Thursday, December 30, 2010

Armed Forces Bowl 2010: Army Tops SMU 16-14 in Dallas

(Photo by Darla Tamulitis, La Vita Loco Photography, Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved)

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2010 TexSport Publications

DALLAS, TEXAS (December 30, 2010) With the weather cloudy and the game time temperature in the mid 60s, the Army Black Knights (7-6 Overall, Independent) downed the SMU Mustangs (7-7, 6-2 C-USA) 16-14 in the 2010 Armed Forces Bowl played at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas.

The Black Knights wasted no time getting on the scoreboard early in the first quarter when Chad Littlejohn sacked SMU quarterback Kyle Padron, causing a fumble.

The ball was picked up by linebacker Josh McNary and returned 55 yards for the touchdown.

With Alex Carlton kicking the extra point, Army took the lead 7-0 at the 13:33 mark.

They came back eight minutes later to score their first offensive touchdown on a 13-yard run by running back Malcolm Brown. Carlton’s kick was blocked to take the score to 13-0 in favor of Army.

Army increased their lead to 16-0 late in the second quarter with Carlton’s attempt of a 44-yard field goal was good.

SMU finally found pay dirt at the 2:56 mark in the third quarter. Pardon found wide receiver Aldrick Robinson open over the middle and connected on an eight yard pass for the score.

Matt Szymanski kicked the extra point to cut Army’s lead to nine.

SMU again found the end zone with 9:20 left in the game. Pardon hit Darius Johnson on a 28-yard pass and combined with another Szymanski PAT, cut the score to 16-14.

Szymanski tried to give SMU the lead at the 4:10 mark in the game with a 47-yard field goal attempt. The kick was wide left, giving Army a 1st in 10 on their 30-yard line.

Army spent the last minutes of the game running out the clock to preserve their first bowl victory since 1985.

In that game, the Black Knights defeated Illinois 31-29 in the Peach Bowl.

The Most Valuable Players of the Game were Army linebacker Stephen Anderson and SMU wide receiver Jeremy Johnson.

Anderson had 14 tackles, with 10 of them being solo, combined with Josh McNary for a sack, and tallied one interception.

Johnson caught nine passes for 152 yards and one touchdown, averaging 16.9 yards a catch.

Army had 229 yards of total offense compared to 413 yards for SMU. The difference was in rushing yards, where Army led (199 to 111) and passing yards, where SMU held the advantage (302-30).

The loss was SMU’s first in a bowl game since 1983 when they went down to Alabama 28-7 in the Sun Bowl.

SMU is now 5-7-1 in bowl games, dating back to January 1, 1925 when they lost the Dixie Classic Bowl, 9-7 to West Virginia Wesleyan at Fair Park in Dallas.

The bowl was phased out after the 1934 game, with only three games played (1922, 1925, and 1934) in favor of the Cotton Bowl

With the win, Army goes to 3-2 in bowl games, going back 26 years to their win, 10-6 over Michigan State in the Cherry Bowl in the Pontiac Silverdome.

The bowl was only played for two years (1984 and 1985) due to a lack of financially viability.







Tuesday, December 28, 2010

RING OF CHAMPIONS SHOWCASE PARTNER TO HOST SIFL COMBINES

ORLANDO, FLORIDA (December 28, 2010) The Southern Indoor Football League (SIFL) announced today that the Ring of Champions Showcase (ROCS) has become their official partner for hosting league wide player combines. ROCS is comprised of former and current professional football coaches, managers and scouts from across the U.S. and Canada. With hundreds of collective years experience in pro football, ROCS produces player combines in order to collect and deliver player personnel testing and data to the league.

SIFL Commissioner stated “This is a great opportunity for us to have ROCS on board as our official partner. There are no better football people in the scouting business and I am honored to be working with them again. I feel one hundred percent confident that we will receive the best available players through ROCS efforts”.

ROCS is headed by CEO Bruce Cowdrey a long time arena football coach winning more championship rings than most. He has championship rings from four different professional leagues and his staff have earned over forty rings and garnered more professional players than any other organization. He and the ROCS staff will be personally testing and reporting on the players and their league potential. “It is great to be part of the SIFL and what they are trying to achieve with players. As long as I have been a recruiter I think this represents the best opportunities yet for players to get a chance to play in the pros” said Cowdrey.

The SIFL/Ring of Champions Showcase kicks off their regional workouts January 15 in San Antonio, TX and continues through June at various locations across the country. For a complete listing of player combines log onto www.southernifl.com www.fanteractive.com or www.canamrocs.com .

Monday, December 27, 2010

Gary Kubiak: The Time To Replace Him As The Houston Texans Head Coach Has Come

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2010 TexSport Publications

PASADENA, TEXAS (December 27, 2010) The time has come. The fans know it. The players know it. Heck, even Gary Kubiak knows it. The time for a change has come.

The only question is does Bob McNair know it?

The time for Gary Kubiak to step aside and give someone else a chance is long overdue.

Kubiak was hired with much fanfare in 2006 as the replacement for Dom Capers. He has had a one winning season in six years, posting a 9-7 record in 2009.

2010 was going to be the year that the Texans, to paraphrase Bum Phillips, were going to “kick the door in.”

The kick never happened. In fact, the Texans took quite a bit of kicking themselves.

After starting the season with a 4-2 record, they dropped eight of their next nine games and fell into a “funk” that no one seemed to be able to pull them out of.

It does not matter whose fault it was; the players, the coaches, the owner. The ultimate fall guy is and always will be the head coach.

Kubiak is not the first head coach to be “relieved of command.” He will not be the last.

But the time has come to place the future of the Houston Texans in someone else’s hands.

As I stated earlier, the fans know it, the players know it, and Gary Kubiak knows it.

I guess it comes down to Bob McNair. He may already know it. What do I mean “may.” Of course he knows.

The question is when he will decide to act?

The sooner he acts; the better. There are more than a couple of NFL teams that are looking for a new head coach. He had better get cracking if he wants to get a quality coach who will take the Texans to the next level.

In my mind, the best choice for the Texans would be to hire Bill Cowher. The lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to their fifth Super Bowl title and has the tools and credentials to lead the Texans.

He has express an interest in getting back into coaching and if Mc Nair wants make it to the big time, Cowher may be the only way to go.

I will add in another tale to the mix; how about hiring Mike Singletary as the defensive coordinator. I understand as of yesterday he is looking for a job.

In any case, the sooner McNair acts, the better it will be. It will be better for the fans, better for the players, and better for the Texans.

It is as simple as that.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

GENERAL MCKINLEY TO SERVE AS BELL HELICOPTER ARMED FORCES BOWL HONORARY TEAM CAPTAIN

FORT WORTH, TEXAS (December 22, 2010) The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl has named General Craig R. McKinley as the honorary team captain for the 2010 postseason college football bowl game. As part of his team captain duties, General McKinley will perform the game’s coin toss prior to the 11 a.m. (CST) kickoff on Thursday, Dec. 30. McKinley will also be responsible for performing the induction ceremony at halftime for recruits present from all five branches of the military.

“We are honored to have General McKinley serve in this capacity at this year’s game,” said Brant B. Ringler, executive director of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. “General McKinley has demonstrated great devotion to this country and will be an excellent representative of service to guide these young men and women into the armed forces.”

General Craig R. McKinley is Chief, National Guard Bureau, a joint activity of the Department of Defense, Arlington, Va. As Chief, he is the senior uniformed National Guard officer responsible for formulating, developing and coordinating all policies, programs and plans affecting more than half a million Army and Air National Guard personnel. Appointed by the President, he serves as principal adviser to the Secretary of Defense through the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on National Guard matters. He is also the principal adviser to the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Army, and the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force on all National Guard issues. As National Guard Bureau Chief, he serves as the department's official channel of communication with the Governors and Adjutants General.

General McKinley is no stranger to the home of the 2010 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, Southern Methodist University’s Ford Stadium, as he completed his undergraduate degree at SMU in 1974, receiving his commission as a distinguished graduate of the ROTC program. He has served in numerous assignments in flying and operations, as well as command positions at group, wing, sector and field operating agency levels. His assignments include Commander, 1st Air Force, Air Combat Command, and Commander, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. He has served as the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Programs, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., and Director, Mobilization and Reserve Affairs Directorate, U.S. European Command, Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Germany.

McKinley is a command pilot with more than 4,000 hours, primarily in the T-38, F-106, F-16 and F-15. Additionally, General McKinley has been pilot in command in the C-131 and C-130 operational support airlift aircraft. Prior to his current assignment, General McKinley served as Director of the Air National Guard.

Owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television, Inc., the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will kick off on Thursday, Dec. 30 from Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas and will air at 11 a.m. (CST) on ESPN and ESPN Radio. The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl has featured a military theme since 2006 with patriotic overtones recognizing all five branches of the military throughout the game. Past Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowls have included fan-fest areas showcasing military hardware; flyovers; demonstrations by several of the military’s top skydiving teams; on-field induction ceremonies; military bands and honor guards; and the awarding of the annual “Great American Patriot Award” (GAPA) presented by Armed Forces Insurance. Admiral Thad Allen (Retired) will accept the 2010 GAPA award at half-time. For more information on the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, visit www.ArmedForcesBowl.com.

Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, joined the bowl on August 23, 2006 as the title sponsor of the postseason college football game formerly known as the PlainsCapital Fort Worth Bowl (2003, 2004) and the Fort Worth Bowl (2005). 2006 marked the first year for the adoption of the “Armed Forces Bowl” name, making the official title the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. Bell Helicopter has exercised its option for title sponsorship of the game twice. The current agreement was signed September 2009 to continue the sponsorship for the 2010 and 2011 games.

