Team strives to improve season
Sep20

Team strives to improve season

Currently, the women’s soccer team has a record of 1-3-1 after a tough game against Austin College, which ended up in a loss, a score of 1-0.  However, the 31 players, along with  Coach Meg Brown are not slowing down since they are striving to win the American Southwest Conference. Senior nursing major Erica Harris is hoping that more practice will produce improvement. “Our first three games of the season were tough. Two went to double overtime, and we definitely learned a lot about each other and ourselves as a team from those games,” she said.  Team members know they still need to work on a few things for the rest of the season. “There’s always room for improvement, but I think the best way for any one of us to improve is to practice like we would play in a game. If we don’t practice hard, we aren’t going to play hard come game time.” A change to the team this year is the number of new players; at least eight freshmen have joined along with some transfers. Harris said, “With so many newcomers, we are still getting to know each other’s tendencies on the field.”    Junior exercise and sport science major Tori Seiler is impressed with the chemistry already. “We work really well as a team this season, and I believe some of that has to do with our chemistry off of the field. Last season we didn’t have very good chemistry, so as returners we decided to really focus on that this season,” she said. The team has been practicing hard since before school started by doing three-a-days. Now they practice two hours a day, Monday through Thursday. Games are usually Fridays and Saturdays.  Players do a variety of activities during practice to improve their skills for upcoming games. Freshman undeclared major Ashley Teague said, “We range from conditioning to scrimmaging to watching film from our past games.” The women are also learning to focus on leaving their problems, anxiety and stress off the field.  Seiler said, “One thing we are working towards as a team is bringing urgency and more drive into practice. It seems sometimes we can let the pressure of school and having a bad day affect our practice, so we are working hard to leave everything off the field and come into practice with high intensity and pressure.”  Brown is always helping the women with whatever they need and giving them positive criticism and feedback for their improvement.  Teague said, “Our coach is not only a good coach on the field, but also a good friend off the field. I am only...

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Number three contender for ASC
Sep13

Number three contender for ASC

Ten freshmen, eleven sophomores, five juniors, eight seniors, seven returning starters, 34 total Crusaders, this is Crusader soccer. The men are rearing to go for the 2011 season, kicking off ASC conference play Friday, Sept. 16, against LeTourneau University.  It will be a kickoff to a predicted stellar season. In a preseason poll, UMHB was voted the number three contender for the American Southwest Conference title. Senior midfielder and accounting major Kyle Dickey responded  to the prediction saying, “The pressure isn’t in that (prediction). The real pressure, I feel, is with our program and with our fans. We are a solid team, and it’s time to have something to show for it.” An ASC title perhaps? It wouldn’t be the first time the boys brought home such an honor. In 2009, Head Coach Brad Bankhead directed the team to the first ever men’s soccer conference title in the school history. This year’s roster still contains the names of nine players who were a part of the potent formula that brought them the title in ’09. Despite the loss of seven seniors from last season, including two-time ASC All-Conference selection goalkeeper Mark Miller, this year still has the potential to take it all. A key element in obtaining another conference title is a dependable goalie. Now filling the cleats of Miller is Adam Cecil, a senior cellular biology major from Rockwall, Texas. A three-year apprenticeship behind record-breaking  Miller and two veteran defenders in his flat-four defense qualify Cecil to be the keeper that this team needs to make it to the team’s second title.  A confident Cecil shows much faith in his team. “This is the best team I’ve ever been a part of, so I expect to win conference and compete for a national championship.” Such confidence is the product of years of hard work, a long way from the humble beginnings of Bankhead’s career at UMHB.  The coach reflects on that time. “When I first took the job six years ago, UMHB was not even a contender in the ASC title race.” Today he stands with a number three contending team, and it breaks down like this: Cecil at goal and two season-hardened defenders, senior Colton Carlisle accompanied by junior all-conference and all-region defender Chris Torres mentoring the underclassmen in the back. An experienced midfield led by senior Kyle Dickey and an electric attack with senior Trevor Shoppach at the helm. Head to toe, Bankhead’s bunch is looking solid. In a preseason scrimmage at home against Huston-Tillotson, the Cru had what seemed like a good start with an early goal, a one-on-one with the keeper that rolled to...

