Tuesday, August 31, 2010

LSC Scoop Cross Country Previews - By Don Garrett

We would like to extend a huge thank you to Don Garrett for his work. As you can tell from reading the previews, it is a labor of love.

Lone Star Conference Women’s Cross Country Preview Fall 2010

On the women’s side, the big disappointment had to be ACU, who fell all the way to 8th place. Midwestern won, but not by as big a margin as I expected them to win. Angelo ran poorly all year, but ran extremely well at conference and almost caught Midwestern. The East Central and Central Oklahoma teams both overachieved in 2009 and UCO might have moved even higher if they had not lost one of their best runners to injury – she literally limped through the conference meet. West Texas ran well for a team of mostly freshmen, but Tarleton was a big disappointment on the women’s side, finishing in 6th. Painfully, Southeast Oklahoma could not even field a full team – they ran only 3 runners at the LSC meet.

This year, Midwestern should again be the class of the field on the women’s side and ACU looks strong on the men’s side, but I would say that particularly ACU is vulnerable if another team has a year where they improve substantially. The wild card is new LSC member Incarnate Word, who have been picked middle of the pack by the conference SID’s (5th in the men and 7th in the women), but I think both teams could be top 3 teams – the Cardinals will have a definite impact in their first year in the LSC.

(The number is parentheses is the place in the 2009 LSC meet)
ACU – 8th in 2009, picked 6th in the preseason poll.

ACU returns only 2 women, total, off of a very weak team, which finished 8th – by far the lowest place for ACU in LSC history. Their additions should actually make this a better team than 2009. ACU lost Shayla Herndon (35th), Lindsey Putman (44th – transferred to UTA); Kaily Timmons (78th) and Caitlin Hanisco (81st).

Returning: Chloe Susset (6th, plus 1st in the LSC steeplechase on the track); Kelsi Williamson (43rd).

Anais Belledant – Jr – France – came at midterm in 2010 and won the 1500 & 5K at LSC meet
Alyse Goldsmith – So – Katy Cinco Ranch/Trans from Okla State – 63rd in the Big 12 XC; 30th in the 5K
Sally Hays – Fr – A&M Consolidated – Dist 12-5A 2nd 3200, 3rd 1600
Rachel Belcher – Fr – Bulverde Bracken Christian – 4th TAPPS 2A 3200 on the track
Oksana Hays – Fr – Bryan Allen Academy – 3rd TAPPS 5A 800 in 2008
Greta Porisch – Fr – San Antonio Antonian – 13th TAPPS 5A XC
Jess Weeden – Fr – Monroe, WI – 6th WIAA Regional Division II 800

OUTLOOK: I could see their top 7 including Belledant, Susset, Goldsmith, Hays, Williamson, and some combination of Belcher, Porisch, O. Hays, and Weeden fighting for the last 2 spots to run at the conference meet. A better team than 2009, but still only a 5th or 6th place team.

ANGELO STATE – a very surprising 2nd place in 2009, picked 2nd again this year.

Angelo took 2 big losses, losing Brittney Heath (4th), Paige Massengill (13th). But, they do have some very good returnees, including: Emeline Crutcher (8th – a terrifically pleasant surprise for Angelo in 2009), Alyssa Priest (22nd), Jessica Boudreau (26th), Kami Orsak (54th), Brittney Welchon (60th) and Jenifer Flanery (63rd).

NEWCOMERS - this signing class is solid, but not overwhelming as a group:
Kelsey Merritt – East Bernard – she was 3rd in the Region IV-2A 1600 and 3200, missing state by inches in both races
Katy Williams – A&M Consolidated – 4th in the District 12-5A 3200 – this is a very tough district
Sofia Ramos – Bryson – 5th in the Region II-A 800
Shelby Langford – Leander Vista Ridge – never ran above JV

OUTLOOK: No way does Angelo lose 2 kids from the top 15 in the LSC meet and come back stronger. Probably only one kid in the recruiting class (Kelsey Merritt) has the chance to seriously impact this year. Top 9 may look like this: Crutcher, Priest, Boudreau, Merritt, Orsak, Welchon, Flanery, Ramos and Williams . This appears to be a much weaker team than 2009 and they may be vulnerable to an onslaught by UIW.

CENTRAL OKLAHOMA – a solid 4th in 2009, preseason pick of tie for 3rd with East Central

UCO might well have finished even higher than 4th in 2009, but outstanding runner Ilina Istrate was injured and painfully hobbled through that race, finishing in 32nd instead of the top 10 where she probably belonged. UCO did lose an excellent runner in Evelyn Berko (11th), but they appear to have an excellent core of returnees, most of whom were freshmen in 2009 and 2-3 new runners who could help them hold onto that 4th place standing or even move up a place or two.

RETURNEES: Cara Cox (19th – one of the better LSC freshmen in 2009), Angelica Martinez (20th – ditto), Angel Vick (29th), Alina Istrate (32nd – if she was healthy, she is top 10 or no worse than top 15 in 2009), Julie Crocker (47th), Hannah Pempsell (49th) and Iasha Keller (65hth) – that is 7 of the top 8 returning.

Jacquelynne Skocik – Jenks, OK – 1st OK 6A XC (no track results since 2007)
Tess Lackey – Ardmore, OK, Plainview HS – 5th OK 5A XC; on the track OK 5A – 4th 3200, 7th 1600
Katie Kerns – Pryor, OK – 15th OK 5A XC

OUTLOOK: A good squad that will take a small step backwards with Berko graduating, but who is bringing in three good newcomers. I see the top 9 running something like: Istrate, Cox, Martinez, Skocik, Vick, Lackey, Crocker, Pempsell and either Kerns or Keller. Probably holds onto 4th place or moves up a place or two due to Angelo being weaker than 2009.

EAST CENTRAL – 3rd in 2009; preseason pick of tie for 3rd with UCO

ECU had a good year in 2009, even with one of their top runners, Sylvia Barkechir, hobbled. They did well because 3 freshmen and one senior came thru for them. The losses were heavy for ECU – Sarah Reihart running the race of her life to finish 5th, Sylvia Barkechir (37th running injured); and Alex Kirkpatrick (48th). It does not look to me that they have adequately replaced Barkechir and Reihart.

RETURNEES: Hayley Jennings (at 9th, certainly one of the top 2-3 freshmen in the LSC in 2009); Andrea McKinney (23rd), Miranda Claxton (27th), Carina Clemente (28th), and Samantha Bartlett (77th).

Caroline Masai – transfer from Colby (KS) CC – 19th Reg VI 800 on the track
Jordan Earle – Caffeyville (KS) CC – 152nd the JC national meet

OUTLOOK: I see this team losing ground in 2010. The 2 additions have underwhelmed in junior college (Masai at 2 JC’s – Colby and NMJC). ECU loses some huge firepower from 2009. I see their top 8 looking something like: Jennings, McKinney, Claxton, Clemente, Earle, Masai, Bartlett and Rachel Pratt. No way this squad is better than 2009 and there are teams eager to surge past them.

EASTERN NEW MEXICO – 7th in 2009; picked 7th again in 2010

The ENMU men saw a huge improvement in 2009 and the women also improved but not as dramatically as the men. ENMU has virtually their entire team back, including one that I was certain had used her eligibility, but she apparently has one year of XC left (Jerri Martin). The only loss from last year is Cristal Chuca (66th) and there appears to be at least one newcomer who can easily overcome that loss.

RETURNEES: Nicole (Nicky) Reid (15th, but then score 19 points on the track, 2nd in both the steeple and 5K and 6th in the 1500 – one of the top distance runners in the LSC); Jerri Martin (24th), Danielle Jones (38th – then finished 6th in the conference 10K on the track); Samantha Draper (52nd), Yared Gamiz (53rd), Theresa Chacon (only 58th in XC, but scored on the track by finishing 8th in the steeple); Megan Bryant (68th), and Nicole Blackwell (75th).

Adrienne Montoya – Estancia, NM – 2nd NM 2A XC; on the track 1st NM 2A 800, 2nd 1600 – interesting kid who attended the Academy of Performing Arts to study dance and was allowed to compete for Estancia because she lived in that school district
Kris Cogswell – Las Cruces, NM, Onate – 8th NM 5A 800
Brittany Buchanan – Albuquerque Hope Christian – 11th NM 3A 1600 & 3200
Linda Vicario – El Paso Chapin – District 1-4A 7th 3200, 8th 1600

OUTLOOK: This team could possibly improve a place or two if one or more of their freshmen come through. I imagine their top 9 might include: Reid, Martin, Jones, Draper, Montoya, Gamiz, Chacon, plus Cogswell, Vicario, Buchanan, Bryant and Blackwell fighting for those last 2 spots.

INCARNATE WORD – 2nd in the Heartland Conference meet, behind an excellent DBU squad that would have possibly won the LSC in 2009; preseason pick of 7th

Here the predictions get a lot more interesting, because of UIW being new to the LSC. They had a pretty good squad in 2009 and I think they are actually better in 2010. I don’t see any way they finish as low as 7th this year and they could actually break into the top 5 or even top 3. They did lose one kid from 2009 – Rose Caldwell (25th in the HC). They did not add a lot, but their additions are intriguing and their returnees are seasoned.

RETURNEES: Starts with another French citizen, Marie Troufflard (6th); Alison Gonzales (12th), Alma Santos (15th), Stephanie Glatt (23rd); Alma Salinas (30th), and Meagan Hoff (31st). Troufflard should contend for a Top 10 spot right off the bat.

Danielle de la Paz – Corpus Christi Calallen – 8th in the Region IV-4A 800
Celeste Dunlap – ex-military and out of JC for about 8 years, but still ranked #4 all-time in the 5K on the track at West Valley JC in California
Alana Almurudis – San Antonio FEAST (the home school association) – strictly XC runner in HS

OUTLOOK: If former soldier Dunlap finds her stride, this team could contend for a top 3 spot and I have no doubt they should be in the top 5 with a group of top 9 runners composed of Troufflard, Gonzales, Santos, Glatt, Salinas, de le Paz, Hoff, Dunlap and Almurudis.

MIDWESTERN STATE – 1st, but only 3 points ahead of Angelo in 2009; prediction of 1st for this year

Somehow, Midwestern State won the LSC, yet it still seemed to be a somewhat disappointing year for them. They only won the LSC by 3 points and probably should have bested 2nd-place Angelo by 30 or more. In 2010, MSU loses three runners from the middle of their pack – Julie Bell (25th), Cynthia Carrillo (31st), Hassie Sutton (33rd) - but they bring back their top runners and they have added a recruiting class that is easily the best in the conference. As I mentioned last year, MSU might have had enough depth to finish 1st and 2nd in the LSC and their depth is still amazing.

