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