Astros headed to World Series
Oct26

Astros headed to World Series

For the first time in franchise history, the Houston Astros are the American League pennant champions and are competing in the World Series for the first time since 2005. The Astros, who have never won a World Series game, are facing the Major League Basbeall (MLB) best regular season record holder the Los Angeles Dodgers in a best of seven game series. With a showdown between two 100 win teams, this Fall Classic is set to be an unforgettable one. The Astros are no stranger to adversity. After getting swept in four games by the Chicago White Sox in the 2005 World Series, losing 100+ games each in the 2011, 2012, and 2013 seasons, and coming up short in the ALDS in 2015, the Astros are hungry for redemption. It has been a historic season for the Astros, to say the least. Some even argue that this has been the strongest Astros team ever. Led by MVP favorite Jose Altuve and postseason veteran Justin Verlander, the Astros finished the 2017 regular season with a 101-61 record and won the American League West Division for the first time in franchise history. The Astros went on to the ALDS, beating the Boston Red Sox in only four games. The Astros next challenge was the New York Yankees, who proved to be stiff competition. The Astros initially went up two games on the Yankees in the American League Championship Series, but then were swept in three games in New York. The two teams then headed back to Houston for game six, where the Astros topped the Yankees 7-1, forcing a game seven. On October 22nd, the Houston Astros became the American League Champions, shutting out the Yankees 4-0 in a thriller game seven. However, things have not always been so great for this team. For the entire city of Houston, 2017 has been a year of hardship. Just eight short weeks ago, Houston was devastated by Hurricane Harvey, a storm that left the fourth largest city in America underwater and thousands of people displaced. While the Astros were on the road at the time of the storm, they were able to return home on Sept. 2 for a series against the New York Mets. Although the majority of the city was still underwater and many were left without homes, thousands of fans gathered at Minute Maid Park on that emotional September day. The Astros, wearing the Houston Strong patches on their jerseys, ironically faced NY Mets pitcher Matt Harvey and were able to come out on top, beating the Mets 12-8. That game marked the beginning of a new focus for the...

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Are we doing enough to prevent head injuries in football?
Oct13

Are we doing enough to prevent head injuries in football?

It’s no secret that football is a tradition that has been a part of America for over a hundred years. No other sport can compare to the heated rivalries, the tradition of Thanksgiving football games, and the Super Bowl games that draw millions of viewers from across the world every year. It’s also no secret, however, that football is one of the most dangerous sports to play. Across the high school, collegiate, and professional level, football-related injuries are not uncommon, with head traumas accounting for a large percentage of those injuries. Last year, in the NFL alone, there were over 200 concussions reported. A study done by the American Academy of Neurology also found that “more than 40 percent of retired National Football League players had signs of traumatic brain injury based on sensitive MRI scans” (www.washingtonpost.com). This begs the question: should the NFL be doing more to protect players from head trauma injuries? While head injuries in the NFL have always been a topic of discussion, the news of Aaron Hernandez, former star tight end for the New England Patriots, was found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. This event sparked national controversy on the safety of players. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a degenerative disorder believed to be caused by repeated trauma to the head. Unfortunately, this disease is not diagnosable until an autopsy in the deceased. Hernandez, unfortunately, was not the only one. A recent study done on over 200 deceased brains of former football players across all levels found a substantial percent of CTE. In former NFL players included in this study, 110 out of 111, a whopping 99%, were diagnosed with CTE. With more and more evidence coming out that multiple concussions are the most prominent risk factor for developing CTE, it is clear that NFL players are at a huge risk for developing this life-threatening disease. While concussion protocol in the NFL has come a long way in recent years, it is clear that these efforts can only go so far in protecting players from the risk of traumatic brain injuries. The NFL now allows a neurologist on the sidelines at each game that can assess and prevent any player from going back out on to the field if they believe they have been subject to some kind of brain trauma. The NFL also has implemented a strict protocol for players who are assessed and confirmed to have a concussion that does not allow them to go back out on the field the same day. While this was implemented years ago, it wasn’t until the 2016 season that the NFL enforced disciplinary actions...

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Nurses Christian Fellowship
Oct13