RETURNEES: Start with LSC Champ Sydnee Cole, then throw in Kayla Hendrix (12th), Heather Owens (14th), Lindsey Pate (18th), Melody Caldwell (57th), as well as Bailey Dulaney, who ran in their top 7 all year but was unable to run at the LSC meet. That tallies 4 returnees from the top 18 in 2009 – a pretty good place to start.

Brissia Montalvo – Transfer from El Paso CC/UTEP – 17th in the JC XC last year and ran #2 for UTEP all year in 2007
Ashley Flores – Haltom City – 11th 5A XC; qualified for state in the 3200 by finishing 2nd in the Region I-5A 3200 (also finished 3rd in the 1600), but did not run at state for some reason
Cara Mack – Llano – 4th 3A 3200
Janel Campbell – Ingram Tom Moore – 6th 3A 3200
Casey Castro – Burkburnett – mostly relays

OUTLOOK: I see a top 10 that reads Cole, Montalvo, Hendrix, Flores, Owens, Pate, Mack, Campbell, Dulaney, and Caldwell. I do not see anyone in the conference that should even get close, but stranger things have happened in this world!

SOUTHEASTERN OKLAHOMA – could not field a full team of 5 at the LSC meet; predicted to finish in 13th

Things are really tough on the cross country course for SEO right now. They were unable to field a full team at the conference meet in 2009. They only had three young women run in 2009 and they are all gone from the team, including the one runner that was competitive for the Savage Storm – Shayna McCormick (41st).

RETURNEES – the top returnee is Jessica Beames, who did not run at the LSC meet in 2009 and placed 74th at the 2008 meet. The only other returnee is Rachel Brunk.

Alison Keatts – Gunter – 4th in the District 11-2A 800 in 2009
Kenna Chaffin – Durant – 16th in the OK 5A 800 back in 2008
Ashley Fawks – Rockwall – I found a few results from 3 years ago while she was at Rockwall

It appears there is really no way this team climbs out of the cellar at the LSC meet. With even one person injured or sick on the day of the LSC meet, they will be unable to even field a team for conference. That is painful. It looks like their top 5 will be Beames, Brunk, Keatts, Chaffin and Fawks.

SOUTHWEST OKLAHOMA – 9th in 2009 and picked 10th in this season’s preseason poll

SWO was not too far from being competitive in 2009, I actually thought they would finish higher than 9th. They lost 2 pretty good kids in Sarah Hix (39th) and Tatum Hofmann (45th), both of whom had eligibility left but apparently left the program. They added some good hands and have one excellent runner back and they could move up a few places in 2010.

RETURNEES: Start with Chelsey Dillon (from Mabank, TX) who was one of the top freshmen in the LSC in 2009, finishing in 10th at the conference meet. They did lose their #2 and #3 runners from 2009 – Hix and Hofmann. But, they also return Carissa Curtis (56th), Micah Mathis (64th), Patty Murphy (67th), Lisa Garza (70th) and Melissa Banks (76th).

Temer Yimer – Transfer from Johnson County CC in Kansas – at the JC indoors in 2009, she was 7th in the 5K, 8th in the mile and 9th in the 3K – a very nice addition
Kelli Quimby – Hennesy, OK – the OK 2A state champ in the 3200, 4th in the 1600 and 7th in the 800

OUTLOOK: A top 9 of Dillon, Yimer, Quimby, Curtis, Mathis, Murphy, Garza, Banks, plus Zandra Allen from last year’s team, is a pretty competitive squad, not top 5, but better than the preseason pick of 10th.

TARLETON STATE – 6th in 2009 and preseason pick of 8th

Not sure why Tarleton is picked 8th – they return the top 4 from their 2009 team and they probably had the 2nd best overall signing class of any LSC team. Their losses were not that devastating – Sheila Bishop (55th), Morgan Kuykendall (72nd) and Brittney Drolette (71st).

RETURNEES: Vanessa Elizondo was enormously improved in 2009, jumping to 7th place in the LSC meet: Shadoh Campbell (30th), Katherine Grillo (36th, plus 7th in the LSC steeplechase on the track); Ryland Pittenger (46th) and Kyndall Trnka (69th and 10th in the LSC 1500 on the track, almost scoring at the conference meet). That is actually a pretty good core of runners to work with.

NEWCOMERS – I think that 2-3 of these young women help immediately
Payton Shoush – Brock – the 2A state champ in the 800
Celeste Myer – Florence – 3rd in the 2A 1600
Morgan Reed – Callisburg – 6th 2A 800
Ashley Husbands – Denton – 3rd Dist 5-4A XC
Melissa Lewis – Justin Northwest – 13th Distr 5-5A XC

OUTLOOK: With a top 9 composed of Elizondo, Campbell, Grillo, Myer, Shoush, Pittenger, Reed, Trnka and Husbands, this team should be nearer to the top of middle of the pack (4th-5th) than in their preseason prediction of 8th.

TEXAS A&M - COMMERCE -- 11th in 2009, preseason pick of 12th
Commerce had a very, very tough year in 2009. However, they have added MANY new faces, while losing one key runner from this past season. They lost Maci Bradford, who at 40th place was their highest finisher in 2009, plus losing Gaby Tetrick (74th). Bradford was an interesting case – she did not compete in track or XC in high school, playing soccer. At times, she was fairly competitive, but for whatever reason, she will not be returning.

RETURNEES: Kate Donovan (42nd, but she was much more competitive in 2008 as a freshman finishing 23rd – she also finished 4th in the LSC steeplechase on the track); Jennifer Speer (62nd); Jamie Hays (80th). If Kate Donovan returns to her 2008 form, she is capable of a top 20 finish and this team is immediately improved over 2009.

NEWCOMERS – no one stands out in this group, but there are lot more bodies to compete for the top 9 spots to run at conference and only 1-2 of them have to pan out to have a vastly improved team
Carolyn Bell – McKinney Christian/Trans from Vanderbilt – former TAPPS 2A champ in XC, 1600, 3200; was 68th in the SEC XC in 2007
Shunterrical Lamb – Dallas Kimball – 4th 4A 800 – 2009; 4th Region II-4A 800 – 2010
Alysha Turner – Los Angeles Dorsey/Trans from West LA JC – 5th Cal JC 800 – 2009
Rachael Biggers – Dallas Lincoln – 3rd in the Region II-4A 800 in 2006
K’Nycha Johnson – Little Elm – 1st Dist 5-4A 100, 400 – 2009 (trying to move up to distances)
Sara Matheny – Flower Mound Marcus – 14th Dist 6-5A XC, in a highly competitive HS district
Tayloure Senter – Mesquite Horn – 28th Dist 11-5A XC
Taquila Palmer – Tyler Lee – only found a few scattered XC results
Mary Jane Watkins – Como-Pickton – could not find any results on her

OUTLOOK: There is potential for much more depth with this team than in 2009. Commerce competed with the bare minimum number of competitors at the conference meet – 5. It is much more likely that this team runs 9-10 at conference and those competitors might be: Donovan, Bell, Lamb, Turner, Speer, Biggers, Johnson, Hays, Matheny, and Senter. Will it be enough to catch TAMU-K? I seriously doubt , but this team should be more competitive.

TEXAS A&M-KINGSVILLE – 10th – 2009; 11th preseason

Huge loss in Erica Alvarado, who was the conference runner-up last year. Hard to believe Kingsville finished 10th as a team and had the conference runnerup. Also lost Grecia Volantin (79th) and Tuveesha Jones, a quartermiler pressed into service to get 5 runners on the team who finished last (83rd) in the conference race. I give her props for stepping up and making that effort for the team.

RETURNEES: Jessica Martinez (17th, plus a strong 3rd in the 5K on the track); Regina Carvajal (80th). There are also so kids from the track team – 400 hurdlers/800 runners – who are running XC to beef up their team: Ninfa Rios (6th in the LSC 400H in 2009) and Diana Zarate (8th in the LSC 400H last year and 4th in 2009). I know that Rios has run the 800 some.

Tazna (or Tezna) Roy – Palacios – 5th 3A 800 in 2009, but was DQ’d in the Region IV-3A in 2010
Briana Villareal – La Feria – 4th Region IV-3A 800 – 2009; 1st Dist 32-3A 800
Marissa Acosta – Alice – 2nd Dist 31-4A 800

OUTLOOK: Tough to lose the conference runnerup, but still this team looks a bit deeper than the 2009 version. With a top 7 of Martinez, Roy, Rios, Zarate, Acosta, Villareal and Carvajal, they will be in a fight to finish 10th-11th overall. If the 2 hurdlers (Rios and Zarate) are able to step up and be competitive, this team could still surprise some people.

WEST TEXAS A&M – 5th in 2009; preseason pick of 5th

This is an up-and-coming program! Solid 5th in 2009, just 12 points behind UCO. Could move up another few places, even though the top 5 will be very competitive, especially with the addition of a good Incarnate Word team. WTAMU did lose a very good one in Eddah Toroitch (16th), plus Nicole Hudgens (50th). Those losses are replaceable with a good recruiting class.

RETURNEES: Aries Bazaldua (3rd – she was THE best freshman in an excellent crop of LSC freshmen in 2009, also won the LSC 10K on the track); Allie Reyna (21st – also 8th in the LSC 800 and 1500), Jessica Blakely (34th – 5th in the LSC steeplechase); Allison Medina (59th); Brieanna Garcia (61st- she actually ran much better than that most of the season). 5 of top 7 returning.

Amber Moore – Longview Spring Hill – 8th 3A 3200, but 4th in both the 1600 and 3200 in 2009
Brenda Jemutai – Kenya – can’t find any stats on her, but that is common for Kenyan HS athletes – very little HS information at least in locations that I can find them
Olivia Martinez – Canyon – Dist 3-4A 3rd 800, 6th 1600

OUTLOOK: Excellent nucleus back, if Bazaldua can avoid a sophomore slump. Not sure how good the Kenyan, Jemutai, will be, because I couldn’t find any stats on her, but I suspect the WT coaches would not bring her to Canyon if she does not have some upside. Therefore, I suspect their top 8 in order might include: Bazaldua, Reyna, Jemutai, Blakely, Garcia, Moore, Medina, and Martinez. This team would appear to have the potential to move up a place or two in the standings in 2010.

