Tuesday, November 17, 2015

C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl announces NCAA Division II teams

Logo from C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl,
Used with Permission.
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2015 TexSport Publications

COPPERAS COVE, TEXAS (November 17, 2015) The C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl has announced, via a press release on Monday, November 16, 2015, two of the four teams to play in their fifteenth annual classic. The two NCAA Division II teams that will take to the field at Bulldawg Stadium in Copperas Cove, Texas on Saturday, December 5, 2015. will be Eastern New Mexico University and Arkansas Tech University.

The Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds, from the Lone Star Conference, finished the regular season with a 6-5 record and a 3-3 conference record. The Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys, who will represent the Great American Conference, bring an 8-3 season and conference record into the bowl game. The post-season trip will be the first for the Greyhounds since they began play in the NCAA. Their last post-season appearance was in 1983, when they played Mesa State in the NAIA playoffs. The Wonder Boys will be making their first bowl appearance since 1968, when they faced the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference (AIC) All-Stars in the AIC Bowl. In 1960, they played Texas A&I, now known as Texas A&M-Kingsville, in the Great Southwest Bowl in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

No. 16 Houston Cougars remain unbeaten with 35-34 win over No. 25 Memphis Tigers

Kenneth Farrow (35) added two touchdowns to
his season total with runs of seven and
ten yards in Houston's win over Memphis.
Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loco Photography
Copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2015 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 14, 2015) With a one-yard rushing touchdown by quarterback Kyle Postma and an extra point by Ty Cummings with 1:27 remaining in the game, the No. 16 Houston Cougars remained unbeaten and downed the No. 25 Memphis Tigers by the score of 35-24 at TDECU Stadium in Houston on Saturday, November 14, 2015. The victory was the tenth of the season for the Cougars and first year head coach Tom Herman. With the win, the Cougars remain at the top of the American Athletic Conference West Division tied with Navy with 6-0 records.

The Tigers drew blood first at the 10:32 mark in the first quarter when the Houston defense stalled a 49-yard Memphis drive as they had to settle for a field goal. Jake Elliott’s kick gave the Tigers an early 3-0 lead. They added seven additional points 1:06 into the second quarter on a 38-yard pass from Paxton Lynch to Alan Cross to cap an eleven-play drive. Elliott added the kicking conversion to increase the Tigers’ lead to 10-0. Elliott added three additional point to the Tigers’ total with a 29-yard field goal at the 8:46 mark in the second quarter. Memphis added another touchdown and extra point with 1:52 remaining in the first half with a 61-yard pass from Lynch to Doroland Dorceus and another extra point by Elliott. Houston responded 75 seconds later with a touchdown and extra point of their own on a pass from Postma to Linell Bonner and a Cummings kicking conversion. The Cougar score closed out the first half with Memphis leading 20-7.

Jadeveon Clowney, Cecil Shorts, Alfred Blue and J.J. Watt
were on the sidelines at TDECU Stadium to view the
action between Houston and Memphis.
Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loco Photography
Copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved
Houston came out after halftime, taking possession of the ball in the second half and quickly scored on a seven-yard carry into the end zone by Kenneth Farrow and another kicking extra point by Cummings. Memphis came back four minutes later to add seven points to their total for the evening on a six-yard run by Dorceus and another Elliott extra point. With the final fifteen minutes to play in the game, Memphis held a 27-14 lead. Nine seconds into the fourth quarter, the Tigers capped a 12-play, 68-yard drive with a 25-yard run by Tevin Jones to take a 34-14 lead.

At that point, the game was all Houston as the Cougars ripped of 21 consecutive points to secure the win. Farrow carried the ball the final 10 yards of a 75-yard drive with 12:56 remaining in the game to cut the Tiger lead to 13. They scored again seven minutes later on a one-yard run by Javin Webb. Postma closed out the 21-point scoring run with the seven-yard quarterback keeper touchdown Cummings added the kicking extra points on the final three touchdowns.

