Crusaders defend title against Texas Lutheran
Nov26

Crusaders defend title against Texas Lutheran

  By Sterling Dube Editor in Chief and Jaykwon Thompson Contributing Writer   The atmosphere at Crusader Stadium on Nov. 9 was electric as the stands were filled with fans ready to see the final home game of the regular season get underway. The captains for the game: Jonel Reed, Keith Gipson, Joey Longoria and Jefferson Fritz  won the coin toss and gave the first possession to Texas Lutheran. As if it was a precursor to the slaughter that would happen throughout the game, the Bulldogs’ return team bobbled the ball and barely recovered it for a small gain. This slowed down any momentum that the Bulldogs had at the start of the game and resulted in a quick punting situation. The Crusader offense was off to a very early start and got the football down to the Bulldogs’ 20 yard-line. However, two consecutive false starts quickly killed any chances of an early touchdown for UMHB. Kicker Anthony Avila completed an impressive field goal in an attempt to salvage the drive. The score was UMHB, 3, Texas Lutheran, 0. While the Crusader defense prevented the Bulldogs from ever having any real momentum, it did not mean that they had an easy time. There were many plays when the Bulldogs’ quarterback, Wade Freeman, forced the defense on a wild goose chance in the back field. He was often dodging and breaking tackles for 10 seconds at a time before either scrambling the ball himself or throwing a quick pass for a gain of a couple of yards. Defensive end Khevon Shepard was one of the only people who could say they sacked the elusive QB. After getting the ball back from Texas Lutheran, the Crusaders did what they do best. They battered the Bulldog’s defense until an opening was made. Running back Marquis Duncan used that opening in the defense to run into the endzone for UMHB’s first touchdown of the day, increasing the Crusaders’ early lead 10-0 after a successful field goal (PAT). Any attempt for the Bulldogs to retaliate to the touchdown in the second quarter were snuffed completely when a 4-yard sack followed by a key interception by defensive back Jefferson Fritz killed the Bulldogs’ offensive momentum for the rest of the game. From their now advantageous field position, the Crusader offensive, led by QB Jace Hammack easily got back into the endzone with a touchdown pass to WR Jonel Reed. After a successful PAT, the score was 17-0. The half continued at a snail’s pace with neither team getting the upper hand.  The Cru eventually got within field goal range and managed to snag an additional...

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Crusaders feel the heat against the Hardin-Simmons Cowboys
Nov26

Crusaders feel the heat against the Hardin-Simmons Cowboys

  For a game that was as intense and dramatic as the Crusaders’ 15-14 victory over Hardin-Simmons turned out to be, the weather seemed to convey a sense of calm before the storm. Clear skies, moderate temperatures, and light breezes were what fans on both sides of the gridiron were met with when they arrived at Crusader Stadium on Oct. 26. The atmosphere was tense, as for the first time this season the entire “away” section of the stadium was filled to the last seat with fans from Hardin-Simmons ready to cheer their team to victory. The Crusader captains for this game, junior defensive back Jefferson Fritz, senior wide receiver Jonel Reed, senior cornerback Keith Gipson and senior defensive tackle Joey Longoria met with the captains of Hardin-Simmons to win the opening coin toss that allowed Simmons’ possession of the ball first. The Crusader defense really came to play as their airtight defense easily snuffed out any attempt by Hardin-Simmons to gain an early lead. Senior linebacker Tevin Jones made an impressive sack for a loss of 13 yards, which really disrupted the repetitive Simmons’ offense. After several failed drives from both sides it was made clear that the first quarter did nothing to break the deadlock between the two powerhouse teams of the Division III American Southwest Conference. The second quarter started off with a bang for Hardin-Simmons as the Cowboys finally found the end zone in a well-run ground assault. With that the Cowboys drew first blood and took the score to 0-7. The Crusaders could not come up with a suitable comeback as the score remained the same for most of the second quarter. That is not to say that the Crusaders did not try to get on the board. Freshmen running back Jo’Vel McDaniel, on one play, went as far as to completely jump over a defender in order to gain a few yards. With only a few minutes left on the clock for the first half, senior QB Jase Hammack connected to senior WR Jonel Reed for a diving catch into the end zone. This catch finally put the Crusaders on the board. However, a missed P.A.T failed to make it a tied game. As both teams jogged into the locker rooms for halftime the score was Crusaders 6, Cowboys 7. The third quarter continued much like the rest of the game, with both teams failing to score more points up on the board. While the Crusaders failed many times to get into the end zone, they did manage to properly execute several laterals for a gain of a few yards each time and...

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Phi Alpha shines light on domestic violence through coffee house event
Oct25

