Wednesday, March 31, 2010
While still mourning the loss of one of their own, members of the Tarleton State football program will march on with spring practices this week.
Head coach Cary Fowler met with his team late Monday afternoon and he and returning team captain Jacob Rowe joined others in leading a brief memorial service in honor of Zach Shaver, a freshman who passed away in a Fort Worth hospital Monday morning after suffering a head injury during a spring scrimmage Saturday.
Shaver, 18, was a defensive lineman who redshirted last fall and was competing for a spot on the field with the 2010 Texans. He was a 2009 graduate of Rider High School in Wichita Falls.
A funeral service is set for 10 a.m. Friday in Wichita Falls, and Fowler says plans are for the entire team to attend the ceremony together.
“We preach family, and we are one big family,” Fowler says. “When you lose a family member you mourn together and you heal together. The mourning process is still going on, but at the same time the healing process is already beginning.”
Part of that healing process, Fowler says, is returning to the practice field.
“More than anything, these kids, these coaches, all of us, we need a routine right now,” he said. “We have to get back into our routine so that we have a sense of normalcy.”
The Texans had meetings and lifted weights Tuesday and will return to the practice field today. Fowler was unsure Tuesday morning whether today’s practice would be in full pads with full contact, or if a helmets-only, no-contact format would be followed.
“Zach was a special young man, and he had no quit in him,” Fowler said. “I know he would want us to keep fighting and not quit what we’re doing right now.”
LSC Baseball teams are 199-188 overall this season. In the NCAA South Central Region, the LSC is currently 9-6 combined versus Heartland Conference squads and 5-1 against the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA).
Teams are competing for one of six spots in the Lone Star Conference Championship to be held in Abilene, Texas, May 1-2-3-4.
Diamond Players of the Week
Junnior Dishmey, Tarleton State, Jr., Second Base, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Dishmey has continued to excel at the plate since returning to the Texans after an injury. Dishmey added to his hit streak on Tuesday in San Antonio and has hit safely in his last seven games, which included a 5-for-5 performance against Texas A&M-Kingsville in doubleheader action in Stephenville on Friday. For the week, the junior second baseman hit .647 while collecting 11 hits in 17 trips to the plate. He a double and hit his first home run of the season as well. Dishmey drove in seven runs and scored eight times while slugging out an .882 percentage in five games over the weekend.
Koby Temple, East Central, Fr., Outfielder, Mesa, Ariz./Valley Christian HS
Temple batted .619 (13-for-21) for the week with three homers, three doubles, five runs scored and eight runs batted in as the Tigers went 3-2 in games last week, taking 3-of-4 home contests from Northeastern State and losing once at Oklahoma Baptist. He finished the week with a 1.190 slugging percentage and a .636 on-base percentage. Temple had at least two hits in all five games with his best performance being a 4-for-5 effort with a three-run blast in a 13-12 win over NSU in the final game of the series on Saturday. He also hit a solo-homer in a 19-15 victory over NSU on Friday and added a solo-shot in an 8-2 loss at OBU on Tuesday.
Logan Grimes, Cameron, So., Pitcher, Simi Valley, Calif./Central Connecticut
Grimes shut out a tough West Texas A&M team on Monday (March 29) for a dominant 8-0 victory in Lone Star Conference play. Logan picked up the road victory against West Texas A&M giving up no runs on only five hits for a total shutout victory. This was the first time all season that West Texas A&M had been shut out; Grimes also threw the first CU shutout of the year. Logan Grimes held the Buffs to a mere .200 batting average with five strikeouts and only one walk. Logan now posts an ERA of 3.68 with a record of 5-1 and has given up only one home run all season.
Kale Murphree, Central Oklahoma, Sr., Pitcher, Duncan, Okla./Duncan HS
Murphree shut down No. 22-ranked Southeastern Oklahoma in leading UCO to a 6-2 victory last week. The senior right-hander scattered six hits, didn’t walk a batter and struck out four while allowing one earned run as the Bronchos prevailed 6-2 in eight innings. Murphree retired the last 10 batters he faced, putting SOSU down in order in the sixth, seventh and eighth as UCO overcame a 2-0 deficit to tie it with two runs in the seventh and win it with four in the eighth.
Box Scores and Stats
St. Mary´s Outslugs Texas A&M-Kingsville, 15-10 in Baseball
Baseball roundup: ACU sweeps, ups win streak to 10 games
2010 Lone Star Conference Softball Crossover All-Tournament Team
P Katie Petersen, MSU
P Carrie Harvey, CU
P Julie Norris, Tarleton
C Kacie Edwards, UCO
1B April Mandel, TWU
2B Shawna Barrow, ACU
SS Ariel Lichtenberger, TAMUK
3B Lisa Ripperger, NSU
OF Elena Bennett, MSU
OF Alex Mayo Otis, ENMU
OF Sarah DeMoss, ASU
OF Cassandra Nordie, ECU
OF Billie Callahan, TWU
DP Kaycee Taylor, ASU
UT Lindsey Brown, TAMUK
UT Kristina Myles, WTAMU
No. 7 Midwestern State claimed the Lone Star Conference Softball Crossover Tournament title with a perfect 6-0 run during the three-day, 42-game event last week in Durant, Okla. The Mustangs finished with a flawless record against their LSC South Division opponents, including an 8-7 win over No. 2 Angelo State and a 6-1 triumph against No. 22 West Texas A&M. MSU (30-4) has won eight straight games and 22 of their last 23 contests. The South Division squads prevailed in 22 of the games, while the North teams won 20. Central Oklahoma went 5-1 in the tournament.