Before leaving the game with an injury, starting quarterback Greg Ward, Jr. was 5-of-11 for 60 yards. Postma, who came into the game with 1:21 left in the second quarter completed 21-of-33 passes for 236 yards and one touchdown. He also carried the ball six times for 49 yard and one touchdown, including a 22-yard romp on a second and ten play in the fourth quarter. The 34 points by Memphis was the most allowed by the Houston defense this season.

With two regular season games remaining, the Cougars will next hit the road for a November 21 matchup against UConn. They will return to TDECU Stadium on November 27 for their final regular season game against No. 25 Navy. The Midshipmen are currently 6-0 in conference play with a 55-14 win over the SMU Mustangs on Saturday, November 14. They will next play the Tulsa Golden Hurricane on Saturday, November 21.

Friday, November 13, 2015

No. 2 Crosby takes 43-13 bi-district win over Lumberton

Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2015 TexSport Publications

NEW CANEY, TEXAS (November 13, 2015) After having an 80-yard kickoff return called back for a penalty, the No. 2 Crosby Cougars promptly scored on their first play from scrimmage and used a 35-0 halftime lead to down the Lumberton Raiders by the score of 42-13 at Texan Drive Stadium in the Houston suburb of New Caney on Friday, November 13, 2015. With the win, Crosby moved to 11-0 in 2015 and will face Fort Bend Ridge Point at NRG Stadium on Saturday, November 21, 2015.

The Cougars’ first score scored 26 seconds into the game when Craig Williams took the ball from quarterback Tristan Cotton and quickly ran 91 yards down the left side for the touchdown. Kicker Juan Ochoa kicked the first of his six extra points to give the Cougars a 7-0 lead. A little more than two minutes later, Trevian Edwards caught a Cotton 32-yard pass for Crosby’s second touchdown of the game. Williams added another touchdown at the 6:32 mark in the first quarter secure a 21-0 lead after 12 minutes of play. Crosby added two more touchdowns in the second quarter on another run by Williams at the 8:19 mark and a Cotton to Jordan Hill 31-yard pass with 4:55 remaining in the half.

Crosby scored an insurance touchdown late in the third quarter on a three-yard run by Sherman McGee. Lumberton was finally able to get on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter on a 11-yard run by Timothy Rhodes and a one-yard run by Caleb Thomas.

Crosby will next face Fort Bend Ridge Point with a 5:30 p.m. match-up on Saturday, November 21, 2015 at NRG Stadium. Ridge Point downed Port Lavaca Calhoun by the score 42-35 in bi-district action.

Monday, November 02, 2015

American Athletic Conference names Steven Taylor Defensive Player of the Week

Photo courtesy of American Athletic Conference,
Used with permission
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2015 TexSport Publications

PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND  (November 2, 2015) Junior Steven Taylor has been named the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week, as announced early Monday morning, November 2, 2015 via a press release from The American Athletic Conference Department of Communication. The 6-1, 225-pound outside linebacker for the Houston Cougars received the honor after his outstanding performance in Houston’s 34-0 win over the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday, October 31, 2015.

Taylor, who played his high school football for Cedar Hill (Texas) High School, returned an interception 25 yards to begin a drive that resulted in a Houston touchdown. In addition, he tallied 12 tackles against Vanderbilt, seven of them solo tackles and forced one fumble. He had seen action in eight games for the Cougars in 2015 and has registered 42 solo tackles and 47 assisted tackles. He has three sacked to his credit for a total loss of 28 yards.

He currently leads the American Athletic Conference in sacks (8.0) and tackles for loss (3.0). He has a career best of 16 tackles against Tulsa in 2015 and has twice tallied four tackles for a loss. His three-year career total to date includes 226 tackles, with 119 of them solo affairs, in 33 games. He has registered 15 sacks for a total loss of 121 yards and 32.5 tackles for a loss for 156 yards.

Houston had four regular season games remaining, with their next game on Saturday, November 7, 2015 against the Cincinnati Bearcats, with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff at TDECU Stadium in Houston. They follow the Cincinnati game with a Saturday, November 14, 2015 match up against No. 15 Memphis. The Cougars are currently ranked No. 18 in both the AP and Coaches Polls.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Lamar Cardinals down HBU Huskies in Southland Conference acrtion

Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2015 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (October 31, 2015)  HBU quarterback Tony Dawson completed 16-of-36 passes for 136 yards and rushed for 56 yards but it was not enough to overcome the offensive punch of Lamar as the Huskies fell to the Cardinals by the score of 55-7 at Husky Field in Houston, Texas on Saturday, October 31, 2015. The Huskies lone touchdown can with 41 seconds remaining in the first half on a 34-yard run by Dawson and the kicking conversion by Travis Shinn.

