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August 26, 2013

Sports

Skyhawk soccer plays Middle Tennessee to scoreless draw at home Sports Information The UTM soccer team’s defensive unit stole the show this afternoon, shutting out Middle Tennessee State University and forcing a 0-0 double overtime scoreless tie. Freshman Ellie Myrick led the way for the Skyhawks (0-1-1) with five shots – three of which were on goal. Aoife Lennon, Dominika Conc, Alyssa Curtis and Michelle Calmeyn also recorded two shot attempts each for UTM. Junior Mariah Klenke once again proved to be a force in goal, recording her first shutout on the season and the ninth of her career. Klenke recorded nine saves on the afternoon in all 110 minutes, giving her 16 on the season. Lennon fired the Skyhawks’ first shot of the day at the 6:55 mark, but her shot was saved by Kelsey Brouwer. The Skyhawks would tally three consecutive shots off the feet of Curtis and Conc while a header by Jaclyn Heckle was also saved at the 22:43 mark. At the 33:42 mark, Calmeyn tallied the final shot of the first half that nearly proved to be the difference before Brouwer recorded the save. UTM would hold a 5-3 advantage in the shot column going into the break. The Skyhawks opened the second half with a trio of shot attempts within six minutes. Senior Hannah McGowen got the second period started with a shot at the 51:07 mark, which was blocked. Conc responded with a shot of her own just 27 seconds later that sailed just right of the post. Myrick almost broke the match open with a header at the 56:55 mark off an

assist from McGowen, but the ball sailed just over the crossbar, leaving the match scoreless. Klenke saw three consecutive shots come her way over the span of three minutes. Middle Tennessee’s 2012 Freshman of the Year tallied one of her teamhigh five shots at the 62:43 mark, sailing wide right. At the 73:56 mark of regulation, Myrick posted the Skyhawks’ final shot of regulation. Klenke tallied four saves in the overtime periods, clinching the shutout with her final save of the game at the 109:46 mark. “A lot of our chances fell to freshmen today, but I’m delighted that the likes of Aoife, Ellie and Michelle have started to create opportunities for themselves,” said UTM head soccer coach Phil McNamara. “We grew a lot this weekend at the forward position despite how young we are at those spots.” “Putting back-to-back performances the way we did, the work rate of the girls and our style of play is starting to create many more opportunities for us,” McNamara continued. “We had the more dangerous opportunities and higher possessions on the day. I have to give my girls the credit as they really dug in deep against a fresh opponent and competed until the end. I think this performance today and against Oklahoma State will help us in the long run.” UTM will now shift their focus to the road as they embark on a four-game road tilt, which will begin at Evansville next weekend. The matchup with the Purple Aces is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30.

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Schedule from 8/26 – 9/10 Football @ UTC 8/29 Volleyball @ Bradley Tournament (Peoria, Ill.) 8/30-31 Soccer @ Evansville 8/30 Cross-Country @ Belmont 8/30 Soccer @ Lipscomb 9/2 Volleyball vs. Evansville 9/3 Volleyball @ Chattanooga Tournament 9/6-7 Soccer @ Denver 9/6 Football @ Boise State 9/7 Soccer vs. Colorado (@ Denver) 9/8 Golf @ Wasioto Winds 9/8

The Pacer to award Player of the Year award for 2013-14 seasons Many of UTM’s athletes have earned high honors from various organizations, such as the Ohio Valley Conference and Tennessee Sports Writers Association, but next April one of UTM’s student-athletes will take home the inaugural Pacer Player of the Year award. Each week, starting with the first week of the school year, a player will be named the Pacer Player of the Week. This award will be given to athletes whose performance stands out among not only the rest of their teammates, but also the rest of the athletes who performed during that week. The criteria for this award is simple: The athlete who stands out the most in his or her efforts to propel a team to victory in the eyes of the committee presenting the award will be the player who is recognized each week.

The Player of the Week will be announced the day after the last game of the week has been played. Announcements will be made online, as well as on our Facebook page, The Pacer, and our Twitter accounts, @ThePacer and @PacerSports Next April, whichever players have taken home the most Player of the Week honors for their respective teams will be added to the group of players who will be in contention for the Player of the Year Award. The vote for Player of the Year will be a public poll that will be held on our web site and through social media, though our media staff will determine each Player of the Week. However, the combination of the student body, athletes and fans of UTM will decide Player of the Year. The award will be announced the week before finals and the winner will be presented an award from The Pacer. The first Player of the Week will be announced Sunday, Sept. 1.

