Friday, August 31, 2012

LSC Connection - Q&A with Terrance Joyner

Courtesy CWU Sports
We recently spoke with Terrance Joyner, a 6-5, 300 lb. offensive lineman for Central Washington. Terrance sat out last year, after transferring from Tarleton State. He went to high school in the Bronx, NY, and was his the team Defensive MVP. At Grossmont Community College, Terrance tallied 48 tackes, including 9 sacks in 2008 as a sophomore. He transferred to Tarleton State, where he played sparingly, appearing in 4 games and tallying 3 tackles.

Question: Terrance, you have taken a long and winding road to Central Washington. Can you tell us a little bit about your journey, and the circumstances that led you to each destination?
I’m from New York. New York isn’t known to be a football state so I decided to take my talent to a junior college in San Diego Ca. After starting for two years for Grossmont community college, I signed with Tarleton State in Stephenville Texas because I knew they had a good football program, but didn’t work out due to grade issues. I went back to Grossmont CC to improve my grades. I knew a few players on Central Washington University football team from Jc that’s the reason I choose Central Washington to become my next and last stop.

Q: I would imagine there are quite a few differences between the Bronx in New York and Grossmont, California, Stephenville, Texas and Ellensburg, Washington. How much "culture shock" have you had to overcome with each new school?
It was a big culture shock going from a big city to small towns. A lot of people stare at me because they are not used to seeing someone my size. A few things that I had to overcome are being able to understand everyone’s background and where they are from so I don’t step on anyone’s toes.

Q: Texas A&M-Kingsville is historically one of the top D2 teams in the country. Are you guys doing anything special in preparation for them?
No not really we treat the first week the same as the last week, we just practice full speed and try to get better everyday as a unit. 

Q:  You have switched from defense to offense and now back to defense.  What's been the biggest challenge switching between offense and defense?

The biggest challenge is getting into shape in so little time before the first game.  I played d line since the age 
of 10, meaning the muscle memory is there, just have to get up to speed and keep my motor running.

Q: What are the expectations for the Wildcats in 2012? Will anything short of the playoffs be seen as a disappointment?
Champions, yes because we all know that we have the talent and the experience to make it really far in division 2 football.

Q: More specifically, what are the feelings heading into Texas this weekend?
The expectations going into Texas are high because its a test game, meaning its going to test the defense as a unit due to losing a lot of talented players last season, plus having a new defensive coordinator and line coach.  They really have high hopes for us this season, so we can't let them down.

Q: Enough about football, what about Terrance Joyner? What career are you studying for? Who are your role models? What do you like to do with your down time?
I am majoring in Criminal Justice and minoring in Sociology. I am majoring in Criminal Justice to become a corrections officer as a fall back to football. My role models are God, my Dad for being strong and raising five kids in a single parent household. In my down time I like to work out, watch film, shop, and try to get better everyday as a person.

Thanks Terrance, best of luck to you this year.

LSC Roundup 8-31

# 6 Colorado St-Pueblo takes down No. 24 West Texas A&M-Dave Henry, Amarillo Globe News
Sixth-Ranked Thunderwolves Out-Distance 24th-Ranked Buffaloes - WTAM Football
Mullin's McM career enters final stage - Sam Waller, Abilene Reporter News
No. 10 Wildcats ready to get 2012 season underway - ACU Football
West Texas A&M men's soccer team wins opener - Terrence Hunley, Amarillo Globe News

Thursday, August 30, 2012

LSC Week One Previews and Predictions

FINALLY!!!! West Texas A&M will officially kickoff the 2012 football season.  Here's a look at week one games.  For week one, we will focus more on the opponents, since they are non-conference opponents.

#24 West Texas A&M at #6 Colorado State Pueblo - These two teams squared off last year as well, with the Thunderwolves sneaking out of Canyon with a 26-24 win, despite being outgained by a 556-238 margin.  The Buffaloes jumped out to a quick 10-0 in last year's game, only to see CSUP take advantage of turnovers and sloppy special teams play by WT to take the victory.  Amazingly, CSUP is entering just it's fifth year of restarting their football program, with the team showing improvement every year (4-6, 7-4, 9-2, 11-1) qualifying for the playoffs last year as the top seed in their region.  The Thunderwolves had four players selected to the RMAC preseason first team on offense and two on defense.  CSUP was extremely balance on offense last year, rushing for 187 yards and passing for 182 yards per game.  The defense was stingy, giving up 286 yards per game, 89 rushing and 197 passing, and just 10.3 points per game.  The Buffs may have been looking past CSUP last year, but don't look for that to be the case this time around - Coach Carthel even closed the team's second scrimmage to the public.  We look for WT to get off on the right foot this year, winning 35-24 on the road.

