Thursday, November 11, 2010

LSC Roundup 11-11

WT needs to find way to run ball - Dave Henry, Amarillo Globe News
Barring a monumental upset Saturday afternoon at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium - think David knocking off Goliath - the West Texas A&M Buffs are in the NCAA Division II playoffs.

East Central is the final regular season opponent for the Buffs.

For what it's worth, the Tigers have already clinched a share of the Lone Star Conference North Division title, going 5-1 up yonder.

Considering the Buffs are 17-1 against North Division teams under Don Carthel, that's worth about as much as your average 401k these days.

Case in point - the Tigers lost to LSC rookie Incarnate Word, 27-13, in October. The Buffs cake-walked over the Cardinals, 49-10, in October.

So, unless donkeys start flying and they're wearing coats in purgatory, the Buffs will be making their fifth trip to the NCAA playoffs in six seasons under Carthel.

How far the Buffs advance will depend on one thing - running the football.

Savage Storm look to end season on high note vs. Javs - George Vondracek, Corpus Christi Caller Times
Ask Ray Richards how his sixth season as Southeastern (Okla.) State’s coach has gone and he doesn’t hesitate.

“We’ve had a rough year. We’re 3-7 and we have lost four games literally in the last minute of the game, or had chances,” Richards said.

That makes for a tough scenario as the Savage Storm prepare for the Lone Star Conference regular-season finale at fourth-ranked Texas A&M-Kingsville on Saturday. The 9-1 Javelinas, who continue to have the best run and fourth overall defense in NCAA Division II, are seeking to retain a large measure of momentum as they gear for a likely postseason berth.

Northwestern (Okla.) State kicked a field goal as time expired to beat Southeastern 26-24 on Sept. 25. The next week, the Savage Storm rallied from a 19-point deficit only to fall short to Texas A&M-Commerce 19-14 on a late dropped pass in the end zone. Two weeks later, Southeastern rolled up 336 yards of offense but East Central (Okla.) returned two of Logan Turner’s four interceptions for touchdowns in a 20-19 win.

Last week, Southeastern had a one-point lead with 3 minutes, 21 seconds remaining before Angelo State drove 77 yards for a TD and a 40-33 victory.

In between, the Savage Storm was able to come up with overtime wins over Southwestern (Okla.) State (42-35 in double overtime) and Central Oklahoma (56-55 in OT) but that only slightly eases the sting for the Savage Storm, as six of their previous seven games have been decided by seven points or fewer.

“Obviously they’re disappointed because we’re about four plays from being 7-3 right now. We’ve won two games in overtime so our kids are used to being in tight games,” said Richards, 34-28 in his stint in Durant. “The good thing about it is they don’t panic when they’re in them. They’re used to being in them. The problem is, I guess, we haven’t won enough of them to be overly confident in them.”

Mustangs center has overcome extra pain - J. Scott Russell, Times Record News
Playing with pain has pretty much become an accepted way of life in modern day athletics at almost every level.

But Midwestern State center Bobby Parsons has probably endured more pain this year than most people could or would take — the pain from the death of his father.

Still, the senior from Irving MacArthur has continued to play through the pain and will be among 19 MSU seniors playing for the final time at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

A self-described “plugger,” the undersized Parsons (6-foot, 285 pounds) has made the slow progression to the Mustangs’ starting lineup. He redshirted in 2006 at Stephen F. Austin; was the third-string center at MSU in 2007; and has been the second-string center the past two seasons.

“I don’t give up and just keep coming back,” Parsons said. “With my size I definitely got the short end of the stick. But I keep going. It’s kind of like the speech from the movie ‘Rudy’ (about his lack of size and physical ability), if I was just a couple inches taller.

“But I can use my leverage against most guys. However, it is tough when I play against 350-pounders. But I’ve pretty much held my own.”

