Tuesday, March 31, 2009

East Central - 2009 Recruiting Class

Need Help:
Offensive Line - Tigers lost honorable mention LSC North performers in Tim Bills and Jay Reaves. Justin Nail (1st LSC North) returns, but will need help. Several freshmen were pressed into service last year, so there is some additional experience.

Defensive Backs - Three starters are gone from last year's secondary. The lone returning starter is Trevor Carpenter.

Need Depth:
Quarterback - Return All-LSC North Marcus Johnson (LSC North Offensive Back of the Year), who threw for 3,100 yds and 20 TDs last year. He will be a senior this fall, so a successor will need to be groomed.

Linebackers - Tait Langston has exhausted his eligibility, but Curtis Niccum and Ryan Madison will be back.

Defensive Line - Brandon Hopstein (HM LSC North) was a senior last year, but two other honorable mention LSC North honorees return, Darnell Barnes and Maurice Lanclos.

Running Back - Joshua Maldonado returns for his senior season. Collin Avery and Josh Dutton return to back him up. A few more bodies here would help.

Good Quality/Talent:
Wide Receivers - Keewan King (2nd LSC North), Tyrone Gibbs, Jerold Loveless, Quade Soffell, Nigel Cooper and Justin Heimer combined to catch 174 passes for 2,188 yds and 13 TDs. King and Gibbs were recently injured in a stabbing incident, and we are unsure of the severity of their injuries. Hopefully they will be fully recovered soon.

With the return of Tim McCarty to ECU, the focus of recruiting has changed. Instead of numerous junior college transfers, the Tigers signed 21 high school recruits, 14 from Oklahoma and 7 from Texas. Among the most touted are WR Terrance Crumpley, OL Tobyn Large, LB Curtis Fortenberry, Safety Norris Wrenn, and Athletes Airius Ervin and Colby Ogletree. With as many vacancies as the Tigers have, they should compete for playing time.

LSC Ranking - 11

Overall Grade: C
Much like SWO, bringing in just high schoolers makes it difficult to replace departing seniors unless the team has a pipeline ready to fill the holes. Though ECU was competitive against the LSC North, they may have to take their lumps this fall.

LSC Roundup 3-31

Schaef Hired as Basketball Coach
WEATHERFORD, Okla. -- Southwestern Oklahoma State University has turned to a neighboring school in Arkansas to find its new basketball coach, hiring Charlie Schaef on Tuesday as the new floor leader of the Bulldog program.

The 39-year old Schaef, who has spent the previous eight seasons at Ouachita Baptist University, becomes only the 13th coach in the program's 100-year history. Schaef replaces Todd Thurman who stepped aside last month to focus exclusively on his duties as the school's athletic director.

"I think with the hiring of Charlie Schaef we've made a tremendous step toward continuing the success of our men's basketball program," Thurman said. "Charlie is a terrific person with an engaging personality that fans of SWOSU will most certainly enjoy. His work ethic and his dedication to the sport are unmatched. He will put a first-class product on the floor with players that fit well within our community and campus."

Schaef has spent the last 10 seasons as a head coach first at the University of Arkansas- Monticello and later Ouachita. Both schools are NCAA Division II institutions and members of the Gulf South Conference. Before joining the OBU staff in 2001, Schaef presided over two UAM teams where he led the Boll Weevils to their first conference title in 45 years as winners of the Gulf South West Division Championship. Schaef was named the GSC Coach of the Year and the Chevrolet/National Association of Basketball Coaches South Region Coach of the Year that same season.

"I'm very excited to be a part of the SWOSU family," Schaef said. "It's an honor and a privilege to be the Bulldogs new basketball coach. I share the same vision that Todd Thurman and the rest of the administration have for Bulldog basketball. I look for us to continue to build on the foundation that is in place and compete at the top level of the Lone Star Conference."

Rams hit eight home runs in split with UCO
The Angelo State baseball team pounded out five home runs in game two to run-rule Central Oklahoma, 17-3, after falling in game one, 17-7, Sunday in Edmond, Okla.

The Rams improved to 25-11 overall and 18-8 in the Lone Star Conference while the Bronchos fell to 17-18 and 13-13.

Keith Towne, the LSC's home run leader, banged out two long balls in the game to give him 17 on the season, six short of the league record for home runs in a season. Towne, who leads all NCAA Division II hitters in home runs, also had seven RBI in the game to tie teammate Isaac Garcia's team record while Garcia had two home runs, his fifth and sixth on the year, while Chris Adamson knocked out his third on the year.
Related: ASU roundup

Buffs capture series against Tarleton State
West Texas A&M completed a successful Lone Star Conference baseball series Monday, splitting with Tarleton State on Monday and taking three of four games in the two-day series played at the Amarillo National Bank Dilla Villa.

The Buffs opened with a 9-3 victory, then dropped the nightcap, 13-3, in cold and windy conditions. Sunday, the Buffs swept Tarleton State, 13-6 and 8-7. WT improved to 10-18 in LSC play, while Tarleton State is 13-13-1

Monday, March 30, 2009

Southwestern Oklahoma - 2009 Recruiting Class

Need help:
Offensive Line - Lost 3 starters, including Jerrod Hunt (1st LSC North), Jazz Kennerson and Jacob Ciesynski. Return starters Jordan Pettitt and Jake Olivarez as well as Kyle Rich and Stephen Speer who started a handful of games as freshmen.

Defensive Line - Lost Justin Cannon (2nd LSC North), Greg Franklin (2nd LSC North in 2007 as LB), James Vei, and Isacc Mason. Return Cory Summers (2nd LSC North in 2006) and Tim Stephenson

Linebackers - Lost Ruzell McCoy (1st LSC North 2007 & 2008, Co-Linebacker of the year 2008) and starter Evan Jarret. Return Jaron Burgess (1st LSC North) Curry Read, and Fred Leak.

Defensive Backs - Lost Demarcus Render (2nd LSC North), Brandon Wicks, and Pat Weaver. Return Jeff Lemon (HM LSC North), Carlos Bates, and Sam Nwafor. Iziah Perry's playing time increased as the season progressed and should have a much bigger role this year.

Need depth:
Wide Receivers - lost Kyle Wimberly (1st LSC North) and Brandon Dixon, but return Joe Sawyer (1st LSC North), Johnathan Haggerty and Erik Sykes.

Good Quality/Depth:
Quarterback - not only does Steve Day (HM LSC North) return for his senior season, several will be competing for the primary backup job.

Running Back - Luke Lundy (1st LSC North, LSC North Frosh of year) and Ovie Esalomi return, as well as several youngsters, most notably Quin Collins. Collins was red-shirted last year, but could be a key player this year.

In a reverse of recent seasons, the Bulldogs signed 23 high school recruits (no announced transfers), almost entirely from Oklahoma. Two who could make an impact this fall are QB Ryan John and DL Deonte Logan. Ryan John led Oklahoma Class 5A high schools in passing, throwing for 3,017 yards and 27 TDs and could get some game experience as Steve Day's backup. Logan is a two-time state champion power lifter and was selected to participate in the Oklahoma All-Star game. QB Houston Johnson and WR Corbin Dickerson are two others who were listed on several recruiting watch lists.

LSC Ranking 12

Overall Grade: C-
The Bulldogs lost a lot defensively and on the offensive line. With no transfers announced, they are relying on returning players and might have to play some youngsters before they are ready. This may work to their benefit in the long run, but could make for a long 2009 season.

LSC Roundup 3-30

Carthel praises effort of Harris in scrimmage
West Texas A&M went through a 95-play controlled football scrimmage Sunday afternoon at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium.

The scrimmage came at the end of two weeks of spring drills.

The offensive unit put seven scores on the board, including a 34-yard touchdown catch and run from quarterback Taylor Harris to Jeremy Watson. Placekicker James Chandler also was a perfect four-of-four on field goal attempts, making efforts of 23, 25, 24 and 22 yards.

Harris, the leading candidate to replace departed Keith Null at quarterback, also completed a scrimmage-long 41-yard pass to receiver Wade Langley.

"I thought Taylor Harris did very well today," said WT head coach Don Carthel.

"He really only made one bad pass during some very windy conditions. I also liked the play of our four wide receivers, Tyson Williams, A.J. Ruffins, Wade Langley and Kendrick Cutsinger. They are our starters at this point, but they are young and need the reps. Kelvin Thompson also did a good job of running the ball today."
Related: Watching those inches, pounds

Offense scores twice in A&M-Commerce scrimmage
COMMERCE — House to Quander.

That was the leading combination during Texas A&M University-Commerce’s scrimmage that capped spring football training on Saturday.

Quarterback Darby House, a redshirt freshman from Skidmore-Tynan, went 13-of-23 passing for 103 yards, one interception and one touchdown as the offense went against the defense.

That touchdown pass covered 28 yards to Quander, who’s a senior from Austin. Quander led all receivers with eight catches for 64 yards.

The Lion offense also picked up a 9-yard touchdown run from Jamar Mosely, plus two extra points from Juan Velasco and a 27-yard field goal from Velasco. The final score wound up 17-0. The Lions did not do a true spring game due to low numbers during the transition period with the hiring of new head coach Guy Morriss.
Related:New A&M-Commerce coach looking at offense in scrimmage
Related: A&M-Commerce football wraps up spring practice

Richardson scores 22 to lead West victory
Nolan Richardson needed just 15 minutes to pour in 22 points and lead the West All-Stars to a 138-117 win over the East on Friday night in the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ Division II All-Star Game.