McMurry at #10 Abilene Christian - Crosstown matchup of Abilene universities, both of which made the playoffs last year (McMurry in D3, ACU in D2).  The Warhawks left D3 on a strong note, finishing the year with a 9-3 record, beating UTSA in the Alamodome, making the playoffs, and winning their first NCAA playoff game before bowing out to perrennial powerhouse Mary Hardin Baylor.  They like to pass the ball (346 yards per game) and have an experienced QB in Jake Mullin returning.  However just two other offensive starters are back (former ACU OL Rafael Gallo is on the roster).  Five starters return for the defense, led by DL Corey Hall (1st team ASC) and CB D. J. Baiza (2nd team).  The defense did allow 153 yards rushing and 210 passing, with opponents scoring 28.2 points per game (23.1 taking out the SFA game).  This an interesting matchup, that has been dormant for too long, and unfortunately looks to be a short term event.  ACU should handle this matchup, but look for McMurry to move the ball pretty well.  ACU 35-21.

Southeastern Oklahoma at Texas A&M-Commerce - These two teams used to battle it out for LSC North supremacy before the wheels fell off in 2010.  For the Savage Storm, it has been a steady descent since 2004, when they finished 8-3 and made the NCAA playoffs for the only time.  They continued to win games for a while (31-21 over the next five years) but have back to back seasons of 3-8 and 2-8.  The offense was last in the GAC last year, scoring just 20.6 points per game, and 7th in yards gained with 347. Jercolby Bradley looks to start at QB.  He threw for 247 yards in limited playing time, but has 5 of the top 6 receivers from last year throw to. Leading rusher CJ Kirk is back after rushing for 720 yards last fall, and he has four returning linemen with starting experience blocking for him.  The defense was better, giving up 26 points and 383 yards per game and returns eight starters from last year.  On paper, this looks like a defensive battle, where turnovers and special teams could have a huge impact.  Lions open the season on a positive note, beating SOSU 17-10.

Eastern New Mexico at New Mexico Highlands - The Pokes got off to a quick 3-0 start last year before hitting a wall dropping their next seven games (4 by one score or less).  They did close out the season knocking off #20 Colorado Mines on the road.  They were picked sixth in the RMAC preseason poll, with Jordan Campbell selected as the preseason player of the year.  The senior linebacker led the conference with 110 tackles and the nation with 28.5 TFL.  NMHU was balanced on offense, rushing for 169 yards and passing for 178 per game.  Defensively, they held opponents to just 100 yards rushing and 224 passing, but gave up 28.6 points per game.  With a new coaching staff, we expect more balance from the Greyhounds and this will give us a glance at what to expect from ENMU the rest of the season.  Playing at home and with more continuity from last year, NMHU takes a close one 21-17.

Central Washington at Texas A&M-Kingsville - Matchup of two teams that suffered disappointing seasons last year.  TAMK stumbled through a 6-5 season and CWU fell to 4-6.  The Javelinas took last year's season opener 21-10 in Ellensburg with Robert Armstrong scoring two TDs and Jeremy Aguilar leading the defense with 7 tackles and an interception with the Javelinas clinging to a 14-10 in the fourth quarter.  The Wildcats' offense was geared more to the pass last year, racking up 239 yards through the air and 123 rushing.  Defensively, CWU gave up 244 passing yards 119 rushing and 25.2 points per game. Ryan Robertson returns at QB, and has all five starting lineman back as well.  The defense returns just 3 starters.  The Javelinas are at home and are looking to atone for last year's season performance.  They have 25 seniors on the roster and know they cannot afford a slow start with the early schedule they have have this year (ACU, WTAM, and MSU the next three weeks).  Javelinas pull away, 35-21.

