Thursday, March 31, 2011

SE Tabs Green to Guide Men's Hoops

New Southeastern men

DURANT, Okla. - Southeastern Oklahoma State Director of Athletics Keith Baxter has announced the hiring of Kelly Green to be the head coach of the men’s basketball program.

Green joins the Savage Storm family after 14 seasons as head coach at Arizona Western, a junior college program in Arizona Community College Athletic Conference, where he racked up a 342-107 record. In all, he has amassed 25 years of coaching experience, 18 of those as a collegiate head coach where he has amassed a record of 391-169.

“My family and I are ecstatic about coming to Durant,” said Green, “As well as the opportunity that Dr. Minks and coach Baxter are affording us.”

“Being from Oklahoma,” continued Green, “I know the tradition at Southeastern and it’s our goal to return to that, especially as the program heads into the Great American Conference next season.”

“We are excited with the selection of Kelly Green as our new men’s basketball coach,” said Southeastern president Larry Minks. “He has an impressive background and we believe he will be a good fit for the Savage Storm program. I might add that Keith Baxter (director of athletics) and the selection committee spent a great deal of time reviewing a large pool of applicants, and they are most pleased with the results. We look forward to welcoming coach Green and his family to Southeastern and Durant.”

“Kelly Green brings a proven track record of success,” said Baxter, “He has had great success in his career and will be an excellent fit for the program.

“He and his family will be a fine addition to the city of Durant,” continued Baxter, “And his coaching philosophy is a seamless fit with our mission of becoming the model Division II University.”

“I would also like to thank the search committee,” said Baxter. “Their tireless efforts in evaluating more than 130 applicants helped us efficiently narrow the search and eventually come to the selection of coach [Kelly] Green.”

Green was the longest tenured coach in AWC program history and led the team to 13 consecutive Region I Playoff appearances. The Matadors wrapped the 2010-11 season with 23 wins and Green averaged 24 wins per season over his 14 years at the helm, making AWC the winningest college or university men’s basketball program in the state of Arizona over that time. Green led AWC to 11 Region I final appearances and won the regional championship five times. He has been named the ACCAC Coach of the Year six times and was named the district Coach of the Year three times.

His first head coaching stint came at Frank Phillips College in Texas, where as the youngest head coach in the Lone Star State at that time. He proceeded to lead the men’s basketball team to its first winning season in a decade. Green then went to Texas JC power Western Texas College before getting his first taste of NCAA Division I coaching as the top assistant at the University of Texas-Pan American. While at UTPA, the team recorded the 4th-best turnaround in NCAA Division I and had the highest conference finish in school history. Kelly also had brief stops at Western New Mexico and Angleton (TX) High School before landing at AWC.

He is a graduate of Northwestern Oklahoma State where he lettered in basketball and tennis for two years. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management from NWOSU and a Master's Degree in Education from Oklahoma City. Kelly is married to the former Ginger Ratzlaff of Mannford, Okla., and they have two kids, Caspian, a freshman volleyball player at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, and Dakota, a sophomore in high school.

LSC Scoop Afternoon Update 3-31

OU interviews Central Oklahoma coach Terry Evans - Guerin Emig, Tulsa World
The Tulsa World has learned that Central Oklahoma coach Terry Evans interviewed for the University of Oklahoma basketball job last Tuesday night. It is the first known interview OU has conducted since Jeff Capel was fired as Sooners coach March 14.

Shortly after OU athletic director Joe Castiglione made the change, Evans told the World: "The opportunity to go back and coach at a place where I had a lot of success would be a dream come true, to be honest with you."

The question was whether Evans, who has won 193 games in nine years at NCAA Div. II UCO, would be given the opportunity to make that pitch to Castiglione. He got that chance Tuesday.

A source close to Evans said the interview lasted three hours, and did not appear to be cursory.

Castiglione has kept details of his 2½-week search under a tight lid. Some information, however, has begun to leak out.

Read more from this Tulsa World article at http://www.tulsaworld.com/sportsextra/OU/article.aspx?subjectid=92&articleid=20110331_92_0_NORMAN723114&rss_lnk=440




Track & Field Weekly Release: Five earn weekly awards - LSC Office
Five 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

MEN’S TRACK
Sergio Rios, Texas A&M University - Kingsville, So., Brownsville, Texas, James Pace HS
Rios continued his winning streak in the 400-meter hurdles last week at the LSU Tiger Relays. In his preliminary heat he clocked a career best 52.18 that ranks #2 in the nation. In the finals, he posted a time of 52.55 to win. He has now won the 400 hurdles at all four invitationals he has competed in this year. He also ran a leg on the 4x400-meter relay team that finished seventh, but had a time of 3:14.81 which is an NCAA Division II provisional mark.

CO-MEN’S FIELD
Austin Slone, Angelo State University, So., Friendswood, Texas, Friendswood HS
All Slone wanted was a clean jump at the North Texas Spring Classic (2/26). He scratched on five of six attempts in the long jump, but then posted the third-best triple jump in the nation and second in the Lone Star Conference with a personal-best of 50’4.5” on his very first attempt as he bested four Division I athletes to win the event. The mark was nearly a foot and a half longer than his previous provisional mark this season and the sophomore from Friendswood, Texas, hit two more marks that would have ranked among the top in Division II before the end of his series.

Jonathan Lindsey, West Texas A&M University, So., Strawn, Texas, Strawn HS
Lindsey set an NCAA Divisional II provisional mark in the discus throw last weekend with a toss of 171’ 11”, while taking first-place in the event at the CSU-Pueblo Open. The sophomore thrower beat out all of his competition, which included Division I athletes from Colorado and Wyoming and his mark was more than two meters further than his next closest competitors.

WOMEN’S TRACK
Elodie Barre’, University of the Incarnate Word, Fr., Yutz, France, Notre Dame Thionville HS
At the Victor Lopez Invitational at Rice University, Barre’ gained one provisional spot for the NCAA D-II National Championships and improved her status in another event. She ran a 24.37 in the 200-meters to finish second and earn a provisional standing, while setting a school record. Then, Barre’ went 18’ 9.75” in the long jump to improve on her previous 18’ 7”which was a provisional distance. In the 100-meters she ran a 12.13 to finish second and to just miss the provisional standard of 12.05. The 12.13 in the 100 was also just off the UIW mark of 12.12.

WOMEN’S FIELD
Jayda Spencer, Angelo State University, Jr., Del Rio, Texas, Comstock HS
Spencer hit a provisional mark in the discus with a season-best throw of 147’5” at the North Texas Spring Classic which was also the fifth-best throw in Division II this season. She finished fifth in the event, behind four Division I athletes, and was one of four Rambelles among the top six in the javelin, with her second-place throw of 119’2”. Spencer became the second Rambelle to hit a provisional mark in the discus and has the third-best throw in the Lone Star Conference this season.

Tennis Weekly Release: UIW's Ballenger, MSU's Lewis earn weekly awards - LSC Office
Incarnate Word's David Ballenger and Midwestern State's Abbie Lewis 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
MEN’S
David Ballenger, University of the Incarnate Word, Jr., Nacogdoches, Texas, Nacogdoches HS
Ballenger was undefeated in three matches last week. In two non-conference tilts against Newman and Dallas Baptist he played at No. 5 and 4 singles, respectively, and won both times in straight sets, losing three games in only one set. In the long LSC match at Southeastern Oklahoma, Ballenger was at No. 2 singles and won in straight sets again. In doubles action, he and his partner played at No. 2 all week with three victories.

WOMEN’S
Abbie Lewis, Midwestern State University, Fr., Wichita Falls, Texas, Rider HS
Lewis helped lead Midwestern State to a 3-0 week with a win over No. 20 Central Oklahoma at home and triumphs over Washburn and Northwest Missouri State on the road. She teamed with Leah Roberts to take all three matches at No. 2 doubles, then took both matches played at No. 4 by beating Anto Rossini of Central Oklahoma 6-3, 6-2, and Alyssa Castillo of Washburn 6-3, 6-2. MSU has won three straight and seven of their last nine matches.

FIRST SERVE
Cameron men’s and women’s tennis coach James Helvey garnered his 600th career win on Saturday after both Aggie teams picked up wins over St. Edward’s.

SWO - Signing Day Recap

Southwestern Oklahoma took a small step forward last year, winning two more games than in 2009.  There is plenty of room for improvement, as 6 of the team's 8 losses were by 20 or more points.  Going forward, things look brighter.  The Bulldogs were 3-3 against the LSC (which the 2011 will be much more comparable to), the team was 3-3, and had just bad game.

Offense - The offense was the least productive of any LSC team, averaging just 16.8 points and 288 yards per game, but that was an improvement of 4 points and 55 yards.  Against the LSC North , SWO did much better - 20.2 points and 354 yards per game.  Two linemen who received All-LSC North honors last fall return.  Stephen Speer (2nd team) and Kane Bryen (honorable mention) lead a group that must improve on an LSC-worst 33 sacks allowed. Also back is TE Ryan Corbin (honorable mention LSC North).  Corbin caught 36 passes for 389 yards and 2 TDs.  There should be open competition at QB.  Last year Dustin Stenta and Mike Van Deripe split time, but neither was particularly effective, combining to complete 200 of 408 passes for 1,926 yards, 9 TDs and 15 interceptions.  The top five recievers also return, led by Bruce Hatton who had 44 catches for 344 yards.  Leading rusher Dwight Pete (489 yards and 6 TDs) is gone, leaving D.C. Walker and Isaac Tucker as the top returning backs.

Defense - The defense was a bit better, but still allowed 34.7 points and 400 yards per game.  While not great, this was also an improvement of 1.5 points and 37 yards per game.  Again, the numbers versus the LSC North were not bad - 21.5 points and 323 yards per game.  The secondary was a strength for the Bulldogs.  Jonathan Darby (1st LSC North), Marvin Tribble (2nd LSC North), Clarence Laster, Anthony Laws, and Demarcus Miller all had strong junior seasons for SWO, though Shane Scott will be missed.  The linebacking corps will have to replace Jaron Burgess (2nd LSC North), but Preston Margain (HM LSC North), Ryan Feller and Bronze Withem do return.  Up front Henry Niutei (2nd LSC North) has moved on, leaving Cash Johnson (HM LSC North), Sean Gordon and Ozzie Donato as the leaders returning.

Special Teams - The two main specialists return.   Bruce Hatton (2nd LSC North) averaged 21.5 yards on kick returns and 8.6 on punt returns, while Colton Rainey was 7-14 on FGs and 22-22 on PATs, and averaged 32.4 on punts, with 13 downed inside the 20 and 6 fair catches.

