Thursday, August 12, 2010

LSC Roundup 8-12

Bronchos Hold Scrimmage
UCO Sports Information Department

EDMOND (Aug. 11) – Central Oklahoma opened its first day of full-pad workouts with a lively scrimmage on the steamy Wantland Stadium turf Wednesday morning, with the defense holding the upper hand most of the way.

Returning first-team All-Lone Star Conference North Division linebacker Tucker Cason scored on a lengthy interception return to lead a defensive unit that kept the offense at bay most of the scrimmage.

“It was what you would expect in the first scrimmage and the defense definitely had the advantage,” UCO coach Tracy Holland said. “I was really impressed with the team speed and aggressiveness we showed, especially in the defensive backfield.

“One guy who we feel has to step up and play at an even higher level this year is Tucker Cason and he played well. He was all over the field. Offensively, Don Hawkins had a very good scrimmage and Matt Jackson had some nice catches.”

Hawkins pulled in a long touchdown pass in stride from Carter Whitson, one of four quarterbacks who saw action in the scrimmage, though the Bronchos were hit-and-miss offensively for the most part.

“We struggled a little at quarterback,” Holland said. “They didn’t show what we had seen the first few days of practice.”

It was the fifth straight day of practice for the Bronchos, who return Thursday for a pair of full-pad workouts. UCO will go once Friday and twice Saturday before holding another intrasquad scrimmage Sunday at 7 p.m.

“I think we’re right on pace,” Holland said. “I’m pleased with the attitude and I’m pleased with the work getting done out there. Our coaches are doing a great job and the kids are responding. I like where we’re at right now.”

The Bronchos continue their preseason practice schedule next week before scaling back with the start of the fall semester on Aug. 23. UCO opens the 2010 season at home on Aug. 28, hosting Pittsburg State at 7 p.m.

Juco All-American Gonzales has title hopes for Tarleton
Sports Editor

Things don’t always turn out the way you plan. Just ask Anthony Gonzales.

Gonzales was a major college recruit during his time as a prep star at Copperas Cove, but ended up taking the junior college route.

That detour worked out well, as the six-foot, five-inch, 250-pound defensive end won a national championship with Blinn College where he was a first-team All-American as a sophomore last fall.

It looked as if his next stop would be Baylor, but once again, the Division I route didn’t work out. It could have, Gonzales says, but he would have had to sit out this season.

That’s okay, he says, because he’s happy where he’s at - on the Tarleton State campus where Texan football players checked in for training camp Wednesay. And at Tarleton, he is eligible this fall.

“I like how everything is run here,” Gonzales says. “The program seems to run smoothly. The coaches really care about their players and I’m comfortable around school and with my teammates.”

Gonzales had his choice of suitors in the Lone Star Conference. He says he picked Tarleton over West Texas A&M, Midwestern State, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Abilene Christian and Eastern New Mexico.

“I was just more comfortable with Tarleton,” he said. “I’m glad I’m here and I’m excited to get the season started.”

Gonzales may not be playing at the level he was hoping for, but that doesn’t mean he’s overlooking the competition in the LSC.

“I never underestimate my opponent,” Gonzales said. “I have heard how tough this league is. I’m just here to play my hardest and try to reach my goals.”

Like anyone else, Gonzales’ goal for the team is winning a national title. His top personal goal for the season is to lead the team in sacks. He had 7.5 sacks for Blinn last fall, while totaling 39 tackles including 14 for loss.

Seven of his Blinn teammates also checked in at Tarleton Wednesday, including cornerback Terrence Henry, defensive back Cassius Bradley, defensive end Logan Johnson, deep snapper Shawn Lawson, offensive lineman Shawn Wyatt, wide receiver Bola Omisanya and defensive tackle Brian Ford.

“We won a national championship together. That says a lot,” Gonzales said. “We learned a lot of things together last year, like never giving up. There were times we could have given up, but we didn’t. We kept going.”

Gonzales hopes his old teammates and new ones alike get to celebrate another championship together, this time in Division II.


New faces abound as Texans check in for camp
Sports Editor

In addition to being a defensive coordinator in the Lone Star Conference the last nine years, new Tarleton State head football coach Cary Fowler has also served as a recruiting coordinator.

If he learned one thing at Midwestern State and Tarleton, it’s that recruiting is the key to staying in the top tier of the Lone Star Conference.

“You beat teams by out-recruiting them,” Fowler told boosters at the Texan Club’s annual kickoff luncheon Tuesday afternoon.