MY PRESEASON PREDICTION OF FINISH (with LSC preseason picks in parentheses)

1. Midwestern (1st) – Duh!
2. Central Oklahoma (tie for 3rd) – places 2-8 are virtual tossup
3. Incarnate Word (7th) – this team was pretty dadgum good in 2009 and will make their presence known in the LSC
4. Angelo State (2nd) – lost some firepower from 2009
5. West Texas A&M (5th) – improved in 2010, but not the quantum leap of last season
6. ACU (6th) – with 2 of the top 5 runners in the LSC and a good #3, it will come down to their #4 and #5 spots – if they get decent production there, ACU could move up considerably
7. East Central (tie 3rd) – I am very conflicted about ECU, they lost a lot, they have some good returnees, but their JC transfers are not that promising, therefore a 7th place prediction
8. Tarleton State (8th) – definitely should be improved, but this year the LSC is much stronger than 2009
9. Eastern New Mexico (9th) – ditto!
10. Southwestern Oklahoma (10th) – probably a little stronger than 2009, but enough to move up a place or two? Probably not
11. TAMU-Kingsville – they lost their very best kid to graduation and don’t have the firepower to make up any ground
12. TAMU-Commerce – probably not good enough to move up either, although they should be better than their rather woeful 2009 season
13. Southeastern Oklahoma – I am most certain of 2 places – 1st and 13th

I will try to look at the progress on each team once or twice this season prior to the LSC meet in Abilene on November 6th. It might look very different after 2-3 meets.


Last year came out pretty close to what I expected in the LSC. On the men’s side, ACU won more handily than expected over Tarleton. Eastern New Mexico made a huge leap in the standings from prior years and ended in a solid 3rd. Cameron ran so-so all year, but ran very well at the conference meet to get 4th. The biggest disappointment on the men’s side had to be East Central, who should have been a top 3 contender, but with some key injuries and a runner who could not get eligible, ECU somehow fell all the way to 8th in the 9 team field.

(The number in parentheses is the place at the 2009 LSC meet)
ACU - 1st for the past 18 years and picked 1st in 2010
ACU lost 2 excellent runners from 2009 – Colby Delbene (5th – in the preseason spiels on the conference website, it mentions Delbene as returning, but he left ACU last spring before the outdoor season); and Daniel Maina (12th). Lots of new faces and some could be very good.

RETURNEES: Amos Sang (1st – a good place to start, with the best distance runner in D-II, he also won the 5K and the 10K at the national meet on the track); Cleophas Tanui (2nd); Romain Rybicki (did not run at the conference meet due to injury – he is very injury prone); Spencer Lynn (13th – one of the best freshmen in the LSC in 2009, but has fought an Achilles injury since last year’s indoor season and those are hard to come back from); Jake Schofield (34th), and William Pike (36th, plus he was 7th in the LSC 10K on the track).

James Grantham – North Port, FL/Trans from Rend Lake – 1st FL 4A 1600 in 2007; 1st JC outdoor 4X800 for Rend Lake in 2010 – could be a huge addition
Erik Forrister – Llano – 4th 3A 3200
Gary Duncan – Longview Spring Hill – 8th 3A 3200
Josh Taylor – Forney – 3rd Region II-4A 3200
Will Mack – Boerne Champion - #6 runner for the Nike XC National champ team
Soren Thompson – Frisco Centennial – 2nd Dist 9-4A 3200

NOTE: The other key newcomer will be the new ACU distance coach – whoever that may end up being. Sam Burroughs took the XC job at UNT and left a few weeks ago.

OUTLOOK: A very good team that could be slightly vulnerable if key people (Rybicki and Lynn) do not come back from injury. A top 7 of Sang, Tanui, Grantham, Rybicki, Lynn, Pike, Schofield, plus the 5 freshmen in a constant battle for spots #8 and #9. If 1-2 of the young kids step up and have an excellent frosh season, then this team is not even slightly vulnerable.

ANGELO STATE – 5th in 2009, preseason pick of 6th in 2010

The 2009 version of the Rams had what was frankly a disappointing year and they lost a lot of kids off that team – Nate Gonzales (16th), Brian Carroll (24th), Shannon Cunningham (30th), Hogan Campbell (61st) and Andy Ruvalcaba, who was 55th back in 2008 and did not run in 2009. I simply don’t see anyone on this new team that can fill any of those losses.

RETURNEES: Randall Guinn (21st), Robert Hummingbird (37th), Nick Wargo (42nd) and Isac Valdez (53rd, but he ran better than that earlier in the season). Only one of these kids, Guinn, finished in the top half of the conference in 2009.

NEWCOMERS – this new group does not inspire awe!
Cody Pena – Sonora – 3rd in the Dist 4-2A 800
Cody Rodela – El Paso Burges – 10th in the Dist 1-4A 3200
Clinton Bippert - Medina Valley – has run track at ASU for 2 years, running the 400H

OUTLOOK: It does not look good for Angelo. They have had to recruit a 400 hurdler off the track team to field 7 men at meets. The top 7 will probably read Guinn, Hummingbird, Wargo, Valdez, Pena, Rodela, and Bippert. It will be hard for them to hang onto that preseason 6th place.

CAMERON – 4th in 2009 and picked 4th in the preseason for 2010

Always tough to figure out the Cowboys. In 2009, they did not run that well prior to the conference meet, then came up and almost moved into 2nd place. Their recruiting is always far-flung, since their coach came to Cameron from Virginia Intermont College. Often, I can’t find anything on their international athletes – getting valid info on internationals is rather dicey. Cameron could be very good, but they could just as easily be very bad and could finish anywhere between 2nd and 8th. This year, they lost FOUR of the runners who represented Cameron at the LSC meet in 2009 – Josh Stewart (8), Casey Kreger (48th – after running much better than that place would indicate all season); David Barmasai (56th), and Guy Narcomey (68th).

RETURNEES: Julius Korir (3rd - the top returnee in the LSC who does not run for ACU); Mohamed Khelalfa (10th – ran terribly all year, then ran well at conference); and Juan Ruiz (51st). They also had 2 others who did not run at conference Ramiro Garcia, who was a pretty good runner at FW Northside in high school and Bhupendra Acharya, who I mention because he is the only LSC cross country from Nepal.

NEWCOMERS – lots of new bodies, some with some potential
Brian Mulwo – Kenya/Trans from D-II American International – 11th Northeast-10 10K outdoors and 6th in the NE-10 5K indoors
Chad Foster – Tuttle, OK – 8th OK 4A 800, 6th OK 4A XC
Ben Rupert – Oklahoma City Mt. St. Mary’s – 5th OK 3A XC
Eli Hernandez – El Paso Jefferson – 18th TX 4A XC; 4th Dist I-4A 3200
Lance Karpe – Walters, OK – 10th OK 2A 1600
Marcus Trevino – Mineral Wells – 7th Dist 6-4A 1600 & 3200
Estavan Granados – Lawton, OK
Oluwuseun Patunok-Ajayi – can’t find any stats on him
Krzystof Szcepinski – can’t find anything about him
Sammuel Kibwe - ditto
Tyler Nelson – 6th in the 5-5A JV 3200

OUTLOOK: It is an educated guess at best, but their top 10, in order, could look something like this: Korir, Khelalfa, Mulwo, Szcepinski, Kibue, Foster, Hernandez, Rupert, Ruiz, and Garcia or Acharya. The order could be wildly different, since I am betting that the internationals Mulwo, Szcepinski, and Kibue will contribute. I tend to suspect that this team will finish around 3rd-4th, unless one or more of the internationals produce well, which could mean 2nd or produce poorly, which could mean 6th or 7th.

EAST CENTRAL – 8th in 2009 and picked 8th again this year

What a disappointing season for ECU in 2009. They lost key people to injury (Daniel Kiptoo – 13th in 2008) and ineligibility (UTA transfer Armando Saldivar). This team could have placed in the top 3, but instead they finish a woeful 8th place. They could be very good in 2010 – much, much better than the 8th place they are picked in the preseason if they run to their capability and they don’t lose key people again in 2010. They did lose one kid from their 2009 team – Tyler Jackson (44th)

RETURNEES: Jim Sutrick (6th – had a great year in 2009); Joel Dutton (22nd), Mitchell Haun (43rd), Austin Christian (46th), Carl Williams (49th), Hunter Haun (50th), and Stefan Terrell (64th). Except for Sutrick and possibly Dutton, all of the other ECU runners ran poorly at conference, compared to the previous meets of the year. Then, ECU also get 2 quasi-returnees – the above referenced Kiptoo and Saldivar. Saldivar is a former Texas 4A state XC champ who could have helped the Tigers drastically in 2009 and WILL help them in 2010. If Kiptoo is healthy in 2009, he is probably a top 10 guy at the LSC meet.

Ezekiel Kissorio – Kenya – his brother in the NAIA XC national champ from Oklahoma Christian
Marcus Duran – Madill – OK 4A 4th 1600,
Cale Eidson – Calera, OK – 1st 2A XC, 3-time 2A 1600 champ
Josiah Biles – 10th OK 5A XC, 4th OK 5A 1600
Taylor Ocel – Mansfield – Dist 4-5A 4th 1600, 6th 3200
Cale Prince – Ada, OK – 6th OK 4X800
Taylor Nasu – Chino Hills, CA, Ayala HS
Ricardo Trejo – Oklahoma City Grant HS – soccer player

OUTLOOK: This team should be drastically better than they were in 2009. There should be excellent competition for all 9 spots on the team that runs at conference. My best guess for top 10 runners would be: Sutrick, Kiptoo, Kissorio, Saldivar, Dutton, Duran, Biles, Haun, Eidson, with Henrie and Williams fighting it out for the #9 spot. The top 5 are each capable of running in the top 25 at conference and that could put them in the fight for a top 3 place. I don’t know that I will predict them quite that high, but they are a lot better than their LSC preseason poll pick of 8th!!

EASTERN NEW MEXICO – 3rd 2009; preseason pick of 3rd for 2010

ENMU was the biggest surprise of the 2009 season. A very young team (their team at conference consisted of 1 senior , 3 juniors and 6 freshmen) moved into a strong 3rd spot. They have lost some of their underclassmen for the 2010 season, including Luis Aguirre (22nd), Thomas Martinez (29th) and Mario Portillo (33rd), plus the lone senior, Derek Henio (60th). Those losses of 3 runners from the middle of their pack is the only thing that could prevent ENMU from moving to 2nd. However, as you will see, their new kids should fill those holes.

RETURNEES: Jacob Lozano (11th, plus 6th in the 10K on the track); Richard Kogo (14th, and 9th in the 5K on the track last spring); Logan Robertson (39th), Dustin Francke (41st), Pedro Martinez (40th) and Patrick Lueras (59th, but he ran much better than that place would indicate most of the 2009 season).

Mohammed Noor – Lewiston, ME/Garden City CC – 7th in the JC XC meet last fall, a top JC recruit
Casey Robertson – Columbus, IA/North Iowa Area CC – 13th JC steeple on the track; 42nd JC XC last fall
Salvador Duarte – Hobbs – 8th NM 5A 800
Zachary Fort – Albuquerque Del Norte – 22nd NM 4A XC
Baron Barber – W. Palm Beach, FL – 9th FL Region 4-3A 800
Zerrick Vriseno – Belton – 5th Dist 12-5A 3200
Bretton Villareal – Amarillo Tascosa – Dist 2-5A 4th 1600, 5th 3200
Plus, 4 other HS kids

OUTLOOK: With a top 10 that might include Lozano, Kogo, Noor, Robertson, Martinez, Francke, Robertson, Lueras, Duarte, and Fort, this team appears to be capable to making a legit run at 2nd. We are definitely seeing a huge upswing in this program. I am thrilled to see that ENMU is not bolting from the conference just when they are becoming competitive in cross country and track and field.