LSC softball teams are 256-196 overall, with a 130-105 mark in the South and 126-91 in the North this season. In the NCAA South Central Region, the women’s teams are currently 60-28 combined versus Heartland Conference squads and 36-21 against the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA).
Teams are competing for one of eight spots, four from both the North and South Division, in the Lone Star Conference Championship to be held in Durant, Okla., May 6-7-8.
Players of the Week
Kacie Edwards, Central Oklahoma, Fr., Catcher, Yukon, Okla./Yukon HS
Edwards led UCO to a 5-1 record and runner-up finish in the LSC Crossover Tournament last weekend, batting .500 at the plate. The freshman catcher had nine hits in 18 at bats with two home runs and six RBI while also going perfect in the field with no errors in 38 fielding chances. Edwards hit safely in all six games over the weekend, smacking a solo homer in UCO’s 2-1 win over Tarleton State and adding a three-run shot in a 7-6 victory over Texas Woman’s. She also went 2-for-3 in a 10-2 run-rule victory against No. 22-ranked West Texas A&M.
Katie Petersen, Midwestern State, Sr., Pitcher, Plano, Texas/Plano West HS
Petersen played a key role in leading No. 7 Midwestern State to a LSC Crossover championship as the Mustangs swept each of their six games over the weekend at the Durant Multi-Sports Complex. The senior from Plano showed dominant form while going 3-0 while allowing two earned runs on 11 hits for a 0.78 ERA in 18 innings. Petersen fanned better than two an inning with 39 strikeouts and walked just three. She matched a school record with 16 strikeouts in a 6-1 win over No. 22 West Texas A&M before punching out 14 more in a 5-2 victory over Texas Woman’s. She then allowed just two hits while fanning nine more in a relief appearance to earn her third win as MSU defeated Eastern New Mexico 6-2. The opposition hit a paltry .172 against Petersen during the LSC Crossover.
Ariel Lichtenberger, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Sr., Shortstop, Alice, Texas/Alice HS
Lichtenberger had one of the best offensive weeks in school history at the LSC Crossover Tournament. She hit at least one home run in each of the first five games of the tourney. She went 2-for-3 with a double, home run, RBI and run scored in a 6-5 loss to Central Oklahoma. She was 1-for-3 with two RBI’s, a home run and two runs scored in a 14-0 win over Southwestern Oklahoma. She went 1-for-1 with two runs, an RBI, a home run and three walks in an 11-5 win over Northeastern State. She was 2-for-3 with two runs, four RBI’s and a homer in a 9-1 win over Southeastern Oklahoma. She hit two home runs and had three hits in a 10-2 win over Cameron. She went 0-for-2 with a walk in a 7-1 loss to East Central. She posted a 1.750 slugging percentage for the week. She raised her season batting average from .211 to .272.
Amanda Arriaga, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Fr., Pitcher, Kingsville, Texas/H.M. King HS
Arriaga had an outstanding weekend at the LSC Crossover Tournament. She went 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA in three starting appearances. She twirled 5.0 shutout innings against Southwestern Oklahoma allowing three hits and striking out five. She allowed just one earned run in four innings in a win over Northeastern State. She finished the weekend allowing four hits and two runs in a five inning run-rule win over Cameron. She struck out 10 batters without allowing a walk during the week. She entered the week with just one win on the season.
Track & Field News
Carpenter streak snapped but ACU golf 4th at Dallas tourney
MSU men win DBU Invitational in playoff
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Box Scores and Stats
Baseball: SE Climbs in Poll, Eyes Mulriders
Box Scores and Stats
Track & Field News
Unlike the BCS we all love so much in college football, there is no arguing the merits of the team which wins the NCAA Tournament on Monday night. Butler, Duke, Michigan State or West Virginia will have finished 6-0 under one-and-done pressure. The on-court results settle all disputes.
The UIL does the same thing with its championship brackets. Keep playing until one team is left standing. And I love the playoffs. The way teams play with fire and passion when their season is on the line. It gave us Midwestern State versus St. Cloud State last week. And Xavier against Kansas State long into Thursday night.
But I have to agree with legendary Dallas sportscaster Dale Hansen on another point. One-and-done may not leave you with the best team.
Bronchos Tied For 12th
W. Golf: Mustangs play well, but 12th after first round at Lady Otter Invitational
Evans, who is beginning his third season at the helm of the RiverHawks, will have 18 returning starters and his first senior class -- which includes 20 players.
“I’ve been here two years now and we have 37 of our top 40 players coming back from last fall and we will now have some players with experience going into next season,” said Evans. “The biggest focus for us will be the attitude (winning) of this football program.
“We will be trying to develop that, plus work ethic, habits. Those three things are a huge for us. We need guys to step up as leaders at this point in our program and understand what it takes to win at this level. We have been close against some good competition, but we just haven’t gotten there.”
Monday, March 29, 2010
STEPHENVILLE – Zach Shaver, 18, a football player at Tarleton State University, passed away Monday morning at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital-Fort Worth after a head injury suffered Saturday during a spring practice.
Shaver, a redshirt freshman from Wichita Falls (Rider High School) who joined the football team last fall as a defensive lineman, was airlifted to the metroplex hospital from Tarleton’s Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
Shaver was involved in a routine football play when the freshman fell to the ground.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of this young student-athlete, “ said Tarleton athletics director Lonn Reisman. “This is a tragic loss for the Shaver family, and our thoughts and prayers are with them through this difficult time. I am thankful for our athletic training staff, the emergency medical teams and the hospital staff for their professional response.”