Big bat by Latz lifts ACU to split
Abilene Christian pounded 21 hits and snapped a 2-2 tie with nine straight runs on its way to a 14-3 victory over Eastern New Mexico to split a Lone Star Conference doubleheader in Portales, N.M.

Garrett Cook's two-run triple sparked a three-run sixth inning as ENMU rallied to beat ACU, 9-8, in Game 1.

Lady Buffs split with LSC foes
The West Texas A&M softball team split a pair of non-conference games against Lone Star Conference opponents Central Oklahoma and Midwestern State on Sunday in Wichita Falls.

The Lady Buffs topped Central Oklahoma, 8-7 in eight innings in the first game, but fell to Midwestern State, 7-3.

Rams hit eight home runs in split with UCO
The Angelo State baseball team pounded out five home runs in game two to run-rule Central Oklahoma, 17-3, after falling in game one, 17-7, Sunday in Edmond, Okla.

The Rams improved to 25-11 overall and 18-8 in the Lone Star Conference while the Bronchos fell to 17-18 and 13-13.

MSU splits doubleheader
No. 16 Abilene Christian just kept on rolling Sunday afternoon at Mustangs Park as the Wildcats battered Midwestern State 7-1 for extend their winning streak to a school-record 14 straight games.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tarleton State Purple/White Game Tonight

STEPHENVILLE - The Tarleton athletics department invites fans who can not make it to Friday's annual Purple/White game (March 27) at 7 p.m. in Memorial Stadium to watch the event live on the Tarleton Ticket for free.

The event will be broadcast via video on the Tarleton Ticket beginning at 7 p.m.

Click here to get more information or to view the broadcast.

FB: Texans set to host Purple/White Game Friday
by Brad Keith
Stephenville Empire-Tribune

STEPHENVILLE - Diehards who can't wait until the fall for football have the opportunity to catch a sneak peak at the 2009 Tarleton State Texans at tonight's annual spring Purple vs. White game at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Memorial Stadium.

The Texans were 8-3 in 2008, the program's eighth straight winning season. Tarleton has posted winning records in each of head coach Sam McElroy's four years at the helm. He is currently 30-12 at the school.

"This is a fun time for our program and for our kids," McElroy said of the spring game. "It's kind of a different deal because we're going to split everyone up and a lot of guys who haven't played before are going to get a chance to be in starting positions (tonight). It gives us a chance to see how they respond in that role."

McElroy said plans are to balance the purple and white rosters to make the game as competitive as possible.

"There's going to be some mismatches, but that's unavoidable," he said. "We're just excited to let the guys get out there and compete against each other for two quarters of game simulation."

McElroy cited several newcomers to the program who fans will want to watch for tonight.

"(Free safety) Lonnie Buchanan is doing a really good job for us in the secondary," McElroy said. He's a tremendous athlete with great size and he runs really well.

"Buchanan is a junior college transfer from Mississippi Delta JC who is listed at 6-2, 195.

Another midterm transfer who has caught the head coach's attention is offensive tackle Adrian Campbell, a 6-5, 300-pound giant who McElroy believes will be a great addition to the offensive line.

"He's really doing a great job up front, and most of the other guys up there are back from last year," he said. "We're excited about the offensive line."

One of McElroy's main recruiting concerns came at linebacker, where Corey White, a 6-0, 220-pound transfer from Trinity Valley Community College, has impressed coaches. White will not play on Friday, however, due to a pulled groin suffered in a recent practice.

Another addition to the Texan roster is no stranger to followers of Tarleton sports. Basketball stalwart Eric Williams, who was recently named to the Daktronics South Central Region all-region team as a 6-6 power forward, is returning to the sport he calls his first love.

"Eric came out late because of basketball and he spent his first few days in shorts and shirt, but he's catching up fast and he's a great kid," the head coach said. "He caught a touchdown pass in our scrimmage last Saturday on his second day in pads. He's big, physical and has very good hands. His hands are huge, and he catches the ball really well."

Williams, who averaged a double-double for the Texan basketball team this season, played both sports at Long Beach Community College in California and was recruited by the likes of Oregon and USC for football before coming to Tarleton to play basketball.

McElroy also cited several returning players who he says have been impressive this spring.

"Our quarterback play has been great," he said. "(Two-year starter) Scott (Grantham) and Kelan (Luker) are both playing well and they're both great leaders."

Grantham is 17-5 as a starter at Tarleton and posted a passer efficiency rating of 122.12 last fall. He was 154-283 for 1,993 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also tossed 11 interceptions.

Grantham and Luker, who led Stephenville High School to the 1998 Class 4A Division II state title, will be on opposite sides for tonight's exhibition, and the receiving core will be divided to give both a number of proven targets with the likes of Eric Foreman, Devin Guinn, Dorian Williams, Eric Williams and others to throw to.

Foreman led Tarleton with 40 receptions for 661 yards in just nine games last season. He caught a 64-yard touchdown from Grantham on the final play of a 24-21 win at Southwestern Oklahoma State. Guinn had 36 catches for for 468 yards and five touchdowns as a junior after leading Tarleton in receptions, yards and scoring catches as a sophomore in 2007.

McElroy says the offensive backfield is in good shape with the return of Roderick Smith, who rushed for 1,076 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2008. Travis Evans ran for 729 yards and is also back after being granted an extra year of eligibility from the NCAA.

McElroy also praised the progress of several returning defensive players, including Jamaal Steamer and Alonzo Horton up front and Marcus Phillips and Ben Dambold at linebacker. Phillips tied for the team lead in tackles last season with 66, while Steamer, who recorded 53 total stops, led in tackles for loss with 19. McElroy also named Matt Knicky, a converted defensive back who was a reserve for the Texans in 2008, as a linebacker to watch.

"We've had a lot of kids stepping up and working hard," McElroy said. "We're still figuring out who our guys for the fall are going to be at several positions. The spring game is another step in that process."

LSC Roundup 3-27

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern football has officially taken to the field for Spring Football drills, with practices getting underway this past Monday.
Week one will conclude with Thursday and Friday practices at 4 p.m., and a 9 a.m. practice on Saturday morning.

Week two practices will be on Tuesday (March 31), Thursday and Friday at 3 p.m., with the first spring scrimmage set for 9 a.m. on April 4.

Week three features practice on Tuesday and a Thursday afternoon scrimmage, both at 3 p.m.
The final week of practice has 3 p.m. slots on Tuesday and Thursday, April 14 and 16, with the spring culminating with a 3 p.m. scrimmage on Saturday, April 18.

CLICK HERE for audio of head coach Richards’ full comments on Spring Practice.

It wasn't pretty, but it was a win.

No. 13 Angelo State had 15 hits but committed five errors in a 13-9 victory against St. Mary's Friday at Foster Field.

With the win, the Rams improved to 24-10 overall. St. Mary's fell to 21-11.

"We won," ASU head coach Kevin Brooks said. "That's about all I have to say that is good. We won and we had a couple of guys play well. Luckily those guys played well enough for us to win.
And our bullpen did well."

Alexandria Williams wasn't around when Adrian Williams couldn't buy a base hit at Riverside Stadium.

"A lot of people probably remember me as someone who didn't hit that well in high school," said Adrian, who graduated from Memorial two years ago and is now a designated hitter for Texas A&M-Kingsville. "I was more of a pitcher, but I've become a much smarter hitter through hard work."

Adrian's daughter, Alexandria, was born on July 29, 2008. She has inspired her father work to get a business marketing degree and become a more complete person.

"It's a lot of fun being a father," said Williams, whose daughter lives in Victoria. "I feel really dedicated to getting a good education so I can help her. I think I'm making better grades because of her. I'm probably a better baseball player because of her. The only down part to being in college is that I don't get to see her nearly as much as I would like to."

Lone Star Conference softball teams are taking a break from beating up teams in their own division. The North and South divisions get a chance to determine conference supremacy when the two meet today in the LSC Crossover Tournament in Durant, Okla.

"There is a lot of rivalry when we come to this weekend," West Texas A&M coach Kevin Blaskowski said. "It is a right-of-supremacy weekend. It is a month away from the conference tournament. The teams that come in here and do well can ride a wave of momentum into the rest of the season leading up to the conference tournament."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

LSC Roundup 3-26

NATHAN WRIGHT: ASU football team in midst of spring workouts
The Angelo State University football team is in its third week of spring drills and head coach Dale Carr is pleased with what he is seeing.

The Rams began spring workouts on March 5 and have been hard at work since then, practicing four days a week with the exception of last week when the school was out for spring break.

"We had six good days before spring break," Carr said. "Monday was kind of sketchy but Tuesday was better."
One junior that everyone is happy to see back on the field is quarterback Josh Neiswander. He suffered a season-ending injury in the Rams' first game of the season last fall but is back and going through spring drills at full speed.

The Rams will need him as they won't have the experience behind Neiswander they had expected. Neiswander's fill-ins last season, Will Mezger and Michael Cochran, will not play in the fall. Mezger quit the team and Cochran is recovering from a leg injury.