INCARNATE WORD – 1st in the Heartland Conf in 2009 and a preseason pick of 5th in 2010

I don’t think that UIW got a fair shake in the preseason picks. They did take a big hit with the graduation of their #1 runner from 2009 – conference champ Shayn Weidner, one of the better runners in the South Central Region. However, he was literally their only loss from last season.

RETURNEES: A solid group of seasoned returnees that include: Howard Gill (3rd in the Heartland meet), Adrian Carrillo (6th), Solomon Rotich (7th), Robert Hawes (9th), Chris Flores (10th), Marcos Gonzales (24th), plus 2 others who ran at conference, but did not figure in the scoring – Hunter Bradshaw and Hilario Coronado. Throw in the return of Juan Perez, who did not run at conference due to injury, but finished 86th in the South Central Regional meet. That is a core of 9 kids who are used to running in big meets.

The top newcomer is only a “half-newcomer” – Sebastian Jaraba-Heffner, from France. He came to UIW at mid-term last year and was a national provisional qualifier in the 800 – a 1:52 halfmiler.
Corey McDonnough, from Port Lavaca Calhoun, is another “half-newcomer” – came last spring and was a solid 1:56 halfmiler – you have to be fast if your HS mascot is the Sand Crabs!
Richard Borchardt - PSJA North – ran 4 meets for TCU in 2009, a pretty good HS runner
Christian Chacon - San Antonio FEAST (the home school team) – won the Northwest ISD Invitational 3200 on the track running against 4A-5A kids
Alex Hernandez – San Antonio Wagner – 4th in the Dist 27-5A 1600-3200

OUTLOOK: A very deep team, with a legit group of 10-11 that includes (roughly in order): Gill, Jaraba-Heffner, Carrillo, Rotich, Hawes, Flores, McDonnough, Perez, Gonzales, and Chacon fighting for a spot with Borchardt and Hernandez. This team will be right there fighting for that 2nd spot behind ACU.

TARLETON STATE – 2nd in 2009; preseason pick of 2nd for 2010

If all of the kids returned who still were eligible, then this team would be right there for 2nd and could give ACU a good battle. BUT, the Texans sustained 3 big hits when Gerzain Valenzuela (4th), Jared McNeil (9th and the former track performer of the year in the LSC in 2009), and Ryan Quezada (18th) did not return. Ouch, it is next to impossible to lose THREE of the top 18 kids in the conference and still remain competitive.

RETURNEES: A solid group that includes Jonathan Kern (19th), Westyn Rosiles (25th), Logan Myner (31st) and Chris Hearell (35th). I think particularly Hearell may see a lot of improvement this season, but not nearly enough firepower to make up the loss of the big 3 of Valenzuela, McNeil and Quezada.

Coleby Borchardt , from Krum – 5th Region II-2A 800; 3rd in that race in 2009
Miles Joslin – Georgetown – 3rd in the Dist 16-5A 1600 in a very strong distance district

OUTLOOK: Tarleton goes to battle with 6 runners in 2010 – ranked roughly as Kern, Rosiles, Myner, Hearell, Borchardt and Joslin. It is a tough assignment to expect either of the freshmen to make up the points lost from last year. I could see Tarleton falling drastically at the conference meet this year.

TAMU-COMMERCE – 7th in 2009; preseason pick of 9th in 2010

With the loss of 4 men who ran for Commerce at the 2009 XC meet, on the surface it would appear that things are bleak for 2010, BUT, the Lions get back their best runner from 2008 and a raft load of new talent, plus a solid core of returnees. Suddenly, the Lions could surprise the conference a bit with a rather competitive team this year. They did lose one extremely talented runner in Tyler Tyndell (7th), along with Gerardo Delafuente (38th), Logan Kelly (57th), and Ray Moreno (65th).

RETURNEES: The Lions get Robert Reed back – 8th in the XC meet in 2008 and 2nd in the 1500 last spring, one of the top distance talents in the LSC; Nathan White (20th), Laurencio Tamayo (58th) and Ross Hicks (63rd). The last three were all freshmen in 2009, so they have the advantage of a year under their belts this season. Plus, throw in that Brandon Womack is back this year – he was 43rd in the LSC XC meet in 2008, but even better, he was 2nd in the LSC 800 on the track last spring.

Trenton Overly – Lone Oak – the 2A state champ in the 800
Everett Wilder – Sulphur Bluff – he was 3rd in the A 3200 in 2009, beating current teammate Tamayo
Raymond Mata – Mansfield Legacy – in District 8-4A, he won the 1600 and was 2nd in the 3200
Alex Kimp – Keller Central – 4th in the very tough 5-5A 3200, he also was 6th in the XC meet before finishing 17th at the Region I-5A XC meet
Tyler Hemenway – Anna – won the District 10-3A 800 and 1600
Benito Villalobos – Wichita Falls – Dist 5-4A 7th 1600, 8th 3200

OUTLOOK: Suddenly, TAMU-Commerce has a very respectable team. A top 10 headlined by Reed would also include White, Womack, Overly, Wilder, Tamayo, Mata, Kimp, Hicks, and Hemenway. In fact, the more I look at this lineup, the more I like it. Much more depth than the past few years. Look for a big jump in respectability from Commerce in 2010.

TAMU-KINGSVILLE – 9th in 2009 and the preseason pick of 10th

The Javelina men’s track team took a HUGE leap in competitiveness in 2009-2010 in the 2nd year for Coach Dall. They scored well in the conference track meet and also scored at the national meet. You can see the team coming around. However, the distance corps for the Hoggies is having a little more challenge becoming competitive. This team is very hard to read, because Coach Dall chose to take his lumps in 2009 in XC and redshirt 6 kids – kids who might have helped him last year. If any of these redshirts step up, this team could be pretty competitive. Kingsville did lose one runner from last year – Daniel Castro, who finished 45th last season.

RETURNEES: The list starts with Kiya Dandena (15th, plus 8th in the LSC 5K on the track); the other returnees are less inspiring – Mario Maldonado (62nd), Marc Escalante (66th), Esteban Lopez (67th) and Chris Garza (69th). The list also includes those 6 redshirts mentioned above: Brett Arredondo, from Kingsville King; Amanuel Belay, from Houston Bellaire; Gregorio Carmona, from LaFeria; David Johnson, from Rockport-Fulton; Alonso Quiroga, from Santa Rosa; and Gilbert Rodriguez, from Wharton. All of them had decent HS credentials – nothing fantastic, but all are runners who placed at their district meets. Plus, add Joshua Prado, who ran for track for Kingsville in 2010, placing 16th in the 800 on the track.

Jose Reyes – Luling – 6th at 3A state in the 1600, District 27-3A champ in the 1600, 3200
Andre Fuqua – Corpus Christi Flour Bluff – 2nd in the Dist 31-4A XC

OUTLOOK: Those redshirts are the wild-card for the Hoggies. I have a hard time coming up with a hard-and-fast top 10, but it might look like this: Dandena (the one certainty on this team), Reyes, Rodriguez, Maldonado, Escalante, Fuqua, Lopez, Garza, Prado and any one of those redshirts. It does appear to be a deeper team than the 2009 version, but not enough firepower in the #2 through #7 spots to get out of the conference cellar.

WEST TEXAS A&M – 6th in 2009 and picked 7th in the preseason poll

WTAMU ran well in 2009 with a young team. They could have easily been picked in the top 4 this year, except that they lost Joey Villareal, one of the top freshmen in the LSC at 17th place, who transferred to South Plains. The Buffaloes also lost Jarret Kachel (52nd). However, they have added some good new people and even a reasonable improvement in their returning runners puts them in the thick of things.

RETURNEES: The top returnee is one of those “half-newcomers” – Luke Irwin. Irwin, from Ontario, came at mid-term of the 2009-2010 school year and made a splash quickly, winning the LSC steeple and getting 5th in the 1500 and 5K last spring. He should be one of the top LSC XC runners. Also returning are Andrew Striley (26th), Thomas Harris (27th), Rolando Vasquez (28th, plus 5th in the 800 on the track), Jarred Murray (47th), Michael Janousek (54th) and Robbie Ness (55th). Throw in some kids who other kids who ran track for WT in 2010 – Taylor Gardner (8th in the LSC 800) and Ray Sparkman (12th in the 800 at the LSC meet) and you have a strong core of returnees.

Jadon Rankins – El Paso Americas – won the Dist 1-5A 1600 and 3200; then just missed the state meet, finishing 4th in the Region I-5A 1600, plus 8th in the 3200
Hayden Hook – Claude – 21st in the Region I-A XC meet

OUTLOOK: This team looks pretty solid, with Irwin in the lead role, followed by Striley, Harris, Vasquez, Rankins, Murray, Ness, Janousek, Gardner. It has the depth that comes from a young team that is maturing. Again, if Villareal does not transfer to SPC, I might be tempted to make them a top 3 team. Still, they will be a good team and will certainly surprise some people.

MY PRESEASON PREDICTION OF FINISH (with LSC preseason picks in parentheses) - this year is tougher than ever. Very little separates #2 from #8 and maybe even #9! The parity is amazing. With the exception of Tarleton and Angelo and possibly ACU, every team will be better than they were in 2009. The 9th place team in 2010 might have been a top 5 team in 2009. That kind of improvement is definitely good for the LSC!

1. ACU (1st) – still a strong team. If just 2-3 of the newcomers step up, this could be a national top-4 team. It is not quite as strong as it was in 2009 and definitely not as strong as 2007-2008.
2. ENMU (3rd) – team just keeps getting better and they have 2 JC kids who could really impact the team this year
3. Incarnate Word (5th) – instant contenders, with a seasoned squad
4. Cameron (4th) – like I said above, they could slide anywhere from 8th to 2nd, a tough team to predict
5. WTAMU (7th) – an up-and-coming team
6. East Central (8th) – no way they crater at conference 2 years in a row
7. Tarleton (2nd) – a good program that appears to be having some bad luck this year – if they have those 3 kids they lost, this team is ranked #2 and is battling ACU
8. Angelo (6th) – another good program that is just a little down this year and this is a bad year to be having a down year!
9. TAMU-C (9th) – good things look like they are on the horizon for the Lions
10. TAMU-K (10th) – overall track program on the upswing and I suspect the XC program will follow in the next 2-3 years

Just like the women, I will check back in after 3 weeks of competition and review who is doing well and who is doing poorly. Preseason polls are tough, since there are so many variables. It only takes 1-2 kids deciding not to enroll or deciding not to run anymore and the poll is obsolete. If I miss these picks badly, I will certainly come up with a good rationalization for my poor predictions! HA!

