Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bearkat minor league baseball update

A pair of former Bearkat baseball players are off to great starts this season at the AAA level. Dustin Martin who finished his career at SHSU in 2006 is currently playing for the Rochester Red Wings in the Minnesota Twins organization. Robert Manuel, who was an SHSU pitcher in 2005, is playing at Pawtucket in the Boston Red Sox organization. Another former Kat, Ryan Tepera is 2-0 at the Class A level.

Martin is currently hitting .298 for the Red Wings, and leads the team in home runs (3), RBI (11) and stolen bases (2). He is second on the team in runs (11).

Last week, Martin was named the Red Wings player of the week.

At Pawtucket, Manuel has been dominant on the mound. In eight appearances this season, he has yet to allow a run. The right handed pitcher has worked 12 innings this season and has a 2-0 record and a save, all in relief. He has struck out 10 batters while allowing just one walk and seven hits. Opposing batters are hitting just .167 against him.

The two former Kats faced off against each other on April 18. Manuel entered the game in the fourth inning and Martin singled off his former teammate. Martin later homered in the game off a different pitcher, but Manuel picked up the victory.

You can read more about Manuel on the PawSox blog.

One other former Bearkat is also off to a good start. Ryan Tepera is currently 2-0, playing for the Lansing Lugnuts, a Class-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. He picked up his second win of the season last night, tossing 5.1 innings without allowing an earned run.

Tepera currently has a 3.98 ERA in four starts this season. In his second start of the year, threw seven scoreless innings of three-hit ball to pick up the win.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Chris Andreas homer from Sunday

Here is the blast Chris Andreas hit on Sunday against Nicholls. It is one of the farthest home runs I have seen at this stadium and I have only missed a handful of games here in the last five years.

Volleyball set to wrap up busy spring

Hello Bearkat Volleyball fanatics!

We have been quite busy this spring with training, fundraising, recruiting, scheduling and all the normality and craziness that is involved in any sports program, so we apologize for the delay in blog posts, as we always want to keep the fans involved!

Here's a recap of what we have been up to lately:

Spring Competitions - we played two home tournament/single match events in March, playing local junior colleges from around the area. We were a little sluggish in the first four-team tournament, splitting with Lee, Blinn and San Jac, while beating Paris 2-0. When Blinn came up to Huntsville on March 31, we ended up losing in five sets, 12-15 in the fifth, they are quite the squad with great athletes going to some top 25 programs, but we should have found a way to win. Playing with some people out of position and players recovering from injury this spring isn't an excuse, we need to execute.

We played at the University of Houston on April 7, and won in a sloppy, but needed 3-1 match. We improved from our previous dates of competition, and saw some good things out of our new kids. Overall, we still needed to cut down on the errors. We finished our fourth date of competition on April 10th at Texas A&M in their practice court, which was about the same size as Lamar's regular playing gym, but very nice. We ended up taking one set from them, but could have won two more, losing 1-4. It was good to see where we stack up against the Aggies, considering they made it to the NCAA Sweet 16 last year -- we can play with any team that we want to -- but must find a way to really 'dial in' and focus when we are in the last 5-7 points of a set and find a way to victory. That being said, it was an overall good day for the team.

We are finishing up with individual practices this week to end our spring.

Fundraisers - We always have various fundraisers throughout the year to help the program raise money. We sold roses on Valentine's day, and sold out in just our pre-order sales. It was the first time in the 7 year history, pretty impressive! Two weekends ago, our third annual golf tournament was another record setting success, and you can read a more detailed recap on the official site, but we had 13 teams of four golfers, more than 50 hole sponsors, and raised more money for the program than the past two years!