Top 5 signees
WR Andre Simmons (Sr) - the #35 Rivals JC prospect in 2009, played one season at the University of Colorado
OL Dylan Laurens - ESPN Recruiting Insider ranks him as the #144 OG prospect, had DI offers
DL David Benton - a Dave Campbell top 300 selection, coaches feel he's a DI caliber player
LB Kale Sawatzky (Fr) - Multiple all state in high school, was OU's scout team player of the year last fall
LB Jim O'Brien (Jr)- was an all-conference pick at San Bernardino Valley College, leading the league in tackles

Other top signees
OL Kaleb Brigman
OL Coyt Butler
OL Dylan Fedor
DL Jake Doyle
DL Manako Tuifua (Jr)
LB Tyler George
LB J. Collier Ward
Ath Jabari Harris (Jr)


Oveall grade
The Bulldogs loaded up on the offensive line, signing more than 20 just for those slots.  Several will push for playing time right away, with the coaches having the luxury of redshirting a lot of youngsters for the future.  The defensive line and linebacker spots also got a big infusion of players, several of whom will be on the field this fall.  The coaches are also high on several high schoolers (that aren't mentioned above) down the road.  QB Ben Curtis, who split time at Saddleback, could push for playing time as well.  SWO had some big needs and did a nice job addressing the present, while still building for the future.  Grade A-

LSC Roundup 3-31

Mysterious ways send coach into odd place - Nick Gholson, Times Record News
When someone drops the "G-word" on you, the discussion is officially over. If God is telling you to do something, there is no need for old Nick to tell you not to do it. How can creation argue with his creator? How can a guy who can't explain the holy trinity debate someone who is the holy trinity? God knows everything. I can't figure out my new office telephone.

So when Grant McCasland suddenly tells everyone that God wants him at Abilene Christian, all I can really say is "adios" and pray that the voice he is hearing is the right one.

But that doesn't mean I have to like it.

In fact, I think this whole deal sucks — which I understand is pretty much the same way McCasland's wife felt when she heard the news. This coach spoiled us with two wonderful basketball seasons at Midwestern State. I knew it wouldn't last forever. Good coaches are going to get good job offers.

But Abilene Christian?

This has been college-basketball hell for a long time.


Abilene Christian University denies any move to Division I athletics - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
Once again, rumors are swirling that Abilene Christian University will be making the jump to Division I.

One rumor suggested that Grant McCasland, who was hired as men's basketball coach Wednesday, was lured away from Midwestern State on the promise that ACU would become Division I in two years.

McCasland said ACU made no such promise, and Jared Mosely, ACU's director of athletics, said the university has made no decision about going to Division I.

"Our stance on the Division I talks are exactly where they have been," Mosely said. "There's ongoing conversations, and we're taking a look at all options, but there's not been any decisions made or any projected decisions made, certainly no guarantees, as we go through this hiring process.

"There's just as much of a chance that we'll remain Division II forever. We've got to hire a coach where we're at right now, and I certainly feel coach McCasland gives us a great opportunity to quickly vault our program to the level we desire."

Unless ACU wanted to go Division I as an independent, the Wildcats must be invited into a Division I conference, and Mosely said no such offer has been made.

"There's been zero conversation with any conference or from any conference," he said.


Religious philosophy drew McCasland to ACU basketball - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
For Grant McCasland, the decision to leave Midwestern State for Abilene Christian University was as much about faith as it was about basketball.

"For me, people can say a lot about what's important to them. But when you make decisions based on your relationship to God and your family, that's where it's at for me," said McCasland, who was introduced as ACU's men's basketball coach Wednesday. "It's not that Midwestern State wasn't the right fit in that right time. But when God opens doors that fit your family, then we're going to walk through them. So that's where were at and why we're here, because it's an open door and opportunity for me."

And much of that right fit includes ACU's Christian philosophy. Now McCasland — the son of a Baptist minister — can be more open about his beliefs in his every day job — a job that just so happens to be coaching basketball


MSU’s athletic director is looking for ‘absolute best fit’ - Nick Gholson, Times Record News
Charlie Carr said “the sooner, the better” as he began his search for a new men’s head basketball coach on Wednesday.

But the Midwestern State athletic director still wants to take enough time to find the right fit in replacing Grant McCasland.

“I had 20 voice mails on my phone this morning from people who want to apply for this job,” Carr said, just a couple of hours after Abilene Christian University held a news conference announcing McCasland as its new head coach.

Carr also has two assistant coaches just down the hall seeking promotions.

“My plan is already in place. If you have done this as long as I have, you keep a list of people you are interested in,” he said. “But I would be a moron if I didn’t realize the caliber of excellence that has taken place over the last couple of years. That certainly enters into the equation.”

McCasland begins tenure at ACU - ACU Basketball

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Mustangs open South Central Region rankings at No. 2 - MSU Softball
Midwestern remains third in NFCA Division II Top 25 - MSU Softball
Wildcats Debut at No. 8 - ACU Softball
Lady Buffs Move to #15 in Newest NFCA Top 25 Poll - WTAM Softball


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DSU Sweeps Wildcats - ACU Baseball
Storm Baseball Splits with OBU - SOSU Baseball
Baseball Team Makes Debut in National Poll - SWO Baseball


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Rams Finish Practice No. 5 - ASU Football
SAN ANGELO - The Angelo State football team conducted its fifth practice of the spring at the LeGrand Sports Complex Wednesday.

The Rams continued work on their new offensive and defensive schemes during the two-hour practice session, which closed with a handful of touchdown hauls in the team portion by Angelo State's receivers. Mackenzie Hurt and Brian Ferrell each caught nifty passes in the end zone, and Dakarai Pecikonis danced thorugh the defense for a touchdown on a screen pass.

AngeloSports.com caught up with the Rams running backs after the two hour session.




Javelina Pro Day - TAMK Football
KINGSVILLE, TEXAS – Texas A&M-Kingsville hosted their annual football Pro Day on Wednesday at Javelina Stadium with scouts from nine National Football League franchises in attendance.

The professional scouts put 13 Javelinas and a pair of Angelo State football players through the NFL combine drills. Javelina linebacker Tressor Baptiste (New York, NY/Curtis HS) and wide receiver Ryan Lincoln (Bastrop/Bastrop HS) had the most impressive performances of all who participated.

“Coach (Bo Atterberry) told me there would be some scouts here, but I was surprised there were so many,” said Lincoln.

Lincoln graduated in December from Texas A&M-Kingsville and has been working out at Sports Performance in Dallas for the last six weeks where he was one of only two NCAA Division II athletes training for the combine with numerous Division I starts. “When I got there everyone thought I was from a Division I school because of how well I did in the drills,” said Lincoln. “The hard work I put in with the Javelinas has really prepared me well to take the next step.”

“Pro Day is a great thing,” said Javelina head coach Bo Atterberry. “It is one last chance for our guys to get looked at and the reason the scouts are here is because of what the guys did on the field in the fall.”

Atterberry also talked about what his current crop of Javelina players can learn from watching the Pro Day. “It shows our guys that you need be prepared physically and mentally when you are given the chance.”

(Participants included Delashaun Dean (limited to bench press due to knee rehabilitation), Gene Clayborne, Tressor Baptiste, Corey Robertson, Ryan Lincoln, Sifa Pinomi, Trent Perkins, DeIra Glover, Dondi Cooks, Charles Simmons, Kendrick Matthews, Josh Luck, Connell Davis, Fred Winborn, Garrett Tidwell and John Norcott).

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Incarnate Word's Banda enjoying transition from football player to student coach - San Antonio Express-News

New University of the Incarnate Word student coach Ephraim Banda knew his playing career was over the instant he went down with a knee injury in a game against Texas A&M-Kingsville last Sept. 25.

Running up the field to block on a kickoff return, Banda was hurt in a collision that left him with a badly damaged left knee.

“It was just a random, freak play,” Banda said. “It was a contact injury. It's kind of nice to know that it wasn't my body that broke down.”

A few weeks shy of his 29th birthday when he was injured, Banda has been the Cardinals' “elder statesman” since resuming his football career eight years after his senior season at Taft High School. Banda, a junior safety last year, has embraced the transition to coaching with the same passion that defined him as a player.

“It's hard work and a lot of hours, but I love it,” said Banda, who will coach UIW's strong safeties. “I have a new-found respect for coaches because of all the time they put into the job. I always knew I wanted to coach. That's why I came here.”



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ASU TRACK: Men's track team can go the distance - Nathan Wright, San Angelo Standard Times
A year ago, the Angelo State University women's outdoor track and field team made history with its first national championship in school history.

This season, it could be the men's team that has one of — if not the — best seasons in school history. If the preseason rankings by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association are any indication.

Those rankings, released Tuesday, have the Rams pegged at No. 4 in the country in Division II.


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Rambelles Show Improvement at Lady Otter Invite - ASU Golf

LSC Golf Weekly Release: ACU's Carpenter, WT's Sriyai earn weekly honors - LSC Office
Abilene Christian's Alex Carpenter and West Texas A&M's Hammerli Sriyai were tabbed Lone Star Conference Golfers of the Week for their efforts, league officials announced today.

Click here for the complete release

GOLFERS OF THE WEEK
MEN’S
Alex Carpenter, Abilene Christian University, So., Little Rock, Ark., Arkansas Baptist HS
Carpenter returned to collegiate action to win his 11th tournament in two years ... The sophomore took the Dallas Baptist University Invitational title shooting two-subpar rounds finishing at 5-under for a two-stroke victory … he shot a tournament low in Monday’s first round with a 65 as he finished at 205 in three rounds … Last week, Carpenter made his first PGA Tour appearance at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill where he narrowly missed the cut, after battling back to shoot 3-under in Friday’s second round.

WOMEN’S
Hammerli Sriyai, West Texas A&M University, Jr., Bangkok, Thailand
Sriyai led the Lady Buffs with a 153 (75-78) to place 14th overall at the Monterey Bay Lady Otter Invitational. The junior finished the tournament with 27 pars.

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Caldwell To The Rescue - UCO Tennis
Aggie Women Come Up Short Against Bronchos - CU Tennis

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

UCO - Signing Day Recap

The Bronchos took another step back in 2010. After sweeping the LSC North in 2008 (and 7-4 overall), UCO has posted records of 4-7 in 2009, and 2-9 last fall. On the positive side, three losses were by just one point and two others were by just one score.


Offense - This was not the problem last year. UCO was averaged 32.4 points and 383 yards per game last fall, scoring at least 20 points in every ball game. Headlining the returnees is Josh Birmingham. The LSC North freshman of the year rushed for 1,250 yards and 18 TDs and led the Bronchos with 49 receptions. QB Ethan Sharpe threw for 2,444 yards and 24 TDs as a sophomore. He did throw 13 interceptions, but just 9 over the final 10 games. Daniel Morrell, Tucker Holland and Dolphin Davis all return as well. Adding Birmingham's numbers in, they combined for 171 receptions for 1,981 yards and 18 TDs. They do lose two 2nd team LSC North selections up front (Jake Kessen and Cody Ellett), but return starters Justin Pruitt, Cody Hughes and Jacob Tigges.


Defense - This was a problem last year. The Bronchos gave up 37 points (13th in the LSC) and 429 yards (last in the LSC) per game. They do return 3 second team and 3 honorable mention LSC North performers from last year. Up front Herbert Byrd and Sam Moses are back at the tackle slots. They had a combined 91 tackles, with 10.5 for losses. Tucker Cason and Turner Troup will be back at linebacker. The top two tacklers on the team combined for 180 stops, with 13 for losses and 3 sacks. Despite the impressive tackle numbers, opposing teams were able to rush for 196 yards per game, and pick up 4.7 yards per carry. The top returnees to the secondary are Creadell Pennon, Randy Stanley and Keno Meadows. Pennon had 5 interceptions, while Meadows was third on the team in tackles with 87. Stanley finished fifth in tackles (53) and tied for second in interceptions (2).