LSC Scoop Roundup 8-31

Mike Howard's is in his 14th season at ENMU, all as offensive coordinator - Clovis News Journal
Two nights after his play-calling helped Eastern New Mexico University open its season with an impressive win, longtime Greyhounds offensive coordinator Mike Howard was recovering from heart surgery Monday at a Lubbock hospital.

Howard underwent a triple bypass at Methodist Hospital, according to Greyhounds head coach Mark Ribaudo.

Ribaudo said Howard would be in the intensive care unit for a few days. He said Howard experienced chest pains Monday while exercising, but wasn’t sure if the incident was technically a heart attack.

Howard’s status for Saturday’s game at Angelo State University is unclear, but Ribaudo said assistant coach Draco Miller will fill in for now.

Ribaudo said Howard has helped numerous players graduate, and leads a Bible study before every Greyhound game.

“Irreplaceable is a word that comes to mind,” Ribaudo said. “I’m not eloquent enough to put into words what (Howard’s) meant to Eastern New Mexico Greyhound football and its athletes. He’s taken this offense to new heights. It’s a record-breaking offense, and it’s because of his work.”

Passing game a work in progress for Tarleton

Sports Editor

As the newest member of Tarleton State's football coaching staff, passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Justin Carrigan is still getting adjusted to life on campus and in Stephenville.

He's also working with a new starting quarterback in Tennessee transfer Nick Stephens and a new backup in redshirt freshman Aaron Doyle.

Also in the equation are a handful of new receivers.

"It's a little bit tough," said Carrigan, who worked alongside new Tarleton head coach Cary Fowler when both were assistants at Midwestern State. "But we're all learning together."

The Texans hope they've learned enough to be successful at Tarleton Memorial Stadium Thursday when they kick off their 2010 season against Northeastern State.

While the learning process continues, Carrigan says the game plan will be pretty manila for the defending Lone Star Conference and South Division co-champs.

"We're going to keep it simple and try to establish success early," he said. "(The offense) is a work in progress, so we won't be emptying our playbook."

Carrigan says he is comfortable with Stephens and the progress he's made. Stephens spent a large part of his summer in Stephenville learning the offense and working out with teammates.

"He had already taken our playbook and learned it before I got here," said Carrigan, who was officially hired mere weeks before training camp began. "Nick is very intelligent and he has a very professional approach to the game. His leadership and presence will be felt for sure."

Stephens started six games at Tennessee in 2008, but current NFL signal caller Jonathan Crompton beat him out last fall. Stephens was behind junior college transfer Matt Simms, the son of NFL legend Phil Simms, when he left for Tarleton at the end of the spring.

He was instantly the starter at Tarleton, where he says he is taking his leadership role seriously.

"I've been fortunate to learn from great coaches and play in some really big games," Stephens said. "I'm kind of taking the approach of teaching what I can to the other guys, but also still learning myself, because I know I don't know everything."

Doyle is excited to learn everything he can from both Carrigan and Stephens, but also wants to help the team right away.

"I'm learning a lot just watching Nick and being around him," Doyle said. "I want to keep learning so I'm ready to step in whenever I need to. In the meantime, I'm willing to do whatever it takes to help the team. If that's running the wildcat or returning kicks and punts, I'll do whatever it takes."

Carrigan says Doyle will get the chance to play.

"Nick's definitely the starter, but it's a situation where they're both going to get playing time," Carrigan said. "They're both competitive and they both want to be on the field. It's my job to keep them both happy."

Doyle was an All-Centex and Class A All-State selection at nearby Evant. He was once recruited by Oklahoma State as a linebacker, and received other Division I looks as an "athlete."

Behind Doyle, Casey Page is the No. 3 quarterback, and Jake Fenske and Jackson Crawley are also available.

"The quarterback position is deeper than anywhere I've ever been, including UTEP (last year)," Carrigan said. "There's five guys and they're all competing and they all want to start. I would trust any of them to step in if they needed to. They've all taken to their roles nicely."

But getting the signal callers on the same page with their receivers is another story.

"It's coming along slowly," Carrigan said. "The hardest part is having all the new receivers, not only the new quarterback. It's a lot of new people learning together, and there are different comfort levels between the quarterbacks and receivers - how they run routes, how fast each of them are - they have to get in a rhythm with each other and the offense."

Four receivers have played sparingly before, and Carrigan says each has stepped up throughout the preseason.

"The four guys who have been here and played - (Arthur) Buckingham, (Charles) Stermer, (Devon) Gray and (Jamal) Mays - those guys are making plays, but some of the new guys are still getting comfortable."

Those new receivers include juco transfers Saalim Hakim, Will Randle and Bola Omisanya, as well as Jeken Frye, who was with Carrigan at UTEP last year.

As the Texans prepare for their opener, Carrigan says he can feel his game day nerves already starting to take effect.

"I always get butterflies whether I'm coaching or playing," he said, "especially before the first game."

Carrigan knows Northeastern gave the Texans a tough challenge in Tahlequah, Okla. last year, and expects nothing less from the Riverhawks Thursday.

"I think they're going to be very physical up front (defensively). Obviously they played us tough last year. It was just 6-0, so it wasn't easy," he said. "Plus it's the first game and we have no idea what they're going to come out and try to do."

Not that the Texans will be at a disadvantage.

With so much newness surrounding its offense, Northeastern will have no idea what Tarleton will be trying to do, either.

Winborn centerpiece of Javs' offense - George Vondracek, Corpus Christi Caller
Senior running back seeks to lead Lone Star Conference in rushing again in 2010

KINGSVILLE — There is a no-nonsense aura that surrounds Texas A&M-Kingsville senior running back Fred Winborn.

He isn’t the loquacious speaker in the vein of Muhammad Ali. Soft-spoken, Winborn says very little in a public setting but when he does speak, there is a steadfast message conveyed.

So broached with the question about his approach to his final season with the Javelinas, Winborn was as quick with his response as he is when he is juking opposing defenders.

“All out, all in, go hard or go home,” Winborn said without hesitation. “It’s my last season. I’m approaching it like I’ve never approached any other season. As seniors you’ve got to approach it every day, finding a way to get through and get better, doing more than you did before. In the offseason I worked often, I did more. I feel better. I feel good about this year.”

That should give opposing defenses cause for concern given Winborn’s performance last season.

NSU's Randle 'revitalized' with RiverHawks - Ben Johnson, Tahlequah Daily Press
If Ben Randle appears to be playing with more conviction in 2010, there's a good reason for that.

During a trip to Canton, Ohio in early August, the Northeastern State wide receiver watched a new class of football players be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, motivating him to return to Tahlequah and work harder than he ever has.

"When I saw him (Ben's uncle, John Randle) put on that jacket, walk (across the stage) and those lights came on, and everybody was like, 'Wow!'" Randle said, "that really made me want to go run and work toward a national championship."

ACU Position Preview - Receivers
ACU Position Preview - Running Backs
ACU Position Preview - Quarterbacks

Grand Valley State opens football season with new coach, new faces on both sides of ball

Monday, August 30, 2010

LSC Scoop Afternoon Update 8-30

AFCA Coaches Poll (8-30)

Fresh off of their 35-10 opening week victory over then-No. 5 Central Washington, Minnesota-Duluth moves up one spot to No. 3 in this week’s AFCA Division II Coaches’ Top 25 Poll and received one first place vote. Northwest Missouri State still holds the top spot, garnering 23 first place votes, followed by Grand Valley State at No. 2, North Alabama at No. 4 and California (Pa.) rounding out the Top 5.

There will be four Top 25 matchups this coming weekend with two of those being Top 10 battles. No. 2 Grand Valley State hosts No. 8 West Texas A&M on Thursday while No. 6 Abilene Christian travels to No. 9 Washburn on Saturday. In the other Top 25 matchups, No. 1 Northwest Missouri State begins defense of their national championship by hosting No. 14 Texas A&M-Kingsville while No. 5 California (Pa.) travels to No. 11 Saginaw Valley State.

Below are the top 5, plus all Super Region 4 teams.

1. NWMSU (1)
2. Grand Valley (2)
3. Minnesota-Duluth (4)
4. North Alabama (3)
5. California, PA (6)
6. Abilene Christian (7)
8. West Texas A&M (11)
9. Washburn (10)
12. UNO (15)
13. CWU (5)
14. Texas A&M-Kingsville (16)
17. Midwestern State (19)
19. Missouri Western (20)

Receiving Votes - Central Missouri, Tarleton State, Texas A&M-Commerce.

LSC Scoop Power Poll and Week One Superlatives

  1. WT (1) - ready to do battle with #2 Grand Valley State
  2. ACU (2) - will need to be sharp against Washburn
  3. TAMK (3) - can the Hogs hang tough at #1 Northwest Missouri?
  4. TSU (4) - easier opener than the top three and at home
  5. MSU (5) - cakewalk to open season and get everyone into the game
  6. TAMC (6) - another easy opener, should give team some confidence
  7. ASU (7) - Rams offense must capitalize on all opportunities, and defense needs some takeaways
  8. ENMU (9) - Greyhounds have a game under their belt, some kinks worked out
  9. UCO (10) - Lost, but move up anyway
  10. SOSU (8) - Blown out out by Henderson State (3-7 last year)
  11. ECU (12) - travel to Fort Hays in a battle of teams trying to move up in their conference pecking order
  12. NWU (13) - played Texans close last year, will be tough to improve on that in Stephenville
  13. UIW (11) - Langston may be a playoff team, but you have to win NAIA matchups
  14. SWO (14) - Outgained by a 391-177 margin by Emporia State doesn't bode well for the Dawgs
Best Team Overall Performance
Eastern New Mexico - Scored 38 unanswered points to take a 59-21 victory over Southern Nazarene.  Offense piled up 513 yards, while the defense gave up just 283, picking off 5 passes, picking up 5 sacks, and 10 tackles for loss.

Best Individual Offensive Performance - Wes Wood, ENMU
Wood completed 41-57 passes for 391 yards, 7 TDs, and 0 Ints, leading ENMU to a 59-21 victory over Southern Nazarene.  Wood spread the ball around, completing passes to 10 different Greyhounds, and TDs to 5 ENMU receivers.  The 7 TDs were just one short of the school record.  After one week, his passing efficiency rating is 170.1.

Best Individual Defensive Performance - Anthony Laws, SWO
Laws, a junior college transfer from Santa Rosa JC, led the Bulldogs with 18 tackles, including 16 solo in a 27-7 loss to Emporia State.

Best Individual Special Teams Performance - Tyler Cannon, ENMU
Cannon was a perfect 8-8 on PATs, and 1-2 on field goals.