Recruiting - we signed two great young ladies when the spring signing period started on April 14th, Lakeshia Craft, a 6'0" Middle Blocker junior transfer from Blinn (Junior) College, and Tarona Williams, a 5'11" Middle Blocker senior from Hightower HS (just southwest of Houston). Lakeshia we have targeted for awhile, and has been committed for a few months, will help us tremendously in the middle right away, gaining valuable experience playing for the 2008 NJCAA National Champions. Tarona was a late find for us, but what a gem she will be in the classroom and on the court - she has a high ceiling, and we can't wait to get her in the gym and training with us! Both of these young ladies will enroll for the summer II session in July to take a class and be able to work out with our strength and conditioning coach to get ready for the fall.

Last night we had the SHSU All Sports banquet which awards all sports, coaches, trainers, managers and the staff associated with everything that we all do. Our team had many honors, including our team MVP, Senior Middle Blocker Anna Ferguson. Outside Hitter Carli Kolbe was named the SH Award winner, which goes to the top sophomore female athlete in the entire athletic program. Anna Ferguson was also named the top female student athlete of the SHSU athletic program. She spoke well, and it was a great night for our volleyball program!

Hope y'all are doing well, and glad you are reading!!

-- Joe Lind
Assistant volleyball coach

Monday, April 26, 2010

Soccer wraps up spring practice

Soccer has finished up for the spring season and is now going through individual meetings and fitness testing. This year's spring season was focused on improving technical skills under the pressure of time and space. As we continue to upgrade our schedule, it is important for our players to be able to play more quickly and cleanly. This next year's schedule will feature home games against Baylor and North Texas as well as an away game in Fort Worth against TCU. It is important in these games, as well as in our Southland Conference schedule, that we are able to play and move quicker because of the speed of play.

Coach Neal has done another outstanding job with improving the strength of our players. Although most of our fitness testing will be done this week, one important statistic is that our team averaged more than a .2 second drop in their 40 yard dash. This is a very positive change for a team that already had quite a bit of speed. The strength training combined with our functional speed training will help us as we move into next season. Coach Neal has said repeatedly that this has been the best spring in the weight room for women's soccer. By recruiting soccer players who are better athletes and keeping past players who are willing to work hard in our system, we feel this hard working culture will help us be successful in the future.

For the 2010 season, we will return 13 of the 16 players who started games this past season. We also return 3 of the top 4 goal scorers from last season. All 3 players who earned all-conference honors return also. One player who will be missed will be freshman Shelby Grissett. She scored 7 goals last season, including the game winner in the conference playoff victory, despite missing 9 games due to a concussion. Due to her history of concussions, it was felt best if she stopped playing. We will miss Shelby and wish her the best! The team will have to work hard to replace those goals next season.

After just two seasons and one recruiting class the team has been able to post the first winning season, the highest finish in the Southland Conference regular season, and the most shutouts in one season. We hope with the addition of our second recruiting class this August, the team will be primed to reach even more heights next year. Please come out and catch us when the Bearkats play their home opener against the University of North Texas on September 3.

-- Tom Brown
Head soccer coach

Friday, April 23, 2010

Six months until the Battle of the Piney Woods

We have the auction tonight and the Orange-White game on Saturday, so football is on the mind right now. It is never too early to start looking ahead to football season in the fall and today seems like the perfect day to do that.

Today marks six months from the Battle of the Piney Woods making the move to Reliant Stadium. The annual SHSU-SFA rivalry will begin a four-year partnership to play the game in Houston on October 23. If you are a season ticket holder, that game is part of your season ticket package.

We are not going to limit you to just your season ticket amount, however. Hopefully you will take some friends with you to the game in Houston. Just let us know how many more tickets you want for that game and we will make it happen for you. We want to see as much orange in Reliant as possible.

If you are not a season ticket holder, but are still planning on making it out to the game, don’t wait to buy tickets. They are on sale right now in the Bearkat Ticket office here at the Mafrige Field house or by going online and purchasing your tickets.

This is going to be an exciting event and it will be here before you know it. Don’t wait. Make sure you get all the tickets you want and get them together by purchasing now.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Looking forward to a great auction

We are getting things wrapped up with Spring Football coming to a close on Saturday for the Orange White game. The night before is going to be our annual auction, and I am excited about the items we have up for bid this year.
Some of the highlights include hunting trips, fishing trips and a couple of very nice dinners. Some of the stuff I am most excited about is the autographed items we are going to have up for bid.