“It is always difficult to lose one of our Tarleton family members, especially when they are so young,” said Tarleton President F. Dominic Dottavio. “Counselors will be on hand to respond to any needs. Lisette and I will keep his family in our thoughts and prayers.”
When Tarleton head coach Cary Fowler was the defensive coordinator at Midwestern State, the Shaver family lived close to the Fowlers.
“Zach was a great young man, and I enjoyed watching him grow up over the years,” Fowler said. “This is a very difficult time for the Shaver family and the Texan football family. Zach was a great person and teammate, and he was a pleasure to coach. We ask that everyone keep his friends and family in their prayers during this difficult situation.”
Shaver is survived by his parents, Robbie and Jennifer, and a sister, Emily.
Services are still pending.
Tarleton football player dies from head injury
By BRAD KEITH
After suffering a head injury during a spring football scrimmage at Tarleton State University Saturday, redshirt freshman Zach Shaver, 18, passed away at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth Monday morning.
Shaver, a 2009 graduate of Rider High School in Wichita Falls, was playing defensive tackle on what appeared to be an ordinary play until he went down and then lied motionless right on the 50 yard line.
CareFlite was called to the scene to transport Shaver to Fort Worth after athletic trainers and local emergency personnel were unable to get a response from him.
Shaver remained in a coma fighting for his life until increased swelling cut off oxygen to his brain early Monday morning.
Tarleton head football coach Cary Fowler says he lived on the same street as the Shaver family during his time as defensive coordinator at Midwestern State.
"Zach was a great young man, and I enjoyed watching him grow up over the years," Fowler said. "This is a very difficult time for the Shaver family and the Texan football family. We ask that everyone pray for his friends and family to help them through this difficult situation."
Kert Turner is a graduate assistant who coaches defensive linemen at Tarleton.
"He was one of the best kids I ever met," Turner said. "He was the kind of kid you want to coach and want to be around."
Turner said the mood was somber as players filtered into the Tarleton football field house Monday afternoon.
"As the guys come in I'm just hugging them," Turner said. "I'm trying to encourage them and be there for them."
Turner said coaches and players are leaning on each other as they cope with the loss of their teammate and friend.
"There's 100 of us and everybody is going through the same thing," Turner said. "At least we don't have to go through it alone."
Shaver earned first-team all-district and Class 4A honorable-mention all-state honors as a senior at Rider. He played against Stephenville in the area round of the state playoffs in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
Scott Ponder, head football coach at Rider High School, has fond memories of Shaver as both a player and a person.
"Zach was a wonderful kid. We love him and we'll miss him," Ponder said. "He was beloved to his family, to our program and to the Rider community."
"He was our nose tackle and did a great job along the defensive line for us," he continued. "He was a tremendous worker, a kid of character. He was well respected in our locker room - admired and well liked."
Former Rider player dies as result of practice accident
By Nick Gholson
Monday, March 29, 2010
WICHITA FALLS — Zach Shaver, a 2009 graduate of Rider High School, died today in a Fort Worth hospital after suffering a head injury in a football practice at Tarleton State University on Saturday.
"He was a winner on and off the field," Tarleton head coach Cary Fowler said. "He had a big smile on his face all the time, but when he was on the football field, there was no give-up station in him. He played his guts out on every play."
Fowler said Shaver got tangled up with an offensive lineman on a play and the two fell over with the offensive lineman on top of him. He said Shaver hit his head on the turf and never recovered.
"It looked like an ordinary football play," said Brad Keith, sports editor of the Stephenville Empire-Tribune, who was at the practice.
Keith said one assistant coach told him that the offensive lineman said Shaver "fell limp in his arms."
The 18-year-old Wichitan was air-lifted by helicopter to Harris Memorial Hospital in Fort Worth.
"He was a great kid, and I loved him dearly," said Rider football head coach Scott Ponder. "He was so positive and so well-liked. He loved people and had a lot of friends. This is a tragic blow to everyone."
Scrimmage ends as player collapses
By BRAD KEITH
An otherwise upbeat spring football scrimmage at Tarleton State was marred by the collapse of a player directly in the middle of the Memorial Stadium turf Saturday morning.
Zach Shaver, a redshirt freshman defensive lineman from Rider High School in Wichita Falls, went down near the end of the controlled scrimmage. A local ambulance was immediately called to the scene, but Shaver remained unresponsive.
A CareFlite helicopter transported Shaver from the stadium to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth, according to Tarleton head coach Cary Fowler.
"Our prayers are with him and his family, and with our football family at Tarleton," Fowler said.
Fowler says he lived on the same street as the Shaver family during his stint as defensive coordinator at Midwestern State in Wichita Falls.
"I've known him for several years and watched him grow up," Fowler said. "He's a great kid who I'm excited to have at Tarleton. I ask that everyone keep him in their prayers."
The Texans were in their final series of the scrimmage when Shaver went down.
"Everything was upbeat until that happened," Fowler said. "We got in 36 plays of controlled scrimmage action, and we accomplished what we wanted."
Fowler was pleased with a number of things, including the play of Casey Page at quarterback.
Page, a junior-to-be from Hereford, was especially impressive during a span of four plays when he completed three straight passes and broke free for a long run. He directed the first-team offense on a scoring drive that ended with a 13-yard touchdown sprint by running back Evan Robertson, who rushed for 897 yards and seven scores as a sophomore last fall.
"I really thought Page played well," Fowler said. "He takes command of the huddle and makes good decisions."
There was a downside for Page, who tossed a pair of interceptions against the first-team defense late in the scrimmage, including one that was returned for a touchdown by standout linebacker Matt Knicky.
