Cru wins National Championship! – The Legacy
Jan25

Cru wins National Championship! – The Legacy

Published in the January 25, 2017 issue of The Bells We all have moments that we know we will remember for the rest of our lives. But when those moments coincide with the 70 men standing at your side, all working toward the same goal, it becomes something much greater. The NCAA Division III National Championship game was a special moment shared by the Cru football team that they will never forget. Unfortunately, few people will ever know the feelings and excitement of this moment. But, through the stories and recollections of those lucky enough to share the moment, those left out can try to understand. “It was great. Honestly, it was a relief, not just for me and the team but for the whole city of Belton. It was great to win one for them,” senior receiver Wykeyhe Walker said. He also shifted the glory to his defense, saying that throughout the whole game the defense was amazing and when senior linebacker Matt Cody caught that pick, he knew the team had won. “At that point I was just looking for my mom,” Walker said. “I climbed in the stands with my helmet on and everything. I was just happy.” Senior quarterback Blake Jackson said he just wants the legacy to live on forever. “For people to remember this as the team who was the first team, not only to win the first national championship, but the team that showed great brotherhood,” he said. Jackson, more than anything else, spoke of the familial feeling among the team. “That whole experience of celebrating with coaches and my brothers was a great feeling and will definitely be a memory I hold on to forever,” he said. Sophomore receiver T.J. Josey said the team really wanted to win not only for themselves, but for the past teams, alumni and the community. “The support for this team is outstanding and it was time to give back,” he said. This is a true testament to what can be accomplished when a team becomes more than just a group of teammates. This was a family, and that camaraderie carried them to the highest honor they could possibly achieve together....

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‘Fred’ named NCAA Division III Coach of the Year
Jan25

‘Fred’ named NCAA Division III Coach of the Year

Published in the January 25, 2017 issue of The Bells The 2016 season was an amazing year for the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team by all accounts. The team achieved a 15-0 record, won its seventh consecutive American Southwest Conference (ASC) title and its first ever NCAA national championship. The team also boasted three American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) All-Americans and 17 on ASC All-Academic teams. The man behind this success is head coach Pete Fredenburg. As the program reached new heights this season, so too did Fredenburg as he was named the 2016 AFCA National Coach of the Year for NCAA Division III. This is the first time for him to receive this honor in his 19 years as the only coach in the history of the UMHB football program. Though, looking at his track record over that illustrious career, you would never guess that this was his first coach of the year award. During his time coaching for the Cru, the program has had an astounding 196-38 record. The program has also manufactured 14 ASC Championships, 16 AFCA All-Americans and 15 ASC Player of the Year awards, including 2016 Offensive Player of the Year Blake Jackson and Defensive Player of the Year Teidrick Smith. “It is an incredible honor,” Fredenburg said, “And the special thing about it is all of the people that it encompasses.” Although Fredenburg has all of the numbers normally associated with a great coach, it is the relationship with his players that is the true measure of the coach. His players reflect a uniform sense of family and respect, both toward each other and toward him as a coach and an overall leader—a leader known affectionately as “Fred” by his players. And they have nothing but nice things to say about him. “I think it’s been a long time coming for him,” sophomore receiver T.J. Josey said about Fredenburg. “The way he is able to mold young guys into men during the time we are playing for him is impeccable. He is a great coach on the field as we all know, but the relationship he builds with his players off the field is what really makes him the best coach I have ever had. I would just like to say congrats to him and hopefully this is the first of many.” Senior receiver Wykeyhe Walker said is very happy for his beloved coach. Walker spoke about how the closeness of the team was the reason for the ability to finally clear the hurdle of winning a national championship. “There have been better teams, but there has not been a closer team...

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Crusader Football Advances to NCAA Semifinals

Published in the December 7, 2016 issue of The Bells The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders moved past the Wheaton College Thunder on the strength of a few big plays in Crusader Stadium on Saturday. The Cru football team was unable to move the ball on offense the way they usually do. The nation’s top scoring offense, the Cru, has averaged 52.2 offensive points per game this season. The offense was held to just 24 points on Saturday. But they were still able to come away with a 38-16 victory. The game got off to a slow start early as both teams seemed to be affected by the weather in this one. A cold and rainy first quarter ended without a score from either team. The Thunder got the scoring started five seconds into the second quarter with a 42-yard field goal. After a Cru interception by senior defensive back Baylor Mullins, senior quarterback Blake Jackson was finally able to put the Cru on the board with a 4-yard scamper into the end zone. The score gave the Cru a 7-3 lead with eight minutes left in the half. Then, with 1:12 left, sophomore linebacker Tevin Jones tipped an errant pass up to himself and came down with another UMHB interception. The turnover led to more points for the Cru, as the offense held the ball for 12 plays on six minutes to add a 20-yard field goal to extend its lead to 10-3. They left just 20 seconds on the clock for Wheaton before halftime. They elected to take a knee and carry the 7-point deficit to halftime. The second half started with a bang when the Cru defense forced a three-and-out. On the ensuing punt attempt, junior cornerback Reggie Wilson broke through the line and blocked the punt, the ball bounced all the way back into the end zone where it was recovered by Baylor Mullins for a Crusader touchdown. The Wheaton offense was able to bounce back and score a touchdown on its next drive, but the Cru special teams came up with another big play, blocking the extra point attempt to hold the Thunder to six points. After the two great special teams plays, the score rested at 17-9 in favor of UMHB. Later in the third quarter, the UMHB defense showed its big-play ability when sophomore cornerback Raylon Hickey intercepted a pass and ran it back 32 yards for a touchdown. Then after a Wheaton touchdown, the Cru offense provided a big play of its own. Jackson threw a pass deep downfield and hit junior wide receiver Bryce Wilkerson for an 80-yard touchdown to...

