Monday, September 30, 2013

LSC Football Recap - Week 4

LSC Scoop Players of the Week
Offense - Jerome Regal, Tarleton State - Regal's 251 rushing yards were good for third all time in Texan history and played a major role in Tarleton's defeat of the FCS ACU Wildcats.  Regal scored 2 TDs - an 11 yard TD with under a minute to play in the first half and gave TSU a 21-10 lead, and a 10 yard run in the second overtime, which proved to be the winning score.

Defense - Taylor McCuller, West Texas A&M - led the Buffaloes with 14 tackles as the WT defense held Texas A&M Kingsville to 188 of offense, with just 57 coming over the final 40 minutes of the game.

Special Teams - Blake Barnes, Tarleton State - Barnes was a perfect 5-5 on PATs and converted two field goals in Tarleton's win over ACU.  His first field goal, a 29 yard effort came with just 4 seconds left in the fourth quarter and sent the game to overtime.  In the first overtime, he connected on a 34 yarder to tie the game once again.


LSC Scoop Power Poll
  1. West Texas A&M - Nothing to say other than total domination.
  2. Tarleton State - Winning games that would have slipped away the last two years
  3. Midwestern State - Not the efficient machine of recent years, but a win is a win.
  4. Texas A&M-Commerce - another moral victory, next step is to close out games.
  5. Texas A&M-Kingsville - actually had a 142-84 edge in yards with game tied at 7.
  6. Angelo State - just two sustained drives at #1 Valdosta State.
  7. Eastern New Mexico - 3 Greyhound fumbles led to 17 UIW points.


Jerome Regal, Tarleton State University, SO, RB, Dallas, Namaan Forest HS

Regal rushed for a career-high 251 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns - including the game's deciding score - to help the No. 25-ranked Texans defeat NCAA Division I FCS member Abilene Christian 41-34 in double overtime in Frisco on Saturday. The sophomore running back averaged 8.1 yards per carry with a long run of 47 yards and added 33 yards on three receptions as well. His 251 rushing yards are third-most in school history as he became the school's first 200-yard rusher since 2009.

Taylor McCuller, West Texas A&M University, SR, LB, Red Oak, Texas, Red Oak HS

McCuller was all over the field Saturday in the Buffs' 69-7 win at Texas A&M-Kingsville. McCuller had a game-high 14 tackles, including five solo stops in the game as the Buff "D" held TAMUK to just 96 yards rushing and 188 total yards as the Javelinas were one of the top rushing teams in the country. McCuller is 25th nationally in tackles per game (10.8) and leads the conference.

Sergio Castillo, Jr., West Texas A&M University, SR, K, La Joya, Texas, La Joya HS

Castillo, Jr., had a record-setting outing at Texas A&M-Kingsville as he became WT's all-time leading career scorer with a 41-yard field goal with 16 seconds left in the first half giving the Buffs a 31-7 lead. He entered the game needing just four points to tie DeWayne Miles' record of 332 career points and the field goal gave Castillo seven for the game at that point. Castillo ended the game with 15 points and now has 343 during his career for a new Lone Star Conference record for kicking points, besting Abilene Christian's Matt Adams mark of 339. Castillo ranks seventh nationally in scoring this season at 13.8 points per game which leads the conference. He leads the nation in field goals per game at 2.5 and is 10 of 10 in field goals and 25 of 25 in extra-points for the season.


WT stays at #4, Tarleton State moves up to #22, Midwestern State drops out of the poll, but is the highest team receiving votes and Texas A&M Kingsville is still receiving votes.

Colorado State Pueblo still #5, Chadron is #19, Indianapolis is #21, Ohio Dominican moves into the #23 spot after blowing out Grand Valley State, and GVSU drops from #9 to #25.  Receiving votes are Colorado Mines, Ferris State, Michigan Tech, and Saginaw Valley.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Game Previews - Week 4

Eastern New Mexico (1-1) at Incarnate Word (2-2)
It's been a split season for the Cardinals so far.  When they have faced NAIA teams (Texas College and Langston), they are averaging 46.5 points, 465 yards and allowing just 68 yards and no points.  When they have faced FCS teams (Central Arkansas and Sam Houston), they have been outscored by an average of 55-14 and outgained 545-269.  Trent Brittain is leading the team in passing (778 yds, 6 TDs) and rushing (182 yds, 1 TD) and Casey Jennings is the leading receiver (20-296 2 TDs).  Three running backs have between 132 and 157 yards.  The move to FCS has not helped attendance - a reported average of 3,672 through two games.

Are the Greyhounds better than last year?  It's early, but our guess would be a tentative yes.  After dropping their season opener to New Mexico Highlands, ENMU blew out Sul Ross State in Dallas.  Last week, they edged the Air Force Academy JV 42-35 in an exhibition game.  Though the stats don't count (similar to TAMK's win over Monterrey Tech), ENMU did rush for 326 yards and pass for another 173.  The defense limited AF to 216 yards rushing on 60 carries, not too bad going against a run oriented team.

Look for ENMU to try and keep the offense balanced (255 yds rushing, 191 passing).  The defense needs to tighten up against the run (255 yds) to have a chance in this one.  This looks like a close, very competitive game.  Edge to ENMU - 28-24 Greyhounds.

Abilene Christian (3-1) vs. #25 Tarleton State (2-0)
Similar to UIW, the Wildcats have done well against lower competition (NAIA Concordia, McMurry, and New Mexico Highlands), but dropped their only FCS game so far.  In last week's loss, ACU was held to just 56 yards rushing and 232 passing.  For the season, they are averaging 53 points per game, 198 yards rushing, 296 passing, 494 total.  The defense is giving up 21 points and 377 total yards, with 138 coming on the ground and 239 passing.  John David Baker is continuing the great QB play that ACU has enjoyed for the past 8 years, with 1,158 yards and 16 TDs and no interceptions (202.7 QB rating).  Their other offensive leaders are familiar names - Charcandrick West (370 yards, 6 TDs rushing), Darian Hogg (22-428, 5 TDs receiving), Taylor Gabriel (13-239, 3 TDs) and Darrell Cantu-Harkless (349 all purpose yards, 3 TDs).  Angel Lopez and Thor Woerner lead the defense with 35 and 34 tackles respectively.  Nick Richardson has 5 sacks, and Woerner and Blake Rudd each have 2 interceptions.

When Angelo State scored two fourth quarter TDs (the second coming with under 2 minutes to play), it looked like the Texans were going to repeat their 2012 start - dropping a heartbreaker a week after knocking off Midwestern State.  But Jake Fenske led TSU 78 yards in 1:25 for the winning TD and putting Tarleton back in the AFCA rankings.  So far Tarleton's two QB system seems to be working - the Texans are averaging 32.5 points and 426 yards per game (166 rushing, 260 passing).  The defense is allowing 29 points and 438 yards per game, numbers that will need to get better if they are to contend for the LSC title and playoffs.

This game won't impact TSU's playoff chances at all, but ACU was the team in week 2 last year that kept Tarleton from consolidating its big week one win. That should give them a little extra motivation this week.  Texans win another close one, 34-31.

Angelo State (1-2) at #1 Valdosta State (2-0)
The defending national champions are off to a good start, winning their first two games by a 39-11 margin.  They are showing good balance on offense, rushing for 201 yards and passing for 235 per game, and return several familiar faces at the skill positions (QB Cayden Cochran, RBs Austin Scott and Cedric O'Neal, and WR Regginald Lewis).  The defense is only allowing 88 yards rushing and 247 passing.  They have turned the ball over 5 times.  They appear to be a national contender once again, but have yet to really be tested.

The Rams looked like they were going to get a breakout win last week as they reeled off 14 straight points to take a 34-31 lead over Tarleton State with just 1:48 to go.  The defense was unable to get a stop, and the offense saw it's miracle drive end with an interception at the goal line s time expired.  Positives from the game include Kyle Washington throwing for 286 yards and 2 TDs. Blake Smith and Jermie Calhoun topping the 100 yard mark rushing, and Quinn Reels catching 6 passes for 106 yards.  For the season, ASU is averaging 32 points and 523 yards per game, facing 2 ranked teams in 3 games.  They are showing great balance (287 yds rushing, 236 passing), but are an LSC worst in red zone offense (converting on 53% of their opportunities, and averaging just 3.5 points per trip inside the 20).  The defense is allowing an LSC worst 36.3 points and 480.7 yards per game.  Both the run (172 yds) and pass (309 yds) defense.  Some of those defensive stats arise from the level of competition the Rams have faced, but are still not good enough for a contending team, especially with three currently ranked teams to play.

