Men’s soccer team tames Trinity Tigers
Sep17

Men’s soccer team tames Trinity Tigers

Imagine if you will a soccer team at the collegiate level that is renowned for its excellence. Their squad is always nationally ranked and they recruit some of the best players in the country. This school is Trinity University located in San Antonio, and there has never been a team in the American Southwest Conference to beat them. On September 1 UMHB traveled to San Antonio to take on the Trinity Tigers. In the past, the Cru has not been exceptionally successful. They have never won a conference championship or a national title. But that night, something was different. When they got to the school, they went about everything just as they would at any other game. They changed in the locker room together, went through their pregame meeting and headed out to the field as a team to warm up. Normally when faced with an opponent that shares the accolades of Trinity, nerves are an issue. Instead, there was calmness about the team. After the warm up, team members circled to say a prayer as they always do before they take to the field. But just before they bowed their heads, Coach Brad Bankhead looked around the circle with a smile and said, “Go out there and have fun for 90 minutes. For 90 minutes, just have fun.” Junior midfielder Bo Baker immediately stepped up and gave thanks for allowing the young men to play the game they had all come to love. Then, it was game time. From the start, both teams went toe to toe, matching each other’s skill and desire to win. But in the in the eighth minute, junior midfielder Daniel Gable would cross the ball into the Tigers’ box where it would find senior Daniel Green. Fighting off a defender, Green managed to get his head on it and chipped the ball over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net. The Cru bench erupted with joy as they took a 1-0 lead. However, there was still plenty of time left in the half, and Trinity was not going to roll over and easily concede a win. At halftime, the score remained 1-0. Although they felt good about the 45 minutes, Bankhead explained to them that they would have to match their performance in the second half to win the game. When Trinity kicked off the second half, they had fire in their eyes and scoring on their mind. It was an onslaught of attacks, and UMHB defended with their lives. But a ray of hope came in the 78th minute. Sophomore outside midfielder Kyle Dikey beat his defender on the sideline...

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Crusader duo ace the tennis courts
Apr21

Crusader duo ace the tennis courts

In athletics, it’s always interesting to see siblings competing alongside and against each other. One sister duo that comes to mind is Venus and Serena Williams. Both of them are highly ranked tennis players who find themselves facing off for intense matches. However, sibling competition is even more entertaining when they’re twins. UMHB has its fair share of them involved in athletics. Kaylan and Kelsey Gangle both play for the volleyball team, Jude and Julius Austin competed on the soccer team and Kirsten and Kristen Leverett have won conference championship rings with the football team. This past fall, the university welcomed another set of twins to the Cru family. Megan and Mallory Aarhus are freshman cell biology majors who play on the tennis team. They were recruited out of Georgetown, Texas, but they’re originally from Baton Rouge, La. They moved to the lone star state during their sophomore year of high school. Mallory said, “The pastor of our church started a new church here. They’re friends of the family so we’ve helped them with it.” In high school, Megan had a record of 48-3 and received the Golden Eagle Award while Mallory won district her senior year and was voted MVP. The twins showed interest in both Tarleton State and Howard Payne University, but decided UMHB was the best fit. “It was close to home and close to family,” Mallory said. Coach James Cohagan believes they are talented and have only scratched the surface of their potential. In just their first college season, they have already done impressive things. “Megan has won player of the week individually,” he said, “and they have won player of the week as a couple.” Cohagan now has no problem distinguishing who is who, but admits to being confused at first. ”In the very beginning, it was a little difficult because I learned their names backwards,” he said,” but they are two unique individuals and very easy to tell apart.” They actually come from a family of tennis players, which explains their endowment. Mallory said, “My mom played in college, and my dad just picked it up.” Megan, who is older by a minute and a half, describes her sister as being strong as a player and having a good serve. “As a person, Mallory is caring in a way that is very frank and honest,” she said. Cohagan said, “Mallory is creative, spontaneous and willing to try most anything. She is a free spirit. Megan is a little more reserved and plays the big sister role.” They get along on and off the court and have blended well with the rest of the...

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Baseball swings towards first
Mar31

