Thursday, August 28, 2008

A&M-Commerce series at the Cotton Bowl to be named the Harvey Martin Classic


Press release - Texas A&M-Commerce

Texas A&M University-Commerce announced today the contest between A&M-Commerce and East Central at the Cotton Bowl on October 18 will be named the "Harvey Martin Classic" after the East Texas State and Dallas Cowboy standout.

The 2008 Harvey Martin Classic matchup will be played at 2 p.m. at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas. For ticket information, call the A&M-Commerce athletic department at (903) 886-5558.


Bio on Harvey Martin

Harvey Martin, a defensive lineman for East Texas State from 1969 to 1972, was inducted into the university’s Hall of Fame in 1987. He was selected an Associated Press Little, Football News and NAIA All-American en route to leading the Lions to a national title as a senior in 1972.

In 2007, Martin was selected to the Lone Star Conference 75th Anniversary Football Team and was named LSC Defensive Player of the Decade for the 1970's. In addition, he earned first team defensive lineman honors for the LSC Football Team of the 1970's and was selected to the LSC All 25-Year Team, where he was recognized as the Best Defensive Player and a first team defensive lineman. Martin was a first team all-Lone Star Conference selection as a junior in 1971 and as a senior in 1972.

Martin went on to become a third round selection by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1973 NFL Draft. He was a four-time Pro Bowl selection (1976, 1977, 1978, 1979) and four-time all-pro selection (1976, 1977, 1979, 1982). He was named to the NFL All-Decade Team for the 1970's and was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1977. In Super Bowl XII, he was named the game's MVP along with teammate Randy White.


Texas A&M University-Commerce at the Cotton Bowl

A&M-Commerce has played six games at the Cotton Bowl with the first dating back to 1948 when the Lions defeated West Texas A&M, 13-7. The Lions are 6-0 all-time and have outscored their opponents 194-78 during that span

1948 vs. West Texas A&M W, 13-7
1950 vs. Austin College W, 40-15
1974 vs. Prairie View A&M W, 26-0
1975 vs. Prairie View A&M W, 42-19
1976 vs. Prairie View A&M W, 35-27
1977 vs. Prairie View A&M W, 38-10

Javs ready to win again

A&M-Kingsville looks to recapture team's past glory
By George Vondracek (Contact)


KINGSVILLE -- When one strolls through McCulley Hall on the Texas A&M-Kingsville campus there is an array of shiny golden trophies and black-and-white photographs of past Javelinas football legends, slowly fading after years behind glass.

Steeped in tradition from past greats Gerald Lambert to Randy Johnson to Gene Upshaw to Richard Ritchie to Darrell Green to Johnny Bailey to Earl Dotson to Jermane Mayberry to Roberto Garza, the program boasts seven national championships and 33 conference championship.

Therefore, the well-documented struggles during the past three seasons don't sit well in these parts.

Thus, there is a sense of urgency among the players to return to those days of grandeur as Bo Atterberry's second season as coach dawns.

Go to Corpus Christi Caller for rest of story.
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Javs geared up for season opener

KINGSVILLE -- Both Bo Atterberry and Chris Mussman agree that there are equal parts of optimism and uncertainty surrounding season-opening football games.

Players are energized, anxious to belt someone wearing different colors. Coaches are filled with angst, wondering if three weeks were enough time to properly prepare their charges for a game in which the variables are more like constants.

For Atterberry, who begins his second season as Texas A&M-Kingsville's coach against Mussman in his debut as North Dakota's field boss, there is one factor that cannot be denied: another 3-8 season won't be acceptable.

Go to Corpus Christi Caller for the rest of the story.
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Snap decision

KINGSVILLE -- The quarterbacking situation at Texas A&M-Kingsville the past three seasons has been interesting to say the least. Injuries and grade problems have put the position in a state of flux.

It isn't unusual for those issues to be part of a football team's strife. To have it happen at one position for consecutive years is atypical, and it has contributed to the Javelinas' struggles in the past 32 ballgames covering three seasons.

"I guess the offense wasn't meshing well," said Sinton's Daniel Ramirez, the sophomore who closed the season as A&M-Kingsville's starting QB after injuries felled freshmen Kolten Thigpen and David Garza. "You have that sense at quarterback and as a coaching staff, I believe, that whenever the offense starts jelling together you don't have to say as near as much as you did the first go-around.

Go to Corpus Christi Caller for the rest of the story.

AGN - Lone Star Conference Football Rankings

Heres how Greg Jaklewicz of the Amarillo Globe News ranks the LSC before kickoff. His list and ours are dead on 1-5 and 10-13, with only 6-9 switched around a bit.

1. West Texas A&M: No indication the Buffs shouldn't compete for a fourth straight conference title. Talented at every skill position and eyeing national prominence, the Buffs are No. 1 until knocked off the throne.
2. Abilene Christian: ACU deserves all its preseason ink. This is the best Wildcats team in decades, one that could be playing into December if last year's porous defense can keep games from being offensive free-for-alls.
3. Tarleton State: Once again, the Texans will send a dandy team to battle but may be overshadowed by WT and ACU. Tarleton must play on the road against those two schools and at Midwestern.
4. Texas A&M-Commerce: One of the hottest teams in the LSC at season's end last year, the Terry Mayo-led Lions will cut the mustard in the North. And let's not forget running back Nabil El-Amin. Good year to strut stuff in Cotton Bowl game against East Central.
5. Midwestern State: The Mustangs will be good, no doubt. The defense always is tough. It's a matter of how good the offense will be now without Mr. Everything, Daniel Polk. Bet it's pretty good.
6. Southwestern Oklahoma State: Nine players return who earned all-LSC honors, including freshman of the year Jake Olivarez, an offensive lineman. Do the Bulldogs have enough bite to challenge A&M-Commerce?
7. Texas A&M-Kingsville: Javelinas have won 10 LSC games the past three years after winning 16 in 2003 and '04. A program with the tradition of Kingsville can't stay down too long.
8. Angelo State: WT plays at Kingsville and at San Angelo against the Rams. Neither game is a gimme by a long shot. Angelo could be a surprise this year with the maturing of young players and a big season from running back Daniel Thomas.
9. Southeastern Oklahoma State: This team did not perform up to expectations last year or its nickname, the Savage Storm. There may not be much momentum in Durant to start the year. 10. East Central: Quarterback Marcus Johnson will work behind an improved line, but there still are a lot of unknowns.
11. Northeastern State: Watch out for the RiverHawks. This team should be much improved from 2007, with projected defensive back Broderick Mondy leading the defense. Hopefully, he won't have to make so many tackles. Any team with Curtis Mayfield in the lineup has to be fly.
12. Central Oklahoma: Like Midwestern without Polk, UCO will move on from the Will Clewis era. UCO's first-half schedule is brutal, playing three ranked teams, one that should be and traveling almost to the Gulf of Mexico. Survive that boot camp and the Broncos and running back Ben Birmingham will be salty.
13. Eastern New Mexico: Here we are at the bottom and only one team is left. The Greyhounds may not be No. 13 at season's end, but only if the new passing game gels. ENMU will struggle against the deep talent of the South Division.

College head coach is a new experience for UCO's Holland

By Bob Hersom
Staff Writer

Tracy Holland hasn't been where he's going Saturday, but he's been close.

The new Central Oklahoma football coach has been a head coach for 11 seasons but never at the collegiate level. That will change Saturday night, in UCO's season and home opener against Pittsburg State (Kan.), ranked No. 17 in NCAA Division II.

Holland has been a head coach in the Football League of Europe (Frankfurt for five years) and the past six years at Oklahoma high schools (three years at Heritage Hall and three years at Oklahoma Christian School).

He hasn't coached in college since his first four years on the job, 1989-92, as a Northern Colorado assistant under Joe Glenn, who now is a major college head coach, at Wyoming.

Holland has inherited a UCO program that's starting a three-year NCAA probation, which will cost the team 10 scholarships overall.

Go to Newsok.com for the rest of the story.

WT won't face pushover in opener

No. 10 Buffs face No. 23 Mesa St. tonight

By Greg Jaklewiczgregory.jaklewicz@amarillo.com


GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Should his players get ahead of themselves, West Texas A&M coach Don Carthel needs only to hold up the newspaper from Sept. 2, 2007.

It reported this: Central Oklahoma 27, No. 11 Abilene Christian 17.
Though the Wildcats would bounce back to challenge for the Lone Star Conference championship, ACU's season-opening loss on the road showed the mighty could fall hard.

"This is going to be their Super Bowl," WT coach Don Carthel said. "They were not scared of anybody last year."

Go to the Amarillo Globe News for the rest of the story.