North and South squads for the nation’s premier all-star game. The 2014 Reese’s Senior Bowl will take place in Mobile, Ala., on Jan. 25. Butler established himself as one of the league’s most dynamic red-zone threats last season, accounting for 10 touchdowns in 10 games. He led the OVC with a trio of multi-touchdown games, including a four-touchdown performance in a win at Murray State on Oct. 13. Overall, Butler hauled in 51 catches for 750 yards, cracking the 100-yard receiving plateau

on three occasions. In the fourtouchdown effort at Murray State, the Bradenton, Fla., native was responsible for a careerbest 177 yards on eight catches. He also set a career-high with 13 receptions (for 142 yards) at Tennessee Tech on Nov. 11 and added 101 yards receiving against Jacksonville State on Nov. 3. So far, Butler has been named a Preseason All-American by USA College Football. He has also been recognized by College Sports Madness, Phil Steele Publications and College Football Performance Awards.

Bradley Stringfield Managing Editor Online/ Sports Editor

Wide receiver named to 2014 Reese’s Senior Bowl Watch List Sports Information Jeremy Butler, from the UTM football team, has been spotlighted for the Reese’s Senior Bowl’s 2014 Watch List. A 6-3, 205-pound senior wide receiver, Butler is one of 67 Football Championship Subdivision players and one of five Ohio Valley Conference players on the prestigious list. The list includes more than 400 student-athletes from nearly every level of college football and is a starting ground for who will fill 110 roster spots that form the

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September 11, 2013

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Skyhawks battle but fall 63-14 at FBS national power Boise State Sports Information The UTM football team took on Boise State, but fell to the Football Bowl Subdivision powerhouse by a 63-14 margin at Bronco Stadium. The Skyhawks accounted for touchdowns in the first and fourth quarters. Dylan Favre earned the starting nod and led UTM to the endzone late in the first quarter to tie the score at 7-all. Jarod Neal also guided the Skyhawk offense into the endzone early in the fourth quarter. Favre completed 68 percent of his passes (15for-22) for 155 yards and a touchdown, while Neal went 6-for-13 for 55 yards. Jeremy Butler led UTM with nine receptions for a game-high 118 yards. It was his fourth The Boise State Broncos squared off against the UTM Skyhawks at Bronco Stadium 100-yard receiving game in on Saturday, Sept. 7. The Broncos went on to defeat the Skyhawks 63-14. | Photo just 12 career games at UTM. Credit / Megan Riley On the ground, DJ McNeil tallied a game-high 87 yards that. Now we have to go back 7-all on the ensuing drive. Favre march the ball down the field on 19 carries to go along with to work, look at our mistakes connected with Trent Garland – highlighted by a 20-yard pass a touchdown, the 16th rushing and give ourselves a chance to for an 11-yard touchdown from Favre to Kyle Kerrick. touchdown of his career. gain some momentum next strike down the left sideline to However, a pair of penalties Defensively, Ben Johnson week.” cap off a 13-play, 75-yard drive backed UTM up and forced tallied a game-high 10 tackles The UTM defense came out that lasted 5:16. Favre went the Skyhawks to punt. (seven solo). Tony Bell also swarming, forcing a turnover 5-for-5 for 42 yards passing on UTM’s next defensive drive generated six tackles, five on Boise State’s first offensive the drive and added 16 yards started out promising, as yet tackles-for-loss, two sacks, two possession. On third-and- rushing. another tackle-for-loss by forced fumbles and a fumble nine from the UTM 37-yard The Broncos scored on a Bell set up a fourth-and-nine recovery. Camaren Harris line, Bell broke through for 54-yard pass on their next from the UTM 37-yard line. added a pair of pass breakups a sack, forcing a fumble and possession to go ahead 14-7 However, Boise State converted for UTM (1-1). scrambling back to fall on the through one quarter of play. a 28-yard pass and three plays Joe Southwick (17-for- fumble to give the Skyhawks Boise State recovered later, scored on a 5-yard pass. 25, 234 passing yards, five the ball on their own 45-yard an onside kick on its next Boise State scored on an touchdowns), Jay Ajayi (80 line. possession and scored on a five- interception return as a result of rushing yards, two touchdowns) Bell came up big again on yard pass to go on top by a 21-7 a tipped pass and a fumble on a and Shane Williams-Rhodes UTM’s next defensive drive, margin. kickoff return to go ahead 49-7, (seven catches, 89 yards, two coming up with yet another McNeil had a 21-yard rush to at the halftime margin. touchdowns) led Boise State, sack for a four-yard loss. The start UTM’s next drive, as the The Broncos converted who rank first in the nation Broncos would eventually punt Skyhawks marched into Boise a fourth-and-seven with a with a .871 winning percentage after the Skyhawk defense State territory. However, the 30-yard touchdown pass on since 2000. forced a three-and-out. Skyhawks decided to attempt their opening possession of “It’s obviously disappointing Boise State would score on it on fourth-and-two from the the second half. UTM then that we didn’t give Boise State a its next drive, as Ajayi rushed Boise State 38-yard line but stopped Boise State on a threebetter fight,” UTM head coach up the middle for an 11-yard were stopped after one yard. and-out on the Broncos’ next Jason Simpson said. touchdown at the 8:05 mark. After Boise State scored possession, thanks to a key “We didn’t play mistake-free, However, the Skyhawks to make the score 28-7, the tackle for loss by Johnson. and they took advantage of answered to tie the game at Skyhawks once again began to Favre hit Butler for a 45-yard

