Tennis defeats Howard Payne; falls to UT Dallas
Apr02

Tennis defeats Howard Payne; falls to UT Dallas

On Friday, March 29, both the men’s and women’s tennis teams traveled to Brownwood to face the Yellow Jackets of Howard Payne University. Before facing Howard Payne, the men’s team held a 4-2 season record, while the women’s team held a 0-2 record for the season. The men’s team led 2-1 after doubles and swept singles, leading them to an 8-1 victory over the Yellow Jackets. The women’s team took the lead during doubles and swept the bottom of the singles lineup, leading them to a 5-4 victory. After the victories over Howard Payne, the men’s team stood at a 5-2 season record and a 1-0 ASC record, while the women’s team had a 1-2 season record and a 1-0 ASC record. The next day, both teams traveled to Richardson to face the UT Dallas Comets. The men’s team earned a few wins in singles, but ultimately lost 2-7, while the women’s team lost 0-9 to the Comets. After the games in Richardson, the men’s team stands at a 5-3 season record and 1-1 ASC record, while the women’s team has a 1-3 season record and a 1-1 ASC record. Both teams will face Sul Ross State University on Friday, April 5 in Belton. They will travel to Georgetown the following day to face Southwestern...

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Jeb Zolman: pitcher returns to the mound
Apr02

Jeb Zolman: pitcher returns to the mound

Junior pitcher and pre physical therapy major Jeb Zolman has made a comeback to the mound this baseball season after recovering from an elbow injury. His baseball career at UMHB wasn’t always planned—in fact, he didn’t originally plan on attending UMHB at all. Zolman started his first semester of college at the Air Force Academy in Colorado, but he quickly learned that this wasn’t the right choice for him. After six months there, he decided to return to his hometown of Humble and attend community college for the rest of the spring semester. “I had no idea what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. I was at a loss,” Zolman said. “I started touring colleges again. I visited Southern Methodist University and UT Dallas, but on the way home from touring, we came through Belton.” A few years before this, Zolman’s older brother had toured UMHB. Remembering this, Zolman decided to take a tour himself. After he toured the school, he knew that UMHB would be his home. “I wasn’t even home yet on the drive back and I told my mom, ‘I think I want to go there.’ UMHB just felt like home,” Zolman said. Zolman was previously out of the game for almost a year due to a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), a devastating elbow injury that can take months to heal and typically requires surgery. He received this injury during the beginning of the 2018 season. He first realized that something was wrong during a game against LeTourneau University. He described how during the first inning of the game, his pitching ability began to suffer. “Through the first inning…I just knew something wasn’t feeling right,” Zolman said. After having surgery and going through rehab, Zolman made his first appearance at the mound this season during the game against Blackburn College on Wednesday, March 13. Having played baseball since he could crawl, being able to play for UMHB again was a relief. “It was pretty exciting to be back. You work for nine to 10 months just to do one little thing, and you know that in your mind, you worked your tail off to do that,” he said. Head coach Ben Shipp is excited to see Zolman back on the mound. “Jeb has been a big missing element for this team,” he said. “He had moved into the number one pitching slot for us, and his injury in 2018 was part of our downfall last year. When you lose a kid like Jeb…it was devastating.” Shipp said that when Zolman started attending UMHB, he approached the team himself about wanting to...

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Cru softball wins three-game series
Apr02

Cru softball wins three-game series

UMHB’s softball team continued their season with a three-game stretch at home against McMurry University. The Cru was sitting just below .500 with a 10-11 record going into this series of games. To hit .500, the Cru would have to win two out of the three games. The McMurry War Hawks were also sitting below .500 with an 8-12 record. Even if the War Hawks were to win all three games and sweep the Cru, they still would not hit .500, but it would only bring them one win away. Freshman Kathryn Reed from Axtell took the mound for the first game of the series on Thursday, March 21. Her presence on the mound played a pivotal role in the game. She pitched for five innings and did not allow a single run. The offense began to score in the second inning with a single by junior Hannah Wolfe, which sent in Kourtney Cummings to score the Cru’s first run. The team continued to score until the fourth inning. The Cru’s scoring was capped off with a three-run home run by sophomore Allie Dalle. The Cru left the first game of the series with an 8-0 victory. On Friday, March 22 the Cru entered the second game of the series. This would also be the first game of a doubleheader. The previous day’s game left a bad taste in the War Hawks’ mouths, and they entered game two seeking. They tried to prove that their offense was a force to be feared. Their statement was made with an offensive barrage in the first inning. It started off with a single with two runners on base. The runner on third scored, only allowing one point. Then, a walk with bases loaded advanced a runner to home plate, allowing another score. Another McMurry single advanced two more runners to home. The Cru finally got out of the first inning, but not before allowing the War Hawks to score four runs. In order to stay alive, the Cru had to score. It is almost as if the Cru employed the turtle and the hare method in this game. They slowly put up runs one by one, and by the end of the second inning, they tied the game 4-4. The War Hawks looked tired and were not able to score during the second or third innings. UMHB was still in the fight. However, it seemed as if the War Hawks caught their breath, because they scored five more runs before the game was over, defeating the Cru 9-5. This tied the series 1-1, and the final game would determine who took the...

