Saturday, November 12, 2011

Root for fifth-year seniors

This is the biggest game, so far, in Sam Houston football history. With a likely win today, this year's group of Bearkats are the first to ever grab the undisputed Southland Conference title.

Sam Houston shared it in '91, '01 and '04. There won't be any sharing in '11. While Northwestern State is sure to be a respectable opponent, the Bearkats just have too many weapons.

Timothy Flanders usually runs for 100 yards on the ground and scores a couple of touchdowns at will. It shows in his 856 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns this season. Flanders also just so happens to lead the team in receiving yards with a touchdown through the air as well.

Of course we know about the multi-threat Richard Sincere, Torrance Williams' speed and the pleasant surprise of guys like running back Keyshawn Hill and wide receiver Keith Blanton.

We fully expect to see all of them give Northwestern's defense a fit today.

Don't forget the fact that Sam Houston's defense is in fact an offense, because they've picked off 18 passes for 235 yards and recovered 12 of their opponents' fumbles for 31 yards.

Just play archived videos of the offensive players telling us how easy the defense is making their job, with takeaways and the field position they've been given. They'll tell you about it.

But I've said all this to really say one thing: Root for the fifth-year seniors.

See, it's not always easy to recognize Travis Watson and Chris Crockett on the offensive line, even though you might recognize Eddie Decambre, Kash David and Randy Stewart making plays on the other side of the ball.

But these, you should know, are the fifth year seniors. They were here when Todd Whitten was the coach, toiling in obscurity in '08 and '09.

These players experienced losing more Southland Conference games than winning during that period.

Today's outright Southland Conference championship is sweetest for the players who have been here the most, if they win it, which they should.

"Really, '09 was a season I'd really like to forget," Crockett said in an interview last month. "You know, that was the year we lost Whitten, we didn't do well in Conference. It was just a bad year."

This is a good year, and today is a good day. We'll see a lot of young guys scoring touchdowns. The Bearkat quarterback Brian Bell doesn't look a day over 18.

Still, that's what we'll probably pay attention to because let's face it, it's easier. But somewhere within you, root for the fifth-year seniors. Seek out numbers 73, 57, 90, 47 and 5.

Today is five years in the making and the author knows because he too stepped on the SHSU campus for the first time as a student in 2007.

Eat 'em up Old Kats.

- Brandon K. Scott

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Time to move on

Most Bearkat fans know about the history of the Battle of the Piney Woods (it has been pretty well documented over the last two years on and the Bearkat football rivalry with Texas State. Both are historical, standing as the two longest running FCS rivalries in the state of Texas. Not many fans however understand that 25 years ago, the Lamar rivalry with the Bearkats was just as fierce – albeit mostly one sided toward the end.

The Bearkats and Cardinals have met 32 times since 1935 with the Kats holding a 22-9-1 record against the rivals from Beaumont. The series came to a screeching halt following the 1989 season when the Cardinals dropped football.  

During the Kats championship runs in the 80’s, the Bearkats won five straight from 1984-88. It is the last game in that run that anyone ever wants to talk about. Known as the “Game of the Black Roses” or the “Black Rose Bowl” or countless other names, the signature event of this rivalry stems from a very ugly moment in Sam Houston State football.

Following a 16-14 win at Bowers Stadium (then known as Bearkat Stadium) a Sam Houston fan presented Lamar head coach Ray Alborn a bouquet of black roses. That act led to an ugly brawl and is the lasting memory of Lamar football for many Bearkat fans.  

It has been 23 years since that incident and for the first time, the Cardinals will make a return to Bowers Stadium. Naturally the talk of the Black Roses is kicking up again.

Before we start romanticizing about the past, let’s take a look at what the Black Roses actually signified. When Bearkat Stadium opened in 1986, the Kats were dominant at home. They had won the first 13 games at the new stadium and had an overall win streak of 15 in Huntsville.

The Black Roses essentially marked the “death” of the dominance. The Kats lost a week later at home to arch rival SFA and then the following week to North Texas. In the final home game of the year, Southwest Texas took advantage of the Kats new found inferiority at home and clipped the Kats 10-3.

From the moment those black roses hit the turf, the Kats went nearly a year before posting a “W” at home. The ship was not righted however. The Kats went on to lose three of five at home in 1989, giving them a 2-6 record on their home turf following the Black Roses. Not to mention the five-game win streak over Lamar was snapped in 1989 as well, with a 41-0 thumping in Beaumont.

The win over Lamar in 1988 elevated the Bearkats record to 20-8 overall following the opening of the stadium. They won a conference championship in 1986 and posted an 8-3 record in 1987. The Kats started the 1988 season with a 3-2 record, dropping only road games to Boise State and Southwestern Louisiana (now Louisiana-Lafayette).

In the aftermath of the Black Rose Brawl, the Kats went on a tailspin. They lost the final six games of 1988 and the first three in 1989, finishing the year just 3-8. 1990 wasn’t much better, mustering only a 4-7 mark. While the first 28 games following the opening of the new stadium were nothing but successful, the 28 following the Black Roses were an exercise in futility. The Kats went just 7-21 over the same stretch to the end of the 1990 season.

While many Bearkat historians like to jubilantly talk about the 1988 game against Lamar as a badge of honor for the program, it actually was anything but. It truly marked a dark period for Bearkat football and one Sam Houston didn’t recover from easily.

I don’t think the Cubs have missed a return to the World Series because they refused to let a goat in the stadium in 1945. I don’t believe the Rex Sox suffered the massive World Series drought because of Babe Ruth. I don’t believe the Bearkats went on a two-and-a-half year slide because one fan took it upon himself to storm the field and present a visiting coach with a bouquet of spray-painted flowers.

But with the Kats sitting at 7-0 and No. 6 in the country, I’m not willing to take any chances. Leave the roses at home on Saturday and move on. The last thing this team needs right now is another ugly incident to mare what has been a thrilling resurgence for Bearkat football.