ASU FOOTBALL: A last hurrah - Nathan Wright, San Angelo Standard Times
SAN ANGELO, Texas — Angelo State University senior quarterback Josh Neiswander likely will suit up for the last time in an ASU uniform on Saturday.

The sixth-year senior has set multiple single-season and career records during his tenure at ASU. He is on the verge of setting a couple of more in his final game.

But the number he is more concerned with when the Rams face Central Oklahoma in the season finale between both teams is one — as in, one more victory for his team.

“I am going to go about this game just like I have any game in my entire career,” Neiswander said. “I am going to watch film. I am going to come in later in the afternoon and watch extra film.

“This is my last game. And this is the last game for all the seniors on this team more than likely. We want to win. And that is what our focus is.”

That is the way Neiswander has thought his entire career, from when he was being recruited out of Winnsboro, in Northeast Texas, in 2005 until his senior year this season. He has always thought of his team first, rather than himself.

That team-first mentality is one of the reasons he has been so successful.

Lone Star Conference rankings 11/11/2010 - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
State college football power poll State college football predictions - The Oklahoman

Blocker grows into offensive threat - Ricky Treon, Amarillo Globe News
West Texas A&M sophomore Erin Dougherty says the highlight of her freshman year on the Lady Buffs volleyball team was getting a solo block on assistant coach Sarah Carthel in practice.

Stuffing Carthel is something for a freshman to be proud of - she was the Big 12 Freshman of the Year for the Texas Longhorns in 1996 and a two-time NCAA Division II Player of the Year for WT in 1997 and 1999.

Dougherty's highlight this year, though, is one of the best offensive performances in the program's storied history.

The Omaha, Neb., native hit for an incredible .800 attack percentage Oct. 6 in a WT home sweep of Cameron while getting a team-high 17 kills.

The attack percentage is tied for eighth all-time with Megan Jacobson.

"I have never been the most athletically gifted child or the fastest," Dougherty said. "I'm kind of the grit player where I just work, and that's kind of how I've been my whole life.

"That's how my parents have raised me - to work hard."

ACU just wants to have fun and win LSC volleyball tourney - Abilene Reporter News
Forget history. Forget the rankings. Girls just want to have fun — and play a little volleyball. Let everything else fall where it may.

That’s the approach Abilene Christian is taking to the Lone Star Conference volleyball tournament, which begins today at the West Texas A&M Fieldhouse in Canyon.

“Of course, we want to win,” ACU senior Jordan Schilling said. “That’s our goal. But instead of making it like we have to win or need to win, putting that stress on ourselves, I think we’re going in with a different mindset. We’re trying to get back to, ‘Let’s just go out and play. Let’s just have fun. Let’s just enjoy the rest of the season.’ I know for me, personally, I’ve kind of taken myself back to like a rookie year. Who cares if I make a mistake? I probably won’t play next game, anyway. I’m going to go out and be aggressive and play as hard as I can, because this might be my only chance.”

MSU roundup: Strong offense drives Mustangs - Times Record News
Midwestern State has been the benchmark for consistency while advancing to the NCAA Division II postseason in each of the last five seasons.

The Mustangs have averaged nearly 17 wins a season boosted by six All-America picks over that time.

But come tonight, none of that matters when the No. 2-ranked Mustangs play host to No. 8 Truman (Mo.) in the South Central Region final at the MSU Soccer Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

“We don’t make a big deal out of a playoff game,” MSU coach Doug Elder said. “We just want to keep doing things we’ve done all year. We just have to play soccer.”

Hounds feel good about offensive potential - Portales News Tribune
Tyler Jefferson was a focal point for opponents of the Eastern New Mexico University men’s basketball team last season.

The 6-foot-6 senior forward from Fort Worth, Texas, averaged nearly 12 points and six rebounds while shooting 55 percent from the field, helping the Greyhounds bounce back from consecutive winless seasons in the Lone Star Conference South to nearly make the LSC postseason tournament.

