Men and women’s basketball begin 2017 season
Nov15

Men and women’s basketball begin 2017 season

As the football team prepares to enter the playoffs, the men’s and women’s basketball teams are preparing for their opening games. This year should be a good season for both teams. As the football team prepares to enter the playoffs, the men’s and women’s basketball teams are preparing for their opening games. This year should be a good season for both teams. Last year, the men’s basketball team finished the season with a record of 16-10. They won all of their games at home. This year they are coming back with a more experienced team. The men only lost three seniors from a roster that included 11 freshmen in the 2017 season. This year they have fewer freshmen and more people with experience. According to Aubrie King, a senior education major who is starting his second basketball season with the Cru, the team’s biggest rival is Hardin-Simmons. Last year the Crusaders lost to Hardin-Simmons 112-120 in double overtime and 76-77 in their second meeting of the season.  The team will face-off against the Cowboys Jan. 11 and Feb. 3.King admits that Hardin-Simmons isn’t the only team they’re hoping to beat this season. “Honestly anyone who beat us last year, especially on our home floor, is someone that we could consider a ‘rival,’ if for no other reason than that we just really want to beat them,” he said.The men’s basketball team is focused on their team motto, “win the next game,” so right now they are looking forward to the season opener at Shreiner Wednesday, Nov. 15. While the men’s basketball team is relying on experienced players, the women’s basketball team is hoping to gain momentum with some new players. They lost four seniors from last year and only have two seniors on the roster this year. The team also has a new assistant coach. Niya Johnson, a former member of the women’s basketball team at Baylor University, is hoping to help head coach Mark Morefield capture the coveted championship win. Last year, the team finished the season with a record of 18-9, winning 11 of their 12 home games. This year, they hope to improve their record even more. The women’s basketball team will host Texas Lutheran University Thursday, Nov. 16 at 7...

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Sports spotlight: Wykeyhe Walker
Nov15

Sports spotlight: Wykeyhe Walker

Senior mass communications major Wykeyhe Walker was recently baptized in the university’s pool at the Mayborn Campus Center. “It was something I wanted to do for a while now, and I was going through so much, but God gave me hope and that caused me to focus on the good instead of the bad.” Walker’s friends and family gathered at the pool to see him baptized. President Dr. Randy O’Rear and his wife, Julie, were in attendance at the baptism. Walker attends First Baptist Belton with the O’Rears. “It was joyful to see him make the best decision he will ever make in his life,” O’Rear said. “He desired to tell the world and stand up on top of the mountain and scream, ‘I am a believer, and I want to be obedient, and I want to be baptized.’” O’Rear said that Walker reached out to him after one of his teammates and now UMHB alumnus, Matt Cody, was baptized at Temple Lake Park. “We started talking about our faith, becoming a Christian, baptism, what that meant, and what that meant to him.” O’Rear said that he’s enjoyed watching the journey Walker has taken since he began attending church with the O’Rears. “To see the joy and the peace he has now as a believer has been a sweet thing to watch,” he said. Walker plans to graduate this December with a bachelor of arts in mass communications. He will then relocate to Madrid, Spain to play professional football with the Osos Rivas. “Honestly it hasn’t hit me yet, but I can’t wait for the experience,” he said. “Of course, my family is sad but this is a step I have to take to get to the NFL.” Walker played receiver for the university for four seasons. During his final season, he was a part of the National Championship winning team. “I have been a starter here for the last 3.5 years, and I have never played in a game so cold,” he said. “I was with my brothers. You can’t really ask for a better ending.” Walker said that playing football for the Cru and being at the university has changed him tremendously. “When I got here, I was a kid that only cared about himself,” he said. “Now, I am a man who is about to start a new journey.” He said that he didn’t really see change in himself until his sophomore year. “I didn’t know Jesus, and even football was going bad. But I got my head right in the summer of my sophomore year, realizing I wanted the college experience. So I had to...

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Cru tames Tigers, 31-21
Nov15

Cru tames Tigers, 31-21

UMHB emerged victorious from a well-fought battle with the ETBU Tigers on Saturday. With this, their tenth win, the Cru ends the regular season with their 15th (13th consecutive) ASC title and a perfect 10-0 record (9-0 conference). UMHB came out of the gates hot, their defense getting a stop, and their offense striking quickly to put six points on the board. On just his second snap of the game, quarterback Carl Robinson connected with a wide-open TJ Josey for a 44-yard score. The John Mowery extra point was good, putting the Cru up 7-0. The Tigers capitalized on a Carl Robinson interception during UMHB’s next possession, immediately connecting on a long touchdown pass of their own, tying the game at 7 apiece. After an ETBU three-and-out, which defensive tackle Brazos Fuller capped off with a 9-yard sack, Bryce Wilkerson returned the punt 40 yards to score UMHB’s second touchdown of the afternoon. On the Tiger’s next possession, defensive tackle Joey Longoria stopped a run cold, then imposed his will on ETBU quarterback Brian Baca, not only recording a strip sack, but also recovering the fumble for the Cru. The Cru offense failed to capitalize on this turnover, punting the ball back to the Tigers, who then drove 80 yards downfield to score as the second quarter began. UMHB blocked the extra point, keeping the score at 14-13, Cru. For the remainder of the first half, UMHB’s offense stalled, failing to produce any substantial drives. In the closing minutes of the second quarter, the Tigers’ offense drove into the Cru red zone, but failed to score, due to a key third-down stop, followed by a blocked field goal attempt by special teams player Jordan Millar. UMHB received the second half kickoff, but immediately turned the ball over to the Tigers on an overthrown pass from Robinson. Sensing the change in momentum, linebacker Tevin Jones took matters into his own hands. “You get into the zone and start seeing yourself making plays,” Jones said. “It all just starts to feel natural.” To say that Jones was “in the zone” would be an understatement. The junior linebacker broke up a pass on first down, then made two consecutive tackles to force an ETBU three-and-out. With his stellar play, Jones almost singlehandedly gained back the momentum for the Cru. He finished the game with a career high 19 tackles. This impressive stop was seemingly all the UMHB offense needed, for quarterback Kyle Jones found Wilkerson for a 13-yard touchdown. The Tigers immediately responded with a scoring drive of their own, taking advantage of UMHB’s struggle to contain Baca, who repeatedly rushed for...

