Wednesday, July 20, 2011

LSC Roundup 7-20

Five receive LSC Degree Completion Scholarships - LSC Office
Five Lone Conference student-athletes were selected to receive an award from the Lone Star Conference Degree Completion Scholarship program for 2011-12.

Cameron’s Megan Whan, Eastern New Mexico’s Veronica Valdez-Kent, Midwestern State’s Vjekoslav Stipanic and Texas Woman’s Caroline Hilpisch and Megan Warren are the scholarship recipients for the program’s third year. These five student-athletes together have an average grade point average of 3.55, with four of the five having a 3.4 GPA or better.

“This program is a great illustration of what it means to be a part of the Lone Star Conference. Each of these student-athletes has enjoyed success in both athletic and academic circles, and the degree completion scholarships they’ve earned serve as examples to the type of positive outcomes that can be attained when adhering to LSC values such as academic excellence and commitment,” said Stan Wagnon, LSC commissioner. “On behalf of the 11 member schools, it is a pleasure for the LSC to offer this assistance, and we look forward to tracking the continued success of these students.”

The purpose of the LSC Degree Completion Scholarship Program is to provide financial assistance for completion of a first baccalaureate degree to deserving student-athletes in the conference. A total of $12,000 was distributed this year, bringing the sum to $34,000 in three years. The funding is made possible through the NCAA Conference Grant program.

Whan, a former women’s golfer at CU, is completing her degree in sports fitness management. She posted an 84.1 stroke average in 10 events last year with one top-20 finish.

Valdez-Kent, who just exhausted her eligibility with the ENMU volleyball team, is on track for a degree in music education. She was a second-team All-LSC selection, after recording 12 double-doubles and finishing third in the league with 9.90 assists per set.

Stipanic, a former men’s tennis player at MSU, is finishing his mechanical engineering degree. The two-time LSC Academic Player of the Year, he earned all-conference accolades in singles and doubles as a junior and senior along with freshman of the Year honors.

Hilpisch, who wrapped up her four-year career with the TWU gymnastics team, is completing her degree in interdisciplinary studies. She received USAG second-team recognition on floor and USAG scholar-athlete acclaim after competing on bars, beam and floor last season.

Warren, who completed her senior year of eligibility with the TWU softball program, is pursuing a degree in mathematics. She saw limited action for the Pioneers.

This year’s recipients were chosen from 10 applicants representing five different schools and nine different sports in the league. The winners were selected after evaluating demonstrated need, GPA, academic awards and honors, plus meaningful and consistent community involvement. Applicants were required to provide a statement that outlined how they would benefit from the scholarship, why they haven’t completed their degree yet, and how they plan to use the degree. Other considerations listed on the application were academic achievements, extracurricular activities and leadership roles on campus, and athletic accomplishments.

The 2010 scholarship recipients all earned their degrees. Northeastern State’s Sarah Millar, Southeastern Oklahoma’s Crystal Trussell and Cole Jones, along with West Texas A&M’s Kayla Sisco graduated in December 2010, while WT’s Mollie Peterson finished in May 2011.

Baseball Signs Juco Shortstop - TAMK Sports
New Mexico Junior College shortstop Matt Perez will be joining the Texas A&M-Kingsville baseball team according to head coach Jason Gonzales.

“Matt brings immediate experience to a much needed position for us,” said Gonzales. “He will be expected to solidify the middle of the infield, providing a steady, defense first mentality.”

Perez is from Billings, MT and played one year at New Mexico JC where he appeared in 58 games while leading the team in runs batted in and walks. He hit .288 with seven doubles, six triples, 43 runs and 45 RBI’s.

A&M-Commerce head men's basketball coach Sam Walker today announced the hiring of Robert Taylor as the Lions' new assistant basketball coach.

"I'm extremely excited to have Robert join me on the staff here at A&M-Commerce," Walker said. "I've known Robert for 15 years, and he brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge at all levels. He has proven to be a solid recruiter both locally and nationally, and brings with him ties to the area. Robert will bring a wealth of experience and maturity and I'm extremely excited to have him on board."

Taylor comes to A&M-Commerce from Oklahoma City where he spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach for the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz of the Arena Football League. There he coached three players who would go on to sign contracts with either the National Football League or the Canadian Football League, as well as helping the Yard Dawgz reach the playoffs in 2009.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

LSC Roundup 7-19

McCasland moving on up, will be D-I coach someday - Nick Gholson, Times Record News
Four months ago, Grant McCasland told us that God had led him to Abilene Christian. That was the only reason he was leaving Midwestern State. I believed him.

As I told you back then, this creation isn't going to argue with his creator. But McCasland never coached one basketball game at ACU. He turned in his resignation on Sunday to take another job. He's headed to Waco to be an assistant coach at Baylor.

This guy is changing ZIP codes like most of us change air filters. He'll never break Josh Castles' record — six coaching jobs in three years. But he's trying.

So why has McCasland gone from being Lone Star Conference coach of the year to U-Haul Man of the Year? Did God change His mind? Has the Good Lord converted from Church of Christ to Baptist? Will we some day read that McCasland has left Baylor to become Robert Jefress' right-hand man at the First Baptist cathedral in downtown Dallas?

Sorry, but I'm having a problem believing that God is moving this coach all over Texas. From Midland to Wichita Falls to Abilene to Waco in just a little more than two years.

McCasland, as far as I know, has not publicly said that God is sending him to Baylor.

He called it a "totally unexpected opportunity for me and my family" to go back to a place where he played college basketball and has "always dreamed of coaching." (more)

Golding named ACU basketball coach after McCasland leaves for Baylor - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
Talking in his office Monday evening, Jared Mosley, Abilene Christian University's director of athletics, admitted it had been a bittersweet 24 hours.

In less than a day, Grant McCasland — a stunning hire as ACU's men's basketball coach just four months ago — stepped down to take an assistant job at Baylor, while Joe Golding, Mosley's friend and former ACU teammate, agreed to replace McCasland as the Wildcats' head coach.

It was a whirlwind turn of events. It appeared ACU had pulled off a coup in luring McCasland away from Lone Star Conference rival Midwestern State on March 30, just seven days after leading the Mustangs to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight for the second consecutive season.

Yet McCasland, who played four seasons at Baylor, the last in 1998-99, couldn't resist the chance to return to his alma mater when Bears' coach Scott Drew offered him the job. McCasland, the son of a Baptist minister, broke the news to Mosley late Sunday evening, and he was announced as Baylor's new assistant Monday morning.

Mosley said he understood McCasland's decision.

"Obviously, we are extremely excited for him," Mosley said. "This is an opportunity that he and I even talked about on the front end of our hiring him in March. That was ultimately the place he one day desired to be, and things just happened to fall in place. He couldn't control the timing and when the opportunity presented itself. I certainly understand that on his behalf.

"I'm disappointed in a sense, because I was looking forward to working with him and seeing how quickly he could get things turned around. On the flip side of that, he's done a good job on the recruiting front. We've got a lot of pieces in place I think we can hold on to that will help us make the turn we need to make."

West Texas A&M Inks Bables - WT Sports
CANYON, Texas – West Texas A&M head basketball coach Rick Cooper has announced that Mike Bables, a 6-1, 180 pound guard from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi will transfer to WTAMU and play for the Buffs during the upcoming 2011-12 season.

“Mike is going to be a great fit in our program. He’s a leader on the floor and is a guy that will make his teammates better. He does a great job of setting up his teammates and putting them in positions to be successful on the floor.”