Western State at Angelo State - Another rematch from last year, in which the Rams won comfortably, 35-12.  ASU did it all - taking the opening kickoff back for a TD, rushing for 266 yards, 173 passing and holding WSC to just 186 yards.  Western State won just one game last year, and are picked next to last in the RMAC, ahead of newcomer Black Hills State.  Linebacker Jaden Terry is the lone representative on the preseason all RMAC team - he lead WSC with 94 tackles and 8 for losses.  Overall the team rushed for just  67 yards per game and passed for 185, completing just 43% of their passes.  The defense gave up 193 yards on the ground and 251 through the air.  Look for a lopsided score as Angelo State wins 42-10.

Texas College at Incarnate Word - Texas College opened their season last weekend, dropping a 46-10 decision to the NAIA #6 ranked University of St. Francis.  TC could muster just 179 yards offensively, while giving up 371.  The score was just 23-10 in the fourth quarter, before getting broken open.  A news article from Tyler indicated that several players, including QB Vince McNeil, are awaiting clearance from the NAIA.  The Steers are coming off a winless 2011, with the closest games being a 14-29 loss at Langston and a 20-31 defeat to Southwest Assemblies of God at home.  They averaged 135 yards on offense (77 rushing, 58 passing).  The defense gave up 371 yards per game, (due to teams calling off the dogs) and allowed more than 40 points 7 times, with 29 points allowed being their best showing on the season.  And this is just a one year dip - Texas College has just one win over the past three season.   The DI-bound Cardinals should get off to a positive start, winning comfortably 35-10.

LSC Roundup 8-30

Javs ready to put 2011's 6-5 season in past  - George Vondracek, Corpus Christi Caller Times
Javelinas QB Poppell seeks return to form  - George Vondracek, Corpus Christi Caller Times
LSC football preview capsules  - George Vondracek, Corpus Christi Caller Times
QB Gale seeks efficiency, national title in final season - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
'Stick' shifts into role as 'D' leader - Paul Harris, San Angelo Standard Times
Special teams a priority for MSU - J. Scott Russell, Times Record News
West Texas A&M Buffaloes prep for season opener - Dave Henry, Amarillo Globe News
Kennan eager to see improved UIW take field in opener - Pat Turner, San Antonio Express News
Pack prepares for eye-opener - Pueblo Chieftain
CWU football features new defensive coaches - SWX
CWU football to debut new offense this season - SWX
Fifth-year senior leads CWU quartet at tight end - Daily Record News
Rams Open Season with Western State - ASU Football

Root, root, root for the home team - San Angelo Standard Times
ASU women eye top of LSC - Paul Harris, San Angelo Standard Times
Raising the bar - Paul Harris, San Angelo Standard Times
Rambelles eager to turn back the clock - Paul Harris, San Angelo Standard Times
MSU cross country sets sights high in 2012 - Times Record News
Plenty of new faces crowd MSU men's soccer roster - Times Record News
Moore hired as Southeast Missouri State women's tennis coach - Southeast Missourian

Rambelles Open Season at Texas-Permian Basin - ASU W Soccer
ACU Continues Rivalry w/Dallas Bap; Hosts Our Lady of the Lake to Start 2012 - ACU W Soccer

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

LSC Scoop Preseason Power Poll

  1. Midwestern State - Went through LSC unscathed last year, with just one game decided by less than 2 TDs.  While that kind of performance isn't expected again, the Mustangs could be the first repeat champion since 2007.
  2. Abilene Christian - Mitchell Gale returns at QB and will likely be the all-time LSC leader in passing yards after the season, but the Wildcats lost 7 first team all conference players.
  3. Texas A&M-Kingsville - Jonathan Woodson and Jeremy Aguilar lead a veteran squad looking for the Javelinas first outright title since 2004.
  4. West Texas A&M - You just know the offense, led by Dustin Vaughn will be be good.  The question is, can the defense fill the holes and repeat last year's performance?
  5. Tarleton State - The Texans have a lot of returning players, but will be breaking in a new quarterback (Aaron Doyle).
  6. Angelo State - If QB Blake Hamblin can stay healthy, and RB Jermie Calhoun is the real deal, the Rams could be moving up in the rankings.
  7. Incarnate Word - The Cardinals will hope a few DI transfers can help them escape the bottom third of the conference in their final LSC season.
  8. Texas A&M-Commerce - The hard-luck Lions hope to stay healthy and surprise a few teams.
  9. Eastern New Mexico - Not sure what to expect from the Greyhounds with a new coaching staff and offensive philosophy.