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Cru football rolls past Louisiana College to earn ASC championship

Published in the November 16, 2016 issue of The Bells The Crusaders dismantled the 4-5 Louisiana College Wildcats Saturday during a 63-7 victor  to pave the way for their 12th consecutive America Southwest Conference championship. The Cru improves to 10-0 on the season and 6-0 in ASC play, and is now ranked No. 1 in the nation  They entered the game already having clinched a tie of the conference title, all they needed for an outright championship was a Cru win or a Hardin-Simmons loss. The Cru controlled the game from the start, scoring a touchdown on its first drive. Senior quarterback Blake Jackson found junior tight end Carson Embry for a 53-yard score. This was the first of three passing touchdowns by Jackson on the day. His second score came with 6:42 left in the first quarter, when he hit junior receiver Bryce Wilkerson from 44 yards out. At the start of the second quarter, Jackson hit senior receiver Wykeyhe Walker from eight yards out for his third and final touchdown to make it 21-0 Cru. The Wildcats returned fire a couple drives later with an 11-yard touchdown pass. But the Cru immediately answered back when sophomore receiver De’Nerian Thomas returned the ensuing kickoff the full length of the field for a score. The 100-yard return was the longest kick return of the season for the Cru and was the first kick return of the year for Thomas. When the dust settled from the return, the Cru held a 28-7 lead. After a pair of rushing touchdowns by sophomore running back Markeith Miller and freshman running back Isaiah Shepherd, UMHB carried a demanding  42-7 lead into halftime. But they came out ready to add to that lead in the second half, and on the first drive Jackson scored for the fourth time of the game. He was able to escape pressure and scramble eight yards into the end zone. On their next drive, Miller capped a 9-play, 76-yard drive with his second rushing touchdown of the game. Then, with two minutes left in the third quarter, sophomore safety D’Andre Jackson intercepted a Wildcat pass and returned it 63 yards down to the LC 1-yard line. Senior running back Trinton Ynclan then finished it off with his first career rushing touchdown making the score 63-7. The fourth quarter turned into a formality as both teams gave their backups some work. The two teams combined for just 121 total yards and zero points in the final quarter of the regular season. The Cru drove the ball inside the LC 5-yard line on their final drive. But rather than run up...

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Crusaders vs Cowboys
Oct26

Crusaders vs Cowboys

Published in the Oct. 26, 2016 issue of The Bells The No. 3 University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team squared off against the No. 11 Hardin-Simmons Cowboys on Saturday at Crusader Stadium. The game was part of the homecoming festivities for UMHB last week. The Cru also celebrated the first UMHB football player to play in the NFL, Chicago Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman. During a ceremony at halftime, Freeman’s number eight jersey was retired by the team and a marker with his accomplishments was erected in the stadium. With Freeman and Chuck Norris both looking on, the Cru managed to come away with a 20-15 victory. The day was full of fun and football for Freeman and Norris as they shared stories and laughs during the game. “[I’m] honored to have Chuck Norris stop by for my jersey retiring. If you were wondering, that’s not a chin behind that beard, it is another fist,” Freeman said. This game was a battle of the unbeaten teams, as both the Cru and HSU started with a 6-0 record on the season. The game has also become quite the ASC rivalry. In 2015, the only blemish on an otherwise perfect regular season for the Cru was suffered at the hands of the Cowboys. The 29-26 loss snapped a 61-game regular-season winning streak for the Cru at the time. HSU would have no such luck this time around. The Cru was able to open the scoring on their second drive of the game with a 42-yard field goal by junior kicker John Mowery. The Cowboys answered rather quickly however, driving the ball 66 yards down field on seven plays to score a touchdown on their next drive. But they were unable to tack on the extra point when the kick bounced off the left upright, holding the score to 6-3. This was shaping up to be a very defensive battle. At the end of the first quarter, the two teams had combined for just 164 offensive yards and nine points. On their first drive of the second quarter, HSU managed to salvage a field goal after an 88-yard drive stalled in the red zone. On the ensuing drive, the Cru marched 75 yards down the field in 2:30 minutes. The drive was capped when senior quarterback Blake Jackson found junior receiver Bryce Wilkerson open in the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown pass. And the Cru took a 10-9 lead into halftime. However, the Cowboys came back ready to play in the second half. They held UMHB to 10 yards on their first drive. After a punt, HSU ended an 8-play, 76-yard drive...

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