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Gray Named SLC’s “Defensive Player of The Week”

Courtesy: Paul Ridings, Jr., SHSU Sports Information

Sam Houston junior setter Tayler Gray has been named as Southland Conference volleyball “Defensive Player of the Week” after leading the first place Bearkats to a pair of home victories.

Gray produced her 19th and 20th double double of the season as Sam Houston State earned sweeps against Southeastern Louisiana and Nicholls State.

The junior from Huntsville, Texas (Huntsville H.S.) averaged 4.5 digs per set over the week while assisting on 71 of Sam Houston’s 90 kills.

She sits second in the Southland with 10.76 assists per set while the Bearkats are on a 13-match win streak which is the longest in Sam Houston history since it joined Division I.

Sam Houston’s Deveney Wells-Gibson took honorable mention honors for Southland “Offensive Player of the Week”.

The Bearkats have three matches remaining in the regular season with two this week at home at Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.

Sam Houston travels to Northwestern State Tuesday night, plays host to McNeese State Thursday, and finishes the season at home against Lamar at 3 p.m.

Rod Lurie Coming To SHSU

This article is courtesy of Cari Kenealy of Raven Films, a student film organization within the Mass Communication Department of Sam Houston State University (SHSU).

Rod Lurie, film director, writer, and journalist who’s topics often involve politics and women in power will be coming to the campus of SHSU from Thursday November 1st through Saturday November 3rd.

The College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication, Mass Communications Department and Raven Films will be hosting Mr. Rod Lurie and viewing of The Contender, a political thriller . President Barack Obama cited President Evans. the character in ‘ The Contender’ as his favorite fictional president.

Mr. Lurie will be giving a Q&A moderated by Peter Rousell of the MCM Department at SHSU and former Presidential Press Secretary immediately after the screening.

Lurie wrote and directed the widely praised Academy Award® and Golden Globe Award nominated political thriller The Contender.

The film was also honored by the Broadcast Film Critics.

In addition, Lurie created and served as an executive producer on ABC’s highly acclaimed hit series, Commander in Chief.

Imaging a world in which the President of the United States is a woman, the popular series stars Geena Davis and also executive produced the ABC one-hour FBI drama, Line of Fire.

Mr. Lurie has directed actors Robert Redford, Genna Davis, Joan Allen, James Gandolfini, Matt Dillon and Mark Ruffalo and many others.

Before becoming a filmmaker, Lurie completed a career in the military and enjoyed success as a film critic, entertainment reporter and investigative reporter.

Lurie graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1984 and went on to serve for four years as a Combat Arms officer in the U.S. Army.

He broke into journalism as an entertainment reporter for the New York Daily News, as well as a frequent contributor to Premiere, Movieline and Entertainment Weekly.

Most recently, Mr. Lurie directed the remake of Sam Peckinpah’s classic ‘Straw Dog’s’ and this month as a guest director on AMC’s Western series “Hell on Wheels”.

Leading up to this even, MCM & Raven films will be hosting a viewing of Rod Lurie movies starting today from 5-7p.m. with “The Last Castle.”

Then on Oct. 29th from 5-7 p.m. “Resurrecting the Champ,” Oct. 30th from 6-9 p.m. “Straw Dogs,” and Oct. 31st from 5-7 p.m., “Nothing but the Truth.”

These events are free and open to the public and will be held in room 306 in the Dan Rather building on the SHSU campus.

“Battle of The Piney Woods” Rivalry Extended At Reliant

"Battle of the Piney Woods" Rivalry Extended At Reliant

Storified by Cheval John · Tue, Oct 02 2012 19:30:58

by Cheval John
Reporter, Vallano Media

Houston area alumni of both Sam Houston State and Stephen F. Austin have a reason to celebrate.
Today, both schools and Lone Star Sports & Entertainment have agreed to extend the rivalry game at Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX through 2017.
Since the move to Reliant, the game have drawn excitement and brought more meaning to the rivalry.
In it’s first year, over 24,000 witnessed SFA narrowly defeating SHSU 31-28.
Last year, over 25,000 saw SHSU massacred SFA 45-10.
Over the past few years, the winner of the event eventually goes on to take the Southland Conference title.
This year’s contest set to begin at 3 p.m. on the Southland Conference Television will be no different.
SHSU is 2-2 for the season and are looking to create keep the momentum going after destroying Texas Southern 50-6 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.
SFA are also looking to salvage their season.
Last week, they defeated the University of Central Arkansas 42-37 at home on a soggy Homer Bryce stadium.
As of now, everyone can enjoy the annual event at Reliant Stadium for more years to come.

