Black Ops promises dark future

November has come again gamers, and with it as promised, Activision’s newest first-person shooter. Call of Duty: Black Ops II has hit the shelves and is the game to have going into the holiday break. The Treyarch creation has three facets that really make this game worth the wait. The Campaign mode, set mostly in 2025 played as David Mason, son of Black Ops hero Alex Mason. In the technology-heavy future the U.S. military is prepared to handle just about anything, except its own droid army. Terrorist mastermind and game antagonist, Raul Menendez, takes the military infrastructure for a little joy ride. The only thing that can stop him are the hands that built the military, American soldiers. The online component to this game is completely different than its predecessor. For the first time in a Call of Duty game there is multi-team games with more than just two teams and that means many more enemies. Also, the new create-a-class system will change the way online battles are played. Treyarch has implemented a “pick ten” system, wherein you have ten credits to budget their class however you would like. This maximizes customization for any weapon class, reaching beyond just the weapons; if that means gamers have no primary weapon and six perks then so be it. Rewarding players for consecutive kills without deaths, otherwise known as “kill streaks” will be done away with to make way for “score streaks.” Individuals will now be rewarded on scores that encourage team play, awarding more points team-oriented play rather than for kills. Futuristic score streaks include swarms of kamikaze drones as well as autonomous ground drones that are equipped with heavy artillery to enter enemy territory in the gamer’s place. Tranzit opens the map to have various locations instead of bunkering down in one location and progress made in the mode gives the players clues to why they’re there and where to go next. Survival is the mode that Zombies was based on, endless waves of zombies attack until the point of defeat. Grief is a new mode that puts a competitive edge on the ordinarily co-op game. Two teams battle to a last-man-standing scenario, only the main enemy is the undead. Lastly, the custom games allow players to skip the tedious first rounds of zombies, enable a headshots only feature or turn off magic items. Also, to kick start the adrenaline of players, Avenged Sevenfold provides entertainment through the zombie apocalypse. All in all, the new release shows a lot of promise and seems to be overshadowing the release of gaming rival Halo 4. Happy gaming and remember “the future is...

Read More
Cru athlete from Cuba prospers on field
Oct16

Cru athlete from Cuba prospers on field

We live in a country that enjoys liberties allowing us the freedom to realize dreams. The people of Cuba do not enjoy such freedoms and have been suppressed for over half a century by a strict communist regime. The Human Rights Watch believes Cubans are denied many basic rights including free speech, privacy and due process of law among several others. This seems like such a farfetched reality to students living in a sheltered bubble at a private Christian university like UMHB. But the fact is, a student stands among the student body who has overcome the adversity of the world he was born into. Silvio Diaz, EXSS major and defensive tackle for the Cru, is thriving and realizing the American dream in an age when it has been thought to be a myth. Diaz was born to Osmany Diaz and Leydy Borges in Santa Clara, Cuba, a large city in northern Cuba. Growing up, Silvio showed he was a natural born athlete. He played soccer for a few years before taking up one of the country’s most celebrated sports, boxing. Silvio boxed for several years and quickly surpassed his peers, seizing two national titles. “I boxed for five years, and I was the champion of Cuba in my weight class in the 11-12 year-old category,” he said. After winning his second title at the age of 12, Silvio, his parents and his little brother Osmany Javier, would receive news that would change the course of his life. Diaz and his family had applied for a special visa program. In 2004 they were approved and immigrated to the U.S. They arrived first in Buffalo, N.Y., where Silvio seamlessly continued to train on his boxing. Six months in, work pulled them farther south to Leander, Texas. There, Silvio had nowhere to train for boxing and turned to soccer to satisfy his thirst for sports in middle school. Upon arriving in high school, two years after entering the country, his teammates on the soccer team told him he had the build for football. Though Silvio’s father wished him to continue to box, he would make his way to the gridiron. After a record-setting career at Leander High School, Diaz went from being a foreigner to the sport to knowing the ins and outs of a defensive lineman. Silvio interested several collegiate programs including Abilene Christian University, Virginia Tech, Air Force Academy and the University of Texas. However, due to the location and the school’s winning record, he would eventually commit to UMHB. The Cuban native has made quite a bit of noise in the Crusader football program these past three seasons....

Read More

Twitter could be a deciding factor in national award

In 2006 insurance giant, Liberty Mutual, established an annual NCAA Coach of the Year Award recognizing the top coaches from each of the NCAA’s four divisions. Coaches are judged on four different criteria: sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility and overall excellence. Winners are decided by the College Hall of Fame Selection Committee votes (55%), then by national media vote (25%), and lastly by fan vote (20%). The reciepient of the award for their respective division receives $50,000 to donate to the charity of their choice and a $20,000 grant for their school’s alumni association as well as the Coach of the Year trophy. This year, Mary Hardin-Baylor’s head football coach, Pete Fredenburg, is running for Division III Coach of the Year. The man behind the 139-33 overall record is up for recognition for his work in building the Crusader football program from the ground up. “I think Coach Fredenburg’s record speaks for itself…. If you look at what he’s done since he’s been here, it’s hard to fi nd anyone else that has had more success than he has,” said Vice President for Athletics Randy Mann. Fredenburg is in his 32nd year of collegiate coaching. The college coaching experience includes a 13-year tenure at Baylor University, a year at Louisiana State University, three at Louisiana Tech University and, of course, 15 years at UMHB. Fredenburg has received several accolades in his career as a coach including six ASC Coach of the Year awards, American Football Coaches Association regional coach of the year fi ve times and a position on the AFCA board of trustees. Despite the long list of honors, Fredenburg exemplifies a Christian humility. “I’m the head coach and get the acclaim, but I wouldn’t do anything without good players and good coaches,” he said. “Anytime we get any award, it’s a team award.” His strategy is admired by many but none more than by his son and colleague, Cody Fredenburg. “His coaching style, in my opinion as someone who was looking to get in to the profession, is a great example,” Cody said. “One that any young coach would want to emulate.” The Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year award is swayed by public vote. On twitter, fans can cast their vote once per day by tweeting the full name of the coach and university to @lmcoachofyear, tagging #COTY2012 and pasting the website on the tweet, coachoftheyear.com. The format must be correct to count as a vote. Fredenburg is currently in 6th place for Division III, and voting ends Dec....

