Hometown Heroes: Passion of football drives Bayless - Coy Slavik, Times Record News
Even Nate Bayless finds the past 10 months of his life almost unbelievable.
The former high school standout at Burkburnett was in the middle of a promising collegiate football career at Angelo State when his life took a dramatic turn at last fall.
“I got real sick. They thought I had an abscess on my spleen,” Bayless said. “They put two drains in me and I had those in me about three months. Finally, I got to the point where I just wanted them to take my spleen out and get it over with. I wanted to get back to doing the things I enjoyed doing in life.
“But when they were going to take my spleen out, they found some cancer cells. That’s when they said I had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I just got sick to my stomach, because I thought I was in a lot of trouble.”
Not only was Bayless’ 2009 football season over, but he knows his life hung in the balance.
Tigers take one on the chin - Ada Evening News
ABILENE, Texas — East Central University struck for a quick touchdown to start the game, but fifth-ranked Abilene Christian took over from there as the Wildcats, behind 559 yards of offense, rolled to a 47-7 Lone Star Conference crossover victory over the Tigers Saturday night at Shotwell Stadium.
It took ECU (0-3 overall, 0-2 in the LSC) just four plays to get on the board as quarterback Tyler Vanderzee connected with Tyra Waits on a big 70-yard scoring pass and Matt Berrey’s PAT lifted the Tigers to 7-0 advantage.
But the Wildcats (3-0, 2-0) went on to score 24 points before the first quarter ended behind the trigger of sophomore quarterback Mitchell Gale, who finished the game 23-of-32 passing for 263 yards and five touchdowns.
The Short List 09/21/10 - David Henry, Amarillo Globe News
Classy move Saturday by the West Texas A&M Buffs letting backup quarterback Tanner Marsh catch a pass on WT's first offensive play. Marsh, usually No. 16, wore No. 34 in honor of his good buddy, tight end Kendrick Cutsinger, who was killed in a vehicle accident Sept. 3 in Llano County. The catch went for no gain in the stat book but went for a touchdown as far as respect.
MSU football team moves up to No. 10 - Times Record News
Midwestern State climbed one spot to No. 10 in the latest American Football Coaches’ Association Division II Poll, released Monday.
The Mustangs improved to 3-0 for the fifth straight season with a 46-9 win over Southwestern Oklahoma Saturday night to secure a national ranking for the 15th consecutive reporting period. MSU has received at least one vote in the AFCA poll in 50 of the past 51 reporting periods, dating back to the 2006 season.
The Lone Star Conference South Division now has four teams ranked in the top 10 — Abilene Christian (5), Texas A&M-Kingsville (6), West Texas A&M (9) and Midwestern State (10).
Javelinas hang on to the No. 6 ranking - Corpus Christi Caller Times
Texas A&M-Kingsville remained in the No. 6 spot in the weekly American Football Coaches Association NCAA Division II poll that was released Monday.
It is the second consecutive week that the 3-0 Javelinas have been ranked sixth nationally. They are coming off a 21-0 victory over longtime rival Texas A&M-Commerce. A&M-Kingsville heads to Incarnate Word in the first meeting between the teams in Saturday’s Lone Star Conference South Division opener.
Four other LSC schools, all from the South, are ranked in the top 10 this week. Joining the Javelinas are Abilene Christian (fifth), West Texas A&M (ninth) and Midwestern State (10th). All of the LSC schools retained their rankings from last week except Midwestern, which moved into the top 10 from the 12th position.
Tarleton Hall of Famer returns as Horn head coach
By BRAD KEITH
Rodney Webb has been looking forward to this Friday's high school football game between Stephenville and Mesquite Horn ever since he completed his team's schedule in February.
Webb, the head coach at Dr. John Horn High School, will be returning to Stephenville for the first time since 2007 when he was inducted into Tarleton State University's Athletic Hall of Fame.
The former offensive lineman graduated from Tarleton in 1989 after helping the Texans to a record of 25-7-1 and one Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship over a three-year span.
"I told Coach (Joseph) Gillespie when we scheduled the game that we would come to Stephenville this year if we could have the home locker room and home sideline, because I've never been the visitor there before," Webb joked during a phone interview Monday. "Being in the visitor's locker room and on the visitor's sideline is going to be kind of weird for me."
Webb was an assistant coach in the Austin area before spending seven years in Ruidoso, NM. He returned to Texas with a one-year stint in Glen Rose, just 33 miles from Stephenville.
The former Texan broke into head coaching in East Texas at Royse City, where he guided this team into the 3A Division I playoffs four times in five years. Royse City reached the state semifinals in 2004 and the quarterfinals in 2006.
Webb has been at Horn since 2007, leading the Jaguars to the 5A playoffs each of the last two years.
"We got into the playoffs in 2008 and faced Copperas Cove in the first round," Webb said. "We played well, we were tied with them in the fourth quarter, but they got us."
Copperas Cove went on to the semifinals that season.
Horn lost to Belton in overtime of a first-round playoff game last fall.
