Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Southland Conference reaffirms membership withdrawal policies

We have been getting a lot of questions about what Texas State and UTSA's departure for the WAC means to their standing in the Southland Conference. Today the SLC put out this release that should answer some of those questions.

FRISCO, Texas – The Southland Conference’s Board of Directors met recently to review the Conference’s constitutional articles related to membership withdrawal. The meeting took place after Southland members Texas State University-San Marcos and the University of Texas at San Antonio announced on Nov. 11 their withdrawal to join the Western Athletic Conference effective for the 2012-13 academic year.

Southland Conference Constitution Article 3.04, approved by the membership in 2002, addresses withdrawal, and the presidents of the 10 continuing and voting institutions reaffirmed the policy.

The effective withdrawal date of both institutions will be June 30, 2012, and by not providing at least two full academic years notice, both are assessed a financial penalty of $250,000. Further, the withdrawing institutions immediately forfeit their shares to any accrued assets of the Conference.

The Board also confirmed the withdrawing institutions will forfeit their shares of revenue distributed by the Southland effective immediately. Further, Texas State and UTSA will be subject to all applicable dues and fees paid by Southland members prior to the effective date of withdrawal.

Although the group could have considered ineligibility at any time, the Southland presidents unanimously approved that both institutions will remain eligible for all Conference championship events through the 2011-12 academic year with one exception. Texas State’s football team will be ineligible for the 2011 Southland championship, presumably due to its NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision transition requirements which make it ineligible for the NCAA Division I Football Championship.

Texas State shall remain in the previously approved 2011 Southland football schedule as a “non-conference” opponent for other teams, but will be removed from previously approved 2012-14 schedules. In all other sports, individual student-athletes from both institutions shall remain eligible to receive all awards through the effective withdrawal date.

The Board also reaffirmed that the withdrawing institutions shall forfeit voting privileges on all Conference matters, effective immediately, and representatives of both universities shall resign current positions on Southland committees. Additionally, personnel from Texas State and UTSA that serve on Southland-assigned positions on NCAA committees, councils and cabinets shall also resign immediately and be replaced by others within the Conference.

The remaining presidents also agreed that the withdrawing institutions shall be subject to and comply with all applicable provisions of the Conference constitution, bylaws, and operating code through the effective withdrawal date. Any failure to comply shall be subject to penalties to be established by the Conference Compliance Committee and the Board of Directors.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Two great golfers join women's program

Sam Houston women’s golf team has signed two great young players in the early signing period. One of them is Christina Stringham out of Pasadena. She is one of the top 10 ranked players in the state.

I have watched Christina on several occasions an am impressed with her short game. She has many years of experience playing in competition and has what many high school players lack, the ability to get the ball in the hole when she gets around the greens. She has a good mind for the game and I believe she will have a great four years here at Sam.

The other player who signed is Abby Corson out of Montgomery, which is a school with a great winning tradition. Learning how to win at an early age will pay off for Abby here at Sam. I watched her play recently at Raven Nest and she won easily with rounds of 74 and 75. Her iron play was very impressive. On the first day, she hit the ball right at the hole on every shot and could have shot much lower except for a couple of unlucky breaks. Her golf game seems to be improving at a rapid pace and she will be another layer to come here and immediately challenge the current players for the top five spots.

Watch for these two young ladies in the spring and then state finals and you will see what I am excited about.

-- Tommy Chain
 SHSU women’s golf coach

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Jenny's Journal: There are no goodbyes, only 'see you later's'

Well, here it is. My final blog post. We played Texas State in the first round of the conference tournament, which happened to be held at Texas State. With their home fans cheering them on, they just beat us by a score of 2-1. Tricia scored a great goal with about 3 minutes left to keep us in it, but we couldn’t quite seem to get that equalizer. Like coach said on the bus, “I’m not going to say we lost, I’m going to say we ran out of time.” We played them much better than we did last weekend, but we still fell just short. There are so many things to say in this last blog, and I’m just not quite sure how to start.
We graduated five seniors this year, including me. I have played with Kelley and Nikki since freshman year (for Nikki and I it was freshman year in high school!) and Alex and Adriana came in my junior year. These girls have all been amazing friends and teammates, and I will miss every one of them.
Nichole Watkins, you are by far the toughest player I have ever met. You always put your body on the line to block a shot or a cross, and I knew I could always trust you back there. For anyone that doesn’t know Nikki, she has a metal plate in her face because she broke it going up for a header. How much tougher can you get?? We’ve played together for 8 long years and had our ups and downs, but I really loved playing with you all that time! I have so many memories, like that one time Angie got mad at us and made us do pushups on the field if we gave the ball away... I think you got a yellow card that game! And we laughed the whole time!  And I can’t even begin to count the times you have saved my butt by clearing the ball off the line! I definitely appreciate that J I wish you the best of luck in anything and everything you do.
Adriana Vasquez, you have the most amazing calming presence wherever you go. I will miss seeing you every day, and I will definitely miss your laugh the most! It was always contagious. I always laughed when you came to practice in your hoodie when it was any cooler than like 80 degrees, with the hood pulled over your head, and the strings tied in a bow! Like it was the second Ice Age! Let’s have more dinner/chill nights, mmk? I’m going to miss you. 2 years wasn’t enough time!!
Alex Clifton, my little hood rat!! ;) Alex is from Fresno, California. When we were leaving for the tournament on Wednesday morning, Kelley Sikinger locked her keys in her car, with all of her travel stuff in it. We were kind of freaking out, until Alex pipes up. “Oh, I can break into a car!” ….. ummm, what? Alex says her mom taught her how. Why in the world would her mom teach her that, you ask? “In case I ever got locked out!” Yeah, sure Alex. So here we are, at 9:30 in the morning, with the Huntsville campus police department’s “slim jim”. The cops didn’t know how to get into Kelley’s car (they had the instruction manual out, seriously) but Alex did! She saved the day! Alex didn’t get to play this year because of her stupid ankle. I really missed her on the field, because I think she is super competitive and has an amazing drive to win. Alex, you are amazing. You have the most amazing sense of humor, and I can count on you for a great conversation, or for being a great partner at Pictionary Man (I demand a rematch!). Anyways, I’ll miss you, friend. More game and dinner nights are definitely in order.
Kelley Sikinger. Kelley, Kelley, Kelley. There’s so much to say!  We started out trying to kill each other in warm-ups on the first day of practice freshman year, and somehow became best friends. You have always been that person that would be there for me through anything, and I can’t thank you enough for that. You have always had the most amazing positive attitude on the field, and you have been so strong and determined to finish what you started. We have enough memories on and off the field to last a lifetime! You’re going to be the best second grade teacher that anyone has ever seen! Here’s a quote that’s perfect for you:Nobody trips over mountains.  It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble.  Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain”.  You’ve crossed some pretty big mountains, best friend.
For the rest of the team: you guys have a HUGE amount of potential going forward from here. You guys will be awesome, as long as everyone stays focused and keeps everybody accountable. I’m really, really, REALLY going to miss everyone. I feel like I’ve made some good friends this year, and I hope those friendships last! And like I said earlier this season, make every second count. You never know when it will be your last. Four years goes by in an instant, so don’t ever settle for less that you deserve or less than you can accomplish.  And for heaven’s sake, please beat Texas State!
As for me, I know this isn’t the end of the world. I had some tears after the game, but nothing too bad. As I've gotten older, I’ve realized that soccer really isn’t something to stress about.  Life doesn’t hinge on whether I get scored on or not, or whether we win or lose. I think I had my best season this year, and made some of my best saves, because I wasn’t stressed about it. I actually had fun playing soccer again *gasp!!*. I remember when I was looking at which school I wanted to go to, I had one pretty big requirement: I wanted to be somewhere where I could make a difference. I’m proud to be a part of the transition Sam Houston has made to being one of the top teams in the conference.