ASU football coach optimistic about season

By Nathan Wright (Contact)
Angelo State University head football coach Dale Carr is more optimistic about his fourth season at ASU than any of the previous three - and that includes the 2005 season when the Rams reached the NCAA Divsion II playoffs.

Carr has reason to be optimistic. The Rams return twice as many seniors as they did last year and boast more talent and experience than they have in the past few years.

Since making the playoffs in Carr's first season, the Rams have won just five games in two seasons. This year, Carr believes the Rams have a chance to put those seasons behind and have one more like his first one, when ASU won nine games.

"I think all the pieces are finally starting to come together," Carr said.

Go to the San Angelo Standard Times for the rest of the story.

Ex-Clark star happy to be back on field

Pat Turner- Special to the Express-News


Jerrell Wilkerson is ready to get back to the business he knows best.

After being absent from the sport since 2005, the former Clark and University of Texas running back makes his official return to football today when he joins 32 other scholarship players and 71 walk-ons for Incarnate Word's first workout at Benson Stadium.

Wilkerson welcomes the opportunity. The Cardinals do not play their first game until 2009 and going against NCAA Division II opponents won't be the same as facing Texas A&M and Oklahoma. But that doesn't matter to the city career rushing leader. It is still football.

“This has been a great opportunity from the start,” said Wilkerson, 21, who rushed for 7,249 yards and 110 touchdowns at Clark from 2001-04. “I'm glad everything fell into place, because I never got to see where my college career was going. It is a new foundation for the school. It is a new foundation for me and my family. It's a new foundation for the guys coming in trying to jump-start their careers. It's a new beginning for all of us and I want to help get it going.”

The 5-foot-8, 170-pound Wilkerson will get the chance. Because he never played a game at UT, he has four years of eligibility with the Cardinals.

Go to the San Antonio Express for the rest of the story.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Press Conference for A&M-Commerce Cotton Bowl Series


Texas A&M-Commerce will hold a press conference tomorrow (Aug. 28) at 1:30 pm at the Radisson Hotel in Dallas regarding the new Cotton Bowl/A&M-Commerce series.

The Scoop has learned that there will be a big announcement during the press conference concerning the game. It can be heard live at KETR.org, A&M-Commerce's university radio station.

Game Notes & Picks

Since most of the games are vs. non-conference opponents, we will focus on what we might expect from them. We'll be more balanced for conference games.

East Central at Sam Houston State
SHSU Game Notes
Anticipation builds as Kats look toward season opener
Bearkats Gear Up For Lid-Lifter Thursday
Time to go to Work
QB Bomar awaits ECU Tigers

Sam Houston was 7-4 last year, winning their last 5 games. Two of their wins were against D2 schools, 17-13 over Angelo State and 48-10 over Arkansas Monticello. QB Rhett Bomar returns for his senior season, after throwing for 2,200 yds and 10 TDs in an injury interrupted season. DE Chris Brown returns to lead the defense. He had 60 tackles, 7 for losses and 5 sacks. Look for the Bearkats to get off to a fast start this year - SHSU 49 ECU 14.

Soutwestern Oklahoma at Northwestern Oklahoma
Ranger Football Home Page
Bulldogs Ready for Rangers
NAIA coaches pick Rangers 15th
Rangers host Bulldogs in opener
Rangers face SWOSU in season opener tonight

The Rangers went 8-4 last year, qualifying for the NAIA playoffs. Two of the losses came in the first two weeks to SWO and SOSU. While SWO beat NWO by a 33-7 margin, the margin of victory was cushioned by a safety, an 87 yd punt return, and a late 52 yd TD pass. Billy Barefield returns at QB and has several of his top targets returning, but must replace their top two RBs and Zach Edwards at WR. The defense, which allowed only 16 pts and 266 yds per game last year, returns 2 first and 4 second team all-conference players. This game should be close and could come to a couple of big plays - SWO 24 NWO 17

Southeastern Oklahoma at Tarleton State
SOSU 2008 Outlook Part One - Offense
SOSU 2008 Outlook Part Two - Defense & Special Teams
Southeastern football set for opener versus Tarleton State

The only matchup of LSC teams. Tarleton has dominated this series, winning 8 of the last 9 games, including last year's 41-17 game in Durant. We expect Tarleton's offense to come out firing - when returning your QB, top 3 RBs, top 2 WRs, a solid OL and adding a talented and versatile player like Eric Foreman its not a stretch. It's when Southeastern Oklahoma has the ball that we're not sure what to expect. Will SOSU be more of a running team with Baylen Laurey in the backfield, or can Brandon McCain step right in and utilize his talented receiving corps? How well will the almost totally revamped Texan defense play? This has the makings of a shootout, and Tarleton seems to have more bullets - TSU 42 SOSU 28

Northeastern State at Arkansas Tech
Arkansas Tech Football Home Page
ATU Game Notes
Evans: I came to NSU for a turnaround
Opener a mystery for Arkansas Tech

The Wonderboys went 5-5 last year, including a 20-13 win over NSU in the opener. They played national champion Valdosta State (27-28) and North Alabama (20-27) very tough and in back to back weeks. Two of their other losses were by 7 pts. ATU has won the last 5 in this series, and look to make it six - ATU 31 NSU 14

Texas A&M Kingsville at North Dakota
UND Prospectus
UND Game Notes
Sioux opponent seeks past success
North Dakota looks forward to promotion to FCS status
Sudden impact?

North Dakota went 10-2 in their final year of D2 ball, losing to Grand Valley 21-14 in the second round of the playoffs. They averaged 39 points and 494 yds per game while the defense allowed 18 pts and 323 yds. They return just 4 offensive starters, but 7 on defense. The Javelinas will be hard pressed to pull out a win here - UND 35 TAMK 21

West Texas A&M at Mesa State
Running with the Buffaloes
Mavericks’ D-backs primed for big year
Depth charge: Deep corps of linebackers has knack for making big ...
Mesa State Football Webpage
What an opener: Two of D2 football's best face off as Mesa State ...
Spirits high for WT season
Hearing the roar: Means excited to play in front of a crowd again
What an opener: Two of D2 football's best face

Mesa State, picked second in the RMAC preseason poll, will look to show that last year's playoff blowout was a fluke. Bobby Coy (1,256 yds) returns at RB and Philip Vigil (1,960 yds 11 TDs) at QB. OL Trevor Wikre was a unanimous selection to the preseason all RMAC team. DT Nic Pade, LB Ryan Kadavy, and DB Brandon Waymire were chosen on the defensive side. Still the depth and talent of the Buffaloes should overwhelm the Mavericks - WT 52 Mesa St 10

Pittsburg State at Central Oklahoma
Pitt State Football Home Page
Back in the saddle
Bronchos probation not a factor

For all the talk of the "demise" or "lull" in the football program at Pittsburg State, consider this - in 2007 they went 8-3 losing to the National Championship runner-up NWMSU by 3 in OT, to a playoff team (Washburn) 35-28, and to a very Missouri Western sqaud 39-32 (TD pass with 22 seconds to go). The offense is still potent (37 pts and 454 yds per game) and the defense is good enough (20 pts and 354 yds per game). They are also very aware of the Broncho's upset of ACU in the 2007 opener so look for a typical grinding Gorilla game - PSU 45 UCO 10

Texas A&M-Commerce at Northwestern State
Stoker sets lineup for season opener Saturday
Quarterbacks key to Demon offense
NSU faces make or break season
Demons' 'D' looks for return to form
Northwestern State Football Home Page
Stoker sets lineup for season opener Saturday
VIP seats still available for NSU games
Wasington's versatility key to NSU line

The Demons went 4-7 last year, but two of the losses were to Ole Miss (38-31) and Texas Tech (75-7). The will challenge the Lions run defense, averaging 212 yards rushing last year, and with Byron Lawrence (1,377 yds) returning. Tough opener for the Lions - a win is possible, but it would be an upset - NSU 31 TAMC 21

Angelo State at Texas State
New coach instill new defensive attitude for Bobcats
Texas State Football Home Page
ASU Game Notes
Driving for athletics at Texas State
Bobcats: Time to get tough!
Veteran staff gives State a new mentality
State’s ‘D-Block’ taking shape

Texas State was a disappointing 4-7 last year, with one of those losses coming at the hands of Abilene Christian. Couple that with Angelo State's near upset of Sam Houston, and its doubtful that TSU will be overlooking the Rams. The Bobcats look to show off a balanced offense and overwhelm ASU - TSU 45 ASU 17

Eastern New Mexico at Southern Nazarene
Southern Nazarene Football Home Page
Football Season Preview

SNU went 6-4 last season finishing 3rd in the CSFL behind Northwestern Oklahoma and Langston. They will be looking for a new QB, but return bruising running back Branden Smith, a 1,000 rusher last season as a sophmore, as well as their number one and three receivers and four offensive linemen. Good news for the new Air Raid offense, SNU only returns 4 defensive starters, none in the secondary. Going to take the home team in this one SNU 24-ENMU 14

GAME OF THE WEEK
Abilene Christian at Northwest Missouri
FREE WEBCAST
MIAA football outlook
Northwest Missouri Football Home Page
Top-10 Tussle

Do non-conference games get any better than this (at least on paper)?