The Cardinals ripped off 568 yards of total offense with 324 of those yards coming on the ground. The Huskies could only manage 233 yard of total offense, with 146 yards in the air. Lamar jumped out to a 14-0 lead after the first quarter and increased that lead to 34-0 with 41 second remaining in the first half. That was the point where Dawson scrambled for his 34-yard touchdown run. Lamar added 14 additional points on the third quarter and closed out their scoring with seven points late in the fourth quarter.

HBU head coach Vic Shealy, in the post-game press conference, discussed the HBU effort.
“We knew coming in Lamar was an extremely explosive offense and they had the ability. I thought our defense, outside some of the explosive plays that happened in the passing game, did a lot of good things today. We’ll go back and look at the tape, but I think we’ll find some things that are consistently happening, where we don’t make some mistakes mentally, that physically we are closing the gap and are able to play.”
Defensively, the Huskies were led by Eric Amoako and Garrett Dolan with 12 tackles, followed by Cody Moncure with 11. On the offense side of the ball, Ethan Fry caught four passes for 47 yards and Terrance Peters carried the ball 10 times for 41 yards.

The Huskies will have the next week off prior to their final two games of the season. They will face Stephen F. Austin on Saturday, November 14, 2015 and will close out the season against Incarnate Word on November 21, 2015 at home.

USA Baseball, Canada battle to two-all tie in Phoenix

PHOENIX, ARIZONA (October 31, 2015) The 2015 USA Baseball Premier12™ Team battled Canada to a 2-2 tie Saturday afternoon at the Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix. A strong effort from the U.S. pitching staff provided fourteen strikeouts to hold Canada scoreless through the final seven innings.

USA Baseball alumni Casey Coleman ran into trouble in the second as Canada took an early 2-0 lead on a bases-loaded walk by Kellin Deglan and an RBI groundout from Skyler Stromsmoe.

Team USA starting second basemen Tyler Pastornicky (Philadelphia Philles) cut the lead in half with an RBI single to bring home Jacob May (Chicago White Sox), who reached base on an error to lead off the inning. May proceeded to steal second base and then advanced to third on a passed ball. Pastornicky finished the day going 2-for-3 with 1 RBI.
“I was impressed with today’s performance and it was nice to get the guys out here and have them perform under these conditions”, said Manager Willie Randolph. “The pitching staff threw really well, we had some good at-bats, but again very pleased with the first day out.” 
Both teams were quiet in the middle part of the game before Team USA added a run in the seventh inning to tie the game at 2-2.

Brett Phillips (Milwaukee Brewers) singled to left field to start the inning and then stole second to set the table for May. The switch hitting center fielder came through for the U.S. as he hit a line drive base hit to center field to tie the game. 
“They attacked early, I thought maybe they would need a day or two to get their legs under them, but they were very aggressive, took bases, attacked early in counts”, noted Randolph when asked about the young outfielders. “I like to see that enthusiasm, that’s what it’s all about for me. We’re gonna get this thing rolling and I’ve been trying to teach these guys to be aggressive right from the get-go.”

The Team USA pitching staff turned in a scoreless final seven innings, highlighted by right handed pitcher JB Wendelken. The right hander, who is in the Chicago White Sox organization, was impressive as he struck out the side in the bottom half of the ninth.

The USA Baseball Premier12™ Team will be back in action against Canada for game two of the three game set, on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. ET from Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix.

Houston swimmers, divers nabs six wins against North Texas

Photo courtsey of
University of Houston Athletics Communications
HOUSTON, TEXAS (October 31, 2015) The University of Houston Swimming & Diving Team had six individual event champions Saturday afternoon, including the diving team sweeping both events against North Texas at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Natatorium. The Cougars fell to the Mean Green, 164.5-135.5.

