Cru Basketball: Men expected to dominate conference, again

In 2002 the movie Like Mike took the screens by storm as actor and rapper Lil’ Bow Wow acted out a dream that many young basketball players share—to play in the NBA. Even more popular was the song titled “Basketball” that was released as part of the movie’s soundtrack. What Bow Wow didn’t know was that 10 years later the words in his song would highlight the thoughts of many Crusaders: “They’re playing basketball. We love that basketball.” The season is drawing near, and several around the ASC West believe that the men’s team has what it takes to maintain its title. The Cru received 17 first-place votes and totaled 140 points in the overall balloting at the West Division’s annual preseason meeting of coaches and the media. This is nothing new for the Crusader team Coach Ken DeWeese said. “Being picked first is something we have come to expect. It is nice that others think highly of our team in the preseason. However, at the end of the season, the team that is first is the team that has earned it with the best won-lost record. There will be no vote to see who is first. It must be earned,” he said. To come out on top, the team has several new challenges to overcome. First, ten of the players on the 18-man roster are new faces for the Crusaders. To have a successful season, the Cru must come together despite the changes in personnel. Next, with the graduating class gone, a vital part of the team’s scoring and rebounding must be replaced. The graduating seniors accounted for 62 percent of the points scored and 68 percent of the rebounding. Some of the weight will be handed to the team’s freshmen. Currently, they occupy eight spots on the roster, but they don’t plan to let their youth keep them from being key contributors in games. Freshman biology major Layton Zinsmeister said, “With losing all those key players… we have big shoes to fill. I speak for all the freshman. We are most looking forward to getting better and growing as a team. We want to work hard in practice to make the games seem easy. We all are going to work extremely hard in an attempt to win a conference title.” The team got its first taste of basketball against St. Edwards (Division II) in an exhibition game. The Hilltoppers upset the Cru 95 to 69. It was the long-range shooting of St. Edwards that clipped any momentum the team had tried to build. “St. Edward’s shot 38 three-point shots and made 19 for 50 percent from the...

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Lady Cru ends season 3rd in ASC
Nov16

Lady Cru ends season 3rd in ASC

Lady Cru volleyball made school history this semester with the most wins in a season, 22-8 overall and 12-4 in conference play. The result was a trip to the conference tournament, and third place in the ASC. In the first day of the double elimination conference tournament UMHB faced off against Texas Lutheran University to win 3 sets to 0. An identical fate would await U.T.-Dallas in part two of the double header for the Lady Cru. In day two of the tournament, UMHB would fall to Hardin-Simmons for the third time in the season. A consecutive loss on day three against U.T.-Dallas ended the season for UMHB. “We finished a top-three team, and going through the season that’s where we felt we should be,” Head Coach Rob Frost said, “us, U.T.-Dallas and Hardin-Simmons at top three.” The team had an unusual dynamic this season and was comprised of 12 players, four seniors and eight freshmen. Senior leadership led the athletic freshmen through the record-breaking season and five All-Conference Team players. Shelby Prather is one of five freshman starters, and she filled a crucial hole left at the setter position. A graduate of Leander High School, Prather sparked the interest of Division I schools like the University of North Texas and University of Texas at San Antonio but believed that God was leading her to UMHB. “I was extremely blessed this season to be able to spend it with those girls. We got along so well and worked hard together to earn our success,” Prather said. “Coach Frost has done a great job with the program here, and I’m honored to be a part of it.” Prather posted 931 assists and averaged a little less than nine assists per set, had a team-best 33 service aces and 239 digs. Prather and Tina Miller were both decorated with second-team all conference honors. Miller, an education major and middle hitter for UMHB, led the team in kills, averaging 2.98 per set. She is proud of her accomplishments but pays credit to her teammates. “The setter is a very important part of my success this season,” Miller said. “I think (Prather) did amazing this year, and she will get even better in seasons to come.” Miller is one of four seniors who played the last of their college volleyball at the semifinals of the 2012 ASC Tournament. Morgan Baker, Elise Butler and Sapphire Reid were the other three. Baker, a three-year starter for the Lady Cru was a significant source of leadership and will be missed next year. She received Academic All-District honors and will graduate this May after her third year...

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Memories survive the ashes of State Fair’s iconic cowboy, Big Tex

