QB's resurrected career leads Tarleton to playoffs
by Nathan Bural
It's a story that has the makings of a great movie plot. A good high school football player commits to a major NCAA Division I university where the sky is the limit.
Then, out of nowhere, comes a mysterious ailment that appears to end his football career forever, before a miraculous procedure puts him back on the field.
After stepping back on the gridiron, he begins putting up record-breaking statistics, leads his team to the playoffs and proposes to his girlfriend following the final regular season game.
Tarleton State University quarterback Scott Grantham's college career has been one that will leave Steven Spielberg chomping at the bit.
Move to DE pays off for ACU's Whiteside
Just two years ago, Aston Whiteside had to be taught how to get down into a proper three-point stance. Now the Vernon High School graduate is one of the top defensive ends in the Lone Star Conference. Whiteside, who played linebacker in high school, was thrust into a defensive end spot at a practice during his redshirt season when the Abilene Christian coaches ran out of healthy players at the position. He quickly showed Wildcats head coach Chris Thomsen that he had the tools to be a top-notch pass rusher.
“We were at the tail end of a scrimmage during two-a-days and we stuck him in there,” Thomsen recalled. “The defensive coordinator told him to put his hand on the ground in a three-point stance and just rush the quarterback. He wound up getting three sacks. We weren’t sure about him because the competition he was going against in the scrimmage was not that great,” Thomsen added. “But he came back in spring training the next year and wore out our really good right tackle. So then we thought this guy has a chance to be really good.”
The Short List
Tidbits about Nebraska-Omaha football, West Texas A&M's opponent in the Kanza Bowl Dec. 5. N-O's first win came 25-0 over the Nebraska Deaf and Dumb Institute in 1911 - in obviously less politically correct times. Prominent alumni include WR/QB Marlin Briscoe, the first starting black QB in the modern era with the Denver Broncos in October 1968. The N-O AD is Trev Alberts, the former Cornhusker All-America linebacker and ESPN talking head. The Maverick's QB, Greg Wunderlich, aspires to become a sports writer, which means the Buffs have - at the least - an automatic three touchdown advantage.
East Central officials confident football program moving in right direction
ADA — Less than a week after a 27-26 loss to old rival Southeastern at Norris Field wrote a gut-wrenching — if somewhat fitting — end to an historic 0-11 season, the two men whose futures are most closely tied to the success or failure of East Central University football were understandably more interested in talking about the program’s future than its immediate past.
Head coach Tim McCarty and athletic director Brian DeAngelis were both remarkably upbeat last week in the wake of the first-ever 11-loss season for ECU (or any team in the Lone Star Conference), and it wasn’t simply a case of ‘we’ve got nowhere to go but up’. McCarty and DeAngelis both stressed the improvement the Tigers — who had 18 freshmen in the starting lineup at one time or another during the season — made over their final five games, and, with Mcarty getting a chance at a level playing field in recruiting this winter, they both seemed to expect ECU to take a giant step forward in 2010.
“I thought the season was successful, even though it was 0-11, because I saw us improve as the season went along, and I saw the kids fighting every week,” said DeAngelis, who took over ECU athletics in 2007 — just over a a year after McCarty had stepped down as the Tigers’ head coach to become an assistant at Kansas State — and was instrumental in re-hiring McCarty to replace Kurt Nichols last December. “I’m ecstatic about where the football program is heading right now.”
“I’m very proud of how my team fought this year,” McCarty said. “The culture we live in is such an instant gratification culture that we miss some of the things that go on. We were able to watch a very young team go out and slug it out with some pretty good teams. The story to me is these guys fought all year, and I have so much admiration for them for that.”
Rams begin basketball season with high hopes
A season ago, the Angelo State University men’s basketball team won 20 games and advanced to the regional tournament for the first time since 2001. This season, the Rams want more.
ASU opens the 2009-10 season tonight at home against Texas-Permian Basin. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Junell Center. Last season, the Rams defeated the Falcons twice during a season-opening seven-game winning streak.
