INDIANAPOLIS – The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference announced its all-decade team Friday afternoon, as Mount St. Joseph University's Steve Matre ('10) and Lauren Hill were honored on the men's and women's teams, respectively.
The HCAC's 2018-19 edition is its second all-decade announcement in league history. The conference officially began competition in 1998-99 and is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary. Each of the HCAC's 10-member institutions received one male and one female recognition for the 2018-19 all-decade team, which encompasses athletes the competed from 2008-09 to 2018-19.
It's hard to fathom that a person who only played in four college basketball games would be a member of this prestigious all decade team. A player who scored only 10 collegiate points would not normally belong with the other names on this list. The impact made by Lauren Hill though goes so much further than basketball and thus she has been selected as the Mount St. Joseph University representative on the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference All-Decade team for the years 2008-18.
Lauren Hill came to Mount St. Joseph University from Lawrenceburg High School in Lawrenceburg, Indiana a promising young basketball player. Prior to enrolling at The Mount, she was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), an inoperable form of pediatric brain cancer. Struggling with her terminal diagnosis she adopted the mantra "never give up", a phrase that gave her encouragement and from which she drew much strength.
She had a dream to one day take to a college basketball court wearing a Mount St. Joseph jersey with the number 22 on her back. It was a dream that was nearly never realized. As the 2014-15 basketball season approached Lauren's life expectancy was shortened to only a few months. After a petition to the NCAA and an agreement from Hiram College, The Mount's season opener was moved up by two weeks.
That's when Lauren's story began to take hold of the nation. Her story was chronicled by ESPN and Tom Rinaldi, which can be viewed here http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=11812922.
The game which was scheduled to take place at the Harrington Center on the of Mount St. Joseph University. The demand for tickets was too great and the game was moved to the Cintas Center at neighboring Xavier University. When the announcement was made, and tickets were made available the more than 13,000 seat arena was sold out in minutes.
On November 2, 2014 Lauren Hill stepped foot onto the Cintas Center floor for what had been dubbed "one last game" by the media, although she was quick to point out that this was just her first college game, not her last. Mount St. Joseph won the opening tip-off and were ready to run a play they had all been preparing for. All that was unknown was, will she make the shot. As the nation watched Lauren curled in the lane and was wide open for a left-handed layup, which found the bottom of the net. There was not a dry eye in the house that magical night.
After the game Lauren began the Layup for Lauren challenge which began to sweep the nation. The challenge was taken on by professional athletes and celebrities all over the world. After that game her goal changed from playing in a college basketball game, to becoming a voice for the voiceless, to become a face for pediatric brain cancer. She set a goal to raise 2.2 million dollars for pediatric brain cancer research, and with the help of The Cure Starts Now she accomplished that goal.
In early 2015 Lauren Hill received an honorary degree in humane letters from Mount St. Joseph University. On April 15, 2015 a day came that everyone knew was coming, Lauren Hill's fight was over. In 2017 she was posthumously inducted into the Mount St. Joseph Athletic Hall of Fame as a Champion Award winner.
Her final career statistics read as four games played, ten points scored, and millions of lives touched!
Steve Matre came to the then College of Mount St. Joseph in the fall of 2006 after a standout prep career at Purcell Marian High School in Cincinnati.
Once he arrived at The Mount, Steve began to improve tremendously under the late Mike Maundrell who was the Lions pitching coach. His two year run during the 2008-09 seasons was one of the most dominant runs in the history of Division III baseball by a relief pitcher.
In 2008 Steve appeared in 20 games for the Lions, throwing 32.0 innings, and registering 10 saves. He registered a 0.84 ERA allowing only 17 hits, and 4 earned runs. He also struck out 39 opposing batters while only walking 3.
The 2009 season was business as usual for Matre. He appeared in 16 games for the Lions registering 13 saves which was good for the top spot in Division III that year. He lowered his already outstanding ERA to 0.41, again only allowing 4 earned runs on only 10 hits. He was again outstanding with his command in 09 striking out 32 opposing hitters while only walking 4.
Steve was robbed of his senior baseball season due to Tommy John surgery. But was still drafted that spring by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 39thround of the professional baseball draft. He would go on to spend three seasons in the Dodgers organization before arm injuries would end his professional career.
He was honored as the 2008 MVP of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, an honor that is not normal bestowed upon a closer. Matre was a two-time All-HCAC first team selection, and a 2008 D3baseball.com 1stteam All-America selection. Matre left the mount as the career leader in earned run average, appearances and saves. His 32 career saves were good for third in DIII history when his career was over, a number which still stands among the top-ten. His career linescore is 59 appearances, 91.0 innings pitched, 32 saves, 110 Strikeouts, 51 hits allowed, 13 earned runs surrendered and a 1.29 ERA.
"Steve Matre was a tremendous closer for me at The Mount, but he was an even better teammate and leader." Said former head coach Chuck Murray. "He was one of the hardest workers I coached during my time at The Mount. His goal was to be the best player he could possibly be, and he without a doubt accomplished that goal. I would love to coach a baseball team with 25 Steve Matre's on it."