Indians fall to Kingsville
Midwestern State’s second-half luck from the past two games finally caught up with them as the Javelinas of Texas A&M-Kingsville beat the Indians, 29-23, at Memorial Stadium on Saturday. The Indians recovered a fumble on the Javs opening drive to start their own drive at the 42-yard line. Running back Darrell White rushed for four of his 30 yards on the night and Phillip Boggs completed a two-yard pass to Isaac Powdrell. Another pass to Powdrell, this time for 22 yards, would be waived off due to a call of an illegal block, pushing the Indians back to the 40-yard line. MSU would drive down to the 22-yard line before Jerry Holstrom came in to kick a field goal, putting the Indians up early, 3-0. The MSU defense dominated on the next series, forcing Kingsville to punt after losing four yards on its drive. The defense played without cornerback Marcus Stenix, who was injured in last week’s game against Northeastern State. “When an injury occurs, someone has to step up to the plate,” head coach Bill Maskill said. “We just told the team that, and I think they stepped up.” Boggs ended a nine-play, 65-yard drive on the Indians’ next possession by jumping over the offensive line and putting the ball over the plane to give MSU a touchdown. The Javelinas would turn around and drive 80 yards in 11 plays to score a six-yard touchdown from Larry Williams with just 30 seconds left in the first quarter. Texas A&M-Kingsville would score another touchdown with less than five minutes to play in the first half on a 14-yard pass from Daniel Taylor to Brent Holmes. MSU answered with a three-play, 25-yard drive ending with a one-yard touchdown by Fuqua with just 36 seconds left. MSU led 17-14 at halftime. The second half would begin with a 26-yard field goal from Holstrom, but the Javs would eat up nearly seven minutes off the clock and score a touchdown on a 14-yard pass from Taylor to Clay Woodard. The Javelinas went up 21-20. Holstrom kicked a 22-yard field goal in the middle of the fourth quarter to put the Indians up 23-21. A touchdown and successful two-point conversion from the Javs put pressure on the Indians as they went up 29-23 with little more than two minutes to play. Starting from the MSU 48-yard line, Boggs would throw an incomplete pass to Powdrell, but a Kingsville pass interference call put the Indians on the 38-yard line. Boggs rushed for four yards before throwing another incomplete pass, this time to Kelsick. On third-and-six, Boggs was sacked for a loss of 14 yards. Going for it on fourth-and-20, Boggs would complete a pass to Kelsick for just 15 yards and the Javs would run out the rest of the clock. “That game was anyone’s game,” Maskill said. “But close doesn’t mean anything unless you’re playing horseshoes. We’re a good football team and they’re a good team, and we knew going in that it wasn’t going to be easy.” The win gives the Javelinas a 3-1 record, while the loss puts the Indians at 3-2 overall and an 0-1 in the LSC South. Fuqua rushed for 53 yards on 18 carries and Boggs rushed for 49 yards on ten carries.
Sports fanatic not your average girl
I am not your normal, typical, average girl. As a girl who loves and understands sports for more than just the men playing it, I know that it’s difficult for most people to realize how I could have wanted to be a sports journalist by the time I was ten years old. Here is a little insight into my mild psychosis, um, enthusiasm. Perhaps what some call a sickness started when I was around nine years old and watched Thanksgiving Day football with the men of my family because I didn’t want to cook and gossip with the women. Maybe it started earlier, when I was barely three years old, living behind old Arlington Stadium and knowing the Rangers batting order included Steve Buechele and Oddibe McDowell. It’s definitely not normal that when, as a little girl, all my friends were picturing their dream wedding, I was stressing out trying to plan my “Big Day” around football, baseball and basketball seasons. Most girls cried during “Titanic“. I got misty-eyed watching “Rudy“. Most girls have away messages on instant messenger filled with cheerful wishes to call them. I, on the other hand, threaten my “buddies” with physical violence if they dare bother me during a game. I might not know much about makeup and hair. But my heart breaks whenever a girl at a football game leans over and asks, “What inning are we in again?” When I graduated high school, my parents asked me where I wanted to go. A month later, my dad and I were on a plane to Atlanta to catch a couple of games at Turner Field. Forget a sunset. 