Bables, from Garland, Texas, saw action in 10 games as a freshman during the 2009-10 campaign and totaled 20 minutes of game time. He scored a total of five points, including a season high three points vs. Texas-Pan American. He had two points and one steal against Texas A&M-International and canned his only three point attempt of the year. Bables played briefly during the 2010-11 season.

As a high school senior, Bables played for coach Phil Bailey at Mesquite Poteet. He averaged 14.7 points, six assist and one steal per game while being named the team’s offensive player of the year and the team MVP. He was named to the all-district and all-area teams, as well as receiving all-region consideration. He played three seasons at Garland's Lakeview Centennial HS.

“Mike is a very strong on the ball defender and should come in and immediately fit what we do offensively and defensively. We are very excited to add Mike to our program next season.”

Bables, originally from Shreveport, La., is the son of Don Bables and Cheryl Powell.

Bables is the sixth player signed by Cooper’s staff this year, joining transfers Kerry Jones, a 6-6 forward from Tyler, Texas (Hill College), Donald Sims, a 6-5 Forward from Chester, S.C. (USC-Salkehatchie), 6-4 guard Kennon Washington from Mobile, Ala. (Faulkner State CC) and incoming freshmen Kevin Waller, a 6-9, post from Groesbeck, Texas (HS), Jamarlas ‘Tez’ Dumars, a 6-2 guard from Garland, Texas (Lakeview Centennial HS).

Men's Basketball Adds D1 Transfer - TAMK Sports
KINGSVILLE, TEXAS – Texas A&M-Kingsville head men’s basketball coach Pete Peterson added an NCAA Division I transfer to his squad on Monday with the addition of New Jersey Institute of Technology forward Drew Onyebuchi.

Onyebuchi is from Sugar Land, TX where he starred at Fort Bend Travis High School and measures 6-6 and 190 pounds. At NJIT, he appeared in 16 games as a true freshman averaging 7.8 minutes, 1.9 points and 1.6 rebounds per game while shooting 57.1 percent from the field.

Despite being injured during his senior year in high school, Onyeguchi was regarded as one of the top players in the Greater Houston area. He was ranked 30th in the Houston area Class of 2010 by and 32nd by He was rated 83rd in the state of Texas by Hoop Scoop Online and 95th in the state by Texas As a junior, he helped lead Travis to a 25-10 record and second round appearance in the state playoffs after averaging eight points, eight rebounds and two blocks per game. During his senior year, he led his team to a 22-10 mark and a Region III-5A semifinal appearance. He averaged a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds per game en route to earning Fort Bend Herald all-area honors and played in the Houston Area Basketball Coaches All-Star Game.

Onyebuchi is the son of Okeke and Anita Onyebuchi and is studying business.

Tivao to Featured on Magazine Cover - Tyler Garrett,

KINGSVILLE - Javelina big man Johnny Tivao is making hoggie history as the first Javelina football player to grace the cover of these years D2 Football Magazine. He will joined by five other Division II standouts.

The Pre-Season All-American spearheaded a defense that was the best in the nation in rush defense. He is also listed as one of the top 100 NFL Defensive Lineman Prospects in the country.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Breaking News - ACU Basketball

ABILENE – In a stunning turn of events, Grant McCasland informed ACU director of athletics Jared Mosley on Sunday evening that he was resigning as the men's head basketball coach to become an assistant coach at Baylor University.

McCasland is leaving ACU after serving less than four months as the Wildcats' head coach and never coaching a game for the Purple and White. McCasland – who coached at Midwestern State the two previous seasons and 82 games in those two years – was introduced as the Wildcats' head coach on March 30.

"This was a totally unexpected opportunity for me and my family," McCasland said. "The only job I would have left ACU for was an opportunity to return 'home' to Waco where I played and have always dreamed of coaching. I'm leaving Abilene with a lot of mixed emotions because I truly believe ACU is a special place and that we were going to get that program turned around. I'm confident that the Wildcats have a bright future and I look forward to watching their progress."

Mosley said he couldn't blame McCasland for accepting the job at Baylor, even though it came just six weeks away from the beginning of the 2011-12 school year.

"The past 72 hours have been extremely hectic to say the least," Mosley said. "It is definitely bittersweet in that I hate to lose a quality head coach in Grant before we ever really got a chance to get things going, but the opportunity in front of Grant right now doesn't come along very often.

"I'm excited for him personally to be able to step in as an assistant coach at one of the top NCAA Division I programs in the country," he said. "There aren't many NCAA Division II coaches presented with those types of opportunities, which is a testament to the character and ability that Grant brings to the coaching profession. I certainly wish he and Cecilia and their family the best as they take on the next challenge."

ABILENE – Joe Golding imagined his next opportunity to become the head men's basketball coach at ACU wouldn't come again for a few years after Grant McCasland was hired in late March.

Turns out, the former Wildcat basketball letterman had to wait only four months for his opportunity.

Sunday night after McCasland's stunning decision to resign to join the Baylor coaching staff, ACU director of athletics Jared Mosley reached out to his former teammate and current assistant coach at Arkansas-Little Rock to take the reigns of the program. It took Golding only about 90 minutes to agree to return to ACU to try and revive a floundering men's program.

Golding will begin his duties immediately and said he would talk to assistant coach Rob McIlhaney and graduate assistant coach Brian Burton – both of whom were hired by McCasland earlier in the spring – about staying at ACU.

Golding and his wife, Amanda, were enjoying dinner together Sunday evening when Mosley called Golding to offer him the ACU job.

"This whole thing has been nuts," Golding said. "When Jared called I asked him to give me a little bit of time to talk to my wife and (UALR head coach) Steve Shields before I made my final decision. At the end of the day, I played and coached at ACU and I love the school and the people. My wife and kids loved it as well, so, obviously, we're very excited about returning to Abilene."

Golding completed his third season on Shields' staff in 2010-11, helping the Trojans to the Sun Belt Conference title and an appearance in the NCAA Division I national tournament. In addition to his normal coaching duties – which included working with the UALR guards – Golding was the Trojan's recruiting coordinator.

"I can't say enough about Coach Shields, (assistant coach) Joe Kleine and all of the other people I worked with at Little Rock," Golding said. "I've learned so much from Coach Shields, and it's prepared me to take advantage of this opportunity."

It's that experience at the Division I level that led Mosley to call Golding shortly after McCasland informed him of his resignation.

"I'm extremely excited to bring Joe in as the head coach at ACU," Mosley said. "Joe's connection to ACU and to the program will be critical in the coming days as we wrap up our recruiting class and prepare for the upcoming season. Joe was a key part of some of ACU's most successful seasons as both a player and as a coach. The timing is never ideal, but I'm excited about having Joe and Amanda back at ACU and part of the ACU and Abilene communities."

Golding's first task is to talk to his two assistant coaches – both of whom he's known for several years – and then begin making the rounds of the players they've been recruiting to make sure they're still on board with ACU.

"There's usually not perfect timing in the coaching profession," Golding said. "When an opportunity arises, you just have to take it. There's not a road map for this sort of thing, but what I've learned over the last three years has helped me tremendously. I've just got to jump in there and get to work."

