Bases loaded: Former administrator steps down to coach with his sons
Oct02

Bases loaded: Former administrator steps down to coach with his sons

With baseball season still a few months out, the team is preparing for its upcoming season under new, unusual management. After the resignation of interim baseball head coach Derek Dunaway, UMHB baseball looked within for different leadership. Former Vice President of Athletics for 18 years, Ben Shipp, had no intention of returning to coaching. However, in the process of finding a coach to pick up where Dunaway left off, something gripped him and didn’t let go. “Once I got in, and I was trying to help recruit and keep in touch with the players, then I kind of got the fever. I knew then that it wasn’t out of my blood,” Shipp said. He served as head coach for Cru baseball for 10 years between 1986 and 1996 in which he introduced the program into NCAA Division III. Currently the winningest coach in university history, Shipp returns to the diamond. Only this time he returns with his two sons, Kyle and Nathan, to rally Cru baseball to an ASC Championship. Taking the helm of the baseball team meant several changes in the athletics administration. As Shipp stepped down from VP of Athletics, former Associate Director of Athletics Randy Mann moved in. Now occupying Mann’s old office is Darla Kirby, former head women’s golf coach. With all bases covered in administration, Shipp was able to return to what he was doing when his sons were just learning to throw a baseball. Two college careers in baseball later, Kyle and Nathan join their dad at work. Kyle, 27, returns to his alma mater after spending five years down Interstate 35 at Southwestern in Georgetown where he was assistant baseball coach for the Pirates. While at UMHB, Kyle was a four-year letterman as the starting catcher for the Cru and graduated in 2007 with a bachelor’s in economics. He was a decorated player, recognized thrice as ASC Academic All-Conference, UMHB Male Senior Athlete of the Year for 2007 and recipient of the Fred Jacoby award presented by the ASC. Nathan is 23 years old and a 2012 graduate of Southwestern with a degree in kinesiology. He was also a four-year letterman as an infielder; twice All-SCAC Honorable Mention, and he earned a spot on SCAC Student-Athlete Academic Honor Roll. Nathan grew up around UMHB but never played for or attended the school. Working at the university has been a great experience for him. “There is like a buzz around this. There is … real support. You know, real excitement about athletics here,” he said. “This is a neat place, and it is really an honor to be able to work here.” The...

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‘Lone Star Bowl’

For years the Dallas Cowboys have been America’s team, the poster child of the NFL. There are now two sheriffs in the Lone Star State, the Houston Texans have bolted out to win their first four games—a first for the team. Both organizations have lofty goals as the season begins, and fans expect a lot from the two teams. Some say that this year the Cowboys and Texans will face each other in the Super Bowl. Junior International business major Mitchell Goodman thinks it’s possible. “It will be Texans versus Cowboys in the Super Bowl,” Goodman said.”I feel like the Texas teams have great hope, almost as much as the Cru football team.” Though it may be a long shot, an in-state battle for the Lombardi trophy is possible. It just so happens that the two Texas teams are in different conferences The Cowboys are in the NFC while the Texans are in the AFC. The teams are not scheduled to play in the regular season, a Cowboys-Texans showdown might be viewed on the biggest stage of all, the Super Bowl. Many things will have to fall perfectly in place if the teams are to meet up in New Orleans, the site of the 2013 Super Bowl. For one, the Texans will have to stay healthy. In past seasons, good health has been a rare thing for the Texans. The team’s big three, running back Arian Foster, wide receiver Andre Johnson and quarterback Matt Schaub, were seldom on the field together last season due to injuries. Now, all three are in the mix and can create nightmares for opposing defenses. Dallas’ problem is not their defense, but their offense. Freshman Ross Phipps said the team is weakest up front. “Their offensive line isn’t the best, and, of course, Tony Romo holds on to the ball too long.” After losing to Seattle, the Cowboys’ offense struggled against a relentless Tampa Bay defense. They put up only 16 points, and their only touchdown was set up by an interception by linebacker Sean Lee. One thing is certain: the Cowboys and Texans both have solid defensive units. The Texans are led by their juggernaut defensive end J.J. Watt. In his first three games, he has already tied last year’s sacks for the regular season. Freshman Christian ministries major Jaron Haas said, “Watt is pretty dang good. I wouldn’t want to run against him. That’s just terrifying.” The same can be said of Cowboys linebackers. Outside backers Anthony Spencer and DeMarcus Ware add versatility on the edges, while inside backers Lee and Bruce Carter plug running lanes. The two could face off at...