LSC Roundup 8-30

Week One football recaps from the school websites
Greyhounds Ride Out Two Storms in One Night To Defeat Southern Nazarene, 59-21
Bronchos Fall In Opener
Football Falls to Emporia
SE Falls Hard in Season Opener
LSC Football Recap - Saturday, Aug. 28 - LSC Office

Better late than never: Hounds beat Southern Nazarene in marathon - Clovis News Journal
Sophomore Wes Wood of Muleshoe just missed a school record with seven passing touchdowns, as Eastern New Mexico claimed a 59-21 win over Southern Nazarene that ended just before midnight Saturday at Blackwater Draw.

Wood threw for 391 yards in the game, which was delayed three times by lightning and did not start until one hour and 45 minutes after its scheduled 6 p.m. kickoff in the season opener for both teams.

He came one passing touchdown short of tying Kevin Kott’s team record of eight, set Oct. 6, 1984 against Southern Colorado. Wood also carried nine times for 51 yards.

Langston roars past UIW - Jerry Briggs, San Antonio Express News
On the opening night of college football, the Langston Lions from Oklahoma recorded a victory for the little guys in the world, turning back the Incarnate Word Cardinals 28-20 on Saturday at Benson Stadium.
Langston, an NAIA program playing with only 111/2 scholarships, rolled to an 18-point lead behind the first-half passing of quarterback Darrion Lewis and aggressive special-teams play, which resulted in a 24-yard fumble-return touchdown by Nico Mauney.

After that, the NCAA Division II Cardinals, playing with 25 scholarships, rallied, only to fall short when quarterback Thomas Specia was picked off twice in Langston territory in the final three minutes.

“You know, it hurts,” UIW defensive tackle Diego McClain said. “You never want to lose your first game. Langston is better than people give them credit for. ... They have good athletes on their team. They just came out, and they were a better team tonight.”

related: Death in family led standout defensive tackle to UIW - David Flores, KENS TV
related: Oklahoma scene: Langston opens football season with victory

Mustangs' DBs 'need to jell' - J. Scott Russell, Times Record News
Midwestern State assistant coach Nate Jones has just one goal for the defensive backs he works with — “Be Great.”

However, it may be awhile before they can reach that goal as the defensive backs — like many other positions on defense — only have one returning starter.

“I like the athleticism of the group as a whole,” Jones said. “We lost five guys from last year’s club, which were not only talented, but also very intelligent. Because they knew what they were doing, we were able to give them a lot more freedom. We’re trying to get this group to have the same characteristics. It’s not just being a good athlete, but being a good football player. We have some guys who have been here awhile that we’ll mix with some transfers. They might just be one of our more talented groups from the first player to the last one. We just need to jell.”

Javs' Dean hoping to rebound from Arizona transfer - George Vondracek, Corpus Christi Caller Times
With his arrival on the Texas A&M-Kingsville campus, Delashaun Dean is approaching life in South Texas as a new beginning.

He certainly hopes it to be a better situation than how his life as one of the University of Arizona's top wide receivers ended.

The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder is getting a second chance with the Javelinas after Dean was indefinitely suspended in late June by Arizona coach Mike Stoops. Dean had been charged with one count of misconduct involving weapons.

"The process has gone well. We all make mistakes. I just put it in the Lord's hands and just asked Him to open doors for me," said Dean, a religious studies major. "I learned from it. I've got to move on now. It's in the past. I've just got to put it behind me and focus on what I've got to do here."

Sherrington: Former Texas A&I star Johnny Bailey was 'always better' - Kevin Sherrington, Dallas Morning News
When the bus came to pick up the Yates football team early on the morning of its 1985 date with Odessa Permian at Texas Stadium, Johnny Bailey was waiting. In full uniform.

The implication was clear: He was ready for Permian. Mojo got the message.

By the time the Class 5A state title game was over, Bailey had run for 190 yards in a 37-0 rout, and critics debated whether Yates might be the best Texas high school team ever.

Had Bailey's exploits ended then and there, he'd be no less revered in Houston's Third Ward. But he didn't stop running.

His senior year, the NCAA enacted requirements that would make him ineligible at a Division I school as a freshman. Nebraska offered anyway. Bailey couldn't wait that long.

Texas A&I offered a rich history of seven national titles from 1959-79; an assistant, Don Pittman, who was a friend of Luther Booker, Yates' head coach; and the opportunity to play immediately at the Division II level.

Ron Harms had no idea what he was in for.

"I knew I was getting an outstanding talent," the Javelinas' longtime coach said, "but I never dreamed he'd do the things he'd do."

Brains and brawn - Dave Henry, Amarillo Globe News
One can only imagine the intensity of the Wesley family wrestling matches when Shaun Wesley and Jared Wesley were growing up. Vince McMahon would have been envious. The Wesley brothers of Canyon - all 12 feet, 11 inches and 530 pounds of them - are linemen for the West Texas A&M Buffaloes.

Shaun is a 6-foot-7, 285-pound sophomore offensive lineman who more than answered the call when he was thrust into a starting role last season as a true freshman because of injuries.

Jared is a 6-foot-4, 245-pound true freshman defensive lineman, who is more than just following in his older brother's footsteps.

Josh Birmingham glad to be on the field for Central Oklahoma - David Stanley Ford, The Oklahoman/NewsOK

The best rehabilitation Josh Birmingham could ever have came Saturday night on Central Oklahoma's sixth offensive snap of the new football season.

For the first time in more than two years, Birmingham cradled a ball and traded paint with an opponent's helmet. The 2-yard gain might not have looked like much to the 8,425 fans who watched a 31-20 loss to Pittsburg State (Kan.) at Wantland Stadium. To the former Luther High School standout, though, it meant a release from mental prison.

"Not being able to play, it was agonizing,” Birmingham said. "All the practices we had and then having to watch the games ...”

Receiver still chasing dream after broken back - Jeff Latzke, Associated Press
EDMOND, Okla. — As Artrell Woods lay motionless on Oklahoma State's weight room floor, Hubert Anyiam looked on in shock.

A freshman, Anyiam was just getting acquainted with the Cowboys' conditioning program when he witnessed an accident that would make anyone cringe. His teammate, Woods, had just completed a step-up drill when he went to return his 185-pound barbell and slipped.

The weight came crashing down on top of Woods, who knew something wasn't right with his spine.

As Anyiam looked on, he and his teammates could only wonder, "Is he going to get up?"

That was three years ago. The spinal cord injury left him partially paralyzed, but a determined Woods is back on the path toward becoming a top-notch receiver again. Now at Central Oklahoma, a Division II school in suburban Oklahoma City, Woods could make his debut as early as Saturday night when the Bronchos open their season against Pittsburg State.

He has a football dream he refuses to let die.

"That's one thing I always believed in, just keeping my faith," Woods said. "After what happened with the back situation, I was allowed to walk again, I was allowed to run again. God put it on my heart, so I felt like it's something I need to do.

"I also owe it to my family because I'm still that one last hope. I feel like the pressure's on."

RiverHawks begin last hurrah in Lone Star Conference - Ben Johnson, Muskogee Daily Phoenix
TAHLEQUAH — When Kenny Evans arrived in Tahlequah to take over the Northeastern State football program two years ago, he said he had to build an offensive line from scratch.

And it’s no coincidence that the RiverHawks endured their fair share of abuse while the guys up front gained experience. But as the offensive line has grown, so have the RiverHawks.

And Evans hopes that’s the trend that continues this season.

“That’s a big key for us — how well those guys play this year,” said Evans of the group that’ll feature two sophomores and three juniors in the starting rotation. “They do have some experience, but they’re still young.”

related: Southern Nazarene basketball getting even stronger tidbit on former NSU OL Michael Yoder's reason for leaving
A couple of links to opponents' stories
Ichabods maintain composure - Ken Corbitt, Topeka Capital Journal
Washburn wins football opener - Kansas City Star
Ft. Hays Rolls To Football Win - KAKE.com
and some volleyball news...

Javelinas seek more than reaching LSC postseason - George Vondracek, Corpus Christi Caller Times
KINGSVILLE — Prospects are bright as usual in the 2010 Texas A&M-Kingsville volleyball camp.

To be sure, the Javelinas are coming off a 17-13 year, only their second winning season since 1998. With a cast of nine returnees expectations have been kicked a notch forward. Yet reaching the postseason Lone Star Conference tournament, which A&M-Kingsville did last season for just the fourth time since 2002, isn’t the end-all anymore. It would be nice for the Javelinas to at least win a postseason match.

“We’re going to have to take care of our business during the regular season and give ourselves a little bit better opportunity in the postseason, to be in a place where we can do more than a one-and-done,” said Shannon Alvarado, who begins her fourth season as A&M-Kingsville’s coach.

Fort Worth Paschal grad helps fuel Abilene Christian volleyball team - John Henry, Fort Worth Star Telegram
Abilene Christian volleyball coach Kellen Mock has made clear her expectations for a team that was 55-15 the past two seasons but without an NCAA Division II regional appearance.

"We have a really good opportunity in front of us to do some things that haven't been done here in a while," said Mock, whose team opens the season Friday against Fort Lewis College at the Oredigger Volleyball Classic in Golden, Colo. "It all comes down to preparation and work. How hard are we willing to prepare, and how hard are we willing to work?"

She'll have back senior Ijeoma Moronu, a program stalwart.

The Paschal High School graduate was recently selected the Lone Star Conference's preseason Setter of the Year. Her teammate, Shawna Hines, was selected Defensive Player of the Year, and Euless Trinity graduate Zuela Adom, now playing at Central Oklahoma, was chosen Offensive Player of the Year.

"It means a lot to me," said Moronu of the honor. "I've been working very hard, so it's very special. I just want to be able to live up to it and get postseason [selection] as well."

ACU volleyball preview: 'Cats hope to be undeniable - Joey D. Richards, Abilene Reporter News
Last year left a bitter taste in Shawna Hines’ mouth.

Hines and the Abilene Christian University volleyball team went 29-6 and beat Pittsburg State twice. Yet Pittsburg State, not ACU, got one of the eight South Central Region tournament berths.

“It was very, very frustrating,” said Hines, a 6-foot-1 senior middle blocker. “But it’s actually going to be a good thing for us. All of the returners feel that desire, that fire, and it’s driving us not only to compete against each other, but to be the best we can be so we can be undeniable and go to regionals without relying on anybody else.”
LSC Football Weekly Release: Tough Schedule on tap - LSC Office

The 2010 Lone Star Conference football season continues with eight games including four on Thursday and four on Saturday this week. League opponents include three top-10 ranked squads in the American Football Coaches Association Preseason Poll (8/9/10) as No. 16 Texas A&M-Kingsville plays at No. 1 Northwest Missouri State, No. 11 West Texas A&M faces No. 2 Grand Valley State on the road and No. 7 Abilene Christian travels to No. 10 Washburn. In addition to non-conference action, there are two LSC crossover games with Northeastern State at Tarleton State and Eastern New Mexico at Angelo State.