Read More
Chemistry from Venezuela
Oct02

Chemistry from Venezuela

A long way from home, Dr. Otsmar Villarroel and Dr. Ivanna Laboren were hired as adjunct chemistry professors at the university this past summer. Chemistry professor and department chair Dr. Ruth Ann Murphy, expressed her excitement about the new faculty. “We’re just really glad to have them, and I like the diversity they bring to the department,” she said. Natives of Caracas, Venezuela, the two majored in chemistry at the Universidad Central de Venezuela, one of the oldest universities in the western hemisphere. Founded in 1721, this university of more than 65,000 students is the largest of the country. Villarroel and Laboren worked together on their bachelor’s theses at UCV and graduated in 2005 with degrees in chemistry. They decided to look abroad for graduate work. From Caracas they decided to move to Waco, and Baylor University was their choice for graduate school as they pursued their doctorates.Baylor Professor Carlos Manzanares, also a native of Venezuela and alumnus of UCV, recruited them to attend Baylor for their doctoral work. Villarroel said, “(We) came together to Baylor, where we joined the same lab to perform our doctoral research, where we published six scientific articles. Our research was based on research with lasers and mass spectrometry.” Mass spectrometry is a technique for measuring the mass-to-charge ratio of charged particles. Their research impressed the professors at Baylor, which in turn led to the referral to work at the university. “I have friends at Baylor University,” Murphy said, “and when the opening came about after Dr. (Darrell) Watson retired, I was in communication with people at Baylor, and so they suggested these two apply for the position.” Villarroel and Laboren graduated this past December from Baylor with their doctorates and are now adjunct professors not only for UMHB but also McLennan Community College in Waco. After Watson’s retirement concluding his 31 years with UMHB, the chemistry department needed additional faculty, and Villarroel and Laboren wanted experience at a university. “I decided to teach at UHMB with the idea of gaining experience in teaching in a big university environment,” Villarroel said. The professors oversee labs and teach classes. They have adapted well to the university and enjoy the experience. “What I like about UMHB is (it’s) a small university, so you actually know your students, and the students can reach you as a professor,” Laboren said. On the long journey from Venezuela to central Texas, the two professors have remained close friends. “Our relationship is a really good relationship,” Villarroel said, “More than 12 years of...

Read More
Bases loaded: Former administrator steps down to coach with his sons
Oct02

Bases loaded: Former administrator steps down to coach with his sons

With baseball season still a few months out, the team is preparing for its upcoming season under new, unusual management. After the resignation of interim baseball head coach Derek Dunaway, UMHB baseball looked within for different leadership. Former Vice President of Athletics for 18 years, Ben Shipp, had no intention of returning to coaching. However, in the process of finding a coach to pick up where Dunaway left off, something gripped him and didn’t let go. “Once I got in, and I was trying to help recruit and keep in touch with the players, then I kind of got the fever. I knew then that it wasn’t out of my blood,” Shipp said. He served as head coach for Cru baseball for 10 years between 1986 and 1996 in which he introduced the program into NCAA Division III. Currently the winningest coach in university history, Shipp returns to the diamond. Only this time he returns with his two sons, Kyle and Nathan, to rally Cru baseball to an ASC Championship. Taking the helm of the baseball team meant several changes in the athletics administration. As Shipp stepped down from VP of Athletics, former Associate Director of Athletics Randy Mann moved in. Now occupying Mann’s old office is Darla Kirby, former head women’s golf coach. With all bases covered in administration, Shipp was able to return to what he was doing when his sons were just learning to throw a baseball. Two college careers in baseball later, Kyle and Nathan join their dad at work. Kyle, 27, returns to his alma mater after spending five years down Interstate 35 at Southwestern in Georgetown where he was assistant baseball coach for the Pirates. While at UMHB, Kyle was a four-year letterman as the starting catcher for the Cru and graduated in 2007 with a bachelor’s in economics. He was a decorated player, recognized thrice as ASC Academic All-Conference, UMHB Male Senior Athlete of the Year for 2007 and recipient of the Fred Jacoby award presented by the ASC. Nathan is 23 years old and a 2012 graduate of Southwestern with a degree in kinesiology. He was also a four-year letterman as an infielder; twice All-SCAC Honorable Mention, and he earned a spot on SCAC Student-Athlete Academic Honor Roll. Nathan grew up around UMHB but never played for or attended the school. Working at the university has been a great experience for him. “There is like a buzz around this. There is … real support. You know, real excitement about athletics here,” he said. “This is a neat place, and it is really an honor to be able to work here.” The...

Read More