“We designed this weekend to be a challenge, with a high-level meet last night and another high-level meet today,” said head coach Ryan Wochomurka. “I don’t think we were as ready to compete this morning as we were last night. I am proud of how we battled back though; we made a few adjustments in the middle of the meet and we competed better toward the end.”

Despite the loss, Houston produced six event victories, from Delia Weber (1,000-yard freestyle, 500-yard freestyle), Sharo Rodriguez (200-yard butterfly) Micaela Bouter (1-meter dive, 3-meter dive), and Eleanna Koutsouveli (200-yard backstroke).

“The four student-athletes who won events today continue to be leaders for us,” Wochomurka added. “We look to them for leadership, and the exciting thing is that they’re all underclassmen. They are learning what it means to be in that role, and they are leading the charge.”

The divers swept the meet, going 1-2-3 in both the 1-meter and 3-meter. Leading the pack was Bouter, who finished first in both the 3-meter and 1-meter, scoring 337.05 and 308.85. Senior Danielle Shedd earned second in both events with a score of 335.40 in the 3-meter and 304.13 in the 1-meter. Taylor Olanski rounded out the podium in both the 3-meter and 1-meter with her scores of 316.65 and 281.78.

Houston’s relay teams had four podium finishes in two events.  In the 200-yard medley relay, the Cougars finished second and third. The team of Koutsouveli, Ashley Grijalva, Rodriguez and Doroteja Bednjanec placed second with a time of 1:46.96. They were followed by the team of Jenny Penneck, Cameron Balkom, Taylor Derevyanik, and Caitlin Horner to round out the podium with a time of 1:48.40.

In the 400-yard freestyle relay, the team of Horner, Moore, Bednjanec and Hannah Herbst finished second with a swim of 3:31.41. In third was the team of Julie Gibson, Weber, Maya Owens and Derevyanik in a time of 3:35.11.

Weber won the 1,000-yard freestyle for the second day in a row with a swim of 10:13.26. Freshman Herbst placed second in a time of 10:27.88. Weber’s second win of the night came in the 500-yard freestyle, with a time of 5:02.24 as Herbst tied for second with a time of 5:09.48.

Koutsouveli finished second in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 58.33. Her third individual win of the weekend came in the 200-yard backstroke with a swim of 2:03.02, a collegiate personal best.

In the 100-yard breaststroke, sophomore Balkom placed third, swimming it in 1:06.63. The podium finish led the Cougars in the event.

Rodriguez captured first place in the 200-yard butterfly, swimming a time of 2:04.72. The individual victory was Rodriguez’s second in as many days. She also placed second in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 57.57.

In the 50-yard freestyle, Horner finished second with a time of 24.22 and Bednjanec placed third by swimming a time of 24.34. Horner followed that up by placing third in the 100-yard freestyle, swimming the race in 52.83.

In the 200-yard breaststroke, sophomore Grijalva placed third, leading the Cougars with a time of 2:24.55.

In the last individual event of the day, Koutsouveli swam a team season best and personal colligate best in the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:08.97, good for second. Rodriguez was right behind her with a swim of 2:10.76 for third place.

“For us, this was another learning opportunity,” Wochomurka said. “We are a very young team, and we will get better and 
grow from this weekend.”

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Texas Southern falls to Southern on Homecoming Weekend

Photo by Kristina Lee Anne Gager, Used with permission
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2015 TexSport Publication

HOUSTON, TEXAS (October 24, 2015) Texas Southern tied the score at 21 with 1:18 remaining in the first half, but Southern University scored 19 unanswered points in the second half to down the Tigers by the score of 40-21 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston on Saturday, October 24, 2015. With the loss, Texas Southern falls to 3-4 for the season and 2-4 in SWAC play. The Jaguars raised their record to 4-3 and 4-1 in conference play.

TSU and Southern traded touchdowns in the first quarter, tying the score at seven. The Jaguars scored also two additional touchdowns in the first quarter prior to TSU adding one to their total. At the end of the first quarter, Southern was leading 21-14. TSU tied the score at 21 points with 1:08 left in the half. Both teams took the tie to the locker room at halftime. Coming out in the second half, Southern scored four times; two touchdowns, one field goal, and a safety to put the game away. TSU was unable to score in the second half.