As much as we'd like to see an outright win, it just doesn't look probable.  Valdosta wins this one 38-17.

Midwestern State (1-1) at Texas A&M-Commerce (2-1)
The Mustangs offense got back on track last week, rushing for 384 yards and 5 TDs.  Keidrick Jackson led the way with 184 yards and Dante Taylor had 123 of his own.  Jake Glover played most of the game at QB, throwing for 85 yards and rushing for 65.  The defense allowed just 74 yards rushing, but 276 through the air.  Still through two weeks, Midwestern State finds themselves in unfamiliar territory, last in the LSC in scoring, fourth in rushing and second to last in total offense.  Defensively, they are 3rd in scoring, total defense and passing defense and 4th in rushing. They are the least penalized team in the LSC and are 7-8 in the red zone averaging 5.2 points per opportunity, both second best.

If you could have stopped last week's game with 18 seconds to play in the third, the Lions would likely have been quite pleased with themselves.  At that point, they trailed by 10 and had been outgained by a respectable 374-296 yard margin.  However, over the last 15:18, WT outgained them 216-35, forced two turnovers and outscored them 31-7.  So after three games, TAMC is 2-1, averaging 41.3 points and 392.7 yards per game.  The running game has yet to materialize (last with 55 yards per game), but the passing is solid (2nd at 338 yds).  The defense is allowing 35 points and 382.3 yards weekly.  While the run defense has been stellar, giving up an LSC-best 54 yards per game, the pass defense has not, last at 329 yards).  Individually, Tyrik Rollison continues to impress, second in the LSC in yards (308) and efficiency (157.2).  Vernon Johnson is emerging as a dangerous receiver (12-266, 4 TDs in two games), while Seth Smith, Taylor Peasha and Stacy Howard are also catching a lot of balls (combined 30-409, 3 TDs).

The key to this game will likely be the MSU run offense vs. TAMC's run defense.  We're going to give the edge to the Mustangs this week as Commerce continues the learning process.  MSU 38-27.

Game of the Week 
#4 West Texas A&M (3-0) at Texas A&M-Kingsville (2-0)
If you look at the final score (62-28) from last week's game, you might get the impression that the Buffs had a relatively easy time with Texas A&M-Commerce.  However, the game was just 31-21 with 18 seconds remaining in the third quarter.  From that point on, WT used big plays from special teams (Nathan Slaughter 100 yard kickoff return on ensuing kickoff), offense (17 plays, 207 yards, 24 points on next 5 series) and defense (2 turnovers, 2 three and outs on next 5 Lion possessions) to pull away for the final margin.

Through 3 games, the Buffs look a lot like recent years - pass heavy offense (446 yds per game) that can score (48 pts), leading the LSC in both categories.  The defense is second in the LSC in both scoring (26.7) and yards allowed (354) per game, okay but not as good as it will need to be for a successful season.  Individually, Dustin Vaughan will have lots of family and friends in the stands and can become the all-time WT leader in passing yards with 313 this week.  Torrence Allen and Anthony Johnson are proving to be a dangerous duo, combining for 241 receiving yards per game. For the defense, Taylor McCuller leads the LSC with 29 tackles, and Curtis Slater is second on the team with 25 tackles and has forced two fumbles, picked off a pass and broken up three others.  All-American Ethan Westbrooks is off to a slow start, with no sacks and just 7 tackles so far, and reports are that he will miss at least the first half of Saturday's game due to an ejection last week.

The Javelinas put up some rushing numbers not seen since the Johnny Bailey - Heath Sherman days as they cruised to a 52-35 win over McMurry.  Four different players had 74 + yards rushing, led by Greg Pitre's 180 on 10 carries.  The passing game was much less impressive as their young QBs combined to go 8-18 for 48 yards with 3 interceptions.  For the season, TAMK leads the LSC in defense (23 points, 308 yards) per game, but haven't played top notch competition.  They are second in pass defense (196 yards, 97.8 efficiency rating).  The offense averaging 36.5 points per game and 466.5 yards, with 338 coming on the ground and 128.5 through the air.  Despite the lack of passing productivity, Robert Armstrong is second in the LSC with 14 receptions, good for 111 yards and a TD.  (Much more impressive f you add in the disallowed Monterrey Tech numbers (18-177 3 TDs in that game).  For the defense, linebacker Brandon James is the leading tackler with 16, while Zane Brown and Anthony Forker each have 2.5 TFL.  Interesting to note, 2 of the teams 3 interceptions have come from defensive linemen, with Victor Castro scoring a TD last week.

Interesting notes:
#1 Scoring offense vs. #1 Scoring defense
#1 Total offense vs. #1 Total defense
#2 Rushing defense vs. #1 Rushing offense
#1 Passing offense vs. #2 Passing defense
#2 Sack defense vs. #1 Sacks allowed offense
WT is averaging 151 yards in penalties per game

Never an easy trip (WT is 5-7 in Kingsville since 1985), but the Buffs have an experienced and explosive team.  Look for them to pull away and win 38-21.

Monday, September 23, 2013

LSC Football Recap - Week 3

LSC Scoop Players of the Week
Offense - Clifton Rhodes, III, Tarleton State - Rhodes had two catches in the first half, both for TDs, but saved his best for last.  In the fourth quarter he caught three more passes including the game winning 35 yard tipped TD pass with 30 seconds remaining.  He finished the game with 5 receptions for 103 yards and 3 TDs.

Defense - Marquis Wadley, Tarleton State - Wadley led the Texans with 11 tackles and intercepted a pass in the first quarter.  His biggest play came in the fourth quarter with Tarleton holding a slim 24-20 lead.  He not only forced Talon Smith to fumble but also recovered, setting up a Tarleton TD four plays later.

Special Teams - Nathan Slaughter, WTAM - had two kickoff returns for 133 yards, including a 100 yard return for a TD after Texas A&-Commerce had pulled to within 31-21 late in the third quarter.  For the season, Slaughter is averaging a staggering 46.5 yards per kick return.

Honorable Mention
Dustin Vaughan, WTAM - 508 yards and 4 TDs passing with no interceptions
Kyle Washington, ASU - threw for 286 yards and 2 TDs
Tyrik Rollison, TAMC - 257 yards, 3 TDs passing
Greg Pitre, TAMK - 180 yards rushing on 10 carries, 2 TDs
Corneluis Shackelford, TAMK - 78 yards rushing on 10 carries, 2 TDs
Keidrick Jackson, MSU - 184 yards rushing, 2 TDs on 27 carries
Dante Taylor, MSU - 123 yards, 2 TDs on just 9 carries
Anthony Johnson, WTAM -  9 receptions for 181 yards, 1 TD
Torrence Allen, WTAM - 8 receptions for 103 yards
Vernon Johnson, TAMC - 3 receptions for 137 yards and 2 TDs
Quinn Reels, ASU - 6 receptions for 106 yds and a TD

Devin Figures, TSU - game saving interception at the TSU 2 yard line as time expired
Curtis Slater, WTAM - 12 tackles, 3.5 for loss, 2 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, 1 forced fumble
Jarred Ross, ASU - 11 tackles

Desmond Jackson, TSU - 2 punt returns for 69 yards, including a 37 yarder to Anglo's 29 to set up a TD on the next play


LSC Scoop Power Poll

  1. West Texas A&M - Solid win, but 238 penalty yards?
  2. Tarleton State - came from behind late to win back and forth battle in San Angelo
  3. Midwestern State - dominated second half to pull away from stubborn West Georgia squad
  4. Texas A&M-Kingsville - running game was unleashed against McMurry
  5. Texas A&M-Commerce - hung around for three quarters in Canyon
  6. Angelo State - not quite able to pull out the upset over Tarleton State.
  7. Eastern New Mexico - beat the Air Force JV 42-35 in an exhibition game


West Texas A&M 62,  Texas A&M-Commerce 28
Midwestern State 38, West Georgia 28
Tarleton State 38, Angelo State 34
Texas A&M-Kingsville 52, McMurry 32

LSC Game Boxscores and Stats


AFCA Poll 
West Texas A&M remains at #4, while Midwestern State moves up a couple of spots to #23 and Tarleton State enters the rankings at #25.  Texas A&M-Kingsville is just two spots out of the poll.

Other Super Region 4 teams include #5 Colorado State Pueblo, #9 Grand Valley State, #21 Chadron State, and #22 Indianapolis.  Receiving votes are Colorado School of Mines, Michigan Tech, Ohio Dominican and Ferris State.


