Baseball legend shares redemptive story
Oct09

Baseball legend shares redemptive story

Former Major League Baseball star Darryl Strawberry was on campus to tell the story of how pursuing fame and fortune led him down a disastrous road where he wasn’t able to turn his life around until he found Christ. Strawberry, who spoke at the Oct. 2 chapel, was selected as the first overall pick in the 1980 MLB draft by the New York Mets and became one of the best players of his time. He was an eight time All-Star and played in four World Series. Although he found success on the field, he admitted that it did not equate to happiness in his life. “When you’re successful and you’re achieving all these great things, everybody applauds you. But there is a failure part of that, too. The world doesn’t let you see that part,” he said. Following the 1990 season, Strawberry signed a lucrative deal to play with the Los Angeles Dodgers. While he was entering the prime of his baseball career, he faced overwhelming struggles off the field. “I signed a $20 million contract, and I was miserable,” he said. “I was going through a divorce, I was losing my family and my life was coming apart.” Strawberry said that everyone faces trials in life, but instead of confronting them, most people ignore them. “It doesn’t matter how great you are. There are issues that we have to come to grips with, and most of the time we don’t deal with them.” He soon came to realize success and wealth were not going to bring him fulfillment in life, especially since he kept ignoring the difficulties he faced. “Being great doesn’t define who you are,” Strawberry said. “I didn’t realize that until I came to a point of dealing with my issues.” In 1998, Strawberry was diagnosed with cancer. Over the next several years, he battled drug addictions and found himself frequently in legal trouble. He said that it was not by his own doing that he turned his life around, but by the grace of God. “God spared me. I’m not supposed to be here,” he said. “I had drug addictions. I had cancer twice and lost my left kidney as a result. I’m only here because of God, because he has a plan and a purpose for my life.” Strawberry calls people not to let their talents define who they are. Instead, they should use their talents to further God’s kingdom. “My purpose wasn’t to be a baseball player. That was my gift,” he said. “We all have a gift. I was created to know who Christ is, to be born again and to come...

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Crusader Stadium skybox offers best seat in the house
Oct09

Crusader Stadium skybox offers best seat in the house

I looked through the glass from inside Crusader Stadium’s new, state-of-the-art press box. Below me, I saw a wave of hands making the “C” as an ocean of purple and gold clad Crusader faithful celebrated a Cru touchdown. As I enjoyed all the amenities that the press level had to offer, I realized the university strives for excellence not only on the field, but off of it as well. Following its win over Wesley College in the first game in the new stadium, the Cru pulled off a 40-18 victory against Sul Ross State Sept. 28.  Even though UMHB managed to come away with the victory, it was a sloppy game to say the least as penalties and turnovers dominated much of the action. “I don’t think any of our players feel very good right now about their performance or what we did on the field,” head coach Pete Fredenberg said.  “You have to enjoy the idea that you’ve won a ball game, but you also have to be realistic and take the bad things that we did and improve off of them.” The Cru jumped out to an early 6-0 lead off of two field goals by freshman kicker Drew Owen. Sophomore quarterback Zach Anderson then connected with sophomore running back Michael Carpenter on a 45-yard touchdown pass to make it 16-0. Sul Ross responded with 12 unanswered points to make it a 16-12 game at the half. Carpenter, who got the start in place of the injured Elijah Hudson, was the bright spot of the Crusader offense as he totaled 151 yards rushing for the game. Carpenter said he adds a dynamic element to the offense with his quickness. “I feel like I can get out there and make people miss by using my speed,” he said. The Cru turned things around Saturday Oct. 5 against Trinity University with a statement game that ended in a 49-7 Cru win. Senior cornerback Derek Williamson started the game with a 98-yard touchdown return that gave the  Cru early  momentum, and they never looked back. Fredenberg understands that every team will give his team their best shot, but in order to reach their ultimate goal they have to stay focused. “It doesn’t matter who we play. If we’re going to get better, we’ve got to continue to push...

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Sport Spotlight: Taylor O’Rear
Oct09

Sport Spotlight: Taylor O’Rear

Taylor O’Rear is a junior nursing major from Salado, Texas. She has been a part of the university all her life. She has lived in numerous dorms and apartments across campus including Huckins, Stribling, Burt and Garner. One interesting event about O’Rear happened when she was very young. “When I was a baby, I threw up on Nolan Ryan’s wife,” she said. O’Rear began playing golf as a child but didn’t become serious until junior high. She has kept up her passion and is looking forward to her golfing future. “My favorite part about playing golf is that it’s a lifelong sport. I don’t have to stop playing when my college career is over, which is so fortunate,” she said. After college, O’Rear plans to become a nurse. However, she doesn’t know exactly where she will land. “I’m not sure what my dream job is. I just want to be a nurse somewhere,” she said. O’Rear believes her teammates’ relationships with one another are special. “My teammates are like a second family. I think that’s what makes our team so different. We all care about each other, so we play for each other on the course,” she said. Last season, O’Rear and her teammates won the 2013 NCAA Division III Women’s Golf National Championship. This year, they are planning to...

