UMHB softball anticipates a successful season
Feb13

UMHB softball anticipates a successful season

Cru softball is in full swing, and fans are excited to see what the team has in store this season. Last season, the team finished with a record of 10-29. The Cru advanced to the American Southwest Conference Championship tournament and finished the championship series 3-1. Despite this loss, the softball team still had an outstanding season, finishing with a 21-8 record in their conference games. They started the season off hot, not allowing more than four runs until the seventh game when they lost by a margin of two points. One of the team’s greatest strengths was their offensive power. The team’s overall batting average was .307, and they had 34 home runs and 225 RBIs. Key pitching and solid defense led the team to a 2.54 ERA, 118 strikeouts and a .964 fielding percentage for the season. Head Coach Larry Hennig, who has coached softball at UMHB since 2010, said, “We’re pretty optimistic every year. We have a good blend of experience and new talent on the roster. I feel like we have the opportunity to do very well this year talent wise. [It] doesn’t look like we have any shortages. The scrimmages looked very well. Our pitchers did great, and the defense also did well. Our offense was a bit up and down during the scrimmage, but that was due to it being the first at-bats of the season. Many people don’t realize we had a good reputation for home runs and we stole over 80-something bases last season. Hopefully, we find the right combination of power and speed this season.” It is hard to gauge whether this year’s team will have similar statistics because the roster has a large number of freshmen. There are 22 players on the roster, 10 of whom are freshmen. However, Hen- nig does not feel as if this will be a detriment because the upperclassmen have stepped up to guide them. He said “The upper- classmen understand that this is the first [time] in a while that they have fresh- men that can step up and fill these roles. In previous years, we had only one or two freshmen, and this year we have several. All they lack is experience. They are great athletes and are very talented. It brought the team much closer with the older players stepping up and guiding the freshmen.” In most sports teams, a leader emerges quickly in the beginning of the season. When asked if there were any particular players that have stepped into a leadership role, Hennig said “There are two, actually. Emily Bounds, our senior catcher, has stepped up to lead the...

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Women’s basketball expected to finish season strong
Feb13

Women’s basketball expected to finish season strong

The women’s basketball team is victorious again after winning their home game against Concordia University on Saturday, Feb. 9. During the first half of the game, both teams had great form and strategy, each fighting to keep the lead. The Tornados quickly took the lead during the first quarter, but the Cru gave them little time to celebrate as they quickly edged ahead. In the second quarter, the Cru kept the lead, and the Tornados only managed to get within fifteen points of the Cru. By the end of the first half, the score was 39-22. As the second half started, the Cru didn’t let the Tornados breathe before scoring within the first few minutes of the quarter. They continued to grip tightly to the lead for the rest of the game. UMHB won 72-50 and earned the right to host the American Southwest Conference Championship. The Cru’s teamwork was impressive. Excellent footwork, great passing skills and great aim helped secure their win. Senior criminal justice major Antania Newton complimented the team’s efforts. “It was great,” Newton said. “They played like a team and played with a lot of patience and poise.” This is the team’s second consecutive ASC division championship. “It was a good win,” head women’s coach Mark Morefield said. “After having five games on the road it was good to come back home and get back into the winning streak.” UMHB will close out the regular season with home games against Sul Ross on Thursday, Feb. 14 at 5:30 p.m. Then, the Cru will play Howard Payne on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 1 p.m. Both games will be held in the Mayborn Campus Center arena. The ASC Championship Tournament will be played Feb. 21-23 at Mayborn. This will be the first time the Crusaders have hosted this event. The team is looking forward to a strong season finish and a victory in the championship...

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UMHB’s impressive basketball seasons
Jan30

UMHB’s impressive basketball seasons

The men’s and women’s basketball teams have been doing really well this season. Both teams have moved forward into the ASC tournamentand are coming close to thefinals. As of Sunday, Jan. 27, the men’s basketball team has won 15 games and lost five in this season. Of these games, six wins and five losses were in conference games. The women’s team has won 10 games and lost one game. Both the men’s and women’s teams will be playing against McMurray University on Thursday, Jan. 31 in Abilene,...

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Oklahoma Sooner Kyle Murray has big decisions to make
Jan30

Oklahoma Sooner Kyle Murray has big decisions to make

The chance of a high school athlete playing major league baseball is .4 percent. The odds of a high school athlete playing in the National Football League are .08 percent. The chance of having the opportunity to choose either is slim to none. Kyler Murray from Oklahoma University has achieved this rarity. After playing quarterback for Texas A&M, Kyler Murray decided to take his talents to the baseball diamond for Oklahoma University. He did not play his best right away, but after coming back from a disappointing first season, Murray began to catch the public’s attention. In his second season, he had a .296 batting average with 47 RBIs, 10 stolen bases and 10 home runs. After his second season, he declared for the MLB draft, where he was drafted ninth overall by the Oakland Athletics. In signing his contract, Kyler Murray received a $4.6 million signing bonus. However, Murray wanted to finish his final year of football for the Oklahoma Sooners. Despite being smaller than average for a quarterback at only 5’10, Murray had a fantastic second season playingfor the Oklahoma Sooners. Kyler was in the running for the Heisman Trophy, the award presented annually to the most talented college football player, from the beginning of his second season. As the season progressed, it only solidified his spot in thefront-running for the esteemed trophy. Murray finished the season with over 4,300 passingyards and was responsible for 42 touchdowns. WhileMurray was playing for Texas A&M, coach Kevin Sumlin clocked Kyler’s top speed at 22 miles per hour. This insane speed was responsible for Murray rushing for over 1,000 yards in the season. After another great season, Murray decided to also declare for the NFL draft. This has put him in a difficult situation, because as a quarterback, his team would be very dependent on him, especially if his talent carries over into the NFL. Therefore, he will not be able to play both sports like BoJackson and Deion Sanders did. His ability to translate his talent to the NFL is a big “if”, because, as previously stated, Murray is very small for an NFL quarterback. Furthermore, if you look at the history books of Heisman winners that were draft busts, it is not a positive outlook. A bright side to playing in the NFL is that he will get more endorsement deals and he will be in the spotlightfrom day one. Some fans speculated that his NFL signing contract would be larger, but the Oakland Athletics said that they would match the price that an NFL team is willing to pay for him. In the long run, he would likely...

