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 cliché 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