Okay, we know the Bearcats lost a great running back in Xavier Omon. But a team does not reach the national championship game three years in a row because of one player. You can't get much more balanced than the Bearcat's offense last year - 3,071 yds rushing and 3,101 yds passing. Joel Osborn returns for his senior season after completing 67% of his passes last year. Kendall Wright and Raphael Robinson also return to give him solid targets to throw to. Four starters on the offensive line also return, including All-Americans Reid Kirby and Jeremy Davis. Defensively, NWMSU returns five starters, including three in the secondary. The run defense was especiall strong last year allowing just 90 yds per game and 2.5 yds per carry. Just two teams gained more than 200 yds on the ground vs. and only four more cracked the century mark.

For ACU to win - Limit turnovers (zero would be nice), get some stops (the earlier the better), don't let NW dictate the pace of the game.

For NWMSU to win - Jump on ACU early (like the WT playoff game), contain Scott, maintain offensive balance.

For all the firepower ACU has, this is an extremely tough opener. They struggled against a UCO defense last year, and that isn't in the same caliber as NW's. NWMSU 35 ACU 31

WT, ACU appear ready for the next step

By Greg Jaklewicz
Column
Could this be the year?

The Lone Star Conference has not one, but two teams capable of launching a playoff ship that perhaps could sail as far as Florence, Ala.

That's the site of the NCAA Division II championship football game Dec. 13.

West Texas A&M and Abilene Christian have gained top-10 rankings in the most important Division II poll, the one released weekly by the American Football Coaches Association. The Gulf South (No. 1 Valdosta, No. 4 North Alabama) and Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (No. 3 Northwest Missouri State and league newcomer No. 7 Nebraska-Omaha) also have two teams in the top 10.

WT has made the second round of the playoffs the past three years but has been soundly beaten each time. ACU has been in the playoffs the past two years, losing in 2006 in the first round in Canyon to the Buffs, and last year in the second round, 76-73, at Chadron State in a game that went three overtimes.

WT and ACU are locked and loaded for the hunt this fall. Both return a trio of stars on offense and are sound in all areas, especially defense. Both have been building to this season.
Everyone wants to win a national championship, but WT and ACU believe they can. This year.
The LSC has not produced a Division II champion since 1982, when Southwest Texas State (now Texas State) won under Jim Wacker.

Texas A&M-Kingsville, formerly Texas A&I, has won or shared 14 conference titles since 1982. The Javs won 46 straight LSC games from 1992-1998, and running back Johnny Bailey (1986-1989) won the Harlon Hill Award, the D-II equivalent of the Heisman, three straight years.

But the Javelinas have played in only one Division II national title game, losing 16-10 to North Alabama in 1994. Kingsville, Angelo State and Northeastern State have advanced to semifinals games.
Go to the Amarillo Globe News for the rest of the story.

Volleyball roundup

ACU volleyball has eyes on postseason
By Rachel Swearingen
Special to the Reporter-News

Rambelle volleyball set to open new era
By Nathan Wright (Contact)

Lady Buffs Ranked Fifth in Preseason AVCA NCAA Division II Poll

TAMK Volleyball Hits the Floor

UCO Florida Bound

A&M-Commerce Volleyball Begins Mark Pryor Era as Head Coach

TexAnn volleyball team practice underway

SWO Volleyball Ready For Year

Wildcats gunning for 10th straight winning season in '08

'Belles Serve Up Season in Colorado

PRESEASON STARTS MONDAY FOR TWU SOCCER AND VOLLEYBALL TEAMS (8/10/08)

Volleyball Hits the Court for 2008

MSU has eyes on bigger prize in 2008

Soccer Roundup

Trimble: Hard work, depth will benefit MSU women's soccer team
For the Times Record News

ACU aims for postseason berth in second season

ASU New Coach, Higher Goal in 2008

UCO Eyes Attendance Record

ECU seeking bigger things in 2008

RiverHawks Women's Soccer Prepare for 2008

SWO Soccer Eager For Start

PRESEASON STARTS MONDAY FOR TWU SOCCER AND VOLLEYBALL TEAMS

WTAMU's Markussen named LSC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year

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Mens Soccer

M. Soccer: Auditore goes for hat trick in 6-0 exhibition rout of Oklahoma Christian
M. Soccer: Kmiec, No. 3 Mustangs shoot down Stars 3-1 in exhibition
M. Soccer: Mustangs to open season ranked No. 3

RiverHawks Men's Soccer Begin Practice

Ben Everson selected as Southwest Soccer Conference Preseason Offensive Player of the Year

Monday, August 25, 2008

LSC Power Poll

  1. West Texas A&M - Three-time defending LSC champion with talent and depth across the board
  2. Abilene Christian - Top-end talent best in LSC, but lack depth of WT. Defense unproven.
  3. Tarleton State - Returning skill positions just slightly below top two. Rebuilt defense is the question.
  4. Texas A&M-Commerce - Will offense catch up to defense this year and justify national ranking?
  5. Midwestern State - LSC top defense will try to carry team while offense finds its groove in post Polk-era.
  6. Texas A&M-Kingville - Young, but experienced team gets boost at skill positions. Line play on both sides of ball should be improved.
  7. Southeastern Oklahoma - Offseason distractions make fifth consecutive LSC North title improbable.
  8. Southwestern Oklahoma - Don't seem to be quite enough playmakers to move higher.
  9. Angelo State - Was team young and talented or just young? Expect another step in the right direction.
  10. East Central - front-line talent seems improved, but depth is a concern.
  11. Northeastern State - improved QB play could move the Riverhawks up the ladder.
  12. Central Oklahoma - graduated some great players, and with emphasis on high school recruiting, Bronchos could be in rebuilding mode for a few years.
  13. Eastern New Mexico - combination of system changes and large influx of youngsters could make for a long year for the Greyhounds.

Sharing the wealth

By Greg Jaklewicz
gregory.jaklewicz@amarillo.com

They're running out of classes for Charly Martin to take at West Texas A&M.

They're also running out of ways to defend the Buffs wide receiver.

Martin enrolled at WT in 2003 - the season the Buffs were 3-8. He's been redshirted twice - his freshman year and in 2005, when he had a shoulder injury. He already has his degree and perhaps has received his first AARP application in the mail.

"I'm excited, ready to roll. This is the strongest group we've had since I've been here," Martin said.

Martin, who has led the team in receiving yards the past two seasons, is the marquee name of a deep receiving corps. He is tied for second in career touchdown catches (22, with Brad Bailey), fourth in yardage (2,241), fourth in catches (149) and fourth in yards per catch (15.0).

Go to the Amarillo Globe News for the rest of the story.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

LSC Preseason Rankings

                The LSC in 2008 has quite an act to follow. Numerous team records fell last season, including pass attempts, completions, passing yards, passing TDs (all WTAM), total offensive yards for a season (7,082) points and points per game (all ACU). Bernard Scott broke Johnny Bailey's single season rushing record, broke the record for rushing TDs, points scored, total TDs, and all-purpose yards. Keith Null set a new standard for passing yards and passing TDs. Johnny Knox is the new single season lead in TD receptions. Jerale Badon finished his career as the all-time leader in recpetions, while Billy Malone continues his as the all-time leader in passing yards and completions. Barring injury, expect him to own every passing record after this season is in the books.

                But.....look for 2008 to be even better and more exciting. Preseason polls put two LSC schools in the top 10, which is nice. However, for the LSC to truly be considered an elite conference nationally, the playoffs are what matters. The last time an LSC team won a national championship was in 1982 when Southwest Texas won their second consecutive championship. That marked an era that saw five different LSC teams win 12 national championships over a 14 year period. Since then that an LSC team has been in exactly 1 championship game, with Texas A&M Kingsville narrowly losing to North Alabama in 1994. Several teams have advanced to the semifinals, but none since the Javelinas in 2003. With the experience, firepower and depth on several teams, this may be the best chance for the LSC since then.

