Softball seeks to finish strong on home stretch
Apr15

Softball seeks to finish strong on home stretch

By Michael Crosson   In Texas, spring means sunny skies and warmer weather.   But to local sports fans, spring means baseball and softball season for spirited Crusaders.   The Lady Cru started the season slow by losing seven of their first 13 contests, but then went on a streak to win 10 consecutive games the last month.   Tiffany Birdwell is a pitcher for the softball team. She said the team’s recent success is the result of good team chemistry.   “I feel we need to continue to bond as a team,” she said.   Third baseman Leah Brown said the team is pleased so far with its play, but knows there’s plenty of games left to be played in the season.   “I always feel like we can improve, but I feel we’re doing really well as a team,” Brown said.   Head coach Larry Hennig believes this year’s squad is special because of the good team work ethic on and off the field.   He said, “I guess that the fact that the girls came here and we’re on a mission and they understand that every day is important, teamwork is important.”   Julie Norris, the assistant softball coach, said the thing she loves most about this team is how the players genuinely care for one another.   “We have a really resilient team they’re never out of ball games and the team chemistry is really good this year, the girls get along and play hard for each other all the time,” Norris said.   Catcher Cori Drake said the players have had to rely on each other to get through the mental hurdles of the season.   Drake said, “I think we possess a lot of confidence because we’re really good about motivating our own teammates and keeping a positive attitude during the games, and that really contributes to our success.”   Drake added that as the team continues to improve, they could very well be a tough club to beat.   “I believe the more we play the better we get and the more we come together as a team, so I believe we have a very good shot at going to regionals this year,” she said.   Right fielder Karley Free said the team’s unity and hard work is what makes her most proud to be a part of the squad.   “The team chemistry and how well we can all get along when we’re out on the field, and encouraging others during the game,” Free said.   The team is currently sitting fourth in the American Southwest Conference standings and will host...

Read More
Bush: Speech inspires students
Feb18

Bush: Speech inspires students

By Wesley Ashton   “Having President Bush speak at UMHB is a big deal,” senior sports management major Chris Brown said. “The atmosphere was loud when he got up on stage to speak. They clapped for several minutes before he even began to speak.”   A boisterous standing ovation greeted the 43rd President of the United States George W. Bush as he walked onstage at UMHB’s McLane Lecture last Wednesday.   “I had seen him speak on television but getting to see him live was an entirely different experience,” Brown added.   During his address on campus, the former president spoke not only about his time in office, but also about life lessons learned while traveling abroad. While in power, many dignitaries and foreign leaders visited him, giving him an abundance of stories to share.   “I learned while in the presidency that it is a huge honor to serve others,” Bush said. “It’s no sacrifice to serve something you love, and I love the United States of America, its people and what we stand for.”   Bush went on to describe how he dealt with foreign policy as well as the value of getting to know other leaders before he made decisions. UMHB students seemed to receive Bush’s message warmly.   “I learned from the president’s speech that it’s better to listen to a person than it would be to argue with them even if you don’t agree with them,” junior cell biology major Esther Spanial said.   “He started talking about how Putin visited him in Crawford and how he wasn’t impressed by his dog. This hurt the President but he didn’t let that stop him from listening to what he had to say. Later Putin showed him his dog saying it was stronger and faster, revealing to the president his true character,” Spanial said.   Several students had the opportunity to ask Bush about his time in office and how he felt about current events. Questions students asked varied from foreign and domestic policy to regrets he may have had during the course of his two-term presidency.   “It was a great privilege to be able to ask Bush about his opinion on the terrorist attacks in France,” senior sports management major Deshon Kinsey said. “The way he talked about the terrorist attacks in France reminds us that terrorism is still here. Even if it’s far away they can still hit at home. We have to be ready.”   Bush faced many difficult decisions. He told the audience that sometimes the decision was clear to take action on the behalf of those less fortunate.   Among...

