Thursday, August 27, 2009

LSC Roundup 8-27

Wildcats, Harp ready to play a song of revenge
The Abilene Christian University football suffered only one loss last season. Unfortunately, it came in the NCAA Division II quarterfinals — at the hands of Northwest Missouri State University. Ever since that season-ending 45-36 loss in Abilene, ACU senior Tony Harp has been itching for the rematch — knowing the Wildcats open the season against Northwest Missouri.

That day has come.

ACU, ranked No. 5 in the American Football Coaches Association national poll, plays the No. 2 Bearcats at 7 tonight in the opening game of the Action Sports Medicine Champions Classic at Shotwell Stadium.

“We’ve got a chip on our shoulder, and we want revenge,” said Harp, a starting free safety.

Javelinas expect big second season from QB Garza
KINGSVILLE — Most people would welcome getting another opportunity at anything they may do. When you are Billy Garza, and you have had a full year to fully embrace the offensive scheme he again will be directing for Texas A&M-Kingsville, the second and final chance may be huge. The reason is simple: Garza etched his name into the Javelinas’ record books in three categories and he did so essentially on a learn-as-you-go basis last season in helping guide the Javelinas to a 7-4 record.

“That’s a big thing. Last year he didn’t really know too much about the offense. But this year he’s got it to perfection,” said junior Ryan Lincoln, who figures to be on the receiving end of many of Garza’s passes this season. “It’s even better because he automatically knows what to do. That’s a good thing, probably the best thing to ever happen to us,” said Lincoln, who had 48 receptions for 740 yards, second on the ballclub last year. “In one year look what he did, breaking those records without not really knowing the offense. Now this year he knows it. There’s no telling what he’ll do this year.”

The senior quarterback set single-season standards in completions (209), attempts (370) and passing yards (2,787). He also fell just short of cracking Abel Gonzalez’s single-season bests in touchdown passes and total offense.

Related: 2009 LSC South Division preview
Related: 2009 LSC North Division preview
Related: Javelinas Keeping An Eye On Delta State Linebacker (with video)

NATHAN WRIGHT: Neiswander back from injury, as good as new
It has been almost a year since Angelo State quarterback Josh Neiswander’s junior season ended before it even really began.

Neiswander broke his leg in the Rams’ season opener against Texas State. After he had completed 18 of 25 passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns.

“On both sides of the ball we were playing well,” Neiswander said. “Our defense was doing good. I think we were doing good on offense.”

Rams football turning the corner
The Angelo State football team has averaged fewer than three wins a season over the past three years. That streak began a year after the Rams went 9-3 and advanced to the NCAA Division II playoffs.

The Rams and ASU head coach Dale Carr believe they have the experience and the talent to make a significant improvement this season. They just have to stay healthy.

“It’s that simple,” Carr said. “We need to stay healthy. That has been our focus as a staff. It has been the No. 1 focus, period. Nothing else is more important than keeping our guys healthy.”

Buffs' foe boasts 42-game regular-season win streak
If the Grand Valley State Lakers were applying for a job, they would have a sparkling resume.

Experience: The Lakers open the season as the No. 1 team in the nation in NCAA Division II for the sixth time since 2000 and return six offensive and eight defensive starters from last season's 11-1 playoff team.

Qualifications: Four national titles since 2002 and 42 consecutive regular-season victories.

However, to get the job done against the No. 11 West Texas A&M Buffs on Saturday at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium, GVS head coach Chuck Martin (61-5 in his sixth season) can't put much stock in past accomplishments.

"No one remembers who is the preseason No. 1 but who is the postseason No. 1," said Martin, who guided the Lakers to national titles in 2005 and 2006. "You take pride in it, but all that does is put a big X on your chest and everybody wants to knock you off that much more."

NSU set to open year
TAHLEQUAH — After a month of intense practices and preparation, the Northeastern State football team is set to kickoff their season tonight against No. 24 Arkansas Tech at Gable Field.

Kickoff for coach Kenny Evans’ second season opener at NSU is 7 p.m.

“Our guys have been very positive,” said Evans. “There’s lots of subdued confidence right now. They know where we’ve been. They are excited about the opportunity to wake the program up. We have brought in a lot of new people that want to be a part of that.”

UCO offense gears for Pitt
EDMOND, Okla. — Central Oklahoma head football coach Tracy Holland has reason to be excited about his offense.