HOUSTON BOAT SHOW PREPARING FOR THE BEST

Organizers of Nation's Largest Indoor U.S. Boat Show Get Ready for More Motivated Crowd This Year

HOUSTON, TEXAS, (December 21, 2010) After an economic downturn had boat and camper sellers bracing for the worst, there seem to be signs of a recovery. The Houston International Boat, Sport and Travel Show, the largest indoor show of its kind in the country, will open its doors at Reliant Center on January 7 – 16, and organizers believe crowds will be bigger and will include more serious boat and camper buyers.

For many years, experts have turned to boat and camper sales as an economic indicator. Several factors have resulted in a drop in boat and camper sales over the past few years, including the obvious—plummeting discretionary spending due to loss of jobs and fears about the economy in general. Also, in the midst of a record number of foreclosures, creditors tightened their belts, making it very difficult for potential boat and camper buyers to get financing.

Despite this, the Houston Boat Show has ridden out the economic storm as many other boat shows in the country have shut their doors.

Houston Boat Show President Ken Lovell says local boat and camper dealers have dealt with slower sales, but at the same time Houston has many more boating and travel opportunities compared to other areas of the country, "When it comes to boating, we have every type of body of water you can imagine at our backdoor. Also, Texas has very easy access to the water with hundreds of free or very low cost boat ramps, and there are plenty of storage facilities. So it's easier and much less expensive to operate a boat here. The same goes for operating a camper in Texas—you don't have to waste much gas to get to an amazing camping area."

Lovell says, "We have seen so many give up their pricey vacation homes and expensive airfares in exchange for a new boat or camper, which opens the door to so many more fun and cost-effective options—close to home or out of state." In addition, he says creditors, suffering from a decline in car sales, have loosened their restrictions on boat and camper financing.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Houston Drops Sam Houston 75-73 In Last Game For Both Teams Before Christmas

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2010 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (December 21, 2010) Leaving the court at halftime trailing by three points, the Houston Cougars (7-5, 0-0 C-USA) came back, winning a close game, 75-73 over the Sam Houston Bearkats (6-4, 0-0 SLC) at Hofheinz Pavilion in Houston.

This game gave the Cougars a 2-0 record this season over the Bearkats, extending their lead over Sam Houston to 26-6 all-time.

Houston beat the Bearkats 75-71 on December 4 in Huntsville, with the game decided in overtime.

Rebounding and free throws were the key to the game, with Houston hitting 17 of 30 from the line, while the Bearkats hit 20 of 28.

Adam Brown led the Cougars with 21 points and six rebounds, while Maurice McNeil chipped in 18 with nine boards.

Rebounding was again a problem for the Cougars, with three players; McNeil, Brown and Kendrick Washington (six rebounds) accounting for 21 of Houston’s 34 total rebounds.

The Cougars could manage only eight offensive rebounds, with McNeil, Brown and Washington accounting for seven of the eight.

The Cougars must hit the offensive boards with more aggressiveness if they want to survive their upcoming C-USA matchups beginning January 5.

Southern Mississippi is averaging 45.4 rebounds per game, which is ranked fourth in the nation while Marshall has a 40.9 average per game.

The Cougars will play Southern Mississippi at Home on January 5, while having to wait until February 1 to meet Marshall.

The Cougars will have off until December 26, when Houston head coach James Dickey stated his players would be back in Houston for practice.

The Cougars will next face Rogers State on December 30 with a 6:00pm start. This will be their last non-conference game before kicking off the C-USA schedule on January 5 against Mississippi State.

The Bearkats will next face Air Force on December 28 in El Paso at the Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational, followed by Western New Mexico on December 29.

TEXAS BOWL TICKET SALES SURPASS 60,000

Less than 10,000 tickets remain with a week to go until the game

HOUSTON, TEXAS (December 21, 2010) Ticket sales for the 2010 Texas Bowl have surpassed 60,000, the Texas Bowl Committee announced today. With the game eight days away, less than 10,000 tickets remain available for purchase.

The 2010 Texas Bowl will kick off at 5 p.m. CT, Wednesday, Dec. 29. It will be televised on ESPN and can be heard nationally on ESPN Radio and locally on ESPN 97.5 FM. The game will feature Baylor and Illinois in the first year of the bowl’s new matchup between the Big 12 and Big Ten.

Baylor finished the year 7-5 and will be making its first bowl appearance since 1994, while Illinois returns to postseason play for the first time since the 2007 season after a 6-6 season.

The Texas Bowl, which is owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television (ERT), Inc., a subsidiary of ESPN, held the fifth choice among non-BCS bowls in each conference. Baylor will be the designated home team for the game.

Tickets went on sale to the general public on November 1 following an exclusive pre-sale window for those who bought tickets to the 2009 Texas Bowl. Tickets, which start at $30, may be purchased online at TicketMaster.com, on the phone at 832-667-2390 or in person at the Reliant Stadium box office inside Budweiser Plaza.

Game tickets will also grant fans admittance to TexFest, a Texas-sized pregame party featuring a live performance by popular Texas country artist Roger Creager on the Bud Light Stage, as well as “Spirit Walks” when the teams arrive.

The Texas Bowl has been a tremendous success both on and off the field over its first four years. The bowl has generated an average of $25 million per year for the Houston economy. The bowl has over 25,000 season ticket holders and sold over 50,000 tickets before its teams were announced last year.

Over its four-year history, the Texas Bowl has donated over $300,000 and more than $5 million in promotional support and publicity to DePelchin Children’s Center, the bowl’s official charitable beneficiary.

Monday, December 20, 2010

New Sponsors Join Houston Marathon Race Weekend

Waste Management named first “green” sponsor, Nissan official automotive sponsor.

HOUSTON, TEXAS (December 20, 2010) The Houston Marathon Committee is excited to announce its new 2011 sponsors: Waste Management, Nissan and global law firm King & Spalding.

"We could not be more thrilled to welcome these new companies to our team," said Steven Karpas, managing director of business development and marketing of the Houston Marathon Committee. "As the popularity of our event continues to grow, it’s the support of our sponsors that allows us to enhance and provide the best race weekend experience for our participants.”

Houston-based Waste Management, a leading provider of comprehensive environmental services in North America, is the first official “green” partner of the Chevron Houston Marathon. Committed to helping reduce the event’s environmental footprint, Waste Management will provide recycling receptacles during race weekend and will also perform a waste audit to help expand the Committee’s green initiatives for future events. In addition, Waste Management’s “Green Squad” will support the marathon with a team of volunteers.

Nissan, the new official and exclusive automotive sponsor of the Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon, will provide official vehicles for the 2011 races.

"This marketing partnership is an ideal way for Nissan to bring the new 100% electric Nissan LEAF to Houston's active lifestyle community and connect to consumers in a way that aligns Nissan with their passions," said Jon Brancheau, Vice President, Marketing, Nissan Division. More information on Nissan in North America can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com.

In addition to Waste Management and Nissan, King & Spalding, a full-service, global law firm with offices in Houston, joins the team and will provide reusable goodie bags for more than 30,000 race participants.

The Chevron Houston Marathon, Aramco Houston Half Marathon and El Paso Corporation 5K will be held on January 30, 2011.

To learn more about Houston Marathon Committee’s sponsors and its green initiative, please visit the event website houstonmarathon.com.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

SMA BEARS MOVING UP IN THE POLLS

(San Marcos Academy Bears local basketball players Sabas Castillo, Currie Pipkins, Aubrey Oswalt, Dion'drick McCoy and John Nealon are all smiles after hearing of their latest rise in state polls. Photo by J. Ronald Oswalt-Special Assistant for Athletic Development-San Marcos Academy)

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS (December 18, 2010) The San Marcos Academy Bears got an early holiday present as they moved up this week to number four in the latest poll of the Texas Basketball Coaches Association of private schools. The Bears are off to a fast start, and currently stand at 14-2 for the season. The team, 2-0 early in district play, is riding a 4-game winning streak.

The Bears have swept both the San Antonio Lutheran Tourney and the Sunnybrook Christian Lions Hoops Tourney with a 6-0 record in both tournaments, taking home two championship trophies and two MVP awards.

The latest ranking is the highest since the early 1980’s then the Bears joined the Texas Association for Private and Parochial Schools. The Bears are rolling under the leadership of SMA Head Coach Kelia Price, the perimeter play of junior guard John Nealon from Wimberley and the inside play of Currie Pipkins, Sabas Castillo and Dion’drick McCoy, all of San Marcos.

“From the first practice we had, Coach Price has pushed us to work hard to come together as a team,” Pipkins said. “We have to work together to get better on the court. This team has a chance of reaching some high goals, but there is still work to be done. We are where we are now by giving it all we got in practice and in the games.”

The holidays may be a welcome break for the Bears, but may be a challenge for continuing the steady improvement they have shown as they now go for more than four weeks with no games. When they return for the spring semester, they will immediately have to face the always-tough Austin Regents, a team fresh off a state championship season in football.

“We never know from night to night who will step up for us,” Coach Price said of his players. “However, the down low-presence of Castillo has expanded our game, while Pipkins has been our leading scorer and one of the best rebounders in the state.”

The SMA Bears will return to action after the holiday break with a district contest on January 11th on Chick-fil-A Court as the Knights from Austin Regents pay a visit.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Houston Men's Basketball To Face SHSU In Huntsville

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2010 TexSport Publications

HUNTSVILLE, TEXAS (December 4, 2010) The Houston Cougars (4-3, 0-0 C-USA) hit the road for the fourth time this season to face the Sam Houston State Bearkats (4-1, 0-0 SLC) with a 2:00pm game time in Saturday.