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Cru Soccer Teams Keep On Rolling
Oct09

Cru Soccer Teams Keep On Rolling

Both men’s and women’s soccer are working their way through conference schedules. The women started hot, and are looking to regain that momentum after their winning streak was stopped Oct. 4, against long time conference rival Hardin-Simmons University. The Cowgirls defeated the Cru 6-0, which brought the women’s  record to 7-1 overall and 2-1 in conference. Head coach of the lady Cru, Barry Elkins, said he is excited about the way his team is playing and that they are a team like he hasn’t had in past years. “We are just a very athletic team, I have not only good soccer players but good athletes at all 11 positions. So we really don’t have just a glaring hole that we know is going to be a weakness for us.” The women will be on the road for the next couple of weeks, not playing another home game until Oct. 25 against the University of Texas at Tyler. This doesn’t seem to be a concern with the team. “Sometimes road games are actually a little easier. Of course, we like playing at home and having the support of UMHB, but in the team aspect of it, sometimes road games are easier,” Elkins said. The ASC conference is competitive as always, but maybe even a little more so this year. With Hardin-Simmons leading the pack right now, the Cru aren’t far behind, but each week they will be tested by quality teams. “We lost two teams, but those two teams were probably a little bit on the bottom half of the conference. Really, if anything, the competition has gotten a little bit closer. We aren’t going to have any easy games,” Elkins said. Outside of the last game, the women have been lighting up the score board at multiple games where they score five goals or more. As Elkins explained, everything has been done by committee thus far, and competition within the team will continue to pay off for the Cru. The men have also been playing good soccer, but have just lost some heart breakers toward the end of games. The Cru are 0-2-1 in conference right now, losing to Mississippi College, Louisiana College, and most recently tying Hardin-Simmons in a 0-0 match. Don’t count the Cru out just yet because once the talented group of guys gets going, they will be a tough team to stop. “This week’s theme is FOCUS.  Giving up three games in a row within the last five minutes of each game comes down to focus and knowing how to win.  We can’t take plays off. We must not compound mistakes,” men’s head Coach Brad...

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Coaches’ Commute to Campus A Cakewalk
Oct09

Coaches’ Commute to Campus A Cakewalk

Students aren’t the only ones who live on campus. Though many coaches have come and gone, currently two  live in university housing. Head men’s soccer Coach Brad Bankhead is in his eighth year coaching at the university. In July 2012, he moved into Stribling Hall with his family: wife, Shannon, and three children Mallory, Morgan and Max. They lived in Temple before relocating. University life compared to having a home outside of the school has its ups and downs. “There are a ton of differences,” Bankhead said.  “We don’t have the space that we once had, and we definitely are in a tighter house…. It’s a little less private, but we love being on campus and being around students. Our kids love it and enjoy having the quad as their front yard,” he said. Bankhead also spends less time traveling now. “My commute is about a minute and 30 seconds to my office, whereas it was before about 15 minutes,” he said. Head men’s and women’s tennis coach James Cohagan also lived with his family in Stribling Hall for nine years back in 1990. Cohagan enjoyed his time and the stories students would make up. “It was a lot of fun. I was both teaching and coaching. I learned a lot about what campus life was like. The computer ate my homework stories didn’t go quite as far when you saw the person who said they did it, but you saw them pick up a girl from Stribling that night,” he said. “In those days, the ping-pong tables and pool tables were down at the student union building, so we knew a lot more about what campus life was like.” Being on campus allows coaches to have a better relationship with their teams. Bankhead talked about being with his “other family.” “I see (my team) a whole lot more…. We don’t ever get away. That’s kind of the negative, but we enjoy it enough that we are never looking to get away,” Bankhead said. Assistant volleyball coach Lindsay Garza lives with her husband, Bear, and son, Anderson, in Gettys Hall. Garza  graduated from the university  in 2008. She played volleyball three years for the Cru. Garza and her family moved to campus two months ago. She also believes living at the university helps her relationship with the team. Moving off-campus would cause her to miss out on many memorable moments. “I think being on campus has been the bridge on getting to know them. In practices, everything is business, which is how we like our practices to be— very focused. So there is not a lot of opportunity to...

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Sport Spotlight: Collin Davies
Sep24

Sport Spotlight: Collin Davies

Collin Davies is a senior chemistry and Spanish major. He is from Pasadena, Texas, and was home-schooled as he grew up. Not only is Davies a student-athlete, but he also serves as the president of the student body on campus. This May, Davies will be the third of his brothers and sisters to graduate from UMHB. As well as sports, Davies is a family man. “Family has always been key in my development as an individual. I have enjoyed always being able to pour into somebody in my family, but also be mentored myself,” he said. Davies has enjoyed being a tennis player for the Crusaders. He participates in both the singles and doubles line-up. Davies has made an impact each season as a member of the Cru. “My favorite part of playing tennis is the adrenaline rush that I get when I step onto the court for a conference tennis match, especially doubles. I am really looking forward to the new conference format which we initiated this year, which allows us to play all of the teams in our conference rather than just the western division,” he said. Davies has a plan once he leaves Belton. Not knowing where he will land, but he plans to leave a Crusader legacy. Davies said, “I would love to work as an environmental analyst for an organization which seeks to end poverty here in the U.S. and in developing countries by equipping and enabling...

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