Golding joined the UALR coaching staff on July 1, 2008, bringing with him nine years of coaching experience at the junior college and high school levels. Prior to joining the Trojans, Golding spent three seasons (2005-08) as the top assistant to head coach Jason Copeland at Abilene Christian, where his primary duties included recruiting, scouting and on-floor coaching. A former point guard at ACU from 1994-98, he was also responsible for coaching the Wildcat guards.

In 2007-08, Golding helped guide the Wildcats to a 20-9 record, marking the program’s first 20-win season since the 1998-99 campaign. The 2007-08 ACU squad qualified for the Lone Star Conference Tournament for the first time since 1998, Golding’s senior season. In addition, ACU had three guards earn all-LSC South Division honors in Corwin Ragland, Dejan Sencanski and Brandon Callahan, marking the first time since the 1985-86 season that ACU had more than one player on the all-conference team. Ragland was also named NABC Second Team All-South Central Region after averaging 17.1 points per game.

Golding was a four-year letterwinner at ACU from 1994-98, playing in all 108 games, and was given the Teague Point Guard Award as a senior. He shot 46 percent from the floor over his four-year career, and averaged 4.3 points and 4.2 assists per game.

Upon graduating from ACU with a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sport science in May of 1999, Golding got his first coaching job as a varsity assistant at South Garland High School, where he helped the team to back-to-back Class 5A playoff appearances.

He spent the 2001-02 season as an assistant coach at Seminole Junior College before taking the head coaching job at Sachse High School. In the program’s first years at the 5A level, Golding led the team to a 15-14 record in 2002-03 and an 18-10 mark in 2003-04. Prior to returning to Abilene Christian in 2005, Golding spent the 2004-05 season as an assistant coach at Collin County Community College.Golding and his wife, Amanda, have been married for six years and have two sons, Cason and Chase.

LSC Roundup 7-18

Texico's Bailey to focus on football at ENMU - Rick White, Portales News Tribune
Seth Bailey hopes to own and operate a ranch after he graduates from college. Right now the former Texico High multiple-sport standout is hoping to earn playing time at linebacker for the Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds.

Bailey gave it the old college try last year at Eastern New Mexico University. A three-sport standout at Texico High — he helped the Wolverines win two basketball state titles and

another in football, Bailey was on the Greyhounds’ football and basketball rosters, although he rarely played.

This year he said he’s going to concentrate on football.
(Click on link above for interview)

Campbell Earns Region Coach of the Year - ACU Sports
NORMAN, Okla. – The Golf Coaches Association of America announced their Dave Williams Award winners this week and Abilene Christian head coach Mike Campbell was tabbed South Central Region Coach of the Year after leading the Wildcats to a third place national finish.

Campbell helped lead the Wildcats to their best finish in his eight-year tenure claiming the South Central/Midwest Super Regional Title. ACU would also finish third at the NCAA National Championships falling in the National Semifinals to eventual Champion Cal-State Monterey Bay.

The Wildcats also boasted the first ever Division II golfer to claim the Bryon Nelson Award in Cyril Bouniol. Along with Bouniol's honor, sophomore Alex Carpenter was tabbed the Jack Nickalus Award winner as Division II top golfer of 2011. Campbell also saw three golfers earn PING all-America honors as Tyler Sheppard joined Bouniol and Carpenter on the First Team.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

LSC Scoop Interview with Commissioner Stan Wagnon

wagnonWe recently spoke with Stan Wagnon, commissioner of the Lone Star Conference.  Stan has been a part of the LSC staff for nine years, and spent 3 years as the Sports Information Director at Tarleton State and prior to that, 4 years at  Midwestern State.  He got is start at Central Oklahoma, where he served as a student assistant in the SID office.

Q - Stan, can you tell us about your history in the LSC office?
Stan Wagnon - I’m in my ninth year overall with the LSC and fifth as Commissioner. I joined the conference staff in April 2003 and was fortunate to work for the legendary Fred Jacoby for nearly three years. I soaked up as much knowledge as I could until he became ill and could no longer work. I served six months as Acting Commissioner and another five months as Interim Commissioner before the Presidents officially hired me as Commissioner in January 2007.

Q: Recently, the Lone Star Council of Presidents held its annual summer meeting. One of the actions taken by the council was a directive for you to identify and recruit football-playing institutions to join the LSC. What were the reason's for the council's directive? (reactive - Oklahoma schools leaving, proactive - DI school movement creating a vacuum at the IAA level that might entice some conference schools to leave the LSC?)
SW - Football is such a different animal than other sports due to the number of folks involved, whether it be the bigger rosters, more coaches, greater fan following, or the presence of a marching band. There’s just more people involved. For games away from campus, obviously that translates to costing more money when the football team travels as compared to a baseball or golf team. Couple that aspect with the Division II regular season being limited to 11 playing opportunities in 11 weeks and you begin to recognize the importance of scheduling in football. There’s not as much flexibility as found in other sports. Obviously a key benefit to conference membership is the betterment of schedules. We want to provide our members with the proper balance of home and away games, so as to control their costs, minimize time away from campus, and maximize opportunities for revenue and rivalry. The message to me from our Council of Presidents was to leave no stone unturned, survey the landscape to see what’s out there that might be a good fit for us. We’re not in a place of panic; this league started with five football teams and has excelled a great many years with fewer than our current total. The quality is there, but the message was to recognize that it’s time to study the quantity and see if we can add in a way that makes sense. We have 11 members – nine that play football – with a singular vision of making this league the premier Division II conference in the country, so I'll be looking to for schools that desire to align with that philosophy and are willing to embrace our goals and the values we’ve committed to use in fulfilling that vision.

Q: How will you approach this task?
SW - Frankly, I’ve been studying the possibilities for some time now. I’m not sure any conference commissioner ever ceases to wonder about membership scenarios, but certainly the Lone Star Conference has seen enough change over the years that it’s a fairly regular routine in our office. The LSC was founded in 1931 and experienced its first membership expansion that same year and its first member withdrawal only two years later. Our history reflects a pattern of membership change. In fact, the 10 years before admitting Incarnate Word marked only the third time since World War II that we had gone more than five years without change. The recent round of conference realignment started to appear on the radar in Spring 2009, and it now has affected quite a few conferences at every level. It has been about a year since we knew for certain that our membership would be impacted. During the course of this past year, I’ve researched our options for new members and it has evolved quite a bit during that span. Several universities have applied or expressed interest in applying for Division II membership over the last year, and some schools in the area have committed to sponsoring new football programs. My goal for the coming year will be to switch gears from studying options into approaching mutually beneficial candidates, sharing our vision and plans for the conference, gauging their potential interest of joining our membership, and ultimately recommending future steps for the league Presidents to consider.

Q: What kind of timeline (from now to possible invitations) do you foresee?
SW - I don’t want to speculate on the timeline, because ultimately I don’t have complete control of that. What I do know is my primary goal for this year is to identify and recruit football-playing members. I intend to make significant progress toward that goal during the upcoming academic year. The LSC Council of Presidents meets annually in January and June, so those dates are generally good markers to keep in mind. My role will be to lay out the various options, plan the next steps, and let them make the decisions. For example, our current geographic footprint probably can be best described as within 200 miles of a triangle formed using Amarillo, Dallas and San Antonio. I would find particular value in identifying viable candidates within that triangle, but there might be additional opportunities outside of our current footprint and it’s my responsibility to ensure the Presidents are aware those as well. My job is to help them make well-informed decisions.