Just a stone’s throw away Sam Houston’s grave, the Cougars and the Bearkats take to the hardwood at Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum, with Houston coming off a 73-57 drumming from LSU in Baton Rouge on Nov. 20.

Sam Houston, the defending Southland Conference champions, is coming off a 54-46 win over St. Thomas. Their only loss this season was to Texas, 84-50 in Austin.

The Cougars own a 24-9 (.727) lead in the all-time series against the Bearkats, which dates back to Jan. 17, 1946.

Houston has won the last two and four of the last five games against Sam Houston and post a 10-4 (.714) all-time record in Huntsville.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Former Texas Tech Head Football Coach Mike Leach Sues ESPN

(Photo by Robert H Kelly-TexSport Publications, Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved)

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2010 TexSport Publications

PASADENA, TEXAS (November 24, 2010) It is being reported by ESPN.com and the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that former Texas Tech head football coach Mike Leach is suing ESPN for deformation of character, slander and libel.

Leach was fired last December after allegations were made, accusing him of mistreatment of running back Adam James.

Leach filed a lawsuit on Wednesday alleging that he was defamed by ESPN and college football analyst Craig James, who is also the father of the younger James.

The suit, which was filled in Texas district court, claims ESPN failed to "retract false and damaging statements" made from "misinformation" James provided.

The suit also names Spaeth Communications as a co-defendant, claiming the elder James hired the firm for "purposes of creating public opinion hostile to Leach."

Leach is now working as an announcer for CBS College Sports, while the elder James is currently working as a sports commentator for games on ABC and ESPN television.

The younger James is in his junior year at Texas Tech, playing inside receiver. He has played in a total of eight games this season, catching two passes for 16 yards.

Houston Cougars Down Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns 78-65

(Adam Brown (31) scored 23 points for the Houston Cougars in their win over the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns. Photo by Robert H Kelly-TexSport Publications, Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved)

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2010 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 23, 2010) Trailing by 12 points at the half, the Houston Cougars (4-1, 0-0 C-USA) mounted a solid offense, coming from behind to beat the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (1-4, 0-0 Sun Belt) 78-65 at Hofheinz Pavilion.

Offensive rebounds and consistent shooting seemed to be the problem for the Cougars early in the game, shooting 38% from the floor while pulling down only two offensive rebounds.

They appeared to pull together in the second half, improving their shooting to 49%

Cougar guard Adam Brown had his best game of the young season, scoring 23 points and pulling down five rebounds on 37 minutes of playing time.

Kirk Van Slyke and Kendrick Washington each scored 17 in the effort.

The Ragin’ Cajuns lead 38-26 at the half, but the Cougars went on a scoring run the second half, outscoring their opponent 52-27.

The one area the Cougars lacked was in offensive rebounds. They managed to pull down only seven in the 40 minute game, as opposed to Louisiana’ 17,

They did pull down 34 defensive rebounds, but when a team does not hit the boards, they are going to get caught up in a battle that, in most cases, they cannot win.

The Ragin’ Cajuns started off with a solid effort, but fell apart late in the second quarter.

Houston took the lead 67-65 at the 3:07 mark of the 2nd quarter on a three point shot by Adam Brown. The Cougars and never looked back, scoring 11 unanswered points for the win.

The Ragin’ Cajuns were led by Josh brown with 16 points, while La’Ryan Gary added 13.

The Cougars will now hit the road for three games, beginning Nov. 27 at TCU, followed by games on Nov. 30 at LSU and Dec. 4 at Sam Houston State.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Houston Cougars Down NWOSU 81-58; Maurice McNeil Gets Third Double-Double

(Photo by Robert Kelly-TexSport Publications, Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved)

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2010 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 20, 2010) The Houston Cougars jumped out to a 17 point lead at halftime in route to a 81-58 win over the Northwestern Oklahoma State Rangers at Hofheinz Pavilion.

The Cougars had a balanced game with 11 players getting playing minutes with nine scoring points.

Maurice McNeil led the Cougars with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Darian Thibodeaux chipped in 15 while Kendrick Washington came off the bench to score 13.

Kirk Van Slyke added 11 points with five rebounds in the win.

Zamal Nixon continued his solid all-around play, scoring 10 points with a game-high eight assists, five rebounds and two steals.

The Rangers led early in the game, 7-4 with 17 minutes left in the half. Houston tied it up at the 16:10 mark on a 3-pointer by Van Slyke. From that point on, it was Houston’s game.

Houston scored 24 of 31 field goals in the first half but could manage only 16 of 39 in the second.

Head coach James Dickey emptied his bench midway through the second half to give some much needed playing time to all his players while the season is still young.

While leading the Cougars to the win, McNeil got his third double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds) of the season.

With the win, the Cougars improved to 3-1 overall, while the Rangers dropped to 4-1.

Houston Men’s Basketball Set to Play Host to Northwestern Oklahoma State

(HOUSTON, TEXAS) The University of Houston men’s basketball team returns home to Hofheinz Pavilion this weekend to start a brief two-game homestand.

The Cougars play host to Northwestern Oklahoma State at 2 p.m., Saturday before meeting Louisiana-Lafayette at 7 p.m., Tuesday. Earlier this season, the Cougars opened their schedule with back-to-back home wins against Nicholls State and Alcorn State.

The Cougars (2-1) enter this weekend’s game on the heels of a 60-54 loss at Louisiana Tech on Wednesday, snapping Houston’s two-game winning streak. Against the Bulldogs, senior forward Maurice McNeil posted 11 points and nine rebounds, falling just oneboard shy of his third straight double-double to begin the season.

Junior guard Darian Thibodeaux added 11 points with three rebounds and two assists, while senior guard Zamal Nixon added seven points, two rebounds, four assists and a steal.

Senior guard Adam Brown leads the Cougars with 17.3 points per game with a team-high five rebounds, while McNeil ranks second on the team with 14.0 points and a team-high 11.3 rebounds percontest.

San Jacinto College Volleyball Advances To NJCAA Championship Match

(Sophomore setter Brittany Weiler sets the ball during San Jac’s National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national tournament match against Western Wyoming College, Friday night. Photo courtsey of Amanda L. Booren, San Jacinto College marketing department.)

WEST PLAINS, MUSSOURI) With a straight-set win over Western Wyoming College Friday night, the San Jacinto College volleyball team advances to the championship match of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) volleyball tournament.

Third seed San Jac defeated No. 2 Western Wyoming College 25-21, 25-21, 25-21 to advance to the national title match against Western Nebraska Community College (WNCC). Fourth-ranked WNCC defeated No. 8 Salt Lake City Community College in four sets to advance to Saturday’s championship game.

With the win, SJC moves to 29-9 overall on the season. San Jac last won the volleyball national title in 1987. The highest national finish under Head Coach Sharon Nelson is fifth, in 2008.

San Jac is led by sophomore Alyssa Dibbern (Bay City / Bay City HS) who ranks 19th in the nation with 404 kills. She was named the Region XIV player of the year, and is a first-team all-conference selection. Dibbern also leads the team in blocks with 116 total. Leading the offense is first-year setter Chelsey Harding (Houston / Cypress Springs HS). She ranks in the top 25 in assists per set with an 8.48 average.

The 2010 NJCAA volleyball national championship concludes on Saturday at the Civic Center in West Plains, Mo. Complete tournament information, including a full bracket, live video streaming, and tournament schedule can be found at www.njcaavbd1.com

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Houston Cougars Drop Alcorn State 88-68

(Houston's Maurice McNeil (3) recorded his second straight double-double against Alcorn State. Photo by Robert Kelly-TexSport Publications, Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved)

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2010 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 14, 2010)The Houston Cougars improved their season record to 2-0 Sunday afternoon after downing Alcorn State Braves 88-68 in men’s basketball action at Houston’s Hofheinz Pavilion.

Tied at 35 after the first half, the Cougars exploded with 43 points in the second half to clinch the win and take their season record to 2-0.

The last time the Cougars began the season with two wins was in 2006-2007

With the score tied 42-42 at 17:44 mark in the second quarter, the Cougars ran off 19 points during an eight minute stretch and built a lead of which they would never relinquish.

Senior forward Maurice McNeil recorded his second straight double-double, and senior guard Adam Brown scored 20+ points for the second straight game

McNeil scored 19 points with 12 rebounds while Brown tallied 23 points.

Houston converted 19 of 29 (65.5 percent) of its second half shots while limiting the Braves to only 34.4 percent from the field during the final 20 minutes.

Alcorn State was led by Marquiz Baker with 23 points and Kendrick McDonald with 17 points.

With the loss, Alcorn State drops to 0-2 on the season.

Houston will now hit the road for their first road game of the season. Houston meets Louisiana Tech in Ruston, La., at 7:00 pm this coming Wednesday.

From there, the team returns to the friendly confines of Hofheinz Pavilion to play host to Northwestern Oklahoma State at 2 pm on Saturday.


San jacinto College Has Six Named To All-Conference Volleyball Team

(Sophomore middle blocker Alyssa Dibbern is a Region XIV first-team all-conference selection, and was also named the league’s player of the year. Photo by Jeannie Peng-Armao, San Jacinto College marketing department.)

PASADENA, TEXAS (November 14, 2010) As the third-ranked San Jacinto College volleyball team prepares for it’s sixth-straight trip to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national tournament, six players have been named to the All-Region XIV conference team, as voted by the league coaches. In addition, San Jac nabbed the player, setter, newcomer, and coach of the year honors.