LSC Weekly Football Release
Five games are on the schedule for this week including a pair of Lone Star Conference contests - Midwestern State at A&M-Commerce and West Texas A&M at Texas A&M-Kingsville.  Non-conference contests include Angelo State at Valdosta State as part of the GSC-LSC First and Ten Challenge, Tarleton State versus Abilene Christian at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, and Eastern New Mexico at Incarnate Word.
WT, TSU and TAMUK remain undefeated in 2013.
The LSC has a 2-0 advantage in the GSC-LSC First and Ten Challenge with MSU's win over West Georgia and A&M-C's triumph over Delta State.
LSC football teams are 12-5 overall this season.  The squads are 3-2 combined versus the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, Great Lakes Valley Conference and Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference teams, which are also in NCAA Super Regional Four.

Dustin Vaughan, West Texas A&M University, SR, QB, Corpus Christi, Texas, Calallan HS

Vaughan had another career outing in the Buffs' 62-28 win over Texas A&M-Commerce in the home-opener Saturday. Vaughan threw for a career-high 508 yards with four touchdowns and ran for his first career rushing touchdown. Vaughan's 62 attempts set a career-high for him. He was 36 of 62 in the game with no interceptions. His 508 yards passing moved him into second all-time in school history in career passing yards with 9,457 surpassing Keith Null (9,385) and is just 342 from breaking Taylor Harris' record of 9,799. He

Lynn Williams, Midwestern State University, SR, S, Greenville, Miss., Desoto Central

Making his first start of the season, Williams helped lead Midwestern State to a 38-28 win at West Georgia in the Lone Star Conference-Gulf South Conference First and Ten Challenge. The 5-10, 180-pound senior rover helped key the Mustangs defense that limited West Georgia to 350 yards with only 74 rushing. Williams recorded four tackles, including a sack for a loss of six yards and he made the game clinching interception in the fourth quarter that sealed the win.

Nathan Slaughter, West Texas A&M University, SR, PR/KR, Lubbock, Texas, Lubbock HS

Slaughter had a career special team's day in the Buffs' 62-28 win over Texas A&M-Commerce Saturday. He returned two kickoffs for 133 yards, including an electrifying, coast-to-coast 100-yarder for a touchdown immediately following a touchdown by A&M-C that brought the Lions back to within 10 at 31-21 midway through the third quarter as the momentum looked to be shifting back to A&M-C.  It was the fifth 100-yard kick return for a score in school history and first since 2003, and also tied the Lone Star Conference record. Slaughter entered the game ranked first nationally in kick returns at 39.0 yards per return. He now is averaging 46.5 yards per return. Slaughter also had five receptions for 52 yards and a score in the game.

Friday, September 20, 2013

LSC Game Previews - Week 3

Midwestern State (0-1) at West Georgia (2-0)
The Mustangs find themselves in an early season hole after dropping their season opener last week to Tarleton State 27-24.  The running game never got going, with the Mustangs limited to just 79 yards on the day (All-American candidate Keidrick Jackson had just 46 on 17 carries and no TDs).  Shavodrick Beaver got the start for MSU and completed 6-9 passes for 85 yards and a TD on MSU's second series of the game.  Jake Glover came on in relief with MSU down 27-10 and helped the Mustangs pull to within 27-24 as he went 11-18 for 174 yards and 2 TDs.  The defense allowed TDs on four consecutive Tarleton possessions, including long sustained drives of 12 or more plays that averaged 5 minutes.

UWG is 2-0 on the season, beating Mars Hill 31-21 and Miles 31-7.  They are rushing for an impressive 253 yards per game, with Quan Jones leading the way with a 127 average.  Not much of a passing game - only 69 yards per game.  The defense is allowing 137 yards rushing and 174 through the air.  Last year, the Wolves went 3-7, losing three games by 7 or less, and dropping 7 of their final 8 games.  MSU beat UWG 35-17 in the regular season finale.

Running back Chauncey Harris did not play last week and is not listed on the two-deep for this week.  He rushed for 232 yards last year against West Georgia.

Is it deja vu all over again?  Look for the Mustangs to bounce back ala 2012 and pick up the road win 35-17 again.

McMurry (0-2) at Texas A&M Kingsville (1-0)
The Warhawks will be joining the LSC for football next year, but will face 5 LSC (and two former LSC teams) this year.  They travel to Kingsville to face the Javelinas this weekend.  They have had a rough go so far this year, losing 60-17 to ACU and 50-13 to Stephen F. Austin.  They were competitive for a while in those games, trailing ACU 32-17 midway through the third quarter, and leading SFA 13-10 with just over 5 minutes to play in the first half, however in both games things turned ugly eventually.  They have allowed 295 yards rushing and 306 passing per game, while gaining 142 on the ground and 203 through the air.  Soph. Brady Lambert has the tough task of coming in after Jake Mullin's record setting career at quarterback.  His favorite targets have been Jeret Smith (16 receptions for 187 yards) and Greg Livingston (10-55).  The run game is led by Paxton Grayer and Chris Simpson (combined 126 yds per game).  Defensively, 4 of the teams top tacklers are in the secondary, not a good sign.

On the other hand, Texas A&M Kingsville has won both of their contests (last week's is considered an exhibition and does not count either as a win or stats for the team and players).  Robert Armstrong had a monster game last week, official or not.  He not only grabbed 18 passes for 177 yards and 3 TDs, but also carried the ball on the last two plays of the game, getting the game winning 11 yard run in the third overtime.  The team does not appear to have settled on a quarterback, with senior Dean Brantley and redshirt freshman Alex Rios splitting time under center.  The stats look good (combined 65% completion rate, 5 TDs, 1 Int), but they have yet to find a consistent offensive rhythm.  The running game has yet to materialze, averaging just 125 yds per game (95 taking away one long TD run).  The defense has played better, allowing just 308 yards per game, but has also had some rough stretches.

Look for the Javelinas to show some improvement playing at home, taking a 31-17 win.

Tarleton State (1-0) at Angelo State (1-1)
For the second straight year, Tarleton State opened their season with a win over Midwestern State.  The defense was stellar, limiting the Mustangs to just 338 yards, with just 79 coming on the ground.  The offense struggled early, but put together 4 consecutive TD drives in the middle of the game, just enough to get the win.  Aaron Doyle and Jake Fenske split time at QB and both were effective.  Zach Henshaw and Jerome Regal each had 80+ yards rushing and four different players had 3+ receptions.

Angelo ran into the RMAC buzz saw that is Colorado State Pueblo.  The Rams fell behind 21-0 in the second quarter, but fought back to pull with 21-17 midway through the third quarter.  However that was as close as they would get as CSUP was able to pull away and win by 3 TDs.  Kyle Washington was having a really good ball game (173 yards passing, 139 yards rushing) before leaving in the fourth quarter.  Jermie Calhoun and Blake Smith were held to a combined 75 yards on 29 carries.  Rush Seaver had a solid game on defense with 7 tackles and an interception that he returned 100 yards for a TD.

This is a big game for both teams for different reasons.  Tarleton needs to build on last week's big win - last year they were unable to, dropping a game to ACU that they should have won.  Angelo is in the middle of a 3 game stretch that will either make or break their playoff chances (Valdosta State up next week).  We think Tarleton will pull it out, but a healthy Washington could make this a close game.  Tarleton 31-21.

Game of the Week
Texas A&M Commerce at West Texas A&M
In the offseason, this was a game of interest, not so much for the actual contest, but the father vs. son, former defensive coordinator now head coach at a new school angle.  However with Texas A&M-Commerce's early season performance and the dismissal of Don Carthel at WT, the focus is now on the game itself.

With a new coach and staff in place and a roster with a lot of transfers contributing, Texas A&M Commerce is off to a fast start.  The Lions currently lead the LSC in scoring and are fourth in yards gained.  Most of those yards are coming through the air (374 per game, 50 rushing).  Tyrik Rollison is second in the LSC with 333 yds passing per game and a 158.4 rating.  He is spreading the ball around with 3 players aready over 100 receiving yards.  Not much of a running game yet.  The defense is also showing improvement second in both scoring and yards allowed.  Tevin Moore has 5 of the teams 19 sacks and 8 of the teams 38 tackles for loss.   Disclaimer - Sul Ross State is a middling D3 school and Delta State was 3-7 last year, but recent TAMC teams would not have done as well.