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Senior soccer player shines on and off the field
Nov15

Senior soccer player shines on and off the field

The UMHB men’s soccer team has made history this year, earning the program’s first ASC championship as they head to the NCAA Division III National Championship tournament. Senior midfielder Caleb Almanza, who was recently selected to compete on the First Team All-ASC and is a starter for the Cru, has played a big part in the team’s success this season. “This season has been great, we are playing well and put ourselves in a great position to do something amazing and make history,” Almanza said. “I feel I put in a lot of work to my team and do whatever it takes to win.” While Almanza has had many people in his life who have inspired and helped him in his soccer career, there is a certain person who has left a special impact on his heart. “My older brother, who is in the Navy is my biggest inspiration in life,” Almanza said. “I look up to him every day. He has helped me through everything throughout my life and is the reason I am who I am today.” Soccer has always been more than just a game for Almanza; it is a part of him that no matter where he goes, he will always take with him. “I have played soccer since I was 3 years old, so it’s been about 18 years,” Almanza said. “My parents got me started in it and it has been a part of my life ever since. I love that I forget about everything while I’m playing. It’s my time to get away from everything and do what I love, and I thank God for letting me do that every day. “It has been what I have done my entire life, soccer has taken me all over the world, brought me to a great university and just been a massive part of my life.” Although soccer holds so many special memories in the past for Almanza, his next step in life is to pursue his other dream: to become a physical therapist. “I plan on pursuing my career after I graduate and not play soccer anymore. I need to focus on my long-term future even though I would love to continue playing,” Almanza said. Choosing to further his athletic career as a Crusader was not a tough decision for Almanza and throughout his four years here, he has realized that this is exactly where he belongs. “I loved my visit when I came to visit UMHB,” he said. “They have great academics and Coach Bankhead ran a very good program so I wanted to be a part of it. To this day,...

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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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Cru rings Belhaven 45-7
Oct26

Cru rings Belhaven 45-7

The undefeated Cru gave fans a treat for homecoming, handily defeating the Belhaven Blazers 45-7. UMHB improved to 7-0 overall and 6-0 in ASC play. UMHB dominated on both sides of the football: the offense exploited personnel mismatches to score seemingly at will, and the defense ground out a near-perfect game. After a solid first quarter, in which running back Byron Proctor rumbled for a 34-yard score and kicker John Mowrey added the extra point and a field goal, the Cru offense took it up a notch, racking up 28 more points in the second quarter. After a 3-and-out from the Cru defense, quarterback Kyle Jones led the offense on a 43-yard drive, capping it off with a perfect pass to receiver TJ Josey for a 38-yard touchdown with 12 minutes to go in the quarter. Jones had targeted Josey on a similar route on the opening drive of the game, but Josey came up short with a rare drop in the end zone. After the game, Josey shared some insight on bouncing back and making the second-quarter play. “I was upset with myself,” Josey said. “But you’ve got to have amnesia; you can’t let it affect you. You have to forget about it and go out and make the next play.” Josey did exactly that. After the defense forced a turnover on downs, Jones began his second drive of the second quarter. He led the Cru to the Belhaven 23-yard line, but there was shaken up. “I moved up in the pocket and their guy hit me right in the chin,” Jones said after Saturday’s win. “I was a little dizzy, but I’m feeling better now.” Quarterback Carl Robinson III entered the game in relief and scored on his first snap of the quarter, cooly hitting receiver Bryce Wilkerson with a bullet to put the Cru up 24-0. Wilkerson had an explanation for the immediate touchdown. “Carl and I have been putting in extra work after practice,” Wilkerson said. “I got around the linebacker who had been jamming me at the line, and Carl saw me, and I scored.” The third touchdown of the Cru’s monstrous second quarter came at the hands of cornerback Kris Brown. Brown recorded his third pick-six of the season, returning the interception 40 yards for a score with six minutes left in the half. Brown continued his dominant play, also logging four tackles and a pass deflection. After defensive end Khevon Shepard recovered a fumble forced by linebacker Tevin Jones, Robinson III led the Cru into the red zone, setting up running back Olan Vining for the team’s fourth touchdown of the second...

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