LSC Roundup 8-29

West Texas A&M Buffs, Colorado State-Pueblo see importance of opener - Dave Henry, Amarillo Globe News
Midwestern State Mustangs deep, experienced at LB - J. Scott Russell, Times Record News
Mustangs return talented secondary - J. Scott Russell, Times Record News
Mumme, ACU are old rivals - Sam Waller, Abilene Reporter News
Ranked Buffaloes and Thunderwolves Clash in 2012 Season Opener Thursday - WTAM Football
Wearing 96 - TSU Football

Belles XC Ranked in Preseason Regional Poll - ASU X-Country
Debby And Teddy Abbott Bring Experience To Softball Coaching Staff - ACU Softball

Monday, August 27, 2012

LSC Roundup 8-27

LSC Scoop 2012 Donation Drive

Click here to see how you can help

Defense a bright spot in MSU scrimmage - J. Scott Russell, Times Record News
Little experience on D-line for MSU - J. Scott Russell, Times Record News
Mustangs lead crowded LSC pack - Paul Harris, San Angelo Standard Times
Armed and ready - Paul Harris, San Angelo Standard Times
Calhoun likely to spark Rams' offense - Paul Harris, San Angelo Standard Times
Colts rally behind Hamblin's leadership - Paul Harris, San Angelo Standard Times
ASU Football Fall Camp - Day 15 - ASU Football
Fall scrimmage shows rise of Tarleton football - TSU Football

Nothin New: High expectations at WT - Terrence Hunlsy, Amarillo Globe News
Six Days Out: Rambelles Continue Defensive Dominance - ASU W Soccer
Webb sees improved campaign - Dave Henry, Amarillo Globe News
Lauffer anticipates a rebound - Terrence Hunlsy, Amarillo Globe News
2012 ACU women's soccer preview - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
Zias Look Strong in Exhibition Victory over Pioneers - ENMU W Soccer
Cameron adds three men's basketball recruits - CU MBB

A few final stories on ACU's departure to the Southland Conference...
ACU formally joins Southland Conference - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
Academics drove ACU to NCAA Division I, school officials say - Scott Kirk, Abilene Reporter News
(not too many in the comments section agree, however)
ACU coaches, players have mixed feelings about move to Southland, D-I  - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
D-I status comes at high price for ACU  - Joey Richards, Abilene

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Statement from LSC Commissioner Wagnon

Lone Star Conference Commissioner Stan Wagnon has issued the following statement in regard to conference membership:
 “The Lone Star Conference has been notified by University of the Incarnate Word of its intentions to affiliate its athletic programs with the Southland Conference, effective next year. We anticipate the school soon will take official action to notify us of its intention to withdraw from LSC membership with an effective date of June 30, 2013. We expect UIW to compete in all approved LSC athletic competitions with other members up to the effective date, as required by LSC policy.
Also, the league has been alerted by Abilene Christian University that its board will consider at a meeting this weekend a similar invitation to join the Southland. Should ACU choose the Southland for its conference affiliation, we anticipate its school leaders will notify us soon thereafter of ACU’s intention to withdraw from LSC membership under the same parameters and timeline as UIW. Regardless, this week signals the end of a lengthy chapter of speculation about these two schools reclassifying to Division I.
The future starts now for the Lone Star Conference. We’re a Division II conference, and a proud one at that. As a group, we believe in the balance between academics and athletics that is afforded student-athletes in Division II, along with the high-level competition we provide. We’re committed to offering our constituents the very best aspects of Division II membership. The LSC members that wish to build this league into the NCAA’s premier Division II conference must remain unified and press forward. I am confident we have core group of institutions that want to continue on the path we’re pursuing, and I look forward to working with them as we add new members and keep building upon the 81-year legacy of this conference.”

LSC Roundup 8-21

LSC Scoop 2012 Donation Drive

Click here to see how you can help

Unless there are new developments, this will be the last time we will link to Southland Conference stories...