Even the biggest Chadron State fan could not have drawn up a better open to last Thursday night's game.  A 77 yard TD run on the first play from scrimmage, a 7 yard TD pass on the next CSC offensive play after a turnover and a 17 play 82 yard TD drive on the third possession to take a 21-0 lead.  WT was on the ropes and about to go down 28-3 when Curtis Slater got a game-saving interception early in the second quarter.  The second half was a completely different story with the Buffs clicking on all cylinders.  Big returns from Nathan Slaughter opening the second half and Jeremy Watson in fourth set up two short WT TD drives.  Aaron Harris had 59 yards rushing and 2 TDs and Dustin Vaughan went 17-23 for 225 yards and a TD.  Just enough to pull out the win and avoid the upset.

So who does this Lion team remind me of in recent years?  New coach, pass-happy offense, early season success..... maybe, just maybe, the 2005 Buffaloes.  Their coming out game was in week 5 against #3 Texas A&M-Kingsville.  So can TAMC duplicate that statement game?  Not likely.  Not with Dustin Vaughn at the helm for the Buffs, with plenty of weapons around him and at home.  No, not likely at all.  WT 38-17.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

LSC Soccer & Volleyball Releases


The season heats up with the start of Lone Star Conference action this week.  The league slate starts Tuesday with West Texas A&M at Midwestern State, Eastern New Mexico at Cameron and A&M-Commerce at Texas Woman's.
After two weeks of non-conference play, A&M-C and MSU top the standings with one loss each.
LSC volleyball teams are 47-29 overall this season.  The squads are currently 11-8 combined versus Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference teams, and 12-5 against the Heartland Conference, which are the other conferences in the NCAA South Central Region.
Stacie Murrah, Tarleton State University, SR, San Antonio, Texas, O'Connor HS

Murrah put together the best week of her career to lead Tarleton to three wins in five games - with the only two losses coming against No. 19 Colorado Mines and a five-set heartbreaker to No. 6 Washburn. The senior from San Antonio led the TexAnns by far in kills with 80 - nearly doubling her next closest teammate who had 41. Murrah hit .287 with her 80 kills to also lead the team with 87.0 points. She recorded double-figure kills in all five games last week, including a career-high 26 kills to guide Tarleton out of a 2-1 match deficit to defeat Western Oregon in five sets Friday night. For the week, Murrah also added 19 digs and 14 blocks.

Maddie Huth, Angelo State University, SR, The Colony, Texas, The Colony HS
Huth was named to the Colorado Premier Challenge's All-Tournament team after helping lead the Belles to wins over No. 3 Nebraska-Kearney and Metro State and finishing the tournament with 46 kills and 15 blocks. The returning AVCA All-American had a .289 hitting percentage in the competitive tournament and had 3.07 kills per set. She also added 22 digs over the weekend. Huth, who was the LSC's Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, now has 87 kills and a .303 hitting percentage through the first eight matches of the season.

Emily Klein, Tarleton State University, SR, Amarillo, Texas, Amarillo HS

Klein was a defensive force for the TexAnns helping Tarleton to three wins in five games - with the only two losses coming to No. 19 Colorado Mines in Colorado and No. 6 Washburn in a five-set heartbreaker. The senior libero led Tarleton with 117 digs, including tying her career high with 34 in Friday night's comeback victory over Western Oregon. Klein recorded double-figure digs in all five games and at least 20 digs in four the five games. The only match in which she didn't record 20 digs was a sweep of Fort Lewis where she averaged 5.0 digs per set (15). Klein also led the team in service aces for the week with 6.

Laura Iwuchukwu, West Texas A&M University, SR, Edmond, Okla., Edmond North
Iwuchukwu had a big weekend for the then #9 Lady Buffs as the senior middle registered three solo and 31 assisted blocks on the weekend at the Colorado Premiere to go along with 31 kills for an average of 1.72 per set. Iwuchukwu averaged 1.89 blocks per set on the weekend including a stellar performance on Saturday in a five set win against Adams State that saw the Edmond native register 3 solo and 12 block assists. The 12 assisted blocks ranks tied for 5th (Megan Spivey vs. UCO '95) in the Lady Buff single game record books.

Jordan Neal, Texas A&M University - Commerce, SR, Joshua, Texas, Joshua HS

Recorded a season high 64 assists against Dallas Baptist (9/10)...Notched a double-double against UTPB (49 assists, 17 digs) on 9/14...Averaged a half assist higher than her season average over the past week...Leads the LSC in assists per set by over 1 full assists/set.

Maggi Jo Keffury, Angelo State University, JR, Arroyo, Calif., Arroyo Grande HS
Keffury was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Colorado Premier Challenge after helping lead the Belles to wins over No. 3 Nebraska-Kearney and Metro State. The junior setter recorded 159 assists (10.60 per set), including establishing a career high 45 assists in a tough loss to No. 4 Concordia-St. Paul. Keffury now has 280 assists through the first eight matches of the season and has also provided 58 digs to the ASU cause.

Non-conference play continues this week for Lone Star Conference teams.  A&M-Commerce leads the league with a 2-1 overall record.
The women's teams are 10-13-4 overall this season.  The squads are currently 5-6-3 combined versus Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference teams, and 1-2 against the Heartland Conference, which are the other conferences in the NCAA South Central Region.


Ashley Cottrell, Midwestern State University, SO, Forward, Arlington, Texas, Mansfield Summit HS
Cottrell erupted for two goals and an assist to lead Midwestern State to a 3-0 win over Oklahoma Christian. The 5-9 sophomore striker beat numerous defenders traveling to the goal line before beating the OC keeper for a tally in the 38th minute then dished an assist to Katy Catney in the 85th minute. Cottrell polished off the effort by knocking in a tally off of a corner kick in the final minute of the match. It was her third career multiple-goal game and highest point output.

Alyxandra Ortiz, Eastern New Mexico University, SO, Rio Rancho, N.M., V. Sue Cleveland HS

Ortiz posted two shutouts last week and made 15 saves. Her biggest save preserved a scoreless double-overtime tie against then sixth-ranked Colorado School of Mines. Ortiz followed with a 1-0 victory at Adams State. In four contests this season, she has allowed just one goal and currently has a shutout streak of 200 minutes.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

LSC Cross Country Preview - from Don Garrett

Who would guess that after 2 decades of being a dominant force in cross country, that the departure of ACU to the Southland Conference would have less impact on the LSC than the departure of fellow SLC defector Incarnate Word, particularly in the women’s race. If and when McMurry becomes a full-fledged member of the LSC, they will have some impact, but for now, 7 LSC schools will go to the line in cross country and the team races should be hotly contested.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Javelina SAAC Leads LSC In Make-A-Wish Donations

(from the current Javelina Highlights)
The Texas A&M-Kingsville Student-Athletic Advisory Committee led the Lone Star Conference in money raised for the Make-A-Wish Foundation during the 2012-13 school year.

The Javelina group raised $5,189.83 of the LSC’s $16,951.28. TAMUK more than doubled the second highest total, $2,450.96 by Texas A&M-Commerce.

Totals from other conference schools were $1,956.14 by Angelo State, $1,500 by Eastern New Mexico, $1,391.29 by Cameron, $1,226.48 by Abilene Christian, $1,202.47 by West Texas A&M, $1,052.90 by
Tarleton State, $682.21 by Texas Woman’s and $300 by Incarnate Word.

Midwestern State didn’t have a donation.

NCAA Division II and the LSC have the Make-A-Wish Foundation as their charity for fundraising efforts throughout the school year. TAMUK has been one of the top donors to the campaign each year since the start of the project. The TAMUK SAAC group collects money for Make-A-Wish at home athletic events throughout the school year.

Monday, September 16, 2013

LSC Football Recap - Week 2

AFCA Poll 
WTAM stays at #4, Midwestern State falls to #25, Tarleton State is the top team receiving votes just outside the top 25, and TAMK is receiving votes 6 spots back

Colorado State Pueblo is #5, Grand Valley State is #10, Indianapolis is #12, Chadron State drops to #21, Michigan Tech, Colorado School of Mines, Saginaw Valley, and Ohio Dominican are receiving votes

LSC Weekly Release
Four games are on the schedule for this week including a pair of Lone Star Conference contests - A&M-Commerce at West Texas A&M and Tarleton State at Angelo State.  The Texans and Rams matchup is going to be streamed to the Fox Southwest website.  Midwestern State plays at West Georgia as part of the GSC-LSC First and Ten Challenge, and  Texas A&M-Kingsville hosts McMurry in non-conference play.
TSU, A&M-C, WT and TAMUK remain undefeated in 2013.
The LSC has the early advantage in the GSC-LSC First and Ten Challenge by virtue of A&M-C's win over Delta State.
LSC football teams are 8-3 overall this season.  The squads are 3-2 combined versus the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, Great Lakes Valley Conference and Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference teams, which are also in NCAA Super Regional Four.

