Friday, August 21, 2009

LSC Roundup 8-21

The Lion Scoop
Check out the season preview of Lions football. Hosted by Brock Callaway and Blake Perkins.

Passing fancy
It took Midwestern State quarterback Zack Eskridge a few games to shake off the rust last season and get the Mustangs’ passing game going. And when he did, former Rockwall High School teammate Andy Tanner was one of his favorite receivers.

Tanner is back to be on the receiving end of Eskridge’s passes once again, as are Tyron Morrison and David Little, along with a group of newcomers as the Mustangs take strides to upgrade their passing attack.

“This is the best group I’ve ever had and they could end up being one of the best in the conference,” MSU offensive coordinator Dean Norsworthy said. “But the proof is in the pudding. They have to produce on Saturday nights for me to keep saying that.”

LSC Fall Sports Preview Series: Texas A&M-Commerce
Despite many experienced and successful head coaches with strong pedigrees already in the Lone Star Conference, one of the most prestigious coaches in the conference is entering just his first season. But that doesn't make Texas A&M-Commerce head coach Guy Morriss a stranger to LSC football.

Morriss, a former head coach at Kentucky and Baylor, has East Texas ties and knows a thing or two about the history of the LSC, and more importantly, the current crop of talent.

"I grew up watching some of these teams. I remember Commerce when they were East Texas State," Morriss said. "And I blocked for guys like (Abilene Christian star) Wilbert Montgomery. So I know this conference has great players. I know we've got some of the very best teams on this level. It's going to be a challenge because from top to bottom, you have a tough game every week."

Brown back from Ole Miss for UIW football
Incarnate Word running back Keith Brown had it easy when getting dressed in the Mississippi locker room for the past year. He'd slip into his speed suit, lace up his track spikes and be on his way.

So after leaving the Ole Miss track team to give football another shot at UIW, he had some anxiety while putting on football pads for the first time since his days at Steele High School, as training camp began earlier this month.

“What if I forget how to do this or how to hook up my helmet?'” he worried. “But eventually, it all came back to me naturally.”

A&M-Kingsville finds new athletic director
KINGSVILLE — It only took about six weeks for Texas A&M-Kingsville to find a new athletics director that was as comfortable with the university as it was with him. Ken Oliver is that person. He was announced on Thursday as the successor to Scott Gines to direct the Javelinas’ 10 intercollegiate sports. Oliver, 39, was signed to a three-year contract. His starting date is Sept. 1.

“No. 1, we always wanted to be at an NCAA school,” said Oliver, who for the last 10.5 years has served in a variety of roles at Central Methodist University in Fayette, Mo. “That was a big part of it. There are basically two conferences that I believe are the premier conferences in NCAA Division II and that’s the Lone Star Conference and the MIAA. My wife is from Iowa and she said she didn’t want to go north, she wanted to go south.”

Lady Buffs No. 5 in volleyball poll
The West Texas A&M Lady Buff volleyball team is ranked No. 5 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division II preseason poll, released today by the association. The Lady Buffs, who finished last season seventh overall with a 34-5 record, earned 671 points in the poll. No. 1 Concordia-St. Paul received all 36 first-place votes.

WT begins the season Thursday against Texas-Permian Basin at the WT Fieldhouse. The Lady Buffs host their annual tournament Aug. 28, when they play No. 4 Grand Valley State at 7 p.m.

Northwestern OSU considers options outside NAIA
ALVA (AP) — A task force at Northwestern Oklahoma State University will examine whether the school should break ties with the NAIA.

University President Janet Cunningham said Thursday that the school is concerned about the declining number of NAIA schools that are offering football. According to the NAIA’s Web site, 92 of the Kansas City, Mo.-based organization’s member schools field football teams.

The Rangers have made it to the NAIA football playoffs eight of the past 10 years and played in the national championship three times in that span.Northwestern won the title in 1999 and was the runner-up in 2000 and 2003, when current Dallas Cowboys receiver Patrick Crayton was the quarterback.

Athletic director Bob Battisti will lead the 11-member task force, which hopes to have a recommendation by the end of the year. The task force that will include representatives from the school’s faculty and staff, student-athletes, alumni and general public.

“Athletics has a long and storied tradition at Northwestern,” Cunningham said in a statement. “Our sports teams serve as a rallying point for our campuses and communities, and play a critical role in the enrollment management process. It is important that we have the best information possible and explore all of the options related to our athletic affiliation in order to make the best decisions possible.”

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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