Oscar Pistorius: Olympic hero to nightmare

By Leif Johnston The Summer Olympics in London witnessed what seemed like a miracle and inspired millions. Oscar Pistorius ran the 400-meter for South Africa. Even though he was a double amputee, he made it to the Olympics with his prosthetic legs. The media set out to make him look like this amazing man with astonishing ambition. This all may have been true, but just months removed from the summer games. Pistorius has found himself in the headlines for a different reason. In late February, Pistorius was charged with premeditated murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Reports say that the couple had been in an argument earlier the night of her death, although Pistorius is sticking to his story, saying that he thought Steenkamp was an intruder, and he shot her. Prosecutors believe Pistorius picked up his gun and walked to the bathroom where his girlfriend was and shot her. Although only charges had been filed so far, Pistorius is out on bond and will appear in court again in June. The news of this shocked not only people close to these two, but also the whole world. He was deemed a hero and an inspirational figure for people with disabilities. But what wasn’t reported on the South African runner was that Pistorius was tagged by some of his teammates as a guy with a short fuse. In a recent CNN article written by Drew Griffin and David Fitzpatrick, they caught up with one of Pistorius’ peers. “It’s like we were waiting for something like this to happen,” said Marc Batchelor, a South African soccer player who socialized with Pistorius. He also described Pistorius as a guy who was quick to get angry and want to fight. There were many more incidents that led his teammates and other South African athletes to believe he wasn’t exactly the role model you wanted your kids looking up to. Many of the people who knew the real Oscar Pistorius didn’t like the way that none of his past issues kept him from being shown as the face of South African Olympians. His peers knew he lacked in morals. Things of this nature tend to raise suspicion of what and whom we should really believe in the world of sports. “I remember him running in the Olympics, and all the announcers making a big deal about how big of an accomplishment it was that he got there. But I would have never thought he would end up being the type of guy that would murder someone,” exercise sport science major Eric Nelson said. One thing that has to be brought to the attention...

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Cru baseball prepares for West Division play
Mar14

Cru baseball prepares for West Division play

By Cody Weems Crusader baseball seems to have turned the corner after a slow start to the season. The team shut out DeSales University last week before sweeping a double header against Robert Morris on Wednesday. Sophomore pitcher and pre-physical therapy major Ian Ekery got his first start of the season against DeSales and picked up the win while giving up just five hits over six innings in the 3-0 win. “It was actually my first start in probably a year and a half. I’m not going to lie. I had a few butterflies,” Ekery said. “We figured with the wind blowing out that they were going to maybe try and do some things that worked to my advantage.” Head coach Ben Shipp said that Ekery took full advantage of his starting opportunity. “Ian did a really great job,” Shipp said. “We just wanted to get him a start. We wanted to give him a chance to prepare himself and really see what he could do. He did all the things that winning pitchers have to do.” The Cru got behind early in both games against Robert Morris, but the bats came alive as they managed to pull off two come-from-behind victories to win 9-3 and 5-3 respectively. “Our bullpen really were the stars of our doubleheader,” Shipp said.  “We had people come in and really stabilize the situation and gave our offense enough time go get on their feet.” Even though the team boasts one of the better rotations in the conference, Shipp finds comfort in the fact that he can rely on his pitching staff if need be. “We’ve had some really nice performances from our bullpen,” Shipp said. “It’s really reassuring to know when your starters don’t have their best stuff, there’s not going to be a drop off when we go to the bullpen.” The Cru pulled to 7-7 before entering conference play last weekend against Texas Lutheran. Senior pitcher and exercise sport science major Sam VanHoozer said the wins have been valuable for the mentality of the young team. “We finally found where we need to be confidence wise, playing wise,” VanHoozer said.  “Coming into conference with a four-game win streak is very good for our confidence.” While the team has been hitting well lately, VanHoozer stressed the importance of not getting discouraged if the runs aren’t coming. “If we get down, we don’t need to put up the bats. We need to keep them hot, and I think that’s the biggest deal for us,” Vanhoozer said. “Don’t do anything special.” While the offensive production so far has been a nice surprise, the heart...