ACU offered Southland Conference/DI membership - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
Incarnate Word heads to Southland Conference - Joey Richards, San Angelo Standard Times
LSC loses UIW; ACU likely next - Dave Henry, Amarillo Globe News
SLC makes invite to UIW official - Richard Oliver, San Antonio Express News
Incarnate Word, Abilene Christian are now Division I programs -
Welcome to Division I, Incarnate Word! - Eamonn Brennan, ESPN

ASU Football Fall Camp - Day 10 - ASU Football

Mock Impressed With Volleyball Team's Dynamics During Two-A-Days - ACU Volleyball

Monday, August 20, 2012

UIW and ACU Breaking News


FRISCO, Texas – The Southland Conference and the University of the Incarnate Word announced Monday afternoon that the institution will become a member of the league, effective July 1, 2013. The membership will coincide with the San Antonio-based institution’s four-year transition to NCAA Division I.
Currently a member of the Division II Lone Star Conference, Incarnate Word will begin the four-year shift to Division I with the Southland Conference’s assistance and oversight. It is expected that UIW will begin counting as an NCAA Division I team for scheduling purposes in 2014-15, and will be fully eligible for NCAA championship events in 2017-18.

ACU Receives Southland Invitation; Decision to come this weekend
Abilene Christian University has received an official invitation from the Southland Conference to join its league and move to NCAA Division I affiliation in all sports. Because of previous schedule commitments, the football team would begin SLC play in 2014, but all other sports would begin Division I competition with the 2013-14 school year.

 The ACU Board of Trustees and the administration will discuss the invitation this weekend at the Board's regularly scheduled meeting and make a determination as to whether or not ACU will accept the invitation.

 If ACU accepts the invitation, we will host a press conference Saturday, Aug. 25, at 12:30 p.m. in the Hunter Welcome Center to make the official announcement. 

No ACU administrator, coach or student-athlete will be made available to media to discuss the situation until Saturday.

LSC Roundup 8-20

LSC Scoop 2012 Donation Drive

Will the big announcement come today? and if it does, will all be welcome?

Southland Conference to welcome UIW into fold Monday-Jerry Briggs, San Antonio Express News
Report: Incarnate Word officially joins SLC on Monday - Abilene Reporter News
Jared Mosley, ACU's director of athletics, said the SLC hadn't notified ACU of any decision as of Saturday.  "I'm assuming they're still in the process of figuring out what they want to do and the timing of all that," Mosley said. "Hopefully, we'll hear something soon."

Javelinas' experience both highs, lows during summer's lone scrimmage - George Vondracek, Corpus Christi Caller Times
Mustangs' No. 2 rushing offense eyes top spot - J. Scott Russell, Times Record News
No question at QB for Mustangs, Kelsey firmly has reins, while backups fight out No. 2 spot - J. Scott Russell, Times Record News
Smarting MSU defense gets back at offense - J. Scott Russell, Times Record News
Video  - WT defense impresses Carthel in scrimmage - Dave Henry, Amarillo Globe News
Carthel closes in on Kerbel's wins mark at West Texas A&M - Dave Henry, Amarillo Globe News

Friday, August 17, 2012

LSC Roundup 8-17

LSC Scoop 2012 Donation Drive

Kelsey, backs highlight first MSU scrimmage - J. Scott Russell, Times Record News
If the first scrimmage is any indication, the Midwestern State offense doesn't appear to have lost even one step.  The Mustangs — who led the nation in total offense last year — got a touchdown pass from Brandon Kelsey and scoring runs from Keidrick Jackson, Jimmy Pipken and Peter Smith in Thursday's intrasquad scrimmage at the MSU practice field.

"The first offense had four drives (with Kelsey) and scored on three of them," MSU head coach Bill Maskill said. "I think the second defense is ahead of the second offense and the third defense may be ahead of the third offense as well.  But overall, the offense did look ahead of the defense. For this time of the year the offense is clicking really well. I can't really comment about the defense until we watch the film. We have a lot of new guys on defense and the guys who are back have to step up."

Lion Legend Ernest Hawkins Hospitalized with West Nile - Scott Harvey, KETR
Samoans adapting - Portales News-Tribune
MSU CAMP NOTEBOOK (8/16): Freeland ready to lead Mustangs - MSU Volleyball, Soccer
Practicing Perfection: No. 15 Belles Breeze Through First Scrimmage - ASU Volleyball
Back to Work: Rambelle Soccer Steps Up in First Scrimmage - ASU Soccer
Mustangs add three more standouts for 2012-13 - MSU WBB
Aggies announce 2012-13 men's basketball schedule - CU MBB

Thursday, August 16, 2012

LSC Roundup 8-16

LSC Scoop 2012 Donation Drive

Doyle stands above others at QB - Brad Keith, Stephenville Empire Tribune
Pioneer student-athletes earn Academic Achievement Award - TWU
Flowers making most of family environment at MSU - MSU Football, Volleyball, Soccer
Practicing Perfection: No. 15 Belles Pushing Through the Wall - ASU Volleyball