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Offensive line plays crucial role on road to postseason goal

Before their first game on Sept. 10 the Cru offense had been showing their dedication by practicing in intense 110 degree heat. After their first win, they proved their force. The Cru offense this year has some talented and experienced players. Junior quarterback and exercise and sports science major LiDarral Bailey has been on the team since he was a freshman and has had snaps in every game. This year he has a skilled receiving group. Head Coach Pete Fredenburg said, “This year we are blessed with some outstanding receivers and a quarterback that can really throw the ball. So we have obviously got to throw and catch. We also think because of our quarterback and his ability to run, we can do some option type plays.” Along with skilled returners, the team has a crop of new players who are untested. New members of the team carry a lot of responsibility on their shoulders and are practicing harder than ever. Senior Tucker Glaske, a veteran wide receiver, said, “We have a lot of new guys. Every year it is like that. They are so important to the program and the future of our program. Our leaders understand that, and that is great because they are going to be impact players either this year or next.” Often the brutality and physicality of football is associated with tackling and hitting, which are things the defense does. It is important for the offense to be physical as well, and Fredenburg stresses that. He said, “I hope that we are considered a real physical football team. The offense just needs to maintain a good presence in a ball game.” The Cru offense has skilled players. They are in good shape because they practice hard and in the heat. “Right now our strength is athleticism. We have it all across the board starting from the center to the running back to the slots and to the receivers,” junior running back and math and chemistry major Darius Wilson said. “One thing we do need to work on is mental toughness. When we work out, the coaches push us to a state where we have to be tough, and we choose to work through it as a team.” The Cru had an undefeated regular season last year. That made the loss in Delaware all the more bitter. Fredenburg believes they learn more from a loss than a win, and he has been working to incorporate that into the offense. “I learned when it comes down to crunch time just be poised and just play ball,” Bailey said. “In Delaware it was a tough game. I...

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New coach, season goals set high
Sep13

New coach, season goals set high

With a new head coach from Bowling Green State University, the Lady Cru are looking to put the last season behind them and start afresh. Rob Frost joined the volleyball team in February and has been working with them on their game ever since. Coming from a career at bigger schools, Frost has added something new to the Lady Cru. “His experience has brought us so much,” senior exercise and sport science major and setter Anissa Garcia said. “He has so much passion for volleyball, and you can tell that he genuinely cares for every one of us, not only for volleyball, but off the court as well. His confidence, experience and work ethic has really turned us around.” Although Frost wasn’t looking to move to Texas or a D-3 school, this is where he felt God was leading him next in his coaching career. “I think coming to UMHB was the result of a lot of prayer,” he said. “I had one opinion of what was best for me and where I wanted to go. Finally, I prayed and told God I would go wherever and submitted.” The women on the team are glad he made the move. He has also helped the team become closer to their end of the season goal of winning the ASC title.   “We have the tools to be good this year. We have a tremendous amount of talent, and we have a coach that knows how to get that talent and put it together to make us the best we can be,” senior exercise and sport science and psychology major and middle Sara Hayward said. Frost believes it is important to keep Christ in everything the team does and to pray before each practice. This has made a difference to the players and helped them grow closer. “Coach has brought so much to the team with keeping our team centered on Christ and pushing us,” Garcia said.  “With him, we’ve completely done a 180, and everything is different, the environment of the team, the chemistry, and we are working so much harder together. It’s all because of him. We are just truly blessed to have him.” This is the year that the Lady Cru want to take it all the way and make a name for their team. Frost knows it is possible and wants their goals to be met now, not in two or four years. “The girls here want to win and work hard, so that makes my job great. I’ve got a great group of girls to work with,” he said. The Lady Cru compeated in the Austin...