                One of teams that fit that description is West Texas A&M. Since Don Carthel took over as head coach in 2005, the Buffaloes have a record of 33-5, won three LSC titles, and advanced to the playoffs. However, each of those playoff runs have ended with decisive losses in the second round. This year's team has more depth and even more talent than any team in recent WT history. QB Keith Null, RB Keithon Flemming, and WR Charly Martin are the biggest stars returning from an offense that average over 40 pts and 525 yds a game. Three others who received all LSC honors return also (plus OL Tommy Crowley all LSC in 2006 but injured last year, and will be joined by reinforcements for the offensive line, including former Texas Longhorn J'Marcus Webb. For the Buffaloes to advance deeper into the playoffs, its the defense that will be the key. The defensive line returns All-American Brandon Swain, All-LSC Eddison Robertson, Dexter Manley II, Brett Watson (both of whom were injured last year) and added Texas Tech signee Broderick Marshall and Eugene Sims from Mississippi. Another All-American, Jared Brock, leads the linebackers. He is joined by Eldon Grimslid, Mark Ford, Anthony Scott, and a couple of players who did not play last year (Bradley Bullitt and Max Steward) but were starters in prior years. The secondary boast three all LSC returnees in Cashmin Thomas, Arseel Shakoor and Darnell Johnson, plus Kyle Seals and newcomer Braelon Davis.

                Abilene Christian can match WT for offensive firepower. Eight returning offensive starters were honored by the LSC last season (averaging 49 pts and 544 yds a game). As mentioned above, Billy Malone, Bernard Scott, and Johnny Knox continue record setting careers, but look for Edmund Gates, and newcomers Gary Edwards and Doug Pierce to keep opposing defenses honest. Three offensive linemen need to be replaced juco transfers Trevis Turner and Tony Washington look to join returning all-LSC Joseph Thompson and Sam Collins to solidfy the line. The achilles heel for ACU last year was a densed that gave up 40 or more points four times over the last six weeks of the season, including 70 to Chadron State in a second round playoff game that ended ACU's season. The Wildcats have a new defensive scheme, and a couple of transfer linemen (Thomas Locust and Vantrise Studviant) to help fill the gaps. Fred Thompson is moving to linebacker, joining Mike Kern and Jody Walker. The secondary could be the strength of the defense with transfers Alex Harbison, Drew Cuffee and Bobby Chalk joining holdovers Richard Havins, Reggie Mathis and Tony Harp in the backfield.

                Like WT and ACU, Tarleton boasts a potentially dangerous offense. Scott Grantham threw for 2,882 yds and 24 TDs as a freshman last year. Devin Guinn and Scott Prentice will have the versatile Eric Foreman keep teams from focusing too much on them, while the RB trio of Roderick Smith, Travis Evans and Michael Sampson give the Texans a very balanced offense. Jimmy Fox, Devin Livingson and Greg Dolan form a solid nucleus for the offensive line. Just one starter returns on defense, all LSC Jamaal Steamer, but the Texans have brought in talented replacements for the DL (Dominic Smith, Cameron Epple), LB (Cortney Vincent) and DB (Sheldon Monsegue, McNeal Ewajeh) and expect several young returnees to emerge as well. The biggest addition to the defense may be new defensive coordinator Cary Fowler, who comes to Tarleton after several years at Midwestern State.

                While Texas A&M-Commerce finished last year with a 5-6 record, the coaches who vote in the AFCA poll think they are ready for a breakthrough, rewarding them (or burdening them perhaps) with the #18 ranking in their preseason poll. While the key to success for the three teams above them (in our rankings) is defense, for the Lions its the offense that could determine their fate this season. QB Terry Mayo suffered a dislocated thumb in week two, and the Lion offense finished the season 10th in total offense. A healthy Mayo is joined by RB Nabil El-Amin, who emerged as a running threat midway through the season. All-LSC lineman Darron Sheppard also returns. The Lions do need to find replacements for their top 4 receivers, and two all LSC linemen. Defensively, the Lions were pretty solid (#3 in yards allowed and #4 in scoring defense). Three all LSC defenders return including AJ Johnson on the line, and Elliott Jones and Alex Contreras in the secondary.

                The general school of thought seems to be that with Daniel Polk no longer terrorizing LSC defenses, that Midwestern State will fade into mediocrity. If he was the only talented player the Mustangs had, that could very hold true, but there was a lot of talent around him, and much of it returns this year. Marcus Mathis and BJ Mathis return at RB, Mookie Davis at WR, as well as three starters from the OL. Brandon Washington looks to bolster the OL, while newcomers Zack Eskridge and Cleven Doty are battling with holdovers Justin Lightfoot and Brad Green to take over as QB. The LSC's top defense last year is loaded up front with All-American candidate Kellen Belcher, joined by returnees Stephen Turne and Austin Shields and newcomers Sharod Basey, Apollos Daily and Chaz Walker. At linebacker, Jacob Martin and Emmanuel Bagley return, while the secondary returns four in Darius Bortters, Ryan Craven, Brandon Williams and Patrick Roberts.

                Texas A&M Kingsville havs taken a lot of lumps the past two seasons, finishing 3-8 both seasons. The Javelinas suffered the worst loss in their history, a 73-6 disaster at the hands of Midwestern State, leaving the team at 1-7. Instead of throwing in the towel, the team rebounded to win 2 of their last 3 games, with the offense averaging 39 pts and 457 yds a game. The offensive line, returns four starters, but newcomers Michael Mosmeyer and Chris Hudgins look to start on the right side. Leading receiver Ryan Lincoln returns, and will be joined by Jareko Taylor and Clavens Charles. Ray Miller graduated and the Javs have four RBs to try and fill his shoes. Billy Garza, a transfrom Illinois, has been named the starter at QB, but Daniel Ramirez and David Garza return, and Kilgore transfer Logan Morris should get some playing time as well. The defense played well at the beginning of last season, but wore down as the season went along. Seven starters return and transfers to the DL, plus Derrick Carter switching from WR should help TAMK improve on last year's efforts.

                Southeastern Oklahoma has won or shared the LSC North title the past four years (despite finishing 4-6 last year), but only has one playoff game to show for it. It will be difficult for them to add #5 to that string. The receiving corps returns All-LSC Daniel Nichols, Brandon Covington and Jerrod Temple at WR and TE. Senior Brandon McCain, named the starter at QB, has limited playing time in 2005 and 2006. Look for transfer running backs Baylen Laury and Cordney Smith to balance out the Savage Storm offense. The defense which found itself in the bottom half of the conference standings looks to bounce back with 6 starters returning, including All-LSC performers Bernard Daniel and Johnny Seals.

                There was only one team from the LSC North that finished with an overall winning record, the 6-5 Southwestern Oklahoma Bulldogs. SWO finished in a five way tie for the North title despite an average defense and below average offense. WR Jonathan Haggerty, RB Patrick Weaver, QB Steve Day and OL Jake Olivarez return on offense, but two All-LSC linemen must be replaced as well as Josh Postin at FB and WR Michael Cooper who transferred to Langston. All-LSC Ruzell McCoy returns at LB as does Greg Franklin at DL, but the Bulldogs have to replace 5 all conference performers. Coach Ryan Held usually finds a way to win though, so don't count SWO out.

                With a healthy Daniel Thomas at running back, the young Angelo State squad was competitive, winning two games and coming up just short against IAA Sam Houston. Thomas finished the season with 924 yds rushing and 10 TDs in just over 6 games. Besides Thomas, the Rams return seven starters on offense, and newcomers Dwight Pete and Kobey Lewis at RB and Damien McCradick and Robert Boone bring speed at WR. Defensively, it was a baptism by fire, and the youth showed, with the Rams last in the LSC allowing 480 yds a game. The good news is that the young players have a year's experience under their belts. Calvin Fance will give the DL some help, 6 linebackers had 36 or more tackles last year, and Rickey McKinley joins a secondary that had 8 players with 20 or more tackles.

                East Central showed flashes last year, this year they are looking for more consistency. All-LSC Marcus Johnson returns at QB. The talented junior threw for 2,500 yds and 14 TDs in his first year leading the Tigers offense. The Tigers lost 3 all conference receivers and will look to Jerold Loveless and Tyrone Gibbs to replace them. The offensive line returns four starters which should help the conferences worst rushing attack and take some pressure off of the passing game. Eight newcomers on the defensive side look to improve a defense that allowed more than 450 yards and 35 points a game.

                Northeastern State finished last season on a strong note, winning their last two games to share the LSC North title. The offense struggled last year averaging just 261 yds and under 14 pts per game. Wood Wilson or Kaelin Woods should provide an upgrade at the QB spot. All-American candidate WR Jarrett Byers returns at WR after missing most of last year with an injury and will be joined by Jarrett Beal moving over from the QB spot. The running game, led by Josh Lewis should help to keep teams honest. Defensively, the Riverhawks should be pretty solid, led by another All-American hopeful, safety Broderick Mondy. Curtis Mayfield and Colby Onic join him in the secondary, while T J Raymond and Nick Jones return on the line and Latarus Sykes and Jon Evans are back at linebacker.