Special Teams - Chris Robbs received second team LSC North recognition after a season that saw him convert 7-10 field goals and 41-44 PATs. Those three misses were costly, however. He had one blocked in OT at Incarnate Word, missed one in OT against Southeastern Oklahoma, and missed another with 1:26 to go against Texas A&M Commerce - all three games were one point losses. Robbs also averaged 55.8 yards per kickoff, with one touchback. Backup QB Landon Greve handled the punting duties and will be back as well. On 66 punts, he averaged 34.6 yards, with 18 downed inside the 20 yard line and 21 fair catches. All of the top returners are scheduled to be back as well. Creadell Pennon averaged 11.4 yards on punt returns, while Artrell Woods (22.6 avg) and Dante' Lipscomb (22.7 avg) split duties on kickoffs.


Top 5 signees
QB Dylan Warner - the #100 QB as rated by ESPN Recruiting Insider, threw for 3,585 yards and 37 TDs in his HS career, 5A All-Stater
OL Brock Enmeier - the #116 OG prospect by ESPN Recruiting Insider, the 6-4 300 pounder also lettered in basketball and baseball
WR Christian Hood - another all state selection, had 38 receptions for 726 yards and 6 TDs, also had 7 interceptions
Ath Xavier Williams - in his HS career at Mansfield Summit, Williams rushed for 1,600+ yards and 13 TDs, while also throwing for over 3,900 yards and 40 TDs.
DB Richard Stanley - younger brother of Randy, all state selection at Tulsa Union

Other top signees
OL Preston Paine
DE Kyle Aschenbrenner
DL Marty Northern
DL Deontay Wilson
LB Ashton Dandy

Oveall grade
The Bronchos were the hard luck team of the LSC last fall, and return the bulk on both sides of the ball. Still they added some nice talent, mostly for down the road, but a few players should be able to contribute some next year. Without any clear impact players, we can't grade this class too high. Grade C+

Breaking News - ACU Basketball News

LSC Scoop Exclusive

It's not very often that a coach leads his basketball team to back to back Elite Eight appearances.  It's even more rare that such a coach would leave his school for a conference rival which has not qualified for the conference tournament in 3 seasons, and has a win-loss record of 27-52 over that time frame.  But that is exactly what occurred when Grant McCasland agreed to accept the head coaching position at Abilene Christian University after two very successful seasons at rival Midwestern State University.

It's only natural that rumors and speculation will circulate in an effort to explain the move.  In this case, the rumor is that ACU told McCasland that they intend to move from NCAA Division II to NCAA Division I in the near future.

We asked Abilene Christian athletic director Jared Mosely about that rumor.  He issued the following statement.

None of the candidates, including Coach McCasland, were given any promises in regards to our divisional affiliation or any timelines that would indicate a move is imminent. All of the candidates that we have interviewed through this process were aware of our campus conversations and discussions regarding Divisional affiliation and inquired where we were at in the process. We have made it clear to everyone who has asked that we are continuing internal evaluation of our athletics program, but that no decisions have or will be made any time soon regarding our divisional affiliation. The statement released last night is pure speculation on someone's behalf.

Our goal through this process was to find a quality coach who can restore the competiveness of the program and put us in a position to compete with the best programs in all of Division II. Coach McCasland certainly has demonstrated success in each of his stops and we are excited for the vision and passion in which he will use to rebuild our program.

So while it is true that ACU is exploring their options, according to Jared Mosely, nothing has been promised or decided at this time.
- LSC Scoop

LSC Roundup 3-30

Feasibility report on ENMU's possible conference switch near completion - Clovis News Journal
A committee report studying a possible move for Eastern New Mexico University athletics from the Lone Star Conference to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference is expected to be on the desk of university president Steven Gamble by the end of the week.

ENMU was invited by the RMAC to consider the change earlier this year. An “RMAC feasibility committee” headed by Gene Smith, an associate professor of accounting and the faculty athletic representative, has been busy preparing and tweaking its report and expects to have it to Gamble by Friday.

The committee includes a variety of people associated with ENMU, including faculty, coaches and athletes.

“We were asked to study the feasibility (of a change),” Smith said. “Our report goes to Dr. Gamble, and then he will be making a recommendation to the Board of Regents.”

Athletic director Jeff Geiser said that whatever happens, ENMU has benefited from the study.

“The whole process has been good for Eastern,” he said. “It’s allowed us to scrutinize the problems we have in the athletic department.”

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MSU coach heads to ACU - Nick Gholson, Times Record News
Midwestern State is losing its men's head basketball coach. Not only that, the school is losing Grant McCasland to a team in its own conference and own division.

McCasland, who has taken the Mustangs to two straight Elite Eights, has agreed to accept the head coaching position at Abilene Christian University.

ACU plays in the Lone Star Conference South Division with MSU. A news conference has been scheduled today at ACU.

Midwestern has also scheduled an afternoon news conference to discuss the search for McCasland's replacement. MSU assistant coach Nelson Haggerty is expected to be a candidate for the job.

McCasland met with his team Tuesday evening to tell them he was leaving.

The coach did not return telephone calls, and no one in the Midwestern State athletic department was available to comment on why he chose ACU over MSU.

But in an ACU press release, McCasland mentioned the environment at the school played a part in his decision.

"When God tells you to go, you go," McCasland said. "When God has a plan for your life and He opens doors that make that plan evident, then that's where you go because we're called to follow Him. The driving force behind the decision to make this move was to make sure we were doing it for the right reasons and that it was a good fit for our family. I believe this is absolutely the right fit for me and my family."

It is rumored that the Abilene school has told McCasland that it intends to jump from NCAA Division II to NCAA Division I in the next couple of years. After replacing Jeff Ray as head coach of the Mustangs in the spring of 2009, McCasland had instant success. His first team went 31-3, won a second straight LSC title and won its first South Central Region championship.


WT's Cooper finalist for coach of year - Lance Lahnert, Amarillo Globe News
West Texas A&M men's head basketball coach Rick Cooper is a finalist for the Clarence "Big House" Gaines Division II Coach of the Year award.

Cooper is one of 17 finalists for the award, which will be presented Friday in Houston.

Cooper earned his 500th career victory this past season. Cooper, who finished his 18th season at WT, led the Buffs to 23-7 record and a No. 23 national ranking.


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Scorpions Top Hoggies, 6-0 - TAMK Baseball
Thompson Cycle Powers Hounds Past University of the Southwest - ENMU Baseball
JAGUARS BITE CARDINALS, 8-3 - UIW Baseball
No. 27 Texans survive weather, Yellow Jackets in 5-2 victory - TSU Baseball
#18 Buffs Take Two from Aggies on the Road - WT Baseball


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CARDINALS GET NO-HIT - UIW Softball

Softball Weekly Release: Crossover Tournament set for this week - LSC Office
The Lone Star Conference Crossover Tournament will be played this week in San Angelo, Texas. The 2011 version will be played April 1-2-3 at the Texas Bank Sports Complex. The annual three-day event started in 2000 to guarantee teams games against opposite division opponents. The South Division is 109-76 all-time against its North counterparts. Angelo State and Texas A&M-Kingsville lead the South teams with records of 21-5 and 20-9, while Central Oklahoma and Midwestern State pace the North at 20-8 and 12-5, respectively.

MSU continues to hold the top spot in the North Division standings at 5-1, with Southeastern Oklahoma and Cameron sharing second place (5-4). ASU has taken the lead in the South at 7-2, with Abilene Christian behind them at 6-3.

LSC softball teams are 283-185-2 overall, with a 157-104-1 record in the South and 126-81-1 in the North this season. The squads are currently 82-34 combined versus Heartland Conference squads and 38-35 against the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association, which are the other two conferences in the NCAA South Central Region.

Click here for the complete release
QUICK HITS

Angelo State was ranked No. 1 for the fourth straight week in last week’s NFCA Division II Top 25 poll.
Midwestern State matched its highest national ranking in program history when the Mustangs moved to No. 3 in last week’s NFCA Division II Top 25. MSU is off to its best start through 33 games at 30-3 bettering last year’s 29-4 mark.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
CO-NORTH HITTER
Emily Kennemer, East Central University, JR, First Baseman, Mesquite, Texas, Mesquite HS
Kennemer batted .579 (11-for-19) with two homers, three doubles and nine runs batted in as ECU went 3-2 in five games this past week. Kennemer finished with a 1.053 slugging percentage to go with a .579 on-base percentage in the five contests. She homered in both ends of a home doubleheader sweep of St. Edward’s on Monday. Against SEU, she was 4-for-8 with two homers, one double and eight RBIs. Kennemer was 7-for-11 in a three-game series at Cameron, including a perfect 4-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI in the series finale, a 3-2 Lady Tiger victory.

Kim Jerrick, Midwestern State University, FR, Catcher, Belle Plaine, Kan., Belle Plaine HS
Jerrick clubbed home runs in three consecutive at bats to help the No. 3-ranked Mustangs to an MSU Invitational titles with wins over Delta State and St. Edward’s Sunday afternoon. The freshman from Belle Plaine, Kan. connected for a sixth inning grand slam to close out Delta State 10-0 before blasting successive two-run homers in the first and second innings of a 7-0 victory over St. Edward’s. Jerrick hit .444 (4-for-9) with three homers and drove eight runs while scoring six times as the Mustangs went 3-1 in tournament play. Jerrick, who is second in NCAA II with a .587 on-base percentage, also drew four walks and stole a base.

NORTH PITCHER
Brittney Tanner, Midwestern State University, SR, Pitcher, Burkburnett, Texas, Burkburnett HS
Tanner delivered her Lone Star Conference leading eighth shutout while going 2-0 in the circle to help the No. 3-ranked Mustangs to an MSU Invitational title last weekend. The senior from Burkburnett permitted one run on six hits while notching 19 strikeouts and five walks in 14 innings for a 0.50 ERA in tournament play. Tanner notched 11 strikeouts and three-hit St. Mary’s for a 2-1 win Friday before weaving a 3-hit shutout in a 7-0 victory Sunday afternoon over St. Edward’s.

SOUTH HITTER
Kaycee Bryan, Texas A&M University - Kingsville, JR, CF, Splendora, Texas, Splendora HS
Bryan had an unbelievable weekend at Eastern New Mexico. She went 2-for-4 with a double and scored the game-winning run in the seventh inning of a 10-3 win in game 1. In the second game, she went 4-for-4 with three RBI’s, three runs, two triples, a double, a walk and two stolen bases, including a steal of home in a 22-5 win. In the series finale, she went 2-for-4 with two runs and a double in an 8-3 loss. She had a streak of six consecutive at bats with hits while pounding three doubles and two triples for a 1.250 slugging percentage overall.