Photo Credit / Megan Riley

pass on UTM’s next drive, but the Skyhawks could not get back on the scoreboard. Boise State would score on their next possession before another three-and-out by the UTM defense. Neal then led the Skyhawks to a scoring drive. He found Butler for a 28-yard gain to lead UTM into Boise State territory. McNeil then completed the drive with a four-yard rush up the middle. Jackson Redditt successfully booted the PAT to make the score 63-14 with 13:08 left in the game. UTM’s scoring drive consisted of 16 plays for 84 yards in a span of 5:09. That would prove to be the last scoring play for either side. The Skyhawks return to action next Saturday, Sept. 14 for their home opener against Central Arkansas. Kickoff from Hardy Graham Stadium is set for 6 p.m.


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September 11, 2013

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Sports

UTM volleyball team splits final day of Country Inn and Suites Invitational Sports Information The UTM volleyball team closed out a successful weekend by splitting a pair of matches against in-state foes at the Country Inn and Suites Invitational on Saturday. The Skyhawks defeated host University of Tennessee at Chattanooga 3-2 (23-25, 2518, 25-16, 22-25, 15-9) in the afternoon and fell to University of Tennessee at Knoxville 3-1 (29-27, 20-25, 20-25, 17-25) to take three out of four in the tournament and sit at 6-2 overall on the season. Following the conclusion of the last match of the tournament, Amanda Crask and Emily Keaton were named to the alltournament team. This was the second time Keaton has been named to an all-tournament squad in as many weekends. Against UTC, five Skyhawks eclipsed the double-digit kill mark, led by Keaton’s 17 kills. Crask tallied the second tripledouble of her career with a career-high 15 kills, careerhigh 52 assists and 12 digs. Lynsey Hazelwood (12 kills), Shelby Hoskins (11) and Allie Whimpey (11) also reached double-figures in the kill column. Bowles registered 23 digs to lead five Skyhawks with double-figure dig totals. One day after setting a career-high in digs, Hazelwood once again achieved a career-high with 15 digs. Larson was responsible for 15 digs as well, while Keaton completed her double-double with 14 digs. Against UTK, Whimpey led the way with 11 kills, while Keaton added 10 kills.

The Pacer Player of the Week

Amanda Crask

• Against UTC, Crask recorded the program’s third-ever triple-double with career-highs of 15 kills and 52 assists to go along with 12 digs. • Crask earned Country Inn and Suites AllTournament honors • Crask earned OVC Player of the Week Photo Credit/Sports Information

Hazelwood, Julia Devinney and Crask also recorded eight kills apiece. Crask hit .412 (one error in 17 attempts) while also collecting 39 assists and a career-best 18 digs. Bowles accounted for 21 digs while Larson scooped up 14 digs to lead the Skyhawks. “‘Do what we do well’ has been our approach to this season,” said head coach Darrin McClure. “We have worked extensively on getting better offensively. This weekend I felt scoring was not a problem for us. Even against [UTK] we had more kills than they did – the difference in that match was our errors. Against [UTC] I couldn’t be more happy about our kills – we did a phenomenal job in that category. Our focus moving forward will be to be more efficient. I am very proud of our effort this weekend.” Against UTC, the Skyhawks jumped to a 3-1 lead in the

first set before UTC scored six unanswered. UTM then went on a 14-6 run, going on top by a 17-13 margin thanks to a Keaton kill. The Skyhawks went on top by a 23-21 margin but UTC ended the set with four straight points to gain a 1-0 advantage. Crask’s five kills (against zero errors) in seven attempts paced UTM in the first set. UTC led 7-6 in the second set but the Skyhawks charged back to score four unanswered to take a 10-7 advantage. UTC would get back within a single point at 13-12 but UTM kept charging and never conceded the lead. After UTM led 21-18, the Skyhawks ended the set on a 4-0 run, capped off by a Crask kill to even the match at 1-1. Crask’s five kills and 10 assists paced UTM in the second set. A 4-1 start helped the Skyhawks claim an early advantage in the third set, as a