"Knicky is a big-time player," Fowler said of the linebacker who led the team with 98 tackles last fall. "He's the heart and soul of our defense."
The other interception was by Dashaun Phillips, a redshirt freshman cornerback from Duncanville who leaped and snagged the ball in the end zone to prevent a touchdown.
"Dashaun, that's a big-time football play!" exclaimed Fowler, who also coaches defensive backs.
Following the scrimmage, Fowler said he hopes to see more plays like that from Phillips as he continues to develop.
"Dashaun is going to be a big-play guy for us the next few years," Fowler said. "He's a leaper with great ball skills, and he can do good things once he has the ball in his hands. As soon as I saw the pass go up I knew he was going to get it."
In addition to Page's long run during scrimmage play, redshirt freshman Aaron Doyle, a quarterback from Evant, ran for a touchdown during the "sudden change" drill that focuses on scoring touchdowns after opponents turn the ball over.
Jackson Crawley, a redshirt freshman signal caller from Dallas, also had a long run when directing the offense through practice plays before the scrimmage-phase of the busy morning began.
"That's something we want out of our quarterbacks is for them to be able to run," Fowler said. "Scott (Grantham) always had the ability to run, but we weren't as deep at that position as we are now and we couldn't afford to lose him so we never really gave him the freedom we're giving these guys."
The morning began with what Fowler termed the "Houston Nutt" drill. Fowler played for Nutt at Murray State before the now hugely successful coach moved on to Arkansas and then to his current post at Mississippi.
Players get in their stances directly across from each other just as if they are lined up on the line of scrimmage. Offensive players try to drive defenders back, while the defensive players strive to physically pound their way to penetration.
"I love that drill. It forces guys to compete and it establishes a good, physical tempo right at the start of practice," Fowler said.
Spring ball at Tarleton continues with a no-contact practice Monday before the Texans put full pads on again Tuesday. Another scrimmage will be held Wednesday. They will hit the weights and watch film Thursday morning before having Friday-Sunday off for Easter weekend.
Gray ready for his turn to shine at Tarleton
By BRAD KEITH
Devon Gray was born for this - literally.
Gray, who will be a junior next fall, is a 5-9, 180-pound junior wide receiver at Tarleton State. He is also the son of former NFL player Mel Gray, who played for Detroit, Houston, New Orleans and Philadelphia from 1984-98.
"I want to make it to the NFL and be like my dad," Gray says of his goals.
He's had to patiently wait for his chance as an injury forced him to use his redshirt season at Coffeyville Community College before playing his freshman year of eligibility at Dodge City CC. He transferred to Tarleton for his sophomore campaign only to watch teammates Devin Guinn and Jahmeel Hobson - both 1,000 yard receivers - make headlines last fall.
Guinn and Hobson are now gone, and that means Gray, along with teammates such as Arthur Buckingham and Sam Robinson, will be expected to step up and lead the receiving core in 2010.
It also means Gray, who Tarleton coaches say has had a great off-season so far, could be in the spotlight when his father finally gets the opportunity to see him play next fall.
Gray, who was raised in Phoenix, says his parents have been long divorced and his father has rarely seen him play.
That doesn't mean the elder Gray hasn't had an impact on his son's life, or his football prowess.
"My dad has had the biggest impact on me as a player and as a person," Devon says. "I still talk to him on the phone every day and he tells me how to succeed as a player and as a person off the field."
Mel Gray now lives in Houston, and according to Devon, has plans of driving north to watch his son play this fall.
"When that happens I'm going to put on a show," says Devon, flashing a wide smile.
Among receivers returning to the Texans from last season's Lone Star Conference championship team, Gray and Evan Robertson tied for second in receptions with 13. Gray averaged 12.9 yards per catch last fall.
"Devon was in the shadows playing the inside receiver position with Devin and Jahmeel on the outside," Tarleton offensive coordinator Scott Carey says. "He's moving to the outside now, and he should be a big weapon for us."
Gray may be small in stature, but coaches say his 41-inch vertical leap makes him a bigger target than his 5-9 frame suggests. Coaches also praise his ability to get open.
"He's the best route runner we have," Carey says. "He has such a great understanding of how to get open, I can see him turning into a real go-to guy for us in the passing game."
Knowledge of routes is something Gray has studied for as long as he can remember.
"When I was a little kid I would watch practice film and game film with my dad," he says. "He was always studying film so I would watch with him and learn from it."
Gray has another advantage - he is likely to draw favorable match-ups this fall because opponents will have to account for both Robinson, who is an imposing 6-3, 220 with 4.5 speed in the 40, and Buckingham, who fueled the Texans to two big wins with three key catches on a game-tying drive against Midwestern State and a diving fourth-down grab late in regulation in a playoff win at Texas A&M-Kingsville.
With those three leading the receiving core through spring drills, Gray is confident the Texans won't miss a beat without Guinn and Hobson around.
"I think we can be even better than last year," Gray says. "Buck always gets open, he's just a play maker, and Sam is big and physical. I think this is going to be a receiving core everyone is going to be talking about."
Carey agrees with the speedy pass catcher.
"If we go into the season with Sam, Devon and Buck (Buckingham) as our starting receivers, I'm happy with that," Carey said.
Gray is just happy to finally have the chance to excel at the college level.
"This is what I've been waiting for," he said. "I can't wait to start the season."
CCN also provides Sports Account Managers who support customers in building the athlete online profiles and conduct regular consultations that help athletes and their parents understand the recruiting process, take the necessary recruiting steps, and connect with the right college programs. These designated recruiting experts all have a background in collegiate athletics as an athlete, coach, or both, and they work personally with parents and athletes, guiding them throughout the recruiting process.