Read More
Bush’s appearance a historic event
Feb18

Bush’s appearance a historic event

By Rachel Berman   America’s 43rd president, George W. Bush, visited the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor as part of the McLane Lecture on Feb. 11. The ticketed event was primarily for the students, faculty, and staff of UMHB, although many benefactors received VIP seating for the lecture.   “I was excited to go to George Bush’s lecture and it turned out even better than I expected,” senior Seth Strickland said. “He is a man of value and integrity and he is just a down-to-earth person.”   The event began with Bush receiving an honorary doctor ate of humanities degree from the president of UMHB, Randy O’Rear. Then the former president began his lecture, in which he talked about leadership, his presidency, and then engaged the crowd in a Question and Answer session.   Senior Erin Buerschinger enjoyed the part of Bush talk about his successes and failures, when he told the audience that being a good leader means one should “share credit and take blame.”   Buerschinger said, “I felt like that comment showed true character and a definite polarization between Bush and our current administration.”   “I think the lecture was a great perspective on his leadership style and decision making process,” said sophomore Ishmael Pulczinski. “I think the lecture reinforced my belief that George W. Bush is a man who made decisions based on the right thing to do, not for crowd approval, and is a leader who is humble in his successes and failures.”   Reporters from news stations such as KWTX-TV, the local CBS affiliate in Waco and KCEN-TV, the area’s NBC affiliate, reported on the lecture.   After the talk was over, the more than 2,800 people in attendance filed out. Some were stopped by reporters and appeared during prime time on TV commenting on their experience.   Bush’s visit to campus left students and staff inspired and feeling as though they had witnessed a part of history.   “The chance to see former President George W. Bush speak was such a wonderful opportunity and certainly a historic event for the UMHB community,” alumna Katherine Booth said. “His lecture was relevant, inspirational and humorous. I really enjoyed everything he had to...

Read More
What could top this year?
Feb18

What could top this year?

By Jayten Ames   For the past 12 years, the university has hosted the McLane Lecture for students and staff to hear from speakers who have been in positions of influence.   This year, the lecture received more attention from students than usual when it was announced that the speaker would be George W. Bush.   The prestigious guest caused students to seek access to this event with quite a bit of interest. Due to limited seating in the Mayborn Campus Center, attendance for the event required tickets for entrance. The day that tickets for the lecture became available, the turnout was large.   As one walked into the building, all he or she could see were lining the walls of the Bawcom Student Union so they could claim tickets to the event. The line stretched from the Campus Activities Center, down the wall past Starbucks and all the way out the door to the football stadium.   Interest in the event didn’t just end with students. Although numerous alumni and community members inquired about purchasing tickets, they were reserved only for students, faculty and staff in addition to special guests of the university such as trustees and donors.   The event was well received. The turnout was almost unprecedented, as there was a point that there was standing room only in the cram-packed arena. The president received a total of four standing ovations, and there was a private luncheon in his honor after he spoke at the lecture.   This was a moment on campus that many students will not soon forget. As students endeavor to live by the inspirational words of the former president, one must wonder what can be done to top this year’s...

Read More
Ballplayer gets second chance
Feb18

Ballplayer gets second chance

By Michael Crosson   To most collegiate baseball players, the big prize is a shot at the major leagues. For one Crusader, it is about playing the game he loves and making the team better.   Emery Atkisson is one of 30 members of the UMHB baseball team. He plays second base and shortstop. Atkisson is grateful for his position on a team. For a time, he wondered if he would ever be a college athlete again.   “The game finds a way to humble you. Although my shoulder injury was unfortunate, I have found a new love for the game and gained a greater understanding of life as well as the importance of a good work ethic,” says Atkisson.   Before the ballplayer’s injury, major league scouts from the Colorado Rockies and the Atlanta Braves franchises were following Atkisson.   “I had a set rehabilitation program at Stephen F. Austin, but I tried to push myself too hard, which ultimately prolonged my recuperation process. However, it has been two years since my surgery and my arm is feeling better than ever and I am ready for the 2015 season,” he said.   The idea of an athlete going from NCAA Division I to Division III means Atkisson has to work harder to prove he is still an elite player.   “The biggest difference between Division I and Division III is the lack of athletic perks in terms of scholarship opportunities. We are encouraged to play for the love of the game. The passion we have for this game will ultimately lead us to becoming a better team and better individuals in the long run. We play because we love it and we learn life lessons through the games of baseball,” Atkisson said.   Atkisson believes his work ethic and positive attitude toward the game of baseball is the most valuable attribute he brings to the team.   “My work ethic was compared to Robert Griffin III in high school, I feel like that is what I bring most to this team,” he said.   Atkisson is excited for the opportunity to be a more vocal leader for the team.   “When baseball is good, Emery is good and I plan on having a very good spring,” Atkisson said.   If this team can push itself not only in beating Concordia or LeTourneau Universities, but in getting to the Division III College Baseball World Series in Wisconsin, then this team can become one of the elite Division III programs in the nation.   Chase Burrow, is also a member of the baseball team and plays left field. He said...

Read More