I’ll leave everyone with a quote; I think it’s pretty good:
“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened”-Dr. Seuss

Have a great week Kats, and always remember to smile!

-- Jenny Pence
SHSU Keeper

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Best Sports Cities in America

This is not the most current item in the world, but I have been wanting to hit on it. The Sporting News recently released it's top sports cities in America list and Huntsville ranked fairly decent on the list.

Huntsville was rated at No. 144, just ahead of Missoula, Mont., home of the Montana Grizzlies. Sporting news rated the top 402 cities in America. The formula is based on the 12 months from summer 2009 to summer 2010. Point values are assigned to various categories, including but not limited to won-lost records, postseason appearances applicable power ratings, number of teams and attendance.

I know what you are wondering, where do Nacogdoches and San Marcos rank? Well, Huntsville comes in ahead of the home of SFA (No. 173) and the home of Texas State (No. 209). Only San Antonio, which is home to the NBA Spurs, WNBA Silver Stars, minor league baseball, the Alamo Bowl and last year's Women's Final Four in addition to UTSA is the highest rated Southland city at No. 36.

Here is where the Southland schools ranked on the list:

36. San Antonio
144. Huntsville, Texas
173. Nacogdoches, Texas
180. Corpus Christi - Also home to Class AA Corpus Christi Hooks
188. Hammond, La.
209. San Marcos, Texas
233. Thibodaux, La.
234. Beaumont, Texas
242. Lake Charles, La.
247. Natchitoches, La.
253. Conway, Ark.

Arlington was not mentioned on the list, so we can only assume they are lumped in with Dallas which was No. 5 in the rankings.

Other Notable cities that rank below Huntsville:

145. Missoula, Mont. - Home of Montana Grizzlies
153. Princeton, N.J. - Home of Princeton University
154. Boone, N.C. - Home of Appalachian State
159. Des Moines, Iowa - Home of the AAA Iowa Cubs and the Drake Relays
200. Chattanooga, Tenn. - Site of the 2009 FCS National Championship Game
205. Youngstown, Ohio - Home of Youngstown State
213. Daytona Beach, Fla.
220. Little Rock, Ark.
232. Statesboro, Ga. - Home of Georgia Southern
237. Cheney, Wash. - Site of the greatest Bearkat football comeback (2004 I-AA playoffs)
248. Prairie View, Texas
250. Shreveport, La.
260. Huntsville + Normal, Ala. - The "other" Huntsville
271. Talladega, Ala. - Talladega Motor Speedway
272. Augusta, Ga. - Home of the Masters
315. Kissimmee, Fla. - Spring Training home of the Houston Astros
328. Frisco, Texas - Class AA Rough Riders, MLS FC Dallas, 2011 FCS National Championship host
363. Grambling, La.
376. Williamsport, Pa. - Home of Little League World Series

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Jenny's Journal: Two tough losses

This weekend, we had two of our toughest games of the season. We hosted UTSA and Texas State to close out our regular season. We started out the season with a chance (albeit a slim one) of winning the conference title, and a much better chance at getting either of the two top seeds for the tournament, which would have given us a first round bye. The first round bye is HUGE, because the first two rounds of the tournament are played on Thursday and Friday, respectively. None of us are 11 years old anymore, and two games back to back like that are really hard work for our field players.

On Friday, UTSA came into town tied for first place in the conference. We were third, so we knew we had to beat them to have a chance at the higher seed. It was also senior night. All five of us seniors were honored before the game, and I was doing well not getting emotional until I saw my mom’s face. She had tears in her eyes the whole way she was walking me onto the field! I did get a little choked up, but it wasn’t anything too bad, and I was definitely ready for the game. It was such a weird feeling being a senior. I always had the feeling like I had all the time in the world to get my soccer goals accomplished here, and all of a sudden, it was a slap in the face that I had only two more home games left! We didn’t play really well against UTSA, which was a big disappointment. I wanted to win on senior night, and we came just short and lost 1-0. We created tons of opportunities, including some that were on a completely open net, and just couldn’t get any finished.

Saturday, we had our recovery session, which was focused on finishing, specifically the crossing game that we always do. The girls were really focused on it, which was nice to see. They were definitely burying the same shots that were missed only hours before in the game. I just wish it could have happened sooner!

Sunday, we played Texas State. I have always hated Texas State, and Sunday didn’t do anything to help that. I think I got caught up in the fact that it was my last EVER home game: last time to meet in the team meeting room, last time to change in the locker room, last time to swerve through campus all the way to the field. I also think my emotions about Texas State got the best of me, and I didn’t have my best game. We ended up losing 4-1, and I take full credit for one of the goals. Nobody really had a great game, which was another disappointment. I wanted to go into the tournament strong off of two wins!

After our losses, we will go into the tournament this Thursday as the #5 seed, and play none other than Texas State again at their home field (they’re the tournament hosts). Although our loss on Sunday was a tough one to take, I feel like it might give us a little bit of an advantage going into Thursday. Texas State definitely didn’t see the Sam Houston team that we know we can be! I’m excited to get another chance to play them, and I think the second time around will definitely be better than the first! I’m confident that, if we play like we know we can, then we will go deep into this tournament! We play Thursday night at 7 pm, so if anyone can make a trip to San Marcos, we really need your support!

-- Jenny Pence
SHSU Keeper

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Jenny's Journal: It feels great to beat SFA

Battle of the Piney Woods weekend is always big for us. I’ll start out by saying this: I really don’t like SFA. I guess it started because SFA is the traditional rival of Sam Houston, but I’m not really sure. I think for me it happened slowly over four years, simply because we never beat them. In my entire four years here, there were two teams I had never beaten: Texas State and SFA. (P.S.- I really don’t like Texas State either.) SFA was also ahead of us in the standings, and a win would guarantee a spot in the conference tournament.
So we came into this past weekend pretty fired up about the game against SFA. Last year, we went to their place and got HAMMERED 6-0. It was really embarrassing. I think I’ve blocked that game from my memory actually! All week in training before the game, we were training very specifically for SFA. We knew they were good, and that they had three very good players up top. We worked on absorbing pressure, and getting off to quick counter attacks. I thought it was a really good week of training, and our field players were getting the defense and the system down really well. By Friday, I felt pretty optimistic about the game. That 6-0 defeat only a year ago was in the back of my mind though.
Turns out, I had nothing to worry about! We came out ready to play! We definitely played the best full 90 minutes of the season against SFA. We defended as a team, we went in hard on tackles, and we really executed our game plan well! We got a great goal from Natalie Johnson to start things off in the first half and I think that goal made SFA freak out a little bit. They aren’t used to getting scored on! In the second half, we came out firing again, and went up 2-0 on an AMAZING goal by Emily Edenstrom by about 30 yards out. I think it’s those shiny new shoes she’s got! After getting the lead, everybody worked hard on defense to keep SFA off the scoreboard. After pressing us hard really late, they ended up getting a good goal off of a corner kick to go down 2-1 with 45 seconds left. We held on though, and finally BEAT THEM! It felt so good to finally get a win in that rivalry game!
Saturday, we had a much needed day off, and Sunday we were back on the field to do a fitness practice. I seriously got dizzy from all of the shuttle turns we were doing! Or maybe I’m just out of shape? J  It felt good to get that fitness in, but it felt even better knowing that we were getting a leg up on the other teams in the conference because they had to play that day.
This weekend, we are at home again! Tomorrow (Friday) we will play UTSA, the team that we knocked out of the tournament last year. They’re definitely going to play to win! It’s also senior night, which is really bittersweet. There is free food too, so everyone come out, get a free burger, and watch a good soccer game!! We really need your support! Sunday, we play host to Texas State. Texas State is the other team I’ve never beat, so I’m excited about that game too! If we win both of our games this weekend, we have a chance to be conference champions. We have never been in this position before, and I’m excited to play these top teams and see exactly how good we can match up. So please, please, PLEASE come out to the games and cheer us on! We could really use your help!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Senior night will be Friday at Pritchett

I want to invite everyone out to our game on Friday night at 7:00 PM. We will be celebrating Senior Night at our game against UT-San Antonio. Goalkeepers Jenny Pence and Kelley Sikinger, defender Nikki Watkins, and midfielders Alex Clifton and Adriana Vasquez will be honored before the game. This is the most successful senior class we have ever had and they will be making their final home appearances this weekend.