Sophomores Alyssa Dibbern (Bay City / Bay City HS), Candace Soares (Mililani Hawaii / Mililani HS), and Brittany Weiler (Deer Park / Deer Park HS), and freshman Chelsey Harding (Houston / Cypress Springs HS) earned a spot on the Region XIV first team, while sophomores Amanda Deem (Pearland / Pearland HS) and Lauren Curley (Corona, Calif. / Corona HS) were named to the second team.

“It’s always a great honor to see our players recognized by the conference,” said ninth-year Head Coach Sharon Nelson, who was named the league’s coach of the year. “They work hard every day on the court and in the classroom, and this is a true testament to their dedication to the game and to San Jacinto College.”

In addition to earning first-team honors, Dibbern is also the league’s player of the year. She led the squad in kills per set at 3.51, a mark that is also 19th in the nation. She was a two-time conference player of the week selection this season, helping San Jac to a perfect 10-0 conference record. She also averages over one block per set. Dibbern was last year’s Region XIV freshman and offensive player of the year.

Soares finished the regular season second on the team in kills per set with a 3.41 average, good for 23rd in the nation. She was also one of San Jac’s top defenders, hitting the court for 3.87 digs per set, second on the team behind the libero, Deem. Soares earned NJCAA player of the week honors for the week of Sept. 6, 2010.

Weiler was named the league’s newcomer of the year. She transferred from Lamar University and split time at setter and libero. Her 3.01 assists per set was second on the team and she averaged 3.68 digs per set. She was twice selected as the conference player of the week this season – once as setter, and once as libero.

Harding led the San Jac offense, averaging 8.48 assists per set (24th in the nation), and was rewarded as the conference setter of the year. She was a conference setter of the week selection for the week of Sept. 27, 2010.

Deem led the team in digs, having started at libero most of the season. Her 6.06 digs per set is seventh in the nation. She was the conference libero of the week for the week of Oct. 25, 2010.

Curley averaged 1.61 kills per set and just under one block per set for San Jac this season. She was a league player of the week for the week of Sept. 27, 2010.

Nelson owns an overall record of 261-95 (.733) in nine seasons at San Jacinto College. San Jac finished the regular season with a 26-9 overall record, and is returning to the national championship for the sixth-straight year. The NJCAA national championship is Nov. 18-20 in West Plains, Mo.

AEROS SCORE FOUR UNANSWERED GOALS IN WIN AT PEORIA

PEORIA, ILLINOIS (November 14, 2010) Three Aeros collected multiple points, including defenseman Maxim Noreau who had a goal and two assists, and the Houston Aeros scored five times in the second period en route to a 5-2 win over the Peoria Rivermen Sunday at Carver Arena.

Carson McMillan and Jared Spurgeon each added a goal and an assist and Matt Hackett made 21 saves for his first win since Oct. 15 and third overall this season.

After a scoreless first period, Houston’s Petr Kalus scored 28 seconds into the second for his fourth goal of the season.

Peoria’s Derek Nesbitt responded 52 seconds later to knot the score at 1-1. Ian Cole gave the Rivermen a 2-1 lead just 1:17 later.

Houston began a run of four unanswered goals starting with Spurgeon’s first as a pro, on the power play, at 4:50. Noreau scored the eventual game-winner at 10:36 and then Joel Broda tallied with another power play marker at 13:55. McMillan added a shorthanded goal, the team's first this season, at 15:13.

The Aeros went-2-for-7 on the power play and have scored on the man-advantage in six of their last seven outings.

Peoria goalie Jake Allen (17 saves) suffered the loss, his first as a pro, and was relieved after Houston’s fourth goal. Ben Bishop made eight stops in 23:46 of mop-up duty.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Houston Cougars Fall to Tulsa Golden Hurricane 28-25

(Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loco Photography, Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved)

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2010 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 14, 2010) The Houston Cougars (5-5, 4-3 C-USA) could not catch a break on Saturday night as they dropped their next-to-last conference game of the season 28-25 to the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (7-3, 4-2 C-USA).

I guess “catch a break” may not be the right phrase. When you give up 413 yards and 28 points on defense, you should not expect anyone to give you a break.

Defense, or a lack of it on Houston’s part, was the determining factor in the game. Many have said it in the past and continue to say it to this day.

A team cannot win game after game by trying to simply outscore their opponents. Defense must be a key to their game plan.

Before Case Keenum went down in the UCLA game, Houston could usually muscle enough yards and points on offense to win.

That cannot be and is not the plan that needs to be followed when a team has experienced the setbacks the Cougars have in 2010.

If Cotton Turner had not also again down in the UCLA game, would Houston have won a few more games this season? Possibly!

No one can really know for certain. What I do know is that freshman quarterback David Piland has done a remarkable job so far this season, only being six months out of high school.

Defense is where the Cougars are lacking and when this season is over and done, Cougar fans will have their own opinions of what went wrong.

Head Coach Kevin Sumlin and his staff will come up with their own ideas of what went wrong and will set out to fix it for the 2011 season.

But no matter what any of the fans or naysayers postulate, a sub-par defense was the reason for Houston’s fall from grace.

Defense is needed in every football game, no matter what level. The one team that lives by that rule is the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Steel Curtain defense, along with a potent offense attack propelled Pittsburgh to six Super Bowl titles. They would not have been so successful with a lack of skill on either side of the line.

The Cougars have that skill (at their playing level) on the offensive side of the ball. However they are serious lacking on the defensive side.

Houston needs to shore up their defensive line and deep secondary in their recruiting for 2011. They have the offensive punch to score touchdowns but they must, and I repeat that word, MUST focus on their defense if they want to return to the success of the past years and possibly move to the next level of college football.

Next Saturday, the Cougars will play Mississippi State in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. It will be their final Conference USA of the 2010 season.

A win would give them a 6-5 record going into their last regular season game against Texas Tech on Nov. 27.

The Cougars need six wins to become bowl eligible. With the loss to Tulsa, the Cougars may have virtually eliminated themselves from the bowl picture.

Yes, with wins over Mississippi State and Texas Tech, they would have a chance to be selected to a bowl game. The question is “Who wants to invite a team to a bowl game if they played like the Cougars did this season?

The honest truth is that no I or anyone else I know can answer that question. The bowls election committees will make that determination.

I would like to see the Cougars in their sixth straight bowl game. The fans would also like to see it. The players and coaches would love to experience it.

The sad thing is I just do not see it happening.

Either way, the Cougars will be back in 2011, with our without Case Keenum at quarterback.

That story (Case Keenum’s appeal for a 6th year of college football) will be the basis of a story in the near future.

Houston Men’s Basketball Set to Meet Alcorn State on Sunday

HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 13, 2010) There will be no rest for the weary as the University of Houston men’s basketball team returns to action at 2 p.m., Sunday, when it plays host to Alcorn State inside Hofheinz Pavilion.

Sunday’s game will be part of a doubleheader with the Houston women’s basketball team, which faces UT Arlington at 5 p.m.

The Cougars enter Sunday’s game on the heels of a thrilling 63-62 overtime win against Nicholls State. Senior forward Maurice McNeil hit a scoop shot with three seconds remaining to give the Cougars the come-from-behind victory.

In a game that featured long runs by both squads, the Cougars enjoyed their sixth season-opening win in the last seven years.

With the Cougars trailing 34-24 early in the second half, senior guard Adam Brown almost single-handedly brought the Cougars back from the brink. The San Antonio, Texas, native scored 11 consecutive points, hitting four straight field-goal attempts, and added a rebound and steal in a 6:28 stretch that saw the Cougars score 15 unanswered points and take a 39-34 lead.

Brown led the Cougars with 20points on 6-of-9 shooting for the fourth 20-point game of his career.

McNeil finished with 12 points and a game-high 13 rebounds for the seventh double-double of his career. Sophomore forward Kirk Van Slyke added 12 points and a career-high 10 rebounds for the first double-double of his career.

Alcorn State enters this weekend’s game on the heels of an 88-56 loss at Texas A&M on Friday. The Braves fell behind 52-25 at halftime and connected on only 17-of-57 (29.8 percent) from the field.

In addition, Texas A&M outrebounded Alcorn State 52-32 and forced 19 turnovers.

Chris Davenport came off the bench to lead the Braves with 11 points and five rebounds. Tony Eackles added nine points and four rebounds, while Kendrick McDonald finished with eight points, two rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals.

Head coach Larry Smith is in his third year at Alcorn State, posting an 8-55 (.127) record during that time.

Houston owns a 3-0 lead in the all-time series, which began March 11, 1982, during the NCAA Tournament Midwest Region First Round in Tulsa, Okla.

The Cougars are 2-0 against Alcorn State in Houston, and those games have not been close. Houston has scored at least 110 points and won by an average of 40.5 points per game in those home contests.

Sunday’s game will be the first time that head coach James Dickey has faced Alcorn State.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Late McNeil Bucket Lifts UH Men's Basketball to Season-Opening Win

HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 12, 2010) Senior forward Maurice McNeil's scoop shot off the glass with three seconds remaining in overtime lifted the University of Houston men's basketball team to a 63-62 against Nicholls State inside Hofheinz Pavilion on Friday evening.

With the Cougars leading 61-59 following McNeil's free throw with 1:26 remaining in the extra period, Nicholls State forward Anatoly Bose was fouled while attempting a 3-pointer with just 26 seconds left. The Sydney, Australia, native hit all three attempts to give the Colonels a 62-61 advantage.