After last season’s 16-12 season-opening loss to Pittsburg State in 2008, Holland and the 16th-ranked Bronchos have solved some of the offensive issues that plagued them against the No. 7 Gorillas. For one, the Bronchos will not be platooning quarterbacks as they are set on first-team All Lone Star Conference North QB Brandon Noohi. In last year’s game, Noohi did not last a full game as Holland said the Bronchos were in the process of trying to line out their offensive situation.

“We had a pair of quarterbacks that we were looking at,” Holland said. “With Brandon, he really came around in game five.”

UIW's No. 1 fans flying high
If there's a downside to Incarnate Word kicking off football in three days, it's that school president Louis Agnese only has so much longer to boast about a certain streak.

“For the last 129 years, Incarnate Word has been undefeated. I'd like to keep it that way,” he jokingly told the Cardinals following a recent practice.

That UIW's perpetually unthreatened mark in football is suddenly in jeopardy speaks to just how far the school has come in recent years. Thanks to Agnese's vision and UIW benefactor Tom Benson's funding, the once-unlikely, years-in-the-making dream of bringing college football to UIW will become a reality when the Cardinals open their inaugural season Saturday. They play Monterrey Tech at 7p.m. at Benson Stadium.

“We talked about it, talked about it, talked about it,” Agnese said. “Now, it's finally going to happen.”

Tarleton defense better get used to seeing good QBs
Western, Northwest set to open season
Arkansas Tech Set for Opener
Arkansas Tech coaches optimistic at luncheon
Northwest Missouri State now belongs to QB Bolles
Texas State opens 21st FCS Coaches Poll
Area College Report - Aug. 27, 2009
Mavs open season Thursday against East Central

College volleyball: Angelo State dealing with higher expectations
In his first season as head coach of the Angelo State University volleyball team, Chuck Waddington led the Rambelles to their first Lone Star Conference tournament berth since 2004.
This season, Waddington and the ’Belles have set their expectations much higher.

A year ago, the Rambelles went 20-14, winning one more match than they did in the previous three seasons combined (19-65). They went 8-5 in the LSC and advanced to the postseason event but lost in the first round to Abilene Christian.

“It was a nice stepping stone for us,” Waddington said of last season. “I think we started to turn the corner to create a winning attitude here again. Our kids are kind of used to winning now, which is kind of nice. What that brings to this year is a group of returners that can set the tone for the new kids coming in. The players that are returning can really set the standard for what is expected and how you can achieve a successful season.”

Lady Buffs ready to go
After two weeks of learning, practicing and scrimmaging, the WT volleyball team is ready to start the season.

Getting to this point was not easy, new Lady Buffs coach Jason Skoch said, especially for the freshmen.

"The first day of preseason, I wasn't too happy with them," Skoch said. "We had some freshmen that came in and I had some expectations. We needed around four people to step up, and the first week the freshmen didn't look good. They were afraid of stepping on toes, they were not sure of themselves and they played hesitant."

Lauffer expects to open season on a strong note
The West Texas A&M soccer teams kick off their seasons today. The No. 25 Buffs are on the road at St. Edward's in Austin for a 5 p.m. match. The Lady Buffs open up their season on the pitch on WT's campus at 3 p.m. against New Mexico Highlands.

Head coach Butch Lauffer thinks both squads should start the season strong.

Rike announces new Rams
Angelo State men's basketball coach Fred Rike has announced the addition of six new players to his roster for the 2009-10 campaign."We are going to be more athletic than ASU teams in the past," Rike said. "These six newcomers along with our seven returning players will make us a conference contender this year and help us be more competitive on a national level."Of Rike's six transfers, two are seniors, three are junior and one is a sophomore.

"We are expecting to win both games and get off to a proper start," Lauffer said. "It is real important to get off to a good start."


WICHITA FALLS, Texas - Midwestern State opens the 2009 cross country season ranked 16th in the United State Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches' Preseason Poll released Wednesday afternoon.

The Mustangs also rated second in the South Central Region ranking released earlier in the week.

Midwestern will rely on a returning core of six runners including All-South Central Region harriers Lindsey Pate and Kayla Hendrix.

(West Texas A&M is ranked 5th in the South Central Region, Incarnate Word is 9th and Central Oklahoma is 10th)

Coach McElroy Show set to start today at 11 a.m.
STEPHENVILLE - The Sam McElroy Coaches Show is set to begin at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 26 at Texas Bank on the corner of the Northwest Loop and Wolfe Nursery Road.

The 30-minute show is broadcast live and is hosted by the voice of the Texans, Dr. Ron Newsome. He and fourth-year head coach Sam McElroy will discuss the 2008 season, upcoming opponents and other exciting issues related to the Tarleton football program.
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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