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Cru endeavor to defend conference crown
Sep01

Cru endeavor to defend conference crown

The Cru’s quest to once again win the American Southwest Conference title and go further than they have ever gone by winning the National Championship began Aug. 15. Last Monday was the first day for both the newcomers and returners to hit the field and put their helmets on for the first time for the upcoming season. Incoming students started an hour and 45 minutes earlier with more of a focus on the fundamentals of Cru football. More than 200 players reported for practice, making this the second largest group in the 13-year history of the program. With so many players, the team understands that to make it far in the playoffs, teamwork is crucial. Senior business administration major and quick tackle Nate Menkin said players need to “come together as a team, from the incoming freshmen to seniors, and to become one single unit known as the Cru.” The team includes not only players and coaches, but also everyone associated with the university. “Our team is our school. All our fans and supporters, the students, the mascot, the Couch Cru and faculty are just as important to achieving our end goal,” Menkin said. He, along  with his teammate junior sports management major and linebacker Javicz Jones, was named to the Sporting News Magazine Division III Preseason All-America Team. “The award makes me work hard as usual because it’s not how you start. It’s how you finish,” Jones said. “Pre-season is the beginning, and it’s all about the end of the season,” Jones said. Menkin is just as thankful for  winning the award as his teammate. “It is just amazing to hear, and I still don’t believe it,” he said. “All the hard work over my whole career and all the people who helped me get here. The coaches, teammates and most of all the glory goes to God. I couldn’t have done anything without them.” This season the Cru returns six offensive starters and eight defensive starters from a team that went 12-1 last season with a perfect record in regular season play. Even though the team made it to the playoffs, they are still working to become a stronger and better unit. Head coach Pete Fredenburg said, “We strive every year to do things a little different to make sure that we don’t become apathetic to the accomplishments of the past and always strive to get over the hump.” With a new school year starting, there are new faces to  Cru football. The team and coaches are hoping that these additions will help them reach their playoff goals for the upcoming season. Fredenburg said the incoming students...

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No end in sight for basketball lockout
Sep01

No end in sight for basketball lockout

The NBA preseason is scheduled to begin Oct. 9. The season opener is meant to start Nov. 1.  However, hope for these events to take place as planned is quickly dwindling. For the first time in 13 years, the NBA is at a major disagreement.  The last lockout resembling this one was in 1998-1999, and the season was shortened to just 50 games. It is the players against the team owners, with the owners wanting to cut back on the players’ income budgets from around $2.7 billion down to $2 billion annually for the next 10 years. Head coach for the UMHB men’s basketball team Ken DeWeese said, “The players are making more money, are treated more luxuriously and have better working conditions than ever before in the history of the NBA.” The owners on the other hand have seen the value of their franchises sky-rocket and while not full in cash, the value of the franchise is considerably more than they paid for it originally. Not only does the stand-still affect the player’s wallets, but also the advertiser’s pocket change. “Both sides may be forgetting the fans, not to mention the corporate ticket buyers, and billions to televise the games,” De Weese said. Not only are the teams to blame, but also the owners. “Both sides are at fault and should quickly begin to understand the future viability of the NBA, monetary-wise, is at stake,” DeWeese said. “Therefore, negotiations, in very good faith, need to be immediately started.” Players and team representatives have been meeting to try and sort out the complicated issue, but so far no solution has been reached. Just as the NFL is having major issues with players and owners making their expected earnings each year, the NBA is also dealing with this. In reality, it is the behind-the-scenes people, like those who work in the stadiums, who will feel the most hurt by the NBA losing so much money. The lockout has been going on since July 30 and could end up costing the NBA millions of dollars and losing many fans. Assistant coach for the UMHB men’s basketball team Jimmy Smith said, “I do know that the majority of the teams in the NBA are losing money. With the vast popularity of the NBA, that just doesn’t seem right. When it comes down to it, the NBA is a business, and the goal of both the owners and the players is to make money.” Many fans are trying to offer hypothetical answers to the situation. “I’m not sure what the solution is ­­— profit sharing, adjusting the salary cap, etc…. but I feel...

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