Proudly flying the colors - Ted Buss, Times Record News
With Tuesday's announcement that Nelson Haggerty, a proven winner, will become the 16th men's basketball coach at Midwestern State, the legacy of the university's oldest and most storied sport remains in good hands.
In more modern times, football, men's soccer and women's fast-pitch softball have had many national spotlight years, but men's basketball is MSU's athletic foundation. From Dennis Vinzant and Gerald Stockton, to Jeff Ray and Grant McCasland, Midwestern State basketball has registered countless NAIA and NCAA Division II titles, a gaudy 2,255 wins and a near .600 percent winning percentage since 1945.
MSU basketball annually outdraws every team in the Lone Star Conference. When 750 fans show up for the regional tournament somewhere in Oklahoma, 4,000-plus settle into to D.L. Ligon Coliseum when the tournament is played here.
There is simply no comparison in fan support and student body interest in basketball here as opposed to many other fine Division II schools across the nation. But some of us know, it wasn't always this way.
Wildcats to scrimmage Saturday - ACU Football
The ACU Wildcats will go through their final scrimmage of spring training Saturday morning at Shotwell Stadium with head coach Chris Thomsen saying that a lot of questions he had entering the three weeks of drills have been answered.
The 60-play scrimmage is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. and will feature each of the three offensive units getting about 20 plays apiece. The Wildcats will also work on the kicking game and special teams play.
Entering the three weeks of spring training, the Wildcats had big question marks at wide receiver, backup quarterback, two offensive line spots and at linebacker. Thomsen, however, said he has been pleased with the players who have been performing in those roles.
At the receiver spot, Thomsen singled out Darian Hogg, Darrell Cantu-Harkless and transfer Jamaine Sherman. Hogg saw some playing time last year, while Cantu-Harkless is transitioning to the slot position after playing running back last season. Sherman, meanwhile, is in his first semester with the Wildcats after transferring from Scottsdale Community College.
"We've had some guys step up and really perform well at the receiver position, including Hogg, Harkless and Sherman," Thomsen said. "I'm really seeing some guys show a lot of improvement. Darian has had a really good spring, and Harkless is doing a good job with a pretty tough transition. "
Along the offensive line, the Wildcats return three starters in left tackle Neal Tivis, guard Josh Perez and center Matt Webber. However, they're looking for replacements in a pair of three-year starters in guard Royland Tubbs and right tackle Trevis Turner.
Thomsen said Abilene Cooper grad and redshirt sophomore Blake Spears has performed well in filling Turner's spot, while redshirt freshman Logan Hoppenrath "is showing signs of being able to move in and play for Tubbs."
One of Thomsen's main areas of concern going into spring was the backup quarterback position. However, Thomsen said redshirt John David Baker has solidified himself into that position with good work in spring drills.
The Wildcats have no such worries about the starting quarterback position. Miitchell Gale enters the 2011 season as the undisputed leader of the team and a pre-season favorite to win the Harlon Hill Award as the top player in NCAA Division II football after throwing for a school-record 38 touchdown passes in 2010.
Defensively, the Wildcats have to replace all four linebackers from last year, but Thomsen said he has been pleased with the play of inside linebacker Thor Woerner and Derek Odelusi as well as outside linebacker Nate Baggs.
One of the other positions on the field where the Wildcats need to find a replacement is at punter where Mark Sprague held down the job each of the last two years. Thomsen said returning placekickers Morgan Lineberry, Ryan Owens or Spencer Covey could be the punter. Meanwhile, it appears Lineberry has the upper hand in the battle for the job as the team's placekicker.
Thomsen said the biggest thing he wanted to see out of spring training was a cohesive until begin to form, and he likes what he's seen in that regard.
"I wanted to see our team come together and understand what we want in terms of chemistry and hard work and what it takes to win," he said. "The group we lost really understood that, and I think these guys are starting to figure it out. You want to see guys who want to be good, and I've seen that from this group."
Learning life the hard way - By BRAD KEITH, Sports Editor, Times Record News
After four tough years, Tarleton State defensive lineman Andre Jones talks of becoming a man
For Andre Jones, life was grand when he was the 17-year old kid everyone wanted.
Southern California and Notre Dame were among the schools who sent recruiters to Jones’ residence in El Paso.
Jones says back then he could have called up any school, say he wanted to play there, and it would have been a done deal. That was then, this is now.
Jones, 21, has already been through more than most men years older. By his own confession, much of the negative he has had to endure the past four years has been self inflicted.
Now back at Tarleton State, where he helped the Texans win a share of the 2009 Lone Star Conference championship, Jones is looking to finally achieve what many believed to be a given when he graduated in 2006 from Andrews High School in El Paso - a pro football career.
“I want to make it to the NFL,” Jones said. “That’s what I’ve always wanted, what I’ve always expected. I’m going to make it.”