20,000 Atlanta Braves fans doing the Tomahawk Chop is the most beautiful sight in the world. I have a Dallas Cowboys screensaver, a Dallas Mavericks 2003-04 schedule as my computer background and the Atlanta Braves website as my homepage. I have an Atlanta Braves fleece blanket I bought while in Atlanta. A framed picture of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” hangs toward the back of my room while a poster of Dirk Nowitzki and another of some of the Braves are the first things you see when walking into my room. Most girls buy “Cosmo” and I buy “Sports Illustrated”. Romance novels aren’t for me. “The Big Show” by Keith Olbermann and Dan Patrick and “The Emmitt Zone”, Emmitt Smith’s autobiography, are just some of the sports-themed books that grace my shelves. I actually own “The Best American Sports Writing of the Century” and have read the 776-page book multiple times. I remember my favorite teacher in the fifth grade. Not just because she was a great teacher, but because she gave us a test about the Dallas Cowboys and whoever answered the most questions correctly won. And after getting just one wrong, I won. Most girls would get star-struck meeting Ashton Kutcher or Justin Timberlake. My moment came when I met Randy White (the “Man-ster”) and Jay Novacek. This is totally normal to me, as it has been a part of my life for the past 11 years of being infatuated with sports and sports journalism. My parents say I’m extremely superstitious, but I think it’s a tradition to rub the blue hair on my Cowboys troll doll during a game and have a Dr. Pepper in each half of a Mavericks game. Ask any of my friends. If we’re supposed to go to the cafeteria at 6 p.m. and a game starts at the same time, my friend is eating alone.
The Lady Indians volleyball team dropped to 1-2 in North division play Tuesday night after being swept by Texas Woman’s University 30-26, 30-24 and 30-26. Senior Joni Martin led the team with 12 kills and 17 digs, while junior Melissa Minus chipped in 11 kills. Setter Whitney Johansen tallied 37 assists along with three kills. Plagued by 12 serve-reception errors, head coach Pam Peetz said the team played hesitant and scared. “That’s a matter of us being tentative in our passing, and a matter of not being aggressive to the ball. “We’re not a team that typically has double-digit serve-receive errors, and it’s pretty rare for us,” Peetz said. MSU was down 29-22in game one when a late surge sparked by TWU errors brought the Lady Indians to within three, but an MSU hitting-error ended the game. TWU continued its dominance into game two, compiling an early six-point lead off a string of MSU errors. La Toya Terry served four points, narrowing the gap 19-16, but TWU capitalized on key kills by Jenny Madrid, who finished the match with 12, and more MSU errors. MSU took an early 8-5 lead in game three off a Johansen kill, but succumbed to TWU with hitting errors by Martin and Kate Pence, tying the score at eight apiece. MSU would never recover. Two TWU service aces extended the lead to 24-18. Johansen would return the favor, serving out three points, including an ace, to bring the Lady Indians to within four, but a TWU block brought the Pioneers to match point. Two kills by Colleen Westfall cut the lead back to three, but a costly hitting error by Martin ended the match. Unlike MSU, Peetz said TWU played relaxed and aggressive, “That’s a team we should be able to play right with, but we made it a lot more difficult on ourselves than it should have been,” Peetz said. “We need to get back to playing MSU volleyball and the way that they’re capable of playing. They’re capable of much more than what they did tonight.” The Lady Indians drop to 11-12 overall and will meet Texas A&M-Kingsville Friday night and rival Tarleton State on Saturday, both in Stephenville. “At some point they have to find it within themselves to find a way that they need to play and realize that errors are not life or death.”