CCN currently supports four sports: football, women’s volleyball, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball; however, the company has plans to expand into other sports later this year. The company has also expanded its product-line to include professional highlight video production services.
Guaranteed recruiting results, personal assistance, and service you can trust? That’s definitely worthy of my attention in today’s fast-paced recruiting world.
College Coaches Network can be found at www.collegecoaches.net
Box Scores and Stats
Wildcats finish sweep of Rams
Rams drop two to ACU
Softball: MSU claims LSC Crossover Tournament title
Track & Field News
Northeastern State's Jason Jones scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the West team during the NCAA/NABC All-Star Game on Friday night.
ACU splits matches in Waco
No surprise here. Abilene Christian’s defense, one of the best in the nation in Division II last year, was the star in Saturday’s annual Purple-White scrimmage at Shotwell Stadium.
Eric Edwards and Blake Rudd returned interceptions for a touchdowns and the defense kept the offense out of the end zone on 11 series.
“Coming off last season, where they were one of the better defenses in the nation, I think they’re building on that,” ACU coach Chris Thomsen said. “They’re real positive. We just want to continue to see those guys progress and make plays.”
Cary Fowler is thinking national championship at Tarleton State
By JOHN HENRY
Special to the Star-Telegram
He’s a native Kentuckian who packed up his professional dreams and moved to Texas.
And his visions for the Tarleton State football program are, appropriately, as big as Texas.
“I want this program to be a Division II national power,” said Cary Fowler, who was hired as the Texans’ 25th football coach earlier this month. “I think with the mentality that Tarleton State has I’m going to have the resources. I want these kids to have a meaningful education and stay four or five years and develop a true program.
“It’s already in place, but I want to take it to the next step and be a national power.”
Kok keeps punting hopes alive
Broken Arrow’s Joe Kok has the numbers.
Now, he’d like a National Football League team to call his number.
A four-time All-Lone Star Conference North Division punter at Northeastern State, Kok hopes his playing days aren’t finish.
This 2006 Broken Arrow High School graduate won’t quit until his last kick.
Kok will get a chance to display his goods in two upcoming combines in Las Vegas and Phoenix, designed for kickers.
“I’ll give both of those my best efforts. That’s all I can do,” Kok said. “Hopefully, it will be good enough to get me a chance.”
QB Marsh sparks White team to win
The Buffs battled the stiff north wind and spitting rain Saturday morning at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium, as the White squad, with Martin as honorary coach, held off the Maroon squad, with Null as honorary coach, 35-20, in the annual spring game in front of about 250 chilly fans.
Martin, WT's all-time receiving leader who is now with the Carolina Panthers, was thrilled with his 1-0 "coaching" record.
"I love it. It feels good, especially when you defeat Keith Null it is even better," Martin said with a laugh. "This was unbelievable. I was here for two years when the program was down. I think this program has had one of the biggest turnarounds in college football history."
Friday, March 26, 2010
Box Scores and Stats
ASU Basebcall Capsule, 3/26
UCO baseball coach Wendell Simmons to retire
Simmons is in his 19th year with the Bronchos after spending 15 years in the high school ranks, including 14 at . He takes a 1,074-526-1 record into UCO’s four-game Lone Star Conference series at Southeastern Oklahoma this weekend.
“I’ve got nothing but great memories of my coaching career, especially here at UCO,” said Simmons, who played at UCO in the early 1970s. “I’ve been fortunate to have had a lot of great players come through here and we had a lot of success. It’s been fun and I know I’ll miss it, but it’s time to move on.”
Simmons is 628-359-1 at UCO and has had 15 winning seasons, including the eight best seasons in school history. He’s guided the Bronchos to six LSC North Division championships, three overall LSC titles and sevenNCAA Division II playoff appearances, with the 1997 team finishing as national runner-up.
Simmons was named LSC in 1994 and ’97, earned LSC North Coach of the Year accolades five times in seven years and has coached 134 All-LSC and All-LSC North Division players during his long tenure, with 14 players having earned All-America recognition.
Simmons came to UCO after a sensational high school career that saw him spend one year at Dover High School and 14 at Edmond Memorial in compiling a 446-167 record.
He guided Memorial to eight regional titles and eight state tournament berths, producing 13 All-Staters. Simmons was inducted into the Oklahoma Baseball Coaches Association in 2003.
Track & Field: Three earn weekly honors
Four track and field student-athletes earned Lone Star Conference Athlete of the Week honors for their performances, league officials announced today.
LSC Track & Field Athletes of the Week
C.J. Griggs, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Fr., Jumps-Sprints, Cedar Lane, Texas/Van Vleck
Griggs was the biggest winner for the Javelinas at the IBC Bank Cactus Cup in Kingsville. He won the long jump (22-11) and triple jump (48-0.75). He also ran a leg on the winning 4x100-meter relay team that clocked a 42.77. He provisionally qualified for the NCAA Division II Nationals in the triple jump.
Rhonida Carter, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Sr., Hurdles, Houston, Texas/Nimitz
Carter picked up the team’s only win at the IBC Bank Cactus Cup in the 400-meter hurdles as she cruised to victory in 1:05.91. She grabbed silver medalist honors in the 100-meter hurdles in a time of 16.78 that was slowed by major head winds all day long. She anchored the 4x400-meter relay team that took second place in a time of 4:07.95.
Chrystal Ruiz, Angelo State, Sr., Heptathlete, Lakehills, Texas/Bandera H.S.