The team is in third place and is only one point behind the two co-leaders. Two home wins this weekend will give the team a chance to win the regular season championship. Please come out and help cheer the team on. The team is 7-2 in the last half of the season and 6-1 at home overall. We need your help to complete a successful season!

The team has already qualified for the Southland Conference Tournament to be held in San Marcos, November 4-7. If you can't see us in person, you can catch our results on or on our SHSU Soccer Facebook page.

Go BearKats!

-- Tom Brown
Head Women's Soccer Coach

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Jenny's Journal: Eventful trip to Louisiana

This weekend was VERY eventful, so this post might be a little lengthy. Sorry guys.

This weekend, we traveled to good old Louisiana for conference games against Southeastern Louisiana University, and Nicholls State University. We left Huntsville REALLY early again, and went straight to the bustling town of Hammond, LA where we had a short practice to get our legs moving and to get a feel for the field we were going to be playing on the next day. After our practice, we went to the hotel, where we found out that *GASP* there was no MTV! So no Jersey Shore watching party Thursday night. Bummer.

Friday, we got up for study hall that was scheduled for 10 in the morning. Me and Kelsi Brown, my roommate, decided that sleep was much more important than breakfast, and woke up at exactly 9:50 AM. It was glorious. Our game was at 3:30 because SLU doesn’t have lights on their field, so we had lunch, and pretty soon after that left the hotel for the game. Keep in mind that our hotel was about an hour from the field, since it was in the middle of the two schools. This will be important later.

We get to SLU and finished watching Never Back Down, a fighting movie about a guy (and his six pack) that never backs down. Go figure. We finished the movie, and got off the bus to go into our locker room. As we are putting our stuff down and getting settled, a realization dawns on us, and our coaches. We forgot the jerseys. Yep. The whole bag of jerseys was back in New Orleans. At this point, it is two hours before game time. If you do the math, you will see what we saw: WE. ARE. SCREWED. We were thinking that we were going to have to warm up in our tennis shoes or something. It was bad. But, luckily, Nikki’s parents were staying in the same hotel we were, and they hadn’t left yet! Coach called the hotel and arranged for Nikki’s parents to pick up the bag of jerseys, which they then drove the entire way to the game. Seriously, Mr. and Mrs. Watkins, Y’ALL ARE AWESOME.

Our jerseys arrived a little less than an hour before game time, so we quickly changed and got onto the field. We were only behind by about 10 or 15 minutes, so it worked out as well as expected! I think coach thought that the jersey fiasco would be a bad distraction for us, but we came out hard in the first 5 minutes of that game. We had them on their heels, but just couldn’t capitalize on anything. In the second half, they scored off of a corner, which actually may have not gone in. Lindsey Posner cleared the ball off of the line, but the ref on the sideline called it a goal. He wasn’t in position to make the call, because in order to see the ball completely go over the endline, you actually have to be on the endline. Crazy concept, right? Anyways, we lost 1-0. I was bummed about it, but we played pretty well and had a lot to build off of.

Saturday, we had a day off from practice! We had study hall from 10 to 12, and then got lunch delivered. After that, we got on the bus to head down to the French Quarter! We had about three hours to walk around, and we all had a lot of fun. I thought the different artwork was really cool, and I also liked to look at all of the different masks! That night, we ate at Hard Rock Café, and then headed home.

Sunday, we got up bright and early to go to IHOP for breakfast. After that, we drove to Thibodeaux for our match against Nicholls. It was a crazy game, with three goals being scored in the first 10 minutes. We scored first, but they responded only 17 seconds later right off of the kickoff. The one they scored was soft, so I wasn’t too happy about it. Amanda Biega scored a great, sliding goal to put us up 2-1 though. After halftime, we came out strong and had a great half. We scored three unanswered goals to win 5-1! Five different people scored, which is a great thing. Teams can’t shut us down by shutting down one person, because we have many different people who are really good and are scoring threats.

I have to give a shoutout to my backline after this weekend. Gayle Ziegler played great this weekend, especially since on Friday, she seemed to be a fan favorite for the SLU supporters (not in a good way) and on Sunday, she seemed to have a target on her back for Nicholls’ dirtiest players. On Friday, Carly Rheman saved everyone’s butts more than once by making great sliding tackles at exactly the right times. Hillary Ackerman did a great job covering for other players and connecting her passes, which is what we have been working on. And Nikki Watkins had great timing, and she is consistently one of the hardest tacklers on the team. They all did great this weekend. After the game, Coach treated us to Baskin Robbins on the way home!! Mmmm, chocolate peanut butter shake. Way better than dinner.

We have one game this weekend, against SFA on Friday night at home!! So everyone, be at Pritchett at 7 pm for the soccer version of the Battle of the Piney Woods! We need everyone’s support, this weekend more than ever!

-- Jenny Pence
SHSU Keeper

Thursday, October 14, 2010

National Play of the Week Candidate

If you were at Johnson Coliseum for the Bearkat volleyball team's win against SFA, you know how exciting of a match that was. Now the winning point from that match is up for a national award.

The American Volleyball Coaches Associaiton has selected the match-winning point from the Kats' five-game win over SFA as one of the five finalists for the National Play of the Week. The best part is, the fans will be the ones who decide the winner.

Voting will be open until Tuesday at 10 a.m. for fans to go on the AVCA website and vote for the play they think is the best of the week. The winner will be announced on Wednesday.

At the end of the season, the weekly winners will compete for the AVCA Play of the Year.

So get online and vote for the Bearkats. Let your friends know as well.

The Kats are play No. 5 on the list.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Jenny's Journal: Two big home wins

Hello Kat fans! Sorry this post is so late, school has been a little crazy this week. I have good news, though, so I think it is worth the wait! This weekend was our second weekend of conference play, and we hosted McNeese and Lamar at home. We had a good week of training leading up to these games, with some focus on the play of our back line, and lots of finishing, as usual. We were a little embarrassed after our loss to Northwestern, so we were pumped up to play this weekend, especially since we were at home!

We played McNeese on Friday night. They came into the game with one tie and one win, so they were ahead of us in the conference standings. We were moving the ball around really well, and got our first goal off of a GREAT combination between Amanda Biega, Emily Edenstrom, and Kirby Zak. Our goal came right before half time too, so that was really important! Our second goal came from Tricia Mallory, who put a shot in the far side netting. After building a 2 goal lead, our defense really stepped it up. We played some really good team defense in the second half, and our back line played well as a unit. We gave up a goal, but we won the game 2-1!

A McNeese player was overheard at Chili’s saying “I can’t believe we lost to a team like that.”. Its so funny how teams in the conference underestimate us, and think they will be able to come in to our home field and get an easy win! I’m not complaining though, I’m perfectly okay with being the team that kind of flies under the radar. I think everyone felt really good about that win, and it came at an important time for us.

Sunday, we played Lamar. They came into the game with a 2-1 conference record, same as ours. A win was obviously very important! They came into the game leading the conference in yellow cards, by A LOT. They were a physical team, borderline dirty. And they were all British! I half expected to have tea and crumpets at half time! Okay, maybe not. They might have though. Their physical play backfired on them when they got called for a foul in their own box that led to a penalty kick. Kirby put it in the back of the net, and we were up 1-0.

After that goal, they all started yelling at each other and getting too emotional. As a team, we stayed calm, which I really liked. Nobody got caught up in the emotion or physical play, and that really helped us. Our second goal came from Natalie Johnson. Let me tell you about Nat. She’s all of 5’2”, MAYBE, but this girl seemingly flew through the air to get her head on a high cross to put us up 2-0. It was a really good finish, and one that we work on in practice. Our defense had a good game again, and we got the shutout!