Fowler enjoyed the fruits of his recruiting labor Wednesday when Tarleton players - including almost 50 newcomers - checked in for the start of training camp. The first practice begins at 7 p.m. tonight.

“We have 28 transfers and 21 high school kids,” Fowler said. “Some of them have been here for all or part of the summer and some of them are just now getting here.”

The majority of the transfers are from junior colleges, but seven are descending on Stephenville from Division I programs - five from the major (FBS) ranks, and two from the FCS (formerly 1-AA) level.

“There’s a lot of talent here,” Fowler said. “We have some guys who have seen action at the highest level of college football. That experience is going to help when we get into the (Lone Star Conference) South, because this is the toughest Division II league in the country.”

Already on campus during the spring were Devin McDowell, who once played in the secondary for Iowa State, and Damian Perkins, once a preseason All-American linebacker at Stephen F. Austin.

The biggest name of all the Division I transfers is Nick Stephens, who was once the starting quarterback for Tennessee. Stephens has been on campus since the start of summer and says he is ready to get camp started.

“Today’s a busy day. It’s hectic, but it’s good,” Stephens said. “It’s good having everybody here together. It feels official now.”

Stephens says he has spent long hours working to prepare for the upcoming season.

“We worked out almost every day (this summer),” he said. “We would work out and then I would throw routes with the receivers. I spent a lot of mornings with (offensive coordinator Scott Carey) watching film and going over plays and strategy. At this point I don’t think I could be any more ready.”

Another big-name transfer is running back Andre Pierce, who comes to Tarleton as a junior from Baylor. He rushed for 2,300 yards and 24 touchdowns as a high school senior at Rowlett.

Other Division I transfers include defensive tackle Daniel Mena from New Mexico and wide receivers Jeken Frye from UTEP and Matt Cole from North Dakota.

Fowler says most of the incoming freshmen will redshirt this fall, but there are a handful who will have a chance to make immediate contributions, including offensive lineman O’Chea Thomas from Rowlett, running back Jerome Regal from Garland Naaman Forrest and defensive back Devin Figures from Jefferson.

Figures originally committed to UTEP, but plans changed and he chose Tarleton over Henderson State (Ark.). Figures summed up the feelings of most of the incoming freshmen Wednesday.

“I’m kind of nervous. It’s a new experience,” Figures said. “I’m just looking forward to meeting new folks and coming together with this team.”

Bringing the talent together is Fowler’s top priority.

“We have the talent here, there’s no doubt,” Fowler said. “Now we have to get all these guys to come together and function as one unit. That’s the No. 1 thing we have to accomplish.”

Texans check-in for 2010 season
Tarleton Sports Information Department

STEPHENVILLE - Tarleton head football coach Cary Fowler and his staff welcomed the 2010 Tarleton Texan football team to campus Wednesday as the squad reported for training camp.
The Texans checked in to the dorm Wednesday afternoon and after meetings and filling out paperwork tonight, the team will hit the ground running on Thursday evening.

"This is the best day of football," said head coach Cary Fowler. "There are a lot of hopes and dreams out there. There are nerves, and there should be. That is what college football is all about.

The Texans kickoff the season against a real opponent on Thursday, Sept. 2 when Northeastern State comes to town, but the head coach said the focus is getting started and make the summer workouts worthwhile.

"It's finally here, and you can see their excitement," Fowler said. "We had around 70 kids stay for their own voluntary workouts this summer, and it is time to see if the summer has paid off. Most of them are excited to get going, and we have to keep them excited throughout the whole camp as we get ready to play football."

Ready to rumble
Dave Henry
Amarillo Globe News

The West Texas A&M Buffaloes didn't want last season to end.

Starting today, the Buffs can begin picking up where they left off.
The Buffs staged a remarkable turnaround last year, winning their final six games to finish 7-5, and salvaged the season with a 31-25 Kanza Bowl victory over Nebraska-Omaha.

Practice begins today, and on paper at least, the Buffs have the potential to have one of their best teams under head coach Don Carthel, who needs three wins to tie the legendary Frank Kimbrough for second place on WT's all-time victory list.

Here's why the Buffs, who were picked to win the Lone Star Conference South Division title in a poll of league coaches, sports information directors and media representatives, have high hopes.