SOUTH PITCHER
Claire Molina, Angelo State University, JR, Pitcher, San Bernardino, Calif., Colton HS
Molina earned the decision in all three games against Tarleton State last week, posting a 2-1 record. In game one, Molina threw 6.0 innings allowing just one earned run and striking out seven to earn a 6-3 victory. She came on in relief in game two, tossing the last 1.2 innings without surrendering a hit and tallying her second win. Her final outing was in game three, and the southpaw entered in the first inning after teammate Jessica Newsome failed to record an out. Down 3-0, the junior tossed 6.0 innings allowing just five hits and surrendering just one run, however, the TexAnns earned a 4-3 win. Molina is now 13-1 on the year and 5-1 in conference.

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ACU Opens Outdoor at No. 1 - ACU Track
Lofton Named Coach of the Year - ACU Track
Men’s Track and Field Debuts at No. 4 in USTFCCCA Division II Poll - ASU Track
Men's Track 17th in Preseason Poll - TAMK Track


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Wildcats Earn 2nd Spring Win - ACU Golf
Mustangs improve in final round of DBU Patriot Classic - MSU Golf
Rambelles Show Improvement at Lady Otter Invite - ASU Golf
Aggie Linksters Conclude Play in Dallas and California - CU Golf
Creel Sparks Bronchos - UCO Men's Golf
UCO Rallies For Sixth Place Finish - UCO Women's Golf
LEASOR NOTCHES HIS FOURTH TOP-20 FINISH AT GRAND CANYON INVITATIONAL - TAMC Golf
Buffs Finish 12th at DBU Invitational - WT Men's Golf
Lady Buffs Finish 10th at Lady Otter Invitational - WT Women's Golf


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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

MSU to lose head basketball coach

From the Times Record News - Nick Gholson

Midwestern State is losing its men’s head basketball coach.

Not only that, the school is losing Grant McCasland to a team in its own conference and own division.

It is rumored that the Abilene school has told McCasland that it intends to jump from NCAA Division II to NCAA Division I in the next couple of years.

for the complete story go to the Times Record News


ACU HIRES FORMER MIDWESTERN STATE HEAD COACH AS NEW BASKETBALL COACH - ACU Sports
ABILENE – ACU director of athletics Jared Mosley has made it clear that he wants the school's men's basketball program to pull itself out of the bottom half of the Lone Star Conference and begin playing at a championship level.

Late Tuesday, he and the program took a huge step toward both of those goals when Mosley tabbed Midwestern State head coach Grant McCasland as the 15th head men's basketball coach in ACU history. McCasland took the ACU job just seven days after the Mustangs appeared in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight for the second straight season. McCasland will be introduced to local media, the ACU family and the Abilene community in a press conference at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday at the Hunter Welcome Center on the ACU campus.

"I'm extremely excited to welcome Grant, Cecelia and their family to Abilene and to ACU," Mosley said. "Grant embodies everything we set out to find in our next head coach. He has been able to establish himself as an excellent head coach, recruiter and leader of young men. His heart for impacting the lives of his players beyond just the game of basketball is truly remarkable and will be key to us building the nationally competitive program we desire here at ACU."

McCasland is one of the most widely respected young coaches in NCAA basketball, having led the Mustangs to back-to-back Elite Eight appearances in his only two seasons at Midwestern State. In 2009-10, he led Midwestern State to the Lone Star Conference South Division champion, the LSC Post-Season Tournament championship, the NCAA Division II South Central Region championship and a spot in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight.

In the just-completed 2010-11 season, McCasland’s Mustangs finished 25-9, won the NCAA Division II South Central Region title for the second straight season and again reached the NCAA Division II Elite Eight. The Mustangs were knocked out of the national tournament in the first round with a 70-64 loss to eventual national champion Bellarmine.

McCasland was the LSC South Division Coach of the Year and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) South Central Region Coach of the Year in 2010.

In two seasons at Midwestern State, McCasland led the Mustangs to a combined 56-12 mark. In that same two-year period, the Wildcats were a combined 17-36, including 2-24 in the LSC South Division. McCasland, however, is excited about not only the opportunity to turn ACU into a winner, but also by the environment he'll be a part of at ACU.

"When God tells you to go, you go," McCasland said. "When God has a plan for your life and He opens doors that make that plan evident, then that's where you go because we're called to follow Him. The driving force behind the decision to make this move was to make sure we were doing it for the right reasons and that it was a good fit for our family. I believe this is absolutely the right fit for me and my family."

McCasland is taking over a program that has had just one winning season since 1998-99 and made just one appearance in the Lone Star Conference Post-Season Tournament since the 1997-98 season. ACU's only winning season in the last 12 campaigns was the 2007-08 season that saw ACU finish 20-9 in former head coach Jason Copeland's third season.

Despite those numbers, McCasland is looking forward to the challenge of rebuilding the ACU program into a championship contender.

"I was able to work for special people at Midwestern State, and when you talk about (ACU president) Dr. Phil Schubert and Jared Mosley, you're talking about a special combination," McCasland said. "When you have great support you can win championships, and that will be our goal at ACU. I agree to an extent that this is a building process, but as a competitor, building a program is something that motivates me. The biggest part of building a program is to build it as quickly as possible, and to honor God with the way we go about doing the job. I want to build this program off of the foundation that's already been laid in the athletic program. I'm excited about ACU because I think we can do really special things."

Mosley said ACU's recent struggles in men's basketball made it imperative that the program add someone with head coaching experience as its next leader.

"It was critical that we go out and find an established head coach with a proven track record of success at the college level," he said. "And certainly no one can argue with the success Grant has had in his seven years as a head coach. I'm really excited for the young men in our program and about the vision Grant has for the future of Wildcat basketball."

Prior to his tenure at Midwestern State, McCasland spent five highly successful seasons as the head coach at Midland College, taking over the program prior to the 2004-05 season from former ACU head coach Shanon Hays. McCasland was Hays' assistant coach for the 2003-04 campaign, helping the Chaparrals to a 30-6 record and a spot in the National Junior College Athletics Association national semifinals.

In his first season as the head coach in 2004-05, the Chaps won the Region V championship and advanced to the NJCAA Elite Eight. In 2006-07, the Chaps finished 29-8 and won the national championship, and in McCasland’s final season in Midland (2008-09), the Chaps finished 33-4 and lost in the national championship game. In his five seasons at Midland, McCasland racked up a record of 143-32 (.819 winning percentage) and earned district, region and national Coach of the Year honors.

Prior to his six seasons at Midland College, McCasland spent two seasons (2001-02 and 2002-03) as the assistant coach at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling Colo. Prior to those two seasons he spent two seasons (1999-2000 and 2000-01) as the Director of Basketball Operations on James Dickey's staff at Texas Tech.

McCasland, 34, earned Big 12 Academic all-Big 12 honors as a four-year walk-on guard for Harry Miller at Baylor University. He graduated from Baylor in 1998 with degrees in entreneurship and management. He received his master’s from Texas Tech in 2001.

McCasland is married to Cecelia (Dillon), and they have four children.

ECU - Signing Day Recap

East Central enjoyed an even bigger turnaround than Northeastern State in 2011.  The Tigers ended a 16 game losing streak in week four and won 5 of their final 8 games, tying Northeastern State for the LSC North title.

Offense - The Tigers improved from a dismal average of 13 points and 208 yards in 2009, to 22.5 points and 308 yards per game in 210.  They return most of the top skill players - QB Tyler Vanderzee, who threw for 2,461 yards and 15 TDs, RBs Charles Opeseyitan (427 yds rushing) and Dominique Massengill (238 yds rushing), WRs Zack Patteson (809 yds receiving), Tyra Waits (253 yds rec), Chris Espinoza (team high 5 TD receptions) and Cleotha Euwins (249 yds, 4 TDs receiving).   Up front, four of the five starters return, led by Carlos Savala, Chad Roark, and Desmund Farris.  Opeseyitan and Massengill were 2nd team LSC North selections, while Nall, Farris and Savala were honorable mentions.  In a voting quirk, despite only garnering HM honors, Savala was named the LSC North offensive lineman of the year.  ECU will miss OG Jon Ramos who received HM honors last year.

Defense - The defense allowed 19 more yards per game last season than in 2009, but in true "bend but don't break" style, gave up 5 points fewer per game.  Up front, Armonty Bryant (LSC North Defensive Lineman of the Year and a 1st LSC North selection) and Lonnell Rice (HM LSC North) return.  Bryant led the LSC with 13.5 sacks and was second with 19 tackles for loss.  LBs Tyler McGrew, Jameel Whitney, Kerel James, and Aireus Ervin are all back.  McGrew and Whitney were 2nd Team LSC North selections, while Jame and Ervin received honorable mention nods. They combined for 156 tackles, 19 for losses and 6 sacks.  Dontae Smith (1st LSC North), Norris Wrenn (2nd LSC North), Austin Daniels (HM LSC North) and Markell Walker (HM LSC North) are all scheduled to return to the secondary.   This quartet combined for 238 tackles, 14 interceptions and 21 passes broken up.  DE Travis Buchanan (2nd LSC North, 4.5 sacks, 8 TFL) will be missed on the defensive line.

Special Teams - K Matt Berry (HM LSC North) returns for his senior season.  He was a perfect 28-28 on PATs, but only 8-15 on FGs with a long of 39 yards.  On kickoffs, he averaged 59.8 yards per kick, with 12 touchbacks.  Markell Walker was the leading punt returner, averaging 9.4 yards with one TD.  The three top kick returners are back as well.  Not coming back will be punter Ryan Massengale, who averaged 39.6 yards per punt as a senior last year.

Top 5 signees 
QB Cody Miller - ESPN Recruiting Insider has Miller ranked #68, while Scout pegged him #106 nationally
RB Chad Winbush - rushed for 1,015 yard and 8 TDs at Trinity Valley CC in 2009 and signed with Alabama-Birmingham after JC
WR Jordan Robinson - All State selection, 54 receptions for 1,048 yards and 14 TDs
WR DeVonta McCully - All Stater with good speed
LB Jerico Rogers - OU transfer, former OK All State

Other top signees
WR Eric Granado
WR Adrian Woodard
DE Randy Armstrong
DE Carlos Warren - 26 tackles, 4 TFL, 3.5 sacks in just 6 games at NE Mississippi CC
LB Jamaal Whitney
DB Marcus Caddell

Overall
The Tigers added some really nice pieces, especially on the offensive side of the ball.  Barring injury, Miller won't be needed this fall.  Winbush should push for starting time right away, and Robinson and McCully should see the field as well.  Defensively, there weren't big holes to fill, but there are a couple of additions who will likely contribute right away. Grade B

Complete List and overview.

LSC Roundup 3-29

Williams Earns Top Division II Honor - UCO Basketball
PINEHURST, N.C. (March 28) – Central Oklahoma's Dauntae Williams capped off a sensational senior season Monday with his selection as NCAA Division II Player of the Year by Basketball Times.

The versatile 6-foot-4 guard from Missouri City, Texas averaged 20.9 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.3 steals in leading the Bronchos to one of their best-ever seasons in 2010-11.

