Undefeated football still strong
Oct19

Undefeated football still strong

Written by Carissa Lucas The American Southwest Conference is one of the largest NCAA Division III athletic conferences and it’s no small feat for a team to go undefeated through the first half of conference play in the ASC. But that’s exactly what the UMHB football team has done. The Cru are currently 6-0 for the season and 4-0 in ASC play. In addition to being undefeated, UMHB is currently ranked fourth in the American Football Coaches Association’s Top 25 Poll and fifth in the D3football.com Top 25 Poll. They have been in the top five in both polls since the third week of the season. The Crusaders have had a good season so far, and out of the many accomplishments his team has had, Head Coach Pete Fredenburg is “tickled that we’re undefeated, and we want to continue to go that way.” Senior mass communication major Trey Hazelton, a tight end for the Cru, thinks there is much work to be done before the Crusaders start the playoffs. “I feel like as a team we have been struggling to reach our full potential,” he said. “We have so much more potential than we have shown. We are undefeated right now, but we will need to be better when we get to the playoffs.” While the Cru have seen success regularly in the first half of the season, they face many tough opponents in the weeks ahead. “I think every week there’s a new challenge in staying focused and making sure we keep our feet on the ground. We have to do the things that are necessary to prepare each week,” Fredenburg said. Junior business management major Blake Dempsey, a fullback for UMHB, thinks every week “has to be a step forward.” “We have to eliminate mistakes,” he said. “At this point in the season we can’t afford to make critical mistakes and take steps back.” Sophomore Bronson Shaw, a defensive back for the Cru, knows that practice each week is critical to the team’s performance on game days. “We have to come out every day and practice full speed,” he said. “A team’s product on game day is a direct result of how they practice. We have to not only win on game day but win every day we come together.” As a part of that everyday practice, Fredenburg has trained his team to not underestimate any of the opponents they may face. “What we’ve realized now is that we always get everybody’s best effort because of the success the program has had,” he said. “The guys have to realize that they’re going to get every team’s best...

Read More

College degree still necessary for sports stars

This article is an Opinion Sports Column. Greed and fame. These can be two nasty things that have the ability to take hold of people, especially those who aren’t as mature as they can be. Division 1 college athletes who are offered a shot at the pros after their junior year should turn down the offer. We live in the greatest country to get a college education, and for athletes to throw away the opportunity to walk across a stage and accept a degree that will stay with you your whole life is ludicrous and shows that they are only concerned with wealth and popularity. Here is one scenario. You are a college athlete in Division 1 who gets offered by a professional team to play for them right after your junior year of school. You accept the offer and walk up to training camp or practice and you receive an injury that causes you never to play (or never play well) again. Great move in not getting that degree. Now you have to try to make something of yourself without impressing people with your natural sport ability. And what’s worse, more than likely you will have to go back to that place that you so eagerly left just for fame. Anyone remember Greg Oden? This massive center for Ohio State University was the first round draft pick in 2007 and went to the Trail Blazers. However, with a knee injury he received before the basketball season even started, Oden was forced to form a good friendship with the bench. What happens if you go to a team where you have no glory or, even worse, have an awesome starting season and then amount to nothing after that? This happens to countless athletes. For football it happens even more frequently. The number two overall draft pick in 1998 was quarterback Ryan Leaf. He went to the San Diego Chargers and threw only 13 successful passes in his first season while throwing 33 interceptions. Thirteen caught passes in 16 games? Awful doesn’t even describe that. Saying you’re going to play in the pros and forego the rest of college shows a lack of maturity. You are one year away. Stop thinking about money and fame and think about your future after you play your professional sport. But of course, here comes the argument of “Well I’m rich, so why do I have to work after I retire?” Grow up and stop being lazy. Prove to others and yourself that you are capable of doing something with your life other than playing a sport. Athletes should prove their intellect by committing...