Q: Several universities come to mind as potential candidates - McMurry (interested in moving from D3 to D2), Wayland Baptist (reinstating footbll in the NAIA), Mary Hardin Baylor (D3 and planning a $20 million on campus stadium). At first glance, are these programs compatible with the current LSC members?
SW - I’m not yet in a place to comment publicly about the compatibility or interest of potential candidates, but I am aware of McMurry’s application for Division II membership, Wayland Baptist’s decision to sponsor football, and Mary Hardin-Baylor’s plans for a beautiful new stadium. Each of those situations reflects a desire to enhance the student-athlete experience, and I applaud their efforts. In the coming weeks and months, I intend to take a closer look at these and other universities in the area to better determine if the possibility exists for a mutually beneficial relationship.

Q: Do you know of any other universities that are considering adding football to their athletics programs?
SW - At this time and in this area, I’m aware that NAIA members Wayland Baptist and Oklahoma Baptist are adding football, plus New Orleans has stated intentions of adding football as it transitions from Division I into the Division II Gulf South Conference. Incarnate Word successfully implemented a football program in 2009, Lamar enjoyed success in reinstating its program last year, and UT-San Antonio will play for the first time this fall. It's encouraging to see a good number of universities in this area realizing the value of sponsoring a football program. It's an important part of the culture around here, and it certainly has played a vital role in the LSC's tradition.

Q: Have you received any indications of interest from any universities?
SW - Yes, over the past two years I’ve had informal conversations with several institutions that expressed interest in possible membership. During that time we’ve had one formal request from a school wishing to be considered for membership. This past year, however, our league felt it was critical to make time for establishing a shared code of values and agreeing upon our intended path before adding to the membership. Our 11 members have approached the recent changes as an opportunity to rally around one another and embark upon an exciting future with a unified approach. For the first time we’ve sat around the table and talked about what we like and don’t like, and most importantly we’ve agreed upon the organizational values that define our group and its purpose. That’s why it is appropriate, now that we’ve agreed upon what we’re about as a group, to examine opportunities for enhancement.

Q: What other actions did the council take?
SW - This past meeting was one of the most productive in recent memory. The Presidents approved a great number of recommendations across our 16 sports, but the majority of their time was spent discussing big picture items. This included the approval of six organizational values and determining the context of why each value is so important. For example, we’re committed to Respect as one of our values, which encompasses the ideals of sportsmanship at our athletic events and citizenship in our communities, but it also speaks to our views on diversity and gender equity, as well as our intentions to consider individual member perspectives before ultimately vowing to make decisions in the best interest of the conference. The Council heard a report from a committee that is reviewing the membership guidelines for our conference, basically the minimum standards required to be a conference member. I expect the committee will recommend changes in the upcoming year, with any such changes geared toward promoting unity within the membership. We talked about the strategic plan for the conference, which is being refreshed and extended through 2017. That’s something that should be ready for consideration at the Council’s January meeting. The Presidents approved a new tagline for the conference that will be revealed through league-wide branding and marketing efforts in the coming weeks and should help us to better tell our story in the years ahead. And besides the charge to identify new football-playing members, we discussed my goals of bringing recognition and success to the LSC and its members through two major events in the coming year, the Lone Star Football Festival at Cowboys Stadium and the relocation of our basketball tournament to the Allen Event Center. These exciting events serve as evidence that LSC member schools are committed to using their athletic departments to increase visibility and promote the overall brand for their respective universities.

Thanks for your time Stan.  We look forward to doing this again soon.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

LSC Roundup 7-14

Rios leads rushing in Lone Star Conference - Pat Turner, San Antonio Express-News
This football season will be a little different for Trent Rios.

Being a two-year starter, the Incarnate Word junior running back is more familiar with life as a college football player, especially in the highly-competitive Lone Star Conference.

In addition, Rios' stock as a durable running back has risen as he goes into this season as the LSC leader in rushing (888 yards) and all-purpose (1,632) yards among all returning offensive players. For the former Smithson Valley athlete, being a little more polished makes his situation even more comfortable.

Now, Rios hopes to do more. Being one of the leading rushers (he was third a year ago) again would be nice, but his main objective is helping Incarnate Word take a positive step forward during its third year of football.

“It gets more exciting every year,” said Rios, who works out each morning at 6 a.m. with many of his Incarnate Word teammates before going to his job on campus. “We're a building program right now. It's crazy how fast the last two years went by. It seems like yesterday we were putting the field up. We feel we have a lot more experience now. So, we're definitely ready.”

There's a small line tucked in the district preview pages of Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine calling this season undoubtedly one of rebuilding for the three-time defending Class 2A state champions out of Daingerfield. The Tigers have lost seven players to college programs from last year's team and saw their head coach leave for Paris.

Former Angelo State running back Aric Sardinea is only optimistic about the Tigers. He sees a senior class with three championship rings on their fingers and players who grew up watching and hearing brothers, cousins, uncles and fathers talk about being a part of Daingerfield's winning tradition. Sardinea had only heard about it from an outsider's point of view until March. Now he's the one with the opportunity to lead the Tigers to their fourth consecutive state title.

“Everyday our kids have been challenged to work hard at the little things, to be persistent at having the high expectations and to be their best in everything that they do,” said Sardinea, who was named the Daingerfield head coach and athletic director in March. “We will always have tradition here. Winning here is reality and it is in the air. We do not want to maintain expectations. We have been working to exceed expectations and this comes with controlling 'us' and by not becoming complacent, staying hungry and setting higher goals.”

Texans' arsenal improves with addition of Robertshaw  - TSU Sports
Tarleton baseball head coach Bryan Conger announced yet another signing with the addition of Division I transfer Britt Robertshaw.

Robertshaw joins the Texans from Northwestern State, where he redshirted during his junior season. The 6'3" right-handed pitcher earned two saves in as many tries before suffering a season-ending injury. During that span, Robertshaw stayed focus in the classroom, earning Dean's List Honors (3.5 GPA minimum) both semesters.

Prior to playing at Northwestern State, Robertshaw played two seasons at Blinn Junior College and received a number of accolades. Besides being named Academic all-conference, he was named JUCO Pitcher of the Week on one occasion and posted a perfect 4-0 record on the season with a 3.04 ERA. Robertshaw also struck out 51 batters in 53 innings of work, helping his team to a Region 14 runner-up finish.

Out of Cedar Park High School, the 210-pound flamethrower was a first-team all-district selection and 5A honorable mention for all-state. Robertshaw was named Cedar Park's Athlete of the Year, as well as Hill Country News County MVP with a 11-3 record and 1.96 ERA as a senior. The Cedar Park standout retired 101 batters in 83 innings before his team lost to eventual national champion Plano West in the fourth round of the state playoffs. Robertshaw was just as successful in the classroom, posting a 3.81 GPA.

Coach Conger talked about Robertshaw's signing for the program.

"Britt is a tremendous addition to this recruiting class," said Conger. "He is a big, strong righty that has a fastball in the low 90's and has been as high as 94 mph in the past. Britt has experience both starting and closing and will give us some very nice options in either of those types of roles this year. He has experience against Mountain West Conference, Southland Conference and SEC competition at the D1 level, and we look forward to watching him compete with us."


Wambach lifts US to finals
Astros' veteran center fielder aging gracefully
British Open: Round 1
Union memo supports NBA players going overseas

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

LSC Scoop Afternoon Update 7-12 is reporting that Josh Fralick will transfer from the University of Wyoming to Abilene Christian. Fralick, a 2010 walk-on did not log any playing time last year, so he should have 4 years of eligibility remaining. is reporting that Bobby Taylor will be named assistant men's basketball coach at Texas A&M-Commerce.  Taylor has coached the last few seasons in the Arena Football League.