"I think we're headed in the right direction, we just have to break through to the next level," Webb said. "We're in a brutally tough district. A lot of people don't realize how tough these East Texas schools are. For us, breaking through means doing better in district and getting out of the first round of the playoffs."
Hence the reason for playing Coppell, Lake Highlands, Lewisville Hebron, Denton Guyer and Stephenville early in the year. Horn defeated Hebron 35-28 and lost to Guyer on a last-minute touchdown, 34-31. They also defeated Lake Highlands 48-21 and fell to Coppell, 13-0, for a record of 2-2.
Webb believes the trip to Stephenville is a good next step for his team.
"We know and respect and embrace the situation we are walking into," Webb said. "The can fans, the crowd, the tradition. I can't wait for our kids to take on all those challenges. We need to be challenged by that type of atmosphere to get where we are trying to go with this team and our program.
"I think Stephenville is a very well coached team," he continued. "Those kids play really hard. Everything you think of when you think of Stephenville is exactly what I see when I watch this team on video. It's a bunch of guys doing what they are coached to do and playing with conviction. They have unbelievable special teams play. We are using film of Stephenville's special teams as a teaching tool with our kids this week to show them what the effort should be like on the field."
Webb will have no problem getting his game face on in time for kickoff Friday night, but admits there will be a sense of nostalgia on the bus ride to Stephenville and when he first walks into Tarleton Memorial Stadium.
"I tell people this all the time. I wouldn't trade my college experience for anything. It could not have gone better for me down there," Webb said. "I am thankful every day I walk the earth that I am a Tarleton Texan.
"Unfortunately due to time and distance I don't see people from (Stephenville and Tarleton) enough," he continued. "There are people there who helped mold me and shape who I am, or at least who I try to be. I don't think I would be near the person I am today without the time I spent there."
LSC Weekly Volleyball release
CONFERENCE PLAY CONTINUES
Lone Star Conference play began last week with two league matches for all 15 teams. Abilene Christian, Central Oklahoma, West Texas A&M and Cameron each went 2-0 to jump to the top of the standings. WTAMU has now won 51 consecutive conference matches dating back to 2005, which is tied for 7th all-time among NCAA Division II conference winning streaks.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Adrienne Lawson, Cameron University, JR, The Colony, Texas, The Colony HS
Had two double-doubles against East Central and Southeastern ... Had a season-high 20 kills at East Central ... Has had four double-doubles this season ... Season-high five block assists at East Central ... Had two service aces against Southern Arkansas.
Zuela Adom, University of Central Oklahoma, SR, Euless, TX, Trinity HS
Adom led UCO to a 3-0 week, including two road conference wins. The senior outside hitter hit a solid .254 while collecting 46 kills with 12 errors in 134 attacks. She added 13 total blocks and seven digs. Adom had 15 kills and seven blocks in a four-set home win over Dallas Baptist, 18 kills with five blocks in a five-set win at Incarnate Word and 13 kills on .367 hitting in a three-set sweep at Texas A&M-Kingsville.
Megan Kimak, East Central University, JR, Enid, Oklahoma, Enid HS
Kimak averaged 6.81 digs per set as East Central went 1-2 in three matches last week. She collected 14 digs in a 3-0 loss at Arkansas-Fort Smith before having back-to-back 30-plus dig efforts in ECU’s 3-1 home loss to Cameron and 3-1 home win over Midwestern State. She posted 30 digs against Cameron and 31 against Midwestern State.
Ginger Gowen, University of Central Oklahoma, JR, Edmond, OK, Santa Fe HS
Gowen led UCO’s defensive efforts in a perfect 3-0 week, including two LSC road wins. The junior libero totaled 62 digs in the three matches, averaging 20.7 a match and 5.17 a set. Gowen had 21 digs in a four-set home win over Dallas Baptist, 23 in a five-set road win over Incarnate Word and 18 in a three-set sweep at Texas A&M-Kingsville.
Veronica Valdez-Kent, Eastern New Mexico University, SR, Canyon, Texas, Canyon HS
Valdez-Kent averaged 11.17 assists per set last week, along with five kills, two service aces, 23 digs and a block. She had 29 assists and 12 digs in the Zias 3-0 win over Texas A&M-Commerce and 38 assists against Texas Woman’s. Valdez-Kent’s performance helped the Zias post their first Lone Star Conference win since the 2006 season.
Erika Dupree, West Texas A&M University, JR, Mesquite, Texas, Poteet HS
Dupree continues to be a triple threat for the Lady Buffs this season as she posted her third triple-double of the season in WT’s win over Texas Woman’s on Saturday. Not only did she record the triple-double, but she led all players on both teams in the three statistical categories with 13 kills, 21 assists and 14 digs. The junior out of Mesquite finished the week second on the team with 19 kills, but led all players on the team that had 10 or more kills with a .366 hitting percentage. She tallied 39 assists, 23 digs and assisted in on three blocks this past week. With two LSC victories last week, WT has won 51 consecutive conference matches dating back to 2005.