7-1 run later on resulted in a 15-7 UTM advantage. UTC would get within 19-15, but UTM quickly scored six of the last seven points – ending with a Michelle McLaughlin service ace – to take a 2-1 set lead. Hazelwood, Crask and Whimpey each secured four kills in the third set, helping the Skyhawks hit .250. Crask chipped in with 14 assists off of UTM’s 18 kills. UTC led 9-4 to start off the fourth set, eventually going on top by a 17-9 margin until a Keaton kill stopped the run. Despite the deficit, UTM kept fighting – getting within two points at 24-22 thanks to two straight kills by Keaton. However, an assisted block by UTC led to a fifth set. The Skyhawks controlled the fifth set from the beginning, claiming a 4-2 lead early. UTC would slice its deficit to one (76) before UTM extended its advantage out to 9-6, forcing UTC to call a timeout. The Skyhawks would soon lead 13-8 and would clinch the victory thanks to a Whimpey kill. Keaton had five kills to lead UTM in the fifth and final set. UTM came out fired up in the first set against Tennessee, securing the first five points courtesy of three kills by Devinney. An assisted block by Keaton and Alisha Erves put the Skyhawks on top 8-2 and forced UTK to call a timeout. After a Crask service ace put UTM ahead 10-3, UTK scored five unanswered points but the Skyhawks were able to take a 17-13 lead behind back-to-back kills by Crask and Erves. UTK used a 7-2 run to take a 20-19 lead but the Skyhawks battled

Schedule from 9/11 – 9/24 Tennis @ UTM Tournament 9/13-14 | Volleyball @ Alabama Tournament 9/13-14 | Soccer vs. Georgia State 9/13 | Football vs. Central Arkansas 9/14 | Cross-Country @ Vanderbilt 9/14 | Soccer @ Indiana State 9/15 | Volleyball @ Butler Tournament 9/20-21 | Soccer @ St. Louis 9/20 | Golf @ Cardinal Intercollegiate | Volleyball @ Alabama A&M 9/24 |

back to close out the set with three straight kills. The Skyhawk offense stood out in the first set, as UTM hit .296 with 23 kills. Keaton registered six kills while Crask was a perfect 4-for-4 attacking and added 16 assists. In the second set, UTM jumped out to a 6-4 lead early but UTK came back with an 11-0 run to lead 15-6. The Skyhawks were able to claw back within three points when Whimpey and Shelby Hoskins combined for an assisted block to make the score 20-17. However, UTM’s comeback attempt fell just short. The Skyhawks scored four of the first five points of the third set and would keep the lead until a 5-0 UTK run made the score 13-8. Back-to-back kills by Hazelwood and Hoskins sliced the Skyhawk deficit to three at 13-10 but UTK would come back with a 5-1 run. UTM would get back within four points on five more occasions but couldn’t get closer than that for the remainder of the set. UTM took a 9-6 lead to start off the fourth set but UTK soon scored four unanswered to start a 8-2 run. Kills from Crask and Keaton brought the Skyhawks back within one at 15-14 until UTK pieced together five consecutive points. A Bowles service ace brought UTM back within four at 21-17, but UTK accounted for the last four points of the set. Bowles had nine digs in the fourth set to lead the Skyhawks. UTM returns to action this weekend (Sept. 13-14), when it will play four matches in the span of two days in a tournament hosted by the University of Alabama.

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September 25, 2013

Sports

Coaches’ Corner: Phil McNamara proud of career move to UTM

Justin Glover Staff Writer

The Skyhawks’ women’s soccer team, led by fourth-year head coach Phil McNamara, has had something of a penchant for victory over the last few seasons. Despite the team’s rocky start, McNamara isn’t overly concerned. “Well, we’ve had a very difficult schedule, so it’s actually difficult to really get a good idea of where we’re at,” McNamara said. “We have a win-loss record that’s the same as what we had this time last year … I think we’ve played some very good teams very close.” In the season opener, UTM was able to keep perennial powerhouse Oklahoma State from scoring until the 85th minute and kept 20th-ranked Denver off the board for 75 minutes during the Denver Invitational. McNamara said the team’s slow start is in part because of their relative inexperience and lack of depth. “We are not as talented nor as deep as we were last year, or experienced … I still have a lot of belief that we will be there, or there roundabouts in the top part of the league and that will give us an opportunity, hopefully, to attain the same level of success that we’ve had the last couple of seasons,” McNamara said. McNamara’s team made the NCAA Tournament the past

two seasons, losing to Memphis in 2011 and losing to Kentucky during overtime in 2012. The team also claimed the program’s first ever OVC Tournament championship in 2012 while also posting the highest winning percentage in school history at .659. The Skyhawks look to return to the NCAA Tournament again this year, but McNamara recognizes the road will be difficult. “It puts a bit of a target on your back, no question,” he said. “I think the league is better balanced this year, and some teams are off to a good start … right now we’re not the current favorite, I would say.” McNamara has certainly focused on the importance of technique during his tenure with the Skyhawks, but that’s not all he teaches his players. “Our lesson is to encourage the players to find the motivation and desire to reach that [higher] level of play,” he said. “Then on a daily basis, it’s ‘Can we be the best that we can be?’ and ‘Can you perform to 100 percent of your potential?’ and if you’re doing that individually, that gives us a foundation to move forward as a team.” McNamara is in his 14th year as a head coach. Prior to becoming a coach McNamara played for several professional soccer teams, including spending four years with Cliftonville Football Club of the Northern Ireland Football League Premiership.

