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