Crusader men step up talent, comedy, fun

By Alannah Domangue She’s beauty, and she’s grace…wait, wrong pageant. The 18 contestants of the twentieth annual Cru Knights suited up for the show’s finale Feb 16. Senior mass communication/journalism major Tanner Clarke (Mr. Senior Class) received this year’s title as Mr. Crusader Knight. “I was completely overjoyed and blown away,” Clarke said. “It’s kind of a myth that seniors can’t win Cru Knights.” Although this was maybe not the audience’s typical show of Myth Busters, Clarke certainly shattered the tale. “Going into Cru Knights, I did not want to win. The whole reason why I did Cru Knights was so I could get to know some (underclassmen) that I would never get to know otherwise,” Clarke said. After being elected for senior class representative, Clarke kept one simple goal in mind. “I wanted to hopefully leave behind a legacy that has nothing to do with me and has everything to do with guys being transparent and learn what it means to be true men of God,” he said. Behind the scenes of all the pizzazz and excitement of the two-night show attended by students, members of UMHB  and the community, this year’s director, senior history major Jake Hans, saw a dream become a reality. “I’ve always had a vision for what I wanted Cru Knights to be,” Hans said. Everything from the practices to the pageant and all the brotherhood bonding in between came together seemingly perfect for him. “To actually stand there Friday night and see what was in your head (occur) on the stage and see how close the guys have gotten over the past six weeks was really awesome,” Hans said. As the director, Hans not only wanted to produce an outstanding performance, but he sought to create a sense of unity among the contestants. “Every week we had a theme practice,” Hans said. He prompted the guys to attend practices with different attire including short shorts night, collegiate night and a Hawaiian night. However, Hans also wanted to meet with the guys simply to “leave practice at practice” and to have some fun. Hans planned a chick-flick and ice cream night for more of a cheesy, guy-bonding occasion. Overall, many of the participants agreed the experience was absolutely unforgettable, and in the most non-cliché way possible, “magical.” “I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” freshman communication major Jayten Ames (Mr. First Year Council) said. “I grew so close to everybody there.” For senior accounting major and first runner-up Braden Buchanan (Mr. Independence Village), Cru Knights affected him beyond the newfound friendships. “It was a great lesson of humility,” Buchanan said. In his early weeks...

Read More

New logo generates much anticipation

By Leif Johnston University athletics will have a different look starting Thursday, Feb. 14. A logo will be ushered in at the basketball games, and the updated image will sweep through the campus throughout the rest of the year. The plan is simple…unity. Vice President for Athletics Randy Mann said, “We had different programs using different logos, so we ended up having three or four different logos being used athletically. So we decided we really needed to settle on one logo that everybody liked.” Creating a new image to represent the school was a long project that took many different things into account. “The idea of a new logo was brought up about five years ago when Coach Shipp was the athletic director, due to the fact that it was just hard to duplicate on apparel and also a little expensive when you had to reproduce it,” Mann said. The project got pushed to the side after the initial talk of change because it was hard to find something that everyone agreed upon. The revamping and expanding of the campus was a catalyst. Considering the number of new facilities being built, the committee that worked with the logo figured there was no better time than now to unify the campus. “They revisited the idea with the start of the new stadium and all the other things that are going on and thought if we are going to do a new logo, let’s look at it again. After it resurfaced again, the committee went through the process and came up with a design that I think everybody will like,” Mann said. A rebranding for the athletic department isn’t something that happens very often, but when it does, it brings excitement. Many students, and not only student athletes, have grown accustomed to the logo in place, but the idea of a different one bringing more variety to the bookstore and other places is creating a buzz around campus. “It’s an interesting time in the history of the university when you choose to re-brand the athletic department and come out with something that everybody can be excited about,” Head Men’s Golf Coach Aaron Rodeffer said. Not only are the coaches eager to have something new that they are all able to work into their programs, but the student athletes see the change as a good thing. “What I look forward to most is that, overall, it is just different. It will be cool to experience change and just start something new,” junior exercise and sport science major Jake Sims said. The transition of all the programs using the new logo may seem...

Read More
Super Bowl full of emotion
Feb15

Super Bowl full of emotion

By Leif Johnston The 2013 Super Bowl was full of side stories that just couldn’t be overlooked. Everything from 12-time pro bowler Ray Lewis playing in his last game to the Harbaugh brothers coaching against each other for the first time in Super Bowl history that siblings went face-to-face. The San Francisco ‘49ers also had their fair share of media coverage coming into the playoffs with changing quarterbacks midway through the season, naming Colin Kaepernick their man. All of these interesting stories gave the media just what it craved for the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl…drama. Both teams were dissected to the point that it felt as though the game would never be played. But, luckily for us, it was. The much-anticipated contest looked for two quarters that all the hype was for nothing. The Ravens came out and took a 21 to 6 lead at half, and added another on the opening kickoff of the second half. Spectators have seen this too many times and tend to anticipate all of the festivities of the game rather than the actual game itself. Sophomore sport management major Victoria Thane said, “I was looking forward to the commercials and halftime show rather than the game. There’s this huge hype over the Super Bowl for about two weeks, and the game never lives up to the hype when game time comes.” The Super Bowl took a drastic turn a few minutes into the  third quarter when over half of the lights in the Superdome cut out, causing a 34-minute delay. This pause in the action stopped Baltimore’s rolling momentum. “The blackout gave the ‘49ers a chance to regroup and think about a bunch of stuff to figure out how to stop Baltimore,” sophomore education major Stanton Holland said. Despite the blackouts’ efforts to bring San Francisco, back into the game, the Ravens stingy defense stood strong to stop a late ‘49ers drive down the field. The game ended with Baltimore on top 34-31. You can be certain that the halftime show of the Super Bowl will always be controversial. With so many people watching, there is no way to please every different type of audience. This year’s entertainment seemed to go over better than Madonna’s performance last year. “Beyonce definitely made up for the last couple years performances. You could tell that everybody liked it by the way Twitter and Facebook exploded after the show,” Holland said. Everyone was waiting with anticipation to see how John Harbaugh, the coach of the Baltimore Ravens, and Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco ‘49ers would react after the game. One of them...