Archer City signings, March 26
Three Archer City football players signed letters of intent Wednesday to play at two different Lone Star Conference schools.

Sam Smith and Kolby Rowe signed with Abilene Christian, while Braden Stovall signed with Tarleton State.

Smith collected plenty of honors this past season. He was the Texas Sportswriters Association’s Class A Defensive Player of the Year. He was also an all-state running back and punter, plus was named the Times Record News Small School Red River 22 MVP.

Rowe was a first-team Class A all-state selection at defensive end, leading the Wildcats in sacks. He also played on the offensive line.

Smith is expected to play wide receiver and Rowe will be a defensive end.

Stovall, a fullback and part-time linebacker, was the third leading rusher for the Wildcats, who advanced to the state quarterfinals and finished 12-1. He signed with the Texans as an outside linebacker.

Football: Iraan's Allen excited to continue career at ACU
Iraan senior linebacker Drew Allen has signed a letter of intent to walk on and play football for NCAA Division II power Abilene Christian University.

Allen had 175 tackles and three sacks last season, earning District 8-1A Defensive MVP and Associated Press Honorable Mention all-state honors.

"It's a big honor to be able to play at the next level," Allen said. "It's something that my parents and my coaches are happy for. I just wanted opportunity to keep playing after high school."

Offensive woes hamper WT's effort
Poor shooting on Tuesday night doomed the finest season in 12 years by West Texas A&M's Lady Buffs.

They were 16-of-63 from the field, easily their worst shooting performance of the season, as they lost to Delta State, 55-47, in the quarterfinals of the Elite Eight at Bill Greehey Arena in San Antonio.

Despite what happened on Tuesday night, it would be difficult to erase the outstanding season by this team. It won the Lone Star Conference championship for the second year in a row and for the third time in four seasons.

Mustangs 5th in initial regional softball rankings
Midwestern State opened the 2009 South Central Rankings at No. 5 which were released Wednesday by the NCAA Division II Softball Committee.

The top eight teams advance to the NCAA postseason which will consist of a pair of four-team regionals with the winners advancing to a best-of-three game super regional for the right to advance to the 29th Annual Division II Softball Championship in Salem, Va. It marks a departure from the eight-team double elimination format used last season. The regionals commence at campus sites from May 8-10 with the super regionals following from May 15-16.

The Lone Star Conference is well represented in the rankings with Southeastern Oklahoma State at No. 1, Angelo State at No. 2, Abilene Christian at No. 3, West Texas A&M at No. 4, Midwestern State at No. 5 and Central Oklahoma at No. 9.

ASU baseball update for March 26
The Rams look to sweep the season series against St. Mary's today when the teams meet for the second time in eight days. ASU defeated the Rattlers 8-3 on March 17 in San Antonio. ... The Rams are coming off a four-game series against Eastern New Mexico over the weekend. ASU and ENMU split the series. ENMU's two wins came in walkoff fashion while the Rams won the finale in the ninth inning. Keith Towne hit three home runs in the series to give him 14 on the season and a new school record. The previous record of 13 was held by Clay Calfee and Matt Lenderman. ... SMU is coming off a four-game sweep of Texas A&M-International over the weekend. ... ASU is 8-2 all-time against the Rattlers, including the win last week. The Rams won both meetings between the two teams last season. ... ASU will return to Lone Star Conference play this weekend with a four-game series at Central Oklahoma.

No. 28 ECU snaps MSU's three-game win streak, 5-3
No. 28 East Central won four of the completed singles’ matches Wednesday afternoon to claim a 5-3 win over No. 34 Midwestern State at the MSU Tennis Center.

SFA adds two assistant football coaches
Kurt Corbin and Erik Slaughter have joined the Lumberjack football coach staff Stephen F. Austin head coach J.C. Harper announced Wednesday afternoon. Corbin will work with the Lumberjack defensive tackles, while Slaughter will take over the 'Jacks' defensive ends.
Slaughter brings a ton experience from the high school and college ranks to SFA. After a successful 15-year career in the high school ranks, Slaughter was hired as the linebackers and strength and conditioning coach at Houston in March 2003. During his three seasons with the Cougars, Slaughter helped guide Houston to an appearance in the 2003 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, which was the school's first bowl appearance in seven years. Two years later, the Cougars received a bid to play in the Plains Capital Fort Worth Bowl.

Slaughter was named head coach at Glen Rose High School in March 2003, where he spent three seasons. During that time, Slaughter guided Glen Rose to back-to-back district titles, and an appearance in the 2007 state quarterfinals. He was named the 2006 and 2007 District 12 AAA Coach of the Year.

Slaughter comes to Nacogdoches from Texas A&M-Commerce where he has spent the past season serving as the Lions' defensive coordinator.

"Slaughter has had a great career at the high school level in the state of Texas," said Harper. "He also did a very good job under Art Briles at Houston. We're excited that he is on board here at SFA. I feel these two coaches will be a great fit for the Lumberjacks."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

LSC Roundup 3-25 Afternoon Update

Exciting News Sparks First Day of Football Drills
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (Mar. 24) --- Northeastern State opened spring football drills Tuesday with a spirited workout at Doc Wadley Stadium/Gable Field.

Director of Athletics, Jeff Konya, also announced today the RiverHawks will add the University of North Dakota to its football schedule in 2010. UND is a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) member, locatedin Grand Forks, N.D. The game is slated for Sept. 18, 2010.

“Upgrading schedules in all sports is going to be a priority at Northeastern State,” said Konya. “You are who you play. North Dakota gives us the opportunity to expose our football student-athletes to a different level of competition in an area where the Native American influence is as great as it is in Oklahoma. It’s just a natural fit.”

Kenny Evans, who embarks on his second season as head coach of the RiverHawks, believes the North Dakota game could pay huge dividends for his squad. Afterall, he coached at North Texas and Louisiana Tech,both NCAA Division I schools.

“The addition of North Dakota to our schedule, and the recent expansion of the Lone Star Conference, increases our visibility and shows the commitment to athletics at Northeastern State,” said Evans.“Scheduling an NCAA-I opponent each year, beginning in 2010, will be a significant challenge for our program and a tremendous experience for our student-athletes.

“North Dakota was a perennial NCAA-II national power in football before they made the jump to Division I. They have great facilities, but more importantly, it will test our student-athletes and give us agauge on how we need to improve.”

NCAA regulations offer 15 practice opportunities over 29 consecutive calendar days for spring football practice. The RiverHawks return several starters on both sides of the ball. However, much of the spring season will be a learning process for both the players and coaching staff. During the off-season, Evans hired two new coaches,Brad Cornelsen and Beau Davidson. Cornelsen will be in charge of the Northeastern State offense and Davidson will coach the defensive line.

Northeastern State will culminate spring drills with its annual Green & White Scrimmage on Saturday, Apr. 18, at 3:30 p.m. in Broken Arrow
With the addition of North Dakota to Northeastern State's schedule, we will update our list of non-conference games (with final AFCA rankings) for LSC teams. It now includes #2 Northwest Missouri (ACU), #4 Grand Valley State (WT), #7 Delta State (TAMK), #8 Pittsburg State (UCO), #13 Central Washington (WT), #22 Nebraska-Omaha (ECU), IAA North Dakota (NSU), IAA Texas State (ASU), IAA Southeastern Louisiana (TAMC), and Incarnate Word (MSU, ECU, ENMU).

LSC Roundup 3-25

Dream ends for WT
SAN ANTONIO - West Texas A&M's Lady Buffs couldn't have picked a worse time to score a season-low 13 points in the first half or shoot a season-worst 25.4 percent from the field.

The second half wasn't much better and in the end the Lady Buffs' dismal shooting performance resulted in a 55-47 Delta State win Tuesday night in the quarterfinals of the Division II Elite Eight in front of 857 fans at Bill Greehey Arena on the campus of St. Mary's University.

''Our hats are off to Delta State,'' said Lady Buffs head coach Krista Gerlich. ''They are the most athletic team we've faced this season and their defense was good. We missed a lot of easy layups in the first half and we never did get in a good rhythm on offense. I thought we had a lot of good looks at the basket, but we never shot well. I would say it was a combination of their defense and our poor shooting.''

Lady Buffs just couldn't get it going offensively
SAN ANTONIO - 86. 78. 63. 93.

While yelling those numbers out loud might sound like a quarterback at the line of scrimmage during a game, those are the point totals the West Texas A&M Lady Buffs put up in their previous four games before Tuesday night.

Certainly not lacking for effort, and certainly playing a Delta State squad willing to play defense, West Texas A&M saw its season end Tuesday night in a 55-47 loss at the NCAA Division II national women's quarterfinal because of one simple fact: Inability to score points consistently.

"I thought we responded well defensively (the entire game)," WT coach Krista Gelrich said. "To hold them to 19 points at halftime is something. But obviously you have to have more point production. We never really found our rhythm."

WT coach appreciates seniors
SAN ANTONIO - West Texas A&M coach Krista Gerlich handed out compliments to her four seniors - Dixie Bell, Emily Brister, Jamie Dreiling and Courtney Lee - after the Lady Buffs loss Tuesday night.