Baseball Signs T-M Brother Duo - TAMK Sports
Texas A&M-Kingsville head baseball coach Jason Gonzales signed brothers Clint and James Wallace to join the Javelina squad for the 2011 season on Tuesday.

Both Wallace brothers attended Tuloso-Midway High School and Paris Junior College. Clint is a 6-0 catcher who played one year at Paris. James is a 6-2 third baseman-pitcher who played two years at Paris before red-shirting at Southern Arkansas in 2011. He hit .236 with 16 doubles and 28 runs batted in as a freshman and then earned all-conference honors as a sophomore. He hit .344 with 12 doubles and 27 RBI’s while going 1-2 with a 3.00 ERA and a save on the mound.

"We are extremely excited to have both James and Clint become part of our program,” said Gonzales. “Both young men come from good high school and junior college programs. James will be expected to help us both as a third baseman and pitcher, and Clint will be expected to compete for time behind the plate. Both are quality young men who will make our program better, not just by their athletic ability, but by the type of young men they are off the field."

NCAA accepts McMurry's application to transition to Division II - McMurry Sports
ABILENE, Texas – The NCAA officially announced that it accepted McMurry University into NCAA Division II candidacy period Tuesday morning bringing back scholarship athletics to the institution for the first time since the 1976-77 school year.

Careful planning, research and strategy for the transition began more than a year for the school, and the university's board of trustees approved the application process to move from NCAA Division III to Division II Dec. 17.

“It's a great day for McMurry, and we have been excited about planning for the move, but now the pins and needles feeling is over,” said athletic director Ron Holmes. “We're ready to move forward in official capacity, and now we're closer to getting our teams eligible for the NCAA Division II playoffs.”

Acceptance by the NCAA means that McMurry begins its candidacy period in 2011-12, and would be eligible to compete in NCAA Division II playoffs for the first time in 2014-15.

The War Hawks will compete one final year in Division III as a member of the American Southwest Conference in 2011-12.

The board's approval of the process was based on the impact on the entire McMurry community. From recruiting, admissions, athletics and academics, the board, along with university president Dr. John Russell concluded the move for the athletics program would benefit the entire institution.

After Tuesday's announcement, Russell reiterated his excitement for the positive impact expected for the university.

“We started down this road because of the impact the Division II transition has had on the academic profile of those schools who had journeyed before us. And while that motivated our initial investigation, we've learned of the variety of benefits that accrue a successful transition to NCAA Division II,” said Russell. “We are eager to get underway and are appreciative of the confidence placed in us by the McMurry Board of Trustees, the Heartland Conference and the NCAA.”

During the candidacy process, the Heartland Conference accepted McMurry as a member beginning in 2012-13. That would allow for 12 of the War Hawks' 19 intercollegiate sports to be sponsored by the Division II conference that features schools from Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

Football, men's & women's indoor and outdoor track along with men's and women's swimming will compete independently.

In the first year of the candidacy period, and McMurry's final year in the NCAA Division III and ASC, the institution will begin work required by the NCAA to move forward towards a minimum of one probationary year. The two-year candidacy period for McMurry begins this school year in its final year with Division III.

Between now and June 1, 2012, McMurry must complete the following tasks: visit a Division II campus selected by the NCAA Division II Membership Committee, conduct a Division II Institutional Self-Study Guide, demonstrate involvement and commitment of the McMurry president in the Division II membership process, receive an on-campus assessment conducted by an NCAA-approved outside group to determine the readiness of McMurry to become an active member, and produce an annual report of McMurry's strategic plan for moving forward in Division II.

Monday, July 11, 2011

LSC Scoop Afternoon Update 7-11

A couple of Texas A&M-Kingsville recruiting tidbits. One, for football, is unconfirmed and can be found here. The other, for softball, is below.

Softball Adds a Pitcher - TAMK Sports
KINGSVILLE, TEXAS – Texas A&M-Kingsville head softball coach Ricki Rothbauer added junior college pitcher, Denise Arnold, to the program’s 2011 recruiting class on Monday.

Arnold played two seasons at McLennan Community College after completing her career at Katy High School. She led McLennan to an NJCAA National Tournament appearance this year after going 25-6 with a 2.02 earned run average in 215 innings of work. She struck out 142 batters en route to earning first team all-conference honors. As a freshman, she went 15-3 with a 2.07 ERA and earned second team all-conference honors. She struck out 102 in 122 innings and was a member of the Region V North squad for the Texas Junior College Softball Coaches Association Sophomore All-Star Weekend.

“I am so excited to have Denise join our pitching staff for the 2012 season,” Rothbauer said. “In 2011, she pitched her way through the NJCAA Region V tournament and competed in the NJCAA National Tournament. After watching her at McLennan, I respect the intensity that she carries on the mound. She is aggressive in fielding her position and I am confident that she will complement our pitching staff well.”

At Katy High School, Arnold was a three-time all-district performer. She earned first team honors as a senior after going 11-3 with a 1.98 ERA. She was honorable mention as a junior and took home second team honors as a sophomore when she was part of a team that went to the state finals.

Track & Field Team Adds 18 Athletes to 2011-12 Roster - WT Sports
West Texas A&M head track & field coach Darren Flowers has announced the signing of 18 athletes to join the Buff and Lady Buff track & field teams for the 2011-12 season.

“We have worked really hard this year to fill in some immediate gaps with some high-quality junior college transfers,” Flowers said. “With the combination of transfers and incoming freshmen, I feel that we have the potential to be very good this season and beyond.”

Of the 18 athletes, nine of them are female which include Paula Bowens, a New Mexico Junior College transfer; Aleese Pittman, also a NMJC transfer; Rhemecka Graham, an incoming freshman out of Saginaw High School; Jessie Thomas, an incoming freshman out of Anna; Carnisha Simpson, out of Clear Springs High School; Elizabeth Beltran, a transfer out of El Paso Community College; Melissa Velasco out of Shamrock High School; Emma Love, out of San Antonio; and J’Cee Pool out of Borger High School.

The remaining nine athletes on the men’s side include Emmanuel Denson, out of John Marshall High School in Oklahoma City, Okla.; Dylan Doss out of Water Valley High School; Jacob Villereal, out of EPCC; Jerell Banks out of San Antonio Churchill High School; Ellis Maise, out of Timberland High School in Wentzville, Mo.; Patrick Scheuchzer, a former Swiss National Indoor Champion; Alexander Korn, a former German National athlete; Tyler Nolan, out of Thousand Island Secondary School in Canada; and Lorenzo Johnson, out of Mineral Wells High School.

“We will have many new faces this year, so leadership from the upper classmen will be vital to our success,” Flowers said. “I am excited about the future of the track & field program here at West Texas A&M.”

Four Lady Buff Golf Athletes Named NGCA All-American Scholars
The National Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholar Teams for Division I, II & III were announced on Friday with a total of 566 women’s collegiate golfers recognized with this prestigious honor. West Texas A&M’s Macy Davis, Alisa White, Sara Coe and Vanessa Spradlin each received the honor.

“The Lady Buff golf team strives to achieve excellence both in the classroom and on the links,” WT head women’s golf coach Meredith Jameson said. “I am very proud of these young ladies for all of their hard work and dedication to their studies.”