Ruiz automically qualified in the heptathlon for the 2010 NCAA Division II National Championships as she won the event at the ASU Spring Break Multis last week. Ruiz set or tied five personal bests as she finished the two-day event with a career-high 5,210 points, the 12th best performance in ASU history. Ruiz set career bests in the high jump, shot put, 200-meter dash and 800-meter run and equalled her career top performance in the long jump. Her long jump (18-11.25) and 100-meter hurdles (14.29) were also provisional-qualifying marks. Already this season Ruiz has at least provisionally qualified in five events.
Central Oklahoma's Julia Shviadok and Cameron's Amanda Moberg shared Lone Star Conference Tennis Players of the Week honors, the league office announced today.
Tennis Athletes of the Week
Julia Shviadok, Central Oklahoma, So., No. 1 singles and doubles, Brest, Belarus, Brest HS
Shviadok led UCO to 9-0 shutouts over Colorado Christian and Metropolitan State last week in Denver, going a perfect 4-0 in single and doubles play. The sophomore standout didn’t lose a set at No. 1 singles, winning 6-2, 6-0 in the Colorado Christian rout, and teamed with Eli Abramovic for 8-2 and 8-3 doubles wins. Shviadok is 8-2 at No. 1 singles and 7-3 at No. 1 doubles for the Bronchos, who have won nine straight matches and are 9-1 on the year.
Amanda Moberg, Cameron, Fr., Women’s Tennis, Norkoping, Sweden
Cameron’s #1 singles and #1 doubles player is on her way to the top ranking in the region after sweeping all of her matches last week in Colorado. Moberg helped the Aggies win a 9-0 match over Metro State and a 9-0 match over Colorado Christian. Moberg failed to drop a game in any of her sets over the weekend.
Tennis Other Top Performers
Tennis Notes (Submitted by LSC SID’s)
Cameron’s nationally-ranked #20 men’s team was off last week after going 4-1 in their trip through Kansas a week before... last week the nationally-ranked #36 women’s team swept both of their matches in a Colorado roadtrip. CU first swept Metro State University 9-0, before sweeping Colorado Christian University in a very similar 9-0 match. CU’s matches against Mesa State and Colorado State-Pueblo were cancelled due to snow, and CU’s next scheduled match versus Oklahoma Christian was cancelled due to court vandalism.... The Aggie tennis teams next match up against Oklahoma Christian at home on Tuesday (March 30) at 2:00pm at the CU Tennis Complex.
The No. 26-ranked Bronchos have won nine straight matches since a season-opening loss to Oklahoma State to get to 9-1 on the year . . . UCO went to Denver for four matches last week, blanking Colorado Christian and Metropolitan State 9-0 before having matches with Colorado State-Pueblo and Mesa State snowed out . . . Julia Shviadok is 8-2 at No. 1 singles to lead the Bronchos, while Eli Abramovic is 8-2 playing mostly at No. 2 . . . That duo has combined to go 7-3 at No. 1 doubles.
The TexAnns had the week off and will return to action this Thursday with an LSC match against East Central in Stephenville. Tarleton then travels to Tahlequah, Okla. on Saturday to face Northeastern State.
Sherman's Taylor Hunt one of five to sign with A&M-Commerce soccer
Playing the part of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was Buffs head coach Don Carthel - the peacemaker.
"(The draft) can get pretty nasty sometimes. I'm the commissioner, and I have to step in and say we are going to do it this way," Carthel said with a laugh. "I have to overrule some of the drafts or make them trade."
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Saint Cloud defeats MSU, 92-88, advance to Final Four
St. Cloud guard has legendary performance against MSU
Lone Star Conference play continued last week with Cameron and Southeastern Oklahoma sweeping their weather shortened two-game series, while Abilene Christian, Angelo State and Texas A&M-Kingsville each won three of four games.
LSC Baseball teams are 171-157 overall this season. In the NCAA South Central Region, the LSC is currently 9-3 combined versus Heartland Conference squads and 5-1 against the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA).
Teams are competing for one of six spots in the Lone Star Conference Championship to be held in Abilene, Texas, May 1-2-3-4.
Diamond Players of the Week
Adam DeLaGarza, West Texas A&M, Sr., Shortstop, Red Oak, Texas/Red Oak HS
DeLaGarza continued to be consistent at the plate this past week as he hit .542 with six RBI and 10 runs scored for the Buffs. He had 10 hits in the four-game series against Tarleton State including a 4-for-4 performance in game one and a 3-for-4, 2 RBI effort in game three.
Aaron Oliver, Abilene Christian, Jr., Centerfielder, Los Angeles, Calif./South Hills HS
Oliver helped the Wildcats go 5-2 last week with a series split against Delta State (1-1), a series win over Eastern New Mexico (3-1) and a win over Texas-Permian Basin. ... Oliver hit .424 on the week, scoring eight runs while belting out a team-best 14 hits in seven games. ... In last Saturday’s tripleheader against Eastern New Mexico, Oliver was 9 for 14 with six runs scored, two doubles, two home runs and seven RBI as ACU won all three games. ... Oliver had two home runs in the middle game of the tripleheader, leading ACU to a 12-5 win.
Dan Rogers, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Sr., Pitcher, Redwood City, Calif./Woodside HS
Rogers closed out the Javelinas’ series with Northeastern State with a dominating performance. He earned the complete game victory after scattering six hits in seven innings. He allowed just one run and two walks while striking out five to improve to 4-1 on the season. He extended his streak to 40 straight innings without allowing a home run this year.