With that win, we are 3-1 in conference, in sole possession of second place. We are traveling to New Orleans tomorrow to play Southeastern Louisiana and Nicholls this weekend! It should be a fun weekend, and if we get two wins we are guaranteed a place in playoffs. I’ll be back next week with an update, hopefully its another good one!

-- Jenny Pence
SHSU keeper

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Jenny's Journal: Sometimes the ball bounces your way

Hey everyone! I hope you guys are enjoying this awesome weather we have been having! I hope it stays! This weekend we played Central Arkansas and Northwestern State on the road to start conference play. We left EARLY Thursday and drove to Conway, Arkansas. We arrived that afternoon, and had a quick training session to get our legs loose.

On Friday, we played UCA at 4 in the afternoon because they have no lights on their field. In the first half, we played great. We got two great goals, one that Kirby Zak headed in off of a perfect corner from Paige Rodriguez, and one off of a great individual effort from Kelsi Brown, who I think either ran through or around about 3 players before burying it in the back of the net.

We went into halftime with a good 2-0 lead. Anyone who knows soccer though, knows that 2-0 is the most dangerous lead in soccer. Coach likes to say that the next goal in a 2-0 game is always the most important. If we score, the game is 3-0 and probably out of reach for the other team. If they score, it is 2-1, and all of a sudden they are right back in it. Well, they scored. They hit a shot off of the crossbar, and a girl was about 10 yards away from the goal to collect the rebound and put it away. 3 minutes after that, they scored again.

So, in the span of 3 minutes, it’s 2-2 and a tie game. We pressed hard, and we were the better team. Paige had free reign on the right side, so she was getting in often and sending in crosses. Natalie Johnson was also doing well on the left side getting behind their defense. We had good chances, but couldn’t quite get one to fall our way.

With a minute and a half left, Paige sent a cross into the box. I think their keeper got a hand on it, then Trish passed it back for Kirby to hit. One of their midfielders/defenders was running back, and it hit off her shinguard and went in. And just like that, we won the game. We should have closed them out, and not let them score. But a win is a win, and I’ll take it any way we can get it.

Saturday, we got on the bus again to start the 4ish hour trip to Northwestern State. We have great memories on that field, that’s where playoffs were last year! We drove straight to the field, and had a small practice again. We ate at the Trail Boss Steakhouse that night, which was right next to “China Garden”, the hole in the wall Chinese buffet that we went to my freshman year. There were literally zero cars in their parking lot. I remember all we ate was ice cream because the food looked AWFUL! Funny how times change!

After dinner we had study hall. I did some Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy homework, Hillary was working on English, and Michele and Kelley were studying the Yankees/Red Sox game that was on TV. Hey, there’s a lot of history in that rivalry! That counts as studying, right? They were reading too, so I’m not completely throwing them under the bus :)

Sunday, we played Northwestern State. We were a little off our game, and couldn’t quite get into a rhythm. They scored first, but we responded in the second half to tie the game at 1-1. I like that we can work our way back into games, it would be nice to not have to though! Then they got another one off of a breakaway, and ended up winning 2-1. It was a game we shouldn’t have lost. It doesn’t feel good to lose games like that, but we will work hard to get two wins next weekend.

We play McNeese on Friday, and Lamar on Sunday at Pritchett field. We need your help and your support! If you’re in town, come out and watch some soccer!

--Jenny Pence
SHSU Keeper

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Jenny's Journal: Just one game = a ton of training

Hey everyone, it’s me again with the weekly update for the women’s soccer team! This past weekend, we played Prairie View A&M on Friday, and then had the weekend off from games. Last week, we practiced a TON of finishing, which is what I thought we were going to do.

On Wednesday, we played a game called lightning, and the team was split into two different teams. We had the Houston team, and the “Other” team. One keeper would kneel at the top of the 18 yard box, and the team that was shooting would pass the ball to her. The keeper would then push the ball to one side or the other for the shooter. There was one keeper in the net and two field players on the posts.

Those three people had to keep the ball out, and if the shooting team scored, the two field players had to switch out for different ones. Confusing to explain, but it was a lot of fun to play! It got really competitive, and it’s fun for the keepers too because we can make a ton of saves! Thursday, we practiced set pieces and corner kicks like we usually do.

So by the time Friday rolled around, we were pretty excited to play. We knew we had to get a good result to give us a boost going into conference! For the first half, we had a bunch of opportunities, but couldn’t quite find the net. During halftime, we made some adjustments in the lineup and in how we played, and we came out strong on the second half. Hillary Ackerman scored the first goal of the night, which was great! She is one of the hardest workers on our team, so it was awesome to see her get rewarded for it! She even scored with her left foot too!

During halftime, I “shined” her shoes with my nasty, wet gloves. I guess I’ll have to do that more often now! After Hil scored, we didn’t look back. We went on to score 5 more goals. Michele McCullough made a great save on a corner kick, and Kelley Sikinger also had an amazing breakaway save with about seven minutes left! It was awesome that all three of us got that shutout! The team felt good after that game, and we were proud of how many goals we had scored.

Saturday, we had a much needed day off. No soccer, no weights, no school, an ACTUAL day off! I planned on sleeping in until at least 10:00, but then was wide awake at 8 in the morning. And so was the dog. It was awesome, really. I went to the Bearkat football game at 6, which was fun! It was nice to see the guys get a win. Sunday night, we had a fitness practice. It was a little scary when we showed up at the field, because there were NO soccer balls out. We had a good fitness session, though, and everyone did really well!

This weekend we start conference play at UCA! We’re going to try to carry this momentum through practice this week and into the weekend! I’ll try to come back next week with some more great news!!

-- Jenny Pence
Bearkat Keeper

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kats in the national rankings

The girls are off to a great start this year, taking second up at North Texas earlier this week.

We have also managed to make our way into a few of the national rankings on Golfstat. Shelby Hardy ranks 15th in the country on Par 4 scoring with an average of 3.92. The national leader is Megan McChrystal at LSU with a 3.67 average. Shelby is also 8th in the country in subpar strokes per round, averaging 4.33. As a team, the Kats are 7th in the nation in Par 4 scoring, with an average of 4.09.

Individually and as a team we also set several records at the North Texas tournament. Shelby’s 215 score was a new best as well as her eight birdies in a single round. Also, as a team, it was the first tournament where we first three rounds under 300 (293, 294 and 298).

Hopefully the girls can keep it up. I like what I have seen so far this year.

-- Tommy Chain
Women's golf coach

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Jenny's Journal: A meeting with our old coach

Hey everyone! I hope you guys had a great week last week! As for the soccer team, we had a great, intense week of practices, where everyone seemed very focused. I think that was definitely one of our best weeks so far, and we looked good going into the weekend!

On Friday, Baylor traveled into Huntsville for the Friday night matchup. Now, let me say one thing about Baylor. They’re tall. Like, REALLY tall. All of them. Except for their coach. He’s short. Am I allowed to say that? And they like to play balls very direct and in the air because, honestly, they can win 90% of them. Simply because they are bigger than everyone else. So that’s what we dealt with on Friday night. We played well, and had great intensity throughout the match. I’m kinda bummed about the goals, because I feel like they were a little soft. I got chipped from about 20 yards out for the second goal because, unlike the entire Baylor roster, I am NOT tall. Bummer. So, we ended up losing 2-0, but we played well and really came out of it feeling good about our performance.

Sunday, we played Grambling State University. For those that don’t know, our old coach, Marcia Oliviera, now coaches there. There are only three of us on the roster who were on the team 4 years ago with her, but we definitely wanted to win and make a statement. In the first 10 minutes of the game, a Grambling player committed a hard foul on one of our players, which resulted in a little bit of a disagreement, I’ll say. The ref quickly pulled out the red card, and sent both players off. On the resulting free kick, Emily Edenstrom controlled the ball out of the air and buried it in the net, so I think the team responded very well.