On the ensuing possession, Houston junior guard Darian Thibodeaux's baseline 3-pointer was off the mark, but Nicholls State's Bryan Hammond's was whistled for traveling after falling to the floor on the rebound.

Following a Cougar timeout, McNeil stepped out to take the inbounds pass and worked his way into the paint before banking a short shot off the glass.

"When we had a timeout at the end of the game, I told our guys we were going to score," said head coach James Dickey, who made his Cougar debut. "It's not the way we drew the play up, but that's what you expect from your seniors, to make the tough, smart plays down the stretch."

The Colonels had one last chance, but Bose's 3-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark.

In regulation, sophomore forward Kirk Van Slyke gave the Cougars a 51-50 lead with 1:25 to go on a 3-pointer from the top of the key. With 46 seconds left in the second half, NSU forward Fred Hunter converted an old-fashioned 3-point play to give the Colonels a 53-51 lead.

Houston junior guard Adam Brown was fouled with 25 seconds left, and the San Antonio, Texas, native calmly drilled both attempts to knot the game at 53-53. Working the clock down, Bose missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer with four seconds left to send the contest into overtime.

Friday's season opener was a game full of runs by both teams. After the Colonels scored the first five points to open the second half and build a 34-24 lead, Brown single-handedly pulled the Cougars back into the game with 11 straight points.

McNeil added a pair of free throws, and Brown capped the 15-0 run with two more free throws for a 39-34 Houston lead with 11:42 remaining in regulation.

When the Colonels responded with a 9-0 run of their own to take a 43-39 lead, the Cougars answered with a 5-0 run to reclaim a 44-43 lead. Nicholls State responded with a 7-0 rally to build a 50-44 lead, but the Cougars scored seven straight points and grabbed a 51-50 lead on Van Slyke's trey.

After being held scoreless through the first 20 minutes, Brown posted 20 second-half points to lead the Cougars. It was the fourth 20-point game of his career.

McNeil posted 12 points and a game-high 13 rebounds for the seventh double-double of his career, while Van Slyke recorded 12 points and 10 rebounds for the first double-double of his career.

Hunter led all players with 28 points on 12-of-21 shooting and added eight rebounds. Bose posted 22 points but was limited to 1-of-9 shooting from the arc. No other Nicholls State player scored more than four points in the loss.

Houston Cougars to Face Tulsa Golden Hurricane In 65th Homecoming Game

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2010 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 12, 2010) The Houston Cougars (5-4, 4-2 C-USA) will celebrate its 65th Homecoming this Saturday as they take on the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (6-3, 3-2 C-USA) at Houston’s Robertson Stadium.

This weekend’s contest will be the 26th meeting between Tulsa and Houston and the Cougars lead the series, 19-16.

The two teams first met on December 2, 1950 at Rice Stadium with the Golden Hurricane coming out on top 28-21.

Last year’s game at Tulsa was an exciting come-from-behind 46-45 victory for the Cougars.

Case Keenum hit back-to-back passes to put Houston in field-goal range and then-redshirt freshman Matt Hogan kicked a 51-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Cougars to a 46-45 victory against Tulsa.

After getting sacked on a potential tying 2-point conversion with 21 seconds left, Keenum bounced back to complete a 14-yard pass to junior James Cleveland and a 13-yarder to sophomore Tyron Car¬rier to set up Hogan’s kick with just three seconds left.

Down 10 points, Keenum led the team on a 61-yard scoring drive with a 1-yard pass to Cleveland to get the Cougars within two before missing the 2-point conversion.

This weekend’s game marks the 65th Homecoming in school history.

The first Homecoming game for UH was also in its first year of the football program, a 3-7 loss to North Texas. The Cougars are 32-27-5 in Homecoming games and are 5-1 vs. Tulsa at Homecoming.

Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin is 2-0 vs. Tulsa. Houston is 4-1 since Tulsa joined the league in 2005.

The game will be carried on national television by CBS College Sports. It can also can be heard locally in Houston on 790-AM KMBE.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

San Jac volleyball advances to national tournament with 3-1 win over Laredo

(San Jacinto College won its sixth-straight Region XIV volleyball championship with a 3-1 win over Laredo Community College. Photo credit: Jeannie Peng-Armao, San Jacinto College marketing department.)

BAYTOWN, TEXAS (November 6, 2010) For the sixth-straight year, San Jacinto College has won the Region XIV volleyball title, earning a sixth-consecutive trip to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national tournament. San Jac defeated Laredo Community College 3-1 (22-25, 25-22, 25-10, 25-22) Saturday afternoon for the Region conference championship.

Sophomores Candace Soares (Mililani, Haw. / Mililani HS) and Alyssa Dibbern (Bay City / Bay City HS), along with freshman Jazmine Green (Houston / Cy Falls HS), were named to the all-tournament team. San Jac finishes the 2010 season ranked third in the nation with an overall record of 26-9. The NJCAA national tournament will take place November 18-20 in West Plains, Mo.


Friday, November 05, 2010

Houston Cougars: Can They Still Play In A Bowl Game In 2010? Only Time Will Tell

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2010 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 5, 2010) With their 40-27 loss to the University of Central Florida Knights this evening, the Houston Cougars are in a must-win situation the rest of the season in order to keep their chances alive to play in their sixth consecutive post season bowl game.

With the loss to UCF, the Cougars dropped to 5-4 for the season and 4-2 in Conference USA play.

The Cougars will face C-USA opponents Tulsa (Nov. 13) and Southern Mississippi (Nov. 20) before taking non-conference foe Texas Tech in their last regular season game on Nov. 29 in Lubbock.

Tulsa (5-3, 2-2 C-USA) will play Rice (2-6, 1-3 C-USA) at home on Nov. 6. The game should be a cakewalk for the Golden Hurricanes, but that is what Houston thought before being snaked by Rice 34-31 on Oct. 16.

This game could go either way, but I expect a Tulsa victory. They have outscored their opponents 297-229 while Rice has only scored 178 points while allowing opponents to rack up 283 points this season.

That would make Tulsa 6-3 for the season when they face the Cougars. With the lack of consistency shown by the Cougars this season, the game could be a win for Tulsa.

Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin will have to use all of his offensive skills and find a way to motivate the defense to stop the Golden Hurricanes.

Southern Mississippi (5-3, 2-2 C-USA) is currently in third place in C-USA East and will square off against Tulane (3-5, 1-3 C-USA) on Nov. 6 in New Orleans.

That should be a sure win for the Golden Eagles, giving them needed momentum going into their game with UCF on Nov. 13.

It will not matter if Southern Mississippi wins or loses against UCF. They will be facing Houston in Hattiesburg and the Cougars have had trouble playing on the road this season.

They have a 1-2 record when away from Robertson Stadium this season, losing to UCLA 31-13 on Sept. 18, Mississippi State 47-24 on Oct. 9, and cross-town rival Rice 34-31 on Oct. 16.

If the Cougars win either of their next two games, they will be bowl eligible with at least six wins.

The Texas Tech game may simply be an afterthought as far as the bowl officials are concerned.

Conference USA is guaranteed spots in six bowl games and will serves as a primary back-up for a possible seventh game.

The fact remains is which bowl, would select the Cougars if they finish with 6 conference wins.

In my mind, the Cougars must win their remaining three games if they hope to gain admittance to bowl play.

By winning their three remaining games, they will finish the regular season with an 8-4 record going into the C-USA championship game on Dec. 4.

At that point, win or lose, they would be headed to a bowl.

The key point is that they must win their remaining three games in order to be guaranteed a chance at post-season play.

If not, the only bowl game the Cougars will be watching in December will be on their television sets.

UCF Knights Jump Out To A 23-10 Halftime Lead Over The Houston Cougars

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2010 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 5, 2010) The University of Central Florida Knights are showing the Houston Cougars what a potent running game can accomplish as they take a 23-10 lead to the locker room at halftime .

The Knights have racked up a total of 328 yards on offense while holding the Cougars to 224 yards.

The Cougar defense has been unable to stop UCF quarterback Jeff Godfrey who has a combined 251 yards of offense while throwing for two touchdowns.

The true freshman quarterback will undoubtedly raise his rating after this game after completing 11 of 14 passes with no interceptions with 30 minutes yet to play.

Houston quarterback David Piland has completed 10 of 17 in the air for 100 yards and one interception.

UCF scored touchdowns on a Bruce Miller interception return, two pass receptions to Ricky Kay and A.J. Guyton and a Nick Cattoi field goal.

Houston got on the scoreboard on a 30-yard Matt Hogan field goal and a 33-yard pass reception to Patrick Edwards.

In the second half, the Cougars must find a way to gain more yardage against a stingy Knight defense and to contain the Knight’s rushing game.

I will have more highlights after the game.

Houston Cougars To Face UCF Knights In Rare Friday Night College Football Game

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2010 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 5, 2010) The Houston Cougars will try to improve on their 4-1 conference record University of Central Florida Knights on a rare Friday evening game at Robertson Stadium in Houston.

The Cougars, who are 5-3 on the season, will be facing a tough UCF Knights team that is 6-2 for the season while posting a 4-0 conference record.

The teams have faced each other on three previous occasions, with the Knights leading the series 2-1.

In last year’s game, the Knights beat the Cougars 37-32 in Orlando.

This year’s game takes on an additional significance as the Cougars lead the C-USA West standings while UCF lead the East.

The Cougars will be led by true freshman quarterback David Piland and junior running back Bryce Beall.

Beall broke the school career record for rushing touchdowns with 32, topping Jackie Battle’s 31 scored from 2003-06. He also has 12 rushing touchdowns for the season which is three away from the school single-season record of 15.