Photo by Kristina Lee Anne Gager
Used with permission
TSU scored two of their touchdowns off the arm of quarterback Averion Hurts. He completed six-of-eleven passes for 102 yards, including passes of 54 and 18 yards for the scores. His first TD pass was the 57-yarder to Larry Clark at the 1:08 mark in the first quarter. His second scoring pass was 3:13 into the second quarter in the form of the 18-yard pass to Milik Cross. The Tigers’ other score was a two-yard run by Brad Woodard with 12:32 left in the first quarter.

Offensively, TSU had trouble matching the Jaguar punch; tallying a mire 92 yards of total offense against the 377 yards of Southern. Defensively, Zacch Bamijoko accounted for eight tackles, with two of them solos.

TSU will take on College of Faith at 1 p.m. on Halloween (October 31) at BBVA Stadium. Southern will play Alcorn State at A.W. Mumford Stadium in Baton Rouge with a 4 p.m. kickoff.

Southeastern Louisiana downs HBU 22-7 in advance of hurricane-induced rain storm

SLU led HBU 16-0 at the half.
Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2015 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (October 24, 2015) With both teams valiantly taking to Dunham Field at Husky Stadium before the torrential rainfall from the remnants of Hurricane Patricia hit the Houston area, the Lions of Southeastern Louisianadowned the Houston Baptist Huskies by the score of 22-7 on Saturday, October 24, 2015. With the loss, the Huskies fall to 2-6 for the season and 0-5 in Southland Conference play. Southeastern raised their season record to 4-3 and 3-2 in conference action. SEL increased their series record to 2-0 against the Huskies. Last season, Southeastern downed HBU by the score of 76-7 in Hammond, Louisiana.

Head coach Vic Shealy stated prior to the game, as quoted in an HBU press release:
“Southeastern is certainly a tough challenge, both athletically and the job they do coaching their kids. In this league, you don’t expect it to be easy any week, and I think our staff, a long time ago, came to appreciate what it takes to exist in this league and Southeastern has been one of the very top here under Coach Roberts and I know it’s a great challenge.”
The Lions scored nine points in the first quarter on a safety and a passing touchdown. Husky quarterback Max Staver bobbled the ball on a third-and-eight quarterback keeper play for a three-yard loss. He recovered the ball in the end zone, but was down for the safety. At the 2:55 mark, quarterback D’Shaie Landor connected with De’Quan Smith for a 10-yard touchdown pass. Jonathan Tatum split the uprights with the kicking conversion to give Southeastern Louisiana their nine-point lead after 15 minutes of play. With 58 seconds left in the half, they scored their second touchdown on the game, wide receiver Trey Hallman carried the ball the final two yards of a 80-yard drive for the six points. Tatum again did his job and scored the kicking conversion to make the score 16-0 at halftime.

Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved

The Lions added an insurance score when Julius Maracalin capped a 66-yard, four play dive with a five-yard run for his second touchdown of the season. After the Tatum extra point, SLU led HBU by the score of 22-0 with 9:24 remaining in the game. HBU finally got on the scoreboard 62 seconds later when Terrance Peters rushed 77 yards for the score. Travis Shinn connected on the extra point attempt to cap HBU scoring for the afternoon.

Peters carried the ball 16 times for 139 yards to lead the Huskies, while Maxwell Brown caught two passes for 17 yards. Defensively, Cody Moncure tallied 15 tackles, with eight of them solo, while Dorrin Turner accounted for 12 tackles (two solo). HBU could manage only 199 yards of total offense, with 170 of those yards on the ground. The Lions racked up 455 yards of total offense with 167 yards in the air.

