Pack vs. Pride
THURSDAY, AUG. 29, 2013
Red Wolves face new foe in first home game of the season MEREDITH SCOTT SPORTS WRITER
Get your scarlet and black ready because it’s football season. It’s been 236 days since the Red Wolves last played a football game, and in two days the magic of college football is back. For the first time in school history, the back-to-back Sun Belt Conference champions will face the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) during Saturday’s season opener at Liberty Bank Stadium. The game will be ASU’s first home opener since 2009. The Red Wolves, who have an eightgame winning streak, are up against the Southwestern Athletic Conference champions who finished 10-2. When facing teams from the SWAC, ASU is 6-0 with their most recent win over Alcorn State last season. “You don’t always know what you’re going to get from your opponent early on in games. Teams evolve and they do different things,” Head coach Bryan Harsin said. “We just have to take care of ourselves, not put ourselves in bad situations with stupid penalties and not turn the ball over.” There are five players returning who were named All-Sun Belt Conference players from 2012, plus seven who were named to the 2013 Preseason All-Sun Belt
Conference team. The Golden Lions are bringing back their quarterback Ben Anderson, who threw for 2,346 yards and rushed for 524 yards. Harsin said Anderson is a dual threat the team will keep an eye on, but senior running back David Oku isn’t focusing on any one aspect of UAPB’s offense. “We’ll take what they give us and play to our temp and our style when we play against any team,” Oku said. “Sometimes you can press the issue too much if you just want to focus on one thing, but I think that’s what’s so great about our offense, we’re not focused on one thing. We’re always looking for the advantage.” But once again, this is a season of new faces. Coach Harsin spent the last seven seasons as an offensive coordinator for the Boise State Broncos and Texas Longhorns before accepting the head coaching job at ASU. According to CBSSports.com, Harsin was ranked the sixth best hire out of the 26 coaching changes made at the time. In his 13 years as an NCAA FBS coach, Harsin has seen 10 bowl games and been a finalist for the 2009 Broyles Award, which recognizes the top assistant coaches. Starting quarterback Adam Kennedy will see his first game since his season end-
ing shoulder injury last year at Utah State. Kennedy said the strength of his teammates is why he chose ASU and looks forward to this season. “Having Oku next to you in the backfield and all those returners on the offensive line, you know Bryce [Giddens], Steven and all those guys, it’s great. Of course you look outside and that might be our best position on the field with J.D. [McKissic], [Allen] Muse, Julian [Jones] and R.J. Fleming,” he said. “It’s incredible as a quarterback to stand there and look around and basically go anywhere on the field.” Kennedy, Oku and Harsin all spoke of confidence in the team’s upcoming performance. “I think we’re ready. Coach has put a great game plan together and I think we’re confident and ready to go,” Kennedy said. “I’m excited with all the talk around town over the game. The coaches have talked to us a lot about focusing on the opponent at hand and not looking ahead. We expect to go out there and do good things.” Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. on Saturday and will be broadcasted on 107.9, ESPN3 and AStateRedWolves.com. The 2013 inductees for the Athletics Hall of Honor will also be honored during the game.
Staci Vandagriff| Photo Editor Head coach Bryan Harsin gives quarterback Adam Kennedy some pointers during practice Tuesday afternoon. The Red Wolves will take on a new foe, the University of Pine Bluff, this Saturday at Liberty Bank Stadium at 6 p.m.
Volleyball team looks to Club Sports establishes exceed ranking, start fresh brand-new competition DANIELLE WINTERS SPORTS WRITER
Finishing with an 8-6 record in the Sun Belt last year, the women’s volleyball team is ranked number four for the 2013-14 season, following the release of the Sun Belt preseason coaches’ poll. The volleyball team has been pouring sweat every day to get ready for this weekend’s
Tiger Volleyball Invitational. There will be five teams involved in the tournament; Arkansas State, Idaho State, Missouri, South Dakota and Pittsburgh. They will be facing Pittsburgh at noon on Aug. 30, followed by a match against Idaho State later that evening at 4 p.m. The league’s head coaches awarded Arkansas State 64 points along with SBC new-
Takako Okumura| Staff Photographer Six foot freshman Shelby Holmes bumps the ball during practice Tuesday afternoon. The Lady Red Wolves will compete this weekend in Missouri.
comer, Texas State. A-State’s head coach, David Rehr, feels quite indifferent about the results. “We haven’t told our kids yet because it isn’t important to us,” Rehr said. “We aren’t expecting fourth, we want to push Western Kentucky for the Sun Belt title.” Although the women’s volleyball team is young this year, consisting of five seniors, eight freshmen and two transfers, the girls are treating it as any other year. “We’re preparing physically, emotionally and even more, mentally,“ said senior Megan Baska. “The variety of our team this year has made it feel like a fresh start.” There aren’t many teams that are lucky enough to get a chance to start fresh; it’s giving them a chance to shine and show their true scarlet and black pride. The volleyball team as a whole expects positive results from this season. “We are aiming for that championship one game and one practice at a time,” Baska said. Last season Arkansas State came up short in every battle with Missouri, but this year with persistent training and striving to beat their overall 19-14 record they obtained last year, the girls hope to show the Tigers what they can do. “The team has been setting short goals along the way to achieve their overall goals” Baska said.
CARA PRICHARD SPORTS EDITOR
Arkansas State is well known for building and promoting athletics. Many of the programs have high expectations and goals for this upcoming season. To further promote and organize athletic competition, ASU has decided to allow students to establish their own club sport. There are two tiers to club sports on campus, one being the Established Club Sports, which consists of the men’s rugby team and the Spirit Squad. The other is the Developing Club Sports. This is where students can get involved. According to Intramural Sports Coordinator Carol Cummings the definition of a club sport is an organization of students formed for the purpose of engaging in competition in a particular athletic activity with other institutions of higher education. They are also engaging in physical competition rather than academic contests. “It gives the students who want to compete at a higher level another opportunity to play com-
petitive sports without the daily commitment of practices and travel,” Cummings said. “We have many students that were athletes in high school, but have decided not to pursue collegiate athletics. It’s another avenue for them to play a sport they love.” Although the opportunity is at hand, ASU has limited resources available to fund club sports. Because of this, the total number of Established Club Sports like rugby and the Spirit Squad, will be no more than six. In addition to opportunity, Cummings thinks creating a student-run organization would help build leadership skills. “They have a unique opportunity to be responsible for an organization by recruiting members, completing necessary documentation, fundraising and working in conjunction with a faculty advisor to assure all university procedures are followed,” Cummings said. “These leadership skills can be an invaluable asset in future life; both educationally and professionally.”
Registration and Approval • All Club Sports must make annual application to the Club Sports Oversight Committee. Applications are available online at www.astate.edu/ intramurals OR in the Red WOLF Center Administrative office room 102. The deadline to submit an application for Developing Club Status will be Friday, September 6th at 3 p.m. • Recognition as a Club Sport at any level is valid for one academic year and must be renewed annually to maintain status. Any Developing Club Sport accepted for official recognition will be on probationary status for a period of one year. • During the first year, the Developing Club Sport must prove it can be sustained over time. It must maintain an adequate number of members to conduct the sport, actively participate in competitive events, secure membership in the regional or national recognized governing body, and generate sufficient funds to support the club.