Final MSU transfer additions?
OL Ryan Turner, Riverside CC
DT Tee Uelese, Fort Valley State
DE Elijah Winston, Diablo Valley College
WR Kendall Wrenn, Butler County JC

ASU Football Fall Camp - Day Five - ASU Football

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

LSC Roundup 8-15

LSC Scoop 2012 Donation Drive

(Angelo State is #15)
MSU CAMP NOTEBOOK (8/14): Aduddell, Haney set to lead in 2012 - MSU Volleyball, Soccer

Some more football roster additions...
Midwestern State with some more transfers (complete list of transfers should be finished today) - 
WR - Markell Templeton, Kilgore JC
WR - Ricky Collins, Kilgore JC (signed with SMU out of HS)
OL - Will Harris, Arizona Western JC
OL - Marcus Lafaele, CC of San Francisco
OL - Tino Tuilata, Mt San Antonio CC
DL - Julius Chulu, Diablo Valley CC
DL - Kevin Lowery, Blinn JC
DL - Marcus McKenzie, UIW
DL - Christian Mejia, Saddleback JC
DL - Rusty Tausaga, College of the Desert
LB - Vernon Brooks, Blinn JC/Kansas
LB - Chris Ficklin, East Central CC
DB - Dayvion Henry, Trinity Valley CC
DB - Taiyon Jackson, Bakersfield College
DB - Shelton Miles, Mt San Antonio CC
DB - Antoine Morris, Pasadena City College
DB - Dwaine Simpson, College of San Mateo
P - Garrett Rhodes, Baylor

Tarleton additions
RB - Josh Reed, Mt San Jacinto
OL - Maxx Hill, NMHU
DL - Garrett Roget, Tyler JC
DB - Jamel Hale, CC of San Francisco
DB - Ramonte Harris, UTEP/Kilgore JC
DB - Kyle Chandler, Wayne State (NE)
P/K - Isaac Arellano, Tyler JC

WTAM added Aaron Harris, running back from Southwestern College, who originally signed with Cincinnati this spring.

CANYON, Texas – The West Texas A&M football team completed its first fully-padded practice Monday evening at the Buffalo Sports Park.  Eighth-year head coach Don Carthel and the Buffaloes have completed six practices since reporting last Thursday.

“We are really excited about where we are right now,” Carthel said.  “We have tremendous depth in the offensive line with really quality people who we feel we can win with.  We have 10-11 offensive linemen who can go to bat and do really good things.”

Carthel went on talk about the skill position players on the offensive side including junior Dustin Vaughn who begins his second season under center.

“Dustin has really progressed and is far above where he was last year as a sophomore.  His leadership on and off the field, his knowledge of the offense is outstanding and I think we are in good hands with Vaughan and Luke Halpin backing him up.”

Vaughan, native of Corpus Christi, Texas, (Calallen HS) led the Buffaloes to an 8-3 record and a win in the Kanza Bowl over then-No. 23 Central Missouri.  He stepped into a starting role for the Buffaloes in the second game of the season on one of the biggest stages in sports – Cowboys Stadium against then-No. 5 Texas A&M-Kingsville.  He threw for 384 yards and three scores in a 42-21 win.  He finished the season with 3,316 yards and 25 touchdowns with just six interceptions to earn Honorable Mention All-Lone Star Conference honors.

Halpin, a junior from Mesquite, Texas, (Mesquite HS) saw action in three games as a sophomore last year going 12 of 24 with one interception and three touchdowns for 187 yards.

At the receiver position, Carthel feels the team is in good shape with juniors Torrance Allen and Lance Ratliff, while Carthel went on to say that junior Nathan Slaughter has improved his catching skills tremendously as he was dedicated over the summer and we have seen great benefits in his work ethic.

Allen, a Meridian, Texas, (Meridian HS) native, played in nine games as a sophomore with 21 receptions for 303 yards and two scores, while returning nine kicks for 220 yards.

Ratliff, a Lubbock, Texas, (Friendship HS) native, is the Buffs’ top returner at receiver as he played in 10 games with 44 receptions for 848 yards and six touchdowns.  Ratliff earned honorable mention all-conference honors last season as did Slaughter (Lubbock, Texas/Lubbock HS) who had 33 receptions in 11 games for 395 yards and three scores.

