Intramurals brings activity and fellowship

To play or not to play — that is the question. It is time for intramural captains to scout new prospects and get fall semester teams together because the season is now approaching. Senior exercise science major and intramural coordinator Kelsey Gobin is passionate about her job and believes it is preparing her for a future career. Being coordinator, she is constantly meeting new people and interacting with new personalities. “Intramurals, in my eyes, is a huge ministry,” she said, “One of the most beautiful things about sports and competition is that it breaks down barriers between people and brings them together.” Gobin is in charge of all intramural teams and games. Although her duty list is long and tedious, she is aware of the blessings that come with creating the teams, making all game schedules and makes sure the recreation staff are at all games. “People that would not normally associate with one another are all of the sudden playing sports together,” Gobin said, “it’s a huge ministry in the form of fellowship.” Junior public relations major Landra Davidson played soccer last fall and encourages all incoming students to get involved with intramurals. “The freshmen can meet people and learn how to play on a team together,” she said. One way to get placed on a team is to sign up as a free agent. Freshman Christian ministries major Chad Manns is willing to be a free agent. Manns’ church back home had open gym Tuesday nights for volleyball games, so he has had plenty of practice. Gobin said the free agent list is offered for all the sports. Students may sign up in the rec office located between the tennis and sand volleyball courts. “I like meeting new people,” Manns said. “It (intramurals) is a great fellowship opportunity.” If enough free agents are on the list, Gobin will create a team, but if there is a small number, those students will be dispersed to different existing teams. Upper classmen continue to take part in intramurals, not only because of the friendships that develop, but because of the tradition. Senior business management major Michael Beach enjoys playing softball and believes participating is a good way to build friendships. Beach has been on the same team, CruDoo, for two years. “It brings me back to the glory days of playing baseball,” he said. “There is a time and place for being very competitive, and intramurals can be that place as long as you treat others with the respect they deserve.” Playing intramural sports is encouraged on campus, even if students here not played a sport before, they are always...

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Mayor proves true fan
Apr27

Mayor proves true fan

UMHB athletic events are not only supported by the student body and players’ families, but by the community of Belton. One person in particular has been a fan for about 20 years. Belton Mayor Jim Covington began attending most Cru baseball games back in the NAIA days “when they went to the World Championship and finished second,” he said. “I just love baseball.” His continuous passion for America’s favorite past time began when Covington was around 5 years old. “My earliest memories are listening to the St. Louis Cardinals sitting on my Granddad’s lap,” he said, choking up. “We lived in Oklahoma, and that was the closest station he could get on his little radio with all the static.” In high school he played baseball but couldn’t continue his career when he went to college. At the time, North Texas State didn’t have a program, so he began playing fast pitch softball. About three years ago, Mayor Covington retired from the banking business, allowing his schedule to become more flexible. He is now able to attend the majority of all Crusader athletic events. “I’ve been at (baseball) games, particularly early in the season, and one of the parents came up to me and asked ‘Well, which kid is yours?’ I said, ‘They’re all mine,’ ” Covington said. As he continues to look after the team, he maintains growing relationships with the coaches and players. “They’re a good group of guys. Micah (Wells) does a really good job,” he said. Junior sport management major Seth Lynn was on deck one game and began talking to Covington. “It’s obvious he cares about our university,” he said. “Whenever he comes to the games, I make sure to talk to him.” Lynn had never had an opportunity to meet a mayor. “He is extremely nice and really funny. It’s cool to be able to carry on a friendship through our mutual love of baseball,” he said. The support of Belton’s community makes its relationship to the university stronger. Wells and his players continue to see people from Belton not only in the stands at baseball games, but at other Cru sporting events as well. “When you have the support of the people in your community, like Mayor Covington, it makes the games really special,” Wells said. “Not just to be a casual fan, but someone to be as involved as he (Covington) is, to know the players and to follow these guys is really cool.” Four years ago the Cru made their first run to post season in Arkansas. Wells said the trip was “long and tough,” but Covington and his friend were...