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Softball season on steady stroll

The softball team has officially started the 2013 season and will be working to get back to the playoffs again. The Lady Cru will be looking to add another regular season American Southwest Conference west division title for a third year in a row. Last season, the Lady Cru were defeated by Louisiana College 4-3 in the semifinals of the American Southwest Conference tournament. Assistant Softball Coach Julie Norris thinks the team has a great shot this season to win the west division  and more. “Our number one team goal this season is to win the conference tournament. We were very close last year and feel like we match up well with the teams in our conference this year,” Norris said. They opened west division conference play this past weekend. The team traveled to Austin, Texas, and played two doubleheaders against Concordia University. The Lady Cru went 3-1 in the series against the Tornados. The team was victorious on the first day with 1-0 5-2 victories. On the second day, the Lady Cru won the first day  5-0, but fell in the final game 1-0. The loss came in extra innings that put the Crusaders’ overall record at 8-6 and 3-1 in conference play. Sophomore exercise and sport science major Leanne Hinojosa said west division play is key to success. “Every conference game is extremely important because in order to get into the conference tournament you have to be in the top 4 of our division. So with that, we must win as many conference games as possible to get into the conference tournament at the end of the season.” Senior exercise and sport science major Caitlin Bollier agrees. “Each conference game is important. We can’t take any team or any game lightly. The ASC West is going to be very strong, and we need to win every game because it will be a tight race,” she said. This season, the Lady Cru will consist of three seniors: Caitlin Bollier, Brittany Moreno, and Ariel Kemmerer.  The team will also have 10 returnees and will add nine new players to the roster. Hinojosa said the depth the new players bring this year provides a wide variety of skills. “The newcomers definitely give us a whole different team. From our pitching staff to our batting lineup, the possibilities have increased. This gives us many opportunities to become a quicker and simultaneously, a stronger team.” Sophomore biology major Dayton Kunz appreciates the addition of freshmen and transfer teammates. “The new players offer lots of opportunity for our team. They are very hard working, and our team has incredible team chemistry. We all...

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Men enter March Madness with a mission
Mar14

Men enter March Madness with a mission

By Kelsey Vann The men’s basketball team has been hard at work since the Feb. 24 loss to Concordia in the ASC Conference Championship Tournament. The Cru earned a first round bye in the NCAA Division III Tournament, which gave the team two weeks to prepare a game plan. Head Coach Ken DeWeese said, “I think that’s what this game is going to come down to, who has the most attempts at scoring, and that will come from team defense and rebounding.” The men took advantage of this time off from playing games and started focusing on the basics. The philosophy of UMHB basketball is to prepare for the next game. Senior sport management and business major Thomas Orr said, “Mentally, we watched a lot of film, and our coaches prepared a pretty good scouting report. Physically, we had a couple days off to rest, but we also practiced to stay in shape at the same time.” Looking back on the loss to Concordia, Orr said, “We didn’t play how we usually played throughout the season ,and we struggled from the free throw line.” Agreeing and adding to this statement, junior sport management major Antonie Chaney said, “We broke down on defense, too.” The Cru put the loss behind them and pulled everything together in order to push past Concordia last Staurday, for the third time this season. With the fast up-and-down style of play of the Tornados, the Cru found success in their transition game. Not only was the offense clicking, the defense was what carried the team to victory. “Our defense overall was outstanding, and if we can hold teams under their averages and get stops, we know we can go to the other end and convert on offense,” freshman pre-physical therapy major Russell Green said. Playing the same team four times in one season comes with the headaches of having to prepare for the same things over and over. It isn’t always ideal to play a team from your conference in national tournament, but the team took a positive approach to it. “The hardest thing was probably going over everything we already knew. It seemed repetitive, but we knew we still had to do those things in order to achieve success,” Green said. With the victory, the men will travel to Washington to face Witworth University in a rematch. The Cru took a road trip to Washington to play Witworth over Thanksgiving break, but ended up falling to them by 9 points. Although the stakes are high at this point in the season, the team is still sticking to what has been working. “You absolutely have...

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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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