It took the Huskies until the fourth quarter to get on the scoreboard and Shealy commented earlier in the week, via a press release, concerning getting off to a good start in games.
“That’s one of the things I’ve been proud of many of our weeks is we’ve come out and have played really well the first half, then the third quarter has been one of our challenges. I feel like to be down 21-0, it’s hard on the road, because you don’t have as much there to fight back, other than internally, to emotionally build on. How you start off does dictate the confidence and some of the things that give you a chance to compete. With that being said, Southeastern is capable of exploding with their skill kids. I’m a huge fan of D’Shaie Landor and what he does with the ball in his hands is pretty amazing, those 10 seniors on defense and how they swarm, tackle and run to the ball. You can look at those guys on the back end in Harlan Miller and Jordan Batiste -- they are some of the very best defensive players in our league, but you get beyond them and there’s just so many good players, you know in order for your team to build confidence, they’ve got to have something good happen to them. How we come out and play in the first quarter will speak volumes.”
HBU will next face the Lamar Cardinals on Saturday, October 31 with kickoff scheduled for 2 p.m. CT. SLU will play their next game against Central Arkansas on the same day with a 7 p.m. CT start.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Netherly's overtime TD leads Crosby to 42-35 win over New Caney

Emmanuel Netherly (16) shown with his father,
Crosby assistant coach Dwight Netherly, scored three TDs
in Crosby's 42-35 overtime win against New Caney.
Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2015 TexSport Publications

CROSBY, TEXAS (October 23, 2015) With the score tied at 28 after four quarters, Crosby quarterback Tristan Cotton fired an 18-yard pass to Emmanuel Netherly in overtime to secure a 42-35 victory over New Caney at Cougar Stadium in the Houston suburb of Crosby on Friday, October 23, 2015. With the win, the Cougars remain undefeated in district play with a 6-0 record and a perfect 8-0 record in 2015.

Netherly added three touchdown to his season total; two in the air and one on the ground. The fleet-footed junior carried the ball one time for five yards and the score and caught passes of 27 and 18 yards for his other two scores. Cotton was 15-of-26 for 234 yards and three touchdowns while rushing 21 yards on nine carries.

Crosby took an early lead in the first quarter with a 66-yard touchdown run by Craig Williams and a Yardley Cruz extra point. Cruz stepped up to the tee six times during the game and split the uprights on every extra point.

New Caney scored twice in the second quarter on passes from Timothy Ware to David Harvey. Crosby added a touchdown between the New Caney scores with Netherly’s 27-yard scoring pass from Cotton to tie the score at 14 after 24 minutes. Both teams scored 14 points in the third quarter to again tie the score going into the fourth quarter. Crosby went ahead with 3:40 remaining in the game on a Cotton pass to Shammah Gray and the Cruz conversion. The Eagles took the kickoff and tied the score on a Mart’e Allison two-yard run and Eduardo Martinez’s extra point with 30 second left in regulation.

With two weeks left in the regular season, Crosby will face New Caney Porter at Texan Drive Stadium on Friday, October 30 in New Caney. They will close out the regular season with a Friday, November 6 match-up against C.E. King at Cougar Field in Crosby.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Heart of Texas Bowl partners with Gridiron Heroes

