Obstacles set before Crusaders
Feb21

Obstacles set before Crusaders

After losing two big games to Hardin-Simmons and McMurry University, the men’s basketball dropped its conference standings to 13-6. This puts them tied for the second seed along with the HSU Cowboys. McMurry is currently holding the first place spot for the West Division. The team knows it needs to concentrate on the next game and not dwell on losses. Head Coach Ken DeWeese said, “Our most urgent goal during the season is to win the next game.” In order for this to happen, they have to address and fix what went wrong in some of the previous games. “As a team we are working to improve everything we do. We’re working on our shots and trying to do all the little things right,” senior business information systems major and forward Colby Waller said. “We are going to be working hard on our defense because defense is what will win games for us.” Sophomore business administration major and forward Robert Moore agrees. “Team communication and composure were the issues addressed right after the game (against McMurry). We can’t go down 13 at the half and expect to win the game every time. We know that and we will fix that,” he said. Each team in the conference is playing with more drive and passion than before. This makes it even harder to keep a high winning record. “The lack of recovery time in between games is tough when you are playing good teams every night. The end of the season is very much a grind,” Moore said. With the American Southwest Conference title in sight, the team has high goals. “For the rest of the season, we plan on winning the conference tournament, then approaching the NCAA Tournament to be the Division Three Champions,” junior exercise sports science major and guard Marlon Miller said. With the top four teams in the West Division being within two games of each other, all have a good chance of making it the whole way. “We try not to look too far ahead and try and prepare the best way possible for the next game itself,” Waller said. “Of course, we want to be in the NCAA Tournament, but we have more obstacles that we need to come across before we can get there.” On Feb. 17, the Cru defeated Schreiner University in Kerrville. After the half, UMHB pushed the lead to 13 points in the first three minutes. The team led by as many as 22 points before an 80-67 victory. The last regular season game was Feb. 19. The Cru held off Texas Lutheran with a final score of 71-64. This...

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Sights set on making it to the championship tourney, Lady Cru pull together as a team
Feb08

Sights set on making it to the championship tourney, Lady Cru pull together as a team

With a big upset over Howard Payne University Jan. 27, the Lady Cru have their hopes set on making it to the final four and competing in the National Championship. “We were able to beat Howard Payne at Howard Payne, which we’ve only done one other time since I’ve been here,” Head Coach Kim Kirkpatrick-Thornton said. “It was a big win while on a hard road trip from Brownwood to Alpine.” The Lady Cru have an overall 13-8 record, with eight of those being conference wins. Teamwork has played a large role in helping them. “The best part of the season so far is truly coming together as a team. We’ve lost people for personal reasons and injuries. We’ve fought through sicknesses and we’ve overcome losses,” senior exercise sports science major and guard Caitlin Barganier said. “We finally fused together and became one.” Junior sports management major and guard/wing Miranda Shorter agrees. “We all really want the best for each other. We don’t give up on each other, but we continue to help make it through hard times as one and pull together. If a team isn’t a ‘team,’ it will break you. I am so happy to be on this one with such amazing people.” With only four games left in the regular season, the women are looking toward the playoffs. “Our hopes are just like every other team’s: win the conference tournament. We’re different though because we believe we can do it and have the passion for it.” The first step is positive thinking and seeing that the goals of the team can be reality. “We are definitely capable of winning this season,” senior math major and post Landie Thompson said. The team knows that any small obstacle can get in the way and not allow them to make it to the playoffs. They are doing everything they can to make sure that doesn’t happen. “We’re like a fist balled up. If just one finger is sticking out, or we have space between the fingers, we’re letting other things get in those spaces or take advantage of that one finger,” Barganier said. “We fight together, live together, die together and ultimately need each other.” The Lady Cru take on the Hardin-Simmons Cowgirls in Abilene Feb. 10. Tipoff is at 5:30 p.m. They hope the game will bring them one win closer to playoffs. “Coach defines W.I.N. as What’s Important Now. For us, that’s finishing the season top 4 on the west side and making the conference tournament,” junior exercise sports science major and guard Brittany Zomora said. “We’ve had a few bumps in the road this season,...

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Students serve at-risk teenagers in spare time