Gerlich led the Lady Buffs to the Elite Eight in her third year at WT.

"This group is extremely special to me because they were sophomores when I first took the job, and they completely bought in to everything I put in front of them," Gerlich said. "They would go to war for me in a heartbeat for us. I can't think of a better group to have represent West Texas."

Gholson: In the Nick of Time (March 25)
After winning back-to-back Lone Star Conference basketball championships in 1999 and 2000, Jeff Ray ran off to see just how much greener it really was on the other side of the fence.

After one 4-24 season as assistant coach for the Mean Green of North Texas, Ray decided the other side of that fence wasn’t all that bad after all.

“I was 39 and wanted to be a Division I coach,” he told me. “I kinda got all that out of my system.”

Bronchos Ready For Spring Ball
EDMOND (March 24) – Defending Lone Star Conference North Division champion Central Oklahoma will open spring drills Wednesday as the Bronchos begin preparing for the 2009 campaign.

UCO will have 15 practices over the next four weeks, including three scrimmages. The Bronchos are set to meet at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday and Friday this week before having an early-morning session Saturday.

Afternoon practices are scheduled for Monday, Wednesday and Friday the next three weeks, with intrasquad scrimmages set for 10 a.m. on April 4 and 11 before the final spring-ending scrimmage at 6 p.m. April 18.

“We know we have a lot of work to do and we’re looking forward to getting started,” said second-year head coach Tracy Holland, named LSC North Division Coach of the Year last season. “The team has worked hard in the off-season getting ready for spring practice and this is an important time for us.

“Everybody’s excited to get on the field and do what needs to be done to keep getting better. The coaches and players want to continue building on the momentum we had at the end of last season as we keep working on getting this program where it needs to be.”

The Bronchos return 13 starters from last year’s 7-4 team that overcame a 0-4 start to win their last seven games and capture the North Division title.

UCO opens the 2009 season on Aug. 29 at perennial NCAA Division II power Pittsburg State.

Calhoun senior signs with A&M-Kingsville
PORT LAVACA - Calhoun's Jeremy Boyd enjoyed playing at Javelina Stadium in Kingsville and he is looking forward to playing there in the future.

Boyd signed a letter-of-intent on Tuesday to attend Texas A&M-Kingsville on a football scholarship in the fall.

"They have the degree that I want to get," said Boyd, who plans to major in civil engineering with a minor in wildlife management. "I like the school. It's close to home, but not too close."

The 6-foot, 245-pound Boyd played middle linebacker for the Sandcrabs, who advanced to the Class 4A, Division II regional playoffs and defeated Edcouch-Elsa in an area playoff game at Javelina Stadium.
Texas A&M-Kingsville will get the signature of two Cuero athletes on Wednesday. Seniors Isaiah Glover and Brent Johnson will sign letters-of-intent to accept track and field scholarships.

Wildcats pitchers shut down St. Mary's
The Abilene Christian softball team pushed its win streak to 10 games with a pair of nonconference victories over St. Mary's on Tuesday at Poly Wells Field.

Jacque Gregoire didn't allow an earned run in a 7-1 victory in Game 1, and Kim Partin pitched a complete-game shutout in a 7-0 victory in Game 2. ACU has allowed 14 runs 11 earned -- during the 10-game win streak. The Wildcats (26-9) play in the Lone Star Conference Crossover Tournament in Durant, Okla., Friday through Sunday, beginning with host Southeastern Oklahoma at 10:30 a.m. Friday.

ASU softball update for March 25
Of note: The No. 1-ranked Rambelles begin another challenging week with a pair of home games followed by a trip to Oklahoma for the LSC Crossover Tournament over the weekend.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

LSC Roudup 3-24 Afternoon Update

Jeff Ray steps down as MSU basketball coach
Just a little more than two weeks after leading the Midwestern State men to their fourth Lone Star Conference championship, Jeff Ray announced today that he was stepping down from his position as head basketball coach at his alma mater.

Ray will stay on as director of men’s and women’s golf at MSU and also take over as life skills coordinator, a new position at the school.

He has served as the MSU men’s Golf coach since the program was resurrected in 2007.

Rob McIlhaney, Ray’s long-time assistant coach, said he would not apply for the head coaching job and will also not stay on as an assistant for the next head coach.

"I have known Jeff Ray as a student-athlete, a coach, an athletic director and as a friend," MSU President Jesse W. Rogers said in a news release. "He is a man of deliberate action, a man who knows his own mind."

"Jeff and I have been discussing this direction since last spring, and it has been with mixed emotions that we make this move for him," MSU

Ray takes new role at MSU, continues as Director of Golf
WICHITA FALLS, Texas - Jeff Ray has engraved his mark on Midwestern State Athletics for much of the last 27 years.

He has served the university as a student-athlete, a coach and an athletic director and will continue to leave his indelible impression on the program as the Director of Men's and Women's Golf and will also serve as the Life Skills Coordinator.

Ray will also vacate his post as head men's basketball coach after completing the program's two most successful coaching tenures while leading the Mustangs to four Lone Star Conference championships and four trips to the NCAA Division II national tournament.

"I have known Jeff Ray as a student-athlete, a coach, an athletic director and as a friend," MSU President Jesse W. Rogers said. "He is a man of deliberate action, a man who knows his own mind."

The decision came long before Ray led the Mustangs on an impressive run through the Lone Star Conference this season as the team rattled off winning streaks of 10 and eight games on its way to a 25-7 record before closing its season in the South Central Regional semifinals in Warrensburg, Mo.

"Jeff and I have been discussing this direction since last spring, and it has been with mixed emotions that we make this move for him," MSU Athletics Director Charlie Carr said. "It will be a daunting task to replace Jeff Ray as our basketball coach. In the two seasons I've watched Midwestern basketball, I enjoyed one of the best coaches I've known in his approach to the game, his values, his work ethic and his genuine love for our players."

Complete statement from Dr. Jesse W. Rogers, MSU President
Complete statement from MSU Athletics Director Charlie Carr

Jordan garners 2009 Division II State Farm Coaches' All-America Team Honorable Mention Honors
Texas A&M University-Commerce senior guard Britney Jordan has nabbed another postseason award after earning 2009 Division II State Farm Coaches’ All-America Team Honorable Mention honors on Monday, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and State Farm announced.

“I feel happy and blessed to receive the award,” said Jordan.

Jordan topped the nation with 31.3 points per game and added 7.0 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.5 steals on her way to notching honorable mention honors for the second straight season in the poll voted on by one representative from each of the eight geographical regions and a chairperson.

The Peoria, Ill., native paced the Lions to an 18-11 overall record and berth into the Lone Star Conference tournament, where they advanced to the second round. Prior to the tournament, Jordan garnered Lone Star Conference North Division Player of the Year and LSC North Division First-Team recognition.

She closed the year with 909 points, which is an A&M-Commerce and LSC single-season record, and was selected to the 2008-09 Division II Daktronics Women’s Basketball All-South Central Region First Team.

Overall, the nine-time LSC North Division Player of the Week finished her career with 2,105 points and holds 21 A&M-Commerce women’s records and four LSC women’s marks.

LSC Roundup 3-24

Secretary of defense
When Krista Gerlich was handed the reins of the West Texas A&M women's basketball program three years ago, one of her first duties was one-on-one meetings with each player.

"When I met with Courtney, I told her she was going to be our stopper on defense," Gerlich said.

Courtney Lee was about to start her sophomore season at WT. The 5-foot-7 senior guard was a scoring machine at Kennedale High, earning all-state honors while totaling more than 2,000 points. She played sparingly in 16 games at WT as a freshman.

Lee's reaction to Gerlich's prediction?

"She laughed," Gerlich said. "She just laughed."

Lady Buffs will need rebounds against Delta
West Texas A&M's Lady Buffs must rebound well if they are to advance past today's NCAA Division II Elite Eight quarterfinals, coach Krista Gerlich said.

The Lady Buffs, making their first appearance in the Elite Eight since 1997, meet Delta State, which is making its 13th Elite Eight trip and second in a row.

''If we are to beat them, we must rebound the basketball well, and I can't stress that enough,'' Gerlich said. ''They are an exceptionally athletic team and have good size up front.

WT's Brister lands more recognition
West Texas A&M senior guard Emily Brister has been named to the NCAA Division II State Farm Coaches All-America Basketball Team announced by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association and State Farm.

"What a deserving honor," WT coach Krista Gerlich said. "It is just very fitting for her to receive this honor after having to make the sacrifices she's had to endure."

Brister also has been named to the Daktronics All-America first team for the third time in her career.

LSC Baseball Weekly Release

Diamond Players of the Week
Co-LSC Hitter - Freddy Carmona, Eastern New Mexico
Co-LSC Hitter - Keith Towne, Angelo State
LSC Pitcher - Wes Callihan, Texas A&M-Kingsville

ACU ranked #4 in the PingBaseball.com poll, #7 in the Collegegiate Baseball magazine poll
ASU ranked #30 in the PingBaseball.com poll, #13 in the Collegegiate Baseball magazine poll

LSC Softball Weekly Release

Players of the Week
Co-LSC North Hitter- Bailey Mathes, Southeastern Oklahoma
Co-LSC North Hitter- Jenna Boren, Cameron
Co-LSC North Pitcher - Marjorie Johnson, Southeastern Oklahoma
Co-LSC North Pitcher - Carrie Harvey, Cameron
Co-LSC South Hitter - Sandy James, Angelo State
Co-LSC South Hitter - Brittany Terry, Tarleton State University
LSC South Pitcher - Kim Partin, Abilene Christian

In the 3-15 NFCA national poll, Angelo State retained the #1 position, Southeastern Oklahoma is #4, and West Texas A&M is #23. Midwestern State and Abilene Christian are among teams receiving votes.