COPPERAS COVE, TEXAS (October 22, 2015) With the upcoming Heart of Texas Bowl on December 5 at Bulldawg Stadium, the Heart of Texas Bowl Committee has decided to make Gridiron Heroes one of the charities to be benefitted from the bowl game.
“We’re excited about that, we’re very excited about being a part of the bowl game,” Gridiron Heroes founder Eddie Canales said. “We’re hoping we can create an atmosphere where people understand that there are other things that can be done to help these kids that have been injured. We’re appreciative of the fact that the bowl committee has accepted the idea that this is a worthy cause.”
Gridiron Heroes Spinal Cord Injury Foundation was formed in 2003 with a specific mission: To provide immediate, as well as, long term resources and support to individuals sustaining catastrophic spinal cord injury through activities associated with high school football.
“The Heart of Texas Bowl is so excited to partner with an organization such as Gridiron Heroes,” Heart of Texas Bowl Senior Director Of Marketing And Strategic Partnerships Ronald Oswalt said. “Gridiron Heroes has done such amazing work for families across the country and right here in the Lone Star State. It is our hope that this partnership will bring more awareness to spinal cord injuries in football and shine a light on Gridiron Heroes as an organization.”
On November 2, 2001, Chris Canales, a senior defensive back playing for San Marcos Baptist Academy, sustained a spinal cord injury during the fourth quarter of his final regular season game. Chris lay motionless on the field for 19 minutes. The next three weeks, Chris fought for his life. The following months he battled through rehabilitation trying to gain movement and learning how to function as a quadriplegic. Chris’ injury and the lack of any organized support system for families prompted his father, Eddie Canales, the Canales family, and former coach Mike Kipp to begin discussions about the desperate need for an organization for families who were forced to deal with the consequences of this devastating injury.
In November of 2002, Chris and Eddie were in attendance at the Texas 3A State Championship football game in the Alamodome, in San Antonio. There they witnessed another spinal cord injury. This time it was Everman defensive back, Corey Fulbright. Chris turned to his Dad and said, “We need to go and help them. I know what he (Corey) is going to go through, and you know what the family will have to go through.” Inspired by the compassion of Chris, Eddie and Mike Kipp formed Gridiron Heroes Spinal Cord Injury Foundation. Articles of Incorporation were filed in February of 2003, and a 501(C) 3 Tax exempt status was obtained in May of the same year. Through a grant written by Eddie & his dad, Coach Robert M. Canales, funds received helped kick-off its first year.
Receiving calls from other states has shown a need for the work that is being done. Gridiron Heroes has taken step towards helping others nationwide. There have been others who suffered this similar injury in the past. Unfortunately and inevitably there will be more. Rest assured that Gridiron Heroes will be there for the next family who finds themselves in this life-changing situation.

“I’m hoping it becomes a catalyst for other bowls,” Canales said. “To find out and to have other bowls to step up and create a Gridiron Heroes weekend. Something where we can designate a time frame for raising money for those that have been injured playing football.”

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Karis Jochen shares SEC Runner of the Week honor following Crimson Classic victory

Photo courtesy of  Texas A&M University
Media Relations Department
BIRMINGHAM , ALABAMA (October 20, 2015) Texas A and M junior Karis Jochen shared the SEC women’s Runner of the Week honor following her victory over 5,000 meters at the Crimson Classic hosted by Alabama last weekend. Also named SEC Runner of the Week was Dominique Scott of Arkansas.

Jochen posted a time of 16:46.23 in leading the Aggie women to a fifth-place team finish in the Crimson Classic as she claimed the individual title by less than a second over Oklahoma State’s Natalie Baker (16:46.95) with Katelyn Greenleaf of Alabama (16:47.71) third. This is the second SEC Runner of the Week honor for Jochen this season.

Scott, the defending SEC cross country champion, placed third in the Wisconsin Invitational as she led the Razorbacks to a runner-up team finish to No. 1 New Mexico. She posted a time of 19:32.5 on the 6,000-meter course to record the best time in the SEC over that distance this season.

In the South Central region rankings the Aggies moved up one position in each gender. The A&M men are now No.3 while the women are No. 4.

Texas A&M plays host to the SEC Championships on the Dale Watts Cross Country course on Friday, October 30 with the women’s race at 10 a.m. followed by the men’s race at 11 a.m.

Wiley College's Ethel Ajanga received RRAC Cross Country Runner of the Week

Photo courtesy of Red River Athletic Conference
WACO, TEXAS (October 20, 2015) Ethel Ajanga of Wiley College (Texas) was honored as the RRAC Women’s Cross Country Runner of the Week for Oct. 12-18. This is the seventh weekly award of the 2015 cross country season.

Ajanga, a senior from Nairobi, Kenya, placed 15th in a field of 58 runners at the University of Dallas Invitational on Saturday. She posted a time of 21:34 in the 5K distance.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

HBU Women’s Soccer Rallies to Defeat Northwestern State, 3-1

Jessa LeBlanc and Sabriah Spencer each register 3-point games

Photo courtesy of HBU  Athletic Media Relations Department 
NATCHITOCHES, LOUISIANA (October 18, 2015)  HBU women’s soccer scored three second-half goals to erase a 1-0 Northwestern State lead in a 3-1 Huskies win Sunday afternoon from the Lady Demon Soccer Complex.

