Void in Rangers’ front office hitting home
May06

Void in Rangers’ front office hitting home

THE BELLS — Although there isn’t a lot of history to be celebrated within the Texas Rangers organization. It would be fair to say that the majority of their success in Arlington is a result of Hall of fame pitcher Nolan Ryan. This includes his play on the mound and his executive decisions made from behind a desk.   After Nolan Ryan was nonchalantly stripped of his CEO position last year he decided to officially step down in October. This put fear into many of the diehards who recognized that Ryan’s attention to detail while he was running the organization was what led the Rangers to two World Series in 2010 and 2011. There is no doubt the anxiety of losing a legend in the front office is still lingering around because the identity of this year’s team has yet to be displayed.   The Rangers have been known for their bats, but their rise to contention began because of careful moves to bring in quality pitchers. Ryan understood that pitching was what would carry a team throughout the playoffs.   Brian Honea of Yahoo Sports said, “The Ranger brass is saying all the ‘right things’ now as well as Ryan departs to ride off into the sunset and spend more time on his ranch outside of Houston. They believe they have the pieces in place for a winner. It’s just hard to imagine it happening without Ryan.” Only time will tell if they are right, but not every game is won during nine innings. Having the right people making the big decisions is imperative for success.   Just over twenty games into the season, the Texas Rangers are 22nd in the league in pitching, giving up roughly four runs a game. Compared to seasons past, this should be a scary statistic. It doesn’t help that the hitters the organization brought in during the offseason have been struggling at the plate.   It is still too early to count the Rangers out, but it is never a fun sight to see a Ranger legend and former CEO sitting behind the plate for the Houston Astros. Only time will tell just how much Ryan will be...

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Crusader athletes return to coach
Mar27

Crusader athletes return to coach

THE BELLS — The 2013 senior football class was one of the most successful groups to ever come through the Crusader program. Finishing with an impressive 50-4 record, the tight knit crew battled injuries, tough season ending losses, and long, hot summer workouts. But now that their collegiate playing days are over, they refuse to step away from the game and school they love. “My time at UMHB as a player is something that I will cherish for the rest of my life,” former running back Elijah Hudson said. “No one can take those memories away from me, but now that I am done, all I could see myself doing was being right back out here on the practice fields.” Hudson, along with four other players from last year’s team have joined the Crusader coaching staff as graduate assistants. Hudson, Brian Gallagher, Cody Jones, Jake Sims and Montana Duncan will all be using the experience and knowledge they gained over their four years in the program to help develop players in the coming years in order to carry on the rich tradition that Cru football has come to enjoy. “There was no question in my mind that I would want to be a graduate assistant when I found out there would be some positions open,” former quarterback Brian Gallagher said. “If I can’t be out there playing, the next best thing is coaching because I have to be able to put my competitive nature towards something.” Making the transition from helmet to headset is always difficult, especially when it comes to coaching and giving advice to players who were friends and teammates for so long. “I have already noticed in the few weeks I have been helping out that it is going to be hard to not want to be out there.” Gallagher said. Looking at the game from a coaches prospective is a little different, but since we were all leaders on the team the past couple of years I think that will help us when we start coaching these guys instead of lining up next to them on the field.” Hudson said The Crusader coaching staff lost a few coaches that have been an instrumental part of the programs success, but don’t except the less “w’s” in the win column these talented 5 graduate assistant have to potential to step right in to fill those voids. “The coaching staff here is without a doubt one of the best not only in division III but in all divisions, so I feel lucky to be able to learn from Coach Fredenberg and the other coaches. I think I have...

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Country musician admits to infidelity
Feb25

Country musician admits to infidelity

THE BELLS — One of the giants in the Texas country music scene shocked his fans in mid-February. Josh Abbott released a series of tweets that confessed he had been going down the wrong path and was a completely different man from what his fans could see. Abbott has become one of the more successful Red Dirt artists originating from Lubbock. He made a name for himself playing in local venues. He now travels all around the country performing in front of thousands of people. Some of his biggest hits have been about living the “small town life” and numerous love songs that have given the impression  he and his wife were the perfect couple.  But just like anyone could do, he fell into temptation traveling so much, and he fell into the trap of alcohol and infidelity. His latest album Small Town Family Dream worked its way up to number three on the Billboard Country Charts. But with all of the fame came a breaking point, and Abbott explained what he had been going through on Twitter. “I have not been the Christian husband that I needed to be in my marriage. I have destroyed my marriage through multiple problems, including problems with alcohol abuse, infidelity and language. Somewhere along the last several years, I have lost myself as an accountable human being.” Abbott thought letting his fans know through him would be the first thing to help lead him back to the right path “The temptations that we as artists and celebrities face are unreal to many of you…I have to own up to my mistakes….I’m 22 days sober and hope that I can continue to control my addictions. I want to be an honorable and godly man, and this is the first step,” Abbott said. I am a fan of Abbott’s music, and it is evident that he is a great musician with talent that few can compete with. But this scandal could hurt his reputation in the country music arena. However, many of his fellow artists were quick to send prayers and thoughts to him and his wife as they try to work things out. Abbott has continued to tour and play for packed houses, but for many it just isn’t the same listening to his songs now. He insists his fans realize that his music has always been sincere and will continue to be so. “I hope the songs I have written have inspired you… because that’s why we do what we do. That part is real. What hasn’t been real is the perception that my marriage is perfect & I’m an incredible husband....