Phillip Clinard, Angelo State, Jr., Pitcher, Rockwall, Texas/Rockwall HS
Clinard collected his team-leading third win of the season Friday as he had eight strikeouts without a walk in ASU’s 13-1 win over Central Oklahoma to open the weekend series. Clinard tossed 6.1 innings against UCO, scattering four hits and allowing just one earned run, that coming in the seventh inning. Clinard improved to 3-2 on the season and lowered his ERA to 3.38.
Mustangs remain at No. 7 in NFCA Top 25
Softball. WT Ranked 22nd in Latest NFCA Poll
Track & Field News
NATHAN WRIGHT: ASU's reign in heptathlon continues
Golf: ECU's Pool, UCO's Bensch pick up weekly honors
East Central's Zac Pool and Central Oklahoma's Erica Bensch were named Lone Star Conference Golfers of the Week for their efforts last week, the league office announced today.
Golfers of the Week
Zac Pool, East Central, Sr., Poteau, Okla./Poteau HS (Arkansas-Fort Smith)
Pool posted a 3-over par 216 and finished third at the three-round Midwestern State University Invitational earlier this week in Wichita Falls, Texas. Pool fired a 3-under-par 68 in the opening round and followed with back-to-back scores of 74 in the next two rounds as he finished six strokes off the pace. Pool displayed consistency by registering pars on 38 holes during the three-round, two-day event.
Erica Bensch, Central Oklahoma, So., Broken Arrow, Okla./Home schooled
Bensch won her first college title at the Midwestern State Invitational Tuesday, coasting to a three-stroke victory in the 61-player event to lead UCO to a third-place finish. Bensch was tied for the lead after an opening-round 76 and followed with a final-round 78 at the wind-blown Weeks Park Golf Course to win by three. The sophomore pulled away early Tuesday, playing the first seven holes three under par.
Golf Other Top Performers
Robbe Trout, Cameron, had a phenomenal outing at this week’s three-round, two-day Midwestern State Invitational. Trout finished the event in a tie for 4th place, with the event’s third-lowest score. His three-round stroke total of 217 (71-71-75) was +4 over par and the second best score by a Lone Star Conference golfer. Trout finished the event with the third-most pars (37) and the fourth-best par 4 scoring average (4.06, +2). Trout’s play this year is a huge reason why the Aggie men are rocketing up the regional and national rankings after a 2nd place finish two weeks ago, and this week’s 6th place finish out of 18 teams.
Carol Blanton, East Central, tied for second place with a 15-over par 157 at the two-round, two-day Midwestern State Invitational in Wichita Falls, Texas. Blanton fired a 4-over 76 in Monday’s opening round before shooting an 81 in the second round on Tuesday as she finished three shots off the pace. Blanton posted three birdies during the event as ECU finished fifth in the team standings.
A&M-Commerce Soccer Adds Five
Spring football practice blooms for UIW
Renovations are under way to Incarnate Word's Benson Stadium, creating visual proof that the young Cardinals remain a work in progress.
But for a sign of how far things have come in just one year? Spring ball kicks off today, and the Cardinals, suddenly veterans of this sort of thing, are devising ways to spice up a time of year that has become old hat.
“We're going to try out new things,” running back Trent Rios said.
Rios spoke of UIW's plan to tinker with the quarterback operating from under center after working almost exclusively out of the shotgun in its inaugural season.
Chuckling, Rios added, “If it doesn't work, we'll scrap it and stick to what we know best.”
Former OU linebacker Gus Jones has resurfaced at Northeastern State University. Jones, a graduate of Wagoner, spent last season redshirting at OU, then at semester’s end, decided he was transferring.
“It was a great experience at OU, but it just wasn’t for me,” Jones told the Muskogee Phoenix. “Why did I leave? I really didn’t fit in. I didn’t want to sit around and wait to play either, but it was tough to leave friends because I’d been with them for six to seven months.”
“There are a lot of country kids at NSU and there were very few at Oklahoma. I feel a lot more comfortable at NSU.”
Only this time, there is no fear.
Null and Martin each spent the past NFL season as rookies and want to give back to WT athletes. The pair will be the stars in what is billed as "A Night With The Pros," where all proceeds will benefit West Texas A&M football players.
"The thing I'm excited about is to see the vision Keith and I had is coming about," Martin said. "We wanted to do something because Amarillo, Canyon and the entire West Texas area were so key in supporting us through college. We wanted to give back and give back in a big way. We want to make an impact."
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
"I felt this team was good enough to win a national championship," MSU coach Grant McCasland said. "It was going to take a special effort to beat these guys. You have to give credit to Taylor Witt for delivering that."
Witt scored 38 of those points in the second half after Midwestern State used a 10-0 to close the opening as it held the Huskies scoreless over the final 3:08 to take a 45-39 lead into the second half.
The Mustangs, who had closed out all but one of their 49 games that it held an advantage, had plenty of shining moments and great performances of their own.
Junior guard Chris Hagan finished with a career-high 31 points which included three 3-pointers and a 13-of-20 effort from the floor, while senior guard Craig Green scored 18 of his 27 points in the opening half. St. Cloud battled back with an 8-2 run to retake the lead on a Theo Rothstein jumper with 15:08 to go in the second.
The Mustangs bounced back with a quick 6-0 run as Hagan hit a runner in the lane then finished off a transition feed from Anthony Moore before Charlie Logan tipped in another transition bucket to push MSU's advantage back to 57-53. That's when Witt struck as he converted on a bucket and a foul from the right wing on the next possesion to tie the game, then hit a pair of charity tosses two possessions later to give St. Cloud State a 60-57 lead.
Witt would score 34 of SCSU's 47 points over the final 13:24 of the game.