-- Jason Barfield

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hooten: New look 2011-12

It has been a long time since I have posted for you all to read. First and foremost, I would like to apologize for not keeping you all more up to date with the happenings of our program.  

If you haven’t been able to figure it out yet, I am not much on social networking. I don’t Tweet, and I check my Facebook about once a month if that. So from time to time I just forget to put something together for Jason Barfield, so please don’t be mad at him it’s not his fault.

A lot has taken place since the last time I posted.  Our first season was probably an overall success. I will always be my toughest critic, but I felt like coming in and taking over a team full of returners that were used to doing things a certain way ended up being pretty darn good.

We won 9 out of our last 12 and that’s always a sign of a pretty good team! We lost 3 very good student-athletes and they will be hard to replace in more than one way. BUT, I will try and make this the last time I speak about what we’ve lost and try to concentrate on what we have coming in. It’s not fair to our young guys and returners to compare them all year long to Clavell, Crow and Pevehouse. Just like it wasn’t fair to those guys getting compared to Ashton and Corey all year long.

I have heard a lot of you had questions about why so many of the guys besides those 3 are not returning this season. I am a person that tells it how it is, and will not sugar-coat or hop around a question. If you have not seen our roster yet, we return 6 players from last year’s team: Two walk-ons (Cameron Sadler, Wes Fritz), Konner Tucker who was sitting out last season and Antuan Bootle, Aaron Thompson and Marcus James. That is approximately 11.5 ppg and 12.3 rpg. Again, we are more focused on what we have back than what we have lost.

This will also be the last time I discuss another topic. Off last year’s team, we have 5 young men that are not returning. Two of them were staff-coaches decision, while the other three decided they may fit better somewhere else.  Here at Sam Houston State, our basketball program has and always will stand for student-athletes who take care of their business in the classroom as well as on/off the court (period).

The last issue I’m discussing for the last time is Tra’Vaughn White. Tra’Vaughn has decided to attend Independence Junior College in Kansas. It is not an academic issue, it is just simply the coach there continually recruited him all summer long even though Tra’Vaughn had signed an NLI with us. Tra’Vaughn feels he can go to a bigger school after JC, so we wish him the best of luck.

Everything happens for a reason, that’s why we are extremely excited about the new guys that are here on campus and looking forward to a great year on the court and in the classroom. Obviously we started class two weeks ago, and we started working out on August 29th.  Our roster has changed so much that it would take another couple of pages to talk about each one of our guys.  I will save that for another day.

Not sure how good we will be due to the youthfulness and inexperience, but I have a pretty good feeling that this group will bring it every day and work extremely hard! Usually that in itself can be a sign of success! Also, I believe last year I predicted that my Rangers would make it to the World Series? 


-- Jason Hooten
Head basketball coach

Monday, June 27, 2011

Former Kat lands assistant gig

JACKSONVILLE — Who better to fill the spot as assistant women’s basketball coach at Jacksonville College than someone who knows what it is like to play junior college basketball while at the time aspiring to one day attain a hoops scholarship at a four-year institution and then reaching that goal as a player?

That someone is Leasa Ailshie.

Ailshie was recently hired to fill the spot as Lady Jaguar assistant, a slot that became available earlier this summer when former assistant coach Amber Taylor was promoted to head women’s basketball coach at Eastern Oklahoma State College (NJCAA, Region II).

Ailshie brings an experienced-packed resume with her, dating all the way back to her prep playing days as a Lady Zebra at Claremore (Okla.) High School.

While at Claremore, Ailshie led her team to three Class 5A state championships and was a two-time (2004, 2005) All-State Tournament choice.

From Claremore,  she then spent two years at Conners State (Okla.) College (NJCAA, Region II) where she averaged nearly 9 points a game and led her squad in three point baskets (38).

Ailshie finished up her college playing days as a member of the Sam Houston State University (NCAA, Division I) Bearkats women’s basketball team.

Read the entire story:

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Head baseball coach candidate: Randy Mazey

Randy Mazey has been an assistant coach at TCU for five years and last season, Mazey was promoted to Associate Head Coach. He was previously the head coach at former Conference USA-foe East Carolina for three seasons and, prior to that time, spent six seasons as the recruiting coordinator at Tennessee, East Carolina and Georgia.

Since Mazey's arrival in 2007, the Frogs have continuously progressed. In each of his previous four seasons, the Frogs have tallied 40 or more wins, been to four NCAA Regionals, including hosting two, two NCAA Super Regionals and one College World Series. The Frogs are 186-65 during his tenure and have claimed seven conference championships (four regular season and three conference tournament titles). Ten pitchers have been drafted in the last four years, three of which have already made their Major League debuts (Andrew Cashner, Chicago Cubs; Jake Arrieta, Baltimore Orioles; Sam Demel, Arizona Diamondbacks).

Under Mazey's tutelage in 2010, the Horned Frog pitching staff had one of the best season's in school history. In addition to setting new school records in innings pitched (607 2/3) and strikeouts (553), the staff produced two All-Americans in Steven Maxwell and Matt Purke.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Head baseball coach candidate: Jim Blair

Jim Blair will interview for the head baseball coaching position on Tuesday. Blair has been an assistant for Mark Johnson the past five years at Sam Houston State. 

In Blair's tenure as recruiting coordinator, hitting coach and outfield coach, the Bearkats have produced the three best team batting averages and the top four season hitting totals in school history. The Kats produced an SHSU and Southland Conference record .335 mark in 2008. Prior to Blair's arrival, the school record for a season was .315 in 1980.

Head baseball coach candidate: Jason Marshall

Jason Marshall will interview for the baseball head coaching on Tuesday. Marshall has been on the coaching for UTSA for the last 11 seasons.

After serving as an assistant his first three seasons for UTSA, Marshall was promoted to associate head coach prior to the 2004 campaign. He coaches both the infielders coach and is the recruiting coordinator in addition to running the UTSA Baseball camps.

