Football team finds good results in practice and extra long wait for start of playing season
Mar01

Football team finds good results in practice and extra long wait for start of playing season

By C.J. Halloran Staff Writer Senior wide receiver Jaylan Jenkins connects with quarterback Kyle King during practice on Thursday. Photo by C.J. Halloran/The Bells After 427 days of being starved of UMHB football, CRU football fans were finally allowed to eat again on Feb. 6, as The Crusaders traveled to Mississippi to face Belhaven University.  The Crusaders arrived in Belhaven looking to extinguish any doubts of whether such a long break would affect their play or not. The CRU came out strong in the first quarter, opening their score with a 37-yard-run from quarterback Tommy Bowden. The CRU didn’t let up in the first quarter either, thanks to a fumble recovery-turned-touchdown by linebacker Glen Thornton. Tommy Bowden throws a screen pass as the offensive line buys him as much time as he needs during practice in January. Photo by C.J. Halloran/The Bells The second quarter was much of the same for the CRU, as they put 13 more points on the board, thanks to two touchdown passes from Bowden to Kad Daniels. The Crusader’s defense remained impregnable as well, holding Belhaven’s offense back at our 2-yard line to keep them from scoring in the first half. The second half began much like the first and saw Tommy Bowden run for one more touchdown late in the third quarter before being substituted for Kyle King. King also got on the score sheet, connecting with Brenton Martin for a beautiful 35-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.  Junior wide receiver  Romello Cook leaps for a catch as he prepares for his first game as a Crusader against Belhaven University. Photo by C.J. Halloran/The Bells Though the Crusaders as a whole shone on their first game back, the star of the game was undoubtedly Tommy Bowden. After spending his freshman year playing backup to Jace Hammack, the quarterback who led UMHB to their 2018 title, Bowden stepped up in his first ever collegiate start. The sophomore threw for 104 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for two more touchdowns. Historically, the CRU has dominated Belhaven every time they’ve played, holding a 4-0 record against the Blazers and outscoring them 190-47, prior to the game Feb. 6. The CRU had been practicing with a certain excitement not seen on campus in months. Though their fall season was postponed, the football team took no time off. The entire fall break they practiced and watched film from last season, looking to improve. Still, given that the team hadnot played a game since December of 2019, the fall practices seemed endless. The energy of the team was high, however. Though the season is finally back, it is...

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Women’s basketball second half rally not enough against Hardin Simmons
Mar01

Women’s basketball second half rally not enough against Hardin Simmons

A Sader Bells member cheers on her team with the Crusader hand sign during the UMHB women’s basketball with Belhaven Jan 16, 2021. Photo by C.J. Halloran/The Bells By C.J. Halloran Staff Writer The CRU women’s Basketball team fell to Hardin-Simmons University 71-64 in a hard-fought game on Saturday, Jan. 30. The CRU started the game on the back foot with the Cowgirls opening up with a 13-4 run. CRU’s graduate student point guard Taylor Kollmorgen looks for quick options as she saves a ball from falling out of bounds. Photo by CJ Halloran The Cowgirls didn’t let up either, continuing to lengthen their lead to as many as 13 points before the first half came to a close. The Crusaders stormed back to tie the game in the third quarter, thanks to a 17-7 run capped off by leading scorer Olivia Champion. Unfortunately for the CRU, they were unable to carry their newfound momentum into the fourth quarter. Junior Guard Alexia Martin shouts Instructions as the CRU dominates McMurry University. Photo by CJ Halloran Hardin-Simmons battled back with a 10-2 run at the beginning of the fourth quarter and brought their lead back to ten points. That proved enough to hold the CRU at bay, taking them to a 71-64 defeat. Champion was the joint leading scorer for the team, scoring 13 off the bench, which tied with the other leading scorer, Bethany McLeod. Sophomore Hannah Eggleston also put up 10 points for the team. Sophomore Forward Olivia Champion Puts Up a Layup as McMurry’s Sydney McHenry and her teammate do their best to shut her down.  Photo by CJ Halloran The CRU next faced an away streak against Sul Ross University and Howard...

