Homecoming Football
Nov18

Homecoming Football

The Game Decked in purple and gold for the homecoming festivities, Cru supporters left Tiger Field Nov. 8 satisfied after a win against Howard-Payne University. Sophomore Ben Beckworth thought the atmosphere started out intensely because of the alumni and bigger attendance. “I think we played good,” he said. “We always want to play our hardest on homecoming.” He also said the team plays harder because fans include past football members. “I think we matched up pretty well,” Beckworth said. “We just come out and try to play our hardest each game and play like it’s our last.” The domination began with an interception and 52-yard return by freshman defensive back Chris Lambeth. It was followed by a 1-yard touchdown by senior running back Tommy Vadell to give the Crusaders a 6-0 lead. Senior running back Bryson Tucker scored on the ensuing possession with a 13-yard run to give the Cru a 13-0 lead. On the next possession, sophomore quarterback Kyle Noack hit junior wide-receiver Pi’Dadro Davis with a 30-yard pass for a touchdown to end the first quarter. After that, the game became a nightmare for HPU. In each of the first three quarters, the Crusaders scored 20 points, along with seven points in the fourth. The final score of 67 points is a season-high for the team, beating its previous record of 63, which was against Texas Lutheran University. Despite only ten attempted passes, the offense managed to rack up 108 total yards and two touchdowns on six completions. Tucker and sophomore running backs Roger Sanchez and Matt Hurst earned 89, 82 and 59 rushing yards respectively, adding to the 479 offensive total yards. The win secured the team a spot in the NCAA division III playoffs, and at least a partial ASC championship. The prospect of a re-match against Hardin-Simmons in the conference championship game looks likely if each team wins out. Startling statistics UMHB received 7 punts for 167 yards while punting two times, each time not allowing a return by HPU. The Cru received only one kick from the opposite team, but kicked off to Howard Payne on 11 different occasions. The Yellowjackets were not allowed into the red zone a single time, as opposed to the Crusaders who made it eight times, succesfully scoring with each attempt. Sophomore kicker and punter Alan Muñoz went two for two on field goals, reaching the uprights from 42 yards and 31 yards. Reactions Freshman Amanda Enocksen attended the Homecoming game, but left at halftime saying, “After a while, it got boring because Howard Payne didn’t stand a chance.” Enocksen saw more people than usual at the game...

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Football recap against ETBU

The Crusader football team bounced back from an upset loss last weekend and won against East Texas Baptist University Saturday afternoon in Marshall, Texas. UMHB goes to 7-1 in division play and has a 27-game winning streak in the ASC Conference. The Cru took the lead in the first quarter with 3-0. Tailback Matt Hurst would stretch the lead to 10-0, running in for the touchdown. Even though the Crusaders fumbled the ball seven times, four of which were lost and went to ETBU, the guys still came away with the win. Junior linebacker Bryson Tucker had 18 carries, resulting in 138 yards and a touchdown. With those statistics, Tucker became one of six UMHB players to run for over 100 yards in a game. The starting quarterback for the game was Kyle Noack and went for 7-10 passes, throwing for 110 yards. The Cru totaled 410 yards. Of those yards, 298 were from rushing alone. The defense of the team was dominating as well. The Crusaders only allowed 19 rushing yards by East Texas Baptist. To go one step further than that, ETBU could only total 140 offensive yards. After having two games on the road, the Cru will return to Tiger Stadium for their final regular season game against the Howard Payne University yellowjackets. A win in that game will allow UMHB a share of the ASC title and will also guarantee a spot for the team in the ASC championship...