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Sports spotlight: Wykeyhe Walker
Nov15

Sports spotlight: Wykeyhe Walker

Senior mass communications major Wykeyhe Walker was recently baptized in the university’s pool at the Mayborn Campus Center. “It was something I wanted to do for a while now, and I was going through so much, but God gave me hope and that caused me to focus on the good instead of the bad.” Walker’s friends and family gathered at the pool to see him baptized. President Dr. Randy O’Rear and his wife, Julie, were in attendance at the baptism. Walker attends First Baptist Belton with the O’Rears. “It was joyful to see him make the best decision he will ever make in his life,” O’Rear said. “He desired to tell the world and stand up on top of the mountain and scream, ‘I am a believer, and I want to be obedient, and I want to be baptized.’” O’Rear said that Walker reached out to him after one of his teammates and now UMHB alumnus, Matt Cody, was baptized at Temple Lake Park. “We started talking about our faith, becoming a Christian, baptism, what that meant, and what that meant to him.” O’Rear said that he’s enjoyed watching the journey Walker has taken since he began attending church with the O’Rears. “To see the joy and the peace he has now as a believer has been a sweet thing to watch,” he said. Walker plans to graduate this December with a bachelor of arts in mass communications. He will then relocate to Madrid, Spain to play professional football with the Osos Rivas. “Honestly it hasn’t hit me yet, but I can’t wait for the experience,” he said. “Of course, my family is sad but this is a step I have to take to get to the NFL.” Walker played receiver for the university for four seasons. During his final season, he was a part of the National Championship winning team. “I have been a starter here for the last 3.5 years, and I have never played in a game so cold,” he said. “I was with my brothers. You can’t really ask for a better ending.” Walker said that playing football for the Cru and being at the university has changed him tremendously. “When I got here, I was a kid that only cared about himself,” he said. “Now, I am a man who is about to start a new journey.” He said that he didn’t really see change in himself until his sophomore year. “I didn’t know Jesus, and even football was going bad. But I got my head right in the summer of my sophomore year, realizing I wanted the college experience. So I had to...

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Senior soccer player shines on and off the field
Nov15

Senior soccer player shines on and off the field

The UMHB men’s soccer team has made history this year, earning the program’s first ASC championship as they head to the NCAA Division III National Championship tournament. Senior midfielder Caleb Almanza, who was recently selected to compete on the First Team All-ASC and is a starter for the Cru, has played a big part in the team’s success this season. “This season has been great, we are playing well and put ourselves in a great position to do something amazing and make history,” Almanza said. “I feel I put in a lot of work to my team and do whatever it takes to win.” While Almanza has had many people in his life who have inspired and helped him in his soccer career, there is a certain person who has left a special impact on his heart. “My older brother, who is in the Navy is my biggest inspiration in life,” Almanza said. “I look up to him every day. He has helped me through everything throughout my life and is the reason I am who I am today.” Soccer has always been more than just a game for Almanza; it is a part of him that no matter where he goes, he will always take with him. “I have played soccer since I was 3 years old, so it’s been about 18 years,” Almanza said. “My parents got me started in it and it has been a part of my life ever since. I love that I forget about everything while I’m playing. It’s my time to get away from everything and do what I love, and I thank God for letting me do that every day. “It has been what I have done my entire life, soccer has taken me all over the world, brought me to a great university and just been a massive part of my life.” Although soccer holds so many special memories in the past for Almanza, his next step in life is to pursue his other dream: to become a physical therapist. “I plan on pursuing my career after I graduate and not play soccer anymore. I need to focus on my long-term future even though I would love to continue playing,” Almanza said. Choosing to further his athletic career as a Crusader was not a tough decision for Almanza and throughout his four years here, he has realized that this is exactly where he belongs. “I loved my visit when I came to visit UMHB,” he said. “They have great academics and Coach Bankhead ran a very good program so I wanted to be a part of it. To this day,...

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Volleyball player overcomes ACL tear with team’s support
Oct13

Volleyball player overcomes ACL tear with team’s support

Determination triumphs adversity as Sydney Stolz returns to the court for the 2017 season, stronger than when she left. The junior public relations major and middle defensive player of the UMHB volleyball team tore her ACL last season. Although not yet a starting middle, Stolz sees some playing time as Coach Frost allows. Nonetheless, being back with her team has made all the difference, and has fostered a sense of thankfulness. “After every game or practice, I’m thankful that I made it through. I like getting to meet people who have gone through the same injury and encourage them. I made so many connections throughout this process.” Stolz was on the court during a conference home game against McMurry University last season. “We were losing, so I was mad, and I play harder when I’m mad. I went to the right side to block a hit and felt my ACL pop.” The experience was not only painful because of the injury, but also because it happened in front of loved ones. “My whole family was there, all my friends… it was horrible,” Stolz said. But despite her injury, Stoltz’s priorities stayed intact. The volleyball player went through a full year of intense recovery and physical therapy to heal from her tear, and is still recovering now. “I had to go to physical therapy two days after my surgery just to get it moving again,” Stolz said. “I went to [physical therapy at] Scott and White twice a week, and went every day to my trainers here at UMHB.” Stolz praised her trainers for their patience with her. “My trainer Emily Patrick was fantastic,” she said. She is now playing again at full strength, albeit inhibited by the brace. “I came in stronger this season—with more muscle mass, so that was a big win.” Coach Rob Frost, who has been the head volleyball coach for seven seasons at UMHB, praises her recovery and athletic talent. “She’s able to practice and play 100 percent. She’s working hard to recover her transition speed. Her jump touch and hitting strength are in a great spot right now.” Having gone through several ACL recoveries himself, Frost was empathetic to Stolz during her recovery time. “He was very supportive through all this. He’s been very motivating. He checked in with me throughout the whole process but not pushing me to a point where it’s not healthy for me. He knows how easy it is to re-injure it,” Stolz said. The volleyball player’s teammates were also a major support system. “They checked on me a lot throughout my recovery. I got to talk to them on...

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