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After his playing career was over, he became a youth coach for the Irish Football Association. McNamara eventually accepted a head coaching position at Virginia Intermont. “I’ve often said to friends and associates in the game that coaching is the next best thing to being out there on the field,” McNamara said. “You don’t have the same control—good players feel like they always have control of the game … It’s a different feeling, a different emotion. I miss playing dearly, there’s no question about that, but I had a lot of quality years with good teams … I enjoyed my time playing, [and I] wouldn’t change too much about my playing background.” After leaving VI, McNamara joined Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tenn., where he spent eight years as head coach taking the Eagles to the NCAA Division II Tournament in each of his last seven years. After his tenure there ended, he accepted the position at UTM. “UT Martin just offered the next level, basically. With CarsonNewman being a Division II school, I came close to winning a national title there on two occasions, [but] they just didn’t have the resources to make that happen … I felt like my career path needed a positive change. I don’t regret for a minute coming to UTM,” McNamara said.

Schedule from 9/25-10/8 Rodeo @ Missouri Valley 9/26 | Tennis @ Chattanooga Tournament 9/27-28 | Volleyball vs. SIUE 9/27 Soccer @ Austin Peay 9/27 | Equestrian @ Baylor 9/27-29 | Football @ SEMO 9/28 | Volleyball @ EIU 9/28 | Rifle @ Ole Miss 9/28 | Rife @ Memphis 9/29 | Soccer @ Murray State 9/29 Golf @ Southern Methodist 9/29 | Volleyball vs. SEMO 10/1 | Rodeo @ Murray State 10/3 Volleyball vs. Tennessee Tech 10/4 | Soccer vs. Jacksonville State 10/4 Football vs. Jacksonville State (Homecoming) 10/5 |Cross-Country @ Louisville 10/5 Golf @ Skyhawk Fall Classic 10/6 | Rifle vs. Murray State 10/6

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The Pacer Player of the Week • Klenke, with her third shutout of the year against St. Louis, set a new UTM career record with 11 total shutouts in her career. • She totaled seven saves. Mariah Klenke Photo Credit/Sports Information

Skyhawks start OVC play against SEMO Bradley Stringfield Managing Editor, Online Sports Editor

After starting the season 2-1, with both wins coming against ranked FCS opponents, UTM will start a six-game conference lineup when they travel to Southeast Missouri on Saturday, Sept. 28. Following wins over University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, a team ranked No. 25, and University of Central Arkansas, a team that was ranked No. 7, many expected UTM to be ranked in the FCS Coaches Top-25. After the team’s win over Central Arkansas, Head Coach Jason Simpson said it would be a joke if his team wasn’t ranked in the top 20. The team isn’t, and Simpson isn’t exactly laughing about it. Despite being snubbed by the FCS Coaches Poll, the team is currently ranked No. 24 in the Sports Network media. With Dylan Favre solidifying the once questionable quarterback position, UTM could make some serious noise in

the OVC over the next few weeks and it all starts this weekend. SEMO enters the contest with a record of 0-3 and has been outscored 39-112 so far this season. “Well, just like any other team that is playing we have to stick to our alignments, assignments and technique,” said SEMO offensive assistant and former recordsetting Union City High School tailback, Josh Nicks. “[We have to be] mentally focused going into this game because, in this conference, the games are always close ... Whomever works the hardest during the week getting ready for the other team ... will have the upper hand. “ After returning from their trip to Missouri, the Skyhawks will take on Jacksonville State in the homecoming game. The next week they will travel to Tennessee Tech for a Thursday night game before returning home to face Tennessee State. While the Skyhawks made it through the first three games of the season with a 2-1 record they will have their hands full once they kickoff OVC play this weekend.


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Coaches’ Corner: Jerry Carpenter Rodeo team falls short at Murray State event strives to teach golfers more Sports Information

Head coach Jerry Carpenter addresses the crowd at the unveiling of the Rhodes Golf Center and Grover Page Team room. | Pacer Photo/Bradley Stringfield Tammy Jo Stanford Guest Writer

The UTM Golf Team prides itself on having top-notch, talented golfers and even more importantly, excellent students and for their coach, that’s the way it has to be. Jerry Carpenter, head coach for the Skyhawk linksters, believes that the best golfers are outstanding both on the green and in the classroom. “You want kids with excellent character and who have really good grades,” said Carpenter. “Those are the students who will excel in college classes as well as excel in golf ... Besides accessing their golf skills, the very next question I ask a prospective UT Martin golfer is how their grades are.” As well as dedication to their studies, a potential UTM golfer must commit to the time necessary to be a college athlete. “There’s got to be a passion for the game of golf to play at the college level,” said Carpenter. Coach Carpenter knows about dedication and passion. He has been a part of the UTM family