I have had these things in my office the last few weeks and it has looked like a museum in here. We have some great stuff here that I would be real tempted to buy myself.

A few of my favorites are the jerseys. We have a signed jersey from Earl Campbell, Drew Brees, Gayle Sayers and maybe my favorite, a jersey combo of LaDanian Tomlinson with a signed TCU and Chargers jersey.

If you are a fan of the college game, then we have the piece for you. We will have a football up for auction that is signed by 17 Heisman Trophy winners included Mark Ingram, the 2009 winner. This one will be a hard one to let leave my office, I can tell you that.

In addition to all the great items up for bid, I would love to just have everyone come out to the dinner so I can get a chance to meet you. That has been one of the best things since starting this new job is getting to meet all the fantastic Sam Houston State football fans out there.

So come on out and please come by and say hi.

-- Willie Fritz
Head Football Coach

Soccer signees pick up postseason honors

After successful high school careers, several players we signed to join next season's soccer team have been recognized for their play on the field.

Defender Carly Rheman, from Katy H.S. and midfielder Kelsi Brown, from Atascocita H.S. were named First Team All-Greater Houston by the Houston Chronicle today. Rheman, who has been one of the area's top defenders the last three years, was also named District 17-5A Defensive Player of the Year. Brown, who scored 39 goals and had 10 assists this season, was the District 19-5A Most Valuable Player.

After helping The Woodlands to the 5A State Championship, goalkeeper Mallory Garthwaite and defender Natalie Johnson were both named to the District 14-5A All-District First Team. Midfielder Tricia Mallory, of Klein H.S., was also named First Team All-District in District 13-5A.

-- Tom Brown
SHSU soccer coach

First few weeks going well

The first few weeks on the job have been unbelievable. I have been doing everything from radio/TV/newspaper interviews, to individual skill workouts for the guys, or trying to find a couple of good assistant coaches.

I finally got moved into Coach Marlin's office and it sure is nice to have new furniture and my own space. Feels like I can get so much more done now, or it may be because I got so much more to do, lol. You really start to appreciate how valuable you were as a head assistant when you now are doing the head coaches job and the assistants’ job.

It has really been a lot of fun and I haven't been able to let it soak in due to Neil leaving and I have no help. I'm BUSY! Recruiting is going really good. Can't comment much on that but I feel good about where we are. Have a couple of really good assistants in mind and I think they will be tremendous when that time comes.

We had our first team meeting with all the guys and it was really positive. Then I brought each one in individually and that was productive as well. Our goal is to finish the semester strong in the classroom and in the weight room. Emphasizing CLASSROOM.

Josten and Lance will graduate after the first summer session and walk in August. Corey will finish in August, and Arthur graduates in May. Preston will finish next fall due to heavy lab work load. He will then go to PT school for a couple of more years. Ashton has officially signed with an agent out of Houston and he is very happy. Corey will sign with his high school AAU coach who now is partners with another guy.

The Rangers are playing really well even though the record isn’t really showing it. Lost several in the 8th or 9th inning so we could be much better. I'm feeling a PENNANT in Arlington!

-- Jason Hooten
Head Basketball Coach

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

First bowling signee has strong senior year

Sam Houston States inaugural bowling signee Kimi Davidson has made a strong finish to her high school career and is looking to have a very promising summer as she travels to some of the largest youth national tournaments in the country.

Despite mid-season injuries Kimi concluded her high school career on a very positive note by bouncing back and winning the Fort Worth-South-Regional High School Individual Championship as well as played a key contributor to her teams success in qualifying for states for Azle High School.

Kimi had a strong appearance at States held at Bandera Bowl in San Antonio where she qualified for the semifinals as the 11th-seed overall, finished with a top ten finish and concluded her 2009-2010 high school bowling season with one of the top 20 averages in the state of Texas.

