NOCONA, Texas – Laci Stone, 18, was one of the six University of the Southwest golf athletes killed in a head-on collision on March 15th. Her parents, Haydan and Chelsi Stone have since started the ‘Love Like Laci’ movement, hoping to keep her name alive and embody everything she was about.
“Laci loved big — if she loved you, she loved you. She was your biggest fan, she wanted you to do the absolute best in your life,” Chelsi said.
Haydan added, “She’s just the person that just gave you the opportunity to be a good person and wanted you to bring it out. You were going to be a part of her circle, and it was going to work out great. And she was going to bring the light out in you.”
Laci graduated from Nocona High School in 2021. She loved sports. From basketball, to volleyball, to softball, Laci gave everything she had for anything she was a part of.
It wasn’t until her junior year that Laci fell in love with golf. Because of the pandemic, Laci’s softball season was interrupted, so she and her dad golfed just about every day for 5 to 6 weeks. Laci then made her mind up and decided to pursue a collegiate golf career.
She looked into several different schools, but eventually received an offer to play golf at the University of the Southwest in Hobbs, New Mexico.
“We pulled up to USW – this little bitty school – not a green piece of grass insight, and I was like, ‘Where are we?’ But she loved it,” Chelsi said. “Her biggest complaint was there was no Chick-fil-A.”
It was a Tuesday in the middle of March when Chelsi and Haydan got a phone call no parent should ever have to receive.
“I had talked to her probably 20 or 30 minutes before that. And she was very disappointed with how she played that day. I noticed that her Life360 had stopped. A couple hours later I decided I wanted to check again. It was still stopped. So we all called, texted. It wasn’t confirmed that she had passed until about two o’clock in the morning,” Chelsi said.
Her parents said their two other children, Jonathan and Kaygan have helped them stay busy since that tragic day.
Laci was far from a negative person, which is why her parents have started ‘Love Like Laci’ to turn this tragedy into something positive.
“I feel like I have a job to do. Now that I don’t have her I feel like I need to really show her off to the world and I need to keep her name alive. I need to, I have to,” Haydan said.
They explained they have something else that brings them peace throughout all of this.
“Laci had a very strong faith. She knew who she was in this world, and she knew that God was a big part of that. And so that gives us a lot of comfort,” Chelsi added.
Laci would have turned 19 on July 1. In honor of her birthday, a benefit has been organized for June 25. More information can be found on the Love Like Laci Facebook page.