most of his life. A graduate of Newbern High School in Newbern, Tenn., he graduated from UTM, where he met his wife Linda Scates in 1964. Before becoming involved with the golf program, he worked for 34 years as the manager of the UTM bookstore. After serving as a volunteer assistant coach for the Skyhawk golf team for a year, Carpenter assumed the head coaching position after long-time golf coach Grover Page retired following the 2001-02 season. The 2013 season has started off very well for the Skyhawks, winning the Wasioto Winds Fall Kickoff tournament in Pineville, Ky. The team won this season opener capping off a dominant three-round performance with a 31-stroke victory beating teams from Walters State, Murray State and Morehead State. “Our golf program has really improved over the years and that starts with recruiting good players,” said Carpenter. “Our ability to offer our new state-ofthe-art golf facility, the Rhodes Golf Center, has been a major attraction to prospective golfers.” Not only has the new golf center made it easier to recruit players, he

is positive it will give his golfers the edge to compete successfully in the OVC. Carpenter is extremely excited about the new golf facility. “Without the support of Bill and Amy Rhodes, Dr. Tom Rakes, Phil Dane and agricultural professor Dr. Wes Totten, this center would not have happened,”said Carpenter. Carpenter speaks highly of all of his players and praises their hard work and dedication. He calls himself lucky to get to coach such “good kids.” Another aspect of his job at UTM that he cherishes is his ability to get to work with his son, Scott, who is a volunteer assistant coach for the golf program. “I have been coaching him since he was five years old,” said Carpenter. “Scott and I working together is a good mixture of old and new. He relates well to the students, he’s a great scratch golfer, as well as a good hands-on coach.” Coach Jerry Carpenter lives in Martin with his wife Linda. Besides son, Scott, the Carpenters also have a daughter, Dana, as well as two grandchildren.

The UTM men’s rodeo team finished just 10 points shy of first place while the women’s squad came in fourth place at the Murray State rodeo over the weekend. The men’s team compiled 550 points in its quest to win its second consecutive rodeo to start the season. Meanwhile, the women’s team accumulated 170 points – 130 points behind the winner. In calf roping, Ben Walker brought home first place in the average (19.1 seconds), earning fifth in the first go (10.1) and second in the short go (9.0). Clark Adcock compiled an average time of 19.5 seconds to place second, finishing with a time of 10.9 seconds in the first go (sixth) and a time of 8.6 seconds in the short go (first). John Alley gave UTM its third top-three finisher with an average time of 20.1 seconds (9.2 in the first go to lead all cowboys, 10.9 in the short go for fifth). Savannah Warner finished first in the breakaway roping with an average of 5.5 seconds, splitting third, fourth and fifth in the first go (2.8) while placing first in the short go (2.7). Lauren Wagner

also took part in the event, splitting third, fourth and fifth in the first go with a time of 2.8 seconds. In steer wrestling, Clay Mitchell (14.5, fourth) and Tucker Kail (20.1, fifth) finished in back-to-back slots in average time. Mitchell placed sixth in the first go (8.7) and fourth in the short go (5.8) while Kail came in at a time of 7.0 in the short go. Austin Duckett (4.8 in the first go, first place) also represented UTM in the event. The UTM duo of Alley and Adcock tallied an average time of 16.7 seconds to finish second after completing the best time in the short go (5.7 seconds). A total of four UTM cowgirls competed in barrel racing. Nealey Dalton brought home a second place finish in the average (27.8 seconds) after placing third in the first go (13.93 seconds) and second in the short go (13.87 seconds). Katie Brown (28.23 seconds) finished in fourth in the average right behind Dalton, placing fourth in the short go with a time of 14.00 seconds. Dacia Horne (14.09 in the first go) and Mary Francis Gorsuch (14.08 in the short go) each finished sixth in their respective rides.

The Pacer Player of the Week Crask recorded 106 assists last week. She totaled her second triple-double of the season with 12 kills, a career-high 62 assists and 16 digs versus Southeast Missouri. She added 44 assists, four kills and five digs against Tech. Amanda Crask

Photo Credit/Sports Information


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October 9, 2013

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Sports

Ribbon ceremony marks official opening of golf center Bradley Stringfield

Managing Editor, Online Sports Editor

On Friday, Oct. 4, the Rhodes Golf Center and Grover Page Team Room were finally unveiled to the public in a special dedication ceremony. Final construction started in July and after two years the project is finally finished for the golf team to take over. The center is named in honor of Bill and Amy Rhodes and the team room is named in honor of former UTM head coach Grover Page. During his time at UTM, Rhodes was an honorable mention All-American and an academic All-American. Rhodes’ wife, Amy, graduated UTM in 1991 and according to her husband Bill, has been instrumental throughout the entire process. Page founded the golf team in 1967 and led them to five Tennessee Intercollegiate championships and two national rankings.