There's no doubt in my mind that Kimi's level head, willingness to learn and excel will be a very key contributing asset to this teams success next season.

-- Brad Hagen
SHSU head bowling coach

Monday, April 12, 2010

State championships for three future Kats

Three incoming freshmen will bring state championships with them when they report to training camp in August. The Woodlands won the 5A state soccer championship with a 3-2 score. Mallory Garthwaite started in goal and Natalie Johnson started in defense. Last year, The Woodlands lost in the championship game.

Gayle Ziegler won her second consecutive 4A State Championship with a 3-0 win. Ziegler started as a left midfielder for Richardson Pierce.

-- Tom Brown
Head Women's Soccer Coach

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Future Kats on verge on championship

Three incoming freshmen have powered their high school teams into the state soccer tournament this weekend in Georgetown.

Goalkeeper Mallory Garthwaite and defender Natalie Johnson helped The Woodlands to a 2-1 win over Westwood High School. The 5A semifinals will begin on Thursday.

Defender Gayle Ziegler helped lead Richardson Pearce to a 1-0 win over Longview. The 4A semifinals will begin on Friday. Good luck to them!

Go BearKats!
-- Tom Brown
Head Women's Soccer Coach

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hooten: A little more about me

I just wanted to catch you up on who I am and where I’m from. I was born and raised in the Central Texas city of Killeen. Killeen is known for neighboring the largest army base in the world, Ft. Hood. Although my life consisted of military friends and nights of lying in bed listening to bombs going off, my family was/is not military.

I come from a very athletic family. My father played baseball for 1 semester at Sam Houston State, and then transferred to Tarleton State to play baseball but only stayed there 1 semester. Now that I look back, it's kind of weird that he went to school at both places I’ve worked, just reverse order. He really didn't like college so he moved back home and ran my grandfather's Texaco gas station.

After meeting and marrying my mother, he went to work for a construction company for the next 30 years. Got to work around 5am every morning and off at 6pm for 30 years. Probably missed a hand full of days in 30-plus years and those were to come see me play ball! That's kind of who I am, get up no matter what every day and go punch the clock.

My uncle was a great pitcher at Blinn JC and then transferred to Rice where he had a tremendous career. Killeen, Texas was a rough and tough city. I was a good baseball player growing up and everyone just knew that this would be my ticket. Somewhere around my junior year in high school basketball started to become really important to me. Not sure if the years of constant baseball and expectations just got to be dull.

Basketball was exciting, fast paced, and something that no one expected me to excel in. My junior summer was the first time UIL would allow summer league basketball to take place. We went up to Waco, 1hr, once a week and played in a very competitive league. College coaches could attend the games and I will never forget the feeling I got knowing those guys were watching us play. I still believe to this day that the rush and excitement I got from that summer is what led me to continue playing basketball and enjoying recruiting as much as I do.

From there I had to choose between playing baseball or basketball in college. I obviously chose the basketball route and looking back it's the reason I am where I am today. I ended up at McLennan Community College and played for a tremendous coach named Ken DeWeese (he is now the Head Coach at Mary-Hardin Baylor who is on our schedule next season).

In my second year at MCC an assistant coach from Houston Baptist walked in the gym one day to come see a player they had put into MCC. That guy’s name was Bob Marlin. Isn't it weird how small of a world we live in. After my 2 years at MCC I transferred to, at the time a small NAIA school, Tarleton State University. Played on 2 championship teams and after a year of doing my student teaching/part-time assistant coaching at Weatherford JC for my former high school coach, I went back to Tarleton State as an assistant coach at the ripe age of 23.

In August of 1993 I signed my contract to be an assistant coach, teach four classes and be the head tennis coach, LOL, not even going to say for how much $. Oh and I almost forgot, my boss was not only the head basketball coach, but also the AD! I walked in that office the first day, he tossed me a phone card and a couple of scouting services and said we need to bring in 3 players, and you got about 2 weeks to do it. That's where it all got started!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Bearkat Elite adding extra incentive for football

Willie Fritz loves competition. He also loves teammates working together for one common goal. This fall that goal is a Southland Conference Championship. Right now that goal is pizza.