The Knights are also led by a true freshman.

Jeff Godfrey owns a 137.77 passer efficiency rating , which is the highest in the nation among all true freshman quarterbacks.

Houston’s Piland carries a 137.18 rating.

The Cougars defense will have to find a way to stop the highly efficient Knight offense which has scored at least 35 points in each of their last four games and surrounded an average of 391 yards a game.

The Knights excel in their ground game, and if the Cougars are going to stop the Knight’s rushing game, they must improve on giving up an average of 194 yards on the ground to their opponents.

The game could also determine who gets home field advantage for the C-USA Championship Game on December 4.

The Cougars-Knights game is set for a 7:00pm kickoff in Houston and will be televised on ESPN2.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

San Jacinto College Women’s Basketball Announces 2010-2011 Schedule

(The San Jacinto College women’s basketball team will play 14 home games this season at Nichols Gymnasium on the San Jacinto College North campus. Photo by Rob Vanya, San Jacinto College marketing department)

HOUSTON, TEXAS (October 31, 2010) The San Jacinto College (SJC) women’s basketball team opens the 2010-2011 season Monday night, Nov. 1, at home against Temple College. Tip-off is slated for 5:30 p.m.

San Jac, picked to finish seventh in the Region XIV conference, returns just one player from last year’s team that finished 6-23 overall. Sophomore Ebony Atkins played in 13 games, averaging 7.3 points and 4.9 rebounds. Head Coach Eric Taylor expects Atkins to provide leadership on the court to his slew of newcomers.

SJC will host 14 games during the regular season. Region XIV home games include Trinity Valley Community College (Dec. 1), Angelina College (Dec. 8), Lon Morris (Jan. 5), Panola College (Jan. 15), Kilgore College (Jan. 22), Paris Junior College (Jan. 29), Blinn College (Feb. 9), Tyler Junior College (Feb. 16), and Jacksonville College (Feb. 26). The Tyler game is part of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Pink Zone, a national initiative to raise breast cancer awareness on the court, across campuses, and in local communities.

San Jac will also host Hill College (Nov. 5), the San Jac Classic (Nov. 19-20), and Louisiana State – Eunice (Feb. 23) at home.

“I am looking forward to this season,” said Taylor, who enters his third year at the helm of the San Jac women’s basketball program. “Our entire team is thinking positively. Despite being essentially a completely new team, we have some good transfers and dynamic freshmen that I feel can help us accomplish our goals.”

San Jac will face the same Region XIV opponents on the road, but will also play at the Southern University – Shreveport Classic (Nov. 12-13), at Hill College (Nov. 17), at the Southwest Tennessee Lady Salquis Classic (Dec. 28-29), and at Louisiana State University-Eunice (Jan. 10). The 2011 Region XIV tournament will be played March 3-7 at the University of Texas at Tyler. The national championship tournament once again returns to the Bicentennial Center in Salina, Kan., in March.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

McNeese State Downs Nicholls State 24-14 For Conference Win

(McNeese quarterback Jacob Bower (12) rushed for 40 yard and one touchdown and went 12 of 21 for 112 yards and one touchdown in the air against Nicholls State. Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loco Photography, Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved)

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2010 TexSport Publications

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA (October 30, 2010) The McNeese State Cowboys gave their fans a great homecoming weekend by downing Nicholls State 24-14 on Louis Bonnette Field at Cowboy State in Lake Charles Louisiana

The Cowboys were the first to draw blood on an 8-yard run by quarterback Jacob Bower. With the one-punt conversion by kicker Josh Lewis splitting the uprights, the Cowboys took the early 7-0 lead. The scoring drive consisted of 80 yards on 12 plays and lasted 5:08.

McNeese came back after one set of downs by Nichols to score on their second drive of the game. A one-yard rush by tailback Champlain Babin increased the Cowboys lead by six.

With Lewis again splitting the uprights, McNeese had a 14-point lead with 3:46 left in the 1st quarter. The drive lasted a mire 2:19 and consisted of five plays and 28 yards.

The Cowboys continued in the second quarter as Bower drove 40 yard in eight plays to connect with tight end Corday Clark on a one-yard pass for a touchdown. Lewis again added one point off his foot to increase McNeese’s lead to 21-0 with 11:18 left in the half.

Nicholl’s finally found the end zone with 56 seconds left in the half. Quarterback Landry Klann scored on a one-yard keeper. Along with Andrew Dolan’s kick, the scores cut McNeese’s lead to 14 points at halftime.

The Colonels scored again at the 10:17 mark in the 3rd quarter when Klann connected with receiver Kenyad Blair on a 35-yard pass. Dolan again added one to make to score 21-14.

The Nicholls’ drive lasted 1:58 and consisted of four plays on 49 yards.

McNeese had a chance to increase their lead to 10 with 6:33 remaining in the 3rd quarter on a 43-yard field goal by Lewis. His kick was wide and the Colonels took over at their 26 yard line.

Lewis did connect on his second field goal attempt of the night. He booted the ball 21 yards to add three points to the Cowboys total.

Bower connected on 12 of 21 passes for 112 yards and one touchdown.

Andre Anderson rushed for 171 yards on 29 carries, averaging 5.9 yards a carry.

On defense, Deron Minor had seven unassisted and two assisted tackles for a total of nine for the game.

Klann completed 14 of 18 passes for 150 yards in the Nicholls’ loss.

McNeese is now 4-4 on the season and 3-1 in Southland Conference play. They will travel to Huntsville, Texas next weekend to face San Houston State.

Nicholls State drops to 2-6 for the season and 1-3 in conference play and will SFA next weekend at home.

Texas State Football Team Storms Back To Defeat #3 Stephen F. Austin 27-24

(Texas State's Daren Dillard catches game-winning touchdown against SFA. Photo by Don Elmore)

NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS (October 30, 2010) The Texas State football team scored 27 points in the fourth quarter to come from behind and defeat third-ranked Stephen F. Austin 27-24 in front of 11,145 at Homer Bryce Stadium on Saturday afternoon as the Bobcats
evened their overall record to 4-4 and won their first Southland Conference game
of the season.

“The defense played well enough throughout the entire game, but the offense
stumbled in the first half,” said Texas State head coach Brad Wright. “At
halftime, we told them that you have to keep playing and good things are going
to happen sometime. We just don’t know when it will be.”

Those good things began in the final 9:21 of the game when Tim Hawkins threw his
first touchdown pass of the season when he threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to
Darius Bolden to pull Texas State to within 27-6. On Stephen F. Austin’s ensuing
possession, Graly Crawford fumbled the kickoff at the two-yard line and was
tackled at SFA’s nine-yard line. On the first offensive play, Jeremy Moses threw
a 14-yard pass to Crawford, but Bobcat cornerback Darryl Morris knocked the
loose and Ron Jackson recovered the ball for Texas State at SFA’s 20-yard line.


After Karrington Bush gained eight yards on the next play, Hawkins gained three
yards to give Texas State a first down at SFA’s nine-yard line. Then, Hawkins
scrambled for eight more yards before scoring a touchdown on a one-yard run to
pull the Bobcats to within 24-12. Hawkins completed a pass to Alvaro Garcia for
the two-point conversion to make the score 24-14.

Texas State’s defense forced the Lumberjacks to punt again and Da’Marcus Griggs
returned the punt 73 yards for another touchdown and Jonathan Leeper kicked the
extra point to pull the Bobcats to within 24-21.

On Stephen F. Austin’s next possession, the Lumberjacks moved the ball down to
Texas State’s 40 yard line before Moses hit Jeremy Barnes with a six-yard pass.
However, Texas State linebacker forced Barnes to fumble on the play and the
Bobcats’ T.P. Miller recovered the ball at the Texas State 34-yard line.

The Bobcats moved the ball down the field rather quickly as Hawkins threw a pair
of passes to Darius Bolden for a combined 10 yards. Then, Karrington Bush gain
15 additional yards on the ground. Later, the Bobcats faced a fourth-and-one
play at Stephen F. Austin’s 33 yard line when Bush gained five more yards to
give Texas State a first down. On the next play, Hawkins hit Daren Dillard for a
28-yard touchdown pass to give the Bobcats a 27-24 advantage after Leeper missed
the extra-point try.

The Lumberjacks had one more chance to tie the game, but Thomas Henshaw’s
47-yard field goal attempt was wide left to give the Bobcats the victory.

The Lumberjacks took the opening kickoff and Moses completed six of his first
eight passes in the game to lead Stephen F. Austin on an 81-yard touchdown
drive. The drive began when Moses hit Crawford on a seven-yard pass play. Then
he hit Corde Roberson for 28 yards on the next two plays. The first pass play
was for 11 yards, and the second was for 17 yards and put the ball at Texas
State’s 45-yard line. Then Moses completed a 19-yard pass to Roberson and a
six-yard toss to Crawford before Barnes ran for six-yards down to the eight-yard
line. Moses capped off the drive with an eight yard touchdown pass, and Henshaw
kicked the extra point to give the Lumberjacks a 7-0 lead.
Following a 19-yard kickoff return by Bush, Texas State took over at their
25-yard line, but the Bobcats fumbled the ball on the center exchange between
Hawkins and Steven Kenney. But, the Bobcat defense held and SFA turned the ball
on downs.

After the two teams exchanged punts, Texas State took over on its 46-yard line
following a 19-yard punt return by Griggs. The Bobcats moved the ball down the
field on this drive as Hawkins completed a 14-yard pass to Dillard and ran for
29 more yards down to Stephen F. Austin’s six-yard line. After the drive
stalled, Justin Garelick’s field goal attempt was wide right on the final play
of the first quarter.