Davis is a Sports and Exercise Science major, White is Journalism major, Coe is an Education major and Spradlin is majoring in Engineering. All four athletes are coming off a successful 2011 golf season.

The criteria for selection to the All-American Scholar Team are some of the most stringent in all of college athletics. The minimum cumulative GPA is 3.50.

Lion senior Megan Benites and freshman Sara Diaz were named All-American Scholar recipients by the National Golf Coaches Association for the 2010-11 season. The teams for Divisions I, II and III were announced with a total of 566 women's collegiate golfers recognized with this prestigious honor.

Benites closed out her A&M-Commerce career competing in seven events for the Lions, posting an 85.67 scoring average on the year, the fourth-best among Lion golfers. She finished a season-best 31st at the season-opening Northeastern State Golf Classic, but ultimately saved her best for last - birdieing the final hole of her collegiate career to card a season-best 5-over 77 in the final round of the Lone Star Conference Championships.

Diaz was a constant in the A&M-Commerce lineup during her freshman campaign, competing in all 10 events on the year. She posted an 84.10 scoring average on the year, which was the third-best among the squad, including a season-best 2-over 74 over the final round of the Lone Star Conference Championships. She posted a 36-hole low 20-over 164 at the UCO Broncho Classic, while her best individual placing was a 28th-place finish at the Pepsi Lion Invitational.

Both Benites and Diaz were named to the Lone Star Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll for the 2010-11 academic year, with Diaz being recognized for posting a perfect 4.0 GPA for the year. The criteria for selection to the All-American Scholar Team are some of the most stringent in all of college athletics. The minimum cumulative GPA is 3.50.

LSC Roundup 7-11

CFL tidbits - former Angelo State Ram Josh Neiswander is currently on the Montreal Alouettes 9-Game Injured List, while Abilene Christian alum Tony Washington is listed as the backup left tackle for the Calgary Stampedes.

Four Belles Golfers Named NGCA All-American Scholars - ASU Sports
More than half of the Angelo State golf team garnered academic accolades Friday, as four Rambelles were named to the National Golf Coaches Association All-American Division II Scholar Team. Despite some of the most stringent criteria in all of college athletics, which include a minimum cumulative grade-point-average of 3.50, Krista Czarnecki, Maury McCormick, Randee Stegman and Makenzie Stone were all named to the All-American Scholar Team.

Czarnecki, a sophomore accounting major, led the Rambelles during the 2011 season with five top-25 finishes and earning team-medalist honors in four of their six events. The El Paso native had her best outing at the Midwestern State Invitational Mar. 21-22, where she fired a 73-84—157 and tied for 16th place.

McCormick's best finish was also at the Midwestern State Invitational. The accounting major earned a share of 20th place after carding a 159 (81-78). Stegman, the senior from Holcomb, Kan., had her best showing at the St. Edward's Invitational Feb. 28-Mar. 1. The exercise science major finished tied for 23rd with a two-round total of 161 (82-79).

Rounding out the Rambelles is freshman Makenzie Stone. At the Lone Star Conference Tournament, Stone finished in 34th place, after turning in a three-round total of 240 (84-77-79).

Cameron's Women's Golf Team Places Three On 2010-2011 All-American Scholar Team - CU Sports
Cameron golfers Aleesha Holden, Johnna Holden and Kylee Johnson have been named to the National Golf Coaches Association 2010-2011 Division II All-American Scholar Team. The criteria for selection to the All-American Scholar Team are some of the most stringent in all of college athletics. The minimum cumulative GPA is 3.50.

In total, 566 women’s collegiate golfers were recognized across Division I, II and III.

"It just goes to show you that these girls are taking care of business on the field, as well as in the classroom," said Head Coach Rick Goodwin. "It’s a heck of an accomplishment. I 3.5 is not easy to do."

Johnson, a health and physical education major, led the Aggies this season with an average 78.6 per round in 10 events. Her best finish was a tie for 7th at the Oklahoma Intercollegiate, her only top 10 finish on the year. Aleesha Holden had an average of 83.8. Her best finish was a tie for 21st at the Pepsi Lion Invitational. In seven events, Johnna Holden had an average of 87.2. Her best finish was a tie for 27th in the Mahogany-UCO Classic. Johnna is currently majoring in Sports Fitness Management, while her sister Aleesha is undeclared.

Each golfer will be back to play for Cameron next year.

Jeter Joins the Javelinas - TAMK Sports
Temple Junior College outfielder Samantha Jeter has signed to play for the Texas A&M-Kingsville softball team next season.

Jeter is from Corpus Christi where she starred at Moody High School earning All State, All Metro and First Team All-South Texas honors.

“I am looking forward to having Samantha with our program this year,” said Javelina head coach Ricki Rothbauer. “She will bring speed to our lineup and plays aggressively at all times. I believe her enthusiasm to play and help her team will be a great addition to our program.”

Jeter put together a pair of outstanding seasons at Temple where she was a two-time first team all-conference selection and a second team all-region choice at the 2010 national tournament. As a freshman, she hit .400 with 26 stolen bases while scoring 30 runs. She improved upon those marks as a sophomore when she hit .417 with 37 stolen bases and 34 runs.

Former Hoggie Star Pitching Well in Canada - TAMK Sports
SWIFT CURRENT, SASKATCHEWAN – Former Texas A&M-Kingsville right-handed pitcher Dan Rogers was named the Swift Current Indians’ Second Star for the week ending on July 9.

Rogers pitched the first complete game of the year for the Indians on July 3. He finished with seven strikeouts, allowing three hits, in a 15-0 trouncing of the hometown Edmonton Prospects. He has started five games for Swift Current this year and owns a 2-2 record with a 2.87 ERA.

This is Rogers’ second season with the Indians as part of the Western Major Baseball League in Canada. The Indians are currently 17-10 on the season and in first place in the Central Division. During the 2010 season, he went 6-1 with a 1.78 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 50.2 innings.


Spain reigns in Austin

Man on the move -  As Drayton McLane leaves baseball, he still maintains a commitment to community. 

A win for the ages - Shorthanded Americans rally for victory in penalty-kick shootout. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

LSC Roundup 7-8

Men's Basketball Adds One - TAMK Sports
KINGSVILLE, TEXAS – Texas A&M-Kingsville head men’s basketball coach Pete Peterson has signed Baton Rouge Community College guard Ryan Layssard.

Layssard is a 5-10 guard from Opelousas, LA and was a two-year starter at Baton Rouge CC. He led the Bears to a 17-10 record as a freshman, the first year of the program. As a sophomore, he averaged 12 points and seven assists per game while being named the team’s most valuable player.

Layssard is the sixth signee for the Javelinas this year.

Ballinger's KRUN First to Join ASU Athletics Radio Network - ASU Sports
Angelo State football is coming to “The Greatest Little Town in Texas” as the ASU Athletics Department reached an agreement with Ballinger's KRUN 1400 AM to carry Rams' football this fall. KRUN is the first station to join the newly created network and will broadcast the beginning of a new era in ASU football as Will Wagner takes over as head coach.

"We're thrilled to partner with KRUN and extend ASU's radio footprint in the Concho Valley," Angelo State Director of Athletics Kathleen Brasfield said. "We'd like to thank Toby Virden and his staff, along with our friends at Foster Communications, for making the network a reality. We're looking forward to a great football season and want folks in our region to know that this is their university, their team. Hopefully this is the first of many partnerships, for many years to come."