#11-Ranked Buffaloes Set To Open 2010 Drills
WTAM Sports Information Department

CANYON, Texas - West Texas A&M head coach Don Carthel anticipates welcoming approximately 146 players, including 40 returning letterwinners among 78 total returnees, 15 transfers and 53 incoming freshmen, when the Buffaloes begin preseason workouts on August 12 in preparation for the upcoming 2010 season. The Buffs, who will be looking for a fifth Lone Star Conference South championship over the past six years, return 17 starters (eight offense, eight defense, one specialist) from last season’s 7-5 squad which tied for LSC South honors and took a 31-25 win over Nebraska-Omaha in the inaugural Kanza Bowl.

The Buffs will commence drills with separate varsity/freshmen workouts on Aug. 12, 13, 14. Full-squad workouts begin Sunday, Aug. 15, and the team begins full-gear practices on Monday, Aug. 16.

Redshirts Add Roster Depth - Looking to battle for playing time this season will be 33 redshirt-freshmen who were on the squad a year ago, but did not see playing time.
New Practice Fields in Place - When the Buffs hit the practice fields on August 12, they will do so on two completely new, full-size, practice facilities featuring an ‘AstroTurf GameDay Grass 3D’ playing surface. The practice fields are a portion of the Buffalo Sports Complex, which is slated for completion in early November. Due to ongoing construction, however, all practices at Buffalo Sports Park will be CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC.

Buffs In the AFCA National Poll - West Texas A&M will enter the 2010 football season ranked 11th in the AFCA (American Football Coaches Association) Preseason Division II Coaches’ Poll, as released by the AFCA on August 9, 2010. The Buffaloes, who were 7-5 in 2009 and concluded the campaign as the highest team ‘also receiving votes’, return to the top-25 poll afting spent 50 consecutive weeks in the AFCA poll dating from the fifth week of the 2005 season through the second week of the 2009 season.

Pair of Scrimmages On Tap - Tentatively, the Buffs have a pair of scrimmages scheduled prior to the 2010 season opener, Saturday, Aug. 21 (10 a.m.) and Thursday, Aug. 26 (10 a.m.), both taking place at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium. Scrimmages are open to the public at no charge.

The Head Coach - Don Carthel, the winningest coach in West Texas A&M football history, brings a record of 51-12 (.809) into his sixth season at the helm of the Buff football program and has a 14-year collegiate career mark of 97-58-1 (.625). He ranks atop all Buffalo football coaches in terms of winning percentage (min. 20 games coached) and stands third on the all-time WT victory list, needing just three wins to equal the total registered by Frank Kimbrough (54 wins, 1947-57).

Preseason Honors - WT middle linebacker Anthony Scott (5-11, 240, Sr-3L, Amarillo, Texas) has been named as a Pre-season second-team all-America by Lindy’s. has also released its preseason all-Lone Star Conference teams. First-team selections include: defensive end Bryan Braman (6-6, 230, Sr-1L), defensive lineman Simi Kuli (6-5, 265, Jr-TR), defensive back Curtis Jefferson (6-0, 195, Jr-2L) and defensive back Tae Evans (6-0, 205, Sr-3L).

Also, three Buffs have been tabbed as ‘Players to Watch’, including: quarterback Taylor Harris (6-3, 220, Sr-3L) and wide receivers Stephen Burton (6-4, 215, Sr-1L) and Brittan Golden (6-0, 185, Jr-2L).

WT Road Games To Be Televised - KAMR-TV (NBC) will televise each of the six WT road contests, live, during the 2010 season. The Amarillo-based NBC affiliate has televised Buffalo football for the past five years. In addition, the season-opening game at Grand Valley State is slated for a nationally-televised broadcast by CBS College Sports (also via KAMR-TV in the Amarillo market).


The Buffaloes, who have recorded 51 wins over the past five seasons, return 17 starters (8 off., 8 def. 1 Specialist) from a 2009 team that reeled off six-consecutive wins to end a 7-5 season.


With eight starters and 18 letterwinners returning from last year’s squad, including the leading passer, the leading ground gainer and their top three receivers, the West Texas A&M offense looks to be as potent as ever. The skill positions appear to be well-stocked and, while two openings appear on the offensive line, the Buffs’ look to be deep at that position, as well.

(Click here for position breakdowns)

More than 130 Wildcats report
ACU Sports Information Department

ABILENE – ACU head football coach Chris Thomsen and his staff welcomed more than 130 players to campus Wednesday as the Wildcats began preparations for the 2010 season and a possible fifth straight trip to the NCAA Division II playoffs.

