NFL’s Freeman finds his way back to class
Mar06

NFL’s Freeman finds his way back to class

By Paola Nunez After playing his first season in the NFL for the Indianapolis Colts, linebacker Jerrell Freeman is now back at UMHB for the spring semester to finish up his degree. Freeman said friends, teachers and classmates welcomed him with open arms and lots of love and support, nothing short of what he expected from the school. “I love it here. Small town. Small school. It’s a great atmosphere for me,” he said Taking time out to finish his degree in criminal justice was an easy decision for Freeman to make. He said, “That’s what I came to college for. Deciding to come to a Division III school, it wasn’t just to play in the NFL. I just wanted to further my education…. Football isn’t going to be here forever.” Head football Coach Pete Fredenburg said he continued to remind Freeman to come back for his bachelor’s degree during the time that he’s been gone, and was happy to see him stick to his commitment to finish college. “The hardest thing for guys that come into an incredible amount of money is to stay grounded. It says so much about that young man because here’s a guy that all of a sudden he’s got incredible amounts of money and prestige, and what does he do? He comes back to Belton to finish his degree, and that’s special,” Fredenburg said. Associate Professor Effel Harper said, “I have talked to him throughout the time that he’s been gone and kept stressing to him that getting his degree is important…. Now I’m glad to see him fixing to possibly graduate at the end of this semester.” Freeman is taking advantage of what college experience he can still get during his time here, which may include attending his last spring formal at the university. Deciding to play football at a small college made it slightly  difficult to make it to the NFL Freeman said, but, “Nowadays how it goes, if you can play football, they’ll come find you, and they’ll give you the opportunity to play.” After being drafted by the Colts in January 2012, Freeman said he didn’t have time to sit back and reflect on his accomplishment, but a celebration of his achievement was held by his former coaches on campus. “We were all thrilled. Thrilled obviously for us because of the prestige that it carried for our program and for the university, but not nearly as thrilled as we were for Jerrell, because he is so dedicated and we just wanted him to reap the benefits of his dedication,” Fredenburg said. As for the benefits that come with playing...

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Golf seasons tee off

By Leif Johnston The spring season for the men and women’s golf teams began this week. The men will be traveling to Kerrville to compete in the Schreiner Spring Shootout, while the women will be making the short trip down the road to play in the UMHB Spring Classic in Killeen. Both teams are setting the bar high this year and playing to their strong points. “Our biggest strength is the bond we have as a team. We all have each other’s back and always push one another to be the best we can,” junior exercise and sport science major Justin Judkins said. The men had a successful fall season, but had a few mishaps toward the end of a couple of tournaments. They are looking to reverse that trend and believe that this spring season will be their time to do it. “Our expectation is to stop being on the door step. We had a good fall and finished no worse than fourth in a lot of good tournaments,” head men’s golf coach Aaron Rodeffer said. The desire to win is a comom theme. “Probably our strongest strength that can sometimes be a double edge sword is that they want it so bad. It can sometimes get in the way of just being an athlete and going out there and playing their game,” Rodeffer said. The Schreiner Spring Shootout will bring in competition that will give The Cru a look at what they will be facing this spring. “We have just been knocking on the door, and I think we are just going to break through this spring,” Rodeffer said. The lady Cru tasted success  last fall and only look to add to that this spring. A relatively young roster has shown that age doesn’t matter. “The girls played really well at the national preview where they played against the number one team in the nation and beat them. So we are taking momentum from that and hoping to win another conference championship and compete for a national championship,” head women’s golf coach Darla Kirby said. The lady Cru have created a unique bond in what is usually considered an individual sport. They believe it is important to play for each other. “The biggest strength for our team this season is the new philosophy we’ve adopted. We play for each other out on the course, and it has really improved our scores,” sophomore nursing major Taylor O’Rear said. The team has broken its fair share of records, but players aren’t content with what they have accomplished just yet. Kirby said, “They have set their sights on breaking the...