(From left) Athletic Director Phil Dane, Chancellor Thomas Rakes, Amy Rhodes, her husband and President and Chief Executive Officer of AutoZone, Inc., Bill Rhodes, former head golf coach Grover Page and current head coach Jerry Carpenter. | Pacer Photo/Bradley Stringfield Current head coach Jerry Carpenter credits Page for not only the success of the program during Page’s time as the coach,

but as one of his biggest mentors. For a team that has already won one event this year, the new practice facility will provide the

team an opportunity to practice within walking distance of their classes and will make recruiting athletes much easier, Carpenter

said. At the ceremony, there was even talk of the possible addition of a women’s golf team, but according to several of the speakers at the event, the possible addition of another team isn’t expected to be soon. However, the building was designed to house two separate teams. The center itself features two covered and climate-controlled hitting bays, computerized video and swing analysis cameras, a 600-square-foot true putting green, a lounge for the team, office space, as well as a kitchenette and restrooms. Outside of the building is a 6,000-square-foot putting and chipping green made up of TifEagle Bermuda grass surface, an 8,000-square-foot tee box and a 1,600-square-foot elevated tee box with Meyer and Palisades zoysia grass. There is also an auxiliary tee box next to a 4,500-square-foot putting green with Mini-Verde Bermuda grass and mini target greens with flags at 50, 75, 100, 150, 200 and 250-yards.

COLUMN Skyhawks will need all hands on deck in game with Tennessee Tech Bradley Stringfield Managing Editor, Online Sports Editor

Coming off of a tough homecoming loss to Jacksonville State, UTM will continue their stretch of Ohio Valley Conference games when they travel to Cookeville to take on Tennessee Tech. The Golden Eagles (3-3, 0-2 OVC) come into the game after suffering an 11-point loss to Murray State. However, with UTM (3-2, 1-1 OVC) coming off of their own double-digit loss, it’s safe to say that both teams will be trying to rebound and crawl their way back up the OVC ladder. Through the first three weeks of the season, UTM shook up the FCS by defeating ranked teams Chattanooga

and Central Arkansas. Then, they played Southeast Missouri. Despite coming out of the game with a win, the team displayed some of the same issues that people were expecting out of them before the season started. Unfortunately for the Skyhawks, some of those issues carried over to the Jacksonville State game. Against the Redhawks, UTM threw a pick and had three fumbles; luckily, they only lost one. Against the Gamecocks, the Skyhawks put the ball on the ground two more times, losing one, and tossed another interception. In a ball-control offense like UTM’s, it’s often hard to come back from turnovers. The main reason that they overcame them against SEMO was the running back D.J. McNeil. At SEMO, McNeil had a careerhigh 156 yards, but he only ran for 66

against Jacksonville State. On the flip side, quarterback Dylan Favre threw the ball 36 times against the Gamecocks, a season-high. Tennessee Tech brings in the sixth best scoring offense in the OVC, averaging 29.3 points per game, and the sixth best scoring defense that is allowing 32.5 points per game. For UTM to get back on track, McNeil has to be more involved in the offense than he was against Jacksonville State. Through the first four games of the season, McNeil averaged 24.5 touches a game and 124 yards per game; against the Gamecocks, he totaled 16 touches for 78 yards. Granted, a lot of that had to do with UTM playing from behind, but we learned early in the year that the formula for a Skyhawk victory was to rely on their fourth ranked rushing offense and their

third-ranked total defense. On the bright side for UTM, the Golden Eagles have allowed 172.7 rushing yards per game so far this season. So assuming he gets the carries he needs, McNeil should have no problems finding holes. This game, like almost every game the Skyhawks have played this season, will ultimately come down to the quarterback position. Favre will have to find the magic that helped him unofficially claim the starting job and lead the team to a 3-1 start and a No. 22 ranking in the Sports Network FCS Poll. A strong showing against Tennessee Tech should solidify his role as the starting quarterback, but the Skyhawks can’t afford to return from Cookeville 1-2 in the conference when they take on Tennessee State.


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Sports

Former players exemplify FCS improvement Matt Borden Guest Writer

Hundreds of student athletes attend football camps each year with the dream of playing in the National Football League and after every spring semester, universities must recruit new players to make up for their graduating seniors. Universities are divided by two categories, the FBS or FCS. The FBS stands for Football Bowl Subdivision, which features conferences such as the South Eastern Conference or the Big Ten. The most highly touted high school athletes traditionally attend an FBS school, because of immediate national exposure, as well as program tradition. In more recent years, there has been an increase with players transferring to smaller

universities, and the once large gap between the FBS and FCS is slowly closing. FCS, or Football Championship Subdivision, is home to conferences such as the Ohio Valley Conference or the Missouri Valley Conference. So far this season, eight FCS squads upset an FBS opponent. Some of the victims were top teams such as Kansas State and Oregon State. How is this possible? FBS teams have a deeper roster pool. They are able to offer 85 scholarships, compared to the FCS’s 63, and the talent is better at an FBS university. The student athletes who transfer from major FBS programs have a chance to become immediate gamechangers for their new team. In recent years, UTM has benefited from such individuals. Defensive lineman