Read More
Defense aids undefeated season
Oct05

Defense aids undefeated season

The defense of any sport plays a vital role in winning a game, just as the offense does. The defense is an essential part because of the of the amount of points they hold their opponets too. After playing four games this season so far, the defense has 214 tackles, 11 sacks and has had four interceptions amounting to 76 total yards gained. Defensive back Nick West, who started in the game against Hardin-Simmons, has had five tackles so far this season. He knows the defense isn’t perfect, but they work toward it. “I think the defense is still trying to put things together right now, but when we do, we are going to be something special,” he said. “Our defensive coaches do an amazing job every week preparing us for what is ahead and working on proper technique.” Though the coaches are doing their jobs, some of the players are still trying to fulfill their position on the team said junior exercise sports science and defensive back Denton Duke. “We have a strong defense. We are very talented across the board,” he said. “We just need to play with confidence. We have some young players that need to step up and play up to their ability.” Most of the team is in agreement that they continue to grow stronger and become more versatile as a group. Junior computer science major Ryan Metcalf knows the team improves with each practice and game. To him, it’s a matter of taking out the small errors individuals make and playing solid, errorless games from here on out. “To be honest, we basically eliminated the toughest ones (teams) already,” Metcalf said. “We just need to keep playing like we know how and to not let any team get into a close ball game with us.” All of the men who play for the defense contribute in their own way, whether that is sacks, tackles, forcing fumbles or interceptions. In the game against the HSU Cowboys, the defense does admit that mistakes were made. The fact that they allowed 28 points, leading to the final score of 42-28, is disappointing to the defense, but they acknowledge the fact that they are a good team. Senior sport management major Brenson Bristow is on the defensive line and is happy they only allowed 28 points. “HSU scored a few points, but that is one of the top-ranked teams in the nation, and we did a good job of holding them to what we did,” Bristow said. Despite the fact that UMHB has six remaining games, HSU is believed to have been the hardest offense the Cru...

Read More

Redemption for pros this season

Dogfighting, drugs, sexual assault. How about just losing your edge? This is what is associated with some of the NFL’s biggest and most tarnished stars. But these players aren’t fading away like a post-supernova red dwarf. They are back on the field, out to earn all the love and fame they lost. Michael Vick jerseys used to be the biggest seller among NFL merchandise. In 2007, he  left Atlanta’s Georgia Dome for a prison cell in Leavenworth, Kan., charged with dogfighting. But in 2009 he came back to football, as the second string quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. This year, after an injury to Kevin Kolb, he was starting again. He was sensational in his first start, throwing for 284 yards and two touchdowns. Kolb is healthy again, but Vick is staying under center. The New York Jets are a team filled with second-chancers. Their story is so intriguing, HBO is producing a reality series called Hard Knocks about them. Coach Rex Ryan has assembled a team ready to make a playoff run after a strong showing last year. Veterans like Jason Taylor and Anthony Cromartie could be past their prime, but Ryan believes in them. He also added former MVP LaDainian Tomlinson. The running back is fourth all time in rushing yards. The San Diego Chargers let him go after a poor season last year, but he is already racking up yards with the Jets. Receiver Santanio Holmes is waiting to play after being suspended for drug use. He became immortalized for the making the winning catch in Super Bowl XLIII. The man who threw that pass to him is also waiting for the end of Holmes’ suspension. Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was accused of sexually assaulting a young woman in a Georgia nightclub this summer. While charges were dropped, Roethlisberger still has to serve a four game suspension. But his Steelers are 3-1 without him and Pittsburgh fans are willing to forgive the two time Super Bowl winning quarterback for a chance at another championship. Is this the year for redemption in the NFL? Jets receiver Braylon Edwards hopes so after he was charged with a DWI Sept. 21. Every year, football players run into trouble more than endzones. In 2008, Plaxico Burris shot himself in the leg and is sitting in jail. He didn’t have a permit for the gun that he was carrying in his sweatpants. But Burris will be back, just like the rest of these NFL thugs. What else do players know? Some spent high school and college getting away with things because of the jerseys on their backs. The University of North...

