Cru volleyball throttles through ASC play
Oct23

Cru volleyball throttles through ASC play

The Crusader volleyball team entered the season with lofty expectations. As the regular season draws to a close, those expectations could very well become reality. The team has dominated the competition — 13 of its 18 wins have been sweeps — and now sits atop the American Southwest Conference Standings with less than two weeks to play.   Even though the team is having one of its best seasons ever, Head Coach Rob Frost believes they still haven’t hit their stride.   “We haven’t peaked yet. We will get to where we have a better offensive rhythm and tempo,” he said.   The Cru recently pulled off home sweeps of Sul Ross State University and Howard Payne University. On Oct. 11, the team opened up the match against Sul Ross State with a tough, 29-27 win in the first set before taking the next two sets 25-16 and 25-21 to earn the sweep.   Three nights later, the Cru returned to action and earned a 25-12, 25-23, 25-18 victory against Howard Payne. Sophomore hitter Abby Voskuli led the team with 17 kills on her way to being named player of the game. She said it’s important for the team to keep its momentum going into the postseason.   “We really need to finish strong. We need to keep getting better and challenging ourselves so we can be ready when we move on past conference,” Voskuli said. The Cru hosted Concordia Texas Oct. 19 and dropped the first set 26-24. However, UMHB responded by taking the next three sets to earn its 18th victory of the season.   Last season, the Cru earned its first berth in the national tournament in program history, but fell in the first round to Southwestern University. That team set a UMHB record for wins in a season, but Frost believes his team is in an even better position to succeed this time around.   “We are a lot more stable and mentally strong. Consistency and confidence are there each match,” he said. “We’ve played several top 20 teams this season and have done very well. We believe we can compete with any team and have the ability to win.   By finishing with the best conference record, the Cru would earn home court advantage for the conference tournament, which junior setter Kendall Pye said the players have been thinking about throughout the season.   “Winning conference has been a goal of ours since my freshman year. Every year we have gotten closer and closer, and this year we’re in the best position we’ve ever been in,” she said. “It was one of our preseason...

Read More
Recipe to sucess begins with recruiting
Oct23

Recipe to sucess begins with recruiting

Imagine you’re a potential high school recruit with no scholarships or access to quality facilities.   The only thing you have been offered by the coaches is a promise for the chance to play, win conference titles and maybe a national championship. Not entirely what a recruit wants to hear from a football program.   Pete Fredenburg is the UMHB head football coach. When the program first got started back in 1998, it faced challenges like signing recruits to come play without any scholarships nor the best athletic facilities. Still, Fredenburg has managed to put together a winning team that competes year in and year out for championships.   “It begins with a central location to be able to go into areas like Austin, Waco, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston to get high quality recruits, but also a great message of us doing things the right way and allowing them to be the best they can be by teaching them the basic fundamentals, is how we come up with these good young players,” Fredenburg said   Fredenburg and his coaches approached recruits with the simple vision: Promising men the chance to win, and making them the best they can be on the field, in the classroom and in life, as great fathers and husbands. The coaches recruit athletes who are team players, academics and men of good ethics.   The problem the school encounters with recruiting is how it is pitted against Division I and II colleges that have scholarships and top-notch athletic facilities. Cru recruiters sell Division III ball by allowing kids to get valuable playing time and experience combined with being a part of a winning tradition   “I am pleasantly surprised by our successes, but that was our goal from the start — to produce a winning atmosphere and recruit the right player to fit the program,” Fredenburg said.   The football program has been fortunate to keep its coaching staff intact and has a university that supports it in helping to recruit the quality of kids for the program.   “I am proud of this school and these recruits for buying into the vision we had of being the best program which provides a winner on the field, a great student-athlete in the classroom and making these kids become great men in life,” Fredenburg said.   Jalen Lawson, a member of the football team, chose to come to the school as a recruit because of the winning tradition and the newly upgraded facilities.   Lawson also liked the family atmosphere portrayed by the program among the players and the coaching staff. He also likes the...

