Wednesday, October 27, 2010

LSC Roundup 10-27

NCAA Division II football rankings finally to be released next week - J. Scott Russell, Times Record News
After a longer-than-normal wait, the NCAA Division II regional rankings will finally be released next week.

And Super Region 4 — which consists of the Lone Star Conference, the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association and the Great Northwest Athletic Conference — shouldn’t have that many surprises.

The rankings, which determine playoff teams for D-II football, came out in early October in previous years. But they were pushed back until the first week in November to avoid all the fluctuations that occurred on a weekly basis — many of which were hard for the average fan to understand.

There still will be some fluctuations this year — even releasing the rankings this late — but they shouldn’t be as bad as last year, when Midwestern State went from unranked to sixth with one win or when top-ranked Grand Valley State fell from No. 1 to No. 9 in Super Region 3 with one loss.

I haven’t gone through all the strength of schedules, opponents’ strength of schedules and all the other criteria that make up the “numbers” the committees use to rank the teams, but suffice to say the six LSC and MIAA teams that are ranked this week — Abilene Christian (8-0), Texas A&M-Kingsville (7-1), West Texas A&M (6-2), Midwestern State (6-2), Northwest Missouri (6-1) and Central Missouri (8-1) — will all be in the rankings if they win this week.

Defensive coordinator hard to impress - Bob Forrest, Ada Evening News
Justin Deason isn’t easy to impress.

East Central University’s second-year defensive coordinator began the year as the leader of one of the biggest mysteries on a team that itself was one big question mark after failing to win a game in 2009; he enters Week 9 of the season, though, as the driving force behind a defensive unit that has evolved from the most generous in the Lone Star Conference after two weeks into the league’s most opportunistic heading into Saturday’s home showdown with Northeastern for the LSC North lead.

During its climb from 14th (and last) in the league in total defense — after surrendering more than 500 yards per game in losses to Fort Hays State and Texas A&M-Kingsville to start the season — to No. 9 following last week’s 20-19 victory at Southeastern, the ECU defense has become relevant again for the first time in five seasons.

A football family - Ben Johnson, Tahlequah Daily Press
Trey McVay loves catching touchdown passes and celebrating victories with his Northeastern State teammates. But there’s one aspect of his life that trumps both of those — fatherhood.

“It’s nothing like I’ve ever felt,” said McVay, NSU’s leading receiver and proud father of Sir-Prince McVay. “It’s way more exciting than football could ever be — or anything in life.”

McVay, a Muskogee native and Fort Gibson graduate, and his wife Kami became parents on Aug. 6 when Sir-Prince was born. Now, Trey has the responsibility of balancing football time with family time.

Something that’s not easily accomplished.

“It’s pretty hard,” he said. “I’m gone most of the time with practice, [watching] film, homework and school. But it’s about staying focused, mainly. You just have to put your priorities in order and do what is more important.”

Kami, a stay-at-home mom, admits it’s tough having a busy husband. But she’s also understanding.

“It’s definitely hard,” said Kami, who tied the knot with Trey when the two got married on May 29. “But like he said, he has his priorities straight. He always tries to keep us first, and makes sure he has time for us.”

Weekend Adventure in Commerce - SWO Sports Information
We won a big game down in Commerce, TX this past weekend and it was big for our players, but let me give you a few details that they went through to achieve this victory. We left Weatherford at noon on Friday, Oct. 22. It had rained all morning and there was a chance of rain all weekend. We drove two charter buses and arrived in Gainesville, TX to have our walk-through and mainly to get them off the bus and get their legs stretched.

We then drove to Sherman, TX to eat at the Golden Corral for dinner. Golden Corral is the next best thing to sliced bread when you talk about a meal for a football team! Arrived in Greenville, TX, a town about 15 minutes south of Commerce, and checked the players into their hotel room. We had a defensive meeting at 9:00, then the offense had a meeting at 9:30. Team meeting was at 10:00, had room check at 10:30, made sure they were in their rooms and collected cell phones so they can stay focused.

Next day wake up call at 8:30, group meetings at 9:00, load buses at 9:45, drive for pre-game meal at 10:00. Ate at Shumardii’s in Greenville. They did us good, treated us great and the players stayed very focused on the game. Loaded buses and drove to Commerce at 10:45. I like to get to places early so we don’t have to hurry around. Very relaxed atmosphere, captains had a players’ meeting in the middle of field and then we started getting dressed and taped for the game.

We went out to warm-up at 12:40 with the first wave of players, the next wave came out at 12:55 and the last wave came at 1:05. Had a great pre warm-up, lots of energy and enthusiasm from the players. We left the field at 1:30 to go to the locker room and Commerce left about five minutes after we did.

Then… the lightning alarm goes off and now the wait begins. We felt like we would be OK if we could get onto the field in about 45 minutes after the alarm.

The rain came, and we had to get our players into the dressing room. As the rain started getting harder, the ceiling in the dressing room started to look like Niagara Falls and in the middle of the room was the Colorado River flowing out the door!

We had been in the locker room for nearly two hours and still no break in the weather. It had been several hours since we last ate and people were starting to get hungry. We went and got some Snickers from the store to hold them over.