His efforts on the recruiting trails have resulted in a pair of All-Americans (Mark Schramek 2002/Michael Rockett 2008), four Freshman All-Americans (Ryan Crew 2003/Rockett 2006/Tim Palincsar 2007/Ryan Dalton 2010), 46 All-Southland Conference performers (including 11 first teamers), the 2007 and '08 Southland Regular Season Championships and 2005 Southland Tournament title.

Smith gets first win in summer ball

Morehead City, N.C. - The Marlins gave their Morehead City faithful the first home win of the season on Facebook Friday, in which Facebook fans of the team received one dollar off game tickets, shutting out the Wilson Tobs by the score of 4-0. Left-handed pitcher Caleb Smith was instrumental to the Marlins' success in his 2011 CPL debut, pitching for eight strong innings and recording the win (1-0).

Smith, a freshman for Sam Houston State University this spring, had not practiced or played with the Marlins before the day of his start. For the BearKats, though, he saw over 60 innings and maintained an ERA of 3.18. If Smith continues to toss the way he did on Puck O'Neal Field Friday night, then he is certain to see the same sort of success this summer.

Offensively, the Marlins looked as sound as they have so far this season. In addition to Elon University outfielder Jake Luce belting the team's first home run of the year on a full count in the top of the fifth, four of his teammates (Austin Wulf, Tyler Boyd, Jake Gronsky, and Jordan Hollis) had multiple hits on the evening. In fact, Boyd, Gronsky, and Hollis successfully bunted for hits to lead off the sixth inning, though none of the three could find their way to home plate.

The Marlins, who move to a 2-3 overall record with the win, will play a home-and-away series with the SwampDogs this weekend, traveling to Fayetteville on Saturday and hosting the 'Dogs at Big Rock Stadium on Sunday for the first Super Duper Sunday of the 2011 season.

Former Kat still playing the game

By Ian Busby
The Calgary Sun
Scorpio Babers’ football career reads like something out of a soap opera.
Cut by one team, he comes back with another, never going away for good.
Fittingly, Robert Scorpio, the General Hospital character for which he was named, keeps reappearing after he’s believed to be dead.
“My mother had a thing for soap operas,” said Babers, who took part in Calgary Stampeders’ rookie camp Thursday and Friday.
“She loved Robert Scorpio.”
Babers is a tad older than the average Stamps’ freshman. At 27, he’s been around for a while still looking for the ultimate opportunity.
After leaving Sam Houston State, Babers signed as an undrafted free agent with the Miami Dolphins.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Coach Johnson's farewell - Alan Cannon

Growing up, my mom and dad and my grandparents always drove home the point of surrounding yourself with good people.

As it turned out, I was blessed beyond measure when as a young and impressionable college student, I had the good fortune to play baseball for Tom Chandler and then to be the student sports information director for the Aggie baseball team for Coach Chandler when a young assistant coach joined Coach Chandler’s staff in 1983. Mark Johnson came to Aggieland from Mississippi State and had previously worked with the University of Arizona and had won a national championship in 1976.

When Coach Chandler retired after the 1984 season, a new Aggie graduate was again fortunate to remain as an assistant SID to handle baseball as Mark Johnson took over the Aggie head coaching job on the diamond.

From the season opening 10-1 win against Northeast Louisiana with Tom Arrington on the mound (the baseball media guide ink may have been wet, but at least it was out!) to the 1,000th coaching victory as Sam Houston State defeated UT-San Antonio, 8-6, Mark Johnson has always been among the country’s best baseball coaches.

If influence was judged solely on wins and losses, Coach Johnson would be among the best, but that is just part of the story. Coach Johnson has been such a positive influence on so many baseball players, coaches, media, fans and sports information personnel.

Thanks seems so inadequate when I consider all that Coach Johnson, Linda, Ron and Brian, have done and all that his family has meant to me and my family through the years. My wife, Kaye, and I had a Christian couple in Mark and Linda that modeled how to make a marriage work in collegiate athletics. My oldest daughter Katie still remembers where Linda would sit at Olsen Field so she could go down and get some candy. Kaye was pregnant with our youngest daughter Macie in 1999 as we went to Omaha and the College World Series.

I can still remember driving back from the CoSIDA convention in Nashville, Tennessee, when I got a call from Coach Johnson telling me he was going to become the head coach at Sam Houston State. I was so excited that more young people would have the opportunity to be influenced by his baseball coaching as well as his teaching in the game of life.

You see it is the game of life where Coach Johnson has really excelled and he continues to this day. I have heard people say of Coach Johnson, he is more like a teacher than a coach. But aren’t good teachers just like good coaches? Always there, always caring and someone you can always depend on.

After each baseball season in Aggieland, Coach Johnson would meet with the team. And not just the players, but he would have his SID, trainers, managers and field workers present to say thanks for the hard work and dedication. Regardless if it was a College World Series team, or a team that did not make the playoffs, Coach Johnson would always express his faith and mention hanging around with good folks and good things will happen.

The Good Lord has blessed me so much, but one of the greatest blessings has been to “hang around” one of the all-time greatest coach, husband, father and Christian in Mark Johnson. Other than my parents and grandparents, Coach Mark Johnson is probably the greatest influence on my life and for that I am most grateful.

To Coach Johnson—Go Kats! God Bless and Gig ‘Em
Alan Cannon (aka A.C.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bearkats named CBI team of the week

After going 4-0 this past week, including a Southland Conference sweep of first-place Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston State is the Team of the Week.

The Bearkats started the week with a 2-0 victory over Texas Southern on Tuesday. SHSU traveled to Southland leader Stephen F. Austin over the weekend. The Bearkats posted a 5-1 win on Friday before taking a 7-3 decision on Saturday. SHSU completed the sweep with a 3-2 victory on Sunday to climb to third in the Southland standings.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Soccer wraps up Spring season

Spring soccer has finished up. The team competed in the Texas A&M and Houston Baptist 7-A-Side Tournaments, The Challenge Presidents Day Invitational, hosted St. Edward's University, and held its first alumni game. Only freshmen and sophomores took the field for the Bearkats this spring. Our seniors do not compete with the team in the spring and Deanna Long was doing rehabilitation from knee surgery. The team progressed throughout the spring and showed improvement in the areas we have been focusing on in training.