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After bleak start of season, the College World Series is becoming a reality for Lady Cru softball

At the beginning of the season, junior outfielder Sarah Roman said she was expecting to dominate the competition this year. With an overall record of 23-13 and a conference record of 19-1, the softball team has done just that. Head Coach Kasey Blomquist said, “We have really started to come together as a team. We are hitting the ball very well, playing defense, and the pitchers are doing a great job of mixing things up.” They started the season strong with a pair of wins against Southwestern University but struggled in the American Southwest Conference First Pitch Tournament. In California they played a few non-conference games against different teams from across the state and returned home without a win. It looked like a pattern was starting to form, but the Cru didn’t get down on those early losses. Sophomore Catcher Jordan Schrutka said, “We had our struggles towards the beginning of season, (but) I believe that facing the teams in California was a huge learning experience for us. We realized what we needed to work on in order to really compete with these teams. It changed our work ethic in practice and gave us the drive to be better.” And better they became. After the California road trip, they came back to Texas and swept Schreiner University, Sul Ross State University, and won three out of four games against Hardin-Simmons University. They’ve been on a mission to make the World Series since the beginning of the season, and with a first place ranking in the ASC West Division, it appears they are on their way. Schrutka believes staying positive under any circumstance has been a key to their success. She said, “If we are down, we have the confidence and mental strength to come back from behind. We don’t let down.” Right fielder Sabrina Garcia thinks the team chemistry and talent is the reason for their triumph, but realizes they still have a lot of work to do. “We are far from a perfect team. Every day of practice is a chance for us as a team to get better, as well as individually,” Garcia said. “As for the week of the tournament, we will be focused on tight defense and big sticks.” This year the ASC tournament will take place at Railroad Park in Lewisville, Texas. The Lady Cru have been given a first-round bye meaning they won’t play till...

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Tennis in conference contention

The semester is coming to a close, as is the regular season for both the men’s and women’s tennis teams. With just one match left to play, the women are 5-1 in conference and 10-5 overall. They’ve had 5 shutouts, and two of those came this past weekend with wins over LeTourneau University and Howard Payne University. Sophomore exercise sport science major Mallory Aarhus said, “I think we’ve been playing well recently because everything seems to have finally clicked. All our work and support of each other is directed toward the same goal.” The men have also been successful with a conference record of 4-2, and an overall record of 8-5. They defeated Howard Payne last Saturday 6-3 at the Yavonne Li Tennis Center in Belton. Junior sport management major Alex Graham said, “We have a good shot of making the conference tournament.” Being prepared and leaving everything on the court has been what the team has been aiming to do all year. Both teams have come out with a new attitude of winning, but the men have already improved from last year’s overall record of 3-7 and a 3-3 conference record. Sophomore sport management major Josh Pownall said, “I think the biggest difference from this year and last is that our team, as a whole, believes we can not only compete in the conference, but that we can win in the conference. We now go into matches believing, rather than hoping, that we will win.” Although the teams have had their share of domination this year, both the men and women have suffered a close 4-5 loss to rival Hardin-Simmons University. Graham said, “It was a very close match. We felt good coming out of doubles being up 2-1, and winning the next two singles matches,” he said. “Unfortunately we ended up not getting it done. I feel like we gave it our best shot, and they ended up being the better team that day.” Since then, the women have bounced back with an important win to secure a spot in the conference tournament. With last weekends conference win, the men should be in the same boat. Pownall said, “I want to win conference this year for my teammates, and for our coaches. If we don’t, we have had a great monumental season, and we’re only getting...

