by Cheval John
While many students were out on spring break, the SHSU All-Girl/Co-ed Cheerleaders, along with the Orange Pride Dance Team were here at SHSU all week practicing for the NCA/NDA National Competition that will be held in Daytona Beach, Florida from April 11-15.
The NCA/NDA competition is based on many factors that includes technique, stability of stunts/strength, flow of routine, degree of difficulty, perfection of routine and overall impression.
For the first time this year, both squads will be competing together as the All-Girl Squad moved up to Division I in the NCA in competion.
Prior to that, the All-Girl Squad competed at the intermediate level in the NCA and have come a long way since then.
Though it will be new for them, they believe that competing with the co-ed squad is bringing them together as a family.
“With co-ed going with us, it’s a whole another team to support us and another team for us to support,” All-Girl co-captain Andrea Dearing said. “A big part of nationals is having a crowd cheering you on and with the co-ed being there, it’s going to bring ten times more energy.”
Though the co-ed team receives scholarships, the all-girl team doesn’t receive any sholarships, but they raise the money through sponsorships and each member on the team has to have a minimum of $250 in order to remain on the squad.
The stereotypical view of cheerleaders is that they are at sporting events to bring extra school spirit ot the the crowds who are attending the games and to cheer the team to victory.
What they don’t see is the dedication and the hard work that goes into being a cheerleader.
“We cheer during the football season, volleyball season and the basketball season and on top of that, we have nationals,” Dearing said. “We put a lot of hard work and a lot of effort into this.”
With school about to be back in session next week, they believe that it is all worth it in the end because of the preparation that they put into perfecting their routine.
“This is where we want to be,” Dearing said. “While there in school, we are going to be in Daytona competing and hopefully getting a ring and that is more than any spring break trip is worth.”
by Cheval John
“She is as good as anybody in the state of Texas. She is everything that everybody wants and we are lucky to have her.”
Those were the comments of Sam Houston State Bearkat head softball coach Bob Brock after the Bearkats (3-13) run ruled Prarie View A&M Tigers by the score of 11-0 in the first game of the double header to get their first win of the season.
The person that he was referring to was first baseman Kim Damian.
In the last 16 games, Damian has batted .358 with a career high 4 home runs and 11 RBI.
“I basically came up with a different approach and try to get ahead in the count,” Damian said. “With coach Brock switching me to bat first, I get a better selection on pitching compared to when I was batting third.”
The junior from Angleton, led the charge in that first game against the Tigers, going 3 for 3 with a double, a two-run triple and a grand slam that capped a 6-RBI game.
“Kim is having a great year,” Brock said. “I made a change in putting her at lead-off and she has really took off.
Damian started playing softball since she was five years old.
In addition to softball, she played volleyball and basketball while she was in middle school.
“Playing volleyball and basketball kept me in shape,” Damian said. “Especially with basketball, there’s a lot of running and it helped when it came to softball.”
Though those sports helped, softball was her main sport because she was really good at it and she pursued it full time when she entered Angleton High School.
During that time, Angleton won the district championship in 2006. She improved tremendously as she was a Brazoria County and District MVP after leading them to a Texas 4A state runner-up finish and another district championship in 2009. She was named to the first team All-State and All-District that same year.
She also played for club teams, the Texas Connection and Texas Sting.
She received many offers from different universities, but it was a no-brainer as she choose to play at Sam Houston State.
“I always thought of coming to Sam Houston State, mainly because it was closer to home,” Damian said.
In her first year, she had a batting average of .195 with two home runs and 6 RBIs and had a total of 17 hits.
She improved in her sophomore year with a .347 batting average, with 3 home runs and 24 RBIs. She totaled 43 hits during that season.
Defensively, she was error-free at first base with 331 putouts and eight assists in 339 chances.
Though she has been successful during her softball career, she always know that her biggest fans will always be her parents.
“I owe a lot to them because they were always there for me,” Damian said. “They always backing me up no matter what happens in a game, whether I do good or bad. I am thankful for them being there for me.”
The Bearkats will play one game against Liberty University and a double-header against University at Buffalo at Bearkat Softball Complex on Wednesday. Start time is at 2 p.m.
Sam Houston State Bearkat bowling team defeated Grambling State Tigers on Sunday by a total of 1019-694 pins.
The match was a Quad Baker in which each team had 10 frames to get as many pins as possible in a four game format in order to win in opposite to a team winning each game.
“We are happy with the way we bowled,” Bearkat bowler Dayna Galanski said. “It was a big improvement for us.”
The Bearkats are currently ranked No. 9 in NCAA Division I competition .
