Thursday, November 19, 2009

LSC Roundup 11-19

Football News
Abilene Christian football player to meet father for first time
Nick Jones used to wonder what his father looked like, how he sounded, what kind of man he was. Mostly he wondered whatever happened to him. He had only his mother's brief, unsatisfying synopsis to go on: His father was deployed overseas before he knew she was pregnant, and she never saw him again.

She didn't have much else to offer, and Nick didn't ask. But he never quit thinking about it. He grew up big and strong and handsome in Dallas and Amarillo. Good enough to win back-to-back NCAA Division II titles in the discus his first two years at Abilene Christian. Tough enough to earn a starting job at defensive end for the Wildcats, who will play Northwest Missouri State in Maryville, Mo., on Saturday in a second-round NCAA Division II playoff game.

He grew up fast, too. Married his high school sweetheart at 18. Became a father at 19. And still he wondered what happened to his own dad. Until late one night last month, when his wife, Miriam, shook him awake.

"I think I found your father."

Bearcats face familiar foe Abilene Christian in playoffs
The Bearcats come off the bye week looking forward to a familiar opponent in Abilene Christian.
Abilene beat Midwestern State 24-21 in the first round of the playoffs to advance to play the ’Cats this weekend.

“It’s become a game where it’s fun,” sophomore wide receiver Jake Soy said. “We’ve played these guys four times. I know all of their secondary by first and last name basis. We play these guys more than we play our conference teams I feel.”

The ’Cats have faced Abilene Christian three previous times in the last two years. Northwest has lost the last two season openers to the Wildcats, but beat them in the playoffs last year on their way to the National Championship game. Northwest fell to Abilene for its lone loss this year in the season opener in Abilene, Texas 19-14.

“We really had some mistakes in that one that we can’t have this time,” head coach Mel Tjeerdsma said. “We had a fumble returned for a touchdown; they got the ball after an interception on the 25-yardline and they got two points on a safety when we threw it over the punter’s head and out of the endzone. We can’t have those things happen this time.”

Bearcats get familiar foe for 1st playoff game
Familiarity is breeding excitement — rather than contempt — around Bearcat Stadium this week, as Northwest Missouri State prepares for its fourth meeting with Abilene Christian in two years. Northwest and Abilene kick off their second-round NCAA Division II playoff game at noon Saturday in Maryville with the Wildcats holding a 2-1 edge in the recent series.

But Northwest has won when it counts, winning last season’s playoff game in Abilene, Texas, en route to a fourth straight appearance in the national championship game. The Bearcats want to do the same thing this year but with the backing of a huge home crowd.

Northwest uses bye to prepare for playoff run
Before playing its final regular-season football game last week, Northwest Missouri already had a NCAA Division II playoff spot and fourth straight MIAA title locked up. Senior cornerback E.J. Hawkins and senior defensive Sean Paddock played anyway despite having injuries that previously sidelined them.

After Northwest Missouri soundly beat Central Missouri 56-14, defensive coordinator Scott Bostwick called them and sophomore cornerback Ryan Jones the MVPs of the game because of their willingness to play hurt.

"It is kind of tough, but you want to be with the guys," Hawkins said of playing hurt. "You don't want to let them down. Your friends are out there. It means a lot to them. You can make a difference in a ball game. You may not be a 100 percent, but you can get the job done."

'Buffalo' Guerrero still grateful to coaches at Corpus Christi Miller, Texas A&I
He was christened Margarito Guerrero, but his friends know him simply as “Buffalo.” That’s a fitting nickname for a hard-charging defensive tackle who ranks as one of the best players in the history of perennial small-college football power Texas A&M-Kingsville, formerly Texas A&I.

Guerrero earned first-team Little All-America honors as a senior in 1970, when the Javelinas finished 11-1 and won their second consecutive NAIA Division I national championship under legendary coach Gil Steinke. Guerrero was named the most valuable lineman in the NAIA semifinals his junior year, and made the second-team Little All-America squad that season. Now 63 and living in Benavides, Guerrero is one of four Hispanics who have earned All-America honors as Javelinas. The others: Willie Crafts, Jaime Martinez and Roberto Garza, now a starting guard for the Chicago Bears.