Nurses Christian Fellowship

Nurses Christian Fellowship is a student organization on campus that is available to nursing students who are looking for a way to get involved and take a break from the crazy hectic life of being in nursing school to spread the love of Jesus throughout campus and in the local community. “We are an organization that just wants to share the love of Christ and encourage each and every one of you,” Senior nursing student and president of the Nurses Christian Fellowship Keyarius Johnson said during the first NCF meeting of the year. “We are a very team driven organization. We work together, we don’t leave anyone behind.” Bethany Whately, historian of NCF, takes pride in her position as a board member and wants to share her love of the organization with other nursing students. “We are little people that just love Jesus,” Senior nursing student and NCF historian Bethany Whatley said. “However, we are all graduating this semester, so if you want to be a part of something, help encourage others and want to be a part of the board, let us know. “We need people to take our spots.” NCF aims to create a sense of a community among students during their journey through nursing school by supporting and encouraging one another always and lifting each other up through the whirlwind of it all. “In the past, we have had devotions where we get up in the morning, feed you guys breakfast and pray and have worship before any major exams,” Johnson said. “We know that after a long week of studying, sometimes the nerves just get the best of us so we just try to make sure you guys are relaxed and confident and just able to go in there knowing that you can do all things through Christ.” In addition to loving one another, NCF also shares the love of Jesus Christ with members of the Belton and Temple community through service. After the devastating hurricane that left many people homeless in Houston this fall, NCF sprung into action to create donation box for those that were taking shelter at the Bell County Expo Center. This is just one example of the many opportunities that NCF provides students with. “We have volunteer opportunities throughout the semester that we will let you guys know about how you all can participate in. We are trying to partner with Temple ISD this semester to try to get kind of a big sister/big brother club going to where we can volunteer with kids on the weekend and bring them to Cru football games and stuff like that. We also...

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Intramural sports give students opportunity to exercise, make friends
Sep28

Intramural sports give students opportunity to exercise, make friends

For students looking for a great way to relieve some stress and have a great time, intramural sports might be the perfect fit. Offering a variety of sports in both the fall and spring semesters, intramurals give students the chance to connect with fellow students and get involved. This opportunity is available for everyone, whether you are a retired athlete, or just someone looking to join a competitive activity. There are currently four intramural sports being offered this fall, including Men’s and Co-Rec Flag Football, 4 vs. 4 Sand Volleyball, Outdoor Soccer, and Indoor Volleyball. Although the flag football and sand volleyball seasons are already in session, students can still register for Co-Rec Indoor Volleyball through midnight on Oct. 18 and outdoor soccer through midnight on Oct. 19. “The best way to get involved is to create an IMLeagues account online,” said Director of Campus Recreation Sue Weaver. “You can access this on the intramural & rec sports page of the Campus Rec webpage umhb.edu/rec/intramural-sports. This account will allow you to receive announcements about upcoming deadlines, create teams, join teams and see the semester schedule.” Students can create their own teams with like-minded friends who are interested in playing, or they can ask to join a team online as a ‘free agent.’ “This does not ensure you will be put on a team, but captains can look at the free agent list and invite you to their team if they want.” Intramurals are different from other school-related activities and organizations because they allow students to get involved without all of the responsibilities and time commitments. “Teams will play one to two games per week. Most teams don’t really have formal practice times. The only equipment students might want to provide for themselves is a pair of non-metal cleats. We also don’t provide gloves to everyone who plays softball in the spring. However we sometimes have a few extra for people to use.” It is important for students interested in playing on an intramural team, and even those already on a team, to read the rules and regulations hand guide in order to maintain a safe and fun experience for everyone. “Students can find the manual on the campus recreation website,” Weaver said. “We also host a captain’s meeting for each sport. At that meeting we go over any sport specific rules or changes, sportsmanship, and eligibility guidelines.” Any current UMHB undergrad, or those attending for a graduate or doctoral degree, and UMHB faculty and staff are all eligible to play. However, there are some other eligibility requirements concerning NCAA athletes playing in their same sport. Weaver said there are...

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Cru volleyball starts 2017 season undefeated, 8-0
Sep14

Cru volleyball starts 2017 season undefeated, 8-0

Volleyball season is back in full swing and the Cru has already made their mark, sweeping away the competition. The Cru went 4-0 at the UMHB 2017 Invitational and now has a record of 8-0. After going an impressive 20-11 in the 2016 season, the Cru is ready to come back even stronger this year. “We are proud of how things went in our opening tournament, but we know we have a lot of work to do to reach our best play this season,” said head coach Rob Frost. “This group is very good and we are working hard to be our best.” Although it’s very early in the season, Frost and the rest of the team have set the bar high as to what they want to accomplish this season and are determined to make it happen. “Our focus is to be our best selves on and off the court,” Frost said. “Every year we want to win the ASC conference tournament or get a bid and be in the NCAA national tournament. Ultimately, we want to win a national championship.” In order to achieve their goals for the season, the girls have been pushing themselves on the court and beyond, even throughout the offseason. Frost and the team know there are many areas they will have to continue to work on, but they are prepared to do whatever it takes to get to the place they want to be. “We worked hard through our spring season. Over the summer they had certain goals and things to work on in the weight room and on the court,” Frost said. “It is a year round process.” The team voted senior Natasha Evans and junior Sarah Paolini as captains to lead them to what will hopefully be a successful season. “They are both skilled at their role on the court, and they are hard workers with great character,” Frost said. “We rely on every player doing her job well. It is a very selfless environment.” Although this season has just begun, Frost knows there is something special about this group of girls. “We have a young starting lineup learning a lot and growing in about every area of the game,” he said. “However, the group of young women we have this year are great people, a lot of fun to be around and hard workers. UMHB attracts great people across campus.” Frost isn’t the only one excited and optimistic about beginning a new season, the players also have high hopes about what is to come. “I expect great things for this season,” junior outside hitter Laryssa Wills said. “We are...

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