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Crusaders clinch national title
Jan30

Crusaders clinch national title

UMHB will be celebrating their second Division III National Championship win Thursday, Jan. 31, after their third consecutive trip to the Stagg Bowl. The UMHB Crusaders met the University of Mount Union from Alliance, Ohio for the second time on Dec. 14, and won back the trophy. The Crusaders spent the majority of the season unmatched by their opponents, winning the majority of their games by a landslide. The closest score gap of the season was Dec. 1’s playoff game against St. John’s University, where the Crusaders achieved a three-point win over the Johnnies. The largest score gap of the season was the very first game on Sept. 15, when the Cru traveled to Reading, Pennsylvania to defeat the Albright College Lions by 84 points. Despite their promising winning streak, the Crusaders still played every game with skill and spirit. This was partially because Mount Union kept a zero on the Crusader scoreboard at the 2017 national champion- ship. This year, UMHB was out to prove that they could defeat this strong rival. The desire to rise to the championship again and redeem themselves seemed to be great motivation for the Cru, as they started off the season with a huge win over Albright College. This motivation carried on throughout the season, and the team was undefeated going into the championship. However, achieving the national title would be no easy feat. The Crusaders were set for a rematch against the Mount Union Purple Raiders in Shenandoah. Michael Carpenter, a former running back for the Crusaders, felt that this year, UMHB had to prove themselves as they headed into the championship. “After coming up short like they did last year, they definitely had something to prove,” Carpenter said. “I think you always have something to prove, though.” UMHB definitely succeeded in proving themselves with a 24-16 victory over Mount Union. On the night of the game, the stands were packed. Because tickets for UMHB fans hadsold out quickly, Crusader fans filled both sidesof the stadium, despite the cold weather. The game started off in Mount Union’s favor, and the first quarter ended with a score of 10-7 with the opponent in the lead. By halftime, however, UMHB had stepped up their game, and they took the lead with a score of 13-14. At the end of the third quarter, the Cru hadimproved their score to 17-13, and by the end of the game, the final score was 24-16. In the final seconds of the game, the stadium erupted. Fans were ecstatic that the Crusaders had won their second title in three years. Players and coaches gathered on the field to accept...

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New sport and new coach arriving on campus
Jan30

New sport and new coach arriving on campus

UMHB has chosen its new coach for its new sport: Acrobatics and Tumbling. Head coach Courtney Pate will help build this new program, which will begin in the spring semester of 2020. Pate graduated from Belton High School and Baylor University, where she helped win two team national championships and three individual national championships in the sport. On Thursday, Jan. 3, Vice President for Athletics Randy Mann announced the addition of the sport. “We are very excited to add the sport of Acrobatics and Tumbling to our sport offerings,” he stated in a release on the UMHB website. “We have been studying this opportunity for a couple of years now, and the time is right for us to launch the Acrobatics and Tumbling program at UMHB. We are proud of our success as a department and look forward to having another competitive program. We are anxious to get a head coach in place to begin recruiting talented student-athletes with that goal in mind,” his statement reads. Because the sport is not recognized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the new team will compete as part of the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association (NCATA). According to their website, “the mission of the NCATA is to bring the sport of Acrobatics and Tumbling through NCAA emerging sport status to become a fully sanctioned NCAA championship sport.” Currently, 26 universities compete as members of the NCATA. Other Texas colleges that participate in the organization are Baylor University, which has earned the NCATA national title for the past four years, and East Texas Baptist University. In an official news release on the NCATA website, NCATA President Dr. Renee Baumgartner said, “We are proud to share the news that the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor has added Acrobatics & Tumbling to their varsity sport offerings… UMHB is an excellent NCAA Division III institution that builds upon recent NCATA expansion in Texas. We are excited by their decision and commitment to new opportunities.” Freshman education major Alena Bellon is excited that there will be a new team that allows students to practice their tumbling skills without being a member of the cheerleading team. “I am excited for the team because the only way in the past to actually tumble was through the cheer team,” Bellon said. “This is a great opportunity for me to work on my skills without the cheer setting.” Senior psychology and criminal justice double major Kelly Taylor thinks that the new team will be a great addition to the school. “I would definitely participate if I had any coordination whatsoever and wasn’t graduating!” Taylor, who is excited to see the new...

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