This weekend they will be heading to Smyrna, Tennessee to participate in the Music City Classic.
The tournament will be the final one of the regular season and the most important one as it will be their last chance to showcase their talent in order to get back to NCAA Bowling Championships that will be held in Cleveland, Ohio from April 12-14.
“Every win is a step forward and every loss is a step back,” head coach Brad Hagen said.
What a difference a game make.
After the Sam Houston Bearkats lost the first game of the double-header to Stephen F. Austin, the Bearkats returned the favor by defeating their arch-rivals by the score of 9-1. The win gave the Bearkats the series and improved their Southland Conference record to 2-1 (9-6 overall).
“There’s a huge difference at being 1-2 and 2-1,” head coach David Pierce said. “I know it’s only one game, but for us being a young team, it’s a big plus.”
The Bearkats struck first in the bottom of the second inning on a RBI single by shortstop Corey Toups that made it 1-0.
Third baseman Ryan Farney reached first on a fielders choice and advanced to third on a single by second baseman Jesse Plumlee.
An RBI double by designated hitter Jake Arrington increased the Bearkat lead to 2-0. First baseman Ryan O’Hearn led off the bottom of the third with a single and advanced to second on a ground out by catcher Anthony Azar.
The Lumberjacks scored the first run of the game in the top of the fourth inning on a bases loaded walk to left fielder Rene Moreda to cut the Bearkat lead to 2-1.
Right fielder Ricardo Sanchez led off the inning with an infield single and advanced to second on a throwing error by second baseman Jessie Plumlee. Designated hitter Freddy Villalobos walked to make it first and second. A sacrifice bunt by center fielder Rory Myers put both runners in scoring position to possible tie the score. Second baseman Bryce Cummings walked with two outs to load the bases that set up the Lumberjacks to score.
The Bearkats exploded for four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to increase their lead to 6-1 on a two run triple by Arrington, an RBI single by left fielder Luke Plucheck and a sacrifice fly by Plumlee.
They added three more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to make it 9-1 on a miscue by short stop Michael Ruiz that allowed right fielder Greg Olson to score from third and a two run double by Azar.
“I think it was really important in the second game to get the lead,” coach Pierce said.
Starting pitcher Caleb Smith went six innings and got his first win of the season. He struck out seven batters and gave up a run on four hits. Reliever Brandon Bergen pitched three innings in relieve of Smith and got his second save of the year.
Starting pitcher Chase Greening got the loss for the Lumberjacks, his third of the season.
The Lumberjacks are now 1-2 in conference play (6-10 overall).
The Bearkats next game will be on Tuesday, March 13 as they will travel to Houston to face the University of Houston Cougars. Game time is at 6:30 p.m.
Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks got their revenge as they defeated Sam Houston State Bearkats by the score of 5-2 in the first game of a double header. They are now 1-1 in the Southland Conference (6-9 overall).
The Lumberjacks capitalized in the top of the second inning to make it 3-0 on a three-run home run by designated hitter Freddy Villalobos.
Catcher Rory Myers led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on an error by firstbaseman Ryan O’Hearn that allowed catcher Jarid Scarafiotti to reach first.
Both runners advanced to second and third, respectively on a sacrifice bunt by shortstop Michael Ruiz.
A two out, two run double by Scarafiotti in the top of the third inning, increased the Lumberjack lead to 5-0. First baseman Bobby Loveless walked with two outs in the inning and advanced to second on a single by Rory Myers.
The Bearkats got on the board in the bottom of the third inning on a two-run double by Ryan O’Hearn that cut the Lumberjack lead to 5-2.
Catcher John Hale walked with one out in the bottom of the third inning and advanced to third on a double by centerfielder Colt Atwood.
Farney led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a single and advanced to second on a ground out by second baseman Jesse Plumlee. Shortstop Corey Toups walked to make it first and second. Starting pitcher Colton Eubanks got Hale to fly out and Atwood to ground out to end the Bearkat threat.
The Bearkats made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth inning when Hale led off with a walk and advanced to second on an infield single by pinch hitter Greg Olson. But Lumberjack reliever Alex Moshier settled down and got the final three outs to end the game.
Eubanks went five and two-third innings and got the win. He gave up two runs on ten hits and struck out two batters.
Starting pitcher Justin Jackson went five and one-third innings and suffered the loss. He gave up four runs on eight hits, struck out four and walked two. Moshier got his first save of the season.
With the loss, the Bearkats are now 1-1 in the Southland Conference (8-6 overall).
The second game of the double header will begin in 20 minutes.