The Wildcats will be on the field at the Wally Bullington Practice Facility early Thursday morning for a conditioning test, and then they'll return fat 4 p.m. or the practice of the summer.

ACU finished 9-4 last season and reached the NCAA playoffs for the fourth straight season. The Wildcats pulled out a 24-21 win in the first round at Midwestern State before falling in the second round against eventual national champion Northwest Missouri State in Maryville, Mo.

The Wildcats have been picked to finish second to West Texas A&M in the Lone Star Conference South Division, but has been tabbed as high as No. 7 in the country (American Football Coaches' Association). ACU is also No. 14 in The Sporting News and No. 17 by Lindy's magazine.

One of the biggest storylines of the 2009 season for the Wildcats was the quarterback position where Mitchell Gale, Zach Stewart and Clark Harrell all saw action with Stewart starting the first five games of the year and Gale starting each of the final eight games.

The competition for the starting job this season was supposed to involve that threesome once again this summer, but that competition is down to just two players – Gale and Harrell – after Stewart told Thomsen and offensive coordinator Ken Collums last Friday that he was leaving the team.

"We had obviously anticipated going with three quarterbacks, but Zach decided that football wasn't something he wanted to continue pursuing," Thomsen said. "That decision helps clear things up for us. Mitchell will go in with the No. 1s and Clark will work in there with those guys some as well. We'll probably need both of those guys during the course of the season."

But even with just two quarterbacks on the roster who have ever played in a college football game, Thomsen said he's not actively pursuing another quarterback.

"A lot of things will shake out at the (NCAA) Division I level over the next couple of weeks," Thomsen said, "but you've always got to be careful with doing stuff like that because of the chemistry issues within your team."

Offensively, the Wildcats return three starters on the offensive line (pre-season all-America selections Trevis Turner at tackle and Royland Tubbs at guard and center Matt Webber), and also returning starting running backs Daryl Richardson and Reggie Brown and receivers Edmund Gates and Kendrick Johnson. Tight end Ben Gibbs is expected to start after missing the last couple of games of the season with a broken leg.

New additions expected to contribute to the offense are offensive linemen Richard Cagle (transfer from Vanderbilt), Dylan Blount (transfer from Kilgore College) and redshirt freshman Josh Perez, as well as running back Josh Morgan and redshirt freshman receiver Darian Hogg.

On the defensive side of the ball, junior defensive end Aston Whiteside – a pre-season all-America selection and the LSC South Division Pre-Season Defensive Player of the Year – leads a group that returns the front seven virtually intact. Defensive tackles Mike and Marvin Jones (no relation) also return, and the Wildcats have added transfer tackle Donald Moore from Tyler Junior College. All-conference outside linebacker Fred Thompson will move down to the other defensive end spot after Nick Jones gave up football to concentrate on track and field.

The linebacking corps is led by pre-season all-America Kevin Washington and returning starters Courtney Lane and Eric Edwards.

ACU's coaching staff spent most of their summer trying to re-tool a secondary that lost a pair of starters. Returning to start at cornerback is Drew Cuffee, while part-time starter Richard Havins will start at one safety spot. New additions in the secondary are safety Darien Williams (transfer from North Texas); cornerback Kamaron Riely (transfer from Independence Community College after signing with Georgia Tech); cornerback Nate Bailey (transfer from Santa Barbara City College); cornerback David Lamour (transfer from Chaffey College); and safety Korneil Howard (transfer from Harper College).

"We really had to rebuild the secondary, and we think we got some good players back there," Thomsen said. "But we'll see how it all shakes out. Kamaron is a really big (6-2, 200 pounds), physical cornerback that we think can match up with some of the bigger receivers that we'll play throughout the season."

* Former ACU standouts Sam Collins and Kendrick Holloway have been added to the coaching staff in a full-time capacity. Collins – the 2008 Gene Upshaw Award and Dave Rimington Award winner as the top lineman and center in NCAA Division II football – will coach the defensive line, while Holloway will coach the running backs. Collins replaces Clayton Farrell, who left the staff after the 2009 season for a high school coaching job in the Metroplex, while Holloway replaces Keith Wagner.

* Some number changes have already taken place for the 2010 season as running back Daryl Richardson will wear No. 1 in 2010 after wearing No. 22 as a freshman last year. Linebacker Courtney Lane wore No. 58 last year, but will wear No. 9 this year. And quarterback Clark Harrell will wear No. 12 this year after wearing No. 17 last season.