Read More
Tennis concludes fall season with success
Oct23

Tennis concludes fall season with success

The men’s and women’s tennis teams finished their seasons after two road-trips this fall. The Cru returned seven players and invited four freshmen to make up their 11-man roster. The Lady Cru had six returners and welcomed one freshman to complete their team. The Cru and Lady Cru travelled to University of Texas-Dallas for the UTD Invitational. The women’s ITA Southwest Regional Championships tournament was in San Antonio, Texas, at Trinity University. The men’s ITA Southwest Regional Championships event was hosted by the University of Texas-Tyler.   Head men’s and women’s tennis coach James Cohagan is excited for his teams.   “Our first goal is always to compete in and qualify for the conference tournament, and then to win the conference tournament. This is a good year,” he said.   The first event was a round robin with schools all across Texas including: Austin College, Sul Ross State University, UMHB and host UT-Dallas. The team’s played singles and doubles before the rain. All matches were best of three sets against the competitors.   The Lady Cru found success against all three teams in singles and doubles. The men also won tough matches against the three schools.   In their second tournament, the Lady Cru went to Trinity University where the ladies won multiple matches. Junior Hannah Warren defeated the No. 16 ranked player from ETBU 6-4 6-4, and followed up that victory with a 6-4 6-1 win over Trinity. She then fell to the eventual tournament champion from Texas-Lutheran University. Senior exercise sports science major Angelie Juaneza won her first match against Southwestern 6-1 6-2 before losing to Hardin-Simmons. Warren and Paola Nunez won their opening round in doubles 8-5 against Hardin-Simmons before falling to Trinity.   Juaneza is pumped for tennis season to begin.   “The fall season is always a great way to see what we need to work on as a team and as an individual. We had teammates go pretty deep in the ITA tournaments, which is always a good thing. The tournaments that we play in not only help us realize what we need to work on, but it also gives us a sneak peek into what we’ll be fighting against in the spring,” she said.   In the men’s other tourney, the Cru went to UT-Tyler where the men found success in singles and doubles. Jacob Stamps won his first match 6-3 6-4 against Schreiner before falling to a seeded player from Southwestern. Sophomore nursing major Scott Wilding fell in the first round against Trinity, but bounced back with multiple wins before falling to UT-Tyler. The freshmen duo of Brendan Thompson and Mark...

Read More
Fantasy Stock
Oct23

Fantasy Stock

If you are that die-hard Cowboys fan who filled out your roster with Dallas stars such as Demarco Murray, Dez Bryant and Tony Romo, your fantasy record should resemble that of the Cowboys actual record.   Over the past couple of weeks the point production on the fantasy boards from the silver and blue have skyrocketed.   Of course, Murray has been a consistent fantasy player all year, averaging 156 yards per game and has successfully rushed for 100 yards or more in each of the six games this season. He has proven to be one of the best, if not the best fantasy pick of the season.   As the season progresses, it is imperative that you make moves early to account for your key players being out due to their bye weeks.   For example if you have LeSean McCoy on your roster, you might consider picking up a player like Chris Ivory if available. Ivory isn’t the dynamic back that McCoy is, but points are points and Ivory has been producing quality numbers. The new York Jets back splits time with Chris Johnson, but Ivory gets the majority of the carries in the red zone due to his bigger build and tougher running style.   Another dark horse in the fantasy football world is Larry Donnell. He emerged as a talented pass catcher at the tight end position for the New York Giants.   If you are having trouble getting high numbers out of your tight end position … consider Donnell. He scored in the twenties in week five, but his production fell a bit in week six. But with the injury of receiver Victor Cruz, expect Eli Manning to target his talented young tight end more in the coming weeks.   On that same train of thought, a player that isn’t playing on many fantasy teams right now is Odell Beckham Jr., the young wide receiver out of LSU who is now catching balls from Manning in New York. His targets will also go up with the absence of Cruz. He needs to be picked up, even if he is on your bench. Just make sure you don’t let someone else in your league pick him up first.   Another issue that many fantasy owners have to confront is what defense to play. With all of the high powered offenses in the league, it is a constant battle to pick a defense that isn’t going to end up getting negative points.   One suggestion would be to just stick with your original defense, unless they are consistently getting low numbers or negative points. But switching...