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Logo revealed: Student body approves
Mar06

Logo revealed: Student body approves

By Leif Johnston Mayborn Campus Center hosted an event, Feb. 14 that brought a change to Crusader athletics. The new logo was officially revealed at a news conference in the lobby of MCC before the basketball games against conference opponent Howard Payne University. The “oohs” and “aahs” that were heard as the logo was revealed were an immediate sign that Bill Woodward of Woodward Creative Design had created a logo that was going to be welcomed at the university. Instead of the side view that was represented in the old logo, the new one sports a Crusader with a closed helmet looking straight ahead. Not only did the Crusader change but also the words “The Cru.” The new looks freshened up many of the sports attire, and these were shown at the press conference. A number of student athletes showed off their program’s updated uniforms. “I like the new look, and I think the student body as a whole does too. It’s always good to be a part of something new and different,” junior exercise and sport science major Brian Gallagher said. The logo is quite a bit different from the previous one. It was designed to give people and students the idea that the university is making great strides in all areas, as well as holding on to the traditions that are set in place. “We told him we wanted the Crusader to reflect the dedication and commitment of our student athletes, who devote many hours to prepare themselves to compete,” Athletic Director Randy Mann said. “I am excited about the change. It is a new era for UMHB football with the new logo and the new stadium—the tradition and the guys that played here before us and put our program on the map,” Gallagher said. All of the hype for the release wasn’t a letdown. The student body came out to be a part of the coming out party. “I would have to say that the overall feel of the student body was positive. The hype that was created around the release seemed to capture the curiosity of the students, and it was evident that they were intrigued,” athletic events Manager Doak Fleming said. Free T-shirts with the much anticipated Crusader on them  drew many more students to the basketball games. It also gave them a chance to immediately see changes to the area as far as signs in Mayborn go. Four new signs were placed at the corners of the gym. “I feel that the coming out party we had for the logo was a great success. To see students and even adults trying to sneak...

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75th anniversary of Final Four to celebrate in Atlanta

With the NBA All-Star weekend coming to an end, the next big sporting event is March Madness. Get your brackets printed and pencils sharpened because this year the city of Atlanta, Ga., will be hosting three national tournaments at the same time. The NCAA is celebrating the tournament’s 75th anniversary, and Atlanta will host the final games of the Division I, II and III Championships. The Georgia Dome, home of the Atlanta Falcons, will host the Division I Final Four. The National Championship game will tip off April 8. Phillips Arena is home to the Atlanta Hawks, and will be the location of the Division II and III National Championship games. Both competitions will be played  April 7 and will be free admission to all who come out to watch the event. The festivities will include a number of concerts with performances by KISS, Jimmy Buffett and the Black Keys. Senior sport management major Jonathan Davis’ favorite time of the year is in March because of college basketball. “Let me start by saying that I love good basketball, and March Madness brings out the best basketball all year long. Dominance, Cinderella stories, and collapses of big programs, it all adds up to the most exciting time of the year. For the 75th anniversary of the tourney, they are bringing in all divisions to Atlanta, and I wish more than anything that I could be there,” he said. Junior sport management major Corbin Cochran hopes to attend the March Madness tournament. “I think it’s a really cool idea for the final four of all three divisions to be hosted at the same time and place this year. It should make for a really unique atmosphere, especially since it’s also the 75th anniversary. I’m hoping that once the Cru makes it to Atlanta, I will get to go down there and experience it myself,” he said. Junior math major Ryan Frusha is also excited about the tournament. “I think it’s great. It will make the ‘madness’ all the more exciting. I wish I could be there to see it all go down,” he said. Sophomore business management major Cedric Hudson is a wing for the Crusader basketball team. He speculated what it would be like to be playing in Atlanta with the other divisions. “If we as UMHB were to be in the Final Four, that would be very exciting for me and my teammates because this would be the first time we have been there, and it would really show all the hard work we put in this whole season. It would be a great opportunity for us, but we...