Guerrero was at Javelina Stadium on Nov. 14 when Tarleton State beat his alma mater 57-56 in a wild NCAA Division II first-round playoff game.

“It brought back a lot of memories,” Guerrero said. “The game is so fast now. To me, it’s too fast. The players are bigger, stronger and quicker. With the way offenses spread you out now, you have to put your best and smartest athletes on defense.”

Volleyball News
Coach cites WT's improvement
The West Texas A&M Lady Buffs are almost a different team than when they last played the schools in this week's NCAA Division II South Central Region tournament.

Future is bright for Rambelles volleyball
Just three seasons ago, the Angelo State University volleyball team was 6-21. The Rambelles only won 19 matches from 2005-2007. Then a coaching change was made and an immediate impact was felt as the ’Belles went 20-14 in 2008 and advanced to the Lone Star Conference tournament for the first time since 2004. Then this past season, ASU went 19-14 and advanced to the LSC tournament for the second straight year.

Soccer News
WT junior named Daktronics South Central Playor of the Year
Buff junior forward Ben Everson has been named the Daktronics South Central Region Soccer Player of the Year. Everson headlined a list of 13 student-athletes earning first-team all-region honors.

Joining Everson on the first team were teammates Jacob Fynboe Jensen, Nicki Nielsen and Aaron Thornton. Sophomore goalkeeper Sebastian Furness was named to the second team. Everson continued his offensive dominance in his third season at West Texas A&M in 2009. He scored 15 goals and added one assist for a total of 31 points for the Buffs, who were ranked as high as third in the nation.

Three Lady Buffs earn soccer honor
Three members of the West Texas A&M Lady Buffs soccer team have been named to the Daktronics All-South Central Region team announced Tuesday. Lindsay McHorse and Kelly Skehan were named to the first team, while teammate Miriam Dominguez was honored with a spot on the second team.

McHorse leads the Lady Buffs in goals (13), assists (8) and total points (32) while Dominguez has totaled 19 points on the season with six goals and seven assists. Skehan has become the go-to goalkeeper for WT this season, tallying 1533:26 minutes between the pipes in 17 matches. She has allowed just six goals while tallying 65 saves and seven shutouts for a record of 12-2-3.

Murphy honored by ESPN The Magazine
Tyler Murphy became Midwestern State’s first academic All-American in 10 years Wednesday when he was named an ESPN The Magazine second-team Academic All-American. Murphy, a biology major from Winfield, British Columbia, carries a 3.96 grade-point average.

The two-time Southwest Soccer Conference Academic Player of the Year has tallied six goals and eight assists while appearing in 70 matches as a midfielder and defender during his four years at MSU.

Men's Basketball News
Mustangs defeat St. Mary's in home opener
Midwestern State began its home debut with an all-out, hustling defensive effort that fueled an 83-72 win over St. Mary’s University on Wednesday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.

“We got after it. They wanted to play here tonight,” said first-year coach Grant McCasland, whose team is off to a 3-0 start. “Give credit to (assistant) Nelson Haggerty for having the team prepared to play on short notice.”

Hoggies Open Season with W
A 15-0 second half run led the Texas A&M-Kingsville men’s basketball team to a season opening win at Texas A&M-International on Wednesday night, 70-58.

Tigers fall at Division I UTSA
East Central placed four players in double figures, but it wasn't enough as NCAA Division I Texas San-Antonio received a combined nine 3-pointers from its top two scorers and held a 52-25 rebounding advantage to beat the Tigers 103-80 Wednesday night at the Convocation Center in ECU's final exhibition.

Recruiting News
TexAnns add Latta to softball roster
Tarleton softball coach Julie Mata has announced the signing of Kelsey Latta to a national letter-of-intent. Latta will begin playing for the TexAnns in 2010-11.

Schindler announces signing of Murrah to NLI
Tarleton head volleyball coach Mary Schindler announced Tuesday that Stacie Murrah has signed a National Letter of Inten to join the TexAnns for the 2010 season.

Watson signs power-hitting catcher
This week Cameron’s head softball coach Beth Watson added a high-caliber, power-hitting catcher to her 2011 squad. Alex Milligan, a senior at Moore High School (Moore, Oklahoma) officially signed on to play for the Black and Gold this week and expectations are already at a high.

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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