Johnny Football craze continues to NFL
May06

Johnny Football craze continues to NFL

THE BELLS — Love him or hate him, Johnny Manziel has proved over and over again that he has the skill set to elude collegiate defenses. But the question is, can he make that transition to the NFL, where the defensive ends are running faster 40-yard dash times than he is.   Everyone is looking for comparisons to the star quarterback coming out of Texas A&M, names such as Hall of Famer, Fran Tarkenton  Super Bowl winning quarterback Russell Wilson have been thrown around. But what it all boils down to is there really is not a  perfect comparison out there in leage right now or a player that has played in the past.   Manziel’s style of play is reminiscent of Tarkenton’s game and his stature matches up well with the Seahawks’ Wilson, but there hasn’t been a player in some time that carries the attention that Johnny Manziel does.  Ever since Manziel won the starting job in College Station, the spotlight has gotten brighter every day.   This reason alone is what makes numerous NFL general managers nervous about adding Manziel to their roster. Unnecessary publicity isn’t always a good thing, and although he has made an effort to shake the “Johnny Football” reputation and convince teams that he will put all of the other stuff aside when it’s time to go to work, the wild side of Manziel continues to be what is talked about.   Talks of Johnny Football staying in the state and playing for the Houston Texans were strong when he first announced he would be entering the draft, but as time has passed, his name has slowly  dropped off  of the draft boards. The Texans, who are, indeed, searching for a quarterback,  but Johnny Football is not the answer for the team.   Houston hired Bill O’Brien as their head coach in the offseason, and he has made it clear that he prefers a more traditional player calling the signals. A quarterback like Manziel doesn’t fit this description. So it is highly unlikely that you will see the Texas football hero continuing his play in the great state.   ESPN reporter Todd McShay said, “From talking to guys I trust, I just don’t think Manziel is the fit for the Texans.”   Although a highly talked about player like Manziel would sell a lot of merchandise and create a buzz not only in Texas but throughout the country, it wouldn’t be the exact type of buzz that the struggling Texans need. Coming off  a horrific 2-16 season the Texans need stability, even if that means starting recently acquired veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick and...

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Sport Spotlight: Chandler Henson
May06

Sport Spotlight: Chandler Henson

THE BELLS — Chandler Henson is a senior education major from Van Alstyne, Texas where she attended Van Alstyne High School.   Henson has been a key player for the Cru earning many awards during her career. She was credited with Honorable Mention All-West Division her freshman and sophomore year. Last season, she was named to the Second Team All-West Division.   She chose UMHB for multiple reasons. “I loved the beautiful campus. I also came from a small high school, so I liked the small class sizes offered by the school. And it gave me an opportunity to continue my softball career,” she said.   Henson has collected many memories during her career, but her favorite came this season. “The LeTourneau game this year…. We went twelve innings, and I finally hit the walk-off hit to win the game, one to nothing,” she said.   Henson has enjoyed every moment with her softball family. “I’m going to miss being with the team, and when I throw people out. I’m going to miss the excitement that not only I get but all the other teammates get when that happens,” she said.   Chandler has already set her goals after she graduates. She doesn’t know where she will go but plans to get a teaching job....

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Cru baseball rounding out the season
May06

Cru baseball rounding out the season

THE BELLS — The Crusader baseball team may have cooled off a bit from its scorching 13-2 start, but with just one series remaining  in the regular season, the team is still very much in contention for a conference tournament.   The team endured a four-game losing skid in early April before bouncing back to take two games apiece in series against the University of Texas at Dallas and Hardin-Simmons University. An 11-1 win April 11 against HSU in Abilene pulled the Cru out of its funk.   The following day, the team took the first game of a doubleheader  with a four-run rally in the seventh to seal a 6-5 victory. The Cru jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the second game, but the Cowboys stormed back, and handed the Cru a 7-4 loss.   The team returned home the following weekend and notched two wins against ETBU by scores of 3-2 and 4-3 before falling 8-4 in the third game of that series as well. Junior infielder Tripp Reeves said the wins were a way for the team to get back on the right track. “I think it was good for our team to bounce back and go 4-2 in conference after a rough weekend against UTD,” he said. “Although we would have liked to have gotten a series sweep against one of those teams, I feel like we’ve done a good job recently getting back to playing the type of ball we are capable of.”   The Cru added to its win total April 22 with an impressive 6-5 walkoff victory against 4th ranked Trinity University.   After facing an early three-run deficit, the team battled back to a tie game at five apiece in the sixth inning.  Rob Loewe doubled in the ninth and would later score the winning run off the bat of Heath Spencer.   While the win against Trinity could serve as a momentum boost, junior pitcher Ian Ekery said the team  just needs to keep doing what it’s been doing all season long “Hopefully, beating Trinity will give us that little extra push to get us through these next couple of weeks,” Ekery said. “At this point in the season there’s nothing new that can be introduced or changed that we haven’t been doing.”   With just one series remaining against first-place Concordia, the Cru have a chance to end the season on top of the ASC standings. “This ASC conference is a very difficult one to play in because any team can beat any team, and it doesn’t matter if they are last or first,” sophomore outfielder Zack Whiddon...