Part of the university’s mission statement of “preparing students for leadership, service and faith-informed discernment in a global society,” is lived out by two sports management majors. Twice a week, Dr. Mickey Kerr, an exercise sport science professor, has students volunteer to go to an alternative high school in Belton to work with young people. “I was contacted by Debby Aldridge about having some of my students come to Waskow last September,” Kerr said. “They play intramural type games with them and also serve as mentors for the at-risk teens.” Senior sport management majors Tyler Burke and Bryson Tucker allow the students to be rewarded if they have good behavior throughout the day. Without their after-school volunteering, the boys at the high school would not have any physical exercise. “I do my best to give them a good example of what respect and courtesy looks like while being competitive,” Tucker said. “Every once in  a while, we will have a day where we don’t play sports, and we sit around and share personal thoughts and feelings about all of our different life experiences and how we handle them.” Aldridge, the site coordinator for Communities in Schools, is grateful to have Burke and Tucker’s help and commitment of giving up their own time to serve at the school. “I have been really pleased with them, their efforts and I’m just amazed at what quality individuals they are,” she said. “Both young men are so easy to work with … They have nice, low-key personalities and are not glory or ego seeking.” There has been positive feedback from everyone involved in volunteering. “The social workers said that the students we volunteer with are more productive and  have positive attitudes,” senior sports management major Burke said. Kerr agrees. “Debby is ecstatic about the results and overwhelmed by our students’ willingness to be there for the high school guys each week.” Not only is it good for the students to participate in physical exercise, but having someone to look up to means a lot to them as well. “We are able to talk to the guys about what is going on in their lives and be there for them since several of them don’t have a male figure in their life,” Burke said. Not only have the high school students benefited by having the after-school program, but  Burke and Tucker have been able to learn and are more prepared for when they graduate college from their work with volunteering. “It’s really showed me as a 22-year-old that some of my hardest days are like a walk in the park compared to some of...

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Crusader enjoys visits to alma mater
Jan25

Crusader enjoys visits to alma mater

A former sports writer for The Bells is the current assistant commissioner of Media Relations for the American Southwest Conference. Greg Weghorst, a 2003 alumnus of UMHB, graduated with a degree in mass communication/journalism. He worked under the direction of Sports Information Director for UMHB, Jon Wallin, as an intern his senior year in the Sports Information Office. This ultimately landed him his current job. “Jon was contacted by the conference director about a position with the ASC,” Weghorst said. “He immediately thought of me and sent over the information, which helped me get the job.” While at UMHB, Weghorst was also a sports writer for the Temple Daily Telegram. This allowed him to cover different types of games and teams in the Central Texas area. “Greg was a tremendous asset during his time with the Sports Information Department here, and he has continued that excellent work through his time at the Temple Daily Telegram and now with the ASC office,” Wallin said. Wallin’s leadership and advice helped prepare Weghorst for his future job opportunities. “I saw the way that Jon ran the office, his preciseness, and he taught me to always give my best,” Weghorst said. Each day is different with the changing seasons of sports, but he is in charge of the ASC website, including posting scores, players of the week and press releases. Occasionally, he awards teams after championship tournaments. “Out of the last five years, I have been able to present three trophies to Coach (Pete) Fredenburg, and three years ago to Coach (Ken) DeWeese,” he said. “It is always fun to come back and say I’m proud of where I went (to school).” With his position at the ASC, Weghorst is able to cover the coaches and staff he once worked with while in college. “Last year I presented Jon with the Sports Information Department of the Year award,” he said. “It meant a lot that I was able to present him with that honor that was well deserved.” Most recently, Weghorst mentored five members of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee from the ASC, two of whom were Cru athletes. Weghorst married a former UMHB cheerleader, Casey, and has one daughter, Tatum. Vice President of Athletics Ben Shipp said of Weghorst, “He did a great job, and I was extremely proud of him.” He is pleased knowing  UMHB is well represented by all communication dealing with the ASC. Shipp said, “Greg continues to impress people everywhere he goes, and I always try to point out that ‘He’s one of...

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Practices and teamwork are crucial
Jan11

Practices and teamwork are crucial

As the men’s basketball team starts the season strong, it is are looking to advance far into the playoffs. “We want to win the ASC West Division, win the ASC Conference Championship, advance to the NCAA tournament and advance in the tournament,” Head Coach Ken DeWeese said. DeWeese has been with the Cru for 13 years and has helped lead them to two American Southwest Conference Championships and three NCAA Division III National Championship appearances. The team has won 10 games and lost two so far this season, with the most recent being over University of the Ozarks Jan. 6. Even though it’s still early, they want to stay on a winning track. Junior pre-physical therapy major Mark Jones, a guard for the Cru, tries to have a focused outlook on the games ahead. “The season is going good. We had our second loss the other day, but we try to stay positive and feel we will turn things around and keep wining games,” he said. “We know that it’s possible to go even farther this season than we have before.” This year the team hopes to host more postseason games and not end its season early. The team recently finished the Cru Holiday Classic Dec. 30. The Cru went 2-0 and had wins over East Texas Baptist University and Willamette University. “During conference play no one game is more important than the other. We have to take it one step at a time, one game at a time,” junior business finance major, and guard Cory Meals said. Deweese agrees with his player about which upcoming games are most crucial. He said, “The next one, and if you ask me after that game, it will be the next one. The answer will be the same every time.” With only eight returning players from last year, the Cru have been evaluating their teamwork in order to be the best they can for the season. DeWeese’s motto is, “Team sport. Team work. Team success. Every sports team that enjoys any success must have consistent, intense teamwork.” Players are also working hard off the court in practice and during the off season. This helps them to have an advantage over their competition and to build team skills. Jones knows this is an important part of the games and for their success throughout the season. “Without teamwork we don’t win. If we play as a team and take full advantage of our practices, we can be as good as anyone around.” As the spring semester starts up, the Cru will be playing several home games with the first being against Schreiner University Jan....

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