Friday, October 8, 2010

LSC Roundup 10-8

Carthel era at WT could be best - Dave Henry, Amarillo Globe News
West Texas A&M celebrates its Centennial Homecoming this week, marking 100 years of "tradition and educational excellence," as the university proudly proclaims.

As far as WT football goes, it is fitting the school is marking its first century, because the case can be made WT is enjoying its most successful era on the gridiron in school history right now.

What Buffs head coach Don Carthel - in his sixth season - has done in Canyon is not only revive a once-proud program but create an unprecedented run of success not seen since WT's Division I days, and maybe not even then.

The numbers indicate Carthel's run may be the best the Buffs have seen.

A&M-Kingsville lost, but offense wasn't all bad - George Vondracek, Corpus Christi Caller
At first glance, considering the way that Texas A&M-Kingsville's offense performed in last week's loss to Abilene Christian one may be persuaded to say it was a bad outing.

To the contrary, it wasn't all bad. It simply wasn't good enough.

"I think we executed well. We got to the right spots a lot of times. I think at the end of the day we put ourselves in a position to win that football game from an offensive standpoint," Javelinas coach Bo Atterberry said. "We had our chances. Again, we didn't finish those plays like they could have been. There wasn't just a ton of mental mistakes. There were just some plays we missed."

LSC shakeup affects Javelinas' future schedules - George Vondracek, Corpus Christi Caller
With the defections of the five Oklahoma universities from the Lone Star Conference after this athletic year, thoughts now turn to scheduling matters. In some sports it is an easier task. For others, there are concerns.

The conference is mulling several options, Texas A&M-Kingsville athletics director Ken Oliver said. In the case of football, the Javelinas already have secured a two-year, home-and-home deal with Central Washington for season openers in 2011 and 2012. With nine conference teams playing football, there will be some open dates.

In the Javelinas' case, the open dates likely will fall in Weeks 3 and 6. Oliver said LSC commissioner Stan Wagnon is in initial negotiations for a possible 10-team festival at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington for that third week, pairing LSC and Gulf South Conference teams. The games would span a three- or four-day span pending Dallas' NFL schedule.

"So we would open up with Central Washington, have a conference game in Week 2 and do the festival in Week 3 to get maxed out," Oliver said. "If we don't do the festival with the Gulf South, we'll still be partnering with them in Week 3 for five of our schools to play. We will be one of those schools for sure that should have an opportunity to schedule with them.

"But if it's not a central location like Dallas, there's going to be some schools that aren't interested in that," Oliver said. "What we will do is a home-and-home with them."

NSU begins key stretch against Commerce - Ben Johnson, Tahlequah Daily Press
Through six weeks of Lone Star Conference football, this much is certain: both divisions are up for grabs.

The South will end up being a four-team race among Division II top-10 teams — Abilene Christian (No. 5), West Texas A&M (No. 7), Midwestern State (No. 8) and Texas A&M-Kingsville (No. 10).

The North, while lacking any top-25 firepower, could end up being a free-for-all with seven teams in the mix.

If Northeastern State wants to be the last one standing, a win Saturday against Texas A&M-Commerce at Doc Wadley Stadium would go a long ways toward accomplishing that goal.

"This is a key game for us," said NSU head coach Kenny Evans, whose team is 2-3 overall, 1-0 in LSC North play and 2-2 in the conference heading into its homecoming matchup with the Lions at 2 p.m. "No. 1 because they are the defending champions of the North Division, and No. 2 because they are the preseason pick to win the North Division."

Impact Player - Brian Johnson, Ada Evening News
Carlos Savala is making a big impact on the East Central University offensive line in 2010.

The 6-foot, 6-inch, 315-pound junior left tackle is not only making an impact in the physical sense, but is doing so through intelligence.

“He’s a smart player. He understands what he needs to be doing,” said ECU head coach Tim McCarty. “He really never allows himself to be in position to make an error. He’s got great size and strength.”

Savala, out of Fontana, Calif., has twice been named the team’s offensive most valuable player and twice selected as blocker of the game this season through the Tigers’ 1-4 start. His team awards came in ECU’s two home games - a 20-7 loss to nationally-ranked Texas A&M-Kingsville and a 23-0 victory over Southwestern.

“I was honored that the coaches recognized me and appreciate that they thought I did that well,” said Savala. “I thought some other people could’ve easily got the awards.”

After first win, Texans ready for tough trip to WT
Sports Editor

Cary Fowler's cell phone was going off repeatedly last Saturday night as seemingly everyone who ever played with or coached with or against Tarleton's first-year head coach was texting their congratulations.

Fowler's team had just picked up their first win of the season, erasing a 14-point deficit over the final five minutes to upset Angelo State 37-34.

But it didn't take Fowler long to put behind him the distraction of the first win. All he had to do was glance at the schedule to see who's up next for his Texans.

"We've been fighting and we finally get a win and now we have to go play one of the best teams in the country in West Texas," Fowler said.

