77° San Marcos
The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Behind the lens: My snapshot of spring season sports


Texas State junior guard Caleb Asberry (2) scans the court for an opening in the ULM defense, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, at Strahan Arena. The Bobcats won 61-57.

The spring semester and sports season have officially ended. As advancements were made in COVID-19 treatment, Bobcat fans returned to their seats in the stands while Texas State Athletics made strides on the playing field.
Similar to the fall semester, most of Texas State’s spring sports managed to function with limited cancellations. For most games, photographers and reporters, like myself, continued to face limitations on where we could capture the moments of the games. However, there was a sense of normalcy when shooting for certain sports, such as softball and baseball.
When out on the field, I am not only looking to capture the action of each play but for shots that showcase the team’s dynamic; I love to find the moments when the team connects with one other. This year, COVID-19 has required me to shoot in new ways and has expanded my knowledge of finding angles that capture a player’s unique form.

Basketball – Men’s

Texas State men’s basketball finished 18-7 overall, 12-3 in the Sun Belt and won the Sun Belt Conference regular-season title. One of my favorite Texas State sports moments in all my years at The University Star was watching the team cut down the net in Strahan Arena after securing the title.
Strahan operated at 25% capacity for the season and required attendees to wear masks at all times. I shot photos from the upper-level stands for the majority of the games. Only one photographer per game was allowed on the court, and even then, that photographer was distanced from the court and benches.
Despite my changed vantage point, shooting from higher up allowed me to get a new perspective on the game as I taught myself new ways to get the typical shots. Last season I captured moments directly under the basket and got close-up shots. This spring, however, I worked with more of a wide shot. With these restrictions, I constantly moved around the arena to get the various angles of the game.
Near the end of the season, men’s basketball Head Coach Terrence Johnson tested positive for COVID-19 and was unable to coach in person for the final two weeks of the regular season. Despite this, the team persevered. Johnson stayed involved with the team’s progress through constant FaceTime calls, he even celebrated the conference title against the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks on the phone with his team.
In a moment that gained national attention from outlets like ESPN, Johnson drove to the arena after the game to celebrate with his players from inside his vehicle.


Basketball – Women’s

Also in Strahan this spring was the women’s basketball team. The Bobcats finished 11-11 overall, and they advanced to the second round of the Sun Belt Conference Championship tournament. However, the team suffered a slightly shortened season, with four canceled games due to COVID-19 protocols and Winter Storm Uri.
With the same photographer restrictions as in men’s basketball, I positioned myself facing the bench with the women’s team; their enthusiastic celebrations made for eye-catching photos.
Texas State also hosted a few games for the first round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. While I did not attend the tournament, the event made for an exciting time in San Marcos, and the Bobcat logo on center-court provided great promotion during the televised games.


When it comes to making headlines, the softball team scored a number of memorable moments this spring. With a 39-14 overall record, appearances in three NCAA regional games and victories over ranked teams like the Oregon Ducks, the Texas A&M Aggies and Mississippi State Bulldogs, calling the season exciting would be an understatement.
The Bobcats also tied the school record for the longest single-season win streak with 18 consecutive victories. All of this brought rightful attention to the team, making Bobcats, including myself, more invested in the season.
This season we saw the debut of freshman pitcher Jessica Mullins who threw a seven-inning no-hitter in her first game on the field. She picked up multiple awards throughout the season, including a spot on the All-Sun Belt Conference First Team.
One of my favorite things while shooting was seeing how emotional and supportive the teammates were of one another. I also enjoyed getting shots of the pitchers; their individual techniques for pitching were so unique and eye-catching. Moving from high up in the stands down to the walls surrounding the field allowed me to capture all the different aspects of the game, from close-up to far away.
Once the outdoor spring sports, such as softball and baseball, began, photographer access to the field returned to some degree of normalcy. We could move freely throughout the stadiums and shoot from the stands, the outer walls and the press box. While keeping my face mask on, I was even able to get the same angles I shot before the pandemic.


Next door to Bobcat Softball Complex was the baseball team, who finished out the year 21-36 overall. This season for Bobcat baseball featured games against teams like the Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns. Fans also filled available seats as the ballpark remained at 35% capacity.
With expanded media access, I branched beyond my normal angles, attempting to shoot behind home plate, aiming to focus more on the pitcher and ball. This created a different perspective on the game, and it also pushed me to try new things with my camera.