HBU (8-4-1 overall, 6-2-0 SLC) was led by Jessa LeBlanc and Sabriah Spencer, who each registered three-point games on the day; a career-high in points for LeBlanc. Blake Martin took a match-high four shots for HBU. Alanis Guevara earned the win in goal as she made four saves.

Cassandra Briscoe scored for Northwestern State (5-8-3, 2-4-2), as she and Brittany Caserma had a team-best three shots apiece. Alex Latham suffered the loss between the pipes as she stopped six shots.

The Lady Demons scored the game’s first goal just six minutes in, as Esdeina Gonzalez’s shot was deflected, but the rebound went to Briscoe who scored from 10 yards out.

HBU outshot the Lady Demons, 10-8, in the opening half, but Northwestern State doubled up the Huskies in corner kicks, 4-2.

HBU put the pedal to the metal to start the second half, with three corners and two shots on goal in the first 12 minutes, but nothing to show. The Huskies broke through in the 61st minute, as LeBlanc scored the equalizer, assisted by Spencer, who sent in a terrific cross.

After clearing two corner attempts by the Lady Demons, the tandem of LeBlanc and Spencer struck again to give HBU a 2-1 lead in the 83rd minute, as LeBlanc passed to an open Spencer in the box.

Sixteen seconds after entering the game as a sub, Gabby Rodriguez gave the Huskies some insurance, as she took advantage of a Northwestern State defensive miscue and beat Latham in the 88th minute for a 3-1 Huskies advantage.

HBU outshot the Lady Demons, 7-3, in the second half and 17-11 in the match. Northwestern State held a slim 4-3 advantage in second-half corner kicks and controlled the corners, 8-5, in the match.

HBU returns to Sorrels Field for the final three matches of the regular season, beginning with a Friday night tilt against McNeese State on Oct. 23 at 7:00 p.m.

Houston Cougars climb in both AP and Coaches Polls

Houston jumps three spots to No. 21 in AP poll while entering coaches poll at No. 22.

Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved.
HOUSTON, TEXAS (October 18, 2015) The Houston Football program climbed in both the Associated Press and USA Today coaches polls released Sunday, coming in at No. 21 in the AP poll and No. 22 in the coaches poll.

Houston’s climb comes after a 42-7 win over Tulane Friday night in New Orleans. The No. 21 ranking in the AP poll is Houston’s highest ranking since coming in at No. 18 in the final poll of the 2011 season when the Cougars finished the year 13-1.

Houston is one of 14 teams still undefeated including three teams in The American (UH, Memphis, Temple).  Twelve of the 14 are in action this weekend including Memphis (at Tulsa) and Temple (at East Carolina).

Houston is the only team in The American to defeat four different opponents by 21 points or more. The Cougars are one of three undefeated teams nationally with at least four wins of 21 points or more (Baylor, Ohio State).

This season is the fifth in Houston history for the Cougars to start 6-0 and the first since 2011. Houston has started 7-0 three times in program history (1979, 1990, 2011).

The Cougars rank 11th nationally in rushing defense, allowing just 98.5 yards per game, while ranking 10th in rushing offense with an average of 279.2 yards per game. Houston and LSU are the only teams in the nation to rank in the top 11 in both categories.

Junior quarterback Greg Ward Jr. (shown above right) is tied with LSU’s Leonard Fournette for the nation’s lead the nation with 14 rushing touchdowns, despite 57 less rushing attempts than Fournette.

Ward is second nationally in scoring with 84 points while ranking fourth in points responsible for per game with 23.0 per game.

Ward leads The American and is seventh nationally with an average of 359.2 yards of total offense per game. Ward is the only player nationally to average over 200 passing yards per game (260.4) and over 100 rushing yards per game (110.8). He ranks in the top 10 nationally in seven different stat categories.

UH, Baylor and TCU are the only three teams nationally to rank in the top 28 in rushing offense and passing offense. Houston ranks 10th in rushing offense (279.2) and 28th nationally in passing offense (275.5).

Houston returns to action this Saturday when it travels to Orlando to face UCF. Kickoff is slated for 11 a.m. CT and the game will air on ESPNews and KPRC 950 AM.