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Golfers swing for victory

With the wisp of a driver cutting through the air and the crack of the club hitting the little white ball, junior elementary education major Courtney Nelson breathes a sigh of relief. It was another good drive. She finished the Seguin Lady Bulldog Classic in second place, just one stroke behind the leader. Nelson also led the women’s team to finish in second overall. Each of the five Lady Cru finished within the top 16 individual scores for the tournament, ending the fall season with success. “(Nelson’s) come a long way since last year. She came in with no confidence in her game anymore,” Head women’s golf Coach, Darla Kirby, said. “She’s really found that confidence and, a lot of that is because of her hard work.” The men’s team finished fifth at the Bohmann Invitational Oct. 27 and 28 which was held in Seguin. Davis Dewald, the men’s team leader, tied for second place as an individual. Aaron Rodeffer spent several years coaching at the high school level, but joined UMHB as the men’s head golf coach in July. When comparing the high school and college level team coaching experience, Rodeffer said, “They’re two totally different animals to me.” He found the right fit at the university and hopes to contribute to the success of the team. “It’s everything I was looking for in my coaching aspiration … moving up to the college ranks is something I had on my career goal list,” Rodeffer said. “I couldn’t think of a better place than Mary Hardin-Baylor to start that.” The men’s team is hoping to continue the tradition of finishing as conference champions and advancing to the nationals, a history of successes established by previous coach, Randy Mann. Both the men’s and women’s teams practice at least five days a week. Between qualifying and working on short games, the teams manage to keep a competitive edge. Practices are held at the Wildflower Country Club in Temple. Rodeffer said the course compares to the difficulty of numerous others. “I think Wildflower is enough of a challenge to help us keep a competitive edge and really work on our games so that we can compete in conference.” After playing the same 18 holes at Wildflower week after week, the players improve their game. At tournaments where the greens are not as familiar, the different course layouts can be an added challenge. “The guys would probably say it’s not as difficult as some of the courses we play, but they get to play it every day,” he said. “When we go to tournament, we’re playing a relatively new course that we don’t...

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Switching courts, basketball to tennis
Nov04

Switching courts, basketball to tennis

As a small boy on a big court, exercise sports science major J.T. Fletcher was just glad to have made the middle school “B” team as a child. But after hours of practice and dedication, Fletcher worked his way up to collegiate basketball and a starter for the Cru. “I always loved playing,” Fletcher said. “Being able to play at this level was always a goal, and it was exciting to reach that.” He said a lot of hard work went into making his athletic dreams come true. “When I was little, I was always known as a gym rat—One of those guys who was the first one in the gym and the last one to leave,” Fletcher said. “I had to learn how to teach myself to be a better athlete because growing up, I was definitely not the best.” Fletcher attended a 5A high school in Deerpark, Texas, in the Houston area, where his coaches pushed him to choose one sport to dedicate himself to. For him, it was basketball. “I’ve always had a passion for the sport,” he said. After graduation, Fletcher received a scholarship to play for Wethersfield Junior College. He then transferred to UMHB to play basketball after being scouted by the university’s recruiters. However, as a senior, Fletcher is stepping away from the sport he loves so much and is walking onto a new court. He joined the Cru’s tennis team this fall. “It was a tough choice,” he said. “The main reason I made the change is because I am planning for the future.” At the close of the semester, Fletcher will be six hours short of his undergraduate degree. In January, he can begin studying for his master’s in exercise sports science or exercise physiology, depending on the university he chooses to attend. Fletcher decided to leave the basketball team so he could invest more of his energy into planning for whatever comes his way. “I am really considering going into the coaching and teaching field,” he said. “I think I could help kids at the high school age and have a good impact on their life, not only teaching them about sports but also life lessons.” Fletcher is the sixth player to graduate with eligibility remaining. As a sport’s fanatic, Fletcher loves keeping busy athletically, so joining the tennis team was a perfect fit. “I’ve always had a secret passion for tennis,” he said. “I’ve always enjoyed playing, so I decided why not. It is less stressful and less time-consuming.” Fletcher had to spend a lot of time preparing for the season since he was new to the team. “It...

