To be successful, you got to have quality preparation. For the SHSU Orange Pride Dance Team, their preparation is at Bearkat sporting events.
The team have won back-to-back National Championships and will be going for their third at the National Dance Association (NDA) Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida from April 11-15.
“It’s bigger than I can describe,” senior co-captain Hannah Shields said. “We have all of the talent and have been working very hard to be where we are.”
The team is part of the Spirit Programs under the Department of Student Activites that includes the All-Girl Cheer Squad, the Co-Ed Cheer Squad and Sammy The Bearkat Mascot program.
The team trains everyday in preparation for the football season, the basketball season, special events and for the NDA competion that is held every year in Daytona Beach.
They placed first in the NDA National Competition in 1998 and 2005. In 2008, the team came up short in the competition and it taught the team a very important lesson about hard work.
“We had a big wake up call and had to step up our game,” Shields said.
After the season, they hired Sarah Pritchard as their head coach. Under her leadership, the team improved on their technique and learned new dance routines that helped them win back-to-back national championships at the NDA competition in 2010 and 2011.
“They have a lot of pride in Sam Houston and the dance program,” Spirit Programs Coordinator Brian McColpin said. “They want to go out there and win for their coach.”
They know that the competition are aiming at prevent them from winning their third straight championship. But for the dance team, they are more determine to achieve their goals because of the coaching and the leadership that each person brings to the team.
“I want to leave here with three rings on my finger,” Shields said. “I chose not to get a senior ring because I want another national championship.”
The free throw is the most overlooked stat in basketball, it is the most important part of the game.
The Bearkat women’s basketball team defeated the UTSA Roadrunners by the score of 67-55 and increase their Southland Conference record to 5-2 (10-8 overall).
The Bearkats shot 33.9% from the field and was 7-19 from three point range while the Roadrunners shot 26.4% from the field and was 3-15 in the three point department.
Free throws were a different story as the Bearkats shot 64.5% from the line. The Roadrunners on the other hand, shot 80% from the free throw line.
“It’s something that we work on everyday,” head women’s basketball coach Brenda Nichols said. “It’s a mental thing and they got to step up and make them.”
Over the weekend, the Sam Houston State Bearkat Bowling Team finished fourth at the Big Red Tournament in Lincoln, Nebraska. They are now 53-26 for the season and are currently ranked fourth in the new National Ten Pins Coaches Association media poll.
“You always have high expectations and because of the variables, we cannot take anything for granted,” head bowling coach Brad Hagen said. “We just needed to go out there and make shots.”
The process to get the bowling program at SHSU started in 2009 when the Southland Conference wanted to add an additional sports in order to have a balance between the men’s and women’s sports.
Stephen F. Austin State University became the first school in the conference to start a bowling program. It made the decision easy for athletic director Bobby Williams to add bowling as the 15th sport to the SHSU program.
Once the program was incorporated, they hired Hagen as the first head bowling coach.
He worked tirelessly to bring in top quality talent who would be successful in the game and in the classroom while at the same time preparing for the inaugural season.
Since they were a first year program, they were picked to finish next to last in the league, but instead made it to the NCAA Bowling Championships in Detroit, Michigan, USA, becoming the only first year program in history to make the championships. They finished 7th in the championships to complete their inagaural season.
Now they are determined to get back to the big dance as they started the 2011-12 season strong with a third place finishes at the Greater Ozark Invitational, the New Jersey Jamboree and with wins at the Lumberjack Invitational and their own Track Kat Klash Tournament.
“When we come together as a team, we rely on each other,” sophomore Neishka Cardona said after winning the Kat Klash Tournament. “We win as a team, we lose as a team.”
Here are some of the highlights from the Kat Klash Tournament on BowlTV.com.
The free-skying world lost one of it’s icons yesterday. Sarah Burke, a four-time winter X games champion free-skier, passed away from injuries she sustained nine days ago in a skiing accident while she was preparing for this year’s winter X games that will be held in Aspen, Colorado.
Though I did not follow this sport as much as I should, I remember back in 2003 when the first ever X Games Global Championships that was held in both the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, USA and in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. I saw a high-flying Burke representing Canada in her hometown of Whistler. She had style and grace as she competed against the best from all over the world.
She was successful in getting the Olympic Committee to add free-skying to the roster of winter sports that will be featured at the next Winter Olympic Games that will be held in Sochi, Russia in 2014.
She was a true iconic figure in her sport and will be dearly missed.
The old saying goes, “Defense Wins Championships.” That holds true for the Sam Houston State Bearkat men’s basketball team as they won a nailbiter against Texas State Bobcats by the score of 71-68. They are now 2-2 in the Southland Conference and 8-10 overall.
“It was tough down the stretch, but we made the stop that was needed to win the game,” head basketball coach Jason Hooten said.
The Bearkat defense was outstanding in the first half as the Bobcats shot 36% from the field and turned the ball over thirteen times while the Bearkats converted eleven points off of those turnovers.
“Coach Hooten really harped on defense ,” senior forward Marcus James said. “The preparation that we had for two days leading up to the game paid off for us.”
The second half was a different story as the Bobcats battled back and shot 57% from the field and had opportunities to win the game, but the Bearkat defense stood strong in the final minutes to get their second straight conference win.
The Bearkats will face Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders on Saturday at Johnson Coliseum. Tip-off will be at 7 p.m. and for more information, visit gobearkats.com