High expectations for diverse defense
Sep20

High expectations for diverse defense

“Great defense is expected around here.” With this statement, Crusader football Head Coach Pete Fredenburg sets the tone for the 11 men defending every inch between their opponents and their own end zone. With five sophomores, an equal number of seniors and only one junior keeping either class from taking over this  lineup, much is expected from the class of 2014. Leading the young players is Silvio Diaz, who, as a freshman last year, recorded 52 total tackles and 9.5 sacks throughout the season at defensive end. Coaches are hoping for more by moving him inside to defensive tackle. Leading the entire team, however, is middle linebacker and sport management major Javicz Jones. With more than 200 career tackles, 120 of which came last year along with 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble, he is unquestionably the statistical leader of these guards of the gridiron. Jones was named Co-Defense ASC football player of the week for Sept. 17. Statistics are not the only thing that makes Jones a leader; Fredenburg said he has an “incredible work ethic that is contagious to those around him. That is what has made him an established player.” Jones, while an outstanding player, can’t be the only leader on defense. Coaches are looking for other players to step up. Players like Chris Brent on the d-line, free safety Rocky Vaclavick, or the only senior returning starter for next year, Bronson Shaw, need to fill these roles alongside Jones. In the season-opener against the Wisconsin-La Crosse Eagles, the offense put pressure on the defense by throwing four interceptions. The first one came at the end of the first quarter, which started a drive that allowed a score for the Eagles. They came knocking at their door again just five minutes later, when the defense pulled together in a goal-line stand on a fourth and one, just three yards short of another touchdown. The defense would prevail in another critical situation in the third quarter and would end the game with a Shaw interception to run out the remaining 32 seconds. The score: Wisconsin La Crosse 20, Mary Hardin-Baylor 27. In a post-game interview, Jones expressed pride in his peers but did dish out some criticism commenting that “(We) need to be a team that can play all four quarters not just two,” referring to the first and third quarters when the defense allowed the Eagles to take the lead. In a preseason press conference, Fredenburg said, “Teams improve most between their first and second game.” Defensive Coordinator Larry Harman identified these  severl improvements as, “alignment, assignments and communication.” His defense needs to align themselves to...

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New channels for student enjoyment
Sep13

New channels for student enjoyment

In today’s world, the media and entertainment are everything, and if you aren’t up to date, you’re out of the loop. Luckily, the university has upgraded its television package to Campus Televideo, a partner of DirecTV. The previous service provider, Time Warner Cable, under the Digital Transitions and Public Safety Act of 2005, began switching channels to digital broadcast. This created a problem as it would hardly be practical for the university to provide digital-analogue converter boxes for all of the televisions on campus. Thus, Information Technology personnel began searching for a new provider and service. Director of IT Shawn Kung best describes the choice as follows: “Campus Televideo is able to provide more       channels, especially sports, for less than the cost of our previous provider.” With 100 channels, 15 in high-definition and 14 sports channels, the choice was clear. However, with such variety to choose from, students could spend hours on end watching television. Vice President for Student Life Dr. Byron Weathersbee addressed this issue by reminding students, “We are to be in this world, not of this world.” If the student body can realize that reminder, it can experience the great entertainment that has been offered this year and remain an “unapologetically       Christ-like university,” Weathersbee said. Also, on top of the popular entertainment channels, UMHB decided to implement a few channels for its own use. “Channel 2 is our lineup. We purposefully left channel 3 blank for analogue devices, 4 is the UMHB information   channel, and 5 is reserved for airing university events such as ceremonies or football games,” Kung said. Also, the IT department has introduced an emergency broadcast system, which will take over all television channels with a red  message screen informing students of severe weather, school closures and campus lockdowns. The message will yield to regular programing after a few minutes, except in case of a lockdown, when it will remain on the air until cleared by campus police. Sophomore sports management major, Esther Gibbs, is in her third semester as a student worker for IT, said, “The new    system could be very useful, but, hopefully, we won’t have to use it that much.” With safety measures in place and    entertainment galore, the student body can expect to rely on Campus Televideo for entertainment for the entirety of the three-year...

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Number three contender for ASC
Sep13

Number three contender for ASC

Ten freshmen, eleven sophomores, five juniors, eight seniors, seven returning starters, 34 total Crusaders, this is Crusader soccer. The men are rearing to go for the 2011 season, kicking off ASC conference play Friday, Sept. 16, against LeTourneau University.  It will be a kickoff to a predicted stellar season. In a preseason poll, UMHB was voted the number three contender for the American Southwest Conference title. Senior midfielder and accounting major Kyle Dickey responded  to the prediction saying, “The pressure isn’t in that (prediction). The real pressure, I feel, is with our program and with our fans. We are a solid team, and it’s time to have something to show for it.” An ASC title perhaps? It wouldn’t be the first time the boys brought home such an honor. In 2009, Head Coach Brad Bankhead directed the team to the first ever men’s soccer conference title in the school history. This year’s roster still contains the names of nine players who were a part of the potent formula that brought them the title in ’09. Despite the loss of seven seniors from last season, including two-time ASC All-Conference selection goalkeeper Mark Miller, this year still has the potential to take it all. A key element in obtaining another conference title is a dependable goalie. Now filling the cleats of Miller is Adam Cecil, a senior cellular biology major from Rockwall, Texas. A three-year apprenticeship behind record-breaking  Miller and two veteran defenders in his flat-four defense qualify Cecil to be the keeper that this team needs to make it to the team’s second title.  A confident Cecil shows much faith in his team. “This is the best team I’ve ever been a part of, so I expect to win conference and compete for a national championship.” Such confidence is the product of years of hard work, a long way from the humble beginnings of Bankhead’s career at UMHB.  The coach reflects on that time. “When I first took the job six years ago, UMHB was not even a contender in the ASC title race.” Today he stands with a number three contending team, and it breaks down like this: Cecil at goal and two season-hardened defenders, senior Colton Carlisle accompanied by junior all-conference and all-region defender Chris Torres mentoring the underclassmen in the back. An experienced midfield led by senior Kyle Dickey and an electric attack with senior Trevor Shoppach at the helm. Head to toe, Bankhead’s bunch is looking solid. In a preseason scrimmage at home against Huston-Tillotson, the Cru had what seemed like a good start with an early goal, a one-on-one with the keeper that rolled to...