For the next 80 minutes, both teams played with 10 people. It worked to our advantage, because we were definitely fitter and more mentally tough than they were. It seems like all the Grambling was trying to do was foul us hard and see if they could throw us off our game, and for the first half, it worked. They also had an offsides trap, which got us quite a few times in the first half.

In the second half, we played much better and kept the ball on the ground and moving. Natalie Johnson got a great goal off a cross, putting us up 2-0. We had plenty of shots, but they didn’t hit the target. I’m sure finishing will be a priority in practice this week! We won the game 2-0, but it should have been about 6-0. We got the win and the shutout though, so that was great!

We are going to work hard in practice this week in preparation for our game against Prairie View A&M this Friday at 7 pm at Pritchett Field. I hope everyone can make it out to support us!

Enjoy your week Kats and Kat fans, and make every second count!

-- Jenny Pence
SHSU keeper

McCown earns UFL player of the week honors

Hartford Colonials and former Sam Houston State quarterback Josh McCown has added the United Football League Offensive Player of the Week award to the opening day win he orchestrated over the Sacramento Mountain Lions.

McCown led the Colonials to the first-ever win in franchise history on Saturday afternoon at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, throwing for 265 yards and 3 touchdowns in a 27-10 victory over the Mountain Lions.

McCown completed 11 of 21 passes with no interceptions and connected with running back Lorenzo Booker on an 80-yard touchdown on a screen pass, which turned into the longest pass play in UFL history (previous best: Brooks Bollinger to Jason Foster, 62 yards, Florida at California, 11/19/09).

“Josh had an outstanding game,” said Colonials head coach Chris Palmer. “He played within himself, read the defense well made outstanding plays.”

The 31-year-old quarterback was a third round selection of the Arizona Cardinals in the 2002 NFL Draft and has played in 47 NFL games including 31 starts with the Cardinals, Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders and Carolina Panthers.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Injury update and tough tournament ahead

Greetings Bearkat Volleyball fans!

I hope that everyone reading the blog is able to follow how the team is doing in some way shape or form. Our official Twitter account is @SamHoustonVB, the website with articles and video interviews, the Huntsville Item, and the Houstonian newspapers, as well as gametracker on other universities websites when we are on the road, and live web streaming on of our matches when we are at home. Obviously you can come watch us as well – home and away!

First, an update on our team and injuries. We have been a little thin on our middle blockers, with sophomore transfer Sam West being out with a back injury the first three weeks; freshman Haley Neisler has been out since before preseason with Mononucleosis, and Tarona Williams not being ready to compete yet. Being able to have Kaylee Hawkins train in the middle in the spring was tremendously beneficial to our team this fall so far. She is an outstanding competitor and athlete and will score points or keep us in matches wherever she is playing. Between her and Kim Black – they have done a great job in the middle so far, but it will be nice when we have a little more depth there.

Haley got her first action this past weekend after being sick, and shows some promise, and now we have a lot of options in many positions with our team, but putting it all together will be the key. The team is definitely stronger in full (and healthy) numbers.

All this being said – this past week we played Texas Southern twice, and got to see some different players play who haven’t played as much, and to see how competitive we can be, and stay consistent to our game. We also beat TAMU Corpus Christi at their place in 3, serving them really tough and taking advantage of their mistakes, we had a lot of high energy, and it showed. Against Villanova, a tougher opponent, we started slow and made a lot of mistakes in the first set. In the 2nd set, we had a 8-5 lead, and were tied at 13-13, but let them stay in system, and made a few of our own mistakes, while being frustrated with their smarter play with off speed shots and relentless hustle.

We practiced hard yesterday, and watched film from this weekend after practice to learn from our mistakes and what we did well. We will learn from our mistakes and apply to the rest of the season. A tough road ahead this weekend before conference starts officially next week. We play in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic at Tulane, also facing Florida International and No. 16 Oregon. Each team made the NCAA tournament last year, and that’s where we want to be as a team, so this weekend will be a great test. I think we can compete with these teams this weekend, but we need to be the aggressor, and not be passive at all. We look forward to the challenge, and can’t wait to show what us Bearkats can do! Thanks for the support and being loyal readers!!

-- Joe Lind
Assistant Volleyball Coach

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Jenny's Journal: 3 seconds

Disclaimer: This post will be a little different than my others. If you read this only to hear about the games, we lost on Friday 3-2 and didn’t play too hot, and then we tied on Sunday 1-1 and played much better. We had good team meetings, and got a lot of stuff ironed out over the weekend, so it can only go up from here. We have two home games (finally!) next weekend at Pritchett Field, so come out and support us! If you read for other reasons, however, here it goes.

On Friday, we were tied with South Alabama 2-2 going into the very end of the game. We did a great job of coming back from being down twice in the game, and maybe that took a lot out of us emotionally, mentally, and physically. With the seconds ticking down on the clock, South Alabama got a counter attack, and scored. After picking myself up off the ground to fish the ball out of the back of the net, I looked at the clock: 3.5 seconds left. That’s it. Not too much time to do anything with at the end of a game, right? Normally, this is when I tell you exactly how the game went, what we can do better, yadda, yadda, yadda. But today is different.

Life is best measured in seconds. A good night’s sleep? 28,800 seconds. A good movie while on the couch with a loved one? 7,200. A soccer game? 5,400. Do you not believe seconds are important? Ask the swimmer who just lost a gold medal by 1/100 of one. Hell, ask our soccer team who has lost 3 games this year within the last 60 seconds. 3 different 90 minute soccer games, coming down to seconds. The difference between a record of 2-5-1 and 5-2-1 (basically).

It’s cruel, really, when you think about it, paring life down to mere seconds. You think you have so much time to do things, experience things, accomplish dreams. I’m guilty of it. But what are you doing with RIGHT NOW? Forget the past, forget the future. What about now?

Have you ever thought about that, how important every second is? I have. After the game on Sunday, I got news that a friend of mine passed away this weekend. She was hit by a drunk driver. She was 22, about 31 million seconds older than me. What if she had left in her car 3 seconds later? What if she got stuck at a red light instead of going through a green, putting her 60 seconds farther back on the road? What if she had said goodbye to one more friend before she left, taking a few precious seconds? I can play the “what if” game all day, but it’s only driving me crazy.

Here is my question to you. Are you making your seconds count? Are you achieving everything you want in life? Because any second could very well be the last second. Tell people you love them. Tell people you appreciate them, you care about them. Don’t play the “what if” game with yourself. As clichĂ© as this sounds, live your life to the absolute fullest. Make every second count. Because we don’t get extras.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Jenny's Journal: Great weekend for the Kats

Week 3 of season, and I have some great news! This weekend, we played the University of North Texas at home on Friday, and then traveled to Houston to play Texas Southern University. Our Friday game was played in some CRAZY weather out on Pritchett. During warm-up, the sky was looking a little foreboding (word of the day) and then right when announcements were supposed to start, it just opened up. No lightning, just a torrential downpour for about 30 minutes of the first half. We still had a good crowd, especially considering the nasty weather! We should give BBQ away for every game! :)

I always love games in the rain, because when I dive or come out on a breakaway, it feels like I slide 10 feet. Who says you’re too old to act like a kid?? Since the field was so sloppy, the game wasn’t pretty. It was hard to get control on the ground, and we just had to keep putting it in the air to stay away from the puddles. The team played AWESOME though, and we completely outworked UNT, who looked like they just wanted to get the heck out of Huntsville and go home.

We were tied 0-0 going into overtime, but we were getting some good looks. With about 5 minutes left in overtime, I punted the ball into the center circle (which Coach gets mad at me for all the time... oops) where Tricia headed it to Kirby up top. Kirby beat about 4 defenders on her way to the goal, and buried it into the net. Our first win was definitely an exciting one!! There were a lot of smiles after the game, and for me, a lot of relief! It felt great to finally win a close one!