I really enjoyed our alumni game. I got to meet quite a few players who had played here during the first few years of the program. It was also great to see the three senior classes that have graduated during my time here at Sam Houston State. We are already planning a bigger and better event for 2012!

Head Strength Coach Kyle Speer took over the training of our team in the weight room. Our young players have gained strength and played with more confidence during this time. On the field we have focused on attacking themes and working with our forwards with finishing around the penalty box. We were pleased to score 13 goals in our 3 games at the HBU tournament. The team was led in scoring by 2010 Southland Freshman of the Year, Tricia Mallory.

Eight new faces will join the up with the team on August 3, when the team reports for pre-season training. One of those new faces is Ashlyn Davis. She helped lead her high school, Cedar Park Vista Ridge, to the Texas State 4A Championship Game where the ended the season with a 2-1 loss. However, Ashlyn was named to the Soccer State Championship All-Tournament Team.

The team will open the 2011 season in Waco, TX on Friday, August 19. The team will face Big 12 team Baylor University on that date with kickoff scheduled for 7:00 PM.

-- Tom Brown
Head Women's Soccer Coach

Friday, April 15, 2011

NCAA Bowling Championships - Day 2

Today's play at the NCAA Bowling Championships will be a double elimination, bracket format.

Once again, today's matches can be view live online on the NCAA website:

Match 1 SHSU vs. Nebraska
Baker match Best 4 of 7
Game 1 - Kats win 179-169
Game 2 - Nebraska wins 221-195
Game 3 - Nebraska wins 226-206
Game 4 - Nebraska wins 204-188
Game 5 - Nebraska wins 237-211

The seventh-seeded Bearkats fell in the opening match 4-1 to No. 2 Nebraska. The Kats took the opening game by 10-pins, but came up empty in the last four to fall to the losers bracket. SHSU will now face No. 6 Arkansas State in an elimination match.

Match 2 SHSU vs. Arkansas State
Game 1 - Arkansas State wins 183-165
Game 2 - Kats win 246-169 (7 straight strikes to finish)
Game 3 - ASU wins 244-176
Game 4 - ASU wins 255-192
Game 5 - Kats win 192-185
Game 6 - ASU wins 227-176

April 15, 2011 - Bracket Play
Round 1 (Matches 1-4) - 8:50 a.m.

 - Match 1 - #1 Fairleigh Dickinson vs #8 Kutztown
 - Match 2 - #4 Vanderbilt vs #5 Central Missouri
- Match 3 - #2 Nebraska vs #7 Sam Houston State
 - Match 4 - #3 Maryland-Eastern Shore vs #6 Arkansas State

Round 2 (Matches 5-8) - 10:20 a.m.
 - Match 5 - FDU vs. Vanderbilt
 - Match 6 - Nebraska vs Maryland-Eastern Shore
 - Match 7 - Kutztown vs. Central Missouri
 - Match 8 - Sam Houston State vs Arkansas State

Round 3 (Matches 9 & 10) - 2:40 p.m.
 - Match 9 - Loser of Match 6 vs Winner of Match 7
 - Match 10 - Loser of Match 5 vs Winner of Match 8

Round 4 (Matches 11 & 12) - 4:20 p.m.
 - Match 11 - Winner of Match 5 vs Winner of Match 9
 - Match 12 - Winner of Match 6 vs Winner of Match 10

April 16, 2011
Round 5 (Matches 13 & 14) - 9:40 a.m. (if necessary)

 - Match 13 - Winner of Match 11 vs Loser of Match 11
 - Match 14 - Winner of Match 12 vs Loser of Match 12

Round 6 (Championship Final) - 2:40 p.m.
 - Match 15 - Semifinals Winners

Thursday, April 14, 2011

NCAA Bowling Championships - Day 1

TAYLOR, Mich -- We are about set and ready to get the first day of the NCAA Bowling Championship in Taylor Michigan, which is a suburb of Detroit. Today's format is a round-robin competition where the Kats will bowl against the seven other schools to determine the seeding for bracket play on Friday.

Live Video is available on the NCAA website of today's matches

We will be updating this page throughout the day.

The order of play for today's session was announced this morning:

Morning Session (8:50 1 p.m.)
Game 1 - Vanderbilt - Lanes 19-20
Game 2 - University of Maryland Eastern Shore- Lanes 7-8
Game 3 - Kutztown - Lanes 13-14
Game 4 - Arkansas State - Lanes 25-26

Afternoon Session (2:40 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.)
Game 1 - Central Missouri - Lanes 7-8
Game 2 - Fairleigh Dickinson - Lanes 27-28
Game 3 - Nebraska - Lanes 23-24V

Game 1 vs Vanderbilt (Won 958-946)
The Bearkats got their first trip to the NCAA Championship off to a great start, knocking off Vanderbilt 958-946. Dayna Galganski got the first turkey of the day for the Kats with strikes in the 6th, 7th and 8th frames. She made it four straight in the 9th. The Kats trailed most of the match, but rallied late. Shaina Woolbaugh hit on three straight strikes in the 9th and 10th and finished with a 181. Galganski lead the Kats with a 220, 22 pins above her average. Kimi Davidson bowled a 195, Aida Sanchez a 174 and Neishka Cardona finished with a 188.

Game 2 vs. Maryland Eastern Shore (Lost 1240-904)
The Bearkats dropped the second match of the day, falling to Maryland Eastern Shore 1240-904. Galganski led the way for the Kats with a 205, followed closely by Cardona's 204.

Game 3 vs Kutztown (Won 1013-971)
SHSU bounced back to take the third match of the day 1013-971 against Kutztown. The Kats opened strong with Lisa MacAllister opening with four consecutive strikes. Sanchez had a turkey in frames 2-4 to help the Kats to an early 100 pin lead. MacAllister then picked up a split in the 7th and Cardona followed with a split pick up in the 8th as the Kats held off Kutztown. MacAllister bowled a 237 to lead the Kats and Woolbaugh finished with a 205.