Read More
Crusaders host Kean University and remain unbeaten
Oct14

Crusaders host Kean University and remain unbeaten

Relax, sports fans. Crusader football is back in action this Saturday as they face Sul Ross State University. The Cru will be traveling to Alpine, Texas, to take on a talented Lobo team.   The Cru is coming off of their bye week, which seemed to come at a perfect time, with injuries starting to creep up on some of the players.   “The bye week was good for us. As a player, we always like having a game to look forward to after a week of practice, but we needed the bye week to rest up and polish things in order to continue to get better,” senior tight end Ben Keilman said.   With the outing The Cru had in their last game, it might look like they wouldn’t have too many things to work on, after they defeated Kean University 73-7, with the help of big plays on offense and defense.   “We played well against Kean but that game is behind us,” Keilman said. “I think we got better during bye week.Everyone is working really hard.”   D3football.com still has the Cru ranked second in their latest polls. That is no surprise, considering the weapons the purple and gold have on both sides of the ball.   Senior Kamray Runnels has broken out as the go-to guy on the outside with four touchdown receptions thus far.   “Kamray has been everything that we know he could be. He has just had more opportunities this year, and he as taken advantage of those opportunities,” senior wide receiver Stanton Holland said.   The Crusader defense is solid again this year, only allowing a total of 36 points in four games. Senior Deshon Kinsey hasn’t dissapointed, tallying 28 solo tackles.   “Deshon is one of the leaders on this team and he sets a good example of how everyone needs to play,” Holland said.   This week starts conference play, and as they face Sul Ross State, the Crusaders understand that they have to be at their best.   Keilman said, “We let Sul Ross stick around too long last year. They are a good team, and we are focused on going down to their place and taking care of them this...

Read More
Fantasy stock
Oct14

Fantasy stock

So it hasn’t gone the way you planned. Your top draft picks aren’t performing, your sleepers are still sleeping, and your fantasy football team wouldn’t even be able to score enough points to beat a middle school basketball team. However, the season is still young. A few strategic moves could just pull you team out of its funk and give you a shot at fantasy football glory.   The first rule this early in the season is to not panic. It’s frustrating when a top pick isn’t performing, but it may not always be that player’s fault.   Eddie Lacy is a good example. He provided very little fantasy production the first few weeks of the season, but this can be attributed to the fact that the Packers were playing teams with very good run defenses and were trailing and having to throw more. Many got nervous and traded Lacy. Those who stuck with him were rewarded with 105 rushing yards and two touchdowns.   So, instead of trying to dump a guy who’s struggling, try to watch the game or some highlights to find out why.   Another thing to remember in fantasy is where production comes from. Running backs and receivers may not score the most points, but they have more value because they’re harder to come by. It might be tempting to try and trade a stud quarterback such as Andrew Luck, but doing so would mean giving up a skill player who is probably impossible to replace. Instead, turn to the waiver wire for a quarterback. Since most fantasy leagues only require one quarterback per team, roughly half of the NFL starters should be available.   Finally, try to target players who, because of injuries or suspensions, have become less valuable. Houston’s Arian Foster is a guy who is always getting hurt, but is one of the best fantasy players in the league when healthy. It might be possible to get him cheap and hope he can stay on the field. Josh Gordon was suspended for the first 10 weeks, but he could provide a big boost just as the fantasy playoffs begin.   Things may look bleak, but remember, fantasy leagues aren’t won on draft...

Read More