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Unbeatable football team continues streak
Oct21

Unbeatable football team continues streak

With a slow first quarter for the football team in its fight against the Mississippi College Choctaw’s, the Cru refocused and came away with a win. The final score on Oct. 18 was 26-14, improving the team’s record to 6-0 overall and 5-0 in the American Southwest Conference. Coach Fredenburg is happy with the win and optimistic about the future of the season. “We are excited to be undefeated, but we know we must improve each week and continue to grow as a team,” he said. “We need to continue to focus on one game at a time and let the results take care of themselves.” When the Cru found itself behind for the first time this season, a combination of great plays put the points at 7-2 Mississippi College. After gaining a safety, UMHB gained 72 yards; 30 of which were from a run by wide receiver Brain Scott. With this huge advance, the Cru took the lead 9-7. The halftime score was 12-7. Tailback Matt Hurst knows the potential of the team and looks forward to the rest of the season. “The best part is just getting to know my teammates better. We have a really great group of guys.” The Cru finished with 342 total offensive yards. Quarterback Josh Saenz threw for 161 yards and a touchdown. With 12 tackles, linebacker Bryson Tucker led the Cru in defensive plays. Defensive back Derrick Williams contributed with an additional 10 tackles. Senior kicker James Crawford said the season has been successful but, the result of a lot of hard work. “Since last semester, before the season even started, we have been preparing,” he said. “But we need to keep improving. There have been a couple of setbacks, but we were able to strive through.” The team has faced a multitude of challenges, but is making the necessary changes to see victories. “On offense, we’ve had to work through a lot of injuries and moving people around in different positions,” Crawford said. “We’ve been throwing the ball around more which is a different form of attack than last year. Defense is also pretty consistent.” All the members of the team enjoy being a part of something positive. Defensive end Eric Forward is in his second year on the team and has enjoyed watching the team advance. “Crusader football is amazing,” he said. “We work hard everyday and it pays off on the field.” The football team will take the road in their next match against the Southern Oregon University red tail hawks in Asland, Oregon. Kick off is scheduled for 3 p.m.. With a slow first quarter for the...

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Soccer teams share common goals
Oct21

Soccer teams share common goals

Women’s Soccer Women’s soccer clenched two victories this weekend, shutting out Mississippi College 3-0 and Louisiana College 5-0. Tied for fourth place out of 14 teams, the Oct. 17 and 18 gains advanced the women’s record to 8-5 overall and 7-3 in conference play. Head coach Meghann Brown said the wins solidified the team’s progress over the season. “We started off pretty slow, trying to learn how we play together,” Brown said. “Finally we started getting better. We are young so there are some inconsistent times.” The team is made up of three juniors, three seniors and 13 underclassmen. But the team’s youthfulness has not been too problematic. “They put in about three hours a day,” Brown said. “It’s a tough schedule and a big time commitment … but they are awesome.” Brown said this season’s successes are a result of many factors. “Team unity is big, along with skill and attitude; not backing down when things get tough,” she said. “We also have a very strong defense.” More than the team’s physical health and mental preparation, the relationships between the players has also been important. “Team dynamics are great,” Brown said. “The first two weeks we bonded very quickly, faster than any other team I’ve coached. We couldn’t ask for anything better.” The women’s main goal this season is to win the conference tournament. Brown said this includes maintaining intensity throughout every practice, taking care of each player physically, working hard and eating right. Mickie Arredondo, Ally Sargeant, Megan Jones, Lauren Thorne, Brittany Paxton and Lexy Smith have all been standout players, but the coach believes each person has been an asset. “All 19 of them are key in what we are trying to accomplish here,” Brown said. Forward/attacking man Arredondo was an important player in both matches. She said the recent wins were a result of the team’s continual momentum. “We kept up our intensity … and played together great as a team,” she said. Hours spent on the field isn’t all that goes into the success of a game. Student athletes spend hours preparing for games, studying and doing whatever it takes to maintain good grades. As a biology/pre-med major, Arredondo said balance is a challenge. “The hardest part about being an athlete is time management. We miss a lot of classes so we have to bring our homework on the road.” She believes, however, the Lady Cru has what it takes to be successful in its upcoming games. “We have so much heart on this team,” she said. “We want this so bad and it shows. I think we are accomplishing that.” The women will...

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