* The Wildcats will practice just once a day Thursday-Monday (4 p.m. each day) before practicing twice on Tuesday, Aug. 17. ACU has just one day of true two-a-days (Aug. 17), but will practice at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 19, and then go through a scrimmage that night at Shotwell Stadium. ACU's first practice in full pads will be Monday, Aug. 16. The Wildcats will have two scrimmages at Shotwell Stadium during summer practice, the first of which is at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 19. The second scrimmage will be at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 28.

* The Wildcats will open the season at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 4, when the Wildcats travel to Topeka, Kan., to take on Washburn. Each Wildcat football game will be broadcast on Mix 92.5 FM. Grant Boone returns for his third season as the play-by-play voice of the Wildcats.

LSC Fall Sports Preview Series: East Central
Nick Eatman
LoneStar Conference Website

This is the fourth of a 16-part series, analyzing the fall sports of each school in the Lone Star Conference. Today will feature East Central.

With no wins to show for it, ECU Tim McCarty calls the 2009 season successful in some ways and it hasn’t slowed down his excitement for the upcoming season.  In fact, if there are positives to point out from a 0-10 season, it would be the way McCarty’s Tigers finished the year, with a heartbreaking 27-26 loss against Southeastern Oklahoma. The Tigers trailed 27-0 in the first quarter but rallied with a touchdown in the final seconds to pull within one. Instead of forcing overtime, ECU went for the win, but the two-point conversion try was stopped at the 1, adding one more frustrating piece to the season.

“We played 19 true freshmen last year and had nine freshmen starting for us,” McCarty recalled. “The thing that was good about that is they never quit and they got better each week.”

ECU also had a 31-28 loss to eventual LSC North winner Texas A&M-Commerce.

“We had some tough losses last year,” McCarty said. “It was a learning experience for us. But I think our kids grew up and it will prepare us better for this year.”

ECU will have some options at quarterback in junior-college transfer Tyler Vanderzee, who appears to be the front-runner over Josh Phillips, who took most of the snaps last year and finished the season with 1,273 passing yards with 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.  The running game will rely on John Gaines and Shomari Grant, but the Tigers appear strong at receiver, thanks to All-LSC pick Zack Patteson, the team’s leading receiver in 2009 with 36 catches for 436 yards and six touchdowns. It was Patteson’s touchdown in the final seconds against SOSU that nearly gave ECU its only win.  Johnathan Joe caught 26 balls last year and Joe Joe Euwins and LaQuan Harper both were contributors in the offensive production as well.

The offensive line was young last year, but four of the five starters return, including All-LSC North selection Jon Ramos, who will move from tackle to guard. Chad Roardk and Trevor Suffal also should provide some stability.

Defensively, senior end Travis Buchanan returns after leading the team with 10 ½ tackles for loss last year with four sacks.  The linebackers will be an area of strength, led by sophomores Tyler McGrew, Amos Cherry and Airieus Ervin, a trio that learned on the run as true freshmen last year.  The secondary will be anchored by sophomore Norris Wrenn (69 tackles), who was named second-team All-LSC last year. Charles Burks and Victor Cooper should be viable options as well.

But getting that first win won’t be easy for the Tigers, who open the season at Fort Hays State (Sept. 4), followed by games against LSC South contenders Texas A&M-Kingsville and Abilene Christian.

Baseball Announces Recruiting Class
TAMK Sports Information

KINGSVILLE, TEXAS – Texas A&M-Kingsville head baseball coach Jason Gonzales announced his 2010 recruiting class on Monday. The class consists of seven high schoolers and seven transfers.

“We are extremely excited about our latest recruiting class,” said Gonzales. “Coach Rick Heines has done a great job of hitting the recruiting trail and we feel we have brought in a stellar group. Not only are these young men talented ball players, but they are high character individuals with strong academic backgrounds. We have filled many of our needs with our transfers and continue to add to our longevity of the program with outstanding freshmen that will grow in our program. We feel our program took another step forward with the addition of this class.”

Dustin Aguilar, a 5-11, 165-pound infielder from San Antonio, played scholastically at Churchill High School. He led the Chargers to the 5A State Quarterfinals in 2010. He hit .421 in district play and stole 34 bases as the team’s leadoff hitter. He was a two-time South Texas High School All-Star. He was a three-year letter-winner in baseball and also starred on the football team. He graduated with a 4.0 grad point average and plans to study Kinesiology.