The second quarter began just like the game started as SFA drove down the field
80 yards for another touchdown. This time, Moses began the drive with a 16-yard
pass to Chappelle. Then Barnes ran for 15 yards on back-to-back plays to put the
ball at Texas State’s 34-yard line. After Barnes ran for another six yards,
Moses completed a 10-yard pass to Anthony Foster. He also completed a seven-yard
pass to Crawford before throwing an eight-yard touchdown pass to Kris Lott.
Henshaw’s extra point gave the Lumberjacks a 14-0 lead.

Texas State drove the ball down the field into scoring possession again after
Bush took the kickoff at the goal line and returned to the Bobcats’ 42-yard
line. This time, Hawkins had an eight-yard carry and Dexter Imade gained 14 more
yards on the ground to put the ball at Stephen F. Austin’s 35-yard line. After
Hawkins ran for 12 more yards, he completed a 13-yard pass to Bolden. SFA was
called for roughing the passer to give Texas State possession at the five-yard
line. After Hawkins gained two yards on a quarterback carry up the middle, Imade
was held for no gain and lost a yard on the third-down play. On fourth down,
Bush was tackled just short of the goal line to give SFA possession of the ball.


The Lumberjacks took advantage of the momentum as they drove down the field for
the final touchdown of the first half. Moses began the drive with a 14-yard pass
to Roberson. Then after the Bobcats appeared to have held the Lumberjacks on
downs, Steven Alvarez was called for running into the kicker on Drew Nelson’s
punt attempt on a fourth and one play. The five-yard penalty gave SFA a fresh
set of downs. The Lumberjacks took advantage as Moses completed a pair of passes
for 34 yards and Romont Hampton ran for 13 more down to Texas State’s seven-yard
line. On the next play Moses hit Roberson for the seven-yard touchdown pass and
Henshaw’s extra point made the halftime score 21-0.

The Lumberjacks added a field goal with 10:17 left in the third quarter when
Henshaw connected with a career-long 47-yard kick before the Bobcats came
storming back in the fourth quarter.

Hawkins, who made his second start of the season for Texas State, led the
Bobcats with 121 yards rushing on 25 carries and completed 18 of his 25 passes
for 294 yards and two touchdowns. Bush also gained 41 yards on 13 carries, while
Bolden led Texas State’s receiving corps with six catches for 49 yards. Dillard
finished with a game-best 95 yards receiving and a touchdown on five receptions,
while Griggs caught four passes in the second half for 27 yards.

Moses completed 38 of 55 passes for 335 yards and three touchdowns, while Barnes
gained 66 yards on 11 carries for the Lumberjacks. Crawford caught eight passes
for 72 yards and a touchdown.

With the victory, Texas State improved to 4-4 overall and 1-3 in Southland
Conference play. The Bobcats return home to play host to Central Arkansas in
their final home game of the year next Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Stephen F. Austin
falls to 6-2 and 3-1 in SLC play. The win also snapped their six-game winning
streak.

McNeese State Faces-Off Against Nicholls State In Southland Conference Football Action

(Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loco Photography, Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved)

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2010 TexSport Publications

LAKE CHARLES, LOUSIANA (October 30, 2010) The McNeese State Cowboys (3-4, 2-1 conf.) face the Nicholls Colonels (2-5, 1-2 conf.) in Southland Conference football action on Louis Bonnette Field at Cowboy Stadium in Lake Charles, La. Kickoff is set for 7:00 pm CST.

McNeese State leads the series 23-11, with the Cowboys having won last year’s game 38-17.

The Cowboys’ Josh Lewis kicked a 52-yard field goal as time ran out to give McNeese State a 13-10 victory over Southeastern Louisiana last weekend.

The field goal was the third-longest in McNeese history and a career long for Lewis. It was his third game-winning kick in his career.

Last year, he lifted the Cowboys past Appalachian State and Texas State. The win snapped a two-game losing streak.

Andre Anderson led the McNeese running game with 74 yards on 21 carries while Cody Stroud completed 15-of-29 passes for 172 yards.

Anderson was also the team's leading receiver with six catches for 37 yards while Diontae Spencer had 81 yards on two catches.

McNeese is averaging 17.7 points and 317.0 yards per game and limiting opponents to 28.3 points and 363.6 yards per game.

The defense allows 133.0 rushing yards per game, which ranks 41st in the FCS.

Lewis has made 9-of-10 field goal tries this season and has the best field goal percentage in the Southland.

Ths past week, the Colonels fumbled on their first possession of the game, gave up a touchdown, and never recovered in a 31-7 loss at home to Central Arkansas.

Nicholls owned every major offensive statistical category in the game, including total yards (330-to-230), first downs (21-to-11) and time of possession (39:59-to-20:01), but three turnovers led to 21 Bears points.

The Colonels were led by RB Jesse Turner with 178 total yards of offense, including 94 yards rushing and 84 receiving. He scored Nicholls' lone touchdown just 5 seconds into the fourth quarter.

LB Jordan Piper registered 11 total tackles, including four solo stops, one for a loss and a pass break up. The Colonels rank 16th nationally in net punting with 36.5 net yards per punt.

Patrick Dolan is 11th nationally with a net average of 42.5 yards per punt.

Nicholls also ranks 28th in kick returns, averaging 22.7 yards per return.

Joshua Warren ranks 33rd in the FCS, averaging 25.7 yards per kick return.

McNeese is currently in third place in the Southland Conference, while Nicholls ranks number six in the conference.

Houston Cougars To Face C-USA Foe Memphis At The Liberty Bowl

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2010 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (October 30, 2010) The Houston Cougars (4-3, 3-1 C-USA) will travel to the state of Tennessee to take on the Memphis Tigers (1-6, 0-4 C-USA). Game time is set for 6:00pm at the Liberty Bowl.

The contest will be the 19th meeting between Memphis and Houston, with the Cougars having a 6-5 record versus the Tigers while members of Conference USA.

Overall, Houston leads the series 10-9, with a 4-4 record playing in Memphis.

The first meeting between these foes was on November 30, 1963 with the Tigers winning 29-6. Last year, Houston downed Memphis 55-14 at Robertson Stadium.

In Houston’s four wins, the Cougars have outscored their opponents by an average of 28.5 points. UH won by 40 in the season opener vs. Texas State, by 30 over UTEP, were 19-point winners over Tulane and won by 25 at SMU.

Houston ranks in the top-25 nationally in total, passing and scoring offense. With 39.6 points per game, UH is ninth in the NCAA in scoring, while 284.4 passing yards per contest is 17th. The UH total offense is ranked 24th with 442.6 yards per game.

UH has started true freshmen quarterbacks the past four games; David Piland vs. Mississippi State, at Rice and at SMU and Terrance Broadway against Tulane. Until the fourth game of the season, UH had not started a true freshman quarterback since Kevin Kolb in 2003.

Twelve true-freshmen have played for the Cougars this season opener; TE Kenneth Bibbins, Jr., QB Terrance Broadway, DB Kent Brooks, DL Jeremiah Farley, DB Aaron Johnson, DB D.J. Jones, WR Darian Lazard, P Richie Leone, DB Zach McMillan, LB Efrem Oliphant, QB David Piland and LB Austin Wilson.

With his two rushing touchdowns at SMU, junior running back Bryce Beall broke the school career record for rushing touchdowns with 32, topping Jackie Battle’s 31 scored from 2003-06. Beall also has 12 rushing touchdowns for the season which is three away from the school single-season record of 15.

Friday, October 29, 2010

SMA BEARS DROP HOME FINALE 43-0

(Estevan Gutierrez, the SMA Bears leading tackler puts pressure on San Antonio Christian QB Austin Contrestano. Photo by J. Ronald Oswalt-San Marcos Academy)


SAN MARCOS, TEXAS (October 29, 2010) The Lions of San Antonio Christian School entered the game versus San Marcos Academy having already claimed the district crown last week were as good as advertised as they dominated the Bears of SMA by a score of 43-0.

The Lions took only one play to prove their dominance as Seth Kelly ran 59 yards for a touchdown for an early 7-0 lead. The Bears defense would stand tall as the Lions led 7-0 after the first period of play.

In second quarter action, Kelly added a 9-yard run for a 13-0 lead. The Lions’ Chandler Schumann added a 30-yard pass reception for a 20-0 lead at the half.

In first half action, the Bears were led rushing with 45 yards on 13 carries by Ty Merriweather. Seth Kelly for the Lions would roll up 138 yards on 6 carries and 2 touchdowns. Total yardage was close with a 188 to 182 Lions advantage at the half.

With 9:16 left in the third quarter, Kelly added a 6-yard run as the lead grew to 27-0 after three quarters of play. The Lions added a safety on a blocked punt and two scores to take the 43-0 win.

The Bears ended the game behind Quarterback Aubrey Oswalt as his pass fell incomplete in the end zone as the clock expired at A+FCU/Ingram Stadium on Gridiron Heroes/Senior Night.

The Bears were led in passing by Jonathan Powell going 12 for 17 for 134 yards and 2 interceptions. Rushing the Bears was also led with Powell carrying the ball 19 times for 57 yards. The Bears rolled up 295 yards offense to 366 for SACS.

Bears Running Back Ty Merriweather said, ‘I was hurt earlier but still wanted to play in the game. Our offense played better tonight even though we lost.”

Bears Diondrick McCoy added, “The Lions are really fast as a team, we gave a good effort but they came out ahead.”