Baseball swings towards first

After almost two months of play, CRU baseball is tied for first place in the ASC West. Led by head Coach Micah Wells, the team has a good blend of rookies and seasoned players. Even with the loss of a few starters, Sophomroe Chris Joshlin and Sophomore Ryan Swindell, they progressively move forward. “I’m extremely pleased at where we are,” Wells said. “We’ve had some injuries, but we’ve had guys that have stepped right up into those spots.” The freshmen have come through in a big way and have made a positive impact. Junior first baseman Doak Flemming said, “Josh Frederick, Seth Lynn, Ethan Henderson and Sam VanHoozer contribute to our success in ways that we were not anticipating.” Junior right fielder Joseph Villegas said, “We have quite a few new faces. I can remember when we had almost six freshmen in the line-up one game. But I think the mix of rookies and veterans make for good chemistry.” Unlike other programs, baseball teams play a three game series. They usually play one game on Friday that goes for nine innings and a double header on Saturday. This can be both a gift and a curse. If they lose the first game on Saturday, they don’t have time to sulk. Instead, they have to bounce back and redeem themselves 20 minutes later with the second game. Team unity has been important this year, and according to Wells, it’s the team’s greatest asset. “Some days we gotta go out and win it with defense, and some days we gotta score runs. But their ability to pull together and do whatever they have to do to win a baseball game is their greatest strength.” The team will play close to 40 games this season, 21 of which will be in conference. They share a similar goal of making the play-offs and winning a conference championship with 14 other teams. So instead of focusing on wins and losses, Wells takes a different approach. “Our goal is just to be the best team we can be,’’ he said. “I challenge our guys to come out every day and perform at the top of their ability.” If they continue to concentrate on that, the rest will follow. The Cru’s pitching has been top notch this season, as well as team defense. These two things have improved greatly from last year. Pitcher Jared Hopper, who performed well as a freshman, has taken his game to the next level as a sophomore. “He’s made a dramatic improvement,” Wells said. “With a year under his belt, he is stronger and more prepared.” Then there is freshmen Sam...

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Gift of gab propels speech team to success
Mar10

Gift of gab propels speech team to success

When children are born, they possess unique gifts. They may have great athletic ability, have the mind to break down the most complicated problems, or be able to create a musical masterpiece adored by millions. However, in order for that gift to reach its full potential, it must be developed. For the students on the speech team, their talent is the gift of gab. The team is coached by Dr. Kerry Owens of the Department of Communication and Media Studies. He coaches in tandem with his wife, Kathy Owens. Together they have been with the UMHB program for six years. “Coaching with my wife makes my job much easier. She’s very good at teaching students delivery skills while I prefer working with them on the content and organization.” Not to be confused with debate, the team travels all over the state giving speeches that they compose and deliver. Unlike the athletic programs, they are not separated by divisions. They regularly compete against big schools like Texas State University, Texas A&M, West Texas A&M and even the University of Texas. Their last competition took place Feb. 14 and 15 in which the team participated in the Speech on the Beach individual events tournament at Del Mar and San Jacinto College in Corpus Christi. Senior psychology major Dane’ll Leigh placed fifth in programmed oral interpretation of literature, freshman nursing major Jennifer Lum placed third in dramatic interpretation of literature, senior finance major Ruby Bowen placed second overall and senior performance studies major Adrian Turner placed second in duo interpretation of literature, as well as in prose reading. Both coaches were pleased with the results. Bowen’s second place overall ranking was a new plateau for the squad. “I’m extremely proud of our team this year,” Kathy Owens said. “We’ve never had a student place in individual sweeps before. It’s just astonishing.” No matter what students’ backgrounds or majors are, the team is always looking for willing, interested participants. Turner is one of the more recent additions to the team.  Most people know him as Tank. “That name came from high school football,” Turner said. “I was known for being able to hit people hard and move people out of the way. Now, most people don’t know what my real name is.” He played four years of football with the Cru  as a fullback, winning conference championships three out of the four. Owens was intrigued with Turner’s speaking ability after his fall performance in the play Twelve Angry Jurors. Since then, he has done four competitions with the speech team including prose and duo. He works with partner, Bowen, in the duo events....

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Softball returns with high hopes
Feb24

Softball returns with high hopes

While other athletic programs are coming to the end of their season, Cru softball is just getting started. After a successful 2008 season, the ladies look to once again be a dominate force. The team was 35-11 overall last season and perfect in the American Southwest Conference with a record of 24-0. They set a school record for single-season wins, competed in the NCAA Division III National Championships for the first time and were crowned the ASC West Division champs. Senior left outfielder Joanna Johnson said, “I think I speak for the team when I say that last season was unreal. I don’t think any of us knew what we were capable of.” They are led by head coach Kasey Blomquist who is entering her seventh season with the program. She is a product of UMHB and coached at Killeen High School before taking her place at the university level.  She is helped by coach Denise Lira, who has been the assistant coach for four seasons and is also a UMHB alum. After such a memorable year, the team has high hopes for the approaching season. “Because of last year, the bar is set super high for us,” Johnson said. “This team is completely different from last year’s team, but we work hard, and we have returners who know what it feels like to go above and beyond.” She reflects on the accomplishments of last season.”Being on that team and going that far is something that every single person will always remember.” Although the team has lost some experience with the graduation of six seniors, they have nine players returning to carry the torch. “We had a good nucleus come back from last year’s team,” Blomquist said, “and we have good recruits who will fill in where the holes are.” The squad has made 11 new additions to their roster, including Kirstie Curry, Sabrina Garcia and Caitlin Wells. Wells is a freshman center fielder from Spring, Texas, who is learning what is means to play at the college level. “We are a hard-working, dedicated team,” she said. “The coaches push us to our full potential and then expect a little more. We are getting better each day and have high expectations.” Blomquist believes pitching and defense wins games, so they have been concentrating on those things in preseason. However, with the speed of a few newcomers, the ladies will also serve as an offensive threat for other teams. “I look for great things out of this team,” Blomquist said. “We are very talented and athletic. We just have to put it all together.” The Cru kicked off their season...

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