Lucas Allen, a 6-3, 170-pound catcher from Bigfoot, Texas, had an outstanding career at Devine High School. He was a four-year letterman and led the team in batting average, runs batted in, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and stolen bases as a senior. He was named the school’s Spring Athlete of the Year. He earned All-Area and District 29-3A MVP honors as a senior. He graduated in the top 25 percent of his class and was a member of the National Honor Society.

Adam Aspaas, a 6-4, 210-pound right-handed pitcher-third baseman from San Diego, CA, is a transfer from Grossmont College, the same school that produced former Javelina star Clifton Thomas. He attended Mission Hills High School where he earned Second Team All-Valley League honors. He is the brother of Abilene Christian University all-Lone Star Conference pitcher Cameron Aspaas.

Chris Ballou, a 6-2, 190-pound outfielder from Houston, is a transfer from Navarro College. He batted .280 with a .370 on-base percentage and .426 slugging percentage as a freshman. He was part of a conference championships team in 2009. He was a high school standout at Houston Christian HS. In 2008, he was first team all-district, TAPPS 5A All-State and was team captain for a state championship squad. He was named the Houston Chronicle High School Player of the Week in April 2007. He made the honor role in 2007 and 2009 and was on the Dean’s List both semesters at Navarro College.

Aaron Cardenas, a 6-1, 210-pound catcher-infielder from San Antonio, played his high school ball at Harlandale HS. He was a two-time first team all-district catcher. He hit .400 as a junior and .480 with 38 RBI’s as a senior. He was also a first team all-district tight end and was selected for the H-E-B All-Star game. He is a product of the Lights Out Baseball Academy in San Antonio.

Ryan Cook, a 5-11, 180-pound outfielder from Houston, is a transfer from Cisco Junior College. He has terrific speed and is an outstanding defensive player. As a high school senior at Mayde Creek, he was named first team all-district and was voted the school’s most valuable player for baseball and football. He finished fifth in the city of Houston in hitting as a senior at the 5A level.

J.D. Escobar, a 6-3, 230-pound right handed pitcher from Edinburg, Texas, is a transfer from North Central Texas College. At Edinburg North High School, he earned First Team All-Valley honors. He threw the first and only no-hitter in school history. He plans to study Kinesiology.

Brian Frazier, a 6-4, 270-pound first baseman from Kingwood, Texas, is a transfer from North Central Texas College. He red-shirted his only season at NCTC. He led Kingwood HS in home runs and was selected first team all-district as a senior. He was a member of the National Honor Society.

Kris Guerrero, a 5-10, 200-pound outfielder-catcher from Corpus Christi, Texas, is a transfer from Laredo College. The left-hander hit .361 as a sophomore at Laredo and finished 11th in the Region XIV South. He was a member of the Region XIV South team in the 2009 Texas-New Mexico All-Star game going 3-for-4 in the game. He is a versatile player who played seven different positions at LC. He was a standout at Calallen High School where he earned all-state honors and was a part of two state championship teams. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Calallen and made the Dean’s List all four semesters at Laredo.

Nathan Humpal, a 6-3, 170-pound left-handed pitcher-first baseman from Corpus Christi, Texas, starred at John Paul II High School. During his senior year, he led his team to a state championship. He hit .345 with 35 runs batted in while going 13-4 with a 2.31 earned run average on the mound.

Ian Jones, a 6-3, 180-pound right-handed pitcher from Austin, Texas, played at McNeil High School. He earned first team all-district honors as a senior.

Dallas Ponder, a 5-10, 190-pound right-handed pitcher from Flatonia, Texas, enjoyed an outstanding career at Flatonia High School. He was a three-time first team all-district selection. He earned second team all-state honors as a sophomore and was named the Offensive Player of the Year in the district as a senior. In Babe Ruth League, he won the Regional Home Run Derby and was named MVP of the Regional Tournament. He was a member of the National Honor Society and was academic all-state for three years.

Michael Vickery, a 6-3, 210-pound right-handed pitcher from Edna, Texas, is transferring from Wharton College. He had a successful two seasons at Wharton and led Region XIV in saves in 2010. He lettered all four years at Edna High School and was a four-time all-district honoree. He was named the District MVP as a senior.

Michael Wright, 5-11, 170-pound left-handed pitcher-outfielder from Comfort, Texas, was a standout in several sports at Comfort High School. He was named to the South Texas High School All-Star team on two occasions. He batted .416 as a senior and was a three-year standout as a pitcher. He was named all-district three times in track and field, two times in football and two times in basketball.

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