Belton High School girl’s soccer coach comes home to alma mater
Mar27

Belton High School girl’s soccer coach comes home to alma mater

Lady Cru will be under new management next year. Coach Barry Elkins will take the reins to lead the women’s soccer program into fall 2012 after the resignation of Coach Meg Brown. Elkins is a UMHB alum and is an influence locally. He has been successful as the head girls’ soccer coach for Belton High School. Elkins has accumulated a record of 227 wins, 62 losses and 26 ties along with 12 consecutive playoff berths in his 13 years at the high school. The women had an off season this past year finishing 5-12-1, a fundamental reason to this record being the lack of defense. The Lady Cru defense conceded 42 goals in 18 games, averaging 2.33 goals against per game. Elkins is looking to change that. “Being a defender my entire life, I do not like giving up goals,” he said. His mindset is that if you can’t play defense, you can’t play, and the current defensive scheme has proved to be faulty. Junior elementary education major Darla Gregory played for Elkins at Belton High School and realizes that the defense will be just one of the many changes that come with the new coach for the upcoming season. “We need a lot of things to change .… because he does have high expectations and will accept no less than those standards,” Gregory said. Nine district championships even at the high school level speaks of his expectations. Elkins believes that the women have the talent to make a conference championship a reality, and they only lack the guidance. “I think he will get the program headed in the right direction,” said Gregory, who is familiar with both programs the successful BHS women’s soccer programs as well as the one at UMHB. Director of Sports Information Jon Wallin said, “The coach would not start here until he is done at the high school.” Elkins is still mid-season at the school and has every intention of making playoffs again this season. Until the season is done for the Lady Tigers, he won’t be fully committed to training with the Lady Cru. While the women wish the best of luck to the Lady Tigers, they are excited to get started on renovating the Lady Cru soccer program to be finely tuned for next fall....

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Mexico’s war on drugs
Mar06

Mexico’s war on drugs

There is an enormously understated problem facing the U.S. today. However, people are too busy squinting to see conflicts overseas to notice what’s happening on their own front porch. The Mexican drug war is affecting the United States more than the average citizen knows. Mexico is in turmoil. This once self-sufficient country has come about as close to anarchy as ever before with the rise in power of around ten different drug cartels that are brutal in their tactics to traffic people, drugs, arms and money. As of January 2012, the Mexican government reported a death toll in drug-related incidents to be 47, 515 people since 2006. That is more than the populations of Belton and Salado combined, and then doubled – way too many people dead for the United States to simply turn a blind eye. Would America stand for this if it were the names of United States cities in the headlines? You know, the ones that always get buried in the paper, that never quite make front page? Most people would say that America wouldn’t stand for it. Who would? No good could ever come from this war, and absolutely nothing is being done to put a stop to any of it. Mexico’s left hand is at war with the right hand, and in the end the body suffers — the people. The economic situation is worse off than the recession here in the U.S. With the North American Free Trade Agreement, farmers who once sold domestically were beaten out by American farmers who are subsidized by the  U.S. government. There was absolutely no competition. Even before NAFTA, workers were breaking their backs in the fields, were making per day what a minimum wage worker makes in the U.S. in two hours of flipping burgers, while Mexican drug lords make Forbe’s billionaire list. Now these desperate people are being used as drug mules,  being extorted for money that they don’t have and are charged a few months’ worth of wage to endanger their lives for an unforgiving trip north and a shot to somehow find a job in the States. Even from a less humanitarian and more selfish perspective, it would benefit the United Sates to lend Mexico a hand. For example, Mexico composes 90 percent of the U.S. cocaine market. Beefing up border security would create more jobs in this dreadful economic climate, as well as keep out more undocumented workers. In addition, the drug trade  allegedly allows Mexico to take over a billion dollars of American currency out of circulation. Had enough? How about the humanitarian crowd out there? Because of the drug cartels,...

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Softball looks to succeed under new lights
Mar06

