Cru wins National Championship! – The Band, Cheerleaders,  and the Saderbelles
Jan25

Cru wins National Championship! – The Band, Cheerleaders, and the Saderbelles

Published in the January 25, 2017 issue of The Bells Despite long hours on a cramped bus, frigid Salem temperatures, and even a bus breaking down, the Black Shirt Cru Spirit Band, the Sader Belles, and the cheerleaders took the 20-hour bus ride to Salem, Virginia to help cheer Cru Football to the National Championship. The group left Bawcom Student Union for Salem, Virginia at 5:00 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 15. They were given the opportunity to spend Thursday night at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel before driving the rest of the way to Salem the next morning. The group even ran into some bus trouble as one of the buses carrying the Sader Belles, cheerleaders, and half the band had to pull over on the side of the road due to engine trouble. The students transferred to the fan buses for the remaining hour drive. Upon arriving at Salem Stadium, the band, cheerleaders, and Sader Belles put on a mini CRUise for ESPN, the football players, and the adoring fans. The band and Sader Belles performed a pre-game show on the field in lieu of a halftime performance. Sader Belle sophomore nursing major Amelia Enokian believes dancing at the Stagg Bowl is a memory she will treasure forever. “We were definitely honored that we were able to dance before the game since most schools don’t really take their dance teams,” she said. “I remember exiting the field, and I had smiled so much that my teeth were so dry that I couldn’t stop.” During the game, the group cheered, played stand tunes and kept the enthusiasm alive as the temperatures steadily dropped. “I was glad that we could support our team and provide the spirit necessary to lead them to victory,” senior bass drummer Music Education major Ashley Wallace said. “I had a blast getting to hang out with my friends at the Gaylord Hotel, as well as enduring the cold...

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Cru wins National Championship! – The Fans
Jan25

Cru wins National Championship! – The Fans

Published in the January 25, 2017 issue of The Bells In December, students, parents and fans alike all traveled to Salem, VA to cheer the Crusader football team to their National Championship win. These fans got to experience the game of a lifetime for any UMHB football fan. Mike McCarthy, director of the Campus Activities Board sent six buses full of students, a total of 336 fans, to help cheer on the Cru football team. Although planning for this adventure started about a week-and-a-half before the Stagg Bowl, it didn’t take long for every spot on the fan buses to be filled. The lucky fans who earned a spot on the trip received transportation, a stay at the Opryland Hotel, a ticket to the game, a t-shirt, and a spirit sign. “It was a lot of quick planning, but it was totally worth it to give that experience [of going to a national championship game] to the students,” McCarthy said. Isaac Felan, a sophomore EC-12 Physical Education major, was one of the students that was able to go to the game. He said the experience was a memorable one. “It was an experience for a lot of students; being the loudest we’ve ever been at a game, but also the coldest,” Felan said, “It was awesome to see the guys play and win.” Sharon Rately, a parent that attended the game said, it’s not every day that the “small town” guys become the heroes. “Small towns and thriving cities alike were able to be united as one to support our Crusaders,” she said. The fans that were able to attend the National Championship game cheered their hearts out for the purple and gold, even in the frigid Virginia temperatures. But most attendees said it was worth it to create lasting memories and watch their team become National Champions for the first time in the history of the UMHB football...

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Cru wins National Championship! – The Legacy
Jan25

Cru wins National Championship! – The Legacy

Published in the January 25, 2017 issue of The Bells We all have moments that we know we will remember for the rest of our lives. But when those moments coincide with the 70 men standing at your side, all working toward the same goal, it becomes something much greater. The NCAA Division III National Championship game was a special moment shared by the Cru football team that they will never forget. Unfortunately, few people will ever know the feelings and excitement of this moment. But, through the stories and recollections of those lucky enough to share the moment, those left out can try to understand. “It was great. Honestly, it was a relief, not just for me and the team but for the whole city of Belton. It was great to win one for them,” senior receiver Wykeyhe Walker said. He also shifted the glory to his defense, saying that throughout the whole game the defense was amazing and when senior linebacker Matt Cody caught that pick, he knew the team had won. “At that point I was just looking for my mom,” Walker said. “I climbed in the stands with my helmet on and everything. I was just happy.” Senior quarterback Blake Jackson said he just wants the legacy to live on forever. “For people to remember this as the team who was the first team, not only to win the first national championship, but the team that showed great brotherhood,” he said. Jackson, more than anything else, spoke of the familial feeling among the team. “That whole experience of celebrating with coaches and my brothers was a great feeling and will definitely be a memory I hold on to forever,” he said. Sophomore receiver T.J. Josey said the team really wanted to win not only for themselves, but for the past teams, alumni and the community. “The support for this team is outstanding and it was time to give back,” he said. This is a true testament to what can be accomplished when a team becomes more than just a group of teammates. This was a family, and that camaraderie carried them to the highest honor they could possibly achieve together....