“The running back situation is very solid with Khiry (Robinson) and Aaron Harris, along with a couple of young players who we are excited to see run,” Carthel said.  “Geremy Alridge had a very strong spring game and I think he will have a really good season also.”

Robinson, a Temple, Texas, native, led the team in rushing as a junior with 669 yards on 103 attempts with 11 touchdowns.

Harris, a three star ( junior college transfer from Southwestern College in Chula Vista, Calif., originally committed to the University of Cincinnati in January and passed up on offers to Georgia and Iowa among others.  He has a 4.4-Forty according to  While at Southwestern, he broke the single-season rushing record set in 1986 with 1,163 yards.  He also broke the single-season touchdown record set in 2008 with 15 rushing TD’s on the season.

Alridge, a redshirt freshman from Dallas, Texas, had a strong showing in the spring game carrying the ball 13 times for 112 yards.

“Defensively, we are really solid at defensive end with Tyrell (Higgins) and Ethan Westbrooks and some really good players backing them up,” Carthel added.  “At nose guard, Deone Bondurant will be outstanding there and Aaron Wampler is a senior and a second team all-conference selection a year ago.”

Higgins, a senior, (Schertz, Texas/Clemens HS/Texas), played in 10 games last season with 34 tackles, including 10 solo stops, earning first team all-conference honors.  He had 5.5 tackles for loss for 27 yards which was good for fifth on the team while intercepting a pass. 

Junior college transfers Westbrooks (San Leandro, Calif./Franklin HS/Sacramento City) and Bondurant (Fairfield, Calif./Fairfield HS/Solano CC) had outstanding junior college careers.  Westbrooks was named Mid-Empire Conference Defensive Most Valuable Player, while earning first team all-conference honors.  He was second in California as a freshman with 12.5 sacks while accumulating 36 tackles and nine quarterback hurries.

Bondurant finished his first season at Solano with 61 tackles and 30 solo stops helping his team capture the first of two-straight Bay Valley Conference championships.  As a sophomore, he had 76 tackles with 42 solo stops and a state-leading 22.5 tackles for loss.

The linebacking corps is probably the strength of the defense, according to Carthel.

“Inside with Taylor McCuller and Kyle Voss…I don’t know if anyone has a better one than those two guys as I don’t want to play against them because these two are really, really good.  Outside backers we are really deep with Bryan Johnson, Kevin McCluskey along with LeBrandon Mosley and Chris Olson.”
In the secondary, Carthel feels it’s time for the young corner backs to step up and shine, while the safety position is pretty deep.

“Secondary and safeties we are very deep, but corners are the question mark if those guys can hold up.  They are very talented and young players who have been in the program for a year, two or three, and it’s their time to shine as they have been in the shadows of some fifth-year seniors over the last few years.  They’ve had a good camp so far and we are excited about the prospects on defense as well.”

Carthel feels the special teams are by far the strongest they’ve been in that area with deep snapper, place kicker, punter and kick off.  “Kevin VanVoris and Sergio Castillo are really talented and Ramon Lopez is a tremendous deep snapper and the kicking game is solid also.”

The Buffaloes had their second full-padded practice Tuesday morning and a full-padded practice is scheduled for Thursday at 9 a.m. prior to the team’s first scrimmage at the Buffalo Sports Park, Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.

The following week will feature two days of full pads (Aug. 20-21), along with a few days of shells and another scrimmage scheduled for Thurs., Aug. 23, at 10 a.m. also at the Buffalo Sports Park.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Pittsburg State Begins 2012 at No. 1 in Division II Poll

Pittsburg State, fresh off of their second Division II national championship in 2011, opens up 2012 as the preseason favorite to win the national championship. This is the first time since the AFCA Division II Coaches’ Poll started in 2000 that the Gorillas have begun the season ranked No. 1. Minnesota-Duluth comes in at No. 2 with five first place votes, followed by Northwest Missouri State, Midwestern State (Texas) and last year’s national runner-up, Wayne State (Mich.), rounding out the Top 5.
There will be three Top 25 matchups in the first week of the 2012 season, highlighted by No. 6 Colorado State-Pueblo playing host to No. 24 West Texas A&M.