UCO won a school-record 30 games, finishing 30-4 while winning the Lone Star Conference North Division and LSC Tournament titles en route to making it to the Division II Sweet 16 before falling in the finals of the South Central Regional.

“This is a great honor for Dauntae and one he's very deserving of,” UCO coach Terry Evans said. “He can do about anything on the court and we asked him to carry a big load for us this season.”

Williams was LSC North Division Player of the Year for the second consecutive year, took MVP honors in the LSC Tournament and was an all-tournament pick in the South Central Regional.

A six-time LSC North Division Offensive Player of the Week winner during the season, Williams finished fifth on UCO's single-season points list with 689. He ranks 18th on the school's career scoring list with 1,276 points, which is fourth-best among two-year players.

Williams becomes the third UCO player to earn Division II Player of the Year honors, joining Alex Wright (1993) and Joe Newton (1998).

Williams was joined on the first-team All-America list by Gage Daye of Bloomfield, Justin Keenan of Ferris State, Anthony Moody of Mary and Darryl Webb of Indiana (Pa.). Midwestern State's Chris Hagen was the only other LSC player on one of the three All-America teams as a third-team selection.

Hagan gains Division II Bulletin All America honorable mention - MSU Basketball
WICHITA FALLS, Texas - Midwestern State's Chris Hagan garnered All-America honorable mention Monday afternoon by the Division II Bulletin.

Hagan led the Mustangs to a second consecutive trip to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight after leading the South Central Region while ranking 17th in NCAA Division II at 21.4 points per game.

The senior from Houston earned LSC South Division Player of the Year honors became the eighth two-year player in MSU history to amass 1,000 points and stands fourth in the all-time two-year scorers list with 1,188 points standing behind a pair of NAIA All Americans in Tony Forch (1,391 points) and Henry Crawford (1,320).

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ECU football team to kick off 2011 spring drills Monday - Bob Forrest, Ada Evening News
Last year was one of dramatic change for the East Central University football program. And to hear head coach Tim McCarty’s take on things, the changes have just begun.

Coming off a first-ever Lone Star Conference North Division title in its final season as a member of the LSC, ECU will be a charter member of the new Great American Conference beginning this fall. In preparation for his team’s newest challenge, McCarty spent the winter huddling with his assistant coaches to ensure that his squad accomplishes everything possible during the third spring camp of his second tour as ECU’s head coach.

“We’ve got to get better at our overall excecution as a team,” said McCarty, who expects to welcome “about 75” players when spring practice opens Monday afternoon. “We have several areas of concern where we have to improve, and the glaring one is just overall team execution.

“During the offseason we looked at how BAD a job we did in certain areas,” he explained. Nothing was swept under the rug. Everything was examined.”

Spring training starting to be old hat for Incarnate Word football program - David Flores, KENS 5 TV
The University of the Incarnate Word football team was so green when it had its first spring workouts in school history two years ago, Coach Mike Santiago joked that most of his players weren’t even shaving yet.

After experiencing the usual growing pains of a start-up program in their first two seasons, the Cardinals have outgrown their peach fuzz and look nothing like the predominantly freshman team they were in 2009.

Football isn’t so new anymore at UIW, which started spring training last week.

“It’s kind of like watching your kids grow up,” Santiago said. “People that don’t see them for a long time walk in and say they look different. That’s what other people tell me about our players. They say, ‘Boy, they look different.’ To me, they look the same because I see them every day.

“But I’m trusting the fact that we’re stronger and bigger. We’re growing up. Hey, we have a junior class now.”

Rams Put Full Pads on in Fourth Spring Practice - ASU Football
SAN ANGELO - For the first time this spring Angelo State football players wore their full pads through practice as the team conducted its fourth session at the LeGrand Sports Complex Monday afternoon.

AngeloSports.com caught up with the safeties afterwards to get their take on practice.



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No. 8 Huskies Down UCO - UCO Baseball
Texans ranked No. 27 in recent Collegiate Baseball national poll - TSU Baseball


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Mustangs struggle through first day at DBU Patriot Invitational - MSU Golf
Bronchos Struggle In California - UCO Women's Golf
Bronchos Trail ACU In DBU Tourney - UCO Men's Golf
ACU Holds Strong Lead at DBU - ACU Golf
Czarnecki, McCormick Lead Way for Belles in California - ASU Golf
A&M-COMMERCE COMPLETES OPENING DAY AT THUNDERBIRD INVITATIONAL - TAMC Golf
Lady Buffs Tied for Fourth After Day One of Monterey Bay Lady Otter Invitational - WT Women's Golf
Buffs 11th after Day One of DBU Patriot Invitational - WT Men's Golf


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A PAIR OF PROVISIONALS TO BARRE’ - UIW Women's Track
JARABA-HEFFNER CLOSE IN TWO RACES - UIW Men's Track
Dominguez qualifies for nationals with performance at Hardin Simmons Invitational - TSU Women's Track


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2011 USA Gymnastics National Championships qualifiers announced - TWU Gymnastics

Monday, March 28, 2011

NSU - Signing Day Recap

Northeastern State took a great leap forward last season, sharing the LSC North title and posting their first winning season since 2000. They were in playoff contention until dropping two of their last three games. They do have some holes to fill, but the core of the team are scheduled to return.

Offense - The Riverhawks averaged 25 points and 329 yards per game (both 9th in the LSC) an improvement of 5 points and 50 yards per game.  Returning starters include QB Kenny Davis (2,068 yards, 20 TDs, 6 Ints), the LSC North receiver of the year, Trey McVey (58-887 and 12 TDs), offensive linemen Colton Ables, Chris Cherry (both 1st team LSC North), Ben Beam, Caleb Tripp, Phillip Boyd and Stephen Anderson.  Also look for youngsters RB Steven Hopper and WR Daryn Alves, who contributed as freshmen in 2010.  They will need to replace the top two running backs, Josh Lewis and Prince McKinney as well as WR Ben Randle and TE Logan Cawyer.

Defense -  The defense did not fare as well in 2010, allowing 31 points and 397 yards per game.  That was slightly better than 2009, when NSU gave up 34 points and 406 yards on average. The Riverhawks lose first team LSC North DT Billy Blackard and LB Johnny Evans (LSC North Linebacker of the year), honorable selections DE Caom Hansen and safety Nick Dobler, as well as LB Shantel Mackey and DB Troy Adams. Top returnees are CB Nate Robinson (1st LSC North, 4 Ints and 10 passes broken up) DE Travis Boswell, LB Langston Jones (both HM LSC North), S Ryan Keenom, LBs Donald Dangerfield, Jack Gray and Gus Jones.

Special teams - K Drew Patton had a good freshman season, converting 12-17 field goals, including a 44 yarder, and 22-23 on PATs. He averaged 53 yards on kickoffs, with 4 touchbacks. He was named to the LSC North second team. P Cody Lenz was a first team LSC North selection as a junior. He averaged 41.4 yards per punt, with 12 going for 50+ yards and 14 downed inside the opponents 20 yard line. Nate Robinson averaged 22.7 yards per kickoff return, including a 95 yard TD, and was third in the LSC in punt returns with a 11.2 yard average. He was named first team LSC North as a return specialist.


Top 5 signees
WR Chris Smith, Fayetteville Arkansas - a switch in high schools could have led to DI schools overlooking him.
RB Tavares Sharp-Rhodes, Feather River College - Dominic Rhodes younger brother, could get carries right away with departure of leading rusher Josh Lewis
QB Thor Long, Sherman Texas - could be top backup for Kenny Davis, threw for 32 TDs and almost 3,000 yards last fall
LB Talris Brown, Coffeyville CC - JUCO All-American, originally signed with Troy our of high school
DB Victor Johnson, Oklahoma State - played in 25 games for the Cowboys and had 52 tackles.

Others to watch
QB Hans Cook - Kilgore JC - more depth at QB
WR Andre Taylor - East Mississippi CC - can contribute as a punt returner and wide receiver.
OL Mitch Harrison - Garden City CC - should compete for playing time on the line.
OL Jordan Karriman - Originally signed with Louisiana-Monroe after an  all-conference career at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M.
DB Kyler Harris - Jenks HS - All-State safety can also play wide reciever.

Overall - Coach Evans did a nice job, addressing immediate needs at RB and WR offensively, and DB and LB on defense.  Depth at QB, both immediately and down the road and a couple of OL who should be able to add depth if not push the returning starters.  The one area that concerns us is the defensive line.  They lost their best two linemen, and it's unclear if any of the additions are ready to fill the void. Grade A

Link to complete list of signings and bios.

LSC Scoop - Afternoon Update 3-28

LSC Baseball Weekly Release (03/28/11)


The Lone Star Conference baseball season continues with a full slate of league series this week. Southeastern Oklahoma leads the conference with a 13-5 record, while Southwestern Oklahoma, Tarleton State and Incarnate Word are each tied for second place at 15-6.

LSC baseball teams are 193-172 overall this season. Combined the squads are currently 17-13 versus Heartland Conference teams and 5-3 against the Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletics Association, which are the other two conferences in the NCAA South Central Region.

Complete Release

QUICK HITS
• Cameron’s Chase Larsson broke the NCAA Division II consecutive games with a home run record this week with long balls in nine straight games to top the previous mark of seven.
• Angelo State committed 14 errors in game one against Tarleton State to set a new NCAA Division II record.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
HITTERS
Chase Larsson, Cameron University, JR, CF, Vancouver, British Columbia
Larsson set an NCAA Division II record this week for the most consecutive games with a home run as well as being one of two powerful offensive threats at the plate for the Aggies. Larsson has now homered in nine consecutive games, besting Central Missouri’s Ben Slemmer 1998 record of seven. Over that span, Larsson has also tied teammate Kenny Held for the most home runs in the country with 16. On the weekend, Larsson was 5-of-10 at the plate and all but one hit was a home run. His only ball that stayed in the park was a stand up two bagger. He added 7 runs and 10 RBIs for the Aggies while striking out just once and stealing one base.

Zane Hensley, Tarleton State University, SR, 1B, Florence, Texas, Florence HS
Hensley led the Texans to a series sweep of Angelo State last week with his .583 average and six RBI’s, as Tarleton improves to 20-7 on the season. Hensley started off the series on Friday with a 3-for-5 performance, recording a pair of RBI’s, a pair of doubles and three runs scored. He answered the following day with a 2-for-3 showing and two more RBI’s in the first game and a 2-for-4 outing, two RBI’s, and a home run in the second game. The first baseman for the Texans also collected 28 putouts without giving up a single error all week.

PITCHERS
Heath Wyatt, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, SR, P, Searcy, Ark., Searcy HS
Heath Wyatt picked up a pair of saves in helping Southeastern secure a sweep of conference-rival Central Oklahoma over the weekend. He moved into the saves lead in the conference by picking up his seventh and eighth of the year, tossing a total of 5.1 scoreless innings and allowing just three hits, while striking out 10 of the 16 outs he earned. UCO hit just .167 against him as he posted a walks and hits per innings pitched (WHIP) of less 1.000 and averaged nearly two strikeouts per inning.