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Cru Baseball preparing for the 2017 Spring season
Jan25

Cru Baseball preparing for the 2017 Spring season

Published in the January 25, 2017 issue of The Bells With a little over three weeks away from the first pitch of the 2017 season, the Cru baseball team has been hard at work trying to prepare for what looks to be a tough but promising season. Coming off an 11-28 record last year, this team has a lot to prove. But Head Coach Ben Shipp is confident that they can do it. “We are apprehensive and excited to start the season,” Shipp said. “We had a tough season last year. We got hit with the injury bug and we weren’t deep enough to handle it. Obviously going into this season, we don’t want to experience that again.” Shipp said the team has worked to overcome last year’s injury struggles and is looking forward to getting back on the field. “I’m always excited this time of the year,” he said. “I just can’t wait to get started.” This year’s team has been improving every day in many different areas, and Shipp believes that these improvements will lead them to a successful season. “I really like our pitching staff this season. We have been young for several years and we are finally getting to be a little older. I’m hoping that they are going to be the glue that holds us together,” Shipp said. He thinks the team has also dramatically improved their speed. “Pretty much everyone can run well,” he said. “We’re looking forward to playing a little different type of game than we have in the past. That’s always fun.” Shipp and the rest of the team know there are areas that they need to continue to improve on and they have their sights set on doing so this season. “This [year], we are aiming to cut down on the number of walks. We had way too many free passes last year,” he said. “Also, we want to be a little more aggressive at the plate. Last season, I felt like we took too many pitches and weren’t aggressive enough.” In order to reach their goal of winning the American Southwest Conference, Shipp believes there are many steps that this team must take. “Our first goal for every season is to win our conference championship. But along with that, there are steps we need to take. The first step is to get this team to play with confidence,” he said. “They are all very talented, but if we can get them to play with confidence, I think we can do a good job. The second step is to get the team to play together and believe in each...

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Men and Women’s basketball hope to finish season strong
Jan25

Men and Women’s basketball hope to finish season strong

Published in the January 25, 2017 issue of The Bells The men’s and women’s basketball teams have risen through the ranks this season. Both teams aim to dominate their opponents in their upcoming games. Both the men’s and the women’s teams treat their teammates like their second family, and strive to bring out each other’s best. Women’s The women’s basketball team has accomplished many things since their season began in the fall. The team’s Head Coach Mark Morefield believes the team created a new rhythm with new and old members, and that they played very well in the fall. “The team started off strong and we plan on finishing the season strong as well,” said Haven Neal, a junior math major and third year team member. Alicia Blackwell, a freshmen chemistry major and guard for the team, believes the team can improve some of the defense techniques and dominate the court in their upcoming face-offs. Team member Destini Oakmon, a senior exercise sport science major and point guard, has played with UMHB for all four years. “This was one of the best seasons I’ve seen during my four years playing here,” she said. Unfortunately, Oakmon won’t be playing the rest of the season due to an injury, but she wants to help the team by encouraging them to do their best both on and off court. With five weeks left in the season, Morefield is pushing his team to tighten up their performances before the conference finals. The team will now be facing western district opponents after facing the eastern district opponents last semester. The team hopes to win the chance to host Conference at UMHB. “Hosting after such a long while would bring more confidence to the women and encourage them to go on to the NCAA tournament with that in mind,” Morefield said. Men’s The men’s basketball team has also achieved goals set by the coaches at the beginning of the season. There are 10 games left in the men’s season and all team members aim for one main purpose: to win the next game. “Basketball is an imperfect game and there is always room for improvement,” said the men’s head coach Ken Deweese. Keenan Holdman, a freshmen physical education major and guard, and Braden Hammond, a junior exercise sports science major and guard, both believe the team could improve on their techniques and communication on the court.. “It’s amazing being able to have a chance to help young adults grow and help them in their lessons and their walk and helping them to be the best they can be,” Morefield said. “We do our best to...

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Crusader Football Advances to NCAA Semifinals

Published in the December 7, 2016 issue of The Bells The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders moved past the Wheaton College Thunder on the strength of a few big plays in Crusader Stadium on Saturday. The Cru football team was unable to move the ball on offense the way they usually do. The nation’s top scoring offense, the Cru, has averaged 52.2 offensive points per game this season. The offense was held to just 24 points on Saturday. But they were still able to come away with a 38-16 victory. The game got off to a slow start early as both teams seemed to be affected by the weather in this one. A cold and rainy first quarter ended without a score from either team. The Thunder got the scoring started five seconds into the second quarter with a 42-yard field goal. After a Cru interception by senior defensive back Baylor Mullins, senior quarterback Blake Jackson was finally able to put the Cru on the board with a 4-yard scamper into the end zone. The score gave the Cru a 7-3 lead with eight minutes left in the half. Then, with 1:12 left, sophomore linebacker Tevin Jones tipped an errant pass up to himself and came down with another UMHB interception. The turnover led to more points for the Cru, as the offense held the ball for 12 plays on six minutes to add a 20-yard field goal to extend its lead to 10-3. They left just 20 seconds on the clock for Wheaton before halftime. They elected to take a knee and carry the 7-point deficit to halftime. The second half started with a bang when the Cru defense forced a three-and-out. On the ensuing punt attempt, junior cornerback Reggie Wilson broke through the line and blocked the punt, the ball bounced all the way back into the end zone where it was recovered by Baylor Mullins for a Crusader touchdown. The Wheaton offense was able to bounce back and score a touchdown on its next drive, but the Cru special teams came up with another big play, blocking the extra point attempt to hold the Thunder to six points. After the two great special teams plays, the score rested at 17-9 in favor of UMHB. Later in the third quarter, the UMHB defense showed its big-play ability when sophomore cornerback Raylon Hickey intercepted a pass and ran it back 32 yards for a touchdown. Then after a Wheaton touchdown, the Cru offense provided a big play of its own. Jackson threw a pass deep downfield and hit junior wide receiver Bryce Wilkerson for an 80-yard touchdown to...

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