The Sunday game wasn’t as exciting when we played Texas Southern on their home field. And by field, I mean football field. And by football field, I mean green carpet. They had the old school Astroturf, and all 3 of us goalkeepers looked like we had just rolled around in moss before the game had even started. We won 2-0, and really dominated the entire game. So that win felt good too! And two shutouts for the weekend! It’s always a good feeling when I do my job and keep the ball out of the back of the net.

This week, we leave on Thursday for a tournament in Mobile, Alabama! We’re going to work hard to get two more wins, and two more shutouts!

-- Jenny Pence
SHSU keeper

Friday, September 3, 2010

Show your Kat pride on your license plates

Bearkat fans can now unleash their passion on the new Sam Houston University Specialty license plate released to the market today through

Starting today at, you’ll find a specialty plate for Sam Houston State to create for your car or truck.

Order online at or by calling 888-7MY-PLATES.

My Plates prices range from $55 to $195 for a one-year plate. The yearly cost gets lower when plates are purchased for 5 or 10 years.

“Specialty” plate refers to any official license plate other than the state’s general issue plate. Specialty plates can be “personalized” plates, but they don’t have to be. The legislature, the law, TxDMV, and My Plates use only “specialty” and “personalized” to refer to these plates, not “vanity,” which is slang that rarely fits the diverse stories behind the plates thousands of quite humble Texans have a lot of not-at-all-vain fun displaying.

Texas is the first state in the U.S. to hire a private vendor to create, market, and sell new license plate designs as a way to raise money for the state. The program guarantees millions of dollars for the state and offers all Texans a fun choice in customizing their cars. In August 2009, the state awarded the contract to operate the My Plates program to a joint venture between Etech, Inc. of Nacogdoches ( and Pinnacle Technical Resources of Dallas ( My Plates is a contracted vendor with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV). Since sales began November 19, 2009, Texans have bought more than 21,000 My Plates, putting $1.6M in the State General Revenue Fund.

My Plates designs and markets new specialty license plates as a vendor for the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. My Plates’ goal is to create a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship designed to maximize revenues for the state through the sale of My Plates specialty plates. My Plates is dedicated to providing Texans with greater choices in specialty plate designs, a unique way to add personality to your vehicle, and unmatched customer service. My Plates is a joint venture of Etech, Inc. of Nacogdoches ( and Pinnacle Technical Resources of Dallas (, Pinnacle is a HUB certified minority owned company.

TxDMV is responsible for the registration, titling and credentialing of personal and commercial vehicles. It also licenses vehicle dealers and issues operating authority for commercial motor vehicles and buses. TxDMV also is home to the Auto Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority (ABTPA), which awards grants to law enforcement agencies to reduce auto theft and increase public awareness and education. To learn more, go to

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Promoting the Battle of the Piney Woods

Sam Houston State director of Athletics Bobby Williams and a group of administrators will head down to Reliant Stadium this afternoon to begin preparations for the Battle of the Piney Woods.

During the 4 o’clock hour, Williams will join the crew on 610 AM live to discuss the Battle of the Piney Woods and then will head to the field to talk to ABC 13 television.

Administrators from SHSU and SFA will also do a press box evaluation during tonight’s Houston Texans game against Tampa Bay.

If you are driving around Houston be sure to listen and then check out ABC 13 sports.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Golf getting back in swing

It is good to be back in school and having the girls back out on the golf course. This year I have three seniors returning to the squad who all had tournament experience and will be backed up by a strong group of sophomores who all performed well as freshmen. .

They are all off to a fast start in qualifying, shooting the lowest scores I’ve seen in my four years of coaching here. I’m anxious to see how they fare in tournament play this semester. The girls are all hard workers both on and off the course and this should pay off for us when the going gets tough.

Our first tournament at North Texas will have a good field with a number of schools from our conference attending and we are ready to test our skills.

--Tommy Chain
Women's golf

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tough loss last weekend, busy week ahead

The 35th Annual Comfort Suites Volleyball Invitational is in the books, and we lost an EXTREMELY tight match Saturday night against Louisiana. We came out a little slow in the first two sets, and were able to come back in each, but losing by two points in each, 23-25 & 24-26. Down 0-2 is a daunting task, especially when it was that close, but our girls came back roaring after the break, winning the next two, but gave up the lead in the 5th, and dropped 2 match points before losing to the Ragin’ Cajuns, 14-16. Tough loss to swallow, but we will definitely learn from it, as we gave them too many unforced errors.

I don’t mean to sound so bleak, but just letting you know our side of the story. We will learn from that lesson as we go on through the season, and the schedule gets harder as we go on, but that’s what its all about. We play at Reed Arena in College Station tomorrow night against the Aggies at 6:30pm – which will be against a very tough team that made it to the sweet 16 last year, but graduated 6 seniors – I thought we had it tough graduating 3 great seniors – I can’t imagine! We did play them very closely in the spring with most of their players that are playing now, and we even took a set off of them, after adjusting our defense and line up to get a bigger block against their stellar OH, Kelsey Black – (side note – coached in the same club – Brazos Valley Juniors – as me last year) – she is their go to hitter right now, and will be throughout the year. If we can find a way to slow her down and frustrate her – a block here, digs here and there, we will be in a better position to win.

In two days we fly up to Newark, Delaware for the UD Invitational – but for now, we are focused on A&M. More to follow. Thanks for the support, we had good student crowds on Friday and Saturday night – hopefully we can get another good crowd when we come back to town in a week. Until then, ‘Eat ‘em up, Kats!’

Joe Lind,
Assistant Volleyball Coach

Monday, August 30, 2010

Jenny's Journal: First road trip of the year

This weekend, we had our first road trip of the season, where we went to play Louisiana Tech and Texas Christian University. After only our second day of classes, we got on the bus on Thursday and started the long 6 hour trip to Ruston, La. We got in and had a really good dinner at Chili’s, where most of us paired up and got the 2 for $20 deal they advertise. For anyone that cares, their guacamole appetizer is REALLY spicy!! Not okay Chili’s, not okay. After Chili’s we had a “Jersey Shore watching party” in our room. I admit, that’s the first time I have EVER watched an entire episode of that show. And I kinda liked it.

So we began the weekend at Louisiana Tech, a team we played to a 0-0 tie last year at Pritchett Field. This year we played them on their home turf for their home season opener. From the beginning, we couldn’t quite keep possession of the ball, and we kept having to chase a less talented LA Tech team all over the field. The second half was a better though. With about 20 minutes left in the game, we got a free kick around the midfield line. Kayla Anderson took the kick, and placed it perfectly in front of the Tech keeper, where Emily Edenstrom got her head on it and flicked it to Tricia Mallory for our first goal of the season. It was a good goal off of a set piece, which we work on a lot in practice. That goal seemed to wake LA Tech up though, and within the last 5 minutes of the game, they scored two goals to beat us. And that’s about all I have to say about that.

Saturday, we left for TCU, which was about a 5 hour bus ride from Ruston. When we got in, we went to practice on their field. They have a GORGEOUS facility! A HUGE field with what looked like a practice field next to it, and soccer specific locker rooms and training rooms. The grass was super short, which made it a very fast field as well. We did some finishing drills and some position work, and then went back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. We went to SouperSalad, which was really good! We cleaned out all of their mac and cheese, and all of their soft serve toppings! After dinner we had a little team meeting where people got to know each other. Did you know that Kelsi Brown is part Norwegian? And Carli Rheman can ride a unicycle? Or that Cat has a cat named Cat? Yeah, me neither.