Ryan Salt, Tarleton State University, SR, SP, Colorado Springs, Colo., Air Academy HS
Salt had his best performance of the season Saturday in an 11-1 win over Angelo State. Salt tossed all seven innings, allowing just a single run on two hits while striking out four. Holding the Rams to a .095 average, the senior righty gave the Texans one of their three wins over ASU this past weekend, helping Tarleton to improve their Lone Star Conference record to 15-6 on the year.


OTHER TOP PERFORMERS
Ryan Pruitt, Eastern New Mexico University, made two relief appearances against East Central and limited the Tigers to just one hit over 2.2 innings with two strikeouts and no walks.

Aaron Oliver, Abilene Christian University, helped ACU to a three-game sweep of Northeastern State in Lone Star Conference action last weekend. ... Oliver collected 7 hits in 11 at-bats and was on base a total of 11 times in 15 plate appearances. ... Hitting out of the No. 3 spot in the lineup instead of the leadoff position, Oliver drove in a team-best seven runs and scored a team-high six runs in the sweep of the RiverHawks.

Hector Flores, University of the Incarnate Word, batted in six runs on his five hits this weekend against Cameron University, with two of those hits going to the wall for doubles. The San Antonio native also played error-free in the field as the Cardinals took 2-of-3 against one of the best teams in the nation at hitting balls over the outfield fence.

Justin Miller, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, helped supply the offense and some defense en route to Southeastern’s three-game sweep of conference rival Central Oklahoma. Miller led the team with four hits and five runs. He batted .400 on the weekend and posted a .538 on-base percentage. He also chipped in an RBI hitting out of the leadoff spot. He posted a team-best four steals over the series and moved into the top-5 in the league in steals. He also flashed the leather in center field going a perfect 9-for-9 on fly-balls including a trio of diving grabs in the series opener.

Ryan Cook, Texas A&M University - Kingsville, was outstanding all week long. He blitzed LSC rival West Texas A&M over the weekend in leading the Javs to a 2-1 series win. In the opening game, he went 3-for-5 with three RBI’s, a double and his first career homer in a 10-7 win. In the team’s 10-2 loss he managed to go 2-for-4 with a stolen base while scoring both of the team’s runs. In the series finale, he drove in three more runs with another three-hit performance in a 17-7 win. He scored four runs, drove in six, stole a base and had a .929 slugging percentage for the week.

Luis QuiƱones, Eastern New Mexico University, turned in a strong series at East Central, hitting safely in all three games, with multiple-hits over the last two. In each of the final two games, he batted two-for-three with two RBIs.

Justin Gibson, East Central University, batted .615 (8-for-13) with one double, four runs batted in and three runs scored as ECU took two of three home games from Eastern New Mexico. His best performance came in the series opener, a 13-2 win, as he went a team-best 4-for-5 with the double, three RBIs and a run scored. He was also 2-for-4 with one RBI and a pair of scored runs in a 9-7 win and was 2-for-4 in the series finale, a 17-7 loss. Gibson had a .600 on-base percentage and .692 slugging percentage while stealing a perfect three bases in three attempts.

LSC Roundup 3-28

Tarleton sweeps Angelo State in season series - TSU Baseball
Angelo State Drops a Pair to Tarleton State - ASU Baseball
ACU completes sweep of 'Hawks - ACU Baseball
CARDINALS WRAP UP SERIES WITH 20-6 WIN - UIW Baseball
Baseball: Cameron Baseball Unable to Match No. 25 Incarnate Word in Series Finale - CU Baseball
Javelinas Take Series Against #18 Buffs with Saturday Split - WT Baseball
Javs and Buffs Split a Doubleheader - TAMK Baseball
Diamond Greyhounds Fall to #25 St. Cloud State - ENMU Baseball
Hounds Split Final Two Games at East Central - ENMU Baseball
Bronchos Drop Two - UCO Baseball
SW Wins in 10 - NSU Baseball
Baseball Breaks out Brooms on Bronchos - SOSU Baseball
Baseball Completes Sweep of Panhandle - SWO Baseball

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Belles Split Doubleheader with Tarleton - ASU Softball
TexAnns split with No. 1 Rambelles - TSU Softball
Jerrick blasts three homers, #3 Mustangs claim MSU Invitational title - MSU Softball
UIW Drops ACU on Late Homerun - ACU Softball
#11 Lady Buffs Roll TWU to Take Weekend LSC Series - WT Softball
Softball wins two more to finish the week 7-2 - TWU Softball
Softball drops series finale at #11 West Texas A&M - TWU Softball
MELANIE PADILLA HOMERS UIW TO WIN - UIW Softball
Zias Go Yard and Pick up Conference Win - ENMU Softball
Softball Drops 8-3 Game - TAMK Softball
Aggie Softballers Get Series Victory over ECU in Day Two Split - CU Softball
Weaver Dreams Up A Comeback - UCO Softball
Softball Streak Ends - NSU Softball
Softball Team Wins Series against Northeastern - SWO Softball
Errors Cost Storm in Series Finale - SOSU Softball

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Slone, Goode Post Top Marks at North Texas Spring Classic - ASU Track
Texans and TexAnns finish competition at North Texas Open - TSU Track
Jones and Dickson pick-up top-10 performances at ASU Multi-Event - WT Track
THREE LIONS RECORD FIRST-PLACE FINISHES AT 2011 A&M-COMMERCE LION INVITATIONAL - TAMC Men's Track
LADY LIONS FLEX MUSCLES AT A&M-COMMERCE LION INVITATIONAL, NOTCHING SEVEN FIRST-PLACE FINISHES - TAMC Women's Track
Rios Wins Again - TAMK Track
Flores takes gold in 1500-meter run at North Texas Open - MSU Cross Country

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MENS TENNIS PERFECT ON THE WEEKEND - UIW Men's Tennis
CARDINALS FALL AGAINST DBU; WIN AGAINST SEOSU - UIW Women's Tennis
Midwestern rolls to third straight win, bests Bearcats 5-0 - MSU Women's Tennis
No. 19 Northwest Missouri edges Mustangs, 5-4 - MSU Men's Tennis
W. Tennis: Helvey Gets No. 600 as Aggies Sweep St. Edwards - CU Tennis
M. Tennis: Helvey Gets No. 600 as Aggies Sweep St. Edwards - CU Tennis

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and now for something completely different...

Bronchos Row Past OCU - UCO Rowing

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AD Search Narrowed - NSU Sports
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Friday, March 25, 2011

2011 LSC Track Preview - Part I

Special to the LSC Scoop, from Don Garrett


With the indoor track season starting in the next few weeks, it is time to start previewing the upcoming track season. For practical purposes, I will start with schools that have already posted their rosters or have provided their spring rosters to me – Incarnate Word, TAMU-Commerce, TAMU-Kingsville, and West Texas A&M. As the rosters are posted for the other LSC track schools – ACU, Angelo, Eastern New Mexico and Tarleton - I will post those previews as well. After the previews are all posted and the LSC has made it predictions, I will also post my pre-season predictions. However, since the LSC does not have a formal indoor season, I don’t expect to see the conference predictions posted until early spring, concurrent with the beginning of the outdoor season.

Due to the transfer rules in NCAA track and field where an athlete can transfer and be immediately eligible if the previous school releases them, there are frequently mid-term transfers who might have immediate impact and who do not appear in this preview. I will try to look for these transfers and post about them later in the season, when I prepare some ongoing track and field reports.

NOTE: I was very surprised to see a few female athletes entered at the LSC track meet in 2010 from Central Oklahoma. UCO has fielded a XC team for years, but had never competed at the conference level in the spring, until last year. They only brought 5-6 competitors, but did score a few points. However, I don’t expect to preview their team, since after the 2011 season, it will be a moot point since they will move to the MIAA anyway.

INCARNATE WORD
I thought it would be the polite thing to do to preview the newest member of the LSC. It is tough to get a read on UIW’s track team, since their former conference home, the Heartland Conference, did not host a conference track meet. Therefore, I have tried to pull some results from other regular season track meets that might give us an idea of the talent they have assembled. Both of the UIW teams look decent - not top 3 teams, but probably not last place teams either.

WOMEN – the Cardinals have a few returnees capable of making noise at the conference track meet. By signing some good young sprinters, they appear to be in good shape to have competitive relays as well. The list of returnees is led by Marie Troufflard (14th LSC XC and the winner of the Oliver Jackson Invitational 5K last spring), but the word at the LSC XC meet was that Marie may head back to France after the fall semester, a big loss for UIW. Other returnees of note include: Lauren Pratt (a national qualifier in 2010 in the LJ – an immediate top-3 contender); Lilya Piskunova (a Russian kid who was 2nd in the Oliver Jackson Inv 400 hurdles); Bailey Lloyd, a RS distance runner who was 28th at the LSC XC meet this fall; Alyson Gonzales (2nd in the Oliver Jackson 5K); and Alma Santos, who finished 27th in the LSC XC meet.

UIW has picked up some good new kids as well, that include:
• Elodie Barre – a qualifier for the French national meet in the 200
• Kristy Gonzalez – Laredo Alexander – 4th 300H, 7th 100H at the 5A state meet
• Vanecia Spencer – Grandview – 3rd 2A 4X100 and 3rd in the Reg II-3A 100
• Shaneve Swift – San Antonio Clark – 8th 5A 400 at state
• Danielle delaPaz - Corpus Christi Calallen – 8th Reg IV-4A 800
• Taylor Welch – San Antonio FEAST (the home school association) – qualified for the Texas Relays in the 100H

MEN – the Cardinal men have a stronger core of returning runners and they were also very successful in rounding up some young weight men, which they did not have any in 2010. The “wild card” in track revolves around which football players may come out to compete in the spring. There might be some newcomers off the football team that change the complexion of the conference meet. The Cardinals have all four returnees from a 4X400 relay that was a provisional qualifier for the national meet that should be immediately competitive for top 3 at conference.

The returnees for UIW include: Sebastian Jaraba-Heffner (the Frenchman was a provisional qualifier in the 800, where his time in 2010 would have been top-3 at the LSC meet); Corey McDonnough, who won the Trinity Twilight 400 and anchored the provisional qualifying 4X400; Zachary Kurz (2nd in the Trinity Twilight 800 and a member of the 4X400 relay); Howard Gill, who was 28th at the LSC XC meet; Adrian Carrillo, who was 30th at the LSC XC meet; Curtis Davis (2nd in the Trinity Twilight TJ); Steven Young (2nd in the Texas State Triangular LJ); Juan Perez, who won the Texas State Triangular 1500; and the Alicea brothers, Christian and George, who made up half of that 4X400 relay.