The loss drops the Bears to 3-6 on the season and they will close out the season next week on the road in the Quarries at Hyde Park Baptist in Austin for a 7:30 p.m. scheduled kickoff.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

2010 Wings Over Houston: Tora, Tora, Tora




This is raw video shot at the Wings Over Houston Air Show at Ellington Field on Sunday, October 24, 2010. It is the reinactment of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Sunday, December 7, 1941 entitled Tora, Tora, Tora. The video was shot by Robert H. Kelly-TexSport Publications, Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved.

5,000 Special Baseballs Will Be Produced to Salute World Series Achievement of the Texas Rangers

Only 5,000 Special Baseballs Will Be Produced to Salute World Series Achievement

The Wait Is OVER For Texas Rangers As Half Century Drought Ends

Sales Will Benefit Make-A-Wish Foundation® of North Texas


ARLINGTON, TEXAS (October 24, 2010) This one was for all the fans that had patiently watched and waited since 1960, back when the franchise was first known as the Washington Senators before moving to Texas with a manager named Ted Williams in 1972.

With the ultimate gunslinger himself—Rangers president Nolan Ryan watching from the stands—the Texas Rangers put the half-century jinx to rest, downing their longtime playoff nemesis, the New York Yankees, in six games in the American League Championship Series to finally earn a spot in the World Series.

No franchise had ever gone this long (50 seasons) without a visit to the Fall Classic.

But now all of that bad karma is behind them, and no one could be more elated about the Rangers post-season triumphs than a special group of local youngsters who look to the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of North Texas for support as they battle life-threatening medical conditions. Nikco Sports announced it will continue to sell a special limited-edition Texas Rangers post-season baseball, and will add the official World Series logo to all 5,000 baseballs being manufactured by Rawlings. Each baseball comes with a handsome acrylic display case so that Rangers fans can showcase it at home or at the office.

These officially licensed baseballs will be sold for $39.95 on a first-come basis to raise funds and grant wishes for the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of North Texas. They will be delivered to customers in plenty of time to use as a holiday or Christmas gift idea.

In recent years, Nikco Sports has raised more than $1.7 million for children’s charities, including past projects in the state of Texas that have saluted the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Astros, Texas Longhorns football and San Antonio Spurs, as well as local stars such as Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman, David Robinson, Craig Biggio and present day Rangers owner and Hall of Fame star pitcher Nolan Ryan.

Fans can order the Rangers World Series Appearance baseballs at 1-800-345-2868 or by visiting www.nikcosports.com. Each baseball and case includes a numbered certificate of authenticity to enhance the value. Four dollars from each sale goes to the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of North Texas, with a potential goal of raising $20,000.

Each panel of the baseball contains historical information about the Rangers franchise. One panel will contain the official Rangers team logo; another spotlights the official 2010 World Series logo; other panels will contain printed information that recaps the Rangers winning the American League Western Division title, the fourth divisional title in club history, as well as the divisional series win over Tampa Bay and the ALCS triumph over the Yankees.

By winning all three games on the road in the first round of the playoffs, the Rangers made history in another way, as this was the first post-season series of any length in baseball history in which the road team won every game. The Rangers also won two of three road games in New York during the ALCS.

“It certainly looks like the Rangers are a team of destiny with their play in the post-season and their goal of reaching the World Series for the first time in 50 seasons has finally been accomplished,” said Nikco Sports CEO Craig Bidner, whose company has given back regularly to communities since its inception in 1992. “Good things happen to those who wait, and Rangers fans and their patience certainly have been tested.

“It’s a great time to be a fan of the Texas Rangers and we’re very pleased to be able to present a quality product that fans can own and reflect back on for years to come. At the same time, we are also honored to be again working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of North Texas to help youngsters who have some life-threatening medical conditions, as we have done on a number of occasions in the past in working on projects throughout the state of Texas that have saluted various teams and individual hometown stars. Those were all very successful projects and raised awareness for these youngsters. We hope this time around will be as rewarding.”

During the past several years, Nikco Sports has raised more than $1.7 million for charitable organizations across the nation with the issue of limited-edition sports memorabilia that has honored amateur and professional teams, as well as select athletes such athletes as Dan Marino, Brett Favre, Jerome Bettis, Tim Tebow, Ben Roethlisberger, along with Peyton Manning, Jim Kelly, Carson Palmer, Steve Young, John Elway, David Robinson, John Stockton, Magic Johnson, Roger Clemens, Ryne Sandberg, Paul Molitor, Kirby Puckett, Stephen Strasburg, Edgar Martinez, Ichiro, Ozzie Smith, Mark McGwire, Ken Griffey Jr., Whitey Herzog, Nolan Ryan, Matt Garza, Tony Gwynn, Craig Biggio and Cal Ripken Jr.

About the Make-A-Wish Foundation

The Make-A-Wish Foundation® grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Born in 1980 when a group of caring individuals helped a young boy fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer, the Foundation is now the largest wish-granting charity in the world, with 65 chapters in the U.S. and its territories. With the help of generous donors and nearly 25,000 volunteers, the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants more than 12,600 wishes a year and has granted more than 168,000 wishes in the U.S. since inception.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Houston Cougars and Rice Owls Face Off In The Battle For The Bayou Bucket

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2010 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (October 16, 2010) The Houston Cougars (3-2, 2-0 C-USA) will face off against cross-town and Conference USA rival Rice (1-5, 0-2 C-USA) in the battle for the “Bayou Bucket.”

The two schools have previously played 26 times over the years, with Houston holding a 26-10 record in the series.

The first meeting on September 11, 1971 saw Houston winning 23-21 with their last meeting occurring last year, with the Cougars trouncing Rice 73-14.

These two inner-city rivals, one of only two Football Bowl Subdivision rivalries that pits two schools from the same city. USC and UCLA is the other.

The series vs. Rice is the longest running series in Houston football history.

The 26 wins posted by the Cougars are the most Houston has against any other team in its 65-year history.

The Cougars have recorded a 4-1 record versus the Owls while members of Conference USA.

Houston posted a 16-4 mark versus Rice while a member of the Southwest Conference.

Houston has the longest winning streak in the series, a six-game win streak from 1987-1992.

The victor of this game will win the Bayou Bucket trophy presented by State Farm.

UH head coach Kevin Sumlin is 1-1 vs. Rice in two games. The Cougars won, 73-14, in 2009 in Robertson Stadium and fell to Rice in 2008, 56-42 on the road.

Game time is set for 2:30 p.m. at Rice Stadium.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Deborah Rihn-Harvey Honored With Lloyd P. Nolen Lifetime Achievement Award

HOUSTON, TEXAS (September 12, 2010) Deborah Rihn-Harvey has been honored by the Wings Over Houston Airshow as the recipient of the 2010 Lloyd P. Nolen Lifetime Achievement in Aviation Award, which honors individuals, organizations, companies and corporations dedicated to the promotion or advancement of aviation.

As one of the world’s leading aerobatic pilots, she is also the longest standing member of the United States Aerobatic Team and sets a world record for continuous participation in the World Championships.

“Debby’s interest in aviation at a young age led to her success in the aerobatic world,” says Bill Roach, executive director of Wings Over Houston Airshow.

When she first met Dr. Eoin Harvey her life changed forever. Dr. Harvey introduced Debby to the world of aerobatics, igniting a passion that continues to this day. In 1979, Harvey & Rihn Aviation, a Fixed Base Operation with an emphasis on aerobatics and flight instruction, was established in LaPorte, Texas.

She continued her professional growth by becoming an FAA Designated Flight Examiner in 1980 and an Aerobatic Competency Evaluator in 1984.

Debby’s individual accomplishments rank her as one of the world’s leading aerobatic pilots.

In 1983 Debby entered the upper echelon of aerobatic competition by qualifying for the USA Unlimited Aerobatic Team. She became the Women’s National Unlimited Champion in 1985 and has been awarded the Betty Skelton trophy for being the highest ranked Female in the Unlimited category eleven (11) times since 1998.




In 2006, Debby became the highest ranked aerobatic pilot in the country, receiving the distinguished title of United States National Champion and being awarded the Mike Murphy trophy. In 2008 and 2009 this title run was repeated and for the third time in four years

Debby claims the prestigious title of US National Aerobatic Champion and has participated in 14 World Competitions. This impressive 27 years of continuous involvement makes Debby historically the longest standing member of the United States Aerobatic Team and sets a world record for continuous participation in the World Championships.

Internationally she has won both individual and team medals and is a World Gold Medalist. She currently has earned more medals in World competition than anyone.

Debby began flying commercially with Southwest Airlines in 1989 and was the eleventh female pilot to wear a Southwest Airlines uniform. She became a Southwest Airlines Captain in 1994 and has logged in excess of 28,000 hours of flight time. She is a member of the Aviation Advisory Boards for the City of La Porte and San Jacinto College. She is a current Board member for the International Aerobatic Club and represents the US internationally as a delegate to CIVA.

Previous Llyod P. Nolan honorees include Gordon Bethune, Gene Kranz, Maybelle Fletcher, Ralph Royce, Herb Kelleher, Charles Hutchins, Tuskegee Airmen, Joe Foss, Captain John W. Young, Brigadier General David “Tex” Hill, Marvin “Lefty” Gardner, Vic Agather, Bob Hoover, Anthony LeVier, Burt Rutan, Major General Joe Engle, Mayor General William Anders, Paul Poberezny, the 147th Fighter Wing/111th Fighter Squadron of the Texas Air National Guard, General Reg Urschler and Gene Soucy.