                Central Oklahoma's offense was only marginally better (14 pts and 307 yds per game) than Northeastern State's. The Bronchos will be looking for an upgrade at QB as well. Newcomers Alex Gibson (New Mexico State) and Brandon Noohi (Southeastern Oklahoma) are competing with returee Colin Clancy for the reins to the Broncho offense. All conference Ben Birmingham will again lead the running game, while Marcellus Parker and Ryan Gallimore are the leading receivers. Jonathan Llama leads a line that returns three starters. Jermell Cudjo is one the best defensive linemen in the LSC. Kenneth Pointer, Micah Howeth and Freddie Harris return as well, giving UCO one of the top defensive lines in the LSC. Terry Hardeman is the only returning starter at LB, and while transfers KC Asiodu and Mike Reed could step right in, it will be difficult to replace Will Clewis. The secondary returns two all conference honorees in Marcus Martinez and TJ Shaw but lost a good one in Brandon Smith.

                Head Coach Mark Ribaudo is making a dramatic change at Eastern New Mexico. No longer will the Greyhounds be the only option offense in the conference. Instead, they are switching to the "Air Raid" offense, and bringing in a lot of young talent to implement the change. Expect growing pains as the new system takes place. With Anthony Ramos moving to wide receiver, the QB will be chosen from transfer Eric Willcockson and freshmen Travis Chrisman and JJ Harp. TCU transfer, Joseph Banyard is expected to step right in as the featured back. The Greyhounds have more than 20 WRs in camp, with leading returnees Justin Campos and Jessie Poku joined by freshmen Darian Dale, Anthony Owusu-Appiah, JJ James and Brandon Marbley. The defense gave up 30 points and over 400 yds a game last year, but return three (Kyle Wilson DE, Texavier Henry LB, Jeremy Hibbler DB) honorable mention all conference honors. They will be joined by JT Thompson (switching from QB), transfers Ronald Green on the DL and Edward Zamora at LB. The abundance of youth, points to a long, growing season for the Hounds.

                With coach's guidance, ACU RB is among nation's best

                By Jared Fields (Contact)
                Sunday, August 24, 2008


                Abilene Christian University's standout running back Bernard Scott and head coach Chris Thomsen go back a ways.

                Both are from Vernon. Thomsen is acquainted with Scott's parents. And they share a love of football.

                So after earning Class 3A first team all-state honors at Vernon High School as a junior, Scott followed Thomsen to Wichita Falls High School.

                Thomsen, a former ACU player who later became an assistant Wildcat coach in the 1990s, helped lead the Coyotes to two district titles as the offensive coordinator before rejoining the college ranks.
                Go to the Abilene Reporter News for the rest of the story.

                ACU works on the other side of the ball to go with one of nation's best offenses

                By Jared Fields (Contact)
                Sunday, August 24, 2008

                The Abilene Christian University Wildcats arguably return the nation's best offense after averaging 49 points per game last season.

                Bernard Scott, runner up last year for the Harlon Hill Trophy [--] the NCAA Division II Heisman [--] returns after rushing for 35 touchdowns and more than 2,100 yards in 2007.

                Quarterback Billy Malone returns for his fourth season as a starter.

                Receiver Johnny Knox caught a Lone Star Conference-record 17 touchdowns on 62 receptions for more than 1,100 yards last year.

                But the defense ...

                Go to the Abilene Reporter News for the rest of the story.

                Related story : No rest for the weary ACU to open season against Division II power

                Defense dominates MSU scrimmage

                By J. Scott Russell
                Saturday, August 23, 2008

                The offense had its moments but the defense pretty well dominated things as the Midwestern State Mustangs closed out their preseason workouts with a scrimmage Saturday morning at Memorial Stadium.

                Windthorst’s Brad Green led the offense to a pair of touchdowns, but the defense came up with three sacks, two interceptions — and at least two other passes that should have been picked off — a fumble recovery and at least 10 three-and-outs.

                “We won’t know everything until we see the film, but it looked like the defense dominated,” head coach Bill Maskill said. “The offense moved the ball well at the beginning, but then they got the ball stripped and had sacks, penalties and dropped passes. It was just a collection of things.

                Go to the Times Record News for the rest of the story.

                Don Carthel builds solid foundation for success in WT football program

                West Texas A&M hasn't always won at least 10 games and the conference championship each season.

                It just seems that way.

                The arrival of Don Carthel, who guided Eastern New Mexico to a 44-28-1 record from 1985-1991 and to the 1991 Lone Star Conference title, reversed WT's football fortunes. The Buffs went from worst - 5-27 the three previous seasons under Ronnie Jones - to first and 33-5 under Carthel.

                Go to the Amarillo Globe News for the rest of the story.

                Young NSU starting fresh

                Few key players return as new coach seeks better record.

                Following a disappointing 2007 season and without an abundance of experienced leadership returning, the Northeastern State RiverHawks hope to head in a new direction under first-year coach Kenny Evans.

                Evans greeted more than 100 hopefuls when NSU began preseason drills Aug. 12. The big men on campus are safety Broderick Mondy, projected to be the 2008 Lone Star Conference North's Defensive Player of the Year, and receiver Jarrett Byers, returning from injury that limited him to two games last season.

                Mondy is a Consensus Draft Services Preseason All-American who recorded 117 tackles a year ago. Mondy piled up 19 tackles against East Central en route to first-team all-league honors.

                Byers already owns the NSU receiving yards record of 1,846 and is 12 catches away from most receptions. He needs two receiving touchdowns to add the school record to his collection.

                Go to Tulsa World for rest of story.

                Tarleton State plans to light up the scoreboard

                Offense returns nine starters; defense must rebuild

                By Marc David
                Special to the Reporter-News
                Sunday, August 24, 2008

                The Lone Star Conference has developed a reputation for prolific scoring and wide-open offenses [--] teams that have enjoyed the most success are those that can put points on the scoreboard in a hurry.

                Tarleton State University scored more than 40 points in six of its 11 games last year en route to a 9-2 overall record, 7-2 against LSC opponents.

                But its highest scoring game, when it piled 63 points on Abilene Christian University, resulted in one of its two losses. ACU won 70-63.

                With nine offensive starters returning from last year and two more players who saw plenty of action, the Texans should have little trouble scoring points.

                Go the Reporter News for the rest of the story.

                Ramos is a team first guy

                By Greg Jaklewicz

                Legend has it that a college football team in the southwestern United States once ran the football more than it threw it. Way Woody Hayes more.

                Imagine, 598 rushes in one season compared with 75 passing attempts.

                There's another story about a game when this team did not throw a pass. Yeah right, Mike Leach scoffed. Everyone throws it 50 times a game like his Red Raiders. At least.

                It's hard to believe these stories, sure. Especially this August, when there are more footballs flying over Portales than UFOs over nearby Roswell.

                Welcome to the 21st century, Eastern New Mexico. No longer can offensive coordinators call you Backwater Draw.

                Despite rushing for 3,444 yards last year, second best nationally in Division II, and quarterback Michael Benton finishing as the nation's No. 7 rusher (146 yards per game), the Greyhounds made the switch. No triple option for the first time in 14 seasons.

                Go to the Amarillo Globe News for the rest of the story.

                Saturday, August 23, 2008

                Positions up for grabs at today’s scrimmage

                By J. Scott Russell
                Saturday, August 23, 2008

                The Midwestern State Mustangs finished up two-a-days on Friday and many of the players will be fighting for positions today when the team scrimmages at Memorial Stadium.

                The Mustangs are scheduled to hit the turf around 9:30 a.m.

                Head coach Bill Maskill was pleased with both of Friday’s workouts.

                “Both of them were good,” he said. “(We) shortened the morning practice a little. The assignments were good and the effort was good.

                Go to the Times Record News for the rest of the story.

                Friday, August 22, 2008

                LSC Preview - Abilene Christian

                2007 Recap

                Abilene Christian qualified for the NCAA playoffs for the second consecutive season, finishing the season with a 10-3 record. The team lost their first game to Central Oklahoma, rebounded to soundly defeat IAA Texas State in San Marcos, and won thrillers over Tarleton State and Midwestern State in de facto playoff games. In the first round of the actual playoffs, the Wildcats blew out Mesa State, before falling to Chadron State the next week.