Game 4 vs. Arkansas State (Lost 1086-954)
The Bearkats finished the first session 2-2 with a loss to Arkansas State. Galganski led the Kats with a 211 and Cardona closed strong with four strikes in he last six rolls to finish with a 210.

Game 5 vs. Central Missouri (Lost 989-964)
The Kats fell in a hole early, and despite a furious late rally, fell in the fifth match of the day to Central Missouri. SHSU dominated the 10th frame, with Davidson, Sanchez and Galganski rolled a turkey in the 10th frame, with Galganski finishing with four straight. Sanchez had the high score for the Kats with a 223.

Game 6 vs. Fairleigh Dickinson (Lost 1100-900)
The Bearkats had a strong start in the first three frames against Fairleigh Dickinson, but four open frames in the fourth and fifth cost the Kats in the 200-pin loss. Davidson finished with a turkey in the 10th to bowl a 195. Sanchez was the top Kat bowler with a 225 after opening with three straight strikes.

Game 7 vs. Nebraska (Lost 972-939)
The Bearkats fell in the final game of the day, 972-939 to Nebraska to close the day at 2-5 in the preliminary qualifying round. Dayna Galganski and Kimi Davidson led the way for the Kats with a 211 (Galganski) and 209 (Davidson) with Galganski closing with five strikes in her last six rolls.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Baseball numbers down in 2011

When the college baseball season started, there was a lot of talk about the new bats. They are supposed to play more like wood bats and as a result the gaudy offensive numbers were supposed to come down. I talked to a lot of people before the season about it and most agreed.

However, a few said they wanted to see how the numbers played out before making a decision, and said they didn’t think it was going to be a huge difference. Well the NCAA has released its first half numbers, and I think it is very telling about the change in offensive production.

Data from the NCAA statistics staff reveal that in Division I games through April 3 (essentially the midpoint of the season), scoring is down by more than a run per game per team compared with the same time last season (from 6.98 per team in 2010 to 5.63 in 2011), and home runs have dropped from .85 a game per team in 2010 to .47 this year.

Batting average has also declined sharply, from .301 per team at midseason last year to .279 so far in 2011. Conversely, earned-run average has improved, from 5.83 in 2010 to 4.62 this year. In addition, more shutouts have been thrown this year (444) compared with this time last season (277).

I wanted to do the same for the Bearkats this season and see how their numbers stack up against the rest of the country.

The trends for the Kats are similar in some areas. Home runs this year are down for SHSU as well. Last season, the Kats averaged .74 homers per game and this year, they are hitting them at a .38 per game clip. Runs are also down for the Bearkats, although, not by nearly the same margin. In 2010, the Kats averaged 5.94 runs per game. This season they are averaging 5.61 per game.

The batting average is one area, the Kats have not seen a decline. Last year they had a team average of .302 and this year, it is down just a point at .301.

The pitching numbers for the Kats a skewed a bit, because the team overall was down last year, but there is still a huge disparity between the two seasons. Last year, the Bearkats has a staff ERA of 6.38. It is down more than three runs this year at 3.22. Also, the opponents’ batting average is down from .313 last year to .244 through 31 games this season.

The new bat standards that went into effect this season feature a stricter “Ball-Bat Coefficient of Restitution” standard (BBCOR) that reduces a batted ball’s exit speed.

The new BBCOR formula provides a better measure of a bat’s performance and allows the Baseball Rules Committee and bat-testing laboratories to better predict field performance based on lab tests. The goal is for non-wood bats that meet this new standard to perform similarly to wood bats.

The NCAA Baseball Research Panel, a group charged with maintaining the protocol for testing bats in the college game, recommended the new standards after reviewing Division I statistics from previous years that revealed sharp increases in offensive performance, particularly in home runs and runs scored, that was attributable mostly to the kind of bats in use at the time.

In 2007, the per-game average of home runs hit was .68 per team. That increased to .84 in 2008 and to .96 in 2009. It was .94 last year.

Runs scored per game experienced a similar trajectory. The 6.1 average per team in 2007 ballooned to 6.57 in 2008, 6.88 in 2009 and 6.98 in 2010.

“These new bat standards have brought the game back to its original style of play,” said Tim Weiser, deputy commissioner at the Big 12 Conference and chair of the Division I Baseball Committee. “It has put a premium back on strategy, pitching and defense, and not on the No. 9 hitter being able to hit the ball 400 feet just like the No. 4 hitter can. That’s what a lot of the positive feedback I’m hearing is centered on.”

-- Jason Barfield

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring volleyball going well

I feel that Sam Houston volleyball is progressing very well as the spring moves along. We came together quite well in our tournament we had a couple of weekends ago, which I feel boosted our confidence. Not only did it strengthen us as a team, but it also showed us the areas in which we need to improve. I really appreciate all the feedback we get from the coaches to help us see what areas we need to focus on and get better at.

Team bonding has been a great experience. I like all the different activities we are doing because they do help us become closer to one another on a personal level and they give each and every one of us a different look at one another. My team bonding activity was a little different from the ones we have had in the past because I wanted to incorporate a little competition into mine, but in a fun way. That’s why I thought that playing knock-out at the halftime of one of the basketball games would be a fun experience! Of course, I won on my side…(I had to, it was my team bonding), and Carli won on her side. But overall it was fun and everyone enjoyed it!

Also, spring is about competition, so I figured it would help to do something like when we have Wild Wednesday practices for points in the spring. Although we have only had a couple, I think those days are fun and helps put a little more competitiveness in us, which is beneficial because you want that type of person on your team in order to be successful on the court. Overall I think we are becoming a better team in all areas and I believe by the end of spring we will become a very well rounded team that will be hard to defeat!!!