Softball looks to succeed under new lights

A new season steps up to bat this spring for the Lady Cru. Softball is officially underway and will open conference play as the women take on Concordia in a double header Friday at UMHB. Concordia took an early lead in preseason with the best record at 4-7, and Lady Cru Head Coach Larry Hennig gives Concordia respect, considering them one of the toughest teams in the ASC. “I think all of the teams in the ASC West have improved,” Hennig said but recognized Concordia as a dangerous contender for the team. The Lady Cru went 18-2 at home last year, and with the confidence boost of the new stadium lights, they stand a pretty good chance at sweeping the toughest team early. This spring Hennig’s players are looking good; they are a diverse squad with five seniors leading 12 underclassmen through the next two months. Stepping up this season are junior pitcher Hannah White as well as junior infielder Caitlin Bollier. This past weekend the team traveled to Farmers Branch, Texas, to play the First Pitch Tournament at Oran Good Park. The Lady Cru got to take a good look at the ASC East this weekend, and it proved to be pretty tough. UMHB went 1-3  in the First Pitch Tournament and came out of the weekend with a 4-7 overall record. Friday evening the Lady Cru faced off against and lost to UT-Tyler and Louisiana College. Saturday morning they came out with a vengence, brushing by Centenary College 14-3 followed by a tough 1-2 loss against UT-Dallas. “Competition is always good at this level. You can’t make any mistakes,” said freshman mathematics major and catcher for the Lady Cru Jacqui Beach. Hitting a two-run double Saturday against Centenary College, Beach is an up-andcoming young talent. However she attributes it to her team. “From the very beginning they did everything to make me feel welcome,” Beach said. Despite the contribution from freshman like Beach, the weekend did not go as planned, some work is still to be done. The team hopes to learn from the experience and  grow together to use the losses as motivation to bring the heat to the competition in the ASC West. Senior first baseman and psychology major Ashton Feight said, “We haven’t reached our peak yet but we just need to keep working hard…. We make progress every game.” With the experience gained  in the First Pitch Tournament, the Lady Cru are ready to open the ASC play and fight their way through the regular season to earn their ticket to Lewisville, Texas, at the end of April for the ASC Championship Tournament....

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One loss for regular season
Feb21

One loss for regular season

Crusader basketball is ranked No. 1 in the South Region yet again. With one loss in a 25-game season, the men have earned their rank and will be the team to watch in the ASC championship tournament that will be hosted at UMHB Feb. 24-26. What is the secret to their success? For one, Head Coach Ken DeWeese believes that this is perhaps the tightest knit team he’s ever witnessed in over 50 years of being involved in basketball as a player and a coach. Kitrick Bell, a sophomore communication major and forward for the Cru agrees with DeWeese about the chemistry of the team. “We push each other every day to work as hard as we possibly can, and after we experience success we can appreciate each other that much more because we know and understand the value of the work we put in as a whole.” Bell is a young talent who has had his fair share of the spotlight, reaching double-digit scoring on different occasions despite an injury-stricken freshman year.  He is a focused player who has kept a level head about postseason play. “It is important that we understand that now the regular season is over, and our record means nothing if we lose a game,” he said. Reaching the end of the regular season with such success is a huge feat, and the men on this team have been on a roller coaster ride over the past five months. Since they spend so much time together, one can see why team members are so close. Basketball has one of the longest seasons in college sports spanning over two semesters. For the Cru, it starts in October and goes through March. “Thanksgiving, our guys are here. Everybody goes home for Christmas, but our guys are here,” DeWeese said, suggesting that the hard work and commitment speak volumes of the character and discipline of the players on the team. Another key to their success Assistant Coach Jimmy Smith said, is the fact they are a hard team for the competition to prepare for. “I think it’s kind of hard to really pinpoint specific (leaders) because I think a lot of our success comes from the balance of our team,” Smith said. “Different players step up every night. You never really know who’s going to score a lot day in and day out, but it’s always been somebody.” The Cru have definitely been the team to look out for the ASC, and it’s apparent in their record. The only team to find the answer this season is McMurry, whose playing level is on par with DII as...

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Santorum’s last-minute surge

A late bloomer in the Republican race, Rick Santorum has been gaining momentum as a candidate and confidence as a debater. Santorum, a socially conservative candidate would be popular on a campus like UMHB; a Roman Catholic, he is prolife and opposed to contraception. He is a very straight-laced and firm individual who stands firmly in his values with not much variance. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, recently switched his endorsement from Romney to Santorum, “What I’m seeing with Rick Santorum is a candidate who gets better and better every day.” Most can agree that Santorum began this race as the quiet kid in the back of the class, but has since slid on both knees into the spotlight to become the current frontrunner. Finding three consecutive wins in the states of Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado, Santorum has secured his spot in the top three with Romney and Gingrich. Santorum’s positions on issues are those of a man of faith. He stands in accordance with the Catholic Church on gay marriage, abortion and contraception. His faith has lost him the favor of a large chunk of the American public, but his religion should not be a weakness for Santorum. I don’t know if you remember the last Catholic in office. He went by the name of John F. Kennedy. Santorum could be the president who re-instills the core values that built this country. On his website, the list of issues is the longest of any candidate’s website and shares the interest of the public. Santorum is opposed to raising taxes, for example. However, I couldn’t even seem to find a way to enter Mitt Romney’s website without having to contribute money to his campaign. How can we expect Romney to reduce taxes when he asks the public for money when simply entering his website? Santorum is doing well, but he has to continue to do so and did budget much time to afford any errors. The next debate will be in Arizona after almost a month-long break. The debate will be Feb. 22 in Mesa. Santorum will have to outshine the rest of the candidates in this debate to really secure his position. Peaking so late in the race, he has not been so closely scrutinized, unlike Mitt Romney who has seemingly been on 24-hour surveillance for taking the lead so quickly. By the same token, however, did he wait too long to bloom? Maybe DeWine is right, and he is improving every day. But does he have enough time to catch up to the crowd favorite Mitt Romney? Santorum has really come in from the back of the...

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