Sophomore Karley Free shines on and off the field
Apr20

Sophomore Karley Free shines on and off the field

Sophomore first baseman Karley Free has played softball for almost all of her life. As a leader both on and off the field, Free has played a significant role in the team’s success this season. “I started playing tee ball at age four,” Free said. “I’ve played select softball since I was eight and I was also on the varsity team at Henderson High School for four years.” While Free has had many people throughout her softball career that have made her into the player she is today, there is a particular person that has been the most influential. “My dad has inspired me most in softball because he’s always been there to push me to get better on and off the field,” she said. Choosing to continue her softball career at UMHB was an easy decision for Free, as it was a perfect place to call home. “I chose to come play at UMHB because it was a different place for me to move to and continue playing that wasn’t too close or too far away from home,” Free said. “My favorite part about playing here is the people. My teammates never fail to make me laugh.” Although Free is only a sophomore, her strong leadership and team skills on and off the field can be seen every single day. “I feel I am a leader on the team because I try to encourage my teammates every day and push them to work hard,” she said. With a 14-15 overall record this season, Free and the rest of the team hope to become more and more successful as this season continues to improve their record. “For the rest of the season, I hope we continue to get better every series and work as a team. Hopefully we can get a spot in the conference tournament,” Free said. The seasoned softball player plans to continue playing softball and hopes to continue her passion for sports in her future career. “I am planning on getting my masters in sports administration/sports management and working in college athletics or at a professional level in baseball,” Free said. Softball has become more than just a game for Free, as it has taught her many more things about life and about herself. “Softball is so important to me because it helped me build a strong work ethic, good character, and become responsible,” Free said. Playing this season hasn’t always been easy for Free, as she recently lost someone who had a huge impact on her sotball career. “I had a close friendship with an umpire since I was about 10 years old that passed...

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Sports Spotlight
Oct29

Sports Spotlight

Senior psychology major Elizabeth Ostroff is from The Woodlands, Texas and graduated from College Park High School. Growing up, she enjoyed being outside, whether it was adventuring, traveling, running, hiking, soccer or playing tennis. Going into high school, she began to focus on playing tennis. “I started playing tennis seriously my freshman year of high school. When I was younger I played soccer, then I moved on to try cross country and track, but I never enjoyed these as much as I have enjoyed tennis,” she said. At UMHB, Ostroff has contributed each season. Her freshman year, she helped the Cru capture the ASC West Division Team title and earned ASC West Division Second Team honors for line No. 2 doubles. As a sophomore, she earned ASC Honorable Mention for line No. 5 singles and the Second Team for line No. 3 doubles. Last year, she earned ASC West Division Second Team honors for line No. 3 singles. She has also been named to the ASC Winter/Spring Distinguished Scholar-Team and ASC All-Academic Team. “Over the past 3 years this team has taught me so much; I have learned from the coach, past players, and even opponents from other teams. My way of saying thank you would be to do all I can possibly do to get us in the position to win.” Ostroff and the Cru have been to the post-season each of her three tennis team seasons, falling in the ASC Semifinals each year. She hopes to take the next step by winning the conference. “I am personally seeking to win as many of my matches as I can this season. As a team, I want us to win conference. I think we have the potential, but it won’t be easy,” she said. The Crusader life was the perfect choice for Elizabeth. “I chose UMHB because I felt like this was where God was calling me at the time. It’s been the best experience of my life thus far, and I couldn’t be more thankful,” she said. Off the court, Elizabeth is a student athlete representative for the UMHB Student Advisory Athletic Committee (SAAC). She is also participating in the Miss MHB pageant and is involved at The Vista Community Church. She also believes tennis is a sport that provides lifelong lessons. She said, “I love the competition that tennis provides, both in the team aspect and individually,” she said. “It’s a sport that I believe builds character and encourages independence....

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Sports Spotlight

Junior nursing major Scott Wilding was always a determined athlete. Even though he was born in Japan, Wilding enjoyed playing American sports like football and basketball. But his true passion was tennis. Before going into his 9th-grade year, Wilding decided that he wanted to focus on becoming a tennis player. “Tennis is my favorite sport because of the energy that it brings when I am on the court. I love the feeling of hitting a winner in a big match and turning to my teammates to hear them cheer me on,” he said. Wilding is currently the team captain for the UMHB tennis squad and has played a key role every season. Last season, he helped lead the Cru to the American Southwest Conference Tournament Championship match for the first time in the school’s history. Wilding and the squad also helped UMHB capture the ASC-West Division Team Title. He was awarded ASC-West Division Player of the Week twice and was named to the ASC-West First Team for doubles and Second Team for singles. He was also named to the All-Tournament team. He earned multiple wins last year, including a victory over a Division I opponent. His freshman season, he led the Cru to the postseason and was named ASC Freshman of the Year and earned All-Conference honors. Although Wilding has received many personal accolades, he enjoys being part of a team. “My favorite thing about tennis is the team atmosphere. Specifically, when you’re all on court and all cheering for each other after each point. It really makes a difference in a match,” he said. Outside of tennis, if Scott isn’t studying, he enjoys playing golf, basketball and hanging out with his friends. He is also involved with Young Life, where he serves as a leader for Temple High School. Upon graduating, Wilding hopes to pursue a career in nursing. “After I graduate, I would like to be a nurse anesthetist. A nurse anesthetist works under the anesthesiologist. I think it would be really cool to be able to put people out for surgeries,” he said. But before he graduates, Wilding wants to earn All-American honors and lead the Cru to their first ASC Championship. “I think it would be awesome if I could leave a legacy of winning the first ASC Championship,” he said. “We came really close last year, so I think we can make another run for...