Read More
Confidence is key for lady Crusaders
Oct05

Confidence is key for lady Crusaders

Written by Austin McCormick The women’s soccer team has been in preparation for a winning season since the beginning of the school year. The Lady Cru are striving for strong team unity and holding themselves to high expectations for their upcoming matches. Junior nursing major Erica Harris said, “Reaching the conference tournament is very important. Confidence is key for me in the games.” Head coach Meghann Brown guided the Cru women to a 12-6 overall record last year. Hard work paid off in the American Southwest Conference to set a record of 10-3 for the 2009 season. The UMHB women set school records for single-season victories along with most conference wins. Senior marketing major Kellee Shearer said, “We need to find motivation in the goals we will set weekly from now on. Confidence in me from my coach and teammates helps me to play well. We need to have more communication on the field between our teammates to keep each other up.” A big crowd excites the whole team from the start of a game. Loyal fans that cheer loudly make the squad feel that the school is behind them and boost the confidence of the team. The women have practice shirts that have the words “unity, respect, trust and integrity” across the front. The words represent what the team is pushing for its season to be successful. Freshman education major Laura Briner said, “I am always really aggresive on the field at practices and games.” Playing strong defense, keeping strong team unity and attacking the opponent are all important qualities for the team’s success this season. The upcoming soccer games are conference matches that need to be won in order for an invitation to the conference tournament. Winning the American Southwest Conference is an important stepping  stone to making it to the national tournament. Shearer said, “We are four games into conference play, and I know we are coming together as a team. Things are starting to look up for us. The team record is three wins, four losses and one tie. With only seven conference games remaining, the Lady Cru must stay focused and keep their eyes on the prize. Freshman accounting major Maizey Cardy said, “We have the ability  to make it to the tournament. It is just a matter of working together as a...

Read More

Offensive line plays

Passing, rushing, gaining first downs, scoring and winning are what the Cru football team knows how to do. The Crusaders have averaged a little more than 33 points on all games they have played this season. With their eye on the ultimate prize — winning the NCAA Stagg Bowl in Salem, Va., the men of the football team all have one goal. Sophomore Darius Wilson, a running back for the Cru, recognizes that in order to accomplish the goal of winning the ASC Championship Tournament and the NCAA tournament, the offense needs to work out a few problems. Wilson said they need to work on executing plays better. “Our versatility is what makes the offense unstoppable,” Wilson said. “Our offensive line is the biggest part. They are the ignition to this offense.” It seems as if most of the team believes the offensive line is a huge asset to the team. Junior wide receiver Tucker Glaske has the same mindset as Wilson about the huge contribution the linemen give to the team. “Our front five are some of the most physical linemen in the nation,” he said. “And when you add physical running backs like Quincy and Darius, we’re hard to stop.” The Cru has gone 3-0 so far this season. In their ASC opening game against McMurry University, the offense totaled 215 rushing yards and only 25 passing yards. UMHB and McMurry definitely had different ways of putting the points on the board. UMHB predominantly ran the ball while McMurry passed. Glaske noticed one thing throughout the games played so far: Sophomore quarterback, LiDarral Bailey enjoys running the ball, but likes to surprise everyone by passing the ball. “I think I bring a spark to the team because I am able to make plays with not just running but I can also throw the ball,” Bailey said. Despite how they play their game, running the ball puts the points on the board and Head Coach Fredenburg enjoys seeing the Cru score with running plays. “There is nothing more demoralizing to a defense than someone that could run and that’s the reason we are the way that we are,” he said. The Cru played arch rivals Hardin-Simmons Cowboys this past weekend. Just over two and a half minutes into the game, the offense of UMHB jumped ahead 7-0. After an intense first half, the Cru won the game 43-28 in front of a record crowd. This is the ninth straight win over HSU for the Crusaders and with the victory, the Cru is now ranked...

Read More