Tarleton (1-4 overall, 1-3 LSC, 1-1 South) visits No. 7 West Texas A&M (4-1, 4-0, 1-0) in a Lone Star Conference South Division game at 6 p.m. Saturday night at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium in Canyon.

The Texans have several things working in their favor compared to their past three road trips.

For the first week of the regular season they have more starters coming back from injury than they do joining the injured list.

Pre-season All-American safety Lonnie Buchanan will be back after missing last week's game. He went down two weeks ago at Abilene Christian with a broken foot.

Offensive linemen Ryan Martin and Shawn Wyatt will also be back.

"We have some guys coming back from injury, and they are hungry to get on the field and play," Fowler said. "Those three guys, especially those two seniors (Martin and Buchanan) just love to play football and can't wait to get out there."

The Texans won last week despite having 18 starters out of the lineup because quarterback Nick Stephens returned from a shoulder injury to pass for 392 yards and two scores and running back Evan Robertson added two on the ground. They also picked up a pair of blocked kicks and a key fumble recovery from LSC South Special Teams Player of the Week Jacob Rowe.

Stephens' performance was especially encouraging after the junior missed the previous three contests and didn't play for most of the fourth quarter in the season opener. The junior trigger puller has passed for 647 yards in seven quarters of action. Without him, Tarleton has only 525 passing yards in 13 quarters.

"Any time (Stephens) is in there we have a chance to win," Fowler said. "Our offensive guys get excited because of his leadership and confidence in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage. Defensively, our guys know if they can get him the ball he'll go do something with it.

"It's the same way this week against a great team like West Texas," he continued. "With Nick out there, we believe we have a chance to win."

Fowler knows, however, that upsetting the Buffs in Canyon - or anywhere, for that matter - is a tall task.

"They have so much talent," Fowler said. "It just seems like anybody they give the ball to can score from anywhere on the field, and when they are on defense, it's like dodging traffic on a busy highway because they bring pressure from every angle."

WTAMU is tied with Abilene Christian as the LSC's highest-scoring team at 44 points per game, and surrenders 22.8 points, fourth best in the league. The Buffs are first in total offense at 561.2 yards per game, more than 200 yards better than Tarleton's average of 331.6.

Buffalo quarterback Taylor Harris leads the league in passing at 398 yards per outing and running back Kelvin Thompson, a Mineral Wells native, is second in scoring at 8.4 points per contest. Receivers Brittan Golden and Stephens Burton, both considered NFL prospects, are sixth and ninth in receiving yards.

Defensively, WT is led by Tae Evans with 8.8 tackles per game, while Shad Baichtal averages 7.2. Baichtal earned national recognition as the Defensive Player of the Week after tallying 14 tackles - six for loss - two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery to help the Buffs past Northeastern State in a hard-fought 34-22 battle last week. He was also earned weekly defensive honors in the LSC South.

"We have to protect the quarterback," Fowler said. "Nick's great, but we have to give him time. West Texas is going to bring lots of pressure and the way we attack that is going to determine what kind of success we have offensively."

Tarleton has lost five straight to the Buffs, including a 49-35 defeat last year. The Texans last defeated WT in 2004 in Canyon.

Lady Buffs sweep Cameron
Javalina's Volleyball Lose on Dig Pink Night
ACU blocks Central Okla. attempt at volleyball win
ASU VOLLEYBALL: Rambelles get back on track
Damjanovic leads MSU to win

West Texas A&M University soccer capsules
ASU Soccer Capsule, 10/8
Conference rivals next up for MSU

LSC Weekly Cross Country Release - LSC Office

Kiya Dandena, Texas A&M University - Kingsville, Jr., Houston, TX, Bellaire HS
Dandena put together a dominating performance in winning the Incarnate Word Invitational last weekend. He crossed the tape in 26:05.3 in the 8K race to win by over 39 seconds for his first victory of the season. The meet included 83 competitors.

Marie Troufflard, University of the Incarnate Word, So., St. Didier, France
Troufflard finished 3rd at the UIW Invitational with a time of 19:50.5 in the 5K race. In all three races this year, she has been the top finisher for the Cardinal women.
Click here for the complete release

Marissa Acosta, Texas A&M-Kingsville, led the Javelinas to a third place finish at the Incarnate Word Invitational. She finished sixth overall in a time of 20:22.2 for the 5K race. It was her fastest time of the season.
Adrienne Montoya, Eastern New Mexico University, registered the fifth best 5k time in ENMU history, placing third at the West Texas A&M Buff/Lady Buff Stampede, with a time of 19:53. She was the first NCAA Division II competitor to cross the finish line.
Mohammed Noor, Eastern New Mexico University, ran at the Buff/Lady Buff Stampede, finishing the 8k run with a time of 26:53. He was the first Division II runner to cross the finish line. Noor recorded the seventh-best 8k time in ENMU history.

ASU Men's Basketball Welcomes Seven Newcomers - ASU Sports Information
SAN ANGELO – A little more than a week before Midnight Madness officially starts the 2010-11 basketball season, Angelo State head basketball coach Fred Rike has announced seven newcomers to the men’s basketball program that he thinks will help the Rams experience a taste of March Madness.