                To say the Wildcats' offense was explosive last year would be a severe understatement. ACU averaged just over 49 points and 544 yards a game, scoring 40 or more points in 11 games ( 7 games with 50+ and twice they went over 70). The flip side was a defense that really faltered down the stretch allowing 40+ points in four of the last 6 games. That defense was the main culprit in the playoff loss to Chadron State in which ACU lost a 29 point fourth quarter lead, allowing the CSC 313 yds and 36 points, including a 92 TD drive with 1:29 to play in the game.

                The offense was lead by Billy Malone, the LSC's all-time leader in passing yardage, who threw for 3,914 yds and 37 TDs. More than half of his completions went to Johnny Knox (62 catches for 1,158 yds and an LSC record 17 TDs) and the LSC's all-time reception leader Jerale Badon (73 catches for 1,034 yds and 7 TDs). Bernard Scott had 2,165 yds rushing, 35 TDs and 2,730 all-purpose yards - all LSC records.

                2008 Outlook
                Out with the old
                WR Jerale Badon (3 time 1st LSC-South, All-time LSC leader in receptions)
                OL Nathan Young (1st LSC-South, All-American)
                OL Cody Savage (2nd LSC-South)
                OL Matt Raesner (2nd LSC-South)
                DL Jacob Passmore (1st LSC-South)
                DL Travis Carpenter (HM LSC-South, 1st LSC-South in 2006)
                DL Julian Humble (HM LSC-South)
                LB Cody Stutts (1st LSC-South)
                CB Corey Jordan (2nd LSC-South, 1st LSC-South in 2006)
                DB E J Whitley (2nd LSC-South)

                Welcome Back
                QB Billy Malone (2nd LSC-South)
                RB Bernard Scott (1st LSC-South, All American, Harlon Hill Finalist)
                FB Emery Dudensing (1st LSC-South)
                WR Johnny Knox (1st LSC-South)
                WR Edmund Gates (HM LSC-South)
                TE Kendrick Holloway (2nd LSC-South)
                OL Joseph Thompson (1st LSC-South)
                OL Sam Collins (1st LSC-South)
                K Matt Adams (1st LSC-South)
                LB Fred Thompson
                LB Mike Kern
                LB Jody Walker
                DB Richard Havins
                DB Reggie Mathis
                DB Tony Harp (HM LSC-South)

                In with the new
                WR Gary Edwards
                WR Doug Pierce (Blinn JC)
                TE Ryan Keeling (Oregon)
                OL Trevis Turner
                OL Tony Washington (Trinity Valley CC)
                DT Thomas Locust (Cerritos CC/signed w/ NC State in spring)
                DE Vantrise Studivant (Rutgers)
                DB Alex Harbison (Diablo Valley)
                DB Drew Cuffee (Tulsa)
                DB Bobby Chalk (Iowa State)

                All conference Candidates
                All returning and listed newcomers. Malone, Scott, Knox are also All-American candidates, and Bernard Scott is the favorite for the Harlon Hill Trophy.

                Big Games
                Week One - Northwest Missouri - The Wildcats get an opportunity to measure themselves against one of the nation's elite programs.
                Week Two - Texas A&M Commerce - The Lions are somewhat of a surprise in the AFCA poll, and if ACU could win these first two games, the tone for their season could be set.
                Week Seven - West Texas A&M - If anyone is to beat WT in conference play this year, ACU is the odds on favorite to do so. This could be the LSC game of the year.
                Week Eight - Tarleton State - They probably won't be able to top last year's game, but this should still be full of offensive fireworks.
                Week Ten - Midwestern State - Another exciting last minute victory for ACU last year, this game could once again decide who goes on to the playoffs and who stays home.

                Best Case Scenario
                10-0 in the regular season and win the SW region. The Wildcats offense, led by the nations top trio of skill players stays at the same level as last year. The defens, with an influx of talent and healthy returnees, improves enough to keep the team out of shootouts.

                Worst Case Scenario
                6-4 and no playoffs. The Wildcats start off with Northwest Missouri, runner-up in the last three national championship games, follow that up with Texas A&M Commerce and then close out the season with West Texas A&M, Tarleton State and Midwestern State over the last four weeks of the season. If the defense doesn't improve, that tough schedule could make for a disappointing season when hopes are so high in Abilene.

                Garza gets the call for Javelinas at quarterback

                Senior will start next Thursday's opener

                By George Vondracek

                KINGSVILLE -- The chase to determine who will be standing under center for Texas A&M-Kingsville in next Thursday's season opener at North Dakota is finished, and the reigns go to Brownsville's Billy Garza.

                The Illinois transfer got the nod Thursday from second-year A&M-Kingsville coach Bo Atterberry prior to the Javelinas' final one-hour controlled scrimmage.

                "He showed a lot of composure and poise. He took what the defense was giving him. That was kind of the deciding factor," Atterberry said of Garza, a senior. "You know, it was tough. We've got some good ones. There's not enough balls to go around, so we'll start with that and see how it goes."

                Go to the Corpus Christi Caller for the rest of the story.
                ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Related: Sioux seeking special results
                Sioux’s backfield depth still in question
                both by Wayne Nelson Grand Forks Herald

                Notes and Quotes: Prep begins for season opener
                from the UND Fighting Sioux website.

                West Texas A&M - Football & Volleyball Practice Updates

                Freshman LB Brown stars in scrimmage

                By Greg Jaklewicz
                gregory.jaklewicz@amarillo.com

                Chris Brown was everywhere on the field Thursday morning. Which is why his next destination is Grand Junction, Colo.

                The true freshman outside linebacker from Palo Duro made big-time plays - two batted-down passes, a sack and six tackles to lead the team - in the first half. It's that kind of play that earned him a position on the squad of 60 West Texas A&M players who will travel to next week's season-opener at Mesa State.

                "It's been fun to be at a new level with new faces," Brown said. He said learning the Buffs defensive scheme was "a hassle at first" and he was rushing himself. When he slowed down, it all began to come together.

                Go to the Amarillo Globe News for the rest of the story.
                -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Flemming puts running game in gear


                By Greg Jaklewicz
                gregory.jaklewicz@amarillo.com

                Talk a year ago was that Keithon Flemming, son of former West Texas A&M receiver Keith Miller, was the answer to the Buffs' questions at running back .

                And was he ever.

                In the season opener against No. 8 South Dakota, the transfer from Wyoming rushed for 166 yards and had 221 all-purpose yards. He scored WT's first two touchdowns, the first on a straight-forward 1-yard rush, the second on a dazzling 55-yard burst.

                Flemming became the first Buffs running back to gain 1,000 yards since DeWayne Miles in 2000. Flemming totaled 1,198 yards, the sixth-best season rushing total in WT history. He added 647 receiving yards and 207 yards on punt returns.

                Go to the Amarillo Globe News for the rest of the story.
                -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Injuries impact WT's practices

                By Austin Corder
                austin.corder@amarillo.com

                The football field is not the only place the agony of two-a-days is experienced during August.

                Inside the West Texas A&M Fieldhouse, volleyball head coach Tony Graystone has been holding his own rigorous two-a-day practices for nearly two weeks, preparing the Lady Buffs for the upcoming season and a run at a national title.

                "Practices have been pretty good so far," said Graystone, who has led WT to the NCAA Division II semifinals the past two years. "We've been coming along well, though we aren't quite as healthy right now as we'd like to be, but I think we're doing OK. We've just got to continue getting better every day, and I think within the next week, we'll start looking like we're ready for the season."

                Go to the Amarillo Globe News for the rest of the story.

                Midwestern State football and futball stories

                Mustangs have mixed results on goal line

                By J. Scott Russell
                Thursday, August 21, 2008

                As preseason practice at Midwestern State progresses the Mustangs continue to add more plays, as well as drills, to their workouts.

                Wednesday’s two-a-day workouts saw the offense and defense compete against each other in both goal line and one-minute situations.

                Both sides of the ball had some success, but the defense — as it should — appeared to come out on top a majority of the time.

                “The defense did a good job on goal line when it was 1’s versus 1’s,” MSU head coach Bill Maskill said. “But the offense did well when it was the 2’s going against each other.

                “The offense also did a better job in the one-minute (drill) than they did this morning. We had a little bit better conditions this afternoon and that might have helped some.”

                Go to the Times News Record for the rest of the story
                ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Kmiec, No. 3 Mustangs shoot down Stars 3-1 in exhibition

                Midwestern State junior striker Kyle Kmiec scored two goals in the closing eight minutes of regulation to lift the No. 3 Mustangs to a 3-1 exhibition victory over Oklahoma City University Thursday afternoon at the MSU Soccer Field.

