Playing in the rain
Oct29

Playing in the rain

Conditions weren’t ideal Saturday when No. 2 UMHB squared off against Texas Lutheran University, but the Crusaders were able to overcome the weather as well as a hungry Bulldogs team and extend their regular season winning streak to 61 games in front of a soggy crowd at Crusader Stadium. Heavy rain early in the contest made things difficult for both offenses as the only score of the first quarter came in the form of an 11-yard touchdown run from senior running back Malcolm Miller to put the Cru up 7-0. The touchdown was set up by a 37-yard completion from senior quarterback Zach Anderson to senior wide receiver Marcus Wimby. Wimby said the team offense wasn’t discouraged by its early struggles. “On the sideline, I just reminded the guys to stay patient and everything would open up for us,” he said. Miller found the endzone again on a 1-yard score to make it 14-0. After the teams traded punts, UMHB linebacker Matt Cody picked off TLU quarterback Trenton White and returned it 28 yards to the TLU one yardline. Two plays later, junior quarterback Blake Jackson added a 1-yard touchdown of his own to give the Cru a 20-0 advantage after a blocked extra point attempt. TLU got on the board when senior quarterback Trenton White scrambled around the left side and broke free for a 24-yard score to make it 20-7 at the half. On the opening kickoff of the second half, sophomore Jordan Millar fielded the ball at the 31 yardline and took it 69 yards for a touchdown. A successful two-point conversion pushed the lead to 28-7. The Bulldogs responded when White found freshman Jekovan Holmes for a 48-yard touchdown. TLU added a 31-yard field goal from kicker Chadd Brown to pull within 28-17. The UMHB defense wasn’t getting much help from its offense in the second half, but senior linebacker Trey Thedford said his squad was still confident in their ability to make a play, even after giving up consecutive scores. “I don’t think we were scared. It’s not like we shut down. I think if anything, it allowed us to rise up a little bit,” Thedford said. The Crusader offense relieved some of the pressure when Anderson found Wimby again for a 56-yard touchdown to give UMHB some breathing room at 35-17. TLU scored its final points with a 28-yard field goal from Brown to make it 35-20. It didn’t take long for the Cru to answer, however, as sophomore Bryce Wilkerson took the ensuing kickoff 89-yards for a touchdown. A blocked extra point attempt left the score at 41-20 with 10:52 left to...

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Column: Texas baseball has new life after 2015

Texas is and will always be a football state. However, the state’s two Major League Baseball franchises made sports fans across the Lone Star State beam with pride this fall as both found themselves as unlikely participants in the MLB postseason. While both teams can consider their seasons successful, they took very different paths to get there. From 2011-14, the Houston Astros averaged 104 losses per season. The team was clearly in a rebuilding mode, but the strategies General Manager Jeff Luhnow used during the rebuild rubbed many baseball purists the wrong way. The Astros traded away veteran players for minor league prospects and dumped payroll in an effort to build for the future. Because of this, many accused the Astros of “tanking,” or intentionally putting a bad product on the field in an effort to earn better draft picks. What those critics don’t understand is that rebuilding in baseball isn’t like other sports. A couple of draft picks and a free agent signing isn’t going to be enough to turn around a team that has lost over 100 games. It starts at the bottom, and the foundation of every successful MLB franchise is its farm system. What the Astros did was build a minor league system full of young, talented players with great potential. Last season, the team began to reap the rewards of their patience when athletic outfielder George Springer made his debut and instantly made an impact for the club. This year, the Astros took things a step further as highly-touted prospects Lance McCullers, Preston Tucker and former No.1 overall pick Carlos Correa not only made their MLB debuts, but served pivotal roles for the Astros in 2015. Houston was often called out for its reluctance to spend money. In 2013, New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez made more than the Astros’ entire big league roster. With that being said, no amount of money the Astros could have invested in the team would have made them a competitive club. Sure, ownership could have thrown millions of dollars at a frontline starter or a middle-of-the-order bat and hoped for the best, but even the best players available via free agency would have had a minimal impact for a club that was completey void of big league talent. Instead, Luhnow decided to endure the criticism and stick to the process. Now that the Astros have several young, talented players ready to contribute at the big league level, the team can be more aggressive in free agency and wisely assess where to increase spending instead of just aggressively throwing money in a bottomless pit. On the other end...