TexAnns still No. 1 in region - TSU Golf
No. 31 Mustangs hand No. 33 Incarnate Word a 6-3 loss - MSU Tennis
No. 30 Mustangs rally to beat Incarnate Word 5-4 - MSU Tennis
Fleet tops 198 feet in hammer - ACU Track
Holik, Jones Hurdle Into Finals - ASU Track
Cole, Flores shine at McMurry Relays - MSU Track
Women are Second at McMurry - TAMK Track
Men Take Third at McMurry Invitational - TAMK Track
Six pick up weekly honors - LSC Office
Six track and field student-athletes earned Lone Star Conference Athlete of the Week honors for their efforts, league officials announced today.
Click here for the complete release
TRACK AND FIELD ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
Nick Smith, Angelo State University, JR, Rowlett, Texas, Rowlett HS
Smith would have contributed towards four NCAA Division II provisional qualifying marks had it not been for gusty wind during the 200-meter dash. Still, the junior from Rowlett, Texas, put on an impressive display at the Texas Tech Invitational (4/2) when he ran the third-fastest 100-meter in the Lone Star Conference (10.49), second fastest 200 (21.13), helped the 4x100-meter relay team post another qualifying time (41.08) and contributed to the fastest 4x400-meter relay time in the LSC this season (3:12.53). All four marks were better than the provisional standard, though the wind was greater than four mph during the 200.
Wade Goode, Angelo State University, SR, Midland, Texas, Midland HS
Goode punched his ticket to the 2011 Outdoor Track and Field Championships and hit Angelo State’s first automatic qualifying mark of the season when he threw the discus a personal-best 178’5” (54.39m) and finished sixth at the Texas Tech Invitational (4/2). Goode also finished fourth in the hammer and seventh in the shot put last Saturday.
Daniel Draper, Eastern New Mexico University, SR, Moriarty, N.M., Moriarty HS
Draper turned in another top performance in the Javelin toss last Saturday at the Texas Tech Open. Draper’s toss of 211’7” was good for a second place finish at the meet, a personal best and a team record. Draper, who already has a provisionally qualifying spot for the NCAA championships, was just shy of picking up an automatic qualification.
Derekia Coleman, Tarleton State University, FR, Fairfield, Texas, Fairfield HS
Coleman has made an impact already for the TexAnns in just her first season at Tarleton. On Saturday at the UTA Bobby Lane Invitational, Coleman ran the 100-meter dash in 11.91 seconds, easily qualifying for nationals. She becomes the second Tarleton track and field athlete to do so this season. Besides that, the Fairfield native also ran a personal best in the 200-meter with a time of 24.47.
Rachel King, West Texas A&M University, SO, Wichita Falls, Texas, Wichita Falls HS
King set an NCAA Division II provisional mark in the women’s 100m hurdles this past weekend at the Texas Tech Invitational in Lubbock. The sophomore hurdler finished fifth overall in the event, crossing the finish line in 14.29. She was first overall among all division II athletes in the race and she currently sits with the No. 9 fastest time in the nation.
Lauren Pratt, University of the Incarnate Word, SR, Houston, Texas, Pearland HS
In just her first competition of the spring Pratt won the long jump at the Trinity Alumni Classic. Her distance of 19’2” did four things: won the event, was third best in UIW school history, top mark in the LSC this year and it put her on the provisional list for the D-II national championships in May. She is seeking her second consecutive trip the national meet in the long jump.
MSU's Joyce and Odell-Michels earn weekly honors - LSC Office
Midwestern State's Luke Joyce and Alex Odell-Michels picked up Lone Star Conference Player of the Week honors for their performances, league officials announced today.
Click here for the complete release
TENNIS ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
Luke Joyce, Midwestern State University, SO, Johannesburg, South Africa, Parktown HS
Joyce helped lead Mustangs in 9-0 victory over St. Mary’s in MSU’s only match of the week. He won both matches played, winning at No. 1 doubles with partner Vjekoslav Stipanic 8-3 over St. Mary’s Marcin Marczewski and Guy Rutten. The sophomore then beat Rutten 6-2, 6-1 at No. 3 singles. The Joyce/Stipanic team is ranked 37th nationally in doubles, and Joyce has won four of his last five singles points.
Alex Odell-Michels, Midwestern State University, JR, Toronto, Canada, Independent Learning Center Odell-Michels helped the Mustangs go 2-0 on the week, including a 6-3 win over Northeastern State – just the second win over the RiverHawks in school history. She teamed with Rozike van Rensburg and ranked 11th nationally, the duo won doubles points against NSU and St. Mary’s and also beat the RiverHawks Karolina Chichon 6-1, 6-3 at No. 2 singles. The junior was about to win her singles point against St. Mary’s when the match was pulled after MSU went up 5-0. She’s won her last two singles points and was up in the two that were pulled after the team won. The doubles team has won their last six straight and nine of their last 10.