Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Former Kat golfer wins Texas State Open

By Brad Meyer
The Courier of Montgomery County

Robert Gwin, 26, of Montgomery, took top honors in the 40th annual Chesapeake Energy Texas State Open golf tournament Thursday through Sunday in Tyler. He came from four strokes down in the final round to win the tournament on the final hole.

“I was playing steady throughout the tournament,” Gwin said. “I just focused on my play and tried not to get ahead of myself.”

Gwin, who played college golf at Sam Houston State University, shot solid golf all week, turning in rounds of 66, 65, 68 and 66 for a combined score of 265. He made six birdies and two bogeys during the final round to take the TSO championship and a $26,000 payday.

“I was dead even with Bobby Massa, of Grand Prairie, going into the last hole,” Gwin said. “I shot par on the 72nd hole and he bogeyed it, so I avoided a sudden-death playoff.”

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The ESPY awards

I finally got a chance to sit and watch the ESPY awards last night on ESPN. As always they did a good job mixing the awards and jokes with some of the serious topics like the job the Jimmy V Foundation is doing for cancer research.

Another of the awards given out every year at the ESPY’s is the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. This year’s recipient was Ed Thomas, a high school coach in Iowa who was killed by a former player.

I had read the stories about Thomas, but didn’t have a full understanding for what he meant to that community until I watched the interviews with everyone involved last night. ESPN did a great job of capturing one part of a very difficult series of events that two families and a small town have had to deal with.

After watching I think I gained a greater appreciation for the fact that former Bearkat football coach Ron Randleman was named the first recipient of the Ed Thomas Award at William Penn University. Randleman was the head coach at William Penn while Thomas played quarterback there.

The award Randleman received was inscribed "For his inspiration and motivation as a coach based on the principles of faith, family and excellence."

"That truly describes Ed Thomas," Randleman said. "Ed was one of Parkersburg and Iowa's most beloved citizens. It was a privilege being part of a ceremony honoring his contributions to football and education."

-- Jason Barfield
Media Services

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Top games of 2009-10

We are about to countdown the top games and moments of the last year in Bearkat athletics and need your help.

Leave a comment and let us know what game you think should be on the list. Include your name and why you think that particular game is one of the best of the last year. The top responses will be included with the stories in the countdown.

This will be our last look back before the Bearkats begin another great year at Sam Houston State.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Manuel getting his chance in the show

Robert Manuel got his second call up to the big leagues, and he got to pitch this time. The former Bearkat pitcher was recalled to Boston earlier this month and has seen some time for the Red Sox out of the bullpen.

Since being called up on July 2, Manuel has pitched well for Boston. Through Saturday, the former Bearkat has made four appearances, allowing three runs in 4 1/3 innings.

“We think he deserves to be here,” Boston manager Terry Francona said. “He was pitching great. Righties were hitting something silly off him down there. We’d like to give him a chance to pitch and see how he does.”

In his first outing on July 3, Manuel, who inherited a 9-1 lead in the ninth against the Baltimore Orioles, allowed a pair of runs to cross home plate before coaxing Julio Lugo to pop out to shallow center field to end the game.

Manuel’s next two appearances went a little smoother as he held Tampa Bay scoreless through 1 1/3 innings.

Most recently, Manuel, pitching with a 14-2 lead, allowed just one run to score in a pair of middle relief innings against Toronto on Friday to earn his third hold in four attempts.

Manuel was called up to Boston in June and spent just three days in the show before getting sent back down without ever appearing in a game. On July 1, he was named a Triple-A All-Star playing for the Pawtucket PawSox of the International League. He would have played with former Bearkat Dustin Martin who was named an All-Star playing for the Rochester Red Wings of the Twins organization.
This is Manuel’s third stint in the big leagues. Last season, Manuel made his major league debut on his birthday and ended up pitching 4 1/3 scoreless innings in three appearances for the Cincinnati Reds.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Former Kat lands head coaching gig

By Mike Forman
The Victoria Advocate

Lauren Janak will be speaking from experience when she talks about the state tennis tournament.

Janak made two appearances at the state tournament as a player and she hopes to return after being named the head tennis coach at Victoria West. Janak's hiring was approved by a unanimous 6-0 vote of the Victoria school board of trustees at a special-called meeting on Friday.

"It's exciting coming to a new high school," Janak said by phone from Baton Rouge, La. "I think I'm ready to build a new team."

Janak, 24, is a 2003 graduate of El Campo High School where she won two regional doubles titles and advanced to the state tournament.

She was a junior college All-American at Lee College in Baytown before lettering for two years at Sam Houston State University. Janak worked as an assistant coach at Sam Houston State while earning her master's degree. She has been an assistant tennis coach at Groesbeck High School for the past two years.

"I've had great experiences working with coaches and I learned a lot from them," Janak said.

Janak is anxious to meet her players and start preparing for the team tennis season.

"I think teamwork is a majority of it," Janak said. "It's what you can do all together."

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Brown: ready to get training started

In about one month, the team will be reporting to training camp. We start training on the afternoon of August 6. During the first couple of days, we will be doing fitness testing to measure the incoming fitness of our players. The team will measure a couple of explosive strength tests in the weight room, a "flying" 40 yard sprint, body fat, and the Yo-Yo Intermittent Endurance Test.

These tests help me to determine the workload in upcoming training sessions and spot potential injury problems for players who score low in one of the tests. It also allows our players to show us what fitness improvements they have made with the summer conditioning program.

We will have a couple of days of two-a-day training and then get into a two-a-day followed by a one-a-day pattern. For me, it is about quality training and not quantity training. Therefore, it is important that our players show up in shape and not plan on using pre-season training to get fit.

Our athletic trainers work long hours to make sure that our players are ready for the next session. Each session is followed up with mandatory ice baths and hydration levels of each team member are monitored. All of that is on top of dealing with the blisters, muscle strains and bruises that accompany pre-season training. Other recovery methods are built into our pre-season schedule to help make sure that our players are ready to get the best from their training.

Four of our incoming freshman, Kelsi Brown, Natalie Johnson, Tricia Mallory and Carly Rheman recently competed at the USYSA Region 3 Championships. Their team, Challenge 92, won their preliminary group and a quarter-final game before falling in the semifinals 3-2. Although they fell short of their goal of advancing to the National Final Four, they had a great season and we are looking forward to their contributions to our team in this upcoming year.

Speaking of semifinals, I am looking forward to watching the World Cup semifinals this week. There have been so many surprises in the competition this year! Although my two favorite teams, the USA and England, are out, I have been excited to watch every game. I might have to root for the team in Bearkat Orange!!!

Go Bearkats!

-- Tom Brown
Head Women's Soccer Coach