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Elkins leads women into regular season
Oct02

Elkins leads women into regular season

Lady Cru soccer has returned to the field for the 2012 season. The team has already made an impact in American Southwest Conference play with a 5-3-1 overall record and 2-2-1 in conference. Women’s Head Coach Barry Elkins talks about the goals for this team. “Coming into the season, our main goal is to make the American Southwest Conference tournament,” he said. “One task that will help us get there is to not allow as many goals as we gave up last year.” The Lady Cru will depend on their strengths to be successful this season. Junior accounting major Maizey Cardy points out their strong points. “Our team’s strengths are our hard work ethic and our passion for the game. We may not have the skill or talent that other teams have, but with our strengths, we can compete with any team,” she said. Another strength is the chemistry players have with each other on and off the field. “Our team’s relationship this year is the best it has ever been. We are all friends on and off the field, and I love being able to share my experiences at UMHB with all of them,” she said. Sophomore business management major Ashley Teague agrees with Cardy about the team’s friendshps. “We are all one big family. Everyone gets along really well. It really helps us on the field,” she said. Sophomore Christian studies major Taylor Irby agrees. “Our relationship with one another is great. We truly do love one another like sisters, and we really do support each other on and off the field,” she said. The new lights on the soccer field will also add an impact to the home games this season. Irby and Teague both talked about playing under the lights. “Playing under the lights brings a different level of intensity to the game. It is great for both the fans and the competitors,” Irby said. “I love playing (with the new) lights. Plus it is a much cooler temperature. I know our fans are liking it as well because we are seeing more fans come out,” Teague said. The Lady Cru took on East Texas Baptist University in their last home game. The team played a thrilling match that went into overtime. Senior Camryn Powell got the team on the board with an assisted pass by Jordan Powers early in the game. The women were then unsuccessful to score for the remaining of regulation. ETBU scored its first goal in the second half to level the game at 1-1. The marathon continued on to overtime, then double overtime, where both teams were still unable to...

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Patron recognizes team with gift
Sep11

Patron recognizes team with gift

The dedication for Cummins Field House was held last Friday, honoring the patrons of the facility, Chris and Cindy Cummins of College Station, Texas. The 9,429-square-foot facility was completed in the fall of 2011 and has been in use since its completion. Chris and Cindy Cummins, accompanied by family, were present to cut the ribbon on the field house. University President Dr. Randy O’Rear recognized the Cummins and presented them with a plaque. “I don’t know that they’ve ever been asked, one time, to make a gift,” O’Rear said. “They show up. Chris has a smile on his face … and he hands us a check and says ‘We want to be a part of it. We believe in what you’re doing.’” Cummins is a local; he grew up in Belton and was an offensive tackle at Belton High School. He was offered a scholarship to play for the University of North Texas where he would meet his wife, Cindy. After marrying, the couple would find their way to Belton and to UMHB, where Chris would graduate with a bachelor’s in business in 1975. Chris would become Senior Vice President of Proppant, an affiliate of Frac Tech Services, a company that supplies fracturing sand to the petroleum industry. Despite his success in the oil business, Cummins has not forgotten his roots. The Cummins couple have shown their support in the form of several donations toward the football program. Now entering its fifteenth season, the football program has amassed a winning record of 134-33 as of Saturday’s victory over Kean University. With the success that Head Coach Pete Fredenburg has found over the years with the Cru, it has grown in size, and the former locker room accommodations were no longer enough to service the needs of the team. “There were, I think, 167 lockers, and we would have in excess of 200 guys in there, so it was pretty tight,” Fredenburg said. The locker room in Anderson was torn down and used as an expansion to the weight and meeting rooms. The weight room only had nine barbells before the Cummins was built; now up to 24 athletes can use barbell stations at once. Junior mathematics major and running back for the Cru, Darius Wilson, shared his thoughts on the new field house and the effect it has had on the team. “It allows you to see firsthand, that hard work pays off,” Wilson said. “Because without winning, you know, this wouldn’t be possible.” Joining the two field houses is the Captains’ Tower where team captains are honored with a monument. Nine out of 15 seasons have resulted in...