Click here for the complete release
West Texas A&M will begin its 2010 season with a nationally televised game at Grand Valley State on Thursday, Sept. 2. The game will be shown live by CBS College Sports in high definition at 7 p.m. This is the fifth time an LSC team was selected to be part of the Division II and CBS College Sports Network package. Last year, WT won its last six games, including a 31-25 victory over Nebraska-Omaha in the Lower Kanza Bowl in Topeka, Kansas. GVSU reached the 2009 Division II championship game against Northwest Missouri State last year before falling, 30-23. The Lakers have won two national titles since 2005 and reached the national semifinals in 2007.

Due to the addition of Incarnate Word, all 14 LSC football teams will play 10 conference games with four crossover and six division contests. Previously, each team counted only nine games in the conference standings and due to unequal teams in the divisions, three South Division teams played a crossover game that did not count in the standings.

The LSC will play 13 non-conference games this year including five this week, six in week two and two more in week four. Games are scheduled against opponents from the Mid-America Intercollegiate (MIAA), Great Lakes Intercollegiate, Gulf South, Northern Sun and Rocky Mountain conferences along with the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision and NAIA ranks. Below is the breakdown:
MIAA (5): Emporia State at Southwestern Oklahoma; Pittsburg State at Central Oklahoma; Texas A&M-Kingsville at Northwest Missouri State; Abilene Christian at Washburn; East Central at Fort Hays State
GLIAC (1): West Texas A&M at Grand Valley State
GSC (1): Southeastern Oklahoma at Henderson State
NSIC (1): Upper Iowa at Texas A&M-Commerce
RMAC (1): Midwestern State at New Mexico Highlands
NAIA (2): Langston at Incarnate Word; Southern Nazarene at Eastern New Mexico
DIVISION I FCS (2): Northeastern State at North Dakota; Tarleton State at Northwestern State

The LSC has added a new member and 14th football team with the addition of Incarnate Word. The Cardinals will play in the South Division, while Eastern New Mexico moves to the North resulting in seven teams for each. UIW’s first LSC game will be a crossover tilt at Southeastern Oklahoma on Sept. 11. Head coach Mike Santiago leads the team in the program’s second year.

LSC set to kick off 78th year of football in 2010.
Four LSC teams earned top-25 rankings -- No. 7 Abilene Christian, No. 11 West Texas A&M, No. 16 Texas A&M-Kingsville and No. 19 Midwestern State -- in the American Football Coaches Association Preseason Poll, while four others - Texas A&M-Commerce, Tarleton State, Angelo State and Southeastern Oklahoma - are all receiving votes.
101 All-LSC players, including 51 in the North Division and 50 in the South, from a year ago return to the gridiron in 2010.
In week 1 the LSC had one quarterback throw for 300-plus yards, two receivers and one rusher over the century mark and six double-digit tacklers. Top performances included:
Passing: 391, Wesley Wood (41-57-0), ENMU vs Southern Nazarene
Rushing: 15-111, Josh Birmingham, UCO vs Pittsburg State
Receiving: 10-126, Jesse Poku, ENMU vs Southern Nazarene
Tackles: 18, Anthony Laws, SWOSU vs Emporia State

Wesley Wood, Eastern New Mexico University, SO, QB, Muleshoe, Texas/Muleshoe HS
Wood passed for 391 yards and seven touchdowns in leading the Greyhounds to a 59-21 win over visiting Southern Nazarene. He completed over 71 percent of his passing attempts and rushed for 51 yards to post 442 yards of total offense.

Matt Kalisch, Eastern New Mexico University, SR, DE, Harker Heights, Texas/Harker Heights HS/NMMI
Kalisch turned in a stellar game for the Hounds against Southern Nazarene, registering two sacks, including one in the first quarter, while the game was still in doubt. He finished with 10 tackles, including seven solo stops and one quarterback hurry.

Chris Robbs, University of Central Oklahoma, SO, K, Dallas, Texas/Bishop Lynch HS
Robbs made all four kicks and scored eight points in UCO’s season-opening 31-20 loss to Pittsburg State, hitting both field goal tries and both extra point attempts. The sophomore place-kicker had two PATs in the first half as the Bronchos took a 14-7 lead and he came back with field goals of 39 yards late in the third quarter and 36 yard with 10:06 left to play to give UCO a 20-17 lead after PSU had surged in front.

No nominees.

No nominees.

No nominees.

Friday, August 27, 2010

LSC Scoop Afternoon Update 8-27

Unforgiven - Allison Glock, ESPN The Magazine
LOCATED IN A WAREHOUSE outside Dallas, the windowless Metroflex Gym is not air-conditioned, an aesthetic choice that edits the clientele to a select group of cops, bikers, bodybuilders and other masochists who thrive on the deprivation that exercising in unfiltered 110-degree heat produces. Inside on this blazing midsummer day, patrons are greeted by a 10-foot wooden cross and the rib-rattling sounds of speed metal or hardcore rap. The walls are plastered with bodybuilding glossies, pictures of champions past and present, including local hero and former Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman. Above the photos, artwork depicts the end times -- which, in the given environment, are easy to imagine.

Below the cross, NFL hopeful Tony Washington is pumping out a set of curls. At 6-foot-7 and 310 pounds, the 24-year-old offensive lineman is easily the biggest man in a room filled with big men. His shoulders are the size of canned hams; his thighs cement-solid. As he pauses to swig water laced with protein powder, a 4-year-old girl toddles over and stops at his feet.

"My mama is over there," she shouts, pointing a chocolate-covered finger toward the rear of the gym.

Washington smiles, gives her a gentle high-five. "You gonna work out too?" he asks, crouching to meet the girl eye-to-eye. She shakes her head.

"Is that chocolate bar for me?" he teases.


Washington laughs, then nods to the mother, who gives him a thumbs-up. "Looking good, Tony!" she yells over the music.

He returns to his reps, sweat running like water over his cheekbones and neck. A 20-something dude wearing long shorts and flip-flops passes by, reaches up, punches Washington in the chest. "What up, brah?"

Washington nods hello while the dude raps along with the radio and rhymes right in his face -- "Put a cap in yo' muthaf---in' head!" -- bobbing up and down until, finally, he starts laughing, doubling over at his own drollery, then dances away, chin jerking like a chicken's.

"That guy, he was born rich," Washington says impassively. "And his dad lost everything. So now he has to start over." He takes his baseball cap off, turns it backward, puts it back on. "He's trying to build himself a life from nothing." The big man smiles, lips tight. "Kind of like me."

In Division II, they play college football for the love of the game - Berry Tramel, The Oklahoman/NewsOK
WEATHERFORD — Mike Van Deripe loves the feeling of walking onto a football field. Loves the feeling of the fans. Loves the feeling of victory.

The Southwestern State quarterback didn’t experience them all Thursday night. Emporia State beat the Bulldogs 27-7 at bustling Milam Stadium. But Van Deripe’s college football career continued. He’s like a lot of players at the Division II level. He’s not ready to let go of the game.

Real football returned Thursday night. Not scrimmages. Not exhibitions. Not indoors. Real football, with a scoreboard and with that intoxicating percussion beat and with passion unsurpassed in this most American of sports. Small-college football is the game in its purest form.

No holdouts and no HBO, no agents and no coaches making $2 million a year, like the levels above. No school boards and parents demanding coaches’ hide and recruiting scandals of players not old enough to even drive, like the levels below. This is where football really is played for that most trite of reasons.

Love of the game.

Defense dominates most of Purple-White scrimmage - Brad Keith, Empire Tribune
For the Tarleton State offense, the best thing about next week's season opener will be facing somebody besides the Texan defense.

Tarleton opens with Northeastern State at 7 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Stadium, but first they held their annual public dress rehearsal with an intrasquad scrimmage Wednesday night.

"Our defense is fast," Fowler said. "We can really fly to the ball."

That speed was on display Wednesday, as the defense was dominant for the most part against their offensive counterparts. The Texans, who open the season ranked No. 18 in the nation by D2football.com, were third in the Lone Star Conference in both total defense and scoring defense last year.

The offense averaged just 3.6 yards per run and passed for only 72 yards. The good news offensively, was starting QB Nick Stephens passed for 41 yards in the two-minute drill, setting up a 29-yard field goal before time expired.

The only offensive touchdown came when back-up quarterback Aaron Doyle hit Chuck Stermer over the middle and the receiver fought through a tackler right at the goal line. Stermer and Arthur Buckingham led the team in receptions, with Devon Gray also making multiple grabs.

Stephens is the clear starter over Doyle, Fowler says, but Doyle will see time. The Texans have packages specifically intended to take advantage of the redshirt freshman's mobility, and may even use him in the wildcat.

"Nick is the starter, I know that," Doyle said at Tarleton's media night Tuesday. "I'm just fortunate to learn from him. There's no rivalry between us at all. I just want to help the team, whether it's returning kicks or punts, running the wildcat, whatever."

The special teams made highlights, particularly when track star turned receiver Jamal Mays split the seams on a punt return for a 75-yard touchdown.

The Texans worked systematically through a number of game-type situations, including all kinds of punting situations, and goalline, two-minute and four-minute offense and defense.

"We wanted to go through as many scenarios as possible," said Cary Fowler. "The only thing we didn't do was onside kick, and that's just because we didn't want to get anybody killed."

The Texans are moving into game-week mode and classes begin on campus next week. Fowler likes kicking the season off at home during Thursday of the first week of school.

"All the spirit groups and everybody will be on campus and excited about the start of the new year," Fowler said. "Not just a new football season, but a new school year, too.

"It's for real now," Fowler continued. "We're tired of working against each other, we're ready to go to work against somebody else. We'll be excited Thursday night to go against somebody wearing green instead of purple."

LSC Roundup 8-27

Bulldogs fall to Emporia, 27-7 - SWO Sports Information
WEATHERFORD – Southwestern Oklahoma State University had its moments but could not generate enough offensive fireworks before falling 27-7 to visiting Emporia State in the season-opening football game for both teams.
The Bulldogs were able to scratch out 177 yards of total offense and turned the ball over two times, including having two breakdowns in the punting game.

Emporia got 391 yards on the night, 226 of which were on the ground. ESU quarterback Tyler Eckenrode completed just eight-of-20 passes but two of which went for touchdowns, including a 69-yarder that opened the game’s scoring.
The Hornets built their margin to 21-0 midway through the second quarter before the Bulldogs got on the board. SWOSU linebacker Jaron Burgess scooped up a fumble at the Hornet’s two-yard line and gave the Bulldogs a golden opportunity.
Two plays later Dwight Pete crashed in from one-yard out and SWOSU had ESU’s lead trimmed to 21-7 with 9:31 to play in the first half.

SWOSU never really got close after that point. The Bulldogs went three-and-out on five of their final nine possessions and deepest penetration was the ESU 36-yard line.