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Men’s Basketball hit good stride as the CRU took first games of season
Mar01

Men’s Basketball hit good stride as the CRU took first games of season

CRU Steamrolls Hardin-Simmons for sixth straight victory By C.J. Halloran Staff Writer Josiah Johnson draws a foul from Belhaven’s Rian Shields to extend UMHB’s lead against Belhaven University. Johnson has made more free throws than anyone in Division III this Season and is second in free throws in all divisions. Photo by C.J. Halloran/The Bells When asked about the ASC’s  (American Southwest Conference) new rule of basing tournament qualifiers on win percentage instead of overall wins, Coach Clif Carroll was straight forward.  “It is what it is, but if you win them all, then they’re not gonna keep you out of the tournament,” Carroll said. “If you win them all, you’re gonna be champion. It sounds crazy, but that’s the goal for this team.” Though every coach aims for his team to go undefeated, Coach Carroll took that mindset seriously and has coached the Crusaders to six victories in a row. Their victory came by way of a dominating 91-65 performance against Hardin-Simmons on Saturday, Jan. 30. One of the main arguments that critics of the CRU expressed was based on the team’s slow start, but the Crusaders shut that critique down against Hardin Simmons. UMHB opened the game on a 16-2 run that gave them a lead that did not change hands for the entirety of the game. The CRU absolutely dominated the offensive side of the ball, shooting 56% as a team.  Josiah Johnson continued his hot streak, scoring 34 points and picking up 12 rebounds, while 6’5” guard Ty Prince also picked up a double-double, scoring 22 points with 12 rebounds. The Crusaders showed out on the defensive end of the ball as well, holding the Cowboys to 34% shooting and 22 turnovers. Though one would imagine the team and Coach Carroll to be ecstatic after such a huge victory, they were all business. Coach Carroll went so far as to say he was unhappy with the CRU’s second half. “Today, we relaxed,” Coach Carroll said. “We lost our focus [in the second half]… I would rather us keep two feet on the ground and two hands on the ball [as opposed to some especially acrobatic passing from the CRU in the second half]. “Acrobatic turns into 27 turnovers… you can’t win championships turning it over 27 times,” Carroll said. Though the comments may seem harsh with such a dominant victory, the team shares this mentality and with it comes a hunger that can’t be quenched by any individual victory. The Crusaders have their eyes on one goal: the championship, and they refuse to let anyone get in their way. Sophomore guard Kyle Wright looks for...

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Intramural sports expands to esports

By Ashley Kizer Contributing Writer As soon as universities realized that COVID-19 would have an impact on intramural sports, many employees and student staff members had to branch out and find new ways to make intramurals available. With the rules of social distancing and mask wearing, it became clear that many traditional intramural sports were not going occur. However, because of technology and many students’ love for online sports, recreation departments have implemented online gaming, or esports, into intramural leagues. At UMHB, Campus Recreation staff member Hannah Zbylot said that UMHB was no exception.  “It has been challenging working this semester because of people’s response to the virus,” Zbylot said. “No one wants to spread their germs, so we’ve had to cut back in some of the intramural sports that are usually our largest competitions.” UMHB and other universities like the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University have still been able to provide some physical intramural sports such as volleyball, disc golf, ultimate frisbee, kickball, and tennis. While there is still a variety, this is a limited batch of sports being offered compared to a normal intramural season. Additionally, playing any of the sports comes with the mask-wearing of the pandemic. Texas A&M Molly Lindner found it difficult to wear a mask while playing intramural softball. “It is actually super strange because you don’t realize how much you read people’s faces until you can’t see them anymore,” Lindner said. For that reason, among others, UMHB and other universities have implemented online gaming as a way for students to play intramural sports. Texas A&M offers MLB, NHL, and FIFA for intramural leagues. University of Texas at Austin offers Madden, NBA, and FIFA. UMHB offers Call of Duty, Rocket League, FIFA, and Super Smash Bros. Each school has different requirements for online gaming, but one commonality between all three is that the students compete in these online games in their own homes using their own gaming consoles. It is important to note that UT and Texas A&M both require students to pay a $10 fee to participate, but UMHB does not. Mark Gonzalez is currently participating in Intramural esports at UMHB. “I really appreciate how UMHB tried something new with intramurals this year,” Gonzales said. “It’s really cool to see them give us different options in the midst of the pandemic.” Gonzales also added that he felt UMHB has added different and unique sports to reach a broad range of students. Universities like UMHB have faced the challenge of COVID-19 head-on and quickly accommodated students with sports they like and online games they enjoy. These schools may keep...