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Landmark in women’s golf

In a move that prompted several eye rolls and a few “well it’s about time” mumbles from women across America, the Augusta National Golf Club has permitted women to join. Its first two female members are former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore. The club, established in 1932, has held a long-standing policy prohibiting female membership. It had withstood as recent as April, when chairman of the club and the Masters Tournament Billy Payne said the issue was a private matter. The issue was addressed during this year’s Masters Tournament when IBM became the sponsor. The tournament had always guaranteed membership to its officers, but IBM’s top executive was a woman. “Well, as has been the case, whenever that question is asked, all issues of membership are now and have historically been subject to the private deliberation of members,” Payne said in an Augusta Chronicle article. “That statement remains accurate; it remains my statement.” However, within a few months, that policy changed to the delight and surprise of women’s rights activists everywhere as Payne welcomed Augusta’s first female members with open arms. “This is a joyous occasion as we enthusiastically welcome Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore as members of Augusta National Golf Club,” Payne said as quoted in a CNN blog. “We are fortunate to consider many qualified candidates for membership at Augusta National. Consideration with regard to any candidate is deliberate, held in strict confidence and always takes place over an extended period of time. The process for Condoleezza and Darla was no different.” Rice was honored to be among the first accepted. “I have long admired the important role Augusta National has played in the traditions and history of golf,” Rice said in the same blog. “I also have an immense respect for the Masters Tournament and its commitment to grow the game of golf, particularly with youth, here in the United States and throughout the world.” While the change of policy has thrilled women’s rights activists, most think that the change is overdue. Women’s rights activist Martha Burk tried to change the policy back in 2003 when she showed up at the club’s entrance to lead a series of protests against strictly male membership. In spite of the club’s right to exclude women because it is a private club, Burk thinks Augusta can no longer claim to be private because it hosts a very public event: the prestigious Masters Tournament. “I don’t agree with exclusion of women from golf clubs regardless, but we would not certainly be addressing the issue if they didn’t have the most public golf event on...

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Men’s soccer is hungry for ASC championship
Sep11

Men’s soccer is hungry for ASC championship

The men’s soccer team is ready to get back on the field. Last season, the Crusaders went 11-4-3 overall and 10-3 in conference play. The group is coming off a heartbreaking penalty kick defeat to UT-Tyler in last year’s semifinal round of the American Southwest Conference tournament, and is determined that this is the year to bring home the ASC Championship title. Head men’s soccer Coach, Brad Bankhead, has prepared his team, and players are ready for the games to begin. “Number one, we want to go from good to great,” he said. “We feel we have been good these past seasons, but we are tired of just being good. Good isn’t good enough. We want to be great. We want to have a great season, host conference, win the conference championship and then make a push as a national contender.” Bankhead has already started the preparation by arranging to play tough teams throughout preseason. “We scheduled a pretty tough non-conference schedule in order to prepare us for the brutal conference season. We are not split east and west like other sports. We play everybody, and there are at least 10 teams who have a legitimate shot of getting one of the six spots for the playoffs,” Bankhead said. “We have to make sure we have to win these games, so we scheduled these teams as they are difficult and will prepare us for the important games to come.” The team also will depend on its strengths this season. Junior computer science major Scott Poole talks about the overall chemistry and work ethic. “Our team’s strengths are the unity and chemistry that we’ve built and our work rate we put out in games. Even though we may not be the best soccer team, per se, we can still get the job done because we put it all out on the line for each other,” Poole said. He also speaks about their alliance as another strength. “The team’s relationship is awesome. None of us really think of ourselves as a team but more as a family. We have an extremely good group of guys this year, and I feel as if I can call each of them a brother,” Poole said. With the addition of the lights to the Crusader Soccer field, the team will now have many night games throughout the season. Junior pre-physical therapy major Michael Teague said they will be able to use the lights to their advantage. “The lights are going to add a better atmosphere to the game. Not only does it make the game more intense, but it will also allow more fans to...

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