Read More

Baseball, softball spring season is underway

By Cody Weems Both the Crusader baseball and softball teams begin play this month, and with the start of the season comes the hope and excitement that each new year brings. The biggest story concerning the baseball team is the return of Head Coach Ben Shipp to the dugout. Shipp coached the team from 1986 to 1996 before becoming the university’s athletic director. Shipp said that returning to coaching has been an invigorating experience. “It has been so much fun,” Shipp said. “I think everybody who coaches baseball will tell you baseball players are so much fun to be around, and I had forgotten that.” Freshman outfielder and accounting major Chase Burrow thinks Shipp has brought a new energy to the team. “I think it’s been a positive change,” Burrow said. “He’s made us have a desire and a work ethic to try and change this program around.” The team will have to deal with a lack of experience in the lineup, as only three starting position players return from last year’s team that finished with a record of 21-17.  However, Shipp believes that solid production from his pitching staff will be a strength. “One thing we’ve really been pleased with is the depth of our pitching staff,” Shipp said. “We really feel good about both the quality and the quantity of our staff and the amount of experience that they bring.” Shipp wants to play fundamental baseball this season while building the program for the future. “I’m hoping that at the end of the year, we can look back and say that we’ve energized this group of guys, their love of the game and their love of the university.” The baseball team will face Hendrix College for a three-game series this weekend. The softball team has high expectations for the season after being picked to win the Western Division of the ASC. Head Coach Larry Hennig said that the ultimate goal this season is to win the conference tournament and advance to the regionals. “Probably the most important thing is to win the conference tournament,” Hennig said. “Winning the conference tournament is something we’ve never done here.” Several players return from last year’s team which won the American Southwest Conference West Division with an overall record of 26-17. “We’ve got the foundation for what we hope will be a very good team this year,” Hennig said. “We’ve been picked to win our division, and we’ve got to be able to go out and play at a high level.” Junior pitcher and exercise and sport science major Rebekah Ragsdale hopes the team can build its success. “Last year was...

Read More
International ministry bridges gap
Feb15

International ministry bridges gap

By Alannah Domangue The area remained quiet while small clusters of people entered. After ten minutes, laughter filled the room as students began mingling with strangers. The occasion Thursday evening was only one of the many events hosted by the International Student Ministry. The event name: Game Night with Internationals. The mission: ministry. Students gathered in the SUB for fellowship, fun and food. The night began with a couple of icebreaker games followed by a meet-and-greet activity. Sophomore nursing major Jessica Walker, who serves on the ministry counsel, said the purpose of the festivities was to create “interactions and connections among the students and internationals.” The International Student Ministry attempts to form friendships and relationships “in a non-awkward way and to show (internationals) the love of Christ,” Walker said. In previous years the ministry hosted game nights, but not twice in one year. Since last semester’s event proved so successful, the ministry opted to host an additional activity-filled evening. This semester the turnout exceeded expectations. Senior Christian ministries major Kristin Mercer said the event was her first game night experience with the internationals. Mercer, who attended the Thanksgiving dinner last fall, said the night had “a lot more interaction. It’s fun to see the way our cultures can interact with one another,” Mercer said. Graduate student Wendy Lui, who attended previous game nights, has always appreciated the experience. Lui said interacting during the games gives her a “very good chance to communicate with the American people… and a good chance to practice   English.” Students do not always understand that the game night is for both Americans and internationals. “It’s both ways,” junior exercise sport science major and ministry leadership counsel member Elizabeth Valcin said. The International Student Ministry aims “to attract as many international students as possible, but at the same time  find Americans (to) interact with the international students,” she said. Although last semester’s outcome surprised ministry leaders, planning this event did not cease their worries. The biggest challenge is “getting the word out,” Walker said. “Advertising and making sure people hear about the event” poses a problem for the group, Valcin said, but their turnout usually surpasses anticipations. “We have plenty of ideas, but it’s hard to schedule around the school’s schedule.” Although publicizing is difficult, the events always have great results. The ministry’s main goal is “getting the (international) students to know who we are,” Valcin said. “After game night, I feel like a lot of them knew who I was and were able to come up to me and say hi.” American students will initiate relationships, which allows the internationals to be more interested in...

Read More