-- Kaylee Hawkins, #12, SO, Utility

Friday, March 25, 2011

With two months left in season, Andreas already has two grand slams

Chris Andreas has elevated himself to rare company in the SHSU baseball record book. On Wednesday night against Prairie View A&M, Andreas blasted his second grand slam of the season. It is a feat that has been done just once in school history.

Tyler Knight was the first Bearkat to ever hit two grand slams in a season with bombs over University of Houston and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi back in 2009. But Andreas, who leads the Kats batting at .373, has a pair of grand slams with 34 more games to play this season. The last Bearkat grand slam was Knight's against Corpus, which was the next to last game of the regular season.

Kelly Eddlemon is the only other Bearkat with two slams in a career, having done it in 1997 and 1998.

Andreas isn't new to the record books. Last season he went on a 26 game hitting streak, the third longest in school history.

Still, Andreas doesn't step to the plate with the bases loaded, thinking about going deep. He's waiting comfortably for the right pitch.

"I come up there just trying to get a base-hit, you know at least get two guys in," Andreas said. "Luckily I got my pitch and hit it out of the yard."

He did admit that hitting a grand slam, of course, is in the back of his mind a little bit, but he focuses on staying comfortable and not overduing it.

The last time the Kats had two grand slams in a season (which was 2009), they actually had three slams. Then sophomore Ryan Mooney blasted a slam that season as well.

In 2008, SHSU recorded four grand slams - three in a one month's time.

Could we possibly see the first ever Bearkat to hit three slams in a season? How about a school record as a team? There's certainly enough time to break 08 team record. Sam Houston has four players batting over .300, with Braeden Riley right behind them batting .283 and only six hits away from passing Eddlemon as second all-time in total hits.

Today the Kats begin a three-game conference series against UTSA, a team with the third highest ERA in the SLC (4.77).

Coach Mark Johnson knows pitching will be critical this season. But expect a lot of record-breaking hitting anyway.

-- Brandon Scott

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A great week in Hawaii

Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course

The Lady Bearkats had a strong outing in Hawaii finishing 7th out of 19 teams last week. Five of the six teams to beat us were ranked in the top 50 in the country, so I was very happy with our performance.

I think it was difficult to stay focused on golf with two holes running along the ocean at Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course which is located on  the U.S. Marine Base on the island of Oahu. Of course, the whales spouting and splashing didn’t help their concentration either, LOL.

Congratulations to Meghann Stevens who had a top 20 finish individually.

All and all we had a great time in Hawaii and played some good golf as well.

-- Tommy Chain
Women’s golf coach  

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Crazy Spring so far

This Spring Semester has been a crazy one! It has been hard to capture a gym; we have to go between the coliseum and the REC center. I think as a whole the team has enjoyed the time we have had off because mid-terms and test have been cluttering our schedules. One good thing about us though, is when we do get a chance to hit the gym we are always going hard. Practices are upbeat and we get a lot of 6 on 6 play! MY FAVORITE!

We play this Friday and everyone is super excited! We want to be able to put it all back together again on the court, although now we are a little bit lighter, with the loss of a few players. They will be missed, but time goes on and we have to keep our goals in mind… WIN! WIN a CHAMPIONSHIP!

Being a senior is amazing! I wouldn’t give anything to be a freshman again, and I really enjoy that feeling. Feeling of accomplishment, no need for “should of” or “would of” just straight sailing through the pages in my book. Spring classes and the demands of volleyball have been rough but nothing new to an ‘oldie’ like me. I have my priorities in order and can’t wait to be able to hit the gym tomorrow. Oh and you can’t forget about those 5 o’clock weights with my favorite lifting coach ever, SPEER! He keeps us lean, mean fighting machines!

-- Jamie Kaleh #7 
Junior OH/DS

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Preparing for the fall

When one thinks of Spring, thoughts tend to sway to nice afternoons in the sunshine by the pool, or pretty flowers. Well, we Sam Houston volleyballers have one thing in mind in the Spring, and that's Fall.

We have our minds locked and committed, thanks to the community book we are all reading called "It's a Mental Thing," to reaching our one goal in the fall, sliding that beautiful piece of hardware on our pretty fingers. We hit the gym hard last week, taking advantage of being in good ole Johnson Coliseum, with a solid team practice and a ton of core strengthening. Thanks to our grad assistant Ellen we will all have six packs, and they won't be hiding in the ice chest.

It was a long week in the classroom for the Kats. With a week full of tests, this awful anatomy class that's sent a plague though half our team, and all night study session, I had the girls over for some homemade salsa, which is so delicious, and some Sex and The City 2 to relax. Of course nothing ever quite goes off without a hitch and Kim Black sets the fire alarm off!

It seems like I was the only one with nothing to really worry about this week since I chopped my stress snake's head off last Saturday after I finished the LSAT. Yes, the LSAT, why there has to be these petrifying standardized tests is beyond me. But I took the athlete approach and practiced, practiced, practiced. Talk about ‘it’s a mental thing.’ Man four hours of logical and analytical reasoning, and I was fried. So I went to the Sam Houston volleyball restaurant of choice, Panera Bread, and had some nice black bean soup and proceeded to rub it in teammate, Jamie Kaleh's face.

Well with our first competition day in two weeks at SFA, a lot is uncertain. But one thing is for sure, this group of girls has a lot of unfinished business to settle with the conference, and we won't be letting anyone have any mercy. Heck, we proved it Wednesday at "Wacky Wednesday" workout when half the team showed no mercy to the other half! I say it’s great progression! Watch out Fall, we're coming for you!

Eat 'em up!

-- Courtney Laskowski,
Senior S/DS/RS, #11

Friday, February 18, 2011

Excited to be back in the gym

We are a few weeks into our spring season and we are looking great!  We are mostly working on individual things now, but we are gradually having more and more team practices.  I am so excited to be back in the gym again, even though it is not for that much time.  Honestly, each day we all come in wanting to get better, and that is what this team needs.  

Our goal this spring season is to not only get better as individuals and as a team, but to become more of a team; and we find ourselves obtaining that goal a little more each week.  Thanks for reading, see you on the court soon!