The Hornets put the game away in the second half on a pair of field goals by Zackary King of 35 and 37 yards. Kings last put the Hornets up 24-7 with 9:03 to play.

SWOSU was led offensively by quarterback Mike Van De Ripe who came in for starter Dustin Stenta after the third series. Van Deripe was 12-of-31 for 111 yards passing and picked up another 24 on the ground.
Defensively, SWOSU had a number of standouts including cornerback Marvin Tribble who came up with two pass interceptions and nearly a third if not being whistled for being out-of-bounds. Two players had double figures in tackles, safties Anthony Laws with 18 and Jonathan Darby added 15.

The Bulldogs will next play Saturday, Sept. 11 at home against West Texas A&M. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at Fast Lane Field.

SE Falls Hard in Season Opener - SOSU Sports Information
ARKADELPHIA, Ark. – The season opener for Southeastern Oklahoma State got off to a rough start and never recovered as Henderson State reeled off 469 yards of total offense en route to handing the Savage Storm a 44-13 loss on Thursday night in Arkadelphia, Ark. The SE offense sputtered at times, racking up 304 total yards, but getting outgained in both phases of the offense as HSU racked up 469 yards of total offense.

Logan Turner completed 26 passes in his Storm opener out of 48 attempts en route to 205 yards and a pair of scores. Robbie Morris turned out to be his favorite target, hauling in eight catches for 83 yards, while Mike Hill and Caleb Jones each had a TD grab.

Three turnovers did not help the SE cause.

Baylen Laury led the squad on the ground, but posted just 29 yards on 10 carries as the Storm totaled just 49 yards rushing on the night. Steven Harris paced the defense, racking up 12 tackles, while Lionel Gillespie added five stops and a sack and Brandon Ford recovered a fumble.

The contest got off to a rough start for the Savage Storm, fumbling the game’s opening kickoff, before allowing 21 unanswered points to open the game, on three TD passes to three different receivers from quarterback Nick Hardesty.

SE put together its best drive of the first half inside the final five minutes of the second quarter as SE marched 84 yards in 14 plays aided by a pair of completions to Morris, converting on a fourth down play and a third down play, respectively.

The drive culminated in a two-yard TD toss from Turner to tight end Caleb Jones with 21 second remaining, but a failed PAT would leave the Storm trailing 21-6 at intermission.

Southeastern’s woes continued into the second half as the Reddies added a one-yard touchdown run by Georgio Hall, followed by a pair of Eric Torres field goals from 23 yards and 40 yards, respectively, mounting a 34-6 lead. SE got on the board again early in the fourth quarter when Turner found Mike Hill from six yards out to finish off an 11 play, 68 yard drive that covered 3:22 of clock time and bridged the third and fourth quarters. Following the extra point the Storm closed the gap to 34-13 with 14:14 to play.

HSU, however, answered the SE score 56 seconds later on a four play, 62 yard drive that ended with a 35 yard catch and run by Josh Sipho, putting the Storm in a 41-13 hole.
A third Torres field goal stretched the Reddie lead to 44-13 with 5:01 to play in the game to set the final tally.

State college football: Southwestern, Southeastern lose openers - NewsOk
Tyler Eckenrode threw for two touchdowns, and Zackary King added two field goals as Emporia State (Kan.) beat Southwestern Oklahoma State 27-7 on Thursday night in a small college football opener at Fast Lane Field in Weatherford.

Emporia State charged to a 24-7 lead by halftime, also getting blocked punt returned for a TD by Gerald Guerrier. Southwestern State's only score came with 9:31 left in the second quarter on Dwight Pete's 1-yard run.

Henderson (Ark.) 44, Southeastern State 13
Nick Hardesty threw three touchdown passes in the first half to lead Henderson State to a season-opening rout of Southeastern State on Thursday night in Arkadelphia, Ark. Hardesty shredded Southeastern State's defense for 355 yards for the game. He added a TD pass in the second half.

Southeastern State quarterback Logan Turner threw two touchdown passes, but the Savage Storm's offense was hampered by three turnovers. Storm running back Baylen Laury, selected by coaches in the preseason as the Lone Star Conference North division Offensive Player of the Year, was held to 29 yards on 10 carries.

Mustangs' defensive line has firepower to click - J. Scott Russell, Times Record News
The Midwestern State defensive linemen have a new position coach for the 2010 season, which only seems fitting since there will be a lot of new faces up front for the Mustangs this season.

The cupboard isn’t bare for Randy Wilkins as he joins the Mustangs after playing at Florida State and coaching at Texas A&M-Commerce.

The Mustangs return three players up front that saw significant playing time, several sophomores and redshirt freshmen who are returning, as well as four or five junior college transfers.

“With it being my first year here we all have a fresh start, Wilkins said. “I think we’ll be strong, but right now we’re a work in progress. We’ll continue to grow as the year goes on. They’re very athletic and are willing to work hard to do what it takes to get better. I feel confident they will respond when the lights come on.”

Carthel Pleased With Team’s Final Scrimmage - WTAM Sports Information
Second and third teams see most of the work on Thursday

CANYON, Texas - West Texas A&M head football coach Don Carthel was more than pleased with what he saw from his team following the Buffs’ final scrimmage Thursday morning at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium.

“We looked 100 percent better today than we did in our last scrimmage,” Carthel said. “I was pleased with what they did today. The entire team looked good and it showed on the field today.”

Both offense and defensive first-team units played sparingly in the scrimmage, getting all of their repetitions in during the first drive.  Starting quarterback Taylor Harris (Sr-3L, Whitesboro, Texas) guided the offense to a score in the opening drive, going 7-for-11 with 87 passing yards, which ended with a five-yard touchdown pass to Tommy Hampton (Jr-TR, Bronx, N.Y.).  Backup quarterbacks Tanner Marsh (So-1L, Carrollton, Texas) and Dustin Vaughan (Fr-RS, Corpus Christi, Texas) each received most of the quarterbacking duties throughout the morning and Carthel felt that both players preformed very well.

“Both backups executed the offense very well today,” Carthel said. “I thought both players did a good job getting the ball to their receivers.”

Marsh was 13-of-22 for 158 yards with a touchdown, while Vaughan went 11-of-22 for 85 yards and an interception.  Wide receiver Trevor Hammergren (Fr-RS, Aztec, N.M.) came up big for the Buffs on the receiving end, catching seven passes for 103 yards and a score. Running back Hampton picked up from where he left off on Saturday as he grabbed five passes for 22 yards and a score as well. Wide receiver Ray Magee (Jr-TR, Placentia, Calif.) had five catches for 18 yards and tight end Landon Forga (Jr.-TR, Midland, Texas) caught a pair of passes for 39 yards to go along with a 24-yard touchdown.

“The receivers played great today,” Carthel said. “As a group, they did really well bringing in the ball and not dropping too many passes.”

The running game got a break for most of the scrimmage, seeing most of their work in goal line situations. Running back Dandrick Jackson (Fr.-HS, Baytown,Texas) had a couple of runs that went for seven yards to lead the Buffs on the ground.  Linebacker Drew Graham (Jr.-2L, Crowley, Texas) led the Buffs on the defensive side of the ball as he tallied four tackles on the day. Defensive backs Curtis Slater (So.-1L, Houston, Texas) and Mark Okoro (So.-1L, Austin, Texas) each followed with three tackles. Defensive lineman Jonahathan Hatton (Jr.-TR, Tyler, Texas) and linebacker Brian Johnson (Jr.-1L, Arlington, Texas) provided the most penetration to the quarterback on the day, as both players tallied two sacks each.

Thursday marked the final scrimmage for the eleventh-ranked Buffaloes who will open the 2010 season next Thursday, Sept. 2, when they visit #2-ranked Grand Valley State. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CDT.

Presidents make ECU move official - Bob Forrest
Ada — It’s official: five Oklahoma schools, including East Central University, will be leaving the Lone Star Conference to join new leagues after the 2010-2011 school year.

The schools involved — ECU, Southeastern, Southwestern, UCO and Northeastern — all announced plans to become ex-LSC members in early July, and since then they had simply been working out the details.

Everyone involved knew where they were headed — ECU, SOSU and SWOSU to join six Arkansas schools in a brand new leage and UCO and NSU to join the established Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association — but the timing was unclear.

“It’s all a matter of a vote by the presidents, and the Presidents’ Council met this week and approved it,” ECU athletic director Brian DeAngelis said Wednesday. “Staying another year (until the 2012-2013 school year) was always an option, but it wasn’t something we wanted to do.”

New era at PSU to debut - Pittsburg Morning Sun
UCO gunning for Gorillas - Pittsburg Morning Sun

LSC Fall Sports Preview Series: Eastern New Mexico - Nick Eatman, LSC Office
This is the last of a 16-part series, analyzing the fall sports of each school in the Lone Star Conference. Today will feature Eastern New Mexico.

For a football program that hasn’t won a conference game in four years, there certainly seems to be a lot of excitement building around the Greyhounds in 2010. Not only are several returning players back on an offense that set numerous NCAA, LSC and school records in 2009, but ENMU is moving from the South to the North Division, where it should be more competitive this year.

“We’re really excited about being in the North,” said head coach Mark Ribaudo, who enters his sixth year as head coach. “We’ve had some really great games against some of the North teams. I’ve been at Eastern for 14 years in different capacities, and some of the greatest games I can remember against those North opponents.”

Last year, the Greyhounds scored a school record in points with a wild 76-56 win over eventual-LSC North champion Texas A&M-Commerce. The team also broke a 39-year NCAA record previously held by Notre Dame, by averaging 93.45 offensive plays per game.

“We’re very excited about what’s going on with the Greyhounds this year,” Ribaudo said. “We’ve had 17 starters returning. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to say we’ve got an older team coming back.”

One of those starters is sophomore quarterback Wesley Wood, who took over in the middle of the and help engineer an offense that led the LSC in passing, averaging 448.0 yards per game.

“Our quarterback is a winner,” Ribaudo said. “Wes Wood had a great spring and we’re looking forward to big things on offense.”

One of his favorite weapons will be wide receiver Jesse Poku, who caught 63 passes for 830 yards and nine touchdowns. Arvin Jackson also returns after a 73-catch season with 848 yards and five scores. Ribaudo said he hopes to bolster the running games this year after averaging just 63.5 yards per game in 2009.

Defensively, the Greyhounds return some senior leadership with inside linebacker Nathan Uland, who led the team in tackles last year with 132, including 18 ½ for loss. Senior cornerback Rodney Mitchell is back after picking of seven passes (second-most in the LSC) last year, with 16 pass deflections.

“There are some good things going on at Eastern,” Ribaudo said. “Again, we’re delighted to be in the North. We’ve got our offense going. If we get our defense up to where we think it should be, we think we can be a really formidable opponent.”

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