A solid group of newcomers include:
• Chance Dziuk – Poth HS – the 2A state discus champ
• A.J. Ybarra – LaVernia – 4th in the 3A shot put, from a great little track and field town
• Christian Chacon – San Antonio FEAST (the home school association) – won the Northeast ISD Invitational 3200 against 4A and 5A competition
• Michael Elsik – Alief Elsik – won the Dist 18-5A discus
• Alex Hernandez – San Antonio Warren – 4th in the Dist 27-5A 1600
• Curtis Corley – San Antonio Incarnate Word – 5th in the TAPPS 4A discus in 2009


TAMU-COMMERCE
I think 2009-2010 is a year that the Lions would just as soon forget. The men were a disappointing 7th at the conference meet scoring 44 points and the women were dead last with 13 points. This low point of the season occurred with the women’s team did not have enough people to field either a sprint relay or a 4X400 relay, though the men did have a competitive 4X400 that finished 3rd. However, it appears to me that the new coaches (this is the 3rd year for both the men’s and women’s coaches) seem to be getting some traction in recruiting and both the men’s and women’s teams appear to be capable of drastic improvement, including the personnel to field very competitive relays at the conference meet.

WOMEN – Commerce got all 13 points from three women and all three return – Sunny Henderson (3rd in the JT), Kate Donovan (4th in the steeplechase) and Charnita Hollands (7th in the 100). The Lady Lions also return another kid who came close to scoring at conference in Makesha Brewer (11th in the 400). More importantly, they have 2 key people who did not score a point in 2010 – LaShara Jefferson, who was 11th at the 2010 national meet in the DT as well as 3rd in the SP at the 2009 conference meet, but who was apparently injured during the conference meet in 2010, and Desiree Spencer, who placed 8th in the TJ in 2009, but redshirted 2010. Particularly Jefferson is capable of matching the team’s 2010 total of 13 points all by herself in 2011.

The Lady Lions also had an excellent recruiting class, with transfers who will impact immediately and some young kids who should be the basis of a good team going forward for Commerce. These include:
• Breana Anderson-Burton – a transfer from McMurry, I saw her at her conference meet where she was dominant and she could be very good at the D-II level – 2nd at the D-III national meet in the LJ, plus placing in 5 individual meets at the American Southwest meet for McMurry – 1st in the LJ, 2nd in the 100, TJ and HJ and 8th in the 200.
• Starasia Childs – transfer from West LA JC – at the California JC championships she was 2nd in the TJ, 4th in the LJ and 8th in the 100H
• Katherine Beach – transfer from New Mexico State – 12th in the WAC 400
• Whitney Hargraves – Mt. Vernon/transfer from Southwester Christian College – an indoor and outdoor JC All-American for SWCC in the LJ and TJ
• Shunterrical Lamb – Dallas Kimball – 4th in the 4A 400 in 2009; 4th in the Reg II-4A 800 in 2010
• Gabrielle Curiel – Anna HS – 8th 3A 200 in 2009; 6th 3A 4X200 in 2010
• Carolyn Bell – a transfer from Vanderbilt – 23rd LSC XC meet this fall
• Ashley Peoples – Princeton – 4th in the Region II-3A 200 in 2009, just missing a trip to state
• Kristina Griffin – South Grand Prairie – 6th 5A 4X100 at state and 3rd Dist 7-5A 400
• Crystal Harris – Kennedale – at 3A state 3rd 4X200 and 4th 4X400
• Shirlia Lyons – Duncanville – won the Dist 7-5A Discus
• K’Nycha Johnson – Little Elm – 1st in the 100 and 400 at the Dist 5-4A meet
• Aysha Moultrie – transfer from West LA JC – 6th Hep and 10th HJ at the Calif JC championships
• Kylee Cockrell – Conroe Oak Ridge – 2nd DT and 7th SP at the Dist 14-5A meet
• Megan Lara – Conroe Oak Ridge – 4th Dist 14-5A 400 and PV

This adds up to lots more depth and a slew of new kids who can help this team out of the 2010 slump! Could see immediate results from some of the transfers and allow the younger signees a year or two to acclimate to collegiate competition.

MEN – they did lose 9 points from 2010 with the graduation of Tyler Tyndell, who was 4th in the 5K and 5th in the 10K – a very dependable distance runner for the Lions. However, that loss is immediately offset by the return of Cody Hughes, who was 5th in the LSC 5K in 2009 and then did not run for the Lions during any of the 2009-2010 school year. Hughes stayed in school at Commerce and came back out half way through the just finished XC season and his 8th place conference finish in XC sparked a big turnaround for the Lions. I suspect that turnaround will continue in the outdoor season as well. Other key returnees include Robert Reed (2nd in the 1500, plus 14th in the LSC XC meet) and Brandon Womack (2nd in the 800), as well as Cairo Thornton (5th in the 400), Demetrius Holmes (8th in the 110H and 7th in the 400H), Craig Shelton (7th in the 110H) and Albert Sinegal (8th in the 400) and this is a solid core of returnees. Throw in some other kids who have also almost scored in the past, like Ron Balthazar, 10th in the 800 in 2009; Akeem Jackson, 9th in the 400H and Joel Day, 10th in the 400.

The Lion recruiting class is as deep as their women’s recruiting class with a nice mixture of transfers and high schoolers who can mature into a good team for the next 3-4 years at Commerce, including:
• Terrance Hawkins – Commerce HS/Transfer from Southwestern Christian College – the former 3A state runnerup in the 400 who spent at least a year at SWCC (always hard to find results for any athlete who goes to SWCC)
• Trenton Overly from Lone Oak – the 2A state champ in the 800, after a runnerup finish in 2009
• Adrian Dabrio from Pottsboro – 5th in the 2A 400 in 2009
• Daniel Dia from Amarillo HS – 5th in the 5A DT
• Kogan Ewing from Bartlett – 2nd in the 1A 400
• Everett Wilder from Sulphur Bluff – 1A state in 2009 – 3rd 3200, 4th 1600 (redshirt in 2010)
• Jarrick Jack from Houston Westbury Christian – TAPPS 4A 1st DT, 2nd SP
• William Beasley from Rockwall – 2nd in the Dist 10-4A 100
• Ramodrick Waters from Waxahachie – transfer from Southwestern Christian in Terrell – was 3rd in the Reg II-4A 100 in 2009, missing state by 3 one-hundredths of a second
• Raman Singh – transfer from West LA JC – 4th in the Western States Conference 5K and 31st at the LSC XC meet in the spring
• Raymond Mata from Mansfield Legacy – 1st 1600 and 2nd 3200 in the tough Dist 8-4A meet, plus 34th at the LSC XC meet
• Dennis Wharton from Richardson Berkner – 1st LJ and TJ, plus 4th in the 200 Dist 9-5A
• Hank Smith from Burleson – won the Dist 3-5A 400 in 2010
• Colton Keener from Mt Vernon – 7th in the 3A 100 in 2009
• Wendell Simon from Richardson Berkner/Transfer from Langston – 5th Dist 9-5A 400 in 2009
• Tyler Hemenway from Anna HS – won the 800 and 1600 at the Dist 10-3A
• Bobby Strebeck from Danbury – won the Dist 29-2A HJ, then finished 8th at Region IV-2A
• Barrick Ellis from Dallas Bryan Adams – won the Dist 12-4A 100
• Lonnie Tipton from Lewisville – 2nd in the Dist 6-5A 400
• Austin Kvapil from Crandall – 1st 200, 2nd 100 at the Dist 12-3A meet
• Reginald McCarther from Cedar Hill Trinity Christian and a transfer from UNT – has not run since 2008, but I saw this kid run at the Sun Belt Conference meet three years ago and there is definitely some potential in him
• Alex Kimp from Keller Central – 4th in the very tough Dist 5-5A 3200 and 42nd LSC XC this fall
• Jaderrick McCullar from Terrell and a transfer from OK Panhandle State – a decent HS runner (a two-time regional qualifier in the 200) who might have something left in track as well

The way I look at it, if even one third of these kids are “hits”, then they have 6-7 kids who might score at conference and they are a drastically improved team from 2010. They have filled some of their glaring deficiencies in the throws and sprints. Definitely a team to watch in 2011.

TAMU-Kingsville
The Javelinas were one of the up-and-coming teams in 2010 and I see nothing that indicates they won’t continue that upward trend. The men’s team moved up to a 4th place tie and they only lose 4-5 points from 2010, while adding lots and lots of new bodies. Kingsville has also be very liberal in redshirting freshmen the past 2 years, allowing some of their youngsters to mature and compete at the college level when they are more prepared. The Lady Javelinas also had an excellent season in 2010, finishing 4th as well, although they scored considerably fewer points than their male counterparts. The Lady Javs lost more points from their 2010 team than the men, but still look to be solid and they have also added some new kids who might help.

WOMEN – the Lady Javs lost some good ones, including Rhonida Carter (5th in the 110H and 7th in the 400H), Erica Alvarado (5th in the 5K, but 2nd in 2009), Tiffany Masters (a tie for 5th in the PV) and Diane Zarate (8th in the 400H). That represents 15 points lost. But, they have numerous returnees: Samantha Alvarez, who scored 15 big points with a 2nd in the PV, 5th in the HJ and 6th in the TJ; Amy Rabalais, 3rd in the PV and 4th in the javelin; Samone Lindsay, 4th in the LJ and 6th in the TJ; Katie Dugie, 3rd in the SP, 7th javelin and 8th HT; Elvia Lopez, tie for 5th in the PV; Diana Zarate, 8th in the 400H; plus, some others who were close to scoring – like Stephanie Arce (11th SP) and Christal Gonzales (10th HT and 11th Javelin).

The additions to the women’s team are solid, including:
• Kathy Trevino – Rio Grande City – 6th 5A 400 in 2009, then 5th in the Region IV-5A 100 in 2010
• Tezna Roy – Palacios – 5th 3A 800 in 2009, then 4th Region IV-3A 800 in 2010 and 38th in LSC XC meet this past fall
• Lesley Cluiss – Corpus Christi Tuloso-Midway – Dist 31-4A 1st 100, 200, 4th TJ
• Santia Deck – Alpharetta, GA, Milton HS – 3rd 100, 4th 200 in the Georgia Region 6-5A meet
• Brianna Villareal – LaFeria – 4th Reg IV-3A 800, as well as 30th in the LSC XC meet
• Laura Melissa Lopez – Kingsville Presbyterian Pan Am HS – TAPPS 3A 5th TJ, 7th 300H in 2009
• Marissa Acosta – Alice – 2nd Dist 31-4A 800, plus a solid 31st in the LSC XC meet
• Melody Morosin – Beaumont West Brook – Dist 21-4A 3rd 300H, 6th 800
• Ashley Nunez – Kingsville King – 34th LSC XC after redshirt 2010 season
• Kate Korzeniewski – Lisle, IL/Transfer from Benedictine University

The Lady Javs have a solid core back from 2010 and should get some help from some of their new kids. However, several of the teams behind them appear to be vastly improved. Their goal should be to hold onto that 4th place standing with a very, very young team made up of mostly sophomores and freshmen.

MEN – the Javelina men have come back to conference competitiveness with a vengeance. The 2010 team was drastically improved over the 2009 team and they could easily move up another notch or two. This team lost very little although Ted Dugie was gritty competitor and a fine decathlete, he only scored 4 points at the conference meet last year by getting 4th in the PV (he did not compete in the dec at conference, but did at nationals). Kingsville also lost one member of their All-American sprint relay, Michael Price, who did not score an individual point at conference. That means of 106 points scored in 2010, the team loses only 4 points going to 2011!