The Rams welcome two freshmen – Andre Adams (Houston, Texas) and Tyler Stallings (Midland, Texas) – and five transfers – Ivan Gombovic (Zagreb, Croatia), Ridge McKeither (Danville, Va.), Steve Moore (Little Rock, Ark.), Justin Morgan (Houston, Texas),and Richard Thomas (Queens, N.Y.) – to the team’s roster for the upcoming season.

"We are excited about the young men that have joined our program,” Rike said. “Without a doubt, we feel like this is the best class we have signed in our time at Angelo State. The Lone Star Conference is one of the top leagues in the country and our guys expect to compete for the conference title and a national championship."

The class joins Angelo State senior guard LaMarshall Corbett, who was named a Sporting News Preseason All-American last month, and three other returners from last year’s 17-11 team that posted a nearly perfect 11-1 record on the Stephens Arena floor. The 2009-10 Rams went 8-4 in Lone Star Conference action.

Adams is 5-foot-8 freshman from Cy-Woods High School where he led his team to back-to-back 15-5A Region II Bi-District Championships his junior and senior seasons. Originally from New Orleans, Adams and his family relocated to Houston after Hurricane Katrina and became one of the top point guards in the district.

“We are elated that Andre has decided to join our program,” Rike said. “Andre will make an immediate impact on our team. He is a fantastic competitor that can score in a variety of ways and will be one of the top newcomers in the Lone Star Conference. Andre comes out of a program that has won over 50 games the last two years and has been well-coached.”

Gombovic is a 6-foot-6 junior transfer from Lake Region (N.D.) State College where he averaged 11.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game last season. He spent his freshman campaign at Missouri-West Plains after playing a year of prep school basketball at perennial power The Winchendon School.

“Ivan is a guy that can play multiple positions,” Rike said. “He started at forward at Lake Region, but also played the point. He led his team in rebounding and he can also stretch the defense with his perimeter shooting.”

One of four NCAA Division I transfers, McKeither started 19 games for Tennessee-Chatanooga last season. The 6-foot-6 forward averaged 9.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, a season after earning NJCAA First Team All-America honors at North Dakota State College of Science where he poured in 17.6 points per contest.

“Ridge has a chance to be a force in the Lone Star Conference and one of the better players in Division II,” Rike said. “He is very strong and athletic, and has a great nose for the ball on the glass. Ridge has very good hands and his speed and strength enable him to finish over the top of defenders. He will be fun to watch.”

Moore has been with the Rams for a year already but missed the 2009-10 campaign after injuring his knee in preseason workouts. The 6-foot senior guard is a transfer from Arkansas-Little Rock where he led the Trojans scoring as a junior with 13.6 points per game while adding 3.2 assists per contest. Moore helped UALR to a new record for Sunbelt victories (15-3) and a West Division Championship during the 2008-09 season.

“Steve was one of our best players last year in preseason workouts and one of the fastest players I have coached,” Rike said. “He is a fierce competitor and has a chance to be a great player here at ASU. He has proven himself as a top-notch player on the Division-I level.”

Morgan, a sophomore transfer from Army, is among the tallest players in Angelo State history at 7-foot-1 and should provide a tough defensive presence at center. As a senior in high school at Houston’s Cypress Ridge, Morgan set the school’s single-season blocked shots record.

“We are really excited to have Justin here at ASU,” Rike said. “He has a very good skill set for someone his size and is a good shot blocker. For us to have him for three years will be great for our program.”

Proof that hard work pays off, Stallings joins the team after a tryout during the spring semester and will provide depth at guard. The 5-foot-8 Midland native ran the point for Midland Classical Academy for three years and was named second team all-state his senior year.

“Tyler tried out for our team in the spring and has done a good job for us in fall individual work-outs,” Rike said. “He is tough, competes and he can shoot the basketball.”

Thomas, a 6-foot-5 guard, transferred to Angelo State from North Texas where he was a part of the Mean Green’s NCAA Tournament team. Prior to arriving in Denton, Thomas starred at Garden City Community College where he helped the Broncbusters to a 25-13 record, the Region VI Championship, and the program’s first trip to the NJCAA Tournament since 1956.

“Richard is a versatile player that can defend multiple positions and score in a variety of ways,” Rike said. “He started 12 games at North Texas on a team that won the Sun Belt Tournament and went to the NCAA Tournament. His size and strength at the guard spot will make him a tough matchup in the Lone Star Conference.”

The first opportunity to see Angelo State’s newcomers and returners on the court will be at ASU’s Midnight Madness, Oct. 14, in the Junell Center. The free event will feature a concert from local recording artist Crossing Tyler, various contests and giveaways including a $30,000 series shootout, and serve as the official start to the men’s and women’s basketball seasons. Additionally, 2010-11 men’s and women’s season ticket packages purchased at Midnight Madness will be 10 percent off regular price. Gates open at 9:50 p.m.

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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