It was his 60th birthday. No one saw it coming. Smoke appeared out of nowhere, and before anyone could stop the flames, he was gone. Big Tex had burned. This was a rough year for Big Tex. His big birthday bash was rescheduled due to large amounts of rain. Just after the celebration concluded, the 52-foot cowboy met an untimely demise. October 19 was a tragic day for crowds at the State Fair in Dallas. Half an hour after the gates opened, an alleged electrical fire sparked inside of Big Tex’s right boot. Passersby first noticed smoke coming from his neck and stood watching as the flames engulfed the beloved icon. News spread almost as quickly as the flames, and supporters around the nation grieved the loss of the Texas legend. “My heart is so very sad,” Resident Director Rebeka Retta said. “It was (a) childhood memory.” Sophomore nursing major Lizzy McElyea grew up visiting Big Tex each year. Hailing from Dallas, she knows how big a deal the fair is and considers it a kind of tradition. Her family would stop to take pictures with Big Tex in the background, waving his arm and welcoming guests to the fair with a booming voice: “Howdy, folks, and welcome to the State Fair of Texas.” When McElyea heard about his tragic end, it was as though a close friend had died. “I actually heard through the grapevine that he burned, and I thought people were joking,” she said. “I had to Google it to find out for myself, and I was so sad and distraught because that was a childhood memory of mine. It’s like a hero burning to the ground.” While some mourned Big Tex’s fiery finish, others chose to handle the circumstances with a hint of humor. “Looks like they couldn’t think of anything else to fry at the fair, so they decided to fry Big Tex,” freshman finance major James Ewing posted as a Facebook status. After the flames died out, Big Tex’s iron frame stood tall and bare, his singed hands the only recognizable survivors of the tragedy. The gentle giant was carted away in a super-sized body bag. Texas’ great loss was recognized around the nation. Despite the tragedy, the State Fair remained open for the duration of its run. Statements issued by officials said that plans are in the making to restore Big Tex to his rightful place by the 2013 grand opening. Rumors are circulating that this new and improved icon will be better than ever. McElyea looks forward to seeing the restoration and improvements at the fair next year. She said, “I...

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Young provides insight on nature of God
Nov16

Young provides insight on nature of God

The Shack, written by William Paul Young, has received its fair share of criticism and praise. With more than six million copies sold, the book has become one of the most talked about Christian works of the decade. For a book that was originally intended to be a spiritual gift from a father to his children, a lot of discussion has been stirred from the theology and imagery of God that is found in the book.   The university was able to hear a unique viewpoint on the story, one that many haven’t heard.   The author spoke at Chapel about his journey as the author of The Shack and about God in general.   His life experiences and upbringing caused him pain and confusion in his faith.   Young said, “My theology was that Jesus came to save me from a ticked-off God.”   Freshman psychology major Spencer Sims said he benefited from Young sharing his past.   “I liked at the end how he was willing to be honest with us about his upbringing, and use that to influence the future generation,” he said. “He uses his past to help rather than hiding behind it or resenting it.”   Once Young experienced religion as more than just the rules, he began to understand more clearly what being a Christian truly means. He spoke on how individuals’ views of God affect their trust in him.   Young urged attendees to know who he is rather than focus on childhood or made-up perceptions of him.   “The God of your imagination will not show up for you,” he said.   In his book, the trinity is described in an unconventional manner with God the Father being portrayed as a large African American woman who knows how to make a hearty meal.   Young said that he didn’t actually believe God was how he portrayed him in the book, but that he is simply more than popular depictions.   Resident Director of McLane Hall, Wendi Fitzwater, found herself right in the middle of the controversy of Young’s portrayal of God.   “I don’t know that I agree with it, but I don’t necessarily think it’s wrong,” she said.   Fitzwater read the book and said it challenged her previous view of God.   “It gave me a completely different perspective to visualize God outside of what I normally was taught in a very structured environment on religion,” she said.   Young challenged the audience by presenting several theological questions. His purpose in doing so was to explain what he believes about God’s love and pursuit of everyone.   “He is...

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ASTRA club encourages volunteer work

If you’re looking to help wrap Christmas gifts for children who might not get to experience the joy of this holiday season, or make sandwiches for the Salvation Army, the newly chartered ASTRA club might be for you. ASTRA is an acronym for Ability, Service, Training, Responsibility and Achievement. The club is for people who are interested in doing community service projects around the local area. Along with a book drive for Maggie Lee For Good Day, ASTRA has participated in other interesting service events. Vice president, junior business management major Hannah Gardenhire, said, “We joined up with Altrusa, which is a sister club. It’s kind of the backbone for ASTRA. They were doing a Feed My Sheep (project) for the Salvation Army, and they needed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. So, we got together and made over 100 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and those were donated to the Salvation Army.” Other planned events range from a Nov. 17 Belton Dam trash cleanup to assisting with the Angel Tree Program. Campus adviser Traci Squarcette is an active member of Altrusa of Temple. She also sponsors the ASTRA club and acts as a mentor-liaison between both clubs. Squarcette said students can learn much about working together through group involvement toward helping the community. Any currently enrolled UMHB student under the age of 25 can become a member of the club, and membership is free. Junior business administration major Joanna Leath is president of the organization. She hopes students will be more responsive to the needs of society. “Through community service, they can know how to be better members of the community. They’ll have awareness of problems that are going around in their community that they can help out with, whether it just be donating books or meeting a need,” she said. During the spring semester, the organization will mentor children between the ages of 12 to 17 for the new youth ASTRA club that is going to be chartered through the Conservatory Program on campus. Gardenhire thinks the selfless acts ASTRA is involved in will benefit future members of the club. She said, “I think sometimes, especially when you’re in college, you focus a lot on your studies and yourself. I think ASTRA is really trying to push that, through our club, you can learn leadership skills.” ASTRA meetings are held every other Thursday in the Baugh Center for the Visual Arts Lecture Hall from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, contact Joanna Leath at jcleath@mail.umhb.edu, or visit the club’s official ASTRA group Facebook...

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