Sunday, we played TCU at 1 pm. We got off to a little bit of a slow start and got scored on about 4 minutes into the game. After we had settled down, we were creating some good chances against them! TCU is a good team, and we were sticking with them in the first half. We also got some great looks in the second half, with Kirby Zak hitting the crossbar from about 40 yards out (so close!) and Adriana Vasquez getting in behind their defense and almost scoring. I think we were a little tired though, and we gave up 5 goals in the second half. I know 6-0 is an awful score line, but as crazy as this sounds, we played much better than we had Friday night. We were moving the ball a lot quicker, and moving around for each other more.

We have a lot to work on in practice next week, but good things to build on too. We can’t wait for our home opener, and we hope that everyone can make it out! Friday night we play UNT at 7 pm at Pritchett! Come out and support us!

-- Jenny Pence
Senior Keeper

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jenny's Journal: Opening weekend out of the way

Hey Bearkat fans! Its Jenny Pence here, goalkeeper and captain of the soccer team. Once a week, I’ll be giving you updates on our games the previous weekend and on our team as a whole. So get excited, because this is only post No. 1. I know you can barely contain yourself.

First of all, preseason is finally over! It was a long couple of weeks, with a lot of soccer. We ran fitness tests, played small sided games and talked about tactical defense/offense/everything else. And that was just Day 1. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but we covered A TON of stuff over those two weeks. We have eight new freshmen in, and they seem to have adjusted really well. It’s a weird feeling when I stop and think that this will be my LAST preseason. I, along with four other players: Kelley Sikinger, Nicole Watkins, Adriana Vasquez, and Alex Clifton, will be graduating after this season. But, I won’t get too sentimental yet. I’ll save that for later in the year.

We started off our 2010 campaign against HBU, a team that we have historically played down to. I always seem to come off the field wishing something had gone differently, and Friday night’s game was no exception. It was our first game together as a new team, and we are playing 10 freshmen and sophomores, so maybe the nerves got the best of us. We had a bunch of scoring opportunities, and freshman center forward Emily Edenstrom was creating some good chances for herself and others, but we couldn’t find the net. With 5 seconds left in the game (yep, you read that right), HBU snuck one past me in the side netting, and we lost 1-0. Although we were frustrated, it was definitely a lesson learned.

The Sunday game against the University of Houston was a different story. We got to play under the lights at Robertson Stadium, where the Houston Dynamo play, so that was a really cool experience. Before the game, we were in the locker room where the Chicago Fire (another MLS team) had stayed the night before. I think Houston’s plan was to smoke us out, because it felt about 90 degrees in that locker room. I think they let their cleaning crew off for the night too, because it smelled like the Fire had just left: stinky guys, with a hint of dirty socks and a little bit of dirty bathroom. Mmm, mmm, good. We had large fans to cool us off, and Kirby Zak, our sophomore center mid, decided to make a game of it. She had brought a large bag of popcorn, and would throw a piece towards the fan. After it was blown back, Natalie Johnson and Gayle Ziegler were trying to catch it in their mouths. I don’t think they ever caught one. Maybe I missed it though.

Anyways, back to the game. We played REALLY well against UofH. We were moving the ball well, and Kelsi Brown, Kirby Zak and Tricia Mallory were doing a good job controlling the midfield. Our back line is brand new and is just starting to play together, so we are still working the kinks out, but they did a good job considering. The outside forwards were doing an awesome job of moving up and down the flanks on offense and defense. We also got almost every single player some minutes, so that was really good. It’s nice to know that we have capable subs coming into the game. We ended up losing 1-0, but our goal was to play better than we did Friday night, so we didn’t feel too bad about it. Our record doesn’t show it, but I think we made some really good progress towards our ultimate goal of winning the conference tournament and advancing to the NCAA’s. Yep, SHSU as the conference champions.

What’s that you say? You don’t think we can do it? Just watch.

Have a great week everyone, and a great first week of classes! Talk to you next week!

-- Jenny Pence
SHSU senior keeper

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Thompson wins STPGA Senior Professional Championship

From the Huntsville Item

Former Sam Houston golfer Robert Thompson broke open a close final round at the 2010 Southern Texas PGA Senior Professional Championship thanks to three consecutive birdies and a hole-out from the fairway for eagle on the 15th hole Tuesday.

Thompson, a six-time Southern Texas PGA Professional Champion who works at Whispering Pines Golf Club near Trinity, won the Senior Professional Championship by four strokes over runner-up Troy Schleicher (68-72 — 140) of Swanson Golf Center in Houston.

Thompson’s impressive six-hole stetch at The Hills Country Club’s Signature Course helped him post a 5-under par 67 Tuesday, and complete a 36-hole total of 8-under par 136.

Steve Parker, a PGA Life Member, finished alone in third place with a final-round 70, and a 141 total.

In addition to winning the STPGA Senior Professional Championship and the $1,100 first place check, Thompson and seven other PGA Professionals from the Southern Texas Section advanced to the PGA Senior National Professional Championship.

The STPGA Senior Professional Championship served as the qualifier for the Senior PNC for the Southern Texas Section. Dave Findley of Redstone Golf Club in Houston won the Veteran’s Division for players age 70 and over.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Martin continuing solid season in Triple-A

The Minnesota Twins are having a championship caliber season this year, so Dustin Martin may not get the call to the bigs this season. But the former Sam Houston State outfielder continues to impress everyone with his play at Rochester, a AAA affiliate of the Twins.

Here is a write up from a game over the weekend:

Right fielder Dustin Martin drifted back to the warning track in right field and, with a vertical leap worthy of the NBA, reached over the fence to steal a home run from Rich Thompson in the fifth inning.

"It was definitely one of those plays an outfielder thinks of," Martin said.

It's also one that becomes second nature at this point of a career. Martin said that while in college at Sam Houston State University, the outfielders did daily plays-at-the-fence drills.

Martin also threw out Mayberry at the plate to complete a double play in the seventh inning. At the plate, Martin produced as well, going 2-for-4 with two runs.

Martin is hitting .262 this season with a team leading seven triples, 64 runs and 60 RBI. He is third on the team in homers with 10.

Other Bearkats in the minors:

Robert Manuel, who pitched for the Kats in 2004, is currently 6-2 for the Pawtucket Red Sox, a AAA affiliate of Boston.

Manuel leads the team with a 1.44 ERA and has a team best WHIP of 0.92. He is second on the club in saves with 10.

Manuel has been called up twice to the Red Sox this year, making five appearances.

Ryan Teperra, a pitcher on the Kats championship team in 2009, is currently 9-6 at Class-A Lansing, an affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Teperra has the second-best ERA on the team among starters (3.97) and is second on the team in strikeouts. His last outing on Aug. 8, Teperra left the game early with and injury and is currently on the DL.

Dallas Gallant has made two appearances for Elizabethton and sports a 1-0 record. He was a winner in his debut. He second outing he worked 2 2/3 innings allowing a run while striking out four. Gallant was a 23rd round selection by the Minnesota Twins this past June.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Gallant wins in pro debut

Dallas Gallant made his professional debut last night for the Elizabethton Twins, and promptly picked up his first win as a pro. Gallant worked the final two innings of the game for the Twins.

He allowed just one hit and struck out two batters (the first two he faced, BTW). Thanks to a four-run bottom of the ninth, including a three-run walk-off homer, the Twins made Gallant a winner in his debut.

Gallant signed his deal with the Twins last week, earning a reported $122,500 signing bonus. Elizabethton is the Class A Rookie affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.

First week of volleyball practice is in the books

Greetings Bearkat volleyball fans!

We are well on our way to another great season of volleyball here in the Johnson Coliseum. We are wrapping up our first week of practice, and the intensity has been high and the girls are very energetic and ready to learn. We have had a couple nagging injuries, but for the most part we have been healthy, and that is a GREAT thing.

We gave the girls the afternoon off yesterday from on the court practice, after getting after it twice a day 3 days straight and again yesterday morning. They took full advantage of the time off by giving their partner ball massages, stretching, listening to Coach Gray read a motivational book. Today we will work on some eye sequencing with blocking, more ball control, and putting it all together with 6 on 6 drills and transition work on and off the net - defense to offense.