Make sure you come check out our home spring scrimmage on Friday, March 11th in Johnson Coliseum – we are excited to get to play some other teams, it should be a lot of fun, and good competition for us.

-- Kim Black - No. 5
Junior volleyball player

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Good to see the girls bounce back

The ladies started their season in Victoria at the Claude Jacobs Challenge on Feb. 13th and 14th, taking fifth place in a field of 17 teams. A couple of teams were ranked in the top 50 in the nation.

We got off to a rocky start firing 319 in the first round and 314 in the second and closed with a 306. As we improved each round we moved from 8th to 5th by tournament’s end.

I was proud of the team for not giving up, which resulted in a strong finish. Jessica Borth had a good tournament, finishing in the top 25 individually in a field of 90 players. Shelby Hardy continues where she left off in the fall with another top 10 finish. Her consistency is making her one of the top players in the Southland Conference.

Our next tournament is the conference preview in Corpus Christi and now that the weather is better we will be working hard to prepare for it.

-- Tommy Chain
SHSU women’s golf coach

Four Texas Cities Bid for Future Southland Basketball Tournaments

As the Sam Houston State men's and women's basketball teams begin the push for another trip to Katy for the Southland Conference basketball tournament, the conference office has revealed the plans for future potential tournament destinations. 

The Southland Conference has received financial bids and supporting documentation from four Texas cities interested in serving as host for the league’s conference men’s and women’s basketball tournaments in 2012, 2013 and 2014. 

The four cities are Arlington, Beaumont, Frisco and current host Katy, where the 2011 event will take place March 8-12 at the Leonard E. Merrell Center. The tournament has been played at a neutral facility since 2007, and Katy, a west Houston suburb, has hosted the event since 2008.

“We are very pleased to receive four quality bid packages from these great locations,” Southland Commissioner Tom Burnett said. “It speaks very highly to how much the tournament has grown since our league went to the neutral site format in 2007. These bids ensure that we can continue to improve the event, and provide a traditional and outstanding Division I postseason basketball experience for our student-athletes, coaches, and those who follow our teams.”

Katy bid on all three years for the event to continue at the Merrell Center. Arlington bid on all three years for the tournament at the new College Park Center, scheduled to open in the 2011-12 season on the UT Arlington campus. Beaumont bid on all three years played at the Ford Park Arena, and Frisco bid on the 2013 and 2014 events at Dr Pepper Arena.

The conference’s athletic directors shall serve as the bid review committee, and it’s expected the group will make recommendations to the league’s Board of Directors for final approval in the coming months.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Weather woes

The biggest force in Southland Conference basketball, both men and women, isn't the division leader or the team on the hottest winning streak. As great of a season Bearkats like Britni Martin and Gilberto Clavell are having, it's mother nature who is making headlines.

Last Saturday, UT-Arlington and Central Arkansas postponed and rescheduled games due to the icy weather restrictions. The Bearkats were set to face Southeastern Louisiana on the same day at 3pm, traveling under the same sort of conditions.

Teams typically take buses on the afternoon or evening before game day, which means under normal circumstances - and under the premise in which the Bearkats prepared - the ladies would have left on Friday evening. But as SHSU athletic director Bobby Williams explains, safety is the number one concern in these types of situations. The bus wasn't released on Friday - the same day the university cancelled classes - because of safety reasons.

Still, another priority is making sure games are played as close to as scheduled as possible, in order to avoid awkward gamesmanship and put teams at competitive disadvantages.

This is the dilemma our women's basketball team was faced with. Williams and the opposing A.D. had to plan for when the ladies could get there, with reasonable time to spare before tip-off.

To everyone's credit, this was handled well by entities that compete against each other. The first provision was that if SHSU could leave Huntsville at 8 a.m., gametime would be pushed back to 4 p.m.

But as Williams says, "It was a moving target. It all depended on when our team could get there. We were using that hour and a half, two-hour window for once they got there, give them time to get ready."

Of course no one wants to hop off a seven-hour bus ride and practically step on the court to a team that's in its comfort zone. Yet, rarely do players know how complicated it gets for the talking heads (such as athletic directors and commisioners).

Somehow, the SHSU players got the impression that they were being slighted. This, however, was far from the truth. They didn't leave on Friday because it would have been nearly impossible to do that safely. Tip-off was pushed back to 7:30, after much discussion, with the intention of giving them some sort fairness in a delicate situation.

Whatever got the Kats fired up worked, evidently. Against Southeastern Louisiana, they ended a three-game losing streak and recorded their fifth double digit conference victory of the season. The Kats are back in the driver's seat, after being held from competition all of four hours.

And here we are just a few days later seeing the same types of things happen around the conference, even as SHSU was set to host UTA on Wednesday. The Mavs couldn't get out of Arlington because of the weather, of course. The game had to be moved to Thursday afternoon with a hopeful start time of 4 p.m. But as we have already seen, only time will tell.

So at least the women's basketball team knows they aren't the only ones going through changes. And more importantly, they proved to themselves last Saturday that they could respond to change if necessary.

-- Brandon Scott 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Busy week for Bearkat soccer

Last week was a very busy week for the Bearkat soccer team. We return 18 players for this spring. Deanna Long is out right now awaiting knee surgery. I hope to have her back before the end of our training. Unfortunately for us, the week was full of wet and cold weather and we had to change our training plans throughout the week.

We trained outside on Monday but had to train in the racquetball courts for the next three days. Sunday we played at the Texas A&M seven-a-side tournament. With four games in five hours, our players were tired by the end. For the staff, the games are not about the results.

I want to see players weaknesses exposed so we can plan a spring season to fix those problems and be improved for the fall season. With a smaller field and less players, each of our players is put under more pressure. It is a great training environment. We will now breakdown the video and share that with our players in a Wednesday meeting.