                “You have to give OKC credit,” MSU coach Doug Elder said. “They came in and played a physical game with a lot of hard tackles. Our guys really needed that.”

                The physical was just right Kmiec, who converted a penalty kick in the 82nd minute after he was fouled from behind in the box.

                Go to the Times News Record for the rest of the story.

                Thursday, August 21, 2008

                Gene Upshaw passes away

                Gene Upshaw passed away this morning after battling pancreatic cancer. Gene had served as executive director of the NFL Players Association since 1983.

                He attended Texas A&I University and reluctantly tried out for the football team, in hopes of earning a scholarship to pay for his education. Three days later he had his scholarship. By the time he graduated, he was a 6-5 265 lb All American.

                The Oakland Raiders drafted him in the first round of the 1967 AFL draft. He spent his entire 15 year career with the Raiders, at one point starting in 207 consecutive games. He was named to play in seven Pro Bowls, was the NFL Lineman of the year in 1977, the AFC Lineman of the year in 1973 and 1974, and was the only player to play in Super Bowls, in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.


                Link to in-depth ESPN article, gives some background on Upshaws upbringing in South Texas.

                LSC Football Preview - Texas A&M-Commerce

                2007 Recap
                The Lions started off the 2007 with a respectable showing @ Pitt State. They ended up losing 28-14, but were actually tied up at 14-14 well into the 4th quarter. That also was the first time everyone got a look at QB Terry Mayo. Mayo went 16-30, 260 yds and 2 TD's. The next great QB in the LSC appeared to have arrived in Commerce. But that would be the only game the entire season Mayo was anywhere near healthy.

                The following game against Ouachita Baptist, Mayo disclocated the thumb on his throwing hand, and was never even close to healthy the rest of the season. The 6'4 245 pd QB bravely played the entire season suffering through the pain, while backup QB Trent Miller was also playing through a knee injury. With Mayo being the focal point of the Lions offense, everything suffered from then on.

                Stunned by the loss of Mayo, the Lions lost a shocker to Ouachita Baptist. They also lost to UCO by 1 point in OT, and the last game to Southwestern Oklahoma. Those 2 LSC North losses cost them a sole claim on the North, and contributed to their 5-6 season record.

                However, 2007 was a step forward for the Lions in many ways. The "find" of their season was easily RB Nabil El-Amin. Coming into the season, El-Amin actually backed up RB Eddie Moss until Week 6. Even though the season was more than half over before he was named the starter, El-Amin ended up with 984 yards, including 100+ yards in each of the final 4 games of the season.

                After the Lions finished up the 2006 season dead last in Scoring Offense (12.5 ppg), 12th in Passing Offense (67.7 ypg), and 11th in Total Offense (250.8 ypg), their 2007 totals were vastly improved. They nearly doubled their points per game (23.1), tripled their Passing Offense (196.9 ypg), and improved their Total Offense to 307.9 ypg.

                2008 Outlook
                Out with the old
                WR JaMichael Palmer (1st LSC-N - WR of the Year)
                OL Deveon McKinney (1st LSC-N)
                OL Luis Salazar (1st LSC-N)
                LB Garnet Smith (1st LSC-N)
                LB Faoki Fafita (1st LSC-N)
                FB Trae Grimes (HM LSC-N)
                WR Meldrick Grice
                RB Eddie Moss
                TE Anthony Eustace
                DL Marcus Smith
                WR Orlando Hernandez

                Welcome Back
                QB Terry Mayo (2nd LSC-N)
                RB/RS Nabil El-Amin (1st LSC-N both positions)
                OL Darron Sheppard (1st LSC-N & OL of the Year)
                DL AJ Johnson (1st LSC-N)
                CB Elliott Jones (1st LSC-N)
                S Alex Contreras (1st LSC-N)
                P Daniel Swaim (2nd LSC-N)
                WR Chris Miller (LSC-N Freshman of the Year)
                S Courtney Edmond
                DL William Green (Missed all but 3 games - injury)
                QB Trent Miller
                LB Chad Washington
                LB Andrew Gamboa
                LB Alonzo Menifield
                DL Andree Smith
                LB Arsenial Richardson
                TE Darr Nieuwoudt

                In with the new
                OL R.J Brisbon - Transfer from Baylor
                WR Matt McLaren - Freshman
                WR Earnest Quander - Transfer from Kilgore JC
                OL Daniel Stantz - Transfer from Solano JC
                WR Willie Thornton - Transfer from Central Florida
                RB Maurice DuPont - Transfer from Solano JC

                All Conference Candidates
                DB Alex Contreras
                DB Courtney Edmond
                RB/RS Nabil El-Amin
                DL AJ Johnson
                DB Elliott Jones
                QB Terry Mayo
                OL Darron Sheppard
                P Daniel Swaim
                WR Willie Thornton
                LB Chad Washington
                OL R.J Brisbon

                All American Candidates
                QB Terry Mayo
                OL Darron Sheppard
                DB Elliott Jones

                Big Games
                Week 3 - @ Abilene Christian - It's going to be very difficult for the Lions to pull out a win in Abilene, but a good showing here would go a LONG way in possible post-season discussions.

                Week 8 - ECU in the Cotton Bowl - The Lions should easily win this game, but the reason this game is so important is the location. If the Lions can go into the Cotton Bowl and put on a show, it would be a huge step in recruiting, respect and towards winning the LSC North again.

                Week 9 - vs Southeastern Oklahoma - In what most people think will be the battle of the North's 2 best teams, the Lions will be looking to put this game away in Commerce. If they can pull it off, it should mean a 2nd consecutive LSC North title.

                Best Case Scenario
                8-2 and possibly playoffs. The game @DIAA Northwestern will be a tough one to win, as will the ACU game in Abilene. Outside of that though, the Lions should be favored in every other game they play. Actually running the board will be tough though. With a 10 game season (with 1 not counting towards SOS), the Lions are going to have to have some things break their way to get into the playoffs even if they do go 8-2. But it would be a big step in regaining momentum for the program.

                Worst Case Scenario
                5-5 The only negative facing the Lions at this point appears to be their O-Line. If it becomes a major problem and Mayo can't stay on his feet, the entire offense will crumble. Their schedule is fairly easy this year, so even with a bad squad, .500 looks to be about as bad as it can get.

                Fowler impressed with speed, depth of Tarleton defense

                By BRAD KEITH
                Sports Editor
                After coaching four All-Americans in 14 seasons at NCAA Division I Murray State and Division II Midwestern State, first-year Tarleton State defensive coordinator Cary Fowler says this season’s Texan defense has the potential to have the most talent, speed and depth of any unit he has coached.
                That may come as a surprise to many who follow Tarleton after seeing the Texans lose 10 starters from its 2007 squad. But in addition to defensive end Jamal Steamer, the only full time starter who is back, Tarleton has a handful of other players, including Ben Dambold, Marcus Phillips, Tramaine Wright and others, who saw extensive action last fall. Add to that mix a recruiting class that has caused quite a buzz, and you have a defensive coordinator excited about what lies ahead.
                Go to the Empire Tribune for the rest of the story.

                Wednesday, August 20, 2008

                LSC Preview - West Texas A&M

                2007 Recap
                Back-to-back LSC championships were not enough for the Buffaloes of West Texas A&M, so they took it another step - an undefeated regular season, before falling to national runner-up Northwest Missouri in the second round of the playoffs.

                Along the way, the Buffs beat five nationally ranked teams, including road games against LSC foes Midwestern State, Abilene Christian, and Tarleton State, in a game that clinched the conference title. Statistically, WT was 3rd in scoring offense and defense 3rd in total offense, and 4th in total defense, but only had one conference game decided by less than 10 points.

                Individually, there were numerous players that stood out (we cannot highlight all of them, so lets look at the best of the best). QB Keith Null threw for 4,134 yds and 41 TDs despite missing two games. Keithon Flemming had 1,198 yds rushing (7.5 yds per carry) 647 yds receiving and 2,069 all purpose yards to go with 17 TDs. Like Null, Charly Martin also missed two games, but still had 67 catches for 927 yds and 11 TDs. Defensively, All-American Brandon Swain led the LSC with 13 sacks, and 24.5 tackles for loss, easily outdistancing the rest of the league. All-American Jared Brock led the team with 99 tackles and also had 14 for losses.

                The only downer for the Buffs was the trip to Maryville. Battle tested Northwest Missouri showed WT what it takes to make it to Florence. The Bearcats jumped out early, scoring TDs on their first three possessions, put together four drives of 60+ yards, and their defense scored as many TDs (3) as WT's offense.

