Leah Brown: the best player in UMHB softball history
Apr26

Leah Brown: the best player in UMHB softball history

With two outs in the bottom of the third inning of game two on Saturday, Leah Brown stepped up to the batter’s box. She spun her bat in her hands and then tapped it to both sides of the plate as she always does. She then proceeded to rip the 2-0 pitch through the hole into left field for her fourth hit of the day; seemingly just another day at the ballpark for Brown. But this one was special. She entered the day with 210 hits, three shy of tying the school record for hits in a career. She was now alone at the top of the list. Of course, this is nothing new for Brown. In the past few weeks, she has broken school records for runs (140), home runs (34), runs batted in (157) and total bases (380). She also has now ended the regular season with a .735 slugging percentage, which will be good for another school record if it holds up through the post-season. And it most likely will, as she has a 35 point lead in that category. “Rounding the bases was really emotional and it was just a cool feeling,” Brown said about her record-breaking home run. She also said the home run record is a memory that will stick with her beyond her time at UMHB. A lot of players have the ability to have a great season or two throughout their career. But the consistency that Brown has shown in her four years at UMHB has been the defining characteristic of her career. Her coaches and teammates alike count on her throughout the season and time and time again she is able to deliver. It has clearly been a remarkable four-year career for Brown and her coaches are going to miss having their All-American in the lineup every game. “The thing that’s impressive about her is that she’s been so consistent,” said Head Coach Larry Hennig. “She’s never slowed down in trying to get better; never slowed down working in practice. I don’t want to think about next year.” Assistant Coach Melissa Maler has only been coaching Brown for the past two seasons. But she was aware of Brown’s greatness before she even got to college. Maler was a coach at West High School before coming to UMHB. Her team played against Crawford High School, where Brown attended, every year. “We played her the whole time I was at West, her four years of high school ball. So I knew she was a great player,” Maler said. “She’s by far one of the best hitters that I’ve ever been able to...

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Sport Spotlight: Heien begins final season
Mar08

Sport Spotlight: Heien begins final season

Published in the March 8, 2017 issue of The Bells Senior men’s golfer Mats Heien has played golf for as long as he can remember, and his passion and dedication to the sport has not only contributed to the success of the team, but has also inspired his teammates to strive for excellence both in golf and in life. “I think I have been playing golf for about 10 years now,” Heien said. “My father played golf and that’s how I got into it. I loved it ever since I hit my first golf ball.” Heien said his inspiration comes not only from his father, but also from professional golfer Rory McIlroy. “I like how hard he works at his game, and this makes me want to work even harder so that one day I will beat him,” he said. Heien traveled 5000 miles from Royken, Norway to Belton to continue his golf career at the collegiate level. “I chose to come play at UMHB because of the weather,” Heien said. “I also got a good feeling about Coach Rodeffer, so I took a chance that this place would help me be the best golfer I could be.” While Heien is thousands of miles from where he grew up, UMHB has become his home away from home over the last four years, with a little help from his teammates. “My favorite part about playing here at UMHB is the golf team. They are definitely the best part,” Heien said. “It is a lot of fun going to tournaments with this team, and we help each other get better every day.” While there are many aspects of golf that helped Heien fall in love with the game, there are a few in particular that have stood out to him over the years. “I love the competition side of golf the most,” Heien said. “I prepare for hours and hours so when I go out to play tournaments, I know that I can beat everybody out there. Golf is basically turned into my entire life. And this is the only thing I want to do in life.” Heien’s dedication to perfecting his skills has paid off. In the last two years, Heien has had the best individual seasons in UMHB men’s golf history and was named a Jack Nicklaus Player of the Year Semifinalist. This season is Heien’s last season here at UMHB and he hopes that he can lead the team to achieve their goals one last time. “I feel that I work hard on my game and my scores reflect this so that I can help my team each...

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Sports spotlight: Tiffany Wilson
Feb22

Sports spotlight: Tiffany Wilson

Published in the February 22, 2017 issue of The Bells Player: Tiffany “Tiff ‘n’ Sniff” Wilson is a freshman shooting guard on the women’s basketball team. Childhood Aspirations: Before becoming a basketball star, Wilson aspired to be a professional surfer. But she soon realized that was a pipe-dream because she lived in Fort Worth. Nonetheless, she still loves the beach and keeps up with the world’s top surfers. Basketball Career: Wilson started playing basketball when she was only 6 years old and fell in love with it. She also played volleyball and considered playing it at UMHB too. But, basketball is her true love and she wanted to devote all her energy to it. Basketball has taught Wilson about confidence, humility, and how to cheer others on. “I chose to play at UMHB because everyone is so nice, the campus is beautiful, and I love the Christ-centered environment,” Wilson said. “The level of competition and determination my opponents show on this collegiate level has pushed me to work harder.” She played on varsity as a freshman in high school, but she says playing in college is very different. “The girls are stronger, more determined, and there’s harder competition than I’ve ever played against in high school,” she said. “This gives me a drive to be better and work harder.” Even though Tiff ‘n’ Sniff individually practices two to three times a day, has two games a week, and goes to team practices five days a week, she still finds time to play an important part in the Spirit Team of First Year Council. Words of Wisdom: “Enjoy living at home while you can,” Wilson said. “You meet lots of great people in college, but you will miss your family, too.” Future Plans: Wilson is majoring in education and hopes to one day teach kindergarten. Her love for kids began when she started helping with her parents’ bouncy house business. She was given the unwanted task of telling kids to get out of their inflatable paradise. This gave Tiffany unparalleled practice in leadership and taking charge; two qualities she’ll need as a teacher. Wilson hopes that people will come out to cheer on the women’s basketball team. “If you can’t be an athlete, be an athletic supporter,” Wilson...