Bearkats Receives Invite To Pre-Season WNIT

by Cheval John

After making their first national post-season tournament appearance, the Sam Houston State Bearkat women’s basketball team  will start the 2012-13 season with an invite to the Pre-Season Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT).

The Bearkats will face the University of Delaware Blue Hens in the opening round of the tournament in Newark, Delaware.

The winner of the match will advance to the second round of the tournament

The Blue Hens were the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Conference Champions last season and are looking to start their title defense in style.

“From what I know, they are a very good team coming off last year,” Bearkat women’s basketball head coach Brenda Nichols said to a representative of the SHSU’s athletic department media relations.

“We are excited for this opportunity and look forward to being able to play some intense and exciting competitors.”

The Blue Hens will be led by senior forward/guard Elena Delle Donne.

Delle Donne is an All-American who averaged 26.1 points per game, made 91.9% of her free throws and shot 38.8% from the three-point line last season.

She received honors from the Associated Press, Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), United States Writers Association, the Naismith Award and John Wooden Award.

She was named “Player of the Year” by the CAA and was a finalist for “Player of the Year” by the WBCA, Naismith and Wooden Awards.

“You can’t really measure yourself as a player without going up against the best,” Nichols said. “There is no doubt she is one of the best and will be a true challenge for our team.”

The Bearkats are looking forward to that challenge as they are returning 12 letterman from last year’s team who were the West Division Champions of the Southland Conference and made their first national post-season appearance in the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI).

They made it to the semi-final round of the tournament, where they were knocked off by the University of Northern Iowa.

Leading the charge for the Bearkats are seniors Britni Martin and Sequeena Thomas.

Martin was ranked 10th in the nation for three-pointers (2.93 per game) and scored 523 total points for the season.

She was runner-up for the Southland Conference’s “Player of the Year” that went to Central Arkansas’ Megan Herbert.

Thomas led the Southland Conference in rebounds (12.6 per game).

She averaged 14.8 points per game and had an average of 2.0 blocks which ranked her #9 and #2 in the conference, respectively.

The tournament consists of 16 teams from around the country and will be held from November  9  to November 16-17.

The Bearkats-Blue Hen match will begin at 7 p.m.

For more information on the tournament, visit

Five Bearkats Named To Pre-Season All-America Squad

by Cheval John

With the 2012 football season less than two months away, the SHSU Bearkats are more focused than ever.

Along the way, they are receiving attention locally and nationally after a remarkable run at the national championship.

For example, five members of the team were named to the pre-season All-America squad by the Sports Network.

Here are the profiles of the five players named to the All-America squad:

Tim Flanders

In 2011, the junior running back set a single season Southland Conference record in rushing yards (1,644), touchdowns (24) and points scored (144) and was ranked nationally in scoring (No.4), rushing yards (No. 16) and all-purpose yards (No.24).

He was named to five All-America squads including the America Football Coaches Association and the Associated Press and finished 7th for the Walter Payton Award.

Richard Sincere

Though Sincere was a wide receiver, he was more of a utility player at best.

He was ranked third in the Southland Conference in rushing yards (979) and seventh in total points scored (78).

His best performance came in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs as he torched Montana State for 160 yards on 11 carries that propelled the Bearkats to a 49-21 beatdown over the Bobcats.

He received the nod for   “Offensive Player of the Year” by the Southland Conference and was named to the first-team All-America squad by College Sporting News.

Darnell Taylor

The Bearkat defense showed that defense do win championships and Darnell Taylor was one of the reasons why the defense deserved a share of the spotlight during the historic run.

Taylor led the team with 128 total tackles, the highest in one season since 1988.

He was named “Defensive Player of the Year” by the Southland Conference and made five All-America squads.

J.T. Cleveland

Cleveland is looking for a repeat performance from last year’s run.

The three-year letterman posted 46 tackles including nine that went for losses.

He was named to the All-America squad by Phil Steele Magazine in 2011 for his efforts.

Daxton Swanson

Swanson had a career-high eight interceptions, the most in school history.

His interceptions was also the most in the Southland Conference and ranked him third in the nation.

He was named second team in the All-Southland Conference and third team in the Associated Press and College All-America squad.

The first game to the 2012 season will begin on September 8 as the Bearkats host the University of the Incarnate Word at Elliot T. Bowers Stadium in Huntsville, Texas.