Monday, March 23, 2009

LSC Roundup 3-23

Richardson selected for Hall of Fame Division II Classic
Nolan Richardson capped off a brilliant two-year career leading Midwestern State to a Lone Star Conference championship and to a berth in the NCAA Division II South Central Regional semifinals, but the senior from Tulsa isn’t quite finished with his collegiate career.

Richardson was one of 20 players selected by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) for the NCAA Division II Hall of Fame Classic next week in Springfield, Mass., as a member of the West All Stars.

The game is set for 7 p.m. Friday at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, the birthplace of basketball.

Central Oklahoma senior forward Lance Harper is only other other player from the South Central Region selected for the game.

Reserves step up after Lady Buffs lose star
When All-American guard Emily Brister suffered a season-ending knee injury Feb. 11, West Texas A&M head coach Krista Gerlich asked her basketball team to do one thing.

''We knew that we couldn't replace 24 points a game and all the things that Emily did on the floor,'' Gerlich said. ''We just wanted the players to do a little more than they had been.''

Rams salvage series split
The No. 9-ranked Angelo State baseball team scored four runs in the ninth inning to take the final game of the series at Eastern New Mexico, 9-5, Sunday afternoon.

The Rams (23-10, 17-7 LSC) had seen the Greyhounds (16-14, 12-12 LSC) tie the game in the bottom of the eighth on a three-run home run by Freddy Carmona but rallied in the ninth to gain a split in the four-game series. In two of the four games, ENMU had scored in its last at bat to pull out the win but watched the Rams turn the tables in their last at bat.

ASU softball breaks, ties records
Eight school records, four Lone Star Conference records and one NCAA Division II record were either broken or tied Sunday as the top-ranked Angelo State softball team (30-4, 7-3 LSC South) downed No. 23 West Texas A&M, 19-9, in Canyon. The Rambelles took the weekend series over WTAMA after the two teams split a doubleheader Sunday.

The majority of the records broken on Sunday had to do with home runs as ASU blasted a NCAA D-II record nine long balls in the victory. Senior catcher Laura Lopez set the school and league record with three homers while senior Macy Baker, junior Megan Pumphrey and freshman Sandy James each added two home runs. James' two home runs gave her 20 on the season, extending her school record and setting a new LSC mark for long balls in a season with more than a month left in the regular season.

Angelo State tops WT, 19-9
The Lone Star Conference's top power hitting softball team did what it does best in the third game of the series with West Texas A&M on Sunday.

The No. 23 Lady Buffs allowed nine home runs to No. 1 Angelo State en route to losing, 19-9, at Lady Buff Yard.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring Football Set to Begin

WEATHERFORD, Okla. - New Southwestern Oklahoma State University head coach Dan Cocannouer gets to officially put his stamp on the football program when he presides over the opening of his first spring football practice session as the Bulldogs' field boss. Cocannouer, who was named the Bulldogs head coach in December, is expected to greet 58 players, including 15 returning starters on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.

"It's a very exciting time here," Cocannouer said. "The first couple of practices will be in shorts so we will start introducing the practice environment to our players. At the same time, we'll be doing a lot of installation of what we want to do once we get in pads on Wednesday."

Cocannouer said that he and his new staff enter the 15-day practice session with several clear objectives in mind. "We are going to establish a fundamental foundation," he said. "We are going to distribute our personnel in the best way to be competitive this fall. We need to find out who ‘THE' guys are, find out who should be our front line players and maybe who should be in a different position."

Cocannouer added that with the initial evaluation period will come with some interesting personnel decisions, situations that may require players shifting positions from where they've been listed at the past.

"We've been watching the offseason program and looking at that (personnel) board. We have expectations based on what we saw and what we have seen them do on tape last year," Cocannouer said. "However, there's no substitute for going out there and just playing football."

SWOSU scheduled to hold practices each weekday beginning Monday, March 23 at 2 p.m. The team will culminate the spring drills with the annual Blue vs. White Game on Saturday, April 18 at 2 p.m.

LSC Roundup 3-21

Gerlich's experience as player for Tech's title team assists WT's preparation Krista Gerlich said her experiences as a player on Texas Tech's national championship basketball team in 1993 have helped her as a coach in pursuit of a title.

Her West Texas A&M Lady Buffs are preparing for the NCAA Division II Elite Eight that begins Tuesday at San Antonio.

''I think being a player on a championship team helps give me some credibility where my players are concerned,'' said Gerlich, who as Krista Kirkland, a Spearman graduate, started at guard for the Lady Raiders in 1993. ''I can't help them from a playing standpoint, but I can share some experiences that they might find valuable in other ways. I hope that I've been able to give them an understanding of what it takes to win a national championship. There are so many factors involved.

''You have to be playing well at the right time and you have to have a certain amount of luck. Often times, the best team doesn't always win. Rather, it's the team that plays the best at the national tournament.''

Trio of ASU athletes grab spots at national track meet
When the 2009 NCAA Division II national track meet begins on May 21 at San Angelo's LeGrand Sports Complex with the heptathlon and decathlon, Angelo State University will be well represented.

Three ASU athletes automatically qualified in those two events, and two more provisionally qualified at the ASU Spring Break Multis on Friday at the same site where the national meet will be held in two months.

Latz leads 13-hit ACU attack
Travis Latz drove in four runs, and Cameron Aspaas scattered eight hits over seven innings as the Abilene Christian Wildcats crushed Southeastern Oklahoma State, 11-4, in a Lone Star Conference baseball game Friday night at Crutcher Scott Field.

ACU (24-7 overall, 17-4 LSC) clubbed 13 hits and scored in all but one inning. Ryan Bowen hit a three-run home run off reliever Kevin Justice in the eighth to make it a 9-4 game, and Brad Rutherford pitched a scoreless ninth.

Basepaths blunder proves costly to Buffs
A base-running blunder that would upset coaches at all levels of baseball didn't do the West Texas A&M Buffs any favors Friday afternoon.

Texas A&M-Kingsville pitcher Sam Strickland started a pickoff play that created two outs, squelching a sixth-inning comeback bid and paving the way to an 8-6 win against the West Texas A&M Buffs in the opener of a Lone Star Conference doubleheader before 70 fans at the Amarillo National Bank Dilla Villa.

The nightcap didn't go much better for the Buffs as Kingsville overcame a three-run deficit to sweep WT, 8-5.

"I've been saying it all year," said WT first-year coach Matt Vanderburg, who was upset with the sixth-inning miscue seconds after it happened. "Obviously, we can't make mistakes and expect to win. This is frustrating because I thought we did a good job of staying in it all game."

Partin, Cornelison spark ACU sweep in softball
Kim Partin has done the math. It's far less work -- and more reasonable -- to get 21 ground ball outs than trying to strike out everyone. Let her teammates behind her do all the work.

That's exactly what the Abilene Christian senior did Friday. Partin scattered three hits in a 3-1 victory over Texas A&M-Kingsville for a sweep of the Lone Star Conference South Division softball doubleheader at Wells Field.

"Kim's been real consistent for us all year, getting the ground ball outs, not trying to overpower hitters," ACU coach Chantiel Wilson said. "She's done just a great job these past few weeks for us."

Major test
March Madness is full of upsets and Cinderella stories on the backetball court. West Texas A&M hopes to have its own upset brewing. The Lady Buffs softball team, ranked 23rd in the nation, plays host to No. 1 Angelo State in a three-game Lone Star Conference series beginning with a doubleheader at noon today at the Lady Buff Yard.

"It is a great weekend," WT coach Kevin Blaskowski said. "It is going to be a great matchup. It is a key conference series. ''If we find a way to sweep the series, we can move into a tie with them, but our goal right now is just to try to win the series. That would give ourselves an opportunity to keep moving up in the standings."

ASU softball update
Of note: The Rambelles will look to extend their winning streak to 10 today when they open a three-game series against the Lady Buffs with a doubleheader today. Game is scheduled for 1 p.m. with Game 2 to follow. The third game of the series will be Sunday at 1 p.m. ... ASU is coming off a doubleheader sweep of regional rival St. Mary's on Thursday. Offensively, Sandy James led the 'Belles as she hit a home run in each game. Her second home run was a grand slam and broke open a 6-4 game that ASU went on to win 12-4. Her 17th blast of the season also set a school record, breaking the old mark of 16 set by Christel Neal in 2005. In the two games, James was 3-for-7 with six RBIs and five runs scored. Macy Baker was 4-for-8 with and home run and four RBIs in the two games. ... WTAM is coming off a doubleheader sweep of Texas A&M-International on Thursday. The Lady Buffs have won eight of their past 10 games and are off to their best start in school history. ... ASU is 23-10 all-time against WTAM. The 'Belles won three of the four games the teams played last season. ... The 'Belles will be back in action Wednesday when they host a doubleheader against Incarnate Word.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Off Topic: Pulling Back the Curtain

I’ve always had a lot of respect for Jamey Newberg. If you’ve spent any time in the last few years being a Texas Rangers fan, then you know who he is. His Newberg Report has been the “blueprint” in my head of where I want to see the LSC Scoop to go for quite some time.