The third annual Lone Star Football Festival had 28,234 fans at the three-day, seven-game event at AT&T Stadium.  
On Thursday, a crowd of 3,093 watched West Texas A&M come back to defeat Chadron State 34-31 on the CBS Sports Network as the NCAA Division II Football Game of the Week.  
Eastern New Mexico topped Sul Ross State 55-24, A&M-Commerce upset Delta State 45-37, and Puebla beat Mexico City 23-20 in the first-ever Mexican collegiate football game to be played at AT&T Stadium in Friday's action in front of 8,194 fans.  
The festival concluded Saturday with a tripleheader of games attended by 16,947, including Texas A&M-Kingsville over Monterrey Tech 40-37 in a three-overtime exhibition contest, Tarleton State edging Midwestern State 27-24, and CSU-Pueblo defeating Angelo State 45-24.

Aaron Harris, West Texas A&M University, SR, RB, El Cajon, Calif., Granite Hills HS

Harris had his breakout game in a WT uniform capping a thrilling comeback as the Buffs rallied from 15 points down in the fourth quarter for a 34-31 win over Chadron State. Harris led the team with 103 yards on the ground on 17 carries with two touchdowns and caught four passes for 21 yards and a score. Harris had two touchdowns in the fourth quarter alone, including the game-tying score on a 19-yard pass with 6:36 remaining. WT outscored Chadron State 18-0 in the fourth quarter.  

Robert Armstrong, Texas A&M University - Kingsville, SR, WR, Cuero, Texas, Cuero HS
Armstrong had a career outing against Monterrey Tech in Saturday's exhibition game at the Lone Star Football Festival. The Javelina senior wide receiver pulled in 18 catches for 177 yards and three touchdowns. He had three receiving TDs and a rushing TD from 11 yards out. If not an exhibition game, Saturday's performance would have been record-setting. His 18 receptions were six better than the prior school record, while his three touchdown receptions would tie a school record. His third touchdown reception tied the game at 27 with 2:49 to send the game to overtime. His 11-yard run was the game-winning score.

Marc Martinez, Tarleton State University, SR, LB, Waco, Texas, Midway

Martinez was all over the field for the Texans on Saturday as he anchored a defense that limited Midwestern State to just 79 yards on the ground - the Mustangs' lowest rushing total since 2009. Martinez led the Texans with a game-high 13 tackles on the day, with seven of them coming unassisted. He had one tackle-for-loss and forced a fumble as well.

Taylor McCuller, West Texas A&M University, SR, LB, Red Oak, Texas, Red Oak HS
McCuller had his first career interception and it couldn't have come at a better time as he picked off Chadron State quarterback Jonn McLain on a 4th and four from the WT 34 in a tie game late in the fourth quarter setting the Buffs up for the game-winning field goal drive. McCuller led the team and the game with 17 tackles and a career, game-high 10 solo stops as he was all over the field all night long. McCuller and the Buffs' "D" put the clamps down on the high-powered Chadron offense in the second half outscoring the Eagles 28-7, including 18-0 in the fourth quarter.

Ronald Fields, Texas A&M University - Commerce, JR, PR/KR, Sacramento, Calif., Grant Union HS

Field played a key role in A&M-Commerce's 45-37 upset win over 25th-ranked Delta State, leading directly to a pair of Lion touchdowns. In the second quarter, Fields broke free of traffic and scampered 83 yards on a punt return touchdown, giving A&M-Commerce a 21-10 lead. Then, in the fourth quarter, he intercepted a Statesmen pass, returned it 34 yards before teammate Leo Migo took it the remaining seven for a pick-six that gave A&M-Commerce a commanding 42-30 lead with six minutes to play. Defensively, Fields also notched nine tackles for the Lions with four pass breakups.

Anthony Washington, Texas A&M University - Kingsville, JR, PR/KR, Cypress, Texas, Cy Springs
Washington continues to show his big-play ability. The Javelina speedster opened the exhibition game on a high-note for the Javelinas taking the opening kickoff back 100 yards for a touchdown. While the return is not official, the return is the fifth 100-yard return in Javelina history. The last Hoggie to return a kick for a touchdown was Derrick Foster against East Central on Nov. 13, 1999. Washington now has the two touchdowns for a combined 160 yards. Jonathan Woodson is the last Javelina to returned a kick with a 93-yard return at Tarleton State in 2012.


Game Recaps
2013 Lone Star Football Festival
Arlington, Texas / AT&T Stadium

West Texas A&M 34, Chadron State 31
Eastern New Mexico 55, Sul Ross State 24
Texas A&M-Commerce 45, Delta State 37
Texas A&M-Kingsville 40, Monterrey Tech 37 (3 OT)
Tarleton State 27, Midwestern State 24
Colorado State-Pueblo 45, Angelo State 24


LSC Scoop Players of the Week
Offense - Robert Armstrong, TAMK - helped the Javelinas avoid the upset to Monterrey Tech by catching a team record 18 passes for 177 yards and 3 TDs and rushing for another.  His TD receptions came in the 1st quarter, in the 4th quarter with 2:49 to play and in the first overtime.  Down by three in the third overtime, Armstrong got the call running the ball and scored from 11 yards out to help TAMK escape.

Defense - Taylor McCuller, WTAM - led the Buffs with 17 tackles in their 34-31 comeback win over Chadron State.  Taylor's biggest play came with the score tied at 31-all and Chadron driving for the go-ahead score, as he intercepted a John McLain pass on fourth down at the Buffalo 25 yard line.  WT would kick the game winning field goal on the ensuing drive.

Special Teams - Sergio Castillo, WTAM - was a perfect 4-4 on field goals, including a game winning 21 yarder with just 49 seconds to play in WT's win over Chadron State.


LSC Scoop Power Poll

  1. West Texas A&M - Solid comeback over a potential playoff team
  2. Tarleton State - not only knocked off Midwestern State, but really shut down the running game
  3. Midwestern State - showed last year that an opening week defeat is not a death knell
  4. Texas A&M-Kingsville - have not learned much about team after two games
  5. Texas A&M-Commerce - have shown offensive spark early in the season
  6. Angelo State - tough loss and Tarleton coming up
  7. Eastern New Mexico - nice win, but it was Sul Ross


Sunday, September 15, 2013

LSC Cross Country Preseason Predictions - 2013

Who would guess that after 2 decades of being a dominant force in cross country, that the departure of ACU to the Southland Conference would have less impact on the LSC than the departure of fellow SLC defector Incarnate Word, particularly in the women’s race. If and when McMurry becomes a full-fledged member of the LSC, they will have some impact, but for now, 7 LSC schools will go to the line in cross country and the team races should be hotly contested.

WOMEN – Midwestern came into the LSC meet last fall fully expecting to “four-peat” as LSC champs, but a spirited West Texas team stole away the crown in rather convincing fashion. Almost across the board, WT runners ran the race of their lifetime and the MSU runners ran just a bit behind their best. The upshot was a huge upset for WT and Midwestern vowing to come back in 2013 much stronger. On each school in the conference, I will give you the school’s 2012 finish, as well as their predicted finish in the official LSC preseason poll. As you will note, the 2013 predicted finish follows the 2012 place exactly, regardless of who was active in recruiting or who lost key people.

WEST TEXAS – finished 1st in 2012 and picked first in 2013

Athletes lost – WT takes a HUGE hit in losing the 2012 LSC champ, Brenda Sindet, who was also of the top LSC athletes on the track – winning the 5K, finishing runnerup in the steeple, and 3rd in the 1500; Jessica Blakely – an all-conference runner, finishing 13th last fall; and they apparently let one of their Spaniards, Cristina Saladrich, go home – no big loss as she finished 33rd last fall in cross country.

Returnees – Mireia Guarner (So) – another Spaniard who was the LSC runnerup last fall; Amber Moore (Sr) – 3rd place last year to complete the WT sweep of the top spots; Emma Love (Jr) – 11th last year, as well as scoring well on the track last spring with 5th places in both the 5K and 10K; then the Sparks twins from tiny Wheeler, TX – Taylor in 17th place and Haley in 22nd; Rhemecka Graham finished 52nd last year, but she is more of a halfmiler, finishing 6th last season in that distance at the LSC track meet.