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Blue Devils and Huskies win title
Apr13

Blue Devils and Huskies win title

College basketball season has proved to be another intense and unpredictable year. For the Men’s NCAA College Basketball Championship, it was the Duke Blue Devils that prevailed over the 63 chosen teams, including the other final team, the Butler Bulldogs. For the women this year, the University of Connecticut Lady Huskies had a perfect season and beat the Stanford Cardinal. The final four for the women’s tournament was held in San Antonio this year. The Lady Huskies showed up in the Lone Star state with the intention of victory. After winning the championship game, that puts UConn at a 78 straight winning streak over the past two years. After being down at the half, the Lady Huskies rallied and took over the court in the second half. By the end of the game, the final score was the lowest scoring match in NCAA history at 53-47. More than 22,000 fans packed the arena, including some famous political faces. Vice President Joe Biden and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice were both at the game cheering on the teams. Giving the Cardinal props on a good game though, they only held UConn to 12 measly points in the first half, which is the lowest for points at a half not only in championship game history but also in Lady Husky history, too. As for the Duke men, their road to the championship game was interesting. Going into March Madness, Duke was one of four teams that got a number one seed. Typically, number one seeds make it to the Sweet 16 and probably the Elite Eight. However, this season for men’s basketball was completely shocking. Tournament favorite, the Kansas Jayhawks, left the tournament early, and surprise Big 12 team, the Baylor Bears, made it to the Elite Eight, which has never been done before in Baylor history. Baylor was the last remaining Big 12 team to be in the tournament with favorites Texas and Texas A&M losing fairly early. Ironically however, it was Duke that ended the Bears’ winning streak. Duke has now made 10 appearances in the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament. The Blue Devils took on surprise team, the Butler Bulldogs in the championship game. And for Duke to be a number one seeded team, they definitely didn’t have this game in the bag. The final score was 61-59, and the game literally came down to the final seconds. The Blue Devils only won the game and the title by one possession, which they came near to ruining. Despite both these very close games, the top teams won. Now fans of college basketball have to wait another year...

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New baseball season, same problems
Mar30

New baseball season, same problems

As the 2010 Major League Baseball season approaches, many teams are spending their spring in Florida, preparing for the upcoming grind of 162 regular season games. Baseball is a sport of exactness and refined skill. Only the greatest combination of talent and practice can produce a winning baseball team. That, and cash. The Yankees welcomed the Houston Astros on a brisk evening at George M. Stienbrennar field. White lattice mimicking the Bronx home of the bombers girdles the iron grandstand that seats 16,000 spectators in Tampa. On a practice field, Yankee pitchers Andy Petite and Joba Chamberlain threw batting practice to several youngsters. A security guard commented that anyone could schedule a party and play with some Yankees. Last week, a bar mitzvah was held for the mere price of $90,000. But what else could be expected from a team whose 3rd baseman, Alex Rodriguez, will make $31 million this year alone. Just an hour away, in Bradenton, Fla., The Pittsburgh Pirates are getting ready for their morning game with the Detroit Tigers. These Pirates will be paying their major league players about $36 million this year. That’s $4 million more than just one Yankee. With such a huge gap between payrolls, is it any surprise that the Pirates’ field, McKechnie, only holds about 6,000. Or that the Yankees are coming off of a World Series championship and the Pirates are coming off a sporting record of 17 consecutive losing seasons. This doesn’t mean that the Pirates are hopeless. Outfielders Andrew McCutchen and Garret Jones are coming off sensational rookie seasons, and third base prospect Pedro Alvarez is projected to crack the major league lineup soon, but the Pirates roster doesn’t invoke the kind of fear that the all star filled Yankees scorecard does. It doesn’t even compare to Pirates lineups of days past, when Clemente and Stargell were household names. Money doesn’t always equal success. The Mets have been terrible despite their huge salaries. The Tampa Bay Rays won the World Series with one of the lowest payrolls in baseball, but no one can argue that money helps. In the NFL, NHA and NBA all teams are subject to a salary cap. In baseball, teams pay what they want. The Pirates claim to be waiting till their young players develop enough to compete and then will spend to add complementing players. Pirates owner Bob Nutting told me that team really seems to be coming together, and I agree. Baseball may be getting exciting in Pittsburgh again, but it has taken a complete purge in talent in the recent years to acquire prospects. This is the correct approach for...

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