"He decided he wasn't going to let them lose," McCasland said. "He hit a lot of tough shots."
Witt finished with three 3-pointers and was 9-of-17 from the field, but found his way to the charity stipe where he connected on all but one of his 23 chances. Even with Witt's act, Hagan willed the Mustangs back with an 8-2 run contributing a pair of free throws, a long 2-point jumper and layup to give MSU its last lead at 78-76 with 3:17 to play.
But Witt outscored the Mustangs 9-2 over the next 2 1/2 minutes with a running trey from the top of the key and six free throws to push the St. Cloud advantage to 85-80 with 1:18 to go.
The loss snaps a 10-game winning streak for the Mustangs, who complete the best season in school history at 31-3.
Midwestern concludes the best season in school history at 31-3 (.912).
Midwestern fell to 4-4 in national quarterfinal play. The other seven were all in the NAIA national tournament.
Midwestern fell in a neutral site game for the first time since losing to Texas A&M International 70-66 in overtime on Nov. 17, 2007 - a span of 11 games.
Senior point guard Jason Ebie finished the season with 179 assists to eclipse former All-American LeRoy Shaw, who had 174 during the 1975-76 season.
Senior point guard Jason Ebie added three more steals to his season total which rated seventh in NCAA Division II. Ebie's 86 steals tie him with Cullen Mayfield (1980-81) and Damion McKinney (1996-97) for the second most in a single season in school history. James Burkhalter had 88 during the 1987-88 campaign.
St. Cloud State's Taylor Witt became the first player to score at least 40 points against Midwestern State since St. Edward's Brad Burdick scored 40 against MSU on Nov. 25, 2000.
Elite Eight basketball tournament: Ready, set, go in Springfield
Jaguars reach .500 with win over Javelinas
LSC Softball Quick Notes
On tap this week is the 11th annual Lone Star Conference Crossover Tournament. The 2010 edition will be held March 26-27-28 in Durant, Okla. at the Durant Multi-Sports Complex, located across from the Durant Country Club on Highway 78 (click here for directions). Games will be played on four fields; with starting times of 10:30 a.m. on Fields 5 and 6, and 11 a.m. on Fields 7 and 8 Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, action begins at 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. The three-day, 42-game event allows LSC teams, who are split into North and South Divisions for regular conference play, to play six of the teams in the opposite division.
LSC softball teams are 205-149 overall, with a 106-83 mark in the South and 99-66 in the North this season. In the NCAA South Central Region, the women’s teams are currently 58-26 combined versus Heartland Conference squads and 36-21 against the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA).
Teams are competing for one of eight spots, four from both the North and South Division, in the Lone Star Conference Championship to be held in Seguin, Texas, May 6-7-8.
Players of the Week
Kasey Barber, East Central, Jr., Third Baseman, Elgin, Okla./Elgin HS
Barber tied a school and conference record with three home runs, including a game-winning three-run blast in the top of the seventh inning, as ECU rallied for an 11-9 victory at Northeastern State. Barber, who went 3-for-4 in the game with seven runs batted in, also hit a solo-homer in the second inning and had another three-run shot in the sixth. She finished the week (two games) with a .500 batting average, .500 on-base percentage and 2.000 slugging percentage.
Cassie Chambless, Southwestern Oklahoma, So., P, Tuttle, Okla./Tuttle HS
Chambless pitched back-to-back shutouts for Southwestern Oklahoma State University last week. She threw a five-hit shutout in a 6-0 win over Oklahoma Panhandle State and followed it with a seven-hit shutout in a 3-0 win over Pittsburg State. She allowed just 12 hits through 14 innings, struck out nine batters and walked just two.
Arianna Rodriguez, Tarleton State, Fr., SS, Bruceville, Texas/Bruceville Eddy HS
Rodriguez finished the week with a 1.313 slugging percentage after belting three home runs and knocking in nine runs batted in last week. In the first game at Central Oklahoma, Rodriguez tripled to left center to score two runs in the top of the third before the freshman shortstop nailed a homer over the left centerfield fence to put the TexAnns on top 7-6 and give Tarleton the victory. Rodriguez had two home runs on Tuesday, including a three-run blast in the second game after going two-of-four in game two. She was three-for-four in the first game with an RBI and two runs scored to tally a total of five-for-eight at the plate on Tuesday in the doubleheader.
Carly Case, Texas Woman’s, Sr., P, Bowie, Texas/Bowie HS
Case led the Pioneers to a three-game sweep at Abilene Christian and helped the team snap a nine-game losing streak to the Wildcats. She picked up wins in all three games with two complete games. Case posted an 1.43 ERA in 14.2 innings and struck out eight batters while allowing three runs. On the season she leads the team and the conference with 13 wins and has 86 strikeouts.
Track & Field News
MSU tennis roundup (March 24)
WT women win Midwestern golf tourney
Aggie men finish 6th in big event
Link to photos
DAVID FLORES: Cardinals' football remains work in progress this
Infamous former Chargers quarterback Ryan Leaf will plead guilty to felony prescription drug charges and will receive 10 years of probation and a $20,000 fine as part of a plea deal reached yesterday with his attorney, a Texas prosecutor said.
The deal doesn’t include prison time largely because his alleged burglary victim asked prosecutors not to pursue charges against him, said James Farren, the prosecutor in Randall County, Texas.
A Texas judge will have final say on the plea deal recommendation.
Farren expects Leaf to arrive in Randall County next week to enter his plea. He said he does not expect Leaf to cancel the agreement, which could have turned out much worse for him. Leaf, 33, faced 20 years in prison on the burglary charge alone.