We will have a closed scrimmage tomorrow morning to see exactly where we are at and some position battles - as the media likes to say will (and already have) emerged. We will give you an update on how the scrimmage went, and update you again next week - have a great day - EAT 'EM UP KATS!!!

-Assistant Coach Joe Lind

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Training going well

I am in early on Wednesday morning getting ready for our first session of the day and thought I would catch you up on our first several days of preseason training. Friday was spent fitness testing to see where our players were as they entered training camp. Lots of players recorded personal records in our various tests. We already had a very fast team but six of our incoming freshman were in the top 10 in the "flying 40" test.

Lots of time has been spent on technical skill training. The level of the team is higher than we have ever had so I have been very pleased. Each training session has been focused around a theme, such as counter-attacking or switching the point of attack. Each "theme" will make up an important part of how we play this year. Last night, the team reported to evening practice at different times so that I could explain in depth to each group their roles and responsibilities in our attack. It was a good session with the team showing a good understanding of how they fit into the system of play.

This morning we will focus on keeping possession of the ball. The time we have spent on our technical skills will be put to test as the games become very competitive. We will finish with a soccer related activity that will help improve the speed endurance of our team. This afternoon will be about recovery from the last two days. The team will have a short pool workout, work on tired muscles with the foam rollers, and do some flexibility training with our new trainer Karly.

I will remind you again to follow our Facebook page. We have been uploading pictures from training and keeping everyone up-to-date on our progress this spring. Congratulations to Jenny Pence and Kirby Zak for being named to the Preseason All-Southland Confernce Team. This is the first time that two players have appeared on this team. The preseason coaches' poll picked the team to finish fourth, which again, is the first time to be picked that high.

The team opens the season on Friday, August 20 at 7:00 PM versus Houston Baptist. We hope you will make the short trip down to Houston to see the opening of the 2010 season.

-- Tom Brown
SHSU head soccer coach

Monday, August 9, 2010

Hooten: Wrapping up the summer

July recruiting period is over and we saw a lot of kids for the 2011 and 2012 classes. If all goes well we will only need to sign 3 in the 2011 class. My assistants did a great job of putting me in the right places to see the right kids this July.

Since the last time we talked there has also been a new addition to our coaching staff. Will Weaver from the University of Texas has joined the Bearkats. I am very excited to have Will on board. He brings a lot of versatility in many different areas to the program. Will can help me on a lot of different fronts, and I am looking forward to watching him grow as a recruiter and coach.

Our roster is pretty much set. I know a lot of you had a bunch of questions throughout the spring and summer months. Unfortunately due to NCAA rules and other reasons, there wasn't too much that I could say at the time. We have filled all 13 scholarships and have five walk-ons for a total of 18 players.

Only changes from last year will be Marco Cooper not returning. Marco, his family, and myself decided that it was best for Marco academically and athletically to have a change of scenery. At this time Marco has signed a scholarship to attend Our Lady of The Lake an NAIA school in San Antonio, Texas. Marco will do really well there and we wish him nothing but the best.

We really have two new additions since the last time we spoke, Marcus James from Seward County CC in Liberal, Kansas, and Konner Tucker a transfer from Wake Forest. Marcus, we actually signed a while back but due to some summer school stuff elected not to officially put it out in the media yet.

Marcus is a long 6-foot-7 forward that can really defend and rebound. Offensively he will be a lot like Preston in that his best is yet to come. He will step out and really expand his game the next two seasons. We're excited to have Marcus's toughness and athleticism. Marcus has also been well coached and knows what it takes to be successful and WIN!

Konner on the other hand, will have to sit out 2010-11 season due to transfer rules. Konner played his freshman season at Lon Morris before signing with Coach Gillespie at Kentucky. After Gillespie was fired, Konner decided to be re-recruited and ended up at Wake Forest. He left last Christmas and sat out the spring semester at home. Konner has really gotten bigger and stronger, and is a lot heavier than the 175 listed, lol. A really good player who can flat out SCORE! Actually can play 3 different positions and we had to beat a couple of really good schools to land Konner.

As for me, it has been a whirlwind. Everything from finishing our schedule to the simplest things like arranging our offices, paper work, academic assignments, ordering new uniforms, and the list goes on and on. I am really looking forward to getting on the floor and working with the guys. I know it will be here before you know it.

In my small amount of spare time, I have done a lot with my wife and 2 small children. Of course I have found time to watch my Texas Rangers. I will be there this week to watch them play the Yankees, 10th and 11th. If I remember correctly in one of my first articles, I told you all that the Rangers would win the pennant and make a run at the World Series. It looks like my prediction may stand up!!!! What I would do to have the Rangers and the Braves in the World Series.

Let's all get ready to support the Fall sports and come out to watch the BEARKATS. This is a good year to get back on the Commissioner’s Cup train. Come see us anytime, will start working out on August 30th with weights, conditioning, and individual workouts. October 16th will be here before you know it. Still need to find 2 more games to finish up our schedule. It's going to be a pretty tough one, but one that I feel will prepare us for SLC play. Take care.

--Jason Hooten
Men’s basketball head coach

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

McCown lands in the UFL

Former Sam Houston State quarterback Josh McCown will get a chance to be a starting quarerback again. He announced his signing with the Hartford Colonials of the UFL. McCown played one season for the Bearkats in 2001, leading the team to a Southland Conference championship and a trip to the quarterfinals of the I-AA playoffs.

The following is the story from the Hartford Courant

The Hartford Courant

EAST HARTFORD — Josh McCown, potentially the starting quarterback and face of the franchise, was introduced as the newest member of the Hartford Colonials Tuesday at Rentschler Field.

McCown, 31, has played for four NFL teams in eight years. He joins quarterbacks Ryan Perrilloux and Andre Woodson on the roster. The three will compete for playing time in training camp beginning Aug. 18 at Sage Park in Berlin.

"I wanted to have a young quarterback I could develop and try to help along [Perrilloux], I wanted a guy two or three years out who had some experience in the NFL [Woodson], and I definitely wanted a veteran quarterback," coach Chris Palmer said. "As I studied the league during the spring, the teams that were most successful had quarterbacks who were experienced guys who had played in the National Football League for an extended period of time and had a lot of starts under their belts."

McCown, selected by the Cardinals out of Sam Houston State in the third round of the 2002 NFL draft, spent four seasons in Arizona, posting career highs of 2,511 yards and 11 touchdown passes in 14 games in 2004. He shared quarterback duties with Daunte Culpepper under Lane Kiffin with the Raiders in 2007 and spent the last two seasons as a backup in Carolina.

"Could I bounce around and continue to be a No.2 or 3 or something like that? Maybe," McCown said. "But more important to me was a chance to come and play and to continue to play at a high level and really increase my ability as a quarterback, to be productive and to get better."

McCown would like to play his way back into the NFL and will be free to sign with any team after the UFL season. The Colonials open their eight-game season Sept. 18 at Rentschler Field against Culpepper and the Sacramento Monarchs.

In addition, McCown announced his support for the Boys & Girls Club of Hartford by agreeing to donate $10,000 to the club. He was to present a check later Tuesday at the club located at 170 Sigourney St.

Soccer training camp right around the corner

Training camp is almost here! The team will arrive on Friday and spend the day going through physical testing so we can see where the fitness component of the team is. This weekend, the team will be holding two training sessions each day. Morning sessions will begin at 8:30 AM and the evening session will start at 6:30 PM. These sessions will be held on upper Prichett Field due to the laying of new sod in worn spots on the lower field. All sessions are open to the public and we would encourage you to get an early look at this year's team.

You can also keep up to date on the happenings of the team on our new Facebook page. Just search for SHSU Soccer and then follow the team as we begin our 2010 campaign.

Go Bearkats!

-- Tom Brown
Head Women's Soccer Coach