Last Wednesday, five players signed National Letters of Intent for the 2011 season. This recruiting class is balanced from front to back but mainly includes players who will play in wide positions for our team. It is also a very athletic group. I think these players will complement our returning squad very well.

On Saturday, February 19, the team will head down to Burroughs Park in Houston to play Houston Baptist at 11 a.m. and Baylor at 5 p.m.  These will be two more good tests for our young team.

Keep following the Bearkats and come out and support our basketball teams as they are getting primed for playoff time!

Go Bearkats!

-- Tom Brown
Head Women's Soccer Coach

Monday, February 7, 2011

Kolbe: Ready to start playing again

Spring season is always a work in progress. A time to get better and a time to re-evaluate. We have a couple girls taking care of shoulder problems, but other than that we are ready and very excited to get back into the gym.

For me, at least, it has been a long few months off and I’m ready to start. I cannot believe this is my last spring and I have only one season left. It is very overwhelming, but I could not be more excited about the future of this team. 

We start individuals here this next week, and once we get those under our belt we can begin building this team up day by day.


-- Carli Kolbe #6
SHSU senior

Danny Dougherty Fan Poll Results

Here are the results for the most recent Danny Dougherty Fan Poll.

The Bearkat women's basketball team stormed out to a 5-0 start to the season. They have had several players contributing to the effort this season. The question was, "Who has been the MVP so far for the women's basketball team?"

Khamra Echols led everyone with 37 percent of the votes. A close second was Britni Martin with 34 percent. Of everyone who voted, 17 percent said it was a great team effort, while 10 percent felt Sequeena Thomas and two percent tabbed Chanice Smith.

The Bearkat women will be at home on Wednesday as they take on Texas Arlington.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

2011 Signing Day

It is Signing Day for football, soccer and track and field, and as the names come across the fax machine we'll be posting them here.

Updated 12:29 p.m.

Junior College
Si'Darius Blackshire, QB, Trinity Valley Community College (Carthage HS)

High School
Keshawn Hill, RB, 5-10, 185, Klein HS
Collin Callahan, LB, 6-1, 225, Houston (Cy-Ridge)
Stephen Williams, WR, 5-9, 178, Round Rock (Stony Point)
Beau Smith, TE, 6-6, 218, Cedar Park HS
Chris Grett, QB, 6-1, 200, Conroe (Oak Ridge)
Dylan Johnson, OL, 6-4, 250, Houston (Cy-Creek)
Tristan Eche, S, 5-10, 200, Waco HS
Emmanuel Omoegbele, DL, 6-1, 235, Houston (Alief Taylor)
Ishmael Thorns, DL, 6-3, 245, Dallas (Woodrow Wilson)
Joey White, OL, 6-5, 295, Wimberly
Andre Mosley, DB, 5-10, 180, Wylie
Greg Johnson, WR, 5-10, 170, Del City, Okla.
Drew Smith, CB, 6-3, 180, Del City, Okla.
Gavareon Marshall, DL,.6-3, 245, Freeport (Brazosport)
Antonio Chimney, OL, 6-3, 290, Crockett
Brandon Wilkerson, WR, 6-1, 185, LaGrange
Desmond Fite, DB, 6-0, 182, Tatum
Casey DeVries, DE, 6-4, 240, Dalhart

Track and Field
Sarah Pena, Distance and Cross Country, Cypress (Cy Fair)

Becca Cheiffetz, Defender, Spring (Klein Oak)
Ashley Fluty, Defender, Roanoke, (Northwest)
Madison Bible, Forward/Midfielder, San Angelo (Central)
Ashlyn Davis, Forward/Defender, Round Rock, (Vista Ridge)
Jessica Toms, Forward, Gun Barrel, (Mabank)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Loving: Post-graduate adjusments

Graduating college was a challenge all on its own, but currently I’m trying to get accustomed to graduate school. This means more online classes and less time on campus, which is not necessarily a good thing.

I had envisioned graduate school to be close to my undergrad classes, but for this semester I am figuring out that I need to take the initiative on completing some of my courses.

This week the team met up at the rock wall in the HKC. I personally was a bit afraid of heights along with some of the other girls, but the experience seemed to be perfect for a team. I had no idea the amount of arm and hand strength you needed to get up to the top of the wall!

Some of the girls did an amazing job climbing up one of the more difficult walls with ease and determination. Soon individuals and practice will start for our off-season. I can’t wait to get back into the gym and start training for our upcoming season.

-- Kym Loving
SHSU volleyball

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Coaches vs. Cancer

The men's basketball coaches celebrated more than a blowout victory over UTSA Saturday night, winning with ease 88-67. Head coach Jason Hooten, as well as his assistants particpated in Coaches vs. Cancer, which is an initiative that encourages coaches, players and communities to fight the deadly disease.

On this day, the coaching staffs from both teams wore sneakers to support the cause. More than 2,000 Division I, II and III schools are involved.

"I know you guys have probably watched a lot of games on television today and saw coaches around the country wearing tennis shoes," Hooten said. "It's for a great cause. We've done it all five or six years I've been here. To be honest with you, I really wish I could coach every night with these on."

Coaches vs. Cancer is a collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches. The program has used the public notoriety and influence of basketball coaches to bring awareness, fundraising activities and advocacy programs to combat cancer.

According to, Coaches vs. Cancer has raised nearly $50 million in support the ACS effort to eliminate cancer as a life-threatening disease.

Key council members include: Jay Bilas of ESPN; Jim Boeheim of Syracuse, UCONN's Jim Calhoun, Mike Krzyzewski, Tubby Smith and North Carolina's Roy Williams.

Hooten says he wears a lot of colon Nike shoes, the ones that look like bowling kicks. He gets made fun of for them, but his shoes from Saturday are a special custom.

"These are hip. These are Nike ID. I made these myself online," Hooten said. "They're orange and gray and black, which I don't have a lot of. Then on the back of them it says Sam Houston. I thought they felt pretty cool and appropriate.

"I wish we could wear these every game. And if we can go 10-21 from 3, I'll wear em again!"

Brandon Scott