2012 American Football Coaches Association Preseason Division II Coaches’ Poll – August 13, 2012
RankSchool (1st votes)2011 Rec.Pts.2011 Rank*Season OpenerHead Coach
1.Pittsburg St. (Kan.) (21)13-17201Aug. 30 at Northeastern St. (Okla.)Tim Beck
2.Minnesota-Duluth (5)11-36616Aug. 30 at Southwest Minnesota St.Bob Nielson
3.Northwest Missouri St. (1)11-36135Aug. 30 vs. East Central (Okla.)Adam Dorrel
4.Midwestern St. (Texas) (1)10-15827Sept. 8 at Tarleton St. (Texas)Bill Maskill
5.Wayne St. (Mich.) (1)12-45022Sept. 8 at Ashland (Ohio)Paul Winters
6.Colorado St.-Pueblo11-14819Aug. 30 vs. No. 24 West Texas A&MJohn Wristen
7.Grand Valley St. (Mich.)8-3473NRSept. 1 at Western OregonMatt Mitchell
8.Valdosta St. (Ga.)6-4415NRSept. 1 at Saginaw Valley St. (Mich.)David Dean
9.Winston-Salem St. (N.C.) (1)13-13863Sept. 1 vs. North Carolina-PembrokeConnell Maynor
10.Abilene Christian (Texas)8-336716Sept. 1 vs. McMurry (Texas)Ken Collums
11.California (Pa.)10-334715Aug. 30 vs. No. 17 Hillsdale (Mich.)Mike Kellar
12.Kutztown (Pa.)11-232913Aug. 30 vs. St. Anselm (N.H.)Raymond Monica
13.New Haven (Conn.)11-23228Sept. 1 vs. Merrimack (Mass.)Peter Rossomando
14.Delta St. (Miss.)11-32904Sept. 1 vs. Fort Valley St. (Ga.)Jamey Chadwell
15.West Alabama8-427423Sept. 1 at Clark Atlanta (Ga.)Will Hall
16.St. Cloud State (Minn.)9-326617Aug. 30 vs. Sioux Falls (S.D.)Scott Underwood
17.Hillsdale (Mich.)8-3228NRAug. 30 at No. 11 California (Pa.)Keith Otterbein
18.Missouri Western St.9-321818Aug. 30 vs. Central MissouriJerry Partridge
19.Shepherd (W.Va.)9-219922Sept. 1 at Shippensburg (Pa.)Monte Cater
20.Washburn (Kan.)10-318711Aug. 30 vs. Nebraska-KearneyCraig Schurig
21.Humboldt St. (Calif.)9-118320Aug. 30 vs. Colorado MesaRob Smith
22.Albany St. (Ga.)8-4149NRSept. 1 vs. No. 23 North Greenville (S.C.)Mike White
23.North Greenville (S.C.)11-313912Sept. 1 at No. 22 Albany St. (Ga.)Carroll McCray
24.West Texas A&M8-313225Aug. 30 at No. 6 Colorado St.-PuebloDon Carthel
25.Bloomsburg (Pa.)9-212921Aug. 31 at Stonehill (Mass.)Danny Hale
*– Ranking in final AFCA Division II Poll of 2011

Others Receiving Votes: Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.), 128; North Alabama, 128; Nebraska-Kearney, 122; Saginaw Valley St. (Mich.), 100; Ouachita Baptist (Ark.), 96; Central Missouri, 72; Indianapolis (Ind.), 70; Mars Hill (N.C.), 57; Indiana (Pa.), 49; North Carolina-Pembroke, 47; Elizabeth City St. (N.C.), 44; Minnesota St.-Mankato, 41; Colorado School of Mines, 40; East Central (Okla.), 33; Texas A&M-Kingsville, 32; Slippery Rock (Pa.), 18; Miles (Ala.), 15; Concord (W.Va.), 9; Tarleton St. (Texas), 9; West Georgia, 9; Morehouse (Ga.), 7; Ashland (Ohio), 6; Michigan Tech, 6; Southern Connecticut St., 6; Central Washington, 4; Henderson St. (Ark.), 3; Assumption (Mass.), 2; West Virginia Wesleyan, 2; Azusa Pacific, 1; Carson-Newman (Tenn.), 1; Harding (Ark.), 1.

Lone Star Conference

Angelo State University

Cameron University

Eastern New Mexico University

Texas A&M-Commerce

Tarleton State University

Texas A&M-Kingsville

Texas Woman's College

University of Texas of the Permian Basin

West Texas A&M University

Western New Mexico