Finally around 5:30 pm, we started getting some information about what we are going to do. The main thing I told the Commerce people is we wanted to play today. It was their Homecoming and they had a big Athletic Alumni banquet so it was obvious that they didn’t want to play it that night. So the decision was made at 6:00 to reschedule the game for tomorrow.

So, now the “Travel Man”, Coach Hada started his magic. First what about the busses for tomorrow? They said they were ‘good and no problem.’ Hotel rooms? They said ‘come on back.’ Meals? Dominos will deliver and did. Now the nerves really get going, pre-game meal for a Sunday morning? Shumardii’s, big check and better deal!

Now we load up on the buses, some players are still wet in their uniforms and head back to the Greenville hotel. We arrived and got the players in their rooms, with a pizza and Gatorade. Then this is where it starts to feel like the movie Groundhog Day.

Had our defensive meeting at 7:30, the offensive meetings at 8:30 and the team meeting at 9:30. Main thing we tell them was they have to work harder now to keep focus. I can tell you that they looked it for sure. Amazing, how we coaches can keep trying to motivate our players. Sometimes it is for one night or one day but now we are doing it for two days. Had room check and cell phone check at 10:30 and hoping the players stay focused as I went to sleep.

Next day, alarm goes off at the same time. I got up and took a shower at the same time. We went out to get a cinnamon roll and sat in the same place. Group meetings at 9:00, loaded busses at 9:45, drive for pre-game meal at 10 (feel like you have already read this?), Ate for the third time Shumardii’s. They did us good again!! They were very impressed with our players, and said most teams that come are pretty rowdy and very loud. Our players ate had small talk and stayed focused on the game. Load busses at 10:45 and drove to Commerce. Everywhere that we drove looked exactly like it did the day before, the road, stores, the ducks by the stadium almost in the same spot and yes they were real!

We got off the busses and the players went through the same routine. Captains meeting again at noon and then we got dressed and taped for the game. First wave of players out on field at 12:40, Second wave at 12:55 and the third at 1:05 and then off the field at 1:30, exactly like the day before.

We came out on to field excited about the chance to finally play. Several players said they always wanted to play on a Sunday and this was my first experience also. The Sunday crowd that stayed around wasn’t what Commerce had expected. I really believe that we had more fans than they did. We were certainly louder which kept the players excited.

We went into the half with score tied up 3 -3. Came out second half and our players stepped it up. At the end of the third the Bulldogs were up 10 -3, Dustin Stenta hit Jordan Davis for a 53 yard pass for a TD. The fourth quarter and with 13 minutes to play Isaac Tucker scored on a 29-yard TD run and now the score was SWOSU, 17-3.

Then……with 12:06 left in the game, you guessed it, the alarm for lightning went off and we had to clear the field, it was 4:28 in the afternoon. And yes, we went back to that great protection area under the stands. So we waited and waited and waited. Then it began to rain, the police had our players get under the stands. Then a sight that our California kids had never seen before, HAIL!!! They could not believe it, Coach Hada sacrificed himself to go and get some of the bigger stones for them to look at.

Then the police told us to get the players in the safety of the dressing room, because now there was a chance of a tornado! You should have seen the eyes of all the non-Oklahoma/Texas kids. So now it is around 6:00 on a Sunday, four-and-a-half hours from home, and we are still waiting. We find out that the game is official because we have finished the third quarter. Now let’s figure something out.

The sky has cleared, but on the field from goal line to goal line, and from hash to hash is covered with hail. Now we are ready to play, but we haven’t got the clearance from the lightning detector. It’s kind of like when you were a kid and you went to the swimming pool and there was lightning. You had to wait 30 minutes before you could get back in. Well this is the same thing, just waiting for it to signal clear.

Now it has been decided by the Referee that its best to go home, but Commerce wants us to finish it out. We find out that they have the sole decision on the matter. I remind them we are along ways from home and our players have school tomorrow.

So now it is 7:00 and still no decision. Then at 7:15 Commerce decides that we will wait until 8:00 and if the alarm doesn’t clear us to play we will call it. I’ll be dang if the sirens go off to say clear to play five minutes later. We have about 10 minutes to warm up now since we had almost a three-hour delay.

Our ball, 12:06 to play and we lead 17-3. Needless to say we felt good about finishing this out, but we fumbled on the second play and they picked it up and scored. SWOSU 17, Commerce 10. Not feeling so good right now. But our players fought hard and they refused to let up. And at 8:11 PM the scoreboard showed no time left and the Bulldogs win 24-10.

My hat is off to all the parents and family members who stayed for the two-day affair. They witnessed something that they may never again, a football game that lasted two days! And also hats off to our radio guys who did the same thing, giving updates to everyone listening. I’m sure they were running out of material to say but they stayed with us all the way.

So now we get to eat the chicken we had ordered the day before and the biscuit I had was made the day before. But a post game meal after a victory always taste good.

We arrived in Weatherford at about 1:30 AM on a Monday morning. What a weekend one that we will always remember!!!

West Texas A&M volleyball ties own NCAA Division II record - Amarillo Globe News
ACU's Carpenter ties UCO golfer for tourney title - Abilene Reporter News
Local sports roundup, 10/27 - San Angelo Standard Times
ACU soccer team cracks top 25 for first time in history - Abilene Reporter News

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