If you’re not aware of his work, newbergreport.com will fill you in on what you’re missing. Long story short, Jamey is just a huge Texas Rangers fan who felt there was a void in information for the fans, and decided he would take it upon himself to fill that void. Sounds familiar, huh?

I know we don’t get “Off Topic” like this much (and I’m sure some of you are already begging me to stop) but when I got my Newberg Report in my email the other day, I think I grinned all the way through it with an odd appreciation. You know that feeling when you hear someone else going through a weird situation that only the handful of people that have also gone through it can truly understand? It was one of those things.

Here is the part of his email that I really related to. I’ve removed some of Jamey’s report to keep it on the 2 points I’m trying to make:

“Nine years and a couple weeks ago, I sat in row two above the visitors’ dugout in The Ballpark in Arlington. I accounted for half the crowd.

I sat in The Ballpark on that chilly February afternoon because Rangers Director of Player Development Reid Nichols’s assistant, John Lombardo, had contacted me a day or two earlier, relaying the message that Mr. Nichols wanted to have a meeting with me.

I walked from outside The Ballpark through the one open gate to the concourse, and then found the one open gate to the seats, and then found my spot, easy enough because there was only one occupied seat in the entire stands. I sat next to Nichols, each of us in an unloosened tie as Mench laid heavy assault on the left field bleachers and Blalock took grounders at third.

Nichols, whom I’d never met, didn’t exactly ease into the discussion. He wanted to know two things right away, one specific and one general: Where did I find out the summer before that Tulsa Drillers teammates Cesar King and Juan Bautista had gotten into a clubhouse fight? And who was I working for?

Nichols was extremely suspicious of my access, my motivation, my intentions.

At the time,(Dallas sports writers) T.R. Sullivan, Evan Grant, and Gerry Fraley were Topps, Donruss, and Fleer.

To Nichols (and plenty others, I suspect), I was those Kellogg’s 3D baseball cards that curled up about five minutes after they came out of box of Raisin Bran. Or those Slurpee baseball coins that you had to dent with a fingernail to dislodge them from the cup.

“Blog” wasn’t even a word in 2000. Internet baseball coverage was fringy, at best. Particularly on the local level, where Fraley might have accused you of illicitly invading his turf if you dared to carve out a little space on the Interwebs, writing about minor league ballplayers in a space that interested fans could visit for free.

Times have unquestionably changed.

The day I met Reid Nichols, the first Rangers executive who had ever expressed an interest in what I was doing, our discussion began with him grilling me about my agenda and ended with him satisfied that I was simply an insane Texas Rangers fan with a genuine passion for seeing this franchise win. He opened his mind, in the space of two hours, to the idea that I was not digging for dirt but instead writing about the team because of a fire that burned at my core. If it’s provided responsibly and with appropriate intentions, more information for the fans is nothing but good.

Nine years later, the media industry, fighting through its worst days, is opening its mind as well.”

When we originally started the Scoop, we thought it would just be a fun place for us to record things we found online, information we thought our other LSC friends might find interesting, and keep up with what was going on around us.

One thing I don’t think we were expecting to find though, was the initial hesitation/skepticism by most of the Universities in communicating with us in ANY way. Looking back now, I understand why. It was one of those things where you’re heading into something with completely innocent intentions, and not understanding why people couldn’t see that. We had our share of “grilling discussions” from Athletic Directors, Coaches, and fans, wondering “What exactly are you trying to do here, Scoop? Who are you?”

Luckily over the past year and a half, most of those barriers are down and we have excellent relationships with almost every University in the LSC. University Presidents, Coaches, Athletic Directors, Sports Informations Directors, Players, etc., are all now fully aware that we are here with good intentions and communicate with us daily.

Initially, we were looked at a lot different because we were a “blog” rather than a traditional newspaper or TV outlet. Fortunately for us, most of them are now realizing that we are hitting their core audiences with much more information than any of the other “traditional media outlets”. And with much better quality, if I do say so myself. *wink wink nudge nudge*

You’re probably wondering why I’m bringing up their hesitancy in dealing with us, and the fact that we are a blog instead of a traditional media outlet.

First off, we just wanted to take a moment and thank the LSC Universities for having an open mind and seeing us for what we are. The communication that we have with all of you has been, and will continue to be, vital for us to continue what we do here at the Scoop. We hope that, as Jamey said, you all have realized that we are just insane Lone Star Conference fans with a genuine passion for seeing this conference thrive. And that if it’s provided responsibly and with appropriate intentions, more information for the fans is nothing but good.

Secondly, we feel that we have made a huge step in verifying the quality of work at our little blog. The LSC Scoop is honored to announce that we will be writing the LSC content for the 2009 Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine hitting newsstands in June. As all of you know, this magazine has been THE football magazine in the state of Texas since 1960. The LSC Scoop is proud to become the first blog to ever provide content to the DCTF Magazine since it’s beginnings nearly half a century ago. We think this speaks volumes to the change in accepted media outlets in today’s market, and to the quality of work we have produced at the LSC Scoop.

We appreciate what all of you have done for us, and hope that those feelings are mutual. As usual, email us with any questions or comments you may have. We have a lot of changes and improvements coming in the near future, and hope that you will enjoy them.

Brock Callaway, for the LSC Scoop

LSC Roundup 3-20

Adams leads after first day of ASU meet
It hasn't taken long for Aisha Adams to establish herself as one of the top athletes on this year's Angelo State women's track and field team.

In only three weeks of competition, the junior transfer from Barton Community College has automatically qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championships in the high jump (and broke a 24-year-old school record in the event) and long jump and provisionally qualified in the 100-meter hurdles.

She will most likely add her third automatic qualification today after the conclusion of the heptathlon.

All about Schmitt
Those darn tonsils. Who would have thought they were holding Jordan Schmitt back from a banner season last year? Apparently they were.

The Abilene Christian catcher had a hard time staying healthy in 2008 because his tonsils stayed infected. Still, as a junior, he hit .350, drove in 48 runs and scored 59 times in 200 at-bats. He also hit eight home runs. Far from sickly numbers. But Schmitt had his tonsils removed during the summer — a month after undergoing an emergency appendectomy.

Now, he’s healthy and swinging a pretty healthy bat, too.

The ACU senior is hitting .443 with 53 RBIs — almost twice as many RBIs as anyone else on the team. He’s also hit a team-high nine homers and scored 39 runs. He’s already surpassed his RBI and home run total from last season in almost 100 fewer at-bats.

Javelinas baseball looking to snap out of slump
Texas A&M-Kingsville’s baseball team hasn’t won a four-game series against a Lone Star Conference opponent since the first one a month ago against East Central (Okla.).

The Javelinas are looking to end that trend this weekend against West Texas A&M, a program that they have had a good deal of success against the past two seasons.

James breaks homer record in ASU softball sweep
Freshman Sandy James is the new single-season home run queen at Angelo State University.

James belted a two-run home run in the fifth inning of Game 1, her 16th of the season, to tie the school record previously set by Christel Neal in 2005 and then hit a fifth-inning grand slam in Game 2 to set a new record and lead the No. 1 Rambelles to a doubleheader sweep of St. Mary's on Thursday at the ASU Softball Complex.

Javs softball hopes to build on success
Hoping to build off a non-conference doubleheader sweep of Newman University, Texas A&M-Kingsville will try to remain among the leaders in the Lone Star Conference South Division softball standings when it travels to Abilene Christian for a three-game series.

The Javelinas (21-9) snapped a two-game losing streak by sweeping the Jets on Tuesday. Unfortunately, those two losses were to West Texas A&M, dropping the Javs into a third-place tie in the South with the Buffaloes at 5-4 at the halfway point of the South schedule. Nationally ranked Angelo State and ACU lead the South with 5-1 records.

D'Hamecourt, MSU women earn 5-4 win
Midwestern State senior Faye D’Hamecourt survived Veronica Castilla 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 in No. 4 singles Thursday afternoon at Loyola Park Tennis Center.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

LSC Roundup 3-19

WIBW.com is reporting that Emporia State and Southwestern Oklahoma will face off in a non-confernce game football game on Thursday, August 27. The list of non-conference foes (with final AFCA rankings) for LSC teams now includes #2 Northwest Missouri (ACU), #4 Grand Valley State (WT), #7 Delta State (TAMK), #8 Pittsburg State (UCO), #13 Central Washington (WT), #22 Nebraska-Omaha (ECU), IAA Texas State (ASU), IAA Southeastern Louisiana (TAMC), and Incarnate Word (MSU, ECU, ENMU).

Harrell hoping to pass at ACU
Clark Harrell has followed in the footsteps of two great quarterbacks. First, it was his brother, Graham, at Ennis High School. Then came Billy Malone at Abilene Christian University. Now, Clark Harrell would like the chance to step out of those shadows -- just as he did at Ennis when his brother graduated -- and prove he can be ACU's starting quarterback.