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Personal campus feels like home

The university is quickly becoming a bigger landmark on the map and filling I-35 with more and more cars, “bound for Belton” each year. Going into the fall of 2010, Crusader grounds were swarming with 608 freshmen. Never in its 165 years of existence has UMHB had such a big incoming class … not until fall of 2011. Bethany Chapman, the UMHB institutional research coordinator estimates that we can expect to see up to 630 new faces on campus. In the midst of both last-minute registrations and early withdrawals, it’s hard to put a definite number on these figures, but one thing is clear: the Cru are  growing. Chapman hopes that this year’s total student population will peak at around 3,100 students, a 4.9% increase in comparison to College Board’s reported total population of 2,956 students from 2010. If this rate of increase were to continue at a steady pace, we could double our student body in 18 years, which speaks volumes considering that UMHB was founded in 1845 and has been around for 166 years. With the creation of the Farris apartment complex,  completed over the summer, 141 more students were given housing. In addition, renovations have been made on previously existing buildings such as the summer-long overhaul that took place in Gettys. The male dormitory looks like a completely different building from within. Stribling got a lobby make-over for everyone to enjoy, and the Grounds Cru has made many efforts around campus to provide flowerbeds, new grass and overall campus improvement. These changes made for the fall semester are just the beginning of many improvements to come, including our very own football stadium with the capacity of 10,000 spectators that is to be infused with a three-story student union building. The essence of the university is the small-town Christian environment, where everyone knows your name and professors can provide individual attention. While growing in popularity and population, it is vital that we keep this campus the UMHB that drew us here. Gary Lamm, associate vice president of enrollment management, said, “Although our student body is increasing in size, we also had 19 faculty positions approved for this fall. I believe we have been able to keep our student-teacher ratio to 13 students to every member of faculty.” It is apparent that efforts are in play to ensure that individual attention will be available for students, but will the social atmosphere remain after such growth? If the student body can pass down tradition, faith and fellowship, it will succeed in retaining the UMHB feel and produce the best Christian students who exemplify the qualities of leadership, service, and...

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Spanish golfer qualifies for invitational
Apr12

Spanish golfer qualifies for invitational

Some 5,000 miles from his hometown, Cadiz, Spain, freshman economics major Pablo Mena has thrived as a Crusader and has been a crucial weapon in the arsenal of Cru golf for this season on the team. Mena was first discovered by Coach Aaron Rodeffer in an international student athlete showcase in Miami, Fla., last July, put on by the International Doorway to Education and Athletics. He displayed much potential. Rodeffer  described him as the “most accomplished” golfer in the showcase and took an early interest in Mena, recruiting him to the purple and gold in a short span of two days. Mena was approached by several coaches representing various schools such as the University of Massachusetts and North Carolina. Mena said that Rodeffer stood out, and was the reason he decided to come to UMHB. So what brings this international athlete so far from home? His love for golf and his desire to study abroad. He had always wanted to study in the U.S. and said, “I’ve been planning on it since I was 16.” Mena recalls an easy move to UMHB in August, commenting, “I felt very comfortable, welcomed by my teammates and peers.” He was comfortable enough to nickname all of his teammates, such as sophomore criminal justice major Taylor “Baby T” Holleyman and sophomore Spanish and communication double  major Spencer “Northwest” Turner to mention a few. “(He) gets along with everyone and brings a great chemistry to the team,” said Holleyman, further asserting that Mena had a smooth transition socially. However, coming to the golf team at the collegate level was not so smooth. He had a rocky start, which can only be expected when introduced to game play on an entirely new continent. Rodeffer suggests that Mena, “has made a great turnaround this spring.” Mena himself was quick to testify accordingly. “(Last) semester I played terrible, but this semester I am getting my golf game back,” he said. Turner spoke of his progression in a positive light. “Yes, he obviously had his speed bumps first semester, but he has adjusted quickly and is improving on his scoring,” Turner said. In addition to his progress, teammates complimented the Spaniard on his ball striking, enthusiasm and demeanor on the golf course. Mena was recently invited to the California Lutheran Kingsmen Invitational, in Lompoc, Calif., after qualifying for his first top-five appearance. The team finished sixth of 14 total teams in the invitational, and Mena recognizes the event as the most memorable yet of his time as a Crusader. Mena most recently fought for the Cru at the West Region Invitational March 4 and 5, which concluded the...

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