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Senior basketball player shines on and off the court
Feb08

Senior basketball player shines on and off the court

Published in the February 8, 2017 issue of The Bells Senior men’s basketball guard Daniel Mills has played the game for as long as he can remember. As a leader both on and off the court, Mill’s passion and dedication to the sport has not only contributed to the success of the team, but also has inspired his teammates to strive for excellence both in basketball and in life. “I started playing basketball when I was four-years-old,” Mills said. “My dad introduced me to the game and put me in a recreational league in Temple.” While Mills has had many people throughout his basketball career that have made him into the player he is today, his father has been the most influential. “[He] is my biggest inspiration because he’s been through so much fighting cancer and still puts a smile on his face every day,” Mills said. Growing up in Belton, choosing to continue his basketball career at UMHB was an easy decision for Mills. “I chose to come play at UMHB because I wanted to be close to home and my dad who was really sick,” Mills said. “My favorite part about playing here at UMHB is my teammates. We are like brothers.” As a senior on the team, Mill’s strong leadership and team skills on and off the court can be seen every single game. “I just try to be the best teammate I can be,” Mills said. “I do whatever the team needs, so at any given night it could be different. I’m a scorer, but we have a lot of people on this team that can score also.” With a 13-8 overall record this season, Mills and the rest of the team hope to be more and more successful and improve their record. “For the rest of the season, I hope we can see how far we can go and hopefully win a conference championship,” Mills said. The senior plans to continue to pursue his passion of the game in his future career. “In the future, I’m hoping to get into business, but I don’t exactly know what I want to do yet,” Mills said. “However, I do plan on trying to go overseas to play basketball professionally.” Basketball has always been much more than just a sport to Mills, it has been a way of life.. “Basketball is so important to me because I love to compete and honestly I just love playing it,” Mills said. “I love being able to play and win.” Throughout his time playing here at UMHB, Mills has always been a leader for the rest of the team. “Mills...

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Career volleyball player makes her mark on UMHB team

Published in the October 12, 2016 issue of The Bells Bump, set, spike. Freshman volleyball player Haleigh Evans has heard these words many times in her years playing volleyball. Originally from Edna, Texas, Evans played varsity volleyball for her high school, but her career started long before then. She first started playing volleyball when she was nine years old and hasn’t stopped since. In fact, her favorite volleyball memory came after tryouts her freshman year. “I found out I made the varsity team my freshman year. [It was] because all the hard work I had been putting in [had] paid off.” But her hard work did not stop there. By the time her high school career came to an end she had achieved many impressive goals. One of her most impressive awards was the Volleyball District Most Valuable Player award, which she received during two seasons. Evans also received impressive awards in cheerleading, track, and academics.  After her success in high school, Evans decided to become a Crusader volleyball player because she has always wanted to play college volleyball. “I just wasn’t ready to give up the sport that I’ve grown up playing, and that I love,” Evans said. With the Crusaders, Evans plays the position of libero. This is a defensive position in which the player stays in the back row and can sub with any back row player at any time in between points. Evans’ position stands out not only in skill, but in color. Her jersey is a different color than her teammates’. Evans has earned quite an impressive record while playing for the Cru. So far this season, she has accumulated 185 digs, which makes her the leader in the number of digs this season for the team. After playing volleyball for nearly a decade, Evans made the easy decision to major in exercise physiology. Her goals with this major are either to coach or to work with individuals recovering from sports-related injuries. Between practicing volleyball and studying, Evans is very busy. However, with what free time she has she likes to catch up on her sleep or go to the movies with friends.  In order to maintain her strength to perform to the best of her abilities in the classroom and on the court, Evans also likes to load up on protein at her favorite restaurant,...

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Sports Spotlight: Soccer player Caleb Latson takes the field
Sep28

Sports Spotlight: Soccer player Caleb Latson takes the field

Caleb Latson is a senior transfer student from St. Edward’s University who is majoring in Business Management and playing soccer for the school. Business Management may be his major, but his passion is for overseas mission work. Latson said, “If I end up using my degree then great, but if not…it’s a backup plan”. Caleb seems like a person who wants to do what he loves rather than make money from something he hates. His carefree attitude is a trait that the majority of college students would love to obtain. Latson is a transfer student and explains that he transfered because he had friends that attended UMHB and decided to give UMHB a shot as well. His soccer career did not start late in life, Caleb has been playing soccer for most of his life, and knows the game pretty well. When asked why he loves soccer, he says that “[he] loves to win!” Latson plays forward and his strengths are knowing the game, being fast, being technical with the ball, making good passes, and overall having a passion for the sport. Obviously, he is very passionate for the sport, but also depends on his team. He certainly is not a showboat and believes his team has great teamwork and sportsmanship. Latson said, “We are a very good team and they have a lot of heart for the game. We have each other’s backs and we want to win!” In their recent game they won 6-0. He believes that his team has lots of heart and that is how they work so well together. Caleb has dabbled in other sports in his life for fun such as football, tennis, and baseball, but soccer is his passion. The life of a college athlete seems as if it should be difficult, but for Caleb, it is a simple task. He states that “it’s really not that hard,” and he refuses to stress out about it too much. He realizes that he is able to handle the pressure and have great time management skills. He is not only an athlete and student, but he also works for C-Life a few hours a week. When asked what keeps him going in college life he states, “Well, it’s the most logical thing to do. I do not want to dedicate all this time and not receive my degree. Plus, my relationship with the Lord. I look to him for my strength and my purpose. I truly believe that He has me here for a reason and a good purpose”. All in all, Caleb is a carefree guy and has a clear vision of what...

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