve done a lot and you’ve been successful, and you need to take this in and understand you belong there, too.’”