                2008 Outlook
                Out with the old
                WR B J Vickers (50 recs 693 yds 7 TDs)
                TE Kolo Kapanui (1st LSC-South, All-American)
                OL Patrick Schwenke (2nd LSC-South)
                OL Ryan Glenday (2nd LSC-South)
                OL Floyd Headen (HM LSC-South)
                LB Steve Allen (2nd LSC-South)
                DB Bret Jones (1st LSC-South)

                Welcome Back
                QB Keith Null (HM LSC-South)
                RB Keithon Flemming (1st LSC-South)
                RB Wayne McKnight (HM LSC-South)
                WR Charly Martin (1st LSC-South)
                WR A J Ruffins (HM LSC-South)
                OL Dan Sherwood (HM LSC-South)
                OL Devario Dorsey
                OL Tommy Crowley (injured in 2007, 2nd LSC-South in 2006)
                DE Brandon Swain (1st LSC-South, All-American)
                DT Eddison Robertson (2nd LSC-South)
                DE Dexter Manley II (injured in 2007)
                DL Brett Watson (injured in 2007)
                LB Jared Brock (1st LSC-South, All-American)
                LB Eldon Grimslid (2nd LSC-South)
                LB Mark Ford
                LB Anthony Scott
                LB Bradley Bullitt (DNP 2007, starter in 2006, fourth on team in tackles)
                LB Max Steward (out since 2005, 2ndLSC-South in 2005)
                DB Cashmin Thomas (1st LSC-South)
                DB Arseel Shakoor (2nd LSC-South)
                DB Darnell Johnson (2nd LSC-South)
                DB Kyle Seals

                In with the new
                OL J'Marcus Webb (UT/Navarro, signed with Arizona in spring)
                OL Jon Ioane (Santa Ana JC)
                OL Willie Barton (East Carolina)
                DL Broderick Marshall (Tyler JC, signed with Texas Tech in spring)
                DL Eugene Sims (Jones County CC (MS))
                DB Braelon Davis (Baylor)

                All Conference Candidates
                All returning and newcomers listed above are All-Conference candidates.

                All American Candidates
                QB Keith Null
                RB Keithon Flemming
                WR Charly Martin
                OL J'Marcus Webb
                DL Brandon Swain
                DL Dexter Manley II
                DL Broderick Marshall
                DL Eugene Sims
                LB Jared Brock

                Big Games
                Week 6 - Midwestern State - Mustangs forced 4 Ints, and WT had to recover an onside kick to preserve 25-20 last year
                Week 8 - Abilene Christian - Preseason LSC favorite and top 10 team in several preseason polls. LY held ACU to 28 pts and 108 yds below season averages, and kept Bernard Scott under 100 yds rushing.
                Week 11 - Tarleton State - WT has beaten the Texans the past three seasons to clinch the LSC title. Expect the game to decide the title once again.

                Best Case Scenario
                11-0 regular season and SW region title...from there no prediction. This team is talented at every position and has depth that no other team in the LSC (and maybe the country) can match. The early schedule should allow the team to build chemistry without being thrown into the fire. What figures to be their three toughest conference games are all at home. After winning three consecutive LSC championships, the bar has been raised and they will try to be the first LSC team to make it out of the region since Texas A&M-Kingsville in 2003.

                Worst Case Scenario
                8-3 and no playoffs. The team believes the news articles about them and don't focus on the task at hand. MSU had a chance to beat them last year, and they return a very solid defense. ACU and Tarleton boast offensive firepower that could make those games shootouts, and who knows if a team comes out of nowhere like WT did in 2005?

                ECU short-handed for scrimmage

                Bumps and bruises will keep several starters watching from the sidelines

                Bob Forrest Sports Writer

                Ada — East Central University football coach Kurt Nichols moved this week’s preseason scrimmage to Wednesday so the Tigers could have an extra day of preparation for their Aug. 28 season opener in Huntsville, Texas, against Division 1-AA power Sam Houston State. Now if Nichols can just find a few extra bodies to take part in Wednesday evening’s session.

                Injuries on the offensive line, in the secondary and at quarterback will force the ECU staff to assemble makeshift lineups on both sides of the ball for the scrimmage, which begins at 6:30 p.m. at Norris Field. Nichols said he hopes most of his walking wounded will be available eight days later when the Tigers face SHSU and former University of Oklahoma quarterback Rhett Bomar in one of the toughest openers in school history.

                “I just wanted an extra day to recuperate,” Nichols said of his decision to move the scrimmage from Thursday to Wednesday. “That will give us an extra day to get ready for Sam Houston.

                Go to the Ada Evening News for the rest of the story.

                Lady Buffs No. 5

                West Texas A&M will enter its season next week ranked No. 5 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll released Tuesday.

                The Lady Buffs received 736 points, while top-ranked Concordia-St.Paul garnered 897 points and 35 of 36 first- place votes.

                WT was the only Lone Star Conference team ranked in the top 25.

                Tuesday, August 19, 2008

                LSC Preview -Southeastern Oklahoma

                2007 Recap
                The savages came into the 2007 season with high hopes, but the wheels came flying off pretty quick.

                Before the season even started they were dealt their first blow when starting QB Justin Pitrucha was ineligible to play. After an easy win over Northwestern Oklahoma, they went on to get blasted by Tarleton (41-17) and Abilene Christian (41-3), upset by A&M-Kingsville (27-17) and devestated in a heartbreaker against A&M-Commerce, 41-39 in Triple Overtime.

                After starting off the season 1-4, it just seemed like the Storm could never get their feet under themselves and win the games they had to win to claim the North Division for their own.


                2008 Outlook
                Out with the old
                QB Justin Pitrucha
                DE Jeremiah Spencer (2nd LSC)
                DB Jairus Martin (2nd LSC)
                DL Noble Polk (HM LSC)


                Welcome Back
                WR Daniel Nichols - (1st LSC)
                TE Jerrod Temple - (2nd LSC)
                OL Jarrod Anderson
                WR Ty Hull
                WR Jay Rose
                OL Sean Taglialatela
                SS Jabir Perkins
                DB Cameron Sparks
                DL Rocky Phillips
                FS Bernard Daniel - (1st LSC)
                LB Noe Lopez
                DL Dexter Elliott
                DB Johnny Seals - (2nd LSC)
                P Will White
                K Cole Jones

                In with the new
                RB Baylen Laury - Northern Iowa transfer
                OL Josh Aleman - Texas Tech transfer
                OL Travis Kincheloe
                DT Derrick Joslin
                CB Cedric Robinson - Cisco CC transfer


                All Conference Candidates
                WR Daniel Nichols
                RB Baylen Laury
                OL Josh Aleman
                S Bernard Daniel - All American Candidate
                DB Johnny Seals
                DE Alex Moore
                LB Noe Lopez
                DL Rocky Phillips


                Big Games
                Week 10 - Texas A&M-Commerce - The Savage Storm will travel to Commerce to play the Lions for what could be the deciding game for the LSC North. Most believe these are the 2 top teams in the division, and it could all come down to that game.

                Best Case Scenario
                7-4 While 7-4 may seem like a bit of a low estimate for their best case scenario, with the schedule they face it would be a good season. Games @ Tarleton, @ Midwestern, ACU, and then @ DIAA Northwestern University will be extremely tough to win. But if they win every other game, which is possible, they would finish off with a 7-4 record and win the LSC North.

                Worst Case Scenario
                3-8 Would be about the bottom of the barrel for Southeastern this year. I don't see how it could happen but if the wheels completely fly off, wins against Northeastern, Central Oklahoma and East Central could be all there is for them.

                Senior-laden secondary

                WT returns three all-conference defensive backs

                By Greg Jaklewicz
                mailto:Jaklewiczgregory.jaklewicz@amarillo.com



                West Texas A&M's defense is experienced, perhaps the most in the secondary, where four seniors are expected to start.

                Safety Darnell Johnson, who found out late last season he still had a year of eligibility remaining, anchors a secondary that includes 2007 newcomers Cashmin Thomas and Arseel Shakoor at cornerback and Kyle Seals at strong safety.

                Thomas was a first-team all-Lone Star Conference South Division selection, and Johnson and Shakoor were second-team picks.

                "It's the last year for all of us. It's all-out," Shakoor said. "We want it to be a dream come true. Florence, Alabama, is the only thing on our minds."

                Go to the Amarillo Globe News for the rest of the story.

                Lone Star Conference

                Angelo State News

                Cameron University

                Eastern New Mexico University

                MSUMustangs.com

                Oklahoma Panhandle State University

                Texas A&M-Commerce

                Tarleton State University

                Texas A&M-Kingsville

                Texas Woman's College

                University of Texas of the Permian Basin

                West Texas A&M University

                Western New Mexico

                Amarillo Globe News - WT Sports