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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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Sport Spotlight: Kitrick Bell
Apr02

Sport Spotlight: Kitrick Bell

THE BELLS — Kitrick Bell is a senior computer information systems major from Houston, where he attended Fort Bend Marshall High School. Bell has played a key role for the Cru all four seasons. The Cru found Kitrick four years ago, and he became a perfect fit. “I didn’t choose UMHB—UMHB chose me,” he said. His freshman year, Bell was voted to the ASC West Division All-Freshman Team. By his sophomore year, he played in 26 matches and averaged 10 points per game. His junior year, he started in every game and led the Cru to the NCAA Division III National Championship Game. By his senior year, he was named to the D3hoops.com Preseason All-America Team. Kitrick enjoys playing with his teammates. “My favorite thing about basketball is playing together as a team,” he said. This season, the senior helped lead his team back to a 17-9 overall record and 15-7 in conference play, but most importantly a berth into the postseason. In his final home game, Bell helped the Cru defeat nationally ranked #17 UT-Dallas 75-71. He contributed by getting a double-double of 15 points and 14 rebounds. The ASC awarded his outstanding play by naming him the ASC Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for Feb. 20-24. The Cru then went into ASC Tournament as the #3 seed, but, but fell to Louisiana College 81-71 in the quarterfinals. Bell averaged just shy of a double-double with 12.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game throughout his senior year. He also finished his career with the all-time record of most rebounds in a career at UMHB. One thing most people don’t know about Kitrick is that he enjoys to sing. “Alicia Keys is one of my favorite. I like to dabble with John Legend a little bit and Lauryn Hill,” he said. After college, Bell has made up his mind on what he wants to do. He said, “My absolute dream job is to become a computer programmer, but if that doesn’t work,...

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Crusader baseball receives votes in top 25
Apr02

Crusader baseball receives votes in top 25

The Crusader baseball team is off to its best start since 1999. Even though the team has been plagued with injuries over the first half of the season, a recent six-game win streak propelled the Cru to a 19th ranking in the first American Baseball Coaches Association poll of the season. The Cru pulled off a three-game sweep of Mississippi College March 14 and 15. The team took the first game of the series in a 4-3 contest in which junior Tripp Reese hit an RBI single in the sixth to put the Cru ahead for good. In the second game of  a doubleheader, the Choctaws took a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth before  the Cru rallied back to claim a 4-3 walkoff victory off a hit from sophomore Chase Burrow. Head Coach Ben Shipp said the wins were proof of the team’s resiliency. “Our guys really battled all three games, but the first two were classics,” he said. “Clutch at-bats in the last innings and tough defense were key to the wins.” Junior Ian Ekery gave up two runs off six hits in 5.1 innings. Even though he didn’t feel he was at his best, Ekery put his team in a good position with his performance. “Personally, on the mound, I didn’t think like I had my best stuff, and I was constantly fighting an uphill battle all night but as a starting pitcher, your job is to give your a team a chance to win,” he said. “That’s all I was trying to do. Our guys are just so resilient.” The Cru completed the sweep with an 8-0 win fueled by a complete game shutout from senior Jordan Mattke. Mattke held the Choctaws to just four hits and struck out six in a performance that gained him ASC Co-Pitcher of the Week honors. “I felt like establishing the strike zone early and changing speeds was a huge key to my success,” Mattke said. “I was locating well with all of my pitches, and that makes it difficult on hitters. Burrow said the sweep shows how the team has matured over the past year. It was “a good illustration of how tough mentally we are compared to last year,” he said. “We have a different mindset when things aren’t going our way or when our back is against the wall.” The team’s win streak came to an end March 18th in a 5-4 loss to the hands of #1 ranked Trinity. The Cru grabbed a 4-3 lead going into the bottom of the ninth, but weren’t able to hold on as the Tigers put up...

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