The season ended with four straight losses — two to end the regular season, one in the first round of the Lone Star Conference tournament and one in the first round of the regional tournament. And that is what the Rams want to change this season.
“We made it one step and we have to get to the next step this time,” senior Johnny Barnes said. “Last year, we fell off. We lost four games in a row. It wasn’t a good end to the season but if we keep getting better through the whole year, in January and February we are going to be real good.”
WT men open season tonight
Rick Cooper opens his 17th season tonight as the West Texas A&M men's basketball coach knowing some things never change.
"The games are always faster than practice," Cooper said. "So these first games are always a learning experience of game speed. That's always a concern for me."
The Buffs open their 2009-10 season at 8 tonight visiting Division II the New Mexico Highlands Cowboys, a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Last year the Buffs split with Highlands losing in Las Vegas, N.M., and winning at home. Highlands won the RMAC West Division title. The Cowboys were ranked number one in the pre-season RMAC poll led by returning All-American guard Roman Andrade who averaged 20.2 points a game last year.
"Andrade can play," Cooper said. "And in this case, Highlands had the chance to learn about game speed playing exhibition games against the University of Texas-El Paso and New Mexico. That will be interesting to see how that plays out."
Green's 21 lifts MSU men to Shootout title
Senior guard Craig Green poured in 18 of his game-high 21 points in the second half to lift Midwestern State to a 76-61 win over the St. Edwards Hilltoppers in the finale of the St. Edward’s Shootout Monday night at the Recreation and Convocation Center.
“He’s struggled in the preseason,” MSU coach Grant McCasland said. “It’s taken him a bit to find his rhythm on the offensive end, but he really got us going. And the guards did a good job of finding him.”
Green was named tournament MVP as the Mustangs notched a pair of victories to start the McCasland era.
ACU women open season with a loss
Plagued by turnovers and slow start, the Abilene Christian University women’s basketball team got its 2009 season started with a 69-66 loss to St. Mary’s Monday at Moody Coliseum. The Wildcats went the first 5:11 without a point, allowing the Rattlers to grab the momentum early. And 25 turnovers, including two in their final three possessions, proved costly as ACU fell to 0-1.
ACU, which trailed 10-0 before getting on the board, cut the Rattlers lead to 41-35 by halftime and used a 15-6 run to go ahead 50-47 with 14 minutes remaining. But St. Mary’s rallied with an 20-11 run to take a 67-61 lead with 5:37 to play.
The Wildcats cut that lead to one at 67-66 with three minutes left and later had three possessions to cut into a 69-66 lead, but they turned the ball over twice and missed three shots, including a three-quarter court heave at the buzzer, to drop their season opener.
ACU - Wildcats drop season-opener
ASU - 'Belles battle in OT
UCO - Wow!
ENMU - Zias Drop Wild Season-Opener to Cowgirls, Clay Hits for 24 Points
NSU - Season Opening Smash
NSU - RiverHawks Win Home Opener
SOSU - M. Basketball: SE Tips-Off 2009-10 Season at SAU
SWO - Basketball Classic Set to Tipoff
SWO - Women Ready for Tipoff
TSU - TexAnn Basketball set to open the regular season agasint UTPB
TAMC - Lions WIn Second in a Row to Begin Season
TWU - TWU basketball wins season opener, 74-70, over Harding
WTAM - M. Basketball. Buffs Open 2009-10 Campaign at New Mexico Highlands
ASU - Kellermeier signs with ASU
ASU - Volleyball adds three early
TSU - TexAnn Basketball inks two players during early signing period
Eastern’s All-Time Leader in Volleyball Wins Returning to Sidelines
Eastern New Mexico University athletic director, Jeff Geiser has announced that Mike Maguire will be resuming his position as Zia volleyball coach after a three-year hiatus. Maguire stepped down as Eastern's volleyball coach following the 2006 season, after a 20-year stint, which included a program-record 392 wins. Last year, he resigned as athletic director after serving in that role for seven years.