Phi Alpha shines light on domestic violence through coffee house event

Coffee, good music and laughs were in abundance as people gathered in McLane Great Hall to support those who have been affected by domestic violence Tuesday, Oct. 14. October is national domestic violence awareness month so Delta Epsilon Phi Alpha (Phi Alpha) teamed up with Teach Them to Love (T3L) in Killeen to spread awareness. Phi Alpha President Taylor Ballou gave a speech explaining Phi Alpha and what the honors society was all about. Senior Officer Maya Wiemokly explained what exactly T3L was as an organization and the kind of work they were doing for those in need. Briana Frederickson, Miss MHB 2017/18 and recent graduate gave a short yet powerful speech about domestic violence and was keen to share her story. “My sophomore year I was in a relationship that turned abusive,” Frederickson said. She was “…assaulted by someone I did not know, and after that had happened I tried to commit suicide, and all of this happened within a span of five months. So, I had hit rock bottom, pretty much,” she said. “Had” was the keyword, as she realized over the course of her time at UMHB what her purpose was, when she was suggested for the Miss MHB pageant by one of her professors during her senior year. “Miss MHB is supposed to be this picture of grace, virtue,” Frederickson said. “And I thought there is no way I can do that.” As a guest singer for the event, Frederickson was obviously talented in singing. She used it as her special talent in the pageant. “I knew I wanted to sing, but I didn’t know what I wanted to sing. So I asked [the judges] if they could listen to my song I wrote and see if it was an option. When I played it they said, ‘you have to play it!’” The song in question has no title. In fact, the title is whatever each person thinks it is. But, personally, an appropriate title could have been ‘Uphill Battle.’ “Everybody has a story and some people might hear my story [specifically] and think that my story isn’t filled with as much heartache, or even more heartache,” Frederickson said. “Wherever people are, they can find something to relate to in the song and get the message that it might be hard to keep going… whether they gave up, or kept going, I wanted this song to be for them.” After a fantastic, tear-inducing performance by Frederickson, everyone broke off into smaller groups and chatted the night away. As the coffee ran out and the music stopped, people started to head home. After hearing the sobering,...

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UMHB destroys Albright in season opener
Sep14

UMHB destroys Albright in season opener

Fireworks exploded in the dark night’s sky at the conclusion of the football program’s season opener here at Crusader Stadium. The Crusaders celebrated their 56 – 15 win over Albright, after they made it clear that was their intent in the second half.  This was the second time that UMHB played Albright in football and it was the second consecutive win against them, with last year’s game being an astonishing 91-7 slaughter. While the differences in the score between these two games shows the effects of losing several key players to graduation, it was clear that many players stepped up to the challenge. Quarterback Ryan Redding, defensive tackle Joey Longoria, wide receiver Michael Stimpson, and running back Tye Hill are just a small handful of examples of Crusaders that stood up to the challenge of leadership within the team. The game started off with the Lions winning the coin toss and deciding to receive the ball first. After the Lion’s first several charges against the Crusader defensive line, the Lions punted on 4th down, where the Crusaders called fair catch at their own 46 yard-line.  CRU quarterback Ryan Redding led a mixed ground and air assault that was spearheaded by both wide receivers Michael Stimpson and Ernest Musue. The drive concluded with Stimpson dealing the first blow to the Lions with his first touchdown of the season. The ball changed hands many times after this with neither defense stepping down. However, this changed when Albright’s quarterback Jimmy Lahay threw a bullet of a pass that was intercepted by defensive back Drake Johnson, who then ran the ball all the way to the Lion’s 23rd-yard line. From there Redding took matters into his own hands and scrambled right and through a hole that was opened up by the offensive linemen for the second Crusader touchdown of the game. After a second successful point after touchdown by kicker Anthony Avila, the score was 14-0, Crusaders. After receiving possession of the ball from the kickoff, Jimmy Lahay lead his offensive team back onto the field to try and chip away at the deficit. After he completed successful passes, including a first down pass to wide receiver Zack Miller that was literally caught right above his shoelaces, Lahay threw another pass that was once again intercepted by defensive back Drake Johnson. This led to a Crusaders’ ball on the Lion’s 34 yard-line. While the Crusader offense could not score one more touchdown before the conclusion of the first quarter, kicker Anthony Avila made an impressive 40-yard field goal and took the score to 17-0. The first half of the second quarter was a...

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Welcome Week: Students celebrate return to school after summer ends

The entering Class of 2023 showed its joyous character right away as the freshmen brought an energy and excitement rivaling a major sporting event to this year’s Welcome Week at UMHB. During the initial move-in on Aug. 21, King Street was filled with smiles, cheering, shouting and extra energy. The first sight that freshmen were treated to was that of the Color Leaders, who would lead all of the competitive Color Clash events between campus dorms. They helped greet and move the freshmen into their dorms. Carloads of people were greeted with signs that said “Welcome Home,” while throngs of professors and student leaders, and even University President Randy O’Rear rushed to the cars to help incoming students and their parents. They first greeted students and parents, and then helped to unload their vehicles and haul students’ belongings up to their new rooms, where many would meet their roommates for the first time. Though their roommates came from far and wide, various events that the freshmen attended throughout the week seemed to instill a sense of camaraderie. This year, students and faculty joined the university this year from as far away as California to the island nation of Sri Lanka. Dr. Sriyan Wickramasuriya, the latest addition to the Math Department from Sri Lanka, was one of the people who made this Welcome Week extra special by joining in with other faculty and staff to help move students onto campus with his contagious energy. “I heard at the orientation that people volunteer for it, so I was very excited to help,” Wickramasuriya said. Making an outstanding influence on the next generation of UMHB students was an evident goal, and an unspoken theme of each interaction throughout the week as CRU Leaders, Color Leaders and event organizers shared many life-changing moments with the freshmen. Moving from California to attend UMHB, freshman Christian ministry major Daniel Richardson said that his most memorable moment of Welcome Week was when he visited his CRU Leader’s home. “Our CRU Group Leader had us all over to her house and she made spaghetti, and we just talked and played games,” Richardson said. Organizers feel that times like these, while simple, are unique to this specific Welcome Week group, and can have a transformative effect. Senior Lauren Murray, who was a co-director of this year’s Welcome Week, credited her desire to become involved with the event to her previous mentors from her own Welcome Week as an incoming freshman. “I wanted to be co-director for Welcome Week because of the example that [has] been set before me by upperclassman,” Murray said. “I think that UMHB does a really...

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