With the departure of Malone, the Lone Star Conference's all-time leading passer, the starting quarterback job is up for grabs, too. That leaves three guys -- Zach Stewart, Mitchell Gale and Harrell -- battling for the job. Stewart would appear to have the inside edge, since the 2007 Cooper graduate got a chance to start two games last season while Malone nursed a hurt thumb. The Wildcats won both starts en route to earning their first Lone Star Conference championship since 1977.

But Harrell isn't ready to concede the job.

"They've told us it's open right now and that's the way I'm looking at it," he said. "Zach did a good job last year in the two games he did start. They're going to play the best guy, so that's what I'm trying to be -- the best guy."

NATHAN WRIGHT: ASU men's basketball season was one to remember
The 2008-09 Angelo State University men's basketball season may have ended with four consecutive losses, but those defeats don't take away from the campaign being one of the most successful in school history.

And for what the future might hold.

In just his third season, head coach Fred Rike led the Rams to a 20-8 record. Along the way, the Rams earned their highest ranking in school history - No. 23 - and at one point were a win away from earning a share of the Lone Star Conference South Division championship.

Here are some other notable milestones and achievements from the season........

ASU multi-eventers take center stage
Three weeks into the season, the Angelo State multi-event specialists will finally get their first chance to qualify for the NCAA Division II National Championships over the next two days.

Four heptathletes and two decathletes will compete at the LeGrand Sports Complex and attempt to qualify for the national meet that will also be at the LeGrand Sports Complex May 21-23.

The seven-event heptathlon will begin at noon today with the 100-meter hurdles, while the 10-event decathlon will begin at 1 p.m. with the 100-meter dash. Only four heptathlon events and five decathlon events will be contested today. The rest will be on Friday.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

LSC Roundup 3-18

Gerlich, Lady Buffs 'find a way'
West Texas A&M's Lady Buffs overcame more adversity this season than they might have imagined in order to reach the Division II Elite Eight for the third time.

They lost All-American Emily Brister on Feb. 11 to a knee injury that ended her brilliant career, then lost their final two regular season games before traveling to Bartlesville, Okla., for the Lone Star Conference postseason tournament.

Third-year head coach Krista Gerlich kept telling her team they were still good enough to overcome those circumstances, and they responded by winning six consecutive games to qualify for next week's national tournament in San Antonio that begins Tuesday.

''Our motto has been 'find a way,''' said Gerlich after the Lady Buffs defeated LSC rival Central Oklahoma, 65-52, on Monday in front of a partisan crowd of 2,602 at the First United Bank Center in the championship game of the South Central Region tournament.

''This team has gone through a lot this season,'' Gerlich said. ''And they've responded great.''

Buffs erupt in 6th inning to beat OPSU
West Texas A&M busted open a tie game with a seven-run sixth inning and cruised past Oklahoma Panhandle State 15-4 in nonconference college baseball Tuesday before 75 fans at Amarillo National Bank Dilla Villa.

The Buffs (12-18) ended the game by the 10-run rule with two outs in the eighth inning on Joe Inzone's grand slam, one of WT's 19 hits.

Javelinas top Dust Devils
KINGSVILLE — The Texas A&M-Kingsville baseball team scored runs in six of the first seven innings of the game en route to an easy 14-5 non-conference victory over visiting Texas A&M International on Tuesday night at Nolan Ryan Field.

The Javelinas (10-16) pounded out 14 hits on the evening as eight of the nine starters in the lineup had at least one hit. The team was very close to 10-run ruling the Dust Devils (10-14), but the game lasted the full nine innings.

MSU salvages split with 12-2 win over ECU
Midwestern State erupted for six runs in the first inning to coast to a 12-2 run-rule of East Central in the second game of a doubleheader Tuesday at Mustangs Park.

The win earned a split for Midwestern, which improved to 21-9 on the season and 8-4 in the Lone Star Conference North Division.

Javelinas softball takes two from Jets
KINGSVILLE — Solid pitching and a plethora of offensive stars helped Texas A&M-Kingsville’s softball team snap a two-game losing streak Tuesday with a doubleheader sweep of Newman University 6-0 and 9-1 at Hubert Field.

The Javelinas (21-9) dominated the doubleheader from the start to keep the Jets winless at 0-17.

In the first game, senior Courtney Rigamonti (17-5) tossed her first shutout of the season allowing three hits and two walks while striking out 10 batters. In the nightcap, freshman Jessica Schneider (3-4) scattered five hits and struck out two in a six-inning complete-game victory.

WT earns sweep against Fort Hays State
The West Texas A&M softball team nearly pulled off a double shutout in sweeping Fort Hays State in a nonconference doubleheader Tuesday's at Lady Buff Yard.

The Lady Buffs extended their winning streak to six by taking the first game 5-0, then holding off Fort Hays State's five-run seventh inning to win the second game, 7-5.

Skoch grabs reins of WT volleyball program
West Texas A&M hired Jason Skoch as its new head volleyball coach Tuesday. He succeeds Tony Graystone, who left for the head coaching job at Division I Texas A&M-Corpus Christi after 10 years at WT.

Skoch, 33, comes from Division II Truman State (Mo.), where he coached the last four years, compiling a record of 137-22 (.861 percent) with his team ranked in the top 25 every week of his tenure.

"Jason set himself apart as the top candidate in our field. My obligation is to hire the best available coaches I can, and his track record, his reputation, his recruiting plan and new ideas set him apart. I just felt like he's the best fit for our program at this time,'' WT athletics director Michael McBroom said. "Taking over this program is not an easy job with all the expectations, but he's done it at Truman and his experience certainly was a factor in this decision."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

LSC Roundup 3-17

WT among Elite Eight
It wasn't easy, but West Texas A&M's Lady Buffs were able to beat Central Oklahoma three times in the same season.

And because they did, they are going to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight for the first time in 12 years.

While the final margin was 13 points, this one was much closer as WT capitalized on better second-half shooting to defeat the Bronchos, 65-52, on Monday before a partisan crowd of 2,602 at the First United Bank Center.

What a night for Lady Buffs basketball
What's not to love?

No. No.

Not that perfectly sunshiny, windless day that plopped into our laps Monday.

I'm talking about those inspiring Lady Buffs.

The loudest roar coming out of the First United Bank Center in years Monday night was honoring the West Texas A&M women's basketball team seconds after downing Central Oklahoma, 65-52, capturing the school's first trip to the NCAA Division II women's Elite Eight since 1997.

Those thinking this would happen?


After the way the Lady Buffs ended their regular season with losses to Texas A&M-Kingsville and Abilene Christian, I'd say of the 2,602 in attendance Monday, those really believing were the 12 women wearing Lady Buff jerseys, WT head coach Krista Gerlich and her assistants, the team managers and trainers (who few knew worked their magic the past three days as several Lady Buffs were ill with flu symptoms).

UCO women fall in regional finals
CANYON, Texas — A magical season came to a frustrating end for Central Oklahoma Monday in the finals of the NCAA Division II South Central Regional.

In a physical defensive battle from start-to-finish, the No. 15-ranked Bronchos had their second-worst shooting game of the season and fell to No. 11 West Texas A&M 65-52 to come up short in their bid for an Elite Eight berth.

It was the lowest-scoring game of the season for UCO, which shot just 27.3 percent (6-of-22) in the first half and 32.1 percent (18-of-56) overall in losing for the eight straight time to the Lady Buffs -- including the third time this year.

Other Headlines
Texas A&M University-Kingsville Claims LoneStar Spring Breakout Title By Narrow Margiin!!
Whittlesey, Nabors spark ACU softball team
ACU sweeps East Central Oklahoma
East Central rallies to sweep Wildcats
'Belles handily take softball doubleheader
Rams finally drop the ball in doubleheader
Today's baseball update
Lady Buffs sweep home doubleheader
Buffs face Oklahoma Panhandle State today
Mustangs fall to Central Missouri in regional semifinals
MSU, Bronchos split doubleheader
Gholson: In the Nick of Time (March 16)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

LSC Roundup 3-14

SBU defeats ASU 89-84
box score
game recap
Angelo State fell behind 11-0 and could never catch up to Southwest Baptist. An interesting game to say the least - with Lionel Brown only shooting 1-14 from the field, a near riot after an SBU flagrant foul, and the teams combining to shoot 82 free throws. The refs called 62 personal fouls and 5 technicals.

ASU was led by Shavar Burch's 27 points and 9 rebounds. Ryan Bennett had 20 points. No other Ram was in double figures. The Rams finish the season at 20-9.

UCO falls to DBU 89-75
box score
game recap
Dallas Baptist took advantage of a cold-shooting UCO team, defeating the Bronchos in the first round of the South Central Region Tournament. DBU took the lead for good with 8:36 to go in the first half, but UCO pulled to within 2 at the 11:57 mark in the second half, but never could overtake DBU. DBU reeled off 16 straight points over the next 4:40 to seal the game.

Eric Cazenave led UCO with 21 points, while Lance Harper had 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Stabbing victims named
Ada — The identities of two East Central University students stabbed at a local bar Thursday have been released.

Jessica Brown, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokesperson, said Keewan King and Tyrone Gibbs were stabbed at the C-4 Bar north of Ada.