Signees – a solid group:
  • ·         Carley Glass – freshman from Luling – she finished 9th in the 2A XC meet last fall, then had an excellent state track meet, winning the 2A 3200 and finishing 4th in the 1600
  • ·         Emily Craft – freshman from Canyon Randall – 7th in the 4A XC in the fall, then 7th in the 4A 800 – she appears to be better suited to the 800/1500, like Rhemecka Graham
  • ·         Michaela Johnson – Junior from Carlsbad, NM and transfer from South Plains – 55th in the JC cross country and 17th in the JC half-marathon – a veteran distance runner who never quite broke through running for SPC

West Texas will be good again this year, with 5 of their returnees in the top 22 at the LSC meet, BUT, they lose the LSC champ, plus a 13th place finisher – 2 of the runners who counted for points in 2012 (in cross country, you count the first 5 finishers across the line in calculating the team points). They pick up one really strong freshman, plus another promising freshman and a JC transfer with potential. Still, overcoming Midwestern again will be pretty tough. My Pick – 2nd place

MIDWESTERN – 2nd in 2012 and picked to finish 2nd again 2013, by a rather narrow margin

Athletes lost – Tylo Farrar (30th, which was 7th on the MSU team – she transferred to Tarleton to run this year) and Nadia Majed  (35th), a transfer from Oklahoma Baptist who had one year of XC eligibility to use

Returnees – Janel Campbell (Sr) – 8th in 2012; Ashley Flores (Sr) – 9th last fall in XC, then 3rd in the LSC 5K and 6th in the 1500); Abigail Gonzales (Sr) – 16th last fall; the Krezonoski twins (both juniors), Michelle was 12th in XC, as well as 6th on the track in the 5K and 7th in the 10K, and Kim – 19th in XC last fall; Brittany Adams (So) – 26th in XC; Melody Caldwell (Sr) – 32nd last fall; Maira Salinas (So) – 27th in XC; plus, Cara Mack (Jr), who placed a solid 16th in 2010, before a severe injury caused her to redshirt 2011 and only run in a few meets in 2012 – if she is anywhere close to healthy, that represents a big plus for MSU.

Redshirts – Danielle Chavarria (RS-Jr) – 3rd in the California Community College North Region XC in 2011; C.J. Frizzell (RS-Fr) – 39th in the 4A XC-2011, then 4th in the Region I-4A 800 in 2012, just missing a trip to state

Newcomers – heavy on the JC transfers, looking for instant impact:
  • ·         Emma Ramirez (Jr) – transfer from Antelope Valley JC in California, where she was 3rd in the California JC XC last fall, before finishing 3rd in the CA JC 1500 last spring
  • ·         Ruth Rodarte (Jr) – transfer from Los Angeles Trade Tech – 18th in the California JC XC in 2012, then 1st in the JC South Coast Conference 5K
  • ·         Gabby Ruiz (Jr) – transfer from Allen CC in Kansas – 13th in the JC national XC in 2012, then 4th in the JC 10K and 6th in the 5K on the track
  • ·         Lucia Trejo (Jr) – transfer from Los Angeles Trade Tech – 58th in the California JC cross country meet in 2012
  • ·         Maranda Rodriguez (Fr) – she won District 26-5A 800 in 2012 (could find nothing for 2012-13)

Midwestern returns her top 6 finishers from 2012, adds 2 redshirts that probably would have been in their top 10 last years and adds a slew of JC transfers with credentials. Midwestern has a huge advantage over WT in they do not field anything by distance runners – they do not use scholarships on sprinters, hurdlers, jumpers or throwers. That advantage will show up bit this year. My Pick – 1st.

ANGELO STATE – placed 4th, behind Incarnate Word in 2012, picked 3rd this year

Athletes lost – Emeline Crutcher – 6th last fall and their leader for 4 years, in XC and on the track; Sofia Ramos – 25th last fall; Kami Orsak – 27th in 2012;  Jessica Boudreau – 28th at the LSC XC meet; Katy Williams – 49th in XC, although he finished a much more competitive 8th in the LSC steeple in the spring.

Returnees – Annifer Flores (Jr) – 5th in the LSC XC meet, the highest finisher for ASU in 2012; and Chastity King (So) – 53rd in the XC meet in her first year from tiny Zephyr.

Newcomers – some kids with potential and 2 solid transfers, but a lot of losses to overcome
  • ·         Chavelle Moreno (Jr) – from Comanche HS and a transfer from New Mexico JC – 54th in the JC national XC meet, she was 6th in the JC indoor and outdoor national track meets and will have much more impact outdoors next spring
  • ·         Candida Chairez (So) – Del Rio HS and transferring from Incarnate Word, where she was 44th in the LSC XC last year
  • ·         Crystal Schlueter (Fr) – from Harper, where she was 23rd in the 1A XC and 7th in the 3200 on the track
  • ·         Samantha Munderback (Fr) – Del Rio – 69th in the Region IV-5A XC meet last fall
  • ·         Alexis Latham (Fr) – from San Angelo Cornerstone Christian, where the graduating class is about 5-10 per year. I would not put much stock into this signing, since I could only find one result on Latham, BUT, the last kid who came to Angelo State from Cornerstone was Andria Nussey and she ended up a multiple time All-American. You never know.

Angelo took heavy losses from last year, 5 of their top 6 finishers at the LSC meet. They have replaced them with some runners who show promise, but not the level of the kids they lost. My Pick – 5th place

EASTERN NEW MEXICO – 5th in 2012 and picked 4th in 2013.

Athletes lost: Adrienne Montoya – (only 36th in 2012, she was 12th in 2010 and only 1 place away from Freshman of the Year); Andrea Wittman (23rd in 2012 – a very promising freshman who left at midterm last year); Leigh Ann Omarkhail (41st, plus 9th in the steeple on the track);  Jherica Rhodes (69th in 2012)

Returnees – Brittany Buchanan (Sr) – 7th in XC, then a disappointing 10th in the 10K on the track; Amber Saiz (So) – 21st in XC, then 9th in the LSC 800; Beth Blind (Jr) – 38th in XC; Sabrina Huelga (Jr) – 45th in XC, but much stronger on the track, where she was 8th in both the 800 and 1500; and a huge addition in Alesha Jones, who redshirted XC last year, but was the LSC runnerup in the 800 and placed in the steeple in 2012.

Newcomers – I don’t know that any of the newcomers can have a big impact in 2013
  • ·         Bayleigh Baker – a home-schooled kid from Albuquerque, who ran XC in 2012 for Sterling College in Kansas, where she was 5th in the Kansas Collegiate Conference meet
  • ·         Blanca Zubia – from Hobbs originally, she ran for Odessa College in 2011, where she was 67th in the JC cross country meet
  • ·         Sarah Bertram – from Abilene Christian HS – 7th in the TAPPS 2A 3200 in 2013

ENMU returns some key members of their squad from 2012, although they do lose 2 of their top 5 and 3 of their top 6 from a year ago. I don’t see their newcomers being able to pick up that slack, but they might well be able to hold onto 4th place if they can pass Angelo. My Pick – 4th place.

Tarleton State – 6th in 2012 and picked for 5th in 2013

Athletes lost – Celeste Meyer (14th in XC – she was 3rd in the LSC 10K last year on the track); Karen Ramming (42nd); Ashley Husbands (43rd), Kyndall Trnka (47th)

Returning athletes – the most significant returnee is Lindsey Hinton, who is 2011 was 10th in the LSC XC, then in the spring of 2012 was the most dominant distance runner in the LSC, winning the 5K and finishing runnerup in both the 1500 and 10K for 26 huge points – she redshirted all of 2012-2013; Katelin Huckabee (31st); Tiffany Fagg (49th);  Payton Shoush (55th in XC, she is the former LSC 800 champ who is better suited to the shorter distances); Lauren Finley (56th)

Newcomers – a good crop with loads of potential, including some transfers for instant impact
  • ·         Tylo Farrar – Spearman HS, transferring from Midwestern – she was 30th in the LSC XC meet in 2012, higher than any other TSU returnee
  • ·         Audrey Shelton – Clarendon – 6th in the 1A XC in the fall, she came back to win the 1A 800 and finish 3rd in the 1600 – her only drawback is that she may be more suited to the 800 than the longer collegiate XC distance
  • ·         Alyson Coughlin – Rockwall Heath, transferring from Northwestern State (LA) – 61st in the Southland Conf XC, then 12th in the SLC 1500 on the track
  • ·         Sarai Clendenin – freshman from Hot Springs, NM – at the NM District 3-3A meet last year, she won the 800, 1600 and 3200 (as well as the pole vault), then finished 3rd in the NM 3A PV – a vaulting distance runner, something you don’t see that often
  • ·         Aissa Martinez – freshman from Fairfax, VA; Lillianna Castaneda – freshman from Copperas Cove; Alexandra Austin – junior from Converse Judson