student-athletes atop LSC in graduation rates
Seven wins and four losses. That has been the record of the Midwestern State football team for the last three years in a row. Most students, parents and alumni are well aware of the most telling statistics of an athletic program, the overall record and whether or not the team qualified for post-season play. But what most of the athletic community does not see is MSU athletics programs’ greatest success - its student-athlete graduation rate. According to the 2003 NCAA Graduation Rates Report, MSU graduates more student-athletes than any other school in the Lone Star Conference. “We are working hard not just on the football field or the volleyball court or the basketball court or whatever sport, but the kids are working hard in the classroom as well,” MSU Athletics Director Jeff Ray said. MSU athletes are graduating at a rate of 54 percent, compared to only 30 percent of the student body. But what exactly does that mean? The most recent NCAA report reflects the graduating rate of the freshmen that started classes during the 1996-97 school year. Each institution is only responsible for student-athletes who are attending college-level courses for the first time on an athletic scholarship. The athletes are given six years to complete a degree program. If an athlete transfers to another school, then that player is a statistical loss for his original school. They will not count against the new school’s graduation rate either. Ray contends including transfers would help MSU. “You can go back and study the history of our transfers that have come here,” Ray said. “That graduation rate is very high. I think our rate would actually go up if we put our transfers in there.” And MSU has more than its share of transfers. Of the 106 new student-athletes on campus last year, 42 transferred from other schools. Transfer students impact the losing school’s graduation rate. The NCAA figures the graduation rate by comparing the number of graduating athletes against the number of athletes who attended the school as freshmen. It is easy to seethe potential impact of transfers. Transfer students who attain a degree are not counted positively for either school. The losing school is not credited with a graduation, but the athlete is not counted at the gaining institution. Since most NCAA Div. II athletic programs rely primarily on junior college transfers, current graduation reports are not comprehensive. NCAA trends show that would be the case with most Div. II programs. According the September 2003 Div. II Update, the average program will experience a 10-to-15 percent bump once non-scholarship and transfers are included in the report. Div. II officials are considering making this new report, dubbed the Academic Success Rate, a mandatory condition for NCAA membership in the near future. This report would paint a more accurate picture of the NCAA. MSU’s graduation rate (54%) leads the LSC, nudging out Central Oklahoma and Tarleton State, with both schools graduating at a 52-percent clip. On the opposite end of the spectrum, East Central Oklahoma and Southwestern Oklahoma State sport dismal 29 and 28-percent rates. The conference student-athlete graduation rate stands at 42 percent. In comparison to regional Division I programs, MSU rates favorably. The University of Texas at Austin and Texas Tech graduate 56 percent of its athletes, while just 35 percent of University of North Texas athletes obtain sheepskins. The challenges of maintaining the graduation rate will soon become more challenging. With the football program recruiting more and more local players, the pressure will be on the program to not only maintain the current rate, but to improve. Ray challenges coaches to provide opportunities for athletes to attend study halls and provide access to tutorial programs, but it’s up to the athletes to make the program a success. “It’s the student-athlete that is getting it done,” Ray said. “You can put a kid in a system, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to be successful. He has to take advantage of that system.”
MSU drops opener
The Lady Indians started the Lone Star Conference portion of their schedule with a 1-0 loss to the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond on Sunday. Megan Dodson and the rest of the offense were held to only two shots on goal, as the Broncos extended their winning streak to seven games. The Lady Indians lost to UCO twice in one-goal games last year, including a double overtime setback in the LSC tournament. UCOs’ Audri Habibi scored the only goal of the match when she knocked in the ball after it deflected off the back of a MSU defender. The goal came on a corner kick midway through the second half. The Lady Indians were outshot by Central Oklahoma, 22-11, and never seemed to have the offensive edge that has carried the team thus far this season. Elli O’Dwyer stopped 10 of UCOs’ 11 shot, including a nice diving save to keep the game scoreless in the 61st minute. The Broncos improved their LSC record to 2-0, while the Lady Indians will have to fight back from their conference-opening set-back. The Lady Indians won their tune-up match last Thursday 2-1 against Colorado State-Pueblo. Megan Dodson and Dayna Sanders added to their season scoring totals with a goal apiece. Dodson picked up the game winning goal, her conference leading 10th of the season, and freshman Blair Maxwell tallied the assist. Sanders’ goal was her fourth of the season. The Lady Indians offense peppered the net, taking 24 shots while the defense limited the opposing team to 9 shots. The Lady Indians face Texas Woman’s University (1-6-2, 0-1-1) tonight at 6 p.m. for their second LSC match. The Lady Indians will have six days off to prepare for Texas A&M-Commerce next Tuesday before going to New Mexico.