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Men’s basketball set for run at ASC championship title
Feb25

Men’s basketball set for run at ASC championship title

THE BELLS — The men’s basketball team has continued its winning ways, stringing together eight consecutive wins and most recently beating the University of Texas in Dallas Feb. 22. Jerard Graham led the Cru with 19 points along with 12 rebounds. Senior forward Kitrick Bell wasn’t far behind, finishing with 15 points and 14 rebounds. The last two games of the season were highly important for the Crusaders. They dropped a few conference games early but finished strong in order to put them in good position for the conference tournament. “The two last games are important because it decides on what seed we will be going into the tournament,” head coach Ken DeWeese said. “If we win these last two games, numerically speaking, it looks to be a little bit of an easier road, but if we get in that situation, I will be the first to tell you it isn’t any easier.” The Crusaders dropped the first meetings against Hardin-Simmons and UTD, but when those two teams traveled to Belton to face UMHB again, they met a different Crusader team. “We lost the two on the road at HSU and at UTD. I didn’t think we played poorly at Hardin-Simmons but they had one guy that made six threes. They beat us by four, and he was the difference,” DeWeese said. Sophomore center Russell Green agrees they weren’t playing to their full potential at that time in the season but have turned it around and will be a force in the conference tournament. “I think we are doing the little things better. We are also playing a whole lot better defense, and we have more confidence as a team.” The men will be heading into the conference tournament as the number three seed. Their winning streak can be attributed to their escalated play on the defensive end of the court. “Our defense has really stepped up in these last nine games,” Green said. “We continue to get stops on defense, which leads to good shots on the other end. I think that has been a big contributor here late in the season.” The Crusaders will travel to  the University of Texas Dallas for the conference tournament this weekend.  Even though the men defeated the Comets in the last game of the regular season, UTD still holds the number one seed in the conference followed by Hardin-Simmons. For a shot at the national tournament, the Crusaders need to play well in the ASC tournament. A conference tournament championship would guarantee them an automatic bid. “We just have to go take care of business in the tournament. We control our...

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Unions win championships?

The Northwestern University football team had a successful 2013-2014 season. But its biggest impact of the year has arisen in the offseason. They just recently filed a petition with the Chicago regional office of the National Labor Relations Board. Yes, you heard it correct. A group of educated football players from Northwestern have teamed up in hopes they could receive benefits that they feel are being held back from them by the NCAA. If the players are allowed to unionize, we might see the NCAA as we know it completely change across the board. In years past, college athletes have been given the bare minimum of protection. According to an article on State.com written by John Culhane, Northwestern’s quarterback Kain Colter is leading the charge with a few specific changes that he believes are imperative. “No one represents us in negotiations. The only way things are going to change is if players have a union,” Colter said. He also dove into the specifics of his mission by stating that unionizing would force the “dictatorship” of the NCAA to provide medical help after players’ careers have ended and safer practice conditions so that athletes aren’t leaving school with life-altering injuries. This is a valid point, but these players aren’t being forced to play. So if they believe it is too dangerous, maybe it would be in their best interest to just not participate.  Simple enough. When this report came out, the majority of analysts and even the NCAA saw it as the Wildcat players begging to get paid for playing. This is a scary thought because paying college athletes would change the whole dynamic of what defines college athletics. NCAA officials responded after they heard the news coming out of the Northwestern campus. “This union-backed attempt to turn student-athletes’ into employees undermines the purpose of college: an education,” the      NCAA said. They pushed home that student-athletes’ participation in college sports is voluntary. “We stand for all student-athletes, not just those the unions want to professionalize.” “Many student-athletes are provided scholarships and many other benefits for their participation. There is no employment relationship between the NCAA, its affiliated institutions or student-athletes,”  the NCAA’s chief legal officer said. This is the major problem the Northwestern players will face when trying to make their case. They have voluntarily participated in an extracurricular activity at the university. Even the fact that the school does profit from the games, apparel and other things doesn’t make players employees of that specific university or even the NCAA. It is a stretch for the case to pass and allow the players to be recognized as employees. But it...

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