It is huge to get Lindsey Hinton back for her final season. The only hiccup is that TSU lost Celeste Meyer with eligibility remaining. The addition of 2 transfers and with a moderate improvement from 2-3 of their returnees or freshmen and this team is close to contending for the LSC title. My pick – 3rd place

Texas A&M – Commerce – 7th in the 2012 and picked 6th this year

Athletes lost – Jennifer Speer (51st)

Returnees – Caroline Cotsakis (29th); Mary Hammonds (46th in the XC, but she scored on the track with an 8th place finish in the 10K; Katie Romero (54th); Julieta Esquivel (59th); Tori Lenz-Selvera (60th); Brooke Farris (63rd); Kendall Christmas (66th); Mackenzie Myers (68th); Kelli Hardenbrook (70th)

Newcomers – a good bunch
  • ·         Terra Truitt – freshman from Pampa – 2nd in the 3A XC, she was 4th in the Region I-3A 3200 on te track, just missing a trip to the state meet
  • ·         Kelsey Grier – Melissa HS, transferring from Southern Arkansas – she was 9th at the Great American Conference XC meet last fall – the GAC is that conference that split off from the LSC and it is a solid XC conference
  • ·         Madalyen Pearce – Celeste HS – 55th in the 3A XC meet last fall – she was primarily a basketball players in HS
  • ·         Dara Darnell – Keller Timber Creek – she was 5th in the Dist 5-4A XC in 2011 (running the former 2 mile distance; then Timber Creek moved to 5A and the distance moved to a 5K (3.1 miles) and she suffered, finishing far back in the pack

Commerce made big strides last year in becoming competitive in the LSC, with a team made up almost entirely of underclassmen. They have added 2-3 people who should help immediately again. I am only picking them 6th, but they certainly seem capable of moving up a place or two. My Pick – 6th place

Texas A&M – Kingsville – 8th in 2012 (ahead of only ACU), picked 7th this year

Athletes lost – Danica Huerta (58th)

Returnees – Rebekah Jimenez (57th); Marisa Reyes (61st in XC, but turned around and placed 6th in the LSC steeple last spring); Tezna Roy (65th); Anna Richburg (71st); Victoria Bankes (73rd); plus, several athletes who did not compete in XC, but did on the track , including Marissa Acosta (12th in the steeple), Janae Lewis (15th in the 800), and Taylor Moore (20th in the 800).

Newcomers – mostly kids from the Rio Grande Valley, which has strong distance programs
  • ·         Vallerie Rodriguez – freshman from Mission Sharyland – 102nd in the 5A XC, she is much better suited to the shorter distances – she was 3rd in the Region IV-5A 800, missing a trip to the state meet by a few tenths. 
  • ·         Jenyse Vasquez – freshman from Edinburg North – 2nd in the District 30-5A 800
  • ·         Amy Mendoza – freshman from PSJA North – 4th in the District 31-5A 1600 and 3200

Kingsville has had a hard time replicating their great success in the distance races that they have experienced in the sprints and field events (2 Kingsville men won the D-II track meet in the high jump and pole vault, respectively). A good sign for Kingsville is that their numbers are up quite a bit in XC, which is usually a precursor to a team’s improvement (see the Commerce women last year). My pick – 7th place.

The loss of both ACU and Incarnate Word will have an impact on the LSC cross country men’s race in 2013. What will probably have an even greater impact will be the serious losses that Eastern New Mexico took when they underwent a coaching change at mid-term last year. Many outstanding runners left at midterm. Therefore the top spot should be a tossup between 3 and possibly even 4 teams in 2013.

ENMU – finished a commanding first in 2013 and picked 1st again in 2013

Athletes lost – start with the most dominant distance runner in the LSC – Isaiah Samoei, who won the LSC XC meet last fall, then won the LSC indoor 3K and 5K last February, but did not run outdoors – Samoei finished his college eligibility; Patrick Lueras – 13th in the LSC XC in 2012, he left ENMU at midterm; Marquez Hobson – 23rd in the LSC XC last fall, he was gone at midterm as well; Jacob Lozano – who was 3rd in the LSC 10K on the track in 2012, was on the 2012 XC roster, but did not run; Irwin Vera – 44th in the XC meet, then gone at midterm

Returnees – the cupboard for ENMU is far from bare – the aptly name Greyhounds still return some strong runners, led by Kaspars Briska, the transfer from Cloud County, who was 4th in the LSC XC, then won the 5K and was runner-up on the steeple last spring; Kevin Roa (8th in the XC meet and 6th in the LSC 5K on the track); Trevor Merhege (11th in the LSC XC, as well as 5th in the 5K and 4th in the steeple on the track); and Zerrick Vriseno (22nd in XC, 7th in the LSC 10K on the track last spring).

  • Newcomers – ENMU has not sat idly by, watching their years of LSC cross country dominance fade away. The new ENMU coach has been actively recruiting and they have added some kids who will help. It is an interesting mix of transfers and freshmen:
  • ·         The top addition is only a half-newcomer  - Justin Samaniego transferred to ENMU at midterm from Riverside CC in California last year and placed 5th in the 10K on the track
  • ·         Cesar Sanabria – transferring from Grand Canyon, after 2 years at Butler County – he was a solid JC runner at Butler, finishing 7th in the JC 10K on the track, but could not break into the top 7 at Grand Canyon
  • ·         Mikey Davila – a transfer from Moreno Valley, CA and Riverside Comm College – I could not find any XC results, but I did find a strong 3:48 1500 time
  • ·         Kenneth Kimani – transfer from Kenya and Oklahoma City University – a disappointing 26th in the Sooner Athletic Conf XC last fall, he placed 8th in the SAC 1500 on the track
  • ·         Christian Ruiz – freshman from Sudan, TX, where he was 6th in the 1A 3200 at the state meet
  • ·         Zach Walling – transfer from Scottsdale College – 14th in the JC indoor 5K, could find not XC result
  • ·         Derrick Montelongo – freshman from Ruidoso, where he was 16th in the NM 3A XC and 6th in the 800 on the track
  • ·         Chase Beausoleil – freshman from Clovis – 36th in the NM 5A XC and 9th in the 1600 on the track

ENMU returns 3 runners who were in the top 11 at the conference meet in 2012. Several of their transfers are trying to rebound from sub-par seasons in 2012-13. If one or more of them succeed, ENMU might be able to hold off the schools trying to knock them off the top LSC perch. My pick – 3rd place

West Texas A&M – 2nd in 2012 and picked 2nd again this year

Athletes lost  - only one, Jonathan Flores who finished 69th in the LSC last year (9th among WT runners)

Returnees – basically everyone, led by LSC XC runner-up Dylan Doss, who won the LSC steeple, was runner-up in the 4K and finished 4th in the 1500 on the track; Baptiste Moreu – 5th in the XC meet, he did not score at all in the track meet last fall, finishing a disappointing 9th in the 1500; Patrick Schuechzer (14th in the XC meet); Lucas Marquez (20th in the XC meet, he was 7th in the LSC 1500 as a true freshman); Alexander Korn (only 35th in the XC meet, he is the LSC 800 meter champ – he simply may be better suited to the shorter distances); Hugo Aguinaga – 38th in the XC meet; Martin Puga (43rd in the XC meet, then 13th in the 800 on track – another one who might be better suited to the shorter distance races); Merritt Vaughn (very disappointing 64th in the XC meet, then turned around and placed 6th in the LSC 1500, as well as 10th in the 800 on the track).