This year, though, Jefferson may be just another player for the Hounds, and he’s looking forward to it.

“I like the team a lot,” Jefferson said. “I feel we’ve improved on a lot of the weaknesses we had last year. Now we just need to fully come together.

“Knowing we’ve got a lot of different threats, it feels good because it takes a lot of stress off me.”

Transfers bolster Zias' depth - Clovis News Journal
PORTALES — The Eastern New Mexico University women’s basketball team is seeking its first winning season in four years.

The Zias already face a challenge with senior guard Tori Northcutt of Clovis possibly out for the season with an ACL tear suffered during a scrimmage at New Mexico State on Oct. 30.

Coach Linden Weese said the toughest challenge facing the Zias is believing they can win.

“(We’ve been) in that situation where we haven’t won enough games where they think they can (win),” Weese said. “I think they’re good enough athletes and players, but they need to start believing in themselves a little more.”

COLLEGE SIGNINGS: 3 top recruits from West Texas bringing talents to ASU - San Angelo Standard Times
Ten years ago, Devon Wilde, Sierra Honea and Haylee Oliver became friends when the trio participated in the Heart of Texas basketball camp at Angelo State University.

Now, three of the top players in West Texas — from Wall, Irion County and San Saba, respectively — figure to be teammates over the next four years after they signed letters of intent Wednesday with ASU on National Signing Day.

ASU head coach Sally Brooks helped develop the players’ skills during her summer camps, and she has been so impressed with their progress that she decided to sign them all to scholarships to play for the Rambelles, who compete in the Lone Star Conference.

Honea and Oliver were named to the Standard-Times’ All-West Texas Super Team last year.

Wilde helped Wall advance to the Class 2A state championship game last spring. The Lady Hawks have reached at least the regional tournament every year of Wilde’s career.

Local players sign with colleges - Stuart Duncan, Corpus Christi Caller Times
Two local athletes decided to play their college ball closer to home, another chose to go west while yet another landed a rare Division I volleyball scholarship for the Coastal Bend area.

Wednesday’s Signing Day was particularly eventful for Texas A&M-Kingsville, which signed Carroll senior volleyball player Giselle Carreon and Ray senior basketball player Ashley Viera.

Viera, an all-state point guard last season, overcame a thumb injury on her right hand last season to average 10 points and 12 assists and lead the Texans girls basketball team to the Region IV-4A final for the second consecutive season.

“I’ll be close to my family, I have experience with some of the girls (former Ray standouts Taysia Taylor and Desiree Williams, who are hoping to play for the Javelinas as well) and I actually have played against some of the girls that are on the team,” Viera said. “So, I think it will be a good experience.”

“Ashley deserves it,” Ray girls basketball coach Roy DeLaPena said. “She has worked so hard these last four years and we’re lucky to have her here.”

The setter, Carreon, had 917 assists as a junior and overcome two injuries — feet and knee injuries — this season to lead the Tigers back to the Class 5A playoffs.

Carreon said she also considered playing for Graceland University in Iowa but opted to go south instead.

“It didn’t really hit me until I was signing today — I’m going to play college ball,” Carreon said. “I’m excited.”

Carroll senior hitter Jordan Moore, who signed with Division II Abilene Christian, will be playing college volleyball against Carreon next season.

“We’ll be competitive on the court, but off the court it will be just like normal,” Moore said.

Industrial senior to play baseball at A&M-Kingsville - Mike Forman, Victoria Advocate
Travis Madden made such a good impression at the Texas A&M-Kingsville baseball camp that he'll return to the school as a member of the baseball team.

Madden, a senior at Industrial, will sign a letter-of-intent on Thursday to accept a scholarship to the Lone Star Conference school.

Madden attended the Javelinas camp before his junior year and coaches Jason Gonzales and Thad Rhea liked what they saw.

"I really liked being able to walk around the whole campus," Madden said. "They are upgrading the campus and building a bunch of new buildings."

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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