All semester, the Bearkat football players are participating in a weekly competition called Bearkat Elite and the prize at the end of the week is a pizza party.

“Just like everything in life there is a winner and a loser,” Fritz said after practice on Friday. “I like guys who are competitive on the field and off the field. I like them competing on the football field, the weight room, the classroom and compete to be a good person.”

Fritz said they broke into eight different teams, had a draft with eight players on each team. They compete for points on a variety of different competitions that range from class work to attendance at other sporting events on campus.

“They get positive points for things and they get negative points for things,” Fritz said. “The winners get a pizza party at the end of the week and the losers have some sort of punishment. We are competing and a lot of it involves peer pressure.

“They get points for study hall, sometimes I have guys go to a game and the team with the most guys there gets the most points,” he said. “Miss class you get a negative point. We check grade cards and the guys who have A’s and B’s get plus points and the guys who have C’s, D’s and F’s get minus points.”

A ring ceremony honoree

At the end of practice on Friday, Fritz called Michael Pittman to the front of the team and congratulated him on getting his ring from Sam Houston State and going through Thursday’s Ring Ceremony at Austin Hall. He told the team what a great event it was and urged more players to take part in it next year.

“I am a graduate of Sam Houston myself and that is a really neat deal that Dr. Gaertner started,” Fritz said. “I just wanted to make sure the guys hear those sort of things. That is the goal. I tell them all the time, ‘if you come here and play football for five years and don’t get your degree, you are really wasting your time.’”

Hooten: A wild couple of days

What a last couple of days, whew! This actually all started about 2 weeks ago when we came an eye lash away from beating No. 3-seed Baylor on national television.

The truth of the matter is the country could no longer say that Bob Marlin was the best kept coaching secret, it was out! My phone began to ring then, and has not stopped. Everyone knew that Coach Marlin’s time had come, and everyone felt that my time was coming.

I guess out of all the things that have happened the last couple of days, knowing that your friends, family, co-workers, and most importantly colleagues, were pulling for you to get this opportunity makes you feel even better.

This is a hard business and after years of blood, sweat, and tears, I have finally reached a huge step in my career. It is just the next chapter and something that I have been groomed for by two of the best coaches in the country, Lonn Reisman and Bob Marlin.

Both of these men taught me how to run a program and I will do my best to make them proud.

-- Jason Hooten
Head Basketball Coach

Baseball game today moved to 2 p.m.

With the threat of inclement weather in Natchitoches, La., today's baseball game with Northwestern State has been moved to 2 p.m.

The series finale between the Bearkats and Demons is still schedule for Saturday at 2 p.m.

The Bearkats fell in last night's game in 13 innings and will be looking to rebound today and even up the series.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Wiginton: A couple of big wins for softball

Hey there Bearkat fans. It has been a busy few weeks for your softball team. Many successful things have happened along with some hardship. We started off a little rough in our conference play. SFA and TX State got the wins in the series, but we fought back hard against Monmouth and UTSA and got the sweeps!

On another positive, we split with two nationally ranked teams. Against North Dakota State we had a rough opening game and lost, but the second game we won 2-1 in 10 innings. Then a couple weeks later we faced Baylor, and we won the first game 4-0. The second game was a hard fought game but resulted in a Baylor win.

We now start the second half of our conference race. The team is looking great and we are really coming together at the right time. Our practices have picked up and are becoming tougher, but at the same time better executed.

In addition to how all our team is doing as a whole, my teammate Morgan Mikulin was awarded with dual Southland Conference honors of Pitcher and Hitter or the week. I just wanted to send a congratulation to her. WAY TO GO MO!!!!

This Friday and Saturday we host McNeese at home, double header on Friday at 1 p.m. then on Saturday single and final game of the series at 1 p.m. Come out and support your Bearkats!!

-- Hailey Wiginton #2