Newcomers – it is hard to find much on the international runners, but WT has had some success with their internationals:
  • ·         Steve Lagat and Evans Langat – both from Kenya and good luck on ever finding any results on high school kids in Kenya, but I have to think these kids can help
  • ·         Anthony Baurnal – a French kid – I could find no results, but the French seem to be terribly popular in the LSC these days
  • ·         Brett Villareal – transfer from ENMU – he is only a “half-newcomer” – he began running for WT at midterm last year and placed 6th in the LSC 10K on the track, a good indicator of future XC success
  • ·         Paul Fort – French native transferring to WT from American International, which is a D-II school – 30th in the Northeast 10 XC last fall, as well as 10th in the 10K on the track
  • ·         Armando Rueda – transfer from Mayfield, NM, and New Mexico State, by way of ENMU, where he spent about 10 minutes – his brother runs for Texas Tech
  • ·         Cameron Gifford  - from Frisco and a transfer from Baylor – 9th in the 4A 1600 in 2011, he was never able to break into the Baylor lineup
  • ·         Junior Baca – freshman from Muleshoe – the 2A 800 meter champ in 2012, he was more of a 400/800 guy in HS than a distance runner

WT returns the core of a really good team and has added a boatload of new runners. If even 2 of the new runners come through, then this team wins the conference meet. My pick – 1st place

Tarleton – 3rd in 2012 and picked 3rd this year

Athletes lost – only one, Jeffrey Currie – 55th in the XC meet (7th on the team)

Returnees  - another team with virtually everyone returning off a team has that been on an upward trend for the past 2 years. Tye Doty was 3rd in the LSC XC and 2nd on the track in the 10K. Chase Rathke was 7th in the LSC XC meet and 5th in the 800 on the track, plus 9th in the 5K – that rare athlete who has speed enough to be a good half-miler and stamina enough to run the longer distances well; Miles Joslin – 9th in the XC and 8th on the track in the 10K; Dylan Willett – a disappointing 25th in XC, then came back to finish runner-up in the 1500 on the track; Thorne Pettigrew – 39th in the LSC XC; James Polasek (41st in the LSC XC); Brian Cooper – 70th LSC XC; Mason Wrobel – 74th LSC XC.

Newcomers – lots of new bodies, not many fantastic accomplishments in the bunch – most of them look like projects, but 2-3 have the potential to help in this first year:
  • ·         Luke Scribner – a transfer from Farmersville and McMurry – a solid HS runner, he did not run at the NCCAA national XC meet last fall for McMurry, but he did place 3rd in the McMurry/Heartland Inv 800 (that meet was held in lieu of a conference meet, since the Heartland only has 4 schools that have a track and field team)
  • ·         Robert Pereira – freshman from Salado – 19th in the 2A XC last fall, then 8th in the state meet in the 2A 800
  • ·         Ben Haynes – freshman from North Mesquite – he won the District 12-5A 1600 and 3200, then barely missed the state meet, finishing 4th in the Region II-5A 1600
  • ·         Timotea Longoria – freshman from San Antonio Churchill – 5th in the District 26-5A 800 in 2012, could find no results in 2012-13 season
  • ·         James Bodnar – freshman from Hebron – 9th in the District 5-5A XC in the fall before finishing 8th in the district 3200 on the track
  • ·         Caleb Frandsen – freshman from Justin Northwest – 29th in the District 4-5A XC and 8th in the district 3200 last spring

Tarleton has a nucleus of a very good team back, with at least 4 runners who could finish in the top 15. If one or two of their new kids come through, this is a very good team that could even vie to the championship. My pick – 2nd place

Texas A&M – Commerce – 4th last year and picked 4th again this year

Athletes lost - Alex Kimp (32nd last fall in the XC meet) and Ross Hicks (58th in XC, but he placed 8th on the track last spring in the 1500)

Returnees – this group is led by one of the top freshmen in the LSC in 2012-13 – Dorian McCradic (6th in the XC meet and 3rd in the 1500 on the track); Luis Romero (15th in the XC meet, then runner-up in the LSC 800 on the track – again, one of those rare people who have speed to run the half mile and still have enough stamina for the XC distances); Everett Wilder (18th in the XC race, then a strong 3rd in the 10K and 7th in the 5K on the track); Fredrick Kipsang (so far, an underachiever after transfer from Middle Tennessee State – 33rd in the XC meet, but 5th in the steeple); Elias Garza (45th in XC); Raymond Mata (46th in XC); Tyler Hemnway – 49th in XC, but came back to run a decent 10th in the LSC 1500.

Newcomers – a solid batch of new runners:
  • ·         Ivan Rodriguez – freshman from El Paso Del Valle – at the 4A state meet, he was 4th in the 1600 and 7th in the 3200, after finishing a strong 3rd in the 4A XC meet last fall – a quality addition
  • ·        
  • Tristen Woods – freshman from Lufkin Hudson – 9th in the 3A 3200 on the track, after finishing 16th in the 3A XC last fall
  • ·         Mark Gonzalez  - freshman from Hurst Bell – won the District 6-5A 1600 and 3200
  • ·         Joey Dooley – freshman from Hurst Bell – won the District 6-5A 500 and was 3rd in the 1600
  • ·         Brandon Rojo – freshman from The Colony – 8th District 8-4A 3200
  • ·         Zach Lindquist – freshman from Keller Timber Creek – 13th in the District 13-5A XC

Commerce received great production from some youngsters last year and followed up with another solid recruiting class. They could slip into the top 3 teams with good production from even 1-2 of their freshmen. My pick – 4th place

Angelo State – 5th last year and picked 5th this year

Athletes lost – Josh Day (31st in the LSC meet), Isac Valdez (36th in XC); Anthony Rabaey (75th in the LSC meet) – Angelo loses their 5th, 6th and 7th runner off a 7 man squad

Returnees – Jamin Goecker (10th in the XC meet, but did not score a point on the track – best was 9th in the 10K); Dylan Littlejohn (17th in the XC meet); Tomas Callejas (19th in XC, but only 13th in the 1500 on the track; Graham Hazlewood (only 30th in the XC, he was the only Ram distance runner to score on the track, picking up a 6th in the steeple).

Newcomers – only picked up 1, possibly 2 kids who could make much impact in XC;
  • ·         James Muniz – freshman from Abilene HS – 8th in the 5A 800 and 57th in the Region I-5A XC meet – could really help, I have seen him run many times and he has great potential
  • ·         Dallas Kaiser – transfer from Baker College, where he was 12th in the Heart of America Athletic Conference 10K – HAAC is a NAIA conference
  • ·         Justin LaPierre – freshman from Wall – 3rd Dist 6-2A 800 and 13th in the Region I-2A XC
  • ·         Zachary Stevens – freshman from Leander Rouse (26th in the District 26-4A XC) and Patrick Torres – freshman from San Antonio Stevens (107th in the Region IV-5A XC)

ASU will still have a severe depth problem. If everyone stays healthy, they should be able to hold onto the 5th place they have been predicted for in 2013. My pick – 5th

Cameron – 8th in 2013 and picked 6th this year

Athletes lost – Moses Kipkosgei (21st in XC); Corban Marcantel (47th in LSC); and Jacob Tylers (53rd XC) – the 1st, 4th and 6th runners for the team

Returnees – Janis Pastors (29th XC); Grant Wignall (42nd XC); Cody Campbell (48th XC); Cole Atchinson (66th XC).

Newcomers  - I can’t tell a whole lot about their recruits, but that is common with Cameron:
  • ·         Kilian Schreiner – a freshman from Germany – I found a solid 14:55 in the 5K
  • ·         Damien Porter – a freshman from Summerville, GA – 7th in the Georgia 2A 3200
  • ·         Raul Correa – freshman from Fort Worth South Hills – 7th in the District 7-4A 3200
  • ·         Methuselah Lagat – freshman from Kenya – I can find nothing on his, but he does have great name – hopefully, it won’t take 969 years for him to finish his race!
  • Predicting what kind of team Cameron will have is always an iffy proposition. They lost their best runner. 

They have at least 2 internationals who might be good, but it is hard to say. Since they don’t field a track and field team, only a XC team, there is little tangible evidence of how their athletes are progressing. My pick – 6th

Texas A&M – Kingsville – 9th in 2012, picked 7th this season

Athletes lost – Calvin Scharf (50th LSC XC); Chris Garza (56th LSC XC); Josh Prado (57th LSC XC; Anthony Rivas (62nd LSC); and Patrick Alexshonis (67th LSC).

Returnees – Emmanuel Ibanez – 52nd in 2012; Ty Ramos – 60th in 2012; Michael Idziak – 63rd in 2012, then he won the LSC indoor 800 and finished 4th in the 800 outdoors; Richard Hernandez – 68th XC in 2012. Also, Andre Fuqua is back on the roster – 9th in the LSC steeple in 2012, he apparently redshirted all of the 2012-13 season.

Newcomers – no one that appears to have the ability to have an impact immediately:
  • ·         Damian Feeney – freshman from North Rockland – a cross country specialist – could find little info on him
  • ·         Ryan Richardson – Junior – finished 12th in the LSC 800 in 2012, redshirted all of 2012-13 and appears to be moving up in distance
  • ·         Newcomers Jeremiah Santos, Joshua Taylor and Stephen Elizondo – I can’t find anything on them

Kingsville made their biggest splash in a while last year in field events. The Javs have been able to build a strong team in the sprints and field events, but that has not translated into the distance events (and by extension, into cross country). The Hoggies appear to still be a long way from being competitive in the LSC in XC. My Pick – 7th

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