WT adds locker room facilities - Yann Ranaivo, Amarillo Globe News
This fall, West Texas A&M University's football players will no longer have to worry about going to their dorm rooms or using rented trailers to change into their practice gear.

WT broke ground last month on the Buffalo Athletic Center, a 44,420-square-foot facility that will provide new locker rooms for the football, soccer and track teams. The facility's other amenities will include a weight room and gym area, study hall and physical therapy space for the university's roughly 500 student athletes.

Michael McBroom, WT's athletic director, said the university plans to fund the nearly $4 million facility with donations.

He said the university plans to make its official call for donations next week, although some donations have already been received. WT has collected about $1.5 million for the project, thus allowing for the June groundbreaking, McBroom said.

"This is essentially the final phase of the Buffalo Sports Park," he said, referring to the $21.8 million outdoor sports park completed last fall. "It will round up and give us just about the best facility in the country for a school like WT. And it will be next to one of the best outdoor athletic facilities you can find."

Former ACU tackle Washington gets shot in CFL - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
Finally, two years after playing his final season at Abilene Christian University, Tony Washington is getting a chance to play major professional football.

Washington, a 6-foot-6, 311-pound offensive tackle, signed with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League on June 18 — less than a month before the team's season opener.

It's been a long wait for the 25-year-old Washington, who expected to play in the NFL after impressing scouts at the 2010 NFL Combine. Washington, projected to go as high as the second round in that year's draft, not only wasn't drafted, but he didn't even get a call for a tryout, much less a free-agent deal, after the draft. He eventually signed with the Dallas Vigilantes of the Arena Football League about halfway through the season last year.

Rangers fan dies after falling over fence at Rangers Ballpark
Ranger' Young becomes fifth player to make All-Star team at three positions
U.S. women see Cup match with Brazil as opportunity
Houston scout's business clashed with mentor role

Thursday, July 7, 2011

LSC Roundup 7-7

The University of the Incarnate Word women’s soccer program is pleased to announce the hiring of new assistant coach David Simeone.

Simeone brings with him an impressive amount of experience at the collegiate and international level and hopes to bring his successful coaching techniques to help the Cardinal soccer program as it battles in the South Central Region of NCAA Division II and the Lone Star Conference.

He comes to UIW from Phoenix, Arizona, where he was the President of Soccer Development Strategies, a consulting firm that assessed and trained players and assisted soccer clubs with staffing and strategic planning. Additionally, he was the Program Director for Sereno Soccer Club, which is ranked in the Top 25, nationally, in girl’s soccer clubs.

TexAnn softball adds California Community College Player of Year - TSU Sports
The Tarleton TexAnn softball coaching staff has added another piece to its 2011-12 roster with the addition of McKaylee Pittman.

Pittman, a junior transfer from College of the Siskiyous, signed a scholarship agreement with the TexAnns.

The native of Aledo was named the California Community College Athletic Association Player of the Year in Northern California in 2011 after hitting .496 with 10 home runs and a state-high 68 runs batted in during the regular season. She also tied for second in the state with 18 doubles.

The third baseman committed just four errors in 38 games while handling a team-high 65 assists. She was named the Golden Valley Conference Player of the Year and received First Team All-GVC recognition as well.
A 2009 graduate of AHS, Pittman helped lead her high school squad to the 2008 state championship, and she was named to the All-State Tournament Team.

“KayKay is a great addition to our program,” said Tarleton head coach Julie Mata. “She comes from such a talented Aledo program, and she achieved tremendous success in the highly-competitive California Community College softball circuit. As a scholar-athlete as well, she will fit in perfectly with this group of players we’ve added and are returning for the 2011-12 season. I really would have liked to have had her play for us right out of high school, but we were not in a position to bring her in to join us at that time, even though she caught our eye. It is great to get this opportunity to coach her now. Aside from the obvious talent that she will bring to our lineup and defense, I really like her personality. She has great communication skills and a look in her eye that speaks volumes about what she can bring to our program. Our team needs to continue the growth we experienced last season so that we can return to the top tier of softball in our conference, in the region and nationally. Adding another player with the heart and the type of offensive and defensive skills she will bring with her is a yet another big step in the right direction.”


Sparks fly over tape at Clemens hearing
Looking back at the Cliff Lee deal: one year later, was it worth it after all?
U.S. women fall to Sweden, face Brazil next
Taylor: Roy Williams a 'glutton for punishment'; should've spent more
Dynamo learn about MLS concussion rules first hand

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

LSC Roundup 7-6

ASU’s “Coaching Texas”: Herring was Born to Coach - ASU Sports
Jason Herring once told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times that he was born to coach football.

“I live for Friday nights. I absolutely love interacting with the kids, I love the pressure, I love the strategic part of matching wits with the other coach,” he explained to sportswriter George Vondracek back in 2009. “I went straight into college, graduated in three and a half years, went every day in the summer, I mean I knew. I never changed my major. I knew what I wanted to do.”

One hundred and sixty four games into his head coaching career, the evidence proves he was right in choosing his profession. Herring, who graduated from Angelo State in 1992 with kinesiology and history degrees, boasts a 122-42 record at three schools. He was named the athletic director and head football coach at Refugio in 2007 and has led the Bobcats to four consecutive district championships and four straight undefeated regular seasons. A Class 2A state championship in 2000 at Sonora shows he reached the peak, while missing the playoffs only one time in the last 11 years shows his consistency.

“I hope our teams are always identified by kids that are disciplined, hard hitting, and execute well,” said Herring, who is 53-4 at Refugio. “I think a trademark of our teams is the way we execute on offense. We try and keep it very simple so that we can execute perfectly.”

Villanueva Signs with Javs - TAMK Sports
Texas A&M-Kingsville head softball coach Ricki Rothbauer added another signing to her 2011 recruiting class on Saturday in Corpus Christi Moody High School product Kaylee Villanueva.

Villanueva, a utility player, lettered four years at Moody HS before playing at Alvin Community College this past season. She will have three years of eligibility remaining with the Javelinas.

“I am excited that Kaylee is joining the Javelina program,” Rothbauer said. “She is versatile on the field and can help us in both the outfield and on the dirt. She is an energetic, spirited player and teammate whose attitude toward competition will be a great addition to our team.”

Villanueva was a four-time First Team All-District and All-Metro third baseman. As a senior, she earned TXSWA Second Team All-State 4A and All-South Texas honors after hitting .438 with 37 RBI’s and a .769 slugging percentage. She once hit three home runs in a game.

As a freshman at Alvin CC, Villanueva hit .381 with a .551 slugging percentage. She was the most valuable player of the Galveston Tournament and earned Second Team all-conference honors as a utility player.


12 bizarre Big 12 moments
Dynamo open new practice facility on Kirby Drive

Nick Russell to join SMU men's basketball team 
Edwards staying quiet on 2012 plans
Junior frustrated with Daytona racing

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

LSC Roundup 7-5

Most of the following article is about Iowa senior cornerback Shaun Prater, but a few bits about his twin brother Shane, who will be heading to TAMK this fall, with possibly three years of eligibility remaining.

Texas A&M - Kingsville gets wide receiver - Sam McKewon, Omaha World Herald
They used to run around like competitive kids do, playing every game they could imagine, racing each other, arguing, laughing, measuring themselves against a human mirror.

In that little enclave of accomplished high school athletes who captivated the center of Omaha a half-decade ago — Niles Paul, Ronnell Grixby, Phil Bates, D.J. Jones — the Prater twins, Shane and Shaun, were arguably the best of them.