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GOP still divided over Speaker

In 2014, the Republican Party successfully won over voters as it took control of the Senate and boosted support within the House of Representatives. The progress the GOP made, however, has come to a standstill as divisions within the party have severely limited what Congress can accomplish. Now, Republican representatives must choose between supporting a speaker who goes against their core values or hold fast and continue to limit Congress’ ability. On Sept. 26, Speaker John Boehner announced his resignation from Congress. Boehner became speaker in 2010 with much help from conservatives in the Tea Party movement. Now, many of the same conservatives who elevated him to the position are the ones who pressured him out. The House Freedom Caucus, a group of the more conservative representatives, were the ones applying the most pressure to Boehner and other republicans in hopes of cutting spending and bringing about aggressive policy changes. The moment that likely pushed Boehner to the breaking point was the Freedom Caucus’ threats to shut down the government in an effort to defund Planned Parenthood. Now that Boehner is out of the picture, the next step for the GOP is to decide on a replacement; a task which has proved difficult for the divided party. The most likely scenario seems to be former Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan. Ryan, who never campaigned for the position, has said he would assume the roll if called upon, but clearly stated several criteria that must be met. First, Ryan wants united support from GOP representatives in order to ensure that the division which occurred under Boehner wouldn’t happen again. Also, Ryan, a father of three from Wisconsin, wants to guarantee he can have specific time set aside to spend with his family. Whether or not Ryan is able to pull the party together is largely out of his control. For Congress to be effective, conservative republicans need to decide what values and policies they’re willing to sacrifice. The Freedom Caucus’ desire to hold true to its beliefs should be commended. However, House conservatives have reached the point where they might be doing more harm than good. Leaving the House at a stalemate doesn’t do anybody any good. The rest of the party has shown a willingness to negotiate. Now it’s up to the Freedom Caucus to step up to the table and do the same. If not, they risk hurting the GOP’s already fragile...

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Record setting performance
Oct14

Record setting performance

It was just another day at the office for the Crusader defense, as they held Belhaven University to negative 87 rushing yards, forced six turnovers and set an NCAA Division III record with 15 sacks in a single game en route to a 59-13 win Oct. 3 at Crusader Stadium. Blazers quarterbacks Tristan Hibbeler and Clayton Webb combined for 459 yards through the air, but an aggressive pass rush combined with a stingy secondary resulted in four interceptions for the Cru. Head coach Pete Fredenberg said the defensive line sets the tone for the rest of the unit. “I think we’ve got a chance to really be outstanding up front, and they’re going to be the catalyst to help our defense be a good as it can be,” Fredenberg said. On the offensive side of the ball, UMHB managed just 133 rushing yards on 38 carries, but senior quarterback Zach Anderson was able to keep the offense rolling by completing 18 of 22 passes for 228 yards and four touchdowns. “We just take what they give us. With our run-pass option, a lot of times they’re dictating what we do. I thought we had a good gameplan coming in and we executed well. All of our receivers made some good plays,” Anderson said. The following week, it was the offense’s turn to shine as the Cru racked up 660 yards of total offense in a 62-20 win against Sul Ross State University on Saturday. Anderson hit wide receiver Wykeyhe Walker who broke a tackle, sidestepped another defender and took it 79 yards for the score. The extra point attempt was blocked which left the Cru up 6-0. With 8:24 left in the first quarter, sophomore Bryce Wilkerson fielded a punt, picked up a block and took it 69 yards to extend the Cru lead to 13-0. Sul Ross got on the board early in the second quarter when quarterback James Davis rolled out to his right and found wide receiver Steven Savedra for a 55-yard score to make it 13-6 after a missed extra point attempt. Anderson connected with Walker for the second time on the afternoon for a 7-yard strike to extend UMHB’s lead to 20-6. With 4:20 left in the half, Sul Ross recovered a Cru fumble and set up shop in UMHB territory. Two plays later, Davis hit Savedra again for a 38-yard touchdown. A successful two-point conversion made it a six-point game at 20-14. The Cru responded when Walker scored his third touchdown of the half on a 19-yard reception from Anderson to make it 28-14 with 2:47 left in the half. Walker would go...

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College education still has value despite continuing cost increase

It’s a real Catch-22. You need a college degree to have a better chance at getting a high-paying job, but the cost of higher education puts a strong financial burden on college graduates. According to the Wall Street Journal, the average student in the class of 2015 amassed student loan debt of roughly $35,000. So who’s to blame? The colleges? The government? Actually, it’s a little bit of both. Government funding to institutions of higher learning have been slashed dramatically over the past few decades. Colleges have had to make up for these cuts by passing the buck on to students. Pair that with natural inflation and it’s easy to see how prices could quickly get out of hand. Another reason for skyrocketing tuition prices is the demand for higher education. A stronger emphasis has been placed on going to college by society. And in a capitalistic society, something is worth what people are willing to pay for it. The ever-increasing numbers of college graduates shows that young adults still believe benefits of a college diploma outweigh the cost to acquire it. But are the increasing costs still worth it? Well, that’s a question that needs to be answered on a case-by-case basis. One thing for certain is that students shouldn’t go to college just for the satisfaction of receiving a diploma. There are many professions available that don’t require a four-year degree, where individuals can earn a comfortable living without having the burden of a loan payment due every month. Such professions may require trade school or apprenticeships, but the financial burden would be much less than receiving a Bachelor’s degree and then pursuing a career where the degree is not necessarily required. At the same time, however, the value of a degree should not be overlooked. While it’s possible to earn a decent living without one, those who do have a college diploma have the chance to earn significantly more than those who don’t. While the burden of paying back loans may loom heavy in the immediate years following graduation, once paid off, college graduates will reap the benefits of their...

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