There are many returnees who scored at conference led by Connell Davis, who won the LJ and was 5th in the 200; Tommy Singletary, the runnerup in the 100 and 3rd in the 200 – the top freshman sprinter in the LSC; and Sergio Rios, who won the 400H as a freshman and was the top freshman hurdler in the LSC in 2010. The list of other key returnees is long: Trent Hesseltine, who won the conference HJ; Isaiah Glover, 3rd in the LJ and 5th in the TJ; Micah Franks, 4th in the TJ and 6th in the LJ; C.J. Griggs, 3rd in the LSC TJ and All-American in the TJ at nationals; Kiya Dandena, only 8th in the 5K in 2010, but 5th at the LSC XC meet this fall and now one of the top distance runners in the LSC; Jonathan Woodson, 4th in the 200; Charles Wells, 6th in the 100; and Norman Thompson, 7th in the 400. Throw in some kids who were close to placing in 2010 – vaulter Dylan Riedesel (10th in the PV) and throwers Geronimo Lopez (11th in the DT and HT) and Paco Trevino (11th SP, 12th HT) – and you have a very deep list of returnees.

Now add to this group of returnees the largest number of newcomers in the conference. The Javs have 24-25 new kids on the men’s team BEFORE you count some footballers who will no doubt compete for them this spring. In looking at the newcomers for each LSC school, I have tried to list newcomers according to their likelihood to help the team in 2011. However, due to the vast number of newcomers and the relative equality of the previous performances of these athletes, here are the TAMU-K newcomers in alphabetic order:
• The one kid NOT in alpha order is a late addition who could define this group of newcomers – Jeron Robinson is competing unattached for the Javelinas right now and the Texas Relays HS high jump champ and the 5A runnerup is an instant contender for the LSC high jump crown AND for the D-II national crown – he has already jumped 7-3 in his first meet unattached!!! My guess he is not eligible this year, but in another year he could be a national contender.
• Jorge Alaniz – Rio Grande City – Dist 30-5A 2nd 3200, 4th 1600
• Brett Arredondo – Kingsville King – 1st Dist 31-4A 1600 in 2009; redshirt in 2010
• Devante Babin – Katy Mayde Creek – Reg III-5A 3rd LJ, 5th TJ – just missing state meet in both
• Matt Busker – Corpus Christi Incarnate Word – 3rd TAPPS 4A 800 – 2009; redshirt in 2010
• Russell Calais – Carrizo Springs – Reg IV-3A 5th 300H, 8th 110H
• J.D. Cuellar – Weslaco East – 2nd Dist 32-4A 400 – 2009; redshirt in 2010
• Stoney Davis – Bay City – 5th 4A SP in 2009; redshirt in 2010
• Trevor Engel – Transfer from Golden West CC – 7th California JC Decathlon
• Tyler Garibay – Laredo United – 4th Dist 29-5A 400 (3rd in 2009)
• Jesus Garza – Round Rock Stony Point/Transfer from Mt. Union – Ohio AC 4th SP, 7th HT – the advantage here is that Garza has already learned how to throw the hammer before coming to Kingsville, a big advantage over incoming HS athletes
• Randy Garza – Eagle Pass – 6th Reg IV-5A 400
• Aron Gonzales – Oxnard, CA, Pacifica – 3rd Pacific View League 400
• Brendon Grady – Euless Trinity – 5th Dist 5-5A 100
• J.C. Guzman – San Benito – Dist 32-5A 1st 400 (1st in the 100 and 200 in 2009)
• Malcolm Hoodye – Corpus Christi John Paul II – 2nd TAPPS 4A 800
• Colten Lauterbach – Rockport-Fulton – Dist 3-4A 1st 100, 3rd 200
• Erwin Oliva – Harlingen – 1st Dist 31-5A 400
• Nicholas Porche’ – Pearland – 1st Dist 22-5A 100, 200, 4X400; 3rd Reg III-5A 200
• Tim Price – Corpus Christi Carroll – 5A state 5th 200, 6th 100 in 2006 (not sure where he has been during the past 5 years)
• Ryan Richardson – Houston Clear Lake – 2nd Dist 24-5A 800
• Andrew Rivas – Kingsville King – 4th Dist 31-4A 3200
• DeAndre Robinson – Pearland – Dist 22-5A 2nd LJ, 3rd TJ
• Brandon Russell – Midlothian – Reg II-4A 4th 300H, 5th 110H
• Bryson Williams – Corpus Christi West Oso – 5th Reg IV-3A 200

Whew! I am tired just from typing all of those names - lots of new athletes to complement the returning kids. With sheer numbers like these, if only 25% of these kids pan out, you still have 6-7 athletes who score at conference. If you hit on 50% you suddenly have a conference top 2 contender. And, in another year, Jeron Robinson is hopefully able to compete and the Javs chance at a conference championship takes another big step forward.

WEST TEXAS A&M
The other up-and-coming team in 2010 in the LSC was WTAM. Part of the reason for that was it was only the 2nd LSC meet for their men and inaugural meet for their women and both teams had terrific meets – the men finishing in a tie for 4th (with TAMU-K) and the women jumping all the way to 3rd place in their LSC debut. Both squads were very young, as befits a new program. It looks like WT has added some good young talent, although not in the sheer numbers as TAMU-K, but both teams should be very strong in 2011.

WOMEN – the Lady Buffs only lost 7 out of 88 points from 2010 – Erika Carranza, who was 6th in the 800 and Mariana Chavira, who was 4th in the 10K and 9th in the 5K. Their key returnees are many: Aries Bazaldua, who won the 10K and was 7th in the 5K as a freshman; Tara Tarrant – 2nd in the 400 and 5th in the 200; Morgan Shelton, 3rd in the 400H, 7th in the LJ and 8th in both the 400 and javelin; Kirsten McCowan, 4th in the 100H and 7th in the HJ; Katie Jones, 4th in the heptathlon, 8th in the LJ and 9th in the javelin; Jessica Blakely, 5th in the steeplechase; Bailee Skeen, 6th 100H, 8th 100, and 9th TJ; Jadiah Riley, a rare upperclassman who was 6th in the shot put, 7th in the hammer and 9th in the discus; Sadie Newsome, 6th in the 400H; Allie Reyna, 8th in the 800 & 1500; and Rachel King, 8th in the 100H. There were several others who were very close to scoring, like Brieana Garcia (9th in the 800), Nicole Hudgens (10th in the steeplechase), and Caroline Sharp (9th in the steeple).

Add to this strong corps of returnees some outstanding recruits, including some state meet competitors:
• Casey Nelson – Amarillo Tascosa – 5th in the 5A discus
• Shelby Jameson – Sanford-Fritch – 4th in the 2A SP (2nd in that event in 2009)
• Amber Moore – Longview Spring Hill – 8th in the 3A 3200
• Madelyn Newsome – Amarillo HS – 4th Region I-5A 400
• Taylor Johnson – South Grand Prairie – 1st Dist 7-5A 800
• Madeline Williams – Canyon Randall – Reg I-4A 3rd 200, just missing a trip to state
• Jordan Coonts – Amarillo HS – 2nd Dist 2-5A TJ
• Marisa Holiwell – Richardson Berkner – Dist 9-5A 3rd 300H, 5th 100H
• Olivia Martinez – Canyon HS – Dist 3-4A 3rd 800, 6th 1600
• Brenda Jemutai – Kenya – could not find any results, but any Kenyan distance runner has to be considered a key addition

The Lady Buffs look stronger than in 2010, with a team made up largely of freshmen and sophs, which bodes well for WT for the next 2-3 years. Looks like WT might be able to retain that 3rd place hold and even threaten the top 2 – Angelo and ACU.

MEN – just like the women’s team, the Buffs are very young and have progressed rapidly to become a conference-competitive squad. They only lost 2 athletes to graduation, but one in particular will be very costly points-wise. Eldon Grimslid was a former footballer at WT who emerged as a top decathlete. He was the first Buff to score a point in the LSC track meet in 2009 and in 2010 he scored 18 points (1st in the Decathlon and 2nd in the javelin)! WT also lost Jarret Kachel, who was 7th in the 800.

That totals 20 points lost out of their 106 scored in 2010, but they still bring back large number of key returnees, like Luke Irwin, the Canadian who won the steeple and was 5th in both the 1500 and 5K; Serville Dandridge, the freshman who won the discus; Gage Mayer, the 2009 HJ champ to become the first Buff to win a LSC event - Gage finished 2nd in the HJ in 2010; Ross Myatt, 4th in the 110H and 5th in the 400H; Aaron Gordon, 4th in the HJ; Rolando Vasquez, 5th in the 800; Taylor Gardner, 6th in the400 and 8th in the 800; Tramicah Young, 7th in the LJ and 8th in the TJ; Dane Hamrick, 6th in the SP; Thomas Harris, 6th in the steeple; Xavier Bennett, 7th in the 200 and 8th in the LJ; Tanner Dennis, 7th in the PV; Brittan Golden, 7th in the TJ and 9th LJ; Taylor Johnson, 6th in the javelin and 9th in the 400. Others who were close to scoring in 2010 were Jonathan Lindsey (10th in the DT), Ray Sparkman (12th in the 800), and Daniel Zewde (11th in the 400H).

A solid group of recruits includes the top HS recruit out of state of New Mexico, Taylor Weary from Alamogordo, who won the NM 5A 200 and 400 and was 5th in the 100. Others include:
• Torian Oakley – Conroe Oak Ridge – 4th in the 5A 100
• Sam Omomogho – Amarillo HS – 6th 5A 200 in 2009; redshirted in 2010
• Dustin Dickson – Whitesboro – 4th 3A HJ
• Slade Cupps – Jim Ned – 5th 2A PV
• Westin Williams – Wellington – 3rd 1A PV
• Justin Reeves – Arlington Seguin – 6th 4A 110H in 2009
• Tyler Howard – Amarillo HS – 3rd Region I-5A 300H
• Gary Newell – Alamogordo, NM – NM 5A state 7th 300H and 4th sprint medley relay
• Tyler Hutches – Canyon Randall – 1st Dist 3-4A 400

That is a lot of kids who have state meet experience. WT looks like a team that will fight to be in the top 4 and possibly even the top 3 in 2011. The fight for top 4 will be even tougher than in 2010, with improved squads from both TAMU-K and WTAMU, plus the addition of Incarnate Word. I also see a lower division squad like TAMU-C stealing lots of points, so that the gap between first and last is narrowed and a difference of 5-10 points could mean finishing anywhere from 3rd to 6th.

Lone Star Conference

Angelo State News

Cameron University

Eastern New Mexico University

MSUMustangs.com

Texas A&M-Commerce

Tarleton State University

Texas A&M-Kingsville

Texas Woman's University

West Texas A&M University

Abilene Reporter-News : College Sports

Amarillo Globe News - WT Sports

San Angelo Standard Times : College Sports

Stephenville Empire-Tribune

Times Record News : College Sports

The Commerce Journal - Sports