We also got post-season play from the Sun Belt champion volleyball team in preparation for the NCAA tournament in April. Including these spring games, the Bobcat volleyball team finished the year 31-9 overall, 15-1 conference and made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament after beating Utah Valley in the first.
Volleyball has always been one of my favorite sports to shoot because of the players’ forms while hitting, blocking, passing and serving. This team is also one of the most enthusiastic teams, celebrating after each winning point and keeping with rituals on the bench.
Like basketball, my photography access was primarily in the stands, which was sometimes helpful: I was able to zoom out and capture the full motion of the hitters and servers. However, there were occasions where I missed being on the court, getting close-up shots of reactions and other technical elements.
During the season, there was one game where I got sole photographer court access, and I made the most of it. I focused on getting those close-up shots I had missed, and, in turn, ended up with some of my favorite volleyball photos.
I am excited to capture Bobcat volleyball once I have regular court access again as I am eager to capture all its thrilling plays.


This season, I also covered spring football practices. The team had a unique spring season, with only about seven practices before operations paused for health and injury concerns. After two weeks off, the team returned for two practices and one modified spring game.
At spring practice, we saw some of the new recruiting class made up of all transfers, including freshman quarterback Ty Evans and graduate offensive lineman Liam Dobson. As the Bobcats look to improve past their 2-10 record, it will be interesting to see how a class of transfers, as opposed to high school recruits, helps the team.
For football photos, I got lucky. I had field access to the practices, allowing me to move around as the team did drills, and, since players received COVID-19 tests multiple times a week, they were in full contact. With so many practices to shoot, I had ample opportunities to test different photo techniques, such as close-ups, lower angles and redirecting focus to different elements.
I also had the privilege of writing a feature on Student Assistant Linebacker Coach Jada Gipson, a story about breaking football’s gender norms as a female coach. This article was so fun to write, and I loved learning more about Jada.
The Bobcats will start their 2021 season versus Baylor on Sept. 4 at Bobcat Stadium.

Track and Field

The final sport I shot this spring was track and field. I attended the Bobcat Classic on May 2, and, this being my first time covering track, served as a fun learning experience, getting to both observe and shoot the different events.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, my access was limited to the walkway in front of the stands, which prevented me from shooting events across the field. Next track season and in the future, I look forward to more opportunities to learn how to photograph these events.
The Bobcats had 10 athletes qualify for the NCAA West Preliminaries. On June 9, senior long jumper Ronnie Briscoe was placed 16th in long jumps at the NCAA Championships, athletically representing Texas State while honoring his best friend and teammate, Jaylen Allen, who died in a car accident in June. The Bobcat community came together to honor his life and support those close to him.
Closing out the season, I am grateful for every opportunity I had to do my job capturing Bobcat athletics. Going into the spring I did not know what to expect; the world and COVID-19 precautions seemed to change every day. Because of this, I am thankful the season operated smoothly and that I was a part of them.
As Bobcats continue to get vaccinated and with fewer mask regulations in place, it looks like life is slowly moving back to normal.
Athletics will also return to form, as Bobcat Stadium will be at full capacity in the fall. For me, this change will make football more exciting as teams will now have in-person camps and recruitment, bringing more athletes to San Marcos throughout the summer and fall.
Personally, being fully vaccinated gives me peace of mind going into public areas and being around more people. I made sure to get vaccinated to not only protect myself but those around me — in my work and private life. If this season was a preview and the pandemic really is nearing the end, I’m hopeful I’ll be back on the field and court, camera in hand with no worries.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • Texas State junior guard Mason Harrell (12) cuts down his piece of the net while on Facetime with head coach Terrance Johnson after winning the Sun Belt Conference title, Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, at Strahan Arena.

  • Texas State then-freshman pitcher Jessica Mullins (4) winds up to pitch to the player at bat during the game against Houston Baptist, Wednesday, April 28, 2021, at Bobcat Softball Stadium. The Bobcats won 4-2.

  • Texas State freshman pitcher Otto Wofford (27) pitches to a Georgia State batter, Saturday, May 15, 2021, at Bobcat Ballpark. The Bobcats lost 5-7.

  • Texas State freshman setter Ryann Torres (14) sets the ball across the court to an incoming hitter during the game against TCU, Thursday, March 18, 2021, at Strahan Arena. The Bobcats lost 3-1.

  • Texas State assistant linebackers student coach Jada Gipson talks to freshman linebacker Josh Emmanuel (30) during spring practice, Tuesday, April 6, 2021, at Bobcat Stadium.

  • Texas State senior sprinter Jaylen Allen passes other runners in the 400-meter dash during the Bobcat Classic, Sunday, May 2, 2021, at Texas State Track and Field Complex.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right

Donate to The University Star

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The University Star