Team Arrow races to fast start
MSU’s cycling team may have a new coach, but their dominance in races remain the same early in the brief fall racing season. While most of their competitive races are not until the spring, Gary Achterberg and Team Arrow have been hard at work, maintaining the prestigious program. Achterberg took over Team Arrow this year after leaving Jamesville, Wis., where he worked as a copy editor at a daily paper. “It was an opportunity to do what’s been a passion of mine and to do it full-time,” he said. “There are a great bunch of athletes here, and they are willing to work hard.” Two weeks ago cyclist Stefan Rothe won two medals at the National Collegiate Track Cycling Championships in Indianapolis. Rothe, who is a graduate student from Germany, finished second in the 3,000-meter individual pursuit and fifth in the points race, a longer event where the top riders on designated laps and at the finish score points that determine the final placings in the race. Rothe’s time in the 3,000-meter individual pursuit was 3:43.44. He finished behind Bobby Lea, a rider from Penn State University who dominated the overall competition. In addition, Rothe was 12th in the “kilo,” a one-kilometer time trial. His time was 1:13.26. Dominic Van Nielen, an undergraduate kinesiology major from Houston, also competed in three events at the national championships. Van Nielen’s top placing was ninth in the kilo with a time of 1:12:74. Van Nielen also finished 12th in the 3,000-meter individual pursuit with a time of 3:54.47 and 11th in the match sprint after posting the third-fastest qualifying time that is used for seeding purposes. “Stefan’s medal-winning performances speak for themselves,” said Achterberg, who has been involved in cycling since 1990. “He’s a great all-around rider whose skills on the track compliment his abilities on the road, and his great showing reinforces why Midwestern State is regarded as one of the top cycling schools in the nation.” The showing at track nationals follows excellent results for MSU in May at the National Collegiate Road Cycling Championships at the University of California in Berkeley, Calif. MSU’s women earned gold medals in two events – Stephanie Hannos won the women’s criterium, while the three-woman squad of Hannos, Janna Jackson and Ivana Miucic won the team time trial, an event in which a team of four is allowed. In the men’s events, MSU’s team time trial squad earned a medal with its fifth-place finish. The team traveled to Waco last weekend to compete in the Clifton Road Race and the Baylor Circuit Race. At the road race on Saturday, Bjoern Ossenbrink, Rothe Todd Campbell, Adam Biwan and Brian Wyrick took the first five spots in the Men’s A category, while Hannos, Jackson and Miucic finished second through fourth in the Women’s A division. Greg Saxon and Dominic Van Nielen finished atop the Men’s B division, and Laura Whittle was the fastest rider in Women’s B. Sunday’s circuit race ended with Rothe and Jackson winning their respective divisions. Wyrick, Hannos and Bobby Griffith each earned second-place finishes in the competition.
Buffs surprise Indians 1-0
The Midwestern State men’s soccer team had more on the line than a 16-game unbeaten streak when they hosted arch rival West Texas A&M Tuesday night. With a loss to the Buffs, the Indians, who on Monday jumped to No. 22 in the nation and third in the region, would drop to 0-2 in the Lone Star Conference and 8-4 on the season. West Texas’ Collin Mabry scored a on a free kick 15 minutes into the contest, and the Buffaloes’ (6-3-2) defense kept MSU (8-4) in check as the Indians’ postseason hopes took a devastating blow with a 1-0 loss. “We had chances to win the game, and we had chances to tie the game, so it’s our own fault,” MSU coach Doug Elder said. “Most games that we’ve lost all season, we’ve pretty much beaten ourselves. After Mabry’s bending free kick from 20 yards out beat goalkeeper David Stockton, the Indians came back with a flurry. During a five-minute span late in the first half, Buffalo keeper Paul Hart saved two testy shots from Elliot Gallagher and another from dangerous forward Garnet Chisholm. “West Texas finished their opportunity, and we didn’t,” Elder said. “We were down 1-0, and we picked up the intensity. I don’t think we let down. I don’t think we quit.” While MSU owned possession for much of the second half, its scoring chances were few and far between, thanks to a packed-in West Texas A&M defense. While MSU owned an 18-10 advantage in shots, the Buffs played with only one forward in the last 45 minutes to thwart any scoring chances. “Once they get up, they like that style where they hang back and counterattack,” Elder said. “They got the early goal and were hanging on. I don’t think they were even trying to score another goal.” The Indians’ best scoring chance in the second half occurred in the last minute of the game, but Leighal Dellis could not corral a cross from Ricardo Box, and the Buffs held on for the win. The Indians will have to bounce back soon, as they will host Missouri Southern on Friday at 7 p.m. and St. Mary’s Sunday at noon.