“There was a fist fight between a couple of guys,” Brown said. “One of the people involved pulled out a knife and stabbed the two victims.”

Brown said the suspect fled and no arrest has been made. Agents are following leads and conducting interviews with witnesses who were at the scene.

King and Gibbs were taken to a local hospital by private vehicle.

Gibbs was treated and released while King was admitted and remains in critical but stable condition.

Both are ECU football players. King is a sophomore wide receiver from Seagoville High School in Dallas. Gibbs is a sophomore wide receiver and defensive back from Wylie, Texas.

Basketball News

Link to Women's Bracket
Link to NCAA Webcasts - Saturday's Womens action begins at 6:00 PM

Link to Men's Bracket
Link to UCM's South Central Tournament - No video, but does have live stats
Link to Midwestern State Audio
Link to Midwestern State Audio KWFG BOB FM
Link to Angelo State Audio
Link to Texas A&M-Kingsville Audio

Revenge sweet for WT
West Texas A&M's Lady Buffs left nothing to chance this time.

Still haunted somewhat by blowing a 16-point lead in the second half and being beaten by a 40-foot shot as time expired in overtime a year ago in the South Central Region quarterfinals, they erased that bitter memory in a big way.

Courtney Lee, playing with a broken bone in her nonshooting hand, equaled her career high with 25 points, and the Lady Buffs rode a great first half to a 78-53 victory against Abilene Christian before 1,552 fans Friday at the First United Bank Center.

The Lady Buffs took charge of this one thanks to a 15-4 run during the final 4:19 of the first half that gave

Central Oklahoma wins in OT
Cristina Yarbrough eats, writes and shoots right handed.

But the Central Oklahoma junior guard ended up burning Southeastern Oklahoma State with her left hand Thursday afternoon.

Yarbrough drove the lane and scored on an off-balance, pressured layup with her left hand with 1.5 seconds left in overtime, sending Central Oklahoma past Southeastern 68-66 in a South Central Region quarterfinal at First United Bank Center in Canyon.

Central coach Guy Hardaker and players Rose Anderson and Ashley Beckley broke out in laughter when asked about Yarbrough's left-handed skills.

"That was an awesome shot," said Anderson, a junior forward who scored a team-high 19 points. "We were all blowing at it to help it go in."

"I think our entire bench was willing that shot to go in," Hardaker said. "But we always talk about players making plays when it counts, and Cristina did that. Southeastern is a good team. A very good team. It's a nice W."

UCO women advance in regional tourney with OT win
Washburn's defense stymies Incarnate Word
Emporia State outlasts St. Mary's in OT, 78-75
UIW, St. Mary's women suffer first-round losses

Javelinas grow into something special
Fistfights in practice. Multiple injuries. New players in a new system. There were a lot of hurdles Texas A&M-Kingsville had to overcome this season. And it took veteran men’s coach Pete Peterson some time before he got an inkling the Javelinas might be able to turn in a special season.

Now, the Javelinas are in the NCAA Division II playoffs for the second time under Peterson and only the fourth time in school history.

“It was tough. To be honest with you it was looking pretty bleak,” Peterson said. “I used to always believe if you stay the course, if you’re doing the right thing, keep doing them over and over and you learn to develop good habits — and we’re trying to change some habits — but eventually maybe things’ll be OK.”

Rams hoping to overcome slump
The 2008-09 Angelo State University men's basketball season can easily be called a season with two faces. Through the first two months of the 2008-09 college basketball season, the ASU men didn't lose any games back-to-back. Going into the final week of the regular season, the Rams had lost two games in a row only once. They won their first seven games and 12 of their first 14.
But the Rams also lost three of their last six regular-season games. With two games to go, they were the No. 23-ranked team in the nation and poised to win an outright conference championship.

They lost those two games and limped into the Lone Star Conference tournament, where they fell to Southwestern Oklahoma 82-65.

MSU, Incarnate Word clash tonight in NCAA regional
WARRENSBURG, Mo. — This one should be played in the fast lane.

Incarnate Word vs. Midwestern State features two teams averaging better than 80 points game.
So it could be first one to 90 wins when the Cardinals and Mustangs square off at 8:30 tonight in the first round of the NCAA Division II South Central Regional tournament.

MSU, 24-6 and Lone Star Conference champion, comes in as the fourth seed. UIW, 23-6 and the Heartland Conference champion, is the No. 5 seed.

“They are very similar to us,” MSU coach Jeff Ray said. “Both teams like to get up and down the floor, and percentage-wise, both do a good job defensively. They don’t have a post-up post man, but we don’t either. And both of us have a lot of depth where guys can come off the bench and have a big night.”

“We can push it and score a hundred or we can hold it back. But we prefer to push it, and we can get up and down the floor,” UIW coach Ken Burmeister said. “We also both have guys who can come off the bench and get things done. In Division II, most teams will have a drop-off when that happens.”
Related: Richardson named NABC all-regional first-teamer

Baseball News
Buffs try to snap 10-game LSC skid
West Texas A&M will try to end a 10-game losing streak in Lone Star Conference baseball when the Buffs open a four-game series today against Angelo State in San Angelo.

Today's doubleheader opens at 4 p.m., while Sunday's action is set to start at 1 p.m. These games were pushed back a day due to cold weather.

The Buffs are 4-12 in the LSC and in 11th place of the 12-team conference.

Kingsville notches split with ENMU
KINGSVILLE, Texas — Seth Clabaugh’s sacrifice fly capped a three-run seventh and Eastern New Mexico University rallied for a 4-3 Lone Star Conference South Division baseball victory over Texas A&M-Kingsville on Friday.

The Javelinas came back for a split, though, winning the second game 3-2 on a run-scoring wild pitch in the bottom of the 11th

ASU baseball update for March 14
Of note: The Rams look to keep their winning streak going this weekend against the Buffs. ... Game 1 of the series will begin at 4 p.m. today, with Game 2 to follow. Game 3 will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday, with Game 4 to follow. ... ASU is coming off an 11-5 victory against St. Edward's on Tuesday, its fifth win in a row. The Rams trailed 5-4 going into the seventh inning before scoring seven runs in the frame. Keith Towne hit his LSC-leading ninth home run of the season, and Chris Adamson hit his first homer of the season. Jeffrey Asby picked up the win on the mound in relief. ... WTAM is coming off a 15-0 loss to Lubbock Christian on Tuesday. ... The Rams are 16-1 all-time against the Buffs. ASU won three of the four games between the two teams last season. ... The Rams will be back in action Tuesday when they travel to Austin to face St. Mary's.

Softball News
Lady Buffs split doubleheader
The West Texas A&M softball team split a doubleheader Friday against Lone Star Conference leader Texas A&M-Kingsville.

The Lady Buffs, who lost the opener 6-5 and won the nightcap 7-1, traveled to Kingsville expecting to play one game Friday and two today, but weather pushed up the schedule, forcing the teams to play twice Friday with Saturday's game scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. in Kingsville.

ASU softball update for March 14
Of note: The Rambelles return home for the first time since being ranked No. 1 in the country for a three-game series against the Zias. ... Game 1 of the series is scheduled for 6 p.m. tonight. Game 2 is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday with Game 3 to follow. ... ASU is coming off a 2-1 showing at Tarleton State last weekend. Sandy James led the Rambelles, batting .417 with one home run, one double and five RBIs. ... ENMU is coming off a two-game sweep of the University of the Southwest on Tuesday. The Zias lost two of three to Texas A&M-Kingsville last weekend. ... ASU is 24-6 all-time against ENMU. The 'Belles swept the three-game series between the two teams last season. ... ASU will be back at home Thursday when they host a doubleheader against St. Mary's.

Other News
Not just another day at the office for NFL prospects
No tie or jacket. Just sweats and running shoes.

But like any job interview, Johnny Knox was eager to impress prospective employers. These just happened to be NFL scouts.

"It's just like a job interview," the former Abilene Christian receiver said Friday. "You have to be classy, be respectful to the scouts, be on time, show up and do well."

Ex-Javelinas star vying for spot on Cowboys' training camp roster
Eddie “Emo” Moten will do just about anything to play for the Dallas Cowboys, including going through full-contact drills in the mud at midnight.

The former Texas A&M-Kingsville standout and the other 11 finalists on Michael Irvin's reality TV show spent the early morning hours Friday slamming into each other in nasty conditions at Paul Quinn College in Dallas.

“We called it the Mud Bowl,” Moten said in a phone interview. “It was freezing and raining, and Mike had us get out there at midnight. He wanted to put us through the hardest thing he could think of football-wise. He said as Cowboys, you have to play in tough conditions in Philly and New York.

“It was tough. I actually lost my mouthpiece in the mud.”

From Kansas to ACU to top hurdles time
He wasn't supposed to be a Wildcats athlete but in a twist of fate, Andrew McDowell ended up at Abilene Christian University and now is poised to take home the NCAA Division II Indoor 60-meter hurdles championship.

Five Bronchos still alive at nationals
Tim Elliott and Dustin Finn moved into the semifinals and Central Oklahoma had three others alive in the consolation bracket after the opening day of the NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships Friday.

Lone Star Conference

Angelo State University

Cameron University

Eastern New Mexico 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