In football, Shaun was a star corner at Omaha Central High School. Shane was his brother's equal at wide receiver. They'd try to alternate big plays. You got a pick, so I'm going to score a touchdown.

Not the biggest kids — but fast. And smart. And they were spitting images of each other. Their mother, Cynthia, insisted on it.

“Same shoes,” Shaun said. “Same underwear. Same shorts. Same T-shirt. Same towel. Shared a bunk bed. Rode in the same car. Same friends.”

So there are times when Shaun — a preseason All-America cornerback at Iowa — now misses Shane, who also accepted a scholarship to Iowa in 2008, but left after one year and will finish his career at Texas A&M-Kingsville..............Shane had a big freshman season in 2009 at Iowa Western. Ohio was interested. So were Boise State, Michigan State and a few other schools. He expected to sign somewhere after one more year at Iowa Western.

“But then he ran a slant route and tore his ACL,” Shaun said.

“Freak accident,” Shane said. “I stepped in a hole.”

Shane didn't quit. He rehabbed and will play wide receiver this year at Texas A&M-Kingsville, a Division II powerhouse that's won 34 conference titles and produced more than 40 NFL draft picks, including Hall of Famers John Randle, Darrell Green and Gene Upshaw.

“No regrets,” Shane said. “It's all worked out for the best.”


Federer: Djokovic win good for tennis
Nadal loses No. 1 ranking, then final
Woods to skip British Open
Ex-Tar Heels player suing school, NCAA
ESPN taking over Wimbledon coverage

Friday, July 1, 2011

LSC Roundup 7-1

LSC selects 2011 Hall of Honor inductees

The 2011 inductees to the Lone Star Conference Hall of Honor include two former dual sport athletes and a past football star league officials announced on Thursday.

   Roberto Garza of Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Eastern New Mexico’s Jennifer Goble Poyer and Dwight White of Texas A&M University-Commerce compose the 2011 class of inductees for the LSC Hall of Honor, which recognizes outstanding individuals who have brought pride and honor to the conference through their contributions as an athlete or who have demonstrated a long-term commitment to the betterment of the conference as a coach or administrator.

The inductees were chosen by a panel of athletic administrators throughout the league.

 “The Hall of Honor is reserved for individuals who have brought pride and honor to the Conference, and certainly this year’s class embodies that,” said LSC Commissioner Stan Wagnon. “Dwight White and Roberto Garza are key figures in the LSC’s tradition of football student-athletes who experience success in the Lone Star Conference before going on to become high-profile NFL players. Both men had the good fortune of playing in the Super Bowl. Jennifer Goble-Poyer will forever be one of the best athletes to compete in the LSC, having dominated on both the basketball and volleyball courts. Her efforts truly helped to increase the amount of attention and respect given to women’s sports by those in and around the league.”

Each of the inductees will receive the LSC’s signature Hall of Honor award, a 15-inch custom-sculpted eagle figurine mounted on a cherry wood base. The awards for Garza, Poyer and White are to be presented this fall with ceremonies at each recipient’s institution.

Here’s a closer look at each of the 2011 inductees to the LSC Hall of Honor:
Roberto Garza, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Football/Track & Field: Garza was an outstanding athlete for the Javelinas and has played in the NFL for the past 10 years with the Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears.  Garza played football for four seasons and was a standout in track and field. On the gridiron, he was a two-time AP Little All-America and AFCA first-team All-America selection.

He won the NCAA Division II national title in the shot put in 2000 after a third-place finish in the 1999 meet. Garza won LSC titles in the discus in 1999 and the shot put in 2000 to earn most valuable men's field performer honors.  He gained a starting role with the Falcons his rookie season and played for Atlanta from 2001-04. Garza was signed by the Bears in 2005 and has been a starter on the offensive line, including a Super Bowl appearance. Chicago won the NFC North Division last season before losing to eventual NFL champion Green Bay in the NFC title game.

Garza has done numerous community projects in the Atlanta and Chicago areas and his hometown of Rio Hondo, Texas, has a “Roberto Garza Day” each Dec. 2.
Jennifer Goble Poyer, Eastern New Mexico, Basketball/Volleyball: Poyer is the Zias only four-time first-team All-LSC pick in volleyball and was also the LSC Player or Co-Player of the Year all four years.  She stood out on the basketball court as well, earning LSC Player or Co-Player of the Year honors twice and LSC Freshman of the Year acclaim as a four-time All-LSC pick.  Poyer was the Zias career kills leader in volleyball when she graduated (1,687 kills) and ranks second today. She remains the school’s all-time scoring leader in basketball with 1,852 points.
She holds several LSC volleyball records: block solos in a match (18) and career (360), and total blocks in a season (266) and career (791). At ENMU, she also ranks first in career service aces (153), is tied for second in career hitting percentage (.324), and holds third place in career digs (1,309).  Poyer led ENMU to their best-ever volleyball record (33-6) in 1993 en route to the LSC regular season and tournament titles. The Zias were 105- 35 (.750) during her four years on the court.
On the hardwood, she tops the records for scoring average in a season (23.9 in 1991-92) and career (20.4). Poyer also holds marks for made free throws in a game (15), season (174, 1990-91) and career (568).  She paced the Zias to an LSC regular-season basketball title and best-ever record (23-5) in 1992-93. ENMU was 74-36 (.673) during Poyer’s four seasons on the basketball team.
A member of ENMU’s All-Century and All-Decade volleyball teams, Poyer was inducted into Eastern’s Athletic Hall of Honors in 2000.
Dwight White, Texas A&M-Commerce, Football: White was a four-year letterwinner for A&M-C from 1967-1970, helping lead the Lions to a share of the Lone Star Conference title in 1969.  A two-time All-LSC selection at defensive tackle, White was an honorable mention NAIA and Associated Press All-American following the 1970 season.  A standout at Dallas Madison High School, White was a fourth-round selection of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1971 draft and played 10 years for the organization as part of the famed “Steel Curtain” defense.
A two-time Pro Bowl selection, he would help the Steelers to four Super Bowl victories and recorded the first points in Pittsburgh Super Bowl history, sacking Frank Tarkenton in the end zone for a safety in Super Bowl IX. He finished his playing days with 46 career sacks and was named to the Steelers All-Time Team in 1982 and 2007. White passed away due to complications with surgery in 2008.

Garza's camp gives back to Valley youth - Eladio Jaimez, Valley Morning Star
RIO HONDO — Like most youngsters in this tiny community, Joshua Anthony Gonzalez has heard all about the Chicago Bears’ Roberto Garza.

As a matter of fact, Joshua’s dad, Ruben, played football with Garza in high school at Rio Hondo. Ruben graduated in 1996 and Garza a year later in 1997.

Ruben went on to a military career in the U.S. Army that saw him serve three tours of duty in Iraq between 2003 and 2010. Now Ruben’s back home and spending as much time as he can with Joshua.

After high school, Garza went on to a stellar playing career at Texas A&M-Kingsville followed by an equally successful 10-year career in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons and the Chicago Bears.

Depending on how fast the NFL labor dispute will be settled, Garza will be entering his 11th season in the NFL and eighth with the Bears this fall.

But on Thursday, Garza was back at his alma mater hosting the 2011 Roberto Garza Skills and Drills football camp. The camp is in its fourth year but was forced indoors for the first time due to rain.


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