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Sports Spotlight
Sep16

Sports Spotlight

Ben Hammonds is a senior business administration major from Flower Mound, Texas. Growing up, Hammonds participated in many sports, but favored baseball and soccer. Once he moved from St. Louis to Dallas, he decided to pursue his love for soccer. Hammonds is currently the team captain for the UMHB Men’s soccer team and plays the position of center forward. He has contributed to the team each season. His freshman year, he scored two goals. As a sophomore, he added another goal and earned All-ASC Honorable Mention. For his junior campaign, he was named to the All-ASC Second Team for scoring four more goals. This season, Hammonds and the Cru have begun this year with a road trip to the West Coast. Hammonds enjoys the freedom of the game. “My favorite thing about soccer is the freedom of it. Aside from free kicks there are no set plays, no timeouts or stoppages. Just 45-minute halves where players are free to do what they want to beat the opponent. I love my team. My favorite thing about the team is that we are truly brothers,” he said. Outside of soccer, Ben enjoys hanging out with his friends, taking in the Austin music scene and participating in student government. He is a representative for UMHB’s NCAA Student Athletic Advisory Committee and was once a member of the school’s Student Government Association (SGA) where he served as the athletics representative. Hammonds also enjoys watching soccer matches when he’s not playing in them. His favorite team is Chelsea FC, which competes in the Premier League. His favorite player is Frank Lampard, who is currently a member of the New York City FC. Because Hammonds has big aspirations for his career, he knew UMHB would be the right fit. “I had a few other offers from similar schools, but UMHB stood out to me. Coach Bankhead was a major factor in my decision. It was clear he cared about his players deeply and they respected him as well. I also had great interactions with the players on my visits and when I watched them play. UMHB is also beautiful. It was a really easy decision in the end,” he said. “One of the best decisions I have ever made.” Once Ben graduates this December, he plans to pursue a job in college athletics. However, he has not given up the option of playing professionally or being a member of a folk rock band. But before he graduates, Hammonds will be focusing on making an impact on his squad this season. “As a senior I hope to lead this year’s team to accomplish something special as...

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Sport Spotlight: Chandler Henson
May06

Sport Spotlight: Chandler Henson

THE BELLS — Chandler Henson is a senior education major from Van Alstyne, Texas where she attended Van Alstyne High School.   Henson has been a key player for the Cru earning many awards during her career. She was credited with Honorable Mention All-West Division her freshman and sophomore year. Last season, she was named to the Second Team All-West Division.   She chose UMHB for multiple reasons. “I loved the beautiful campus. I also came from a small high school, so I liked the small class sizes offered by the school. And it gave me an opportunity to continue my softball career,” she said.   Henson has collected many memories during her career, but her favorite came this season. “The LeTourneau game this year…. We went twelve innings, and I finally hit the walk-off hit to win the game, one to nothing,” she said.   Henson has enjoyed every moment with her softball family. “I’m going to miss being with the team, and when I throw people out. I’m going to miss the excitement that not only I get but all the other teammates get when that happens,” she said.   Chandler has already set her goals after she graduates. She doesn’t know where she will go but plans to get a teaching job....

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Sport Spotlight: Kitrick Bell
Apr02

Sport Spotlight: Kitrick Bell

THE BELLS — Kitrick Bell is a senior computer information systems major from Houston, where he attended Fort Bend Marshall High School. Bell has played a key role for the Cru all four seasons. The Cru found Kitrick four years ago, and he became a perfect fit. “I didn’t choose UMHB—UMHB chose me,” he said. His freshman year, Bell was voted to the ASC West Division All-Freshman Team. By his sophomore year, he played in 26 matches and averaged 10 points per game. His junior year, he started in every game and led the Cru to the NCAA Division III National Championship Game. By his senior year, he was named to the D3hoops.com Preseason All-America Team. Kitrick enjoys playing with his teammates. “My favorite thing about basketball is playing together as a team,” he said. This season, the senior helped lead his team back to a 17-9 overall record and 15-7 in conference play, but most importantly a berth into the postseason. In his final home game, Bell helped the Cru defeat nationally ranked #17 UT-Dallas 75-71. He contributed by getting a double-double of 15 points and 14 rebounds. The ASC awarded his outstanding play by naming him the ASC Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for Feb. 20-24. The Cru then went into ASC Tournament as the #3 seed, but, but fell to Louisiana College 81-71 in the quarterfinals. Bell averaged just shy of a double-double with 12.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game throughout his senior year. He also finished his career with the all-time record of most rebounds in a career at UMHB. One thing most people don’t know about Kitrick is that he enjoys to sing. “Alicia Keys is one of my favorite. I like to dabble with John Legend a little bit and Lauryn Hill,” he said. After college, Bell has made up his mind on what he wants to do. He said, “My absolute dream job is to become a computer programmer, but if that doesn’t work,...

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