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Super Bowl full of emotion
Feb15

Super Bowl full of emotion

By Leif Johnston The 2013 Super Bowl was full of side stories that just couldn’t be overlooked. Everything from 12-time pro bowler Ray Lewis playing in his last game to the Harbaugh brothers coaching against each other for the first time in Super Bowl history that siblings went face-to-face. The San Francisco ‘49ers also had their fair share of media coverage coming into the playoffs with changing quarterbacks midway through the season, naming Colin Kaepernick their man. All of these interesting stories gave the media just what it craved for the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl…drama. Both teams were dissected to the point that it felt as though the game would never be played. But, luckily for us, it was. The much-anticipated contest looked for two quarters that all the hype was for nothing. The Ravens came out and took a 21 to 6 lead at half, and added another on the opening kickoff of the second half. Spectators have seen this too many times and tend to anticipate all of the festivities of the game rather than the actual game itself. Sophomore sport management major Victoria Thane said, “I was looking forward to the commercials and halftime show rather than the game. There’s this huge hype over the Super Bowl for about two weeks, and the game never lives up to the hype when game time comes.” The Super Bowl took a drastic turn a few minutes into the  third quarter when over half of the lights in the Superdome cut out, causing a 34-minute delay. This pause in the action stopped Baltimore’s rolling momentum. “The blackout gave the ‘49ers a chance to regroup and think about a bunch of stuff to figure out how to stop Baltimore,” sophomore education major Stanton Holland said. Despite the blackouts’ efforts to bring San Francisco, back into the game, the Ravens stingy defense stood strong to stop a late ‘49ers drive down the field. The game ended with Baltimore on top 34-31. You can be certain that the halftime show of the Super Bowl will always be controversial. With so many people watching, there is no way to please every different type of audience. This year’s entertainment seemed to go over better than Madonna’s performance last year. “Beyonce definitely made up for the last couple years performances. You could tell that everybody liked it by the way Twitter and Facebook exploded after the show,” Holland said. Everyone was waiting with anticipation to see how John Harbaugh, the coach of the Baltimore Ravens, and Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco ‘49ers would react after the game. One of them...

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Tennis teams host Cru Challenge

The spring semester has begun, which means the Cru and Lady Cru tennis teams have hit the hard court. Both squads are back and looking to return to the post season and make a run for the American Southwest Conference championship. Both teams have started their season off at the Crusader Challenge Tournament Feb. 8-9. The competition took place at Yvonne Li Tennis Center and the Cru hosted conference rival Howard Payne University, as well as division III rivals Austin College and Southwestern University. The tournamnet was on pace to have a number of Crusdaers finishing on top.  But due to rainy weather, the remaining matches were cancelled. Head Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach James Cohagan talked about the importance of the Crusader Challenge. “This tournament is a great preseason test, and it is great that we will have three division III schools of fairly similar and close abilities,” Cohagan said. Senior psychology major Will Summers also described the Cru Challenge event. “The Cru Challenge is different than most tournaments. It’s flighted, meaning each team puts their number one player versus the next team’s number one player in a tournament format,” he said. “It is a good litmus test for the team to see how hard we will need to work to accomplish our goals, and allows us to get some match play before conference begins, which is immeasurably crucial at this stage.” Sophomore exercise and sport science major Angelie Juaneza agreed. “The Cru Challenge Tournament is a good way to start off the season because it is getting everyone ‘match ready,’ ’’ she said. Last  tennis season, the men went 9-7 overall, but were 5-1 in conference play. The Cru fell in the conference tournament to the University of Texas-Dallas. The women went 12-6 overall, and were also 5-1 in conference play. The Lady Cru defeated Mississippi College before falling to eventual conference champions, the University of Texas-Tyler. Summers expressed the men’s aspirations this season. “Our goal is to win the American Southwest Conference West division and get a round further in the post season than last year,” he said. Junior nursing major Chaley Shiffler invisions success for the lady Cru. “The team’s goals this season are to become more consistent individually and stronger as a team. We have worked hard and have already seen an improvement this season. The team is looking great so far, and I think we have enthusiastic players that will keep our team together,” she said. Both men and women will host Letourneau University in their first team tennis matches of the season  Feb....

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