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Crusader alumnus signs with former world series champions Washington Nationals
Nov05

Crusader alumnus signs with former world series champions Washington Nationals

Landon Dietrich sits with his parents, Chris and Melisa Dieterich, as he signs to the Washington National’s rookie developmental league, the Gulf Coastal League Nationals on June 22, 2020. He signed at home, due to COVID-19 restrictions. Former Crusader baseball player Landon Dieterich was drafted earlier this year to the World Series Champions, the Washington Nationals. In the history of the UMHB baseball program, only 8 players had been drafted. Dieterich raised the number to 9. The road to the majors is very long and full of difficulty, and to do so from Division Three baseball makes the journey all the more difficult. Most college athletes play merely to enjoy the sport they love for four more years, and to develop as a person. Very few actually make it to the next level in any sport. UMHB faced Schreiner Univ. in the home series opener at Red Murff Field, Belton, on Saturday, February 15, 2020. While Dieterich is only playing currently in a rookie developmental league with the Gulf Coast League (GLC), this is an important step that many great players have had to take. Dieterich already seems to understand the importance and difficulty of where he is at. “I am absolutely blessed,” Dietrich said.  “I realize it is a rare opportunity, and I just hope to make everyone proud.”                        Dieterich was never alone in his journey towards where he is today. Along the way he had many of his close friends and family to guide him and give him support whenever he needed it. UMHB and its students and faculty were also a big part of his support system. “UMHB was everything to my baseball career,” Dietrich said.  “It made me into the player and person I am. Everyone from coaches to professors. Definitely the best 4 years of my life.”  His years playing for UMHB mean more to him than most people may understand. “A lot of people do not realize UMHB was my only chance to play baseball,” Dieterich said, “No one else wanted to take a chance on me back then.” However, his job upon graduation from UMHB was not guaranteed, so going through the drafting process was stressful.   “[The draft] started off super stressful, and the stress just kept growing,” Dietrich said. “After all, this was a lifelong dream. So, eventually, I just had to let it go and trust whatever God had for me.” UMHB faced Southwestern Univ. at Red Murff Field, Belton, on Tuesday, February 18, 2020. Dieterich said that he had so many memorable moments while playing at UMHB he could not pinpoint the most memorable. “I think we would need...

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Women’s Basketball finished home season with historic performance
Feb25

Women’s Basketball finished home season with historic performance

Mayborn was host to one of the most memorable games in the history of the UMHB Women’s Basketball program on Saturday, Feb. 8. Not only did the Crusaders completely crush the visiting Howard Payne Yellowjackets 112-70, but two major milestones were reached. Coach Mark Morefield achieved his 100th win while with the Crusader program and senior Guard Hannah Holt, a marketing major from Lumberton broke the school record for most career points (in the NCAA era). These two major milestones were just the icing on the cake for this college team, whose passion and hard work are on display in their win-loss record for this year. Following the impressive performance of the national anthem by the Black Shirt Cru the game was finally underway. The Cru won the opening tip-off and started their offensive onslaught without any delay. Within the first opening minutes of the game, the score was quickly 5-0 as the Yellowjackets failed to score any points within their first few drives. Then the Cru managed to make one of their free throws, making the score 7-1. After that, both sides tried their best to score, however it was obvious to everyone watching that the Crusaders’ defense was tightknit and would not buckle under any pressure. The same could not be said for the Yellowjackets, however, as the halftime score was Cru 59, Yellowjackets 39. If the Yellowjackets had hoped that they could regroup and come back in the second half, that was simply not the case. The lead had grown larger and larger until it was obvious to everyone, including the Howard Payne roster, that this game was a lost cause. Regardless, the Yellowjackets played on and in an admirable attempt to make the gap between the two scores as small as possible, playing their best basketball of entire game from then on. Had the Yellowjackets been able to play the entire game as hard as they did in the final quarter, then perhaps they would have had a shot at a victory. By the conclusion of the 112-70 blowout, the announcer told everyone to bring their attention to the center of the court. There stood Coach Morefield getting doused by a single water bottle in celebration for his milestone of 100 wins with the Crusader program. Following this was the celebration of the four seniors. This game marked the final home game of their college careers and the school made sure that they went out in style. All four received framed jerseys with their numbers and a bouquet of flowers as well. The senior guards Hannah Holt, Kendall Rollins, Alicia Blackwell, and Ke’Aunna Johnson all...

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