The Pacer Player of the Week • Tallied her fifth shutout of the season against Belmont • Recorded eight saves on the afternoon • UTM’s alltime leader in shutouts • With the win, the team moves into a tie for first place in the OVC with Eastern Illinois

Montori Hughes joined the Skyhawks from Tennessee and wide receiver Quentin Sims came from Georgia Tech; both have jumped from the Skyhawks to the NFL. “Programs can tout all of the professionals they produce but it makes a huge difference if current players can identify with recent NFL players and physically see the results on paper,” said UTM Sports Information Director, Ryne Rickman. “UTM was fortunate enough to have two players in the NFL this year, and I see that trend absolutely continuing upward.” In recent years, the Ohio Valley Conference has consistently produced NFLcaliber talent. This past year, Montori Hughes and Alan Bonner were selected in the draft. Two current NFL players hailing from OVC schools

are Tony Romo, quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, and Dominique RodgersCromartie, a cornerback for the Denver Broncos. Teams use the NFL draft to help retool their team and build for not only the next season, but also the seasons to come. The draft is divided into seven rounds with 32 picks in each round to symbolize the 32 NFL teams. There are also compensatory picks awarded to teams who lost certain players through free agency that are added on at the end of each round. This year, the FCS had 19 players selected in the draft, two of which represented the OVC. “The impact of OVC players in the NFL is simple – credibility,” said Joe Lofaro, University Relations Publication Specialist and sports advocate.

“If the OVC can put players in the NFL, then people will say that league must be good.” Having competitive university athletics does much more than just attract national attention to your program; it creates community involvement. “The main influence is the word-of-mouth and buzz about our potential pros,” said Rickman. “There was a buzz around here when Montori Hughes and Quentin Sims were here. People love to watch good football and with good players like those two, it will attract a crowd. People will go out of their way to maybe skip watching a game at home on Saturday to come and watch a once-in-a-generation player represent UTM on the gridiron.”

Student & faculty discount! ALL day every day! Largest import selection in town! 18-door cooler to supply all your party needs

Photo Credit/Sports Information Mariah Klenke

Directions: 45E South toward South Fulton, turn left towards Purchase Parkway, take Exit 1 on Purchase Parkway, go right off the exit.

Hours:

Mon.-Thurs. 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat. 8 a.m. - 12 a.m. 207 Nolan Avenue Fulton, Ky. 270-472-0096 Please drink responsibly.


October 23, 2013

Sports

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Coaches’ Corner: Jason Simpson views UTM as progression

FIRST AMENDMENT FREE FOOD FESTIVAL

Justin Glover Staff Writer

The Skyhawks’ football team has seen quite a bit of success over the last eight seasons. At the forefront of this success is head coach Jason Simpson. In 2006, Simpson’s first year as head coach, he led the Skyhawks to a 9-3 record. They capped off the season by winning the Ohio Valley Conference championship and finishing 13th overall. Simpson believes that this year’s team shows several similarities to the team that won UTM’s only OVC championship to date. “In some spots, we’re actually better,” said Simpson. “I guess the difference is, the league’s gotten better … That team probably wouldn’t win nine games [this season].” Coach Simpson has certainly had plenty of opportunities to coach truly talented players. Most notable among these are defensive tackle Montori Hughes, currently a member of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts and wide receiver Quentin Sims, who after a brief stint with the Atlanta Falcons found himself on the New England Patriots’ practice squad. Former quarterback Derek Carr, who attended a tryout with the Giants, returned to UTM and is currently working as a graduate assistant with the Skyhawks. Simpson believes that it’s up to both players and coaches when it comes to motivation. “Everybody’s got a different thing that motivates them, and I’m proud of our coaches. We provided those players those opportunities,” said Simpson. Simpson started coaching at Delta State in 1995 as a defensive backs coach. Prior to accepting his current position, Simpson was an offensive coordinator at UTC.

“I think that being at different levels, a Division II school and three other FCS schools [ Jacksonville State, Texas State, and UTC], prepared me to understand that we don’t have SEC budgets,” said Simpson. “We have to be frugal with our money, make good decisions … being able to manage our money, get as many players in our program as we can get. [You have to] use your budget on things that matter, [like] winning football games, and that’s something that’s prepared me for this job.” Simpson also said that making the move to UTM from UTC was the next step in his career for a number of reasons. “Everybody wants to be the boss,” said Simpson. “That’s just kind of the next progression. After being an offensive coordinator, you get to be a head coach. [I’ve had] eight years worth of being here, and I’ve loved every minute of it.” When he’s not coaching the Skyhawks, Simpson enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. He also enjoys being involved at First Baptist Church on University Street, where he serves as a deacon.

Join the Society of Professional Journalists on Thursday, Oct. 24 for free food!

SPJ will be providing students, faculty and staff free lunch in exchange for temporarily signing away their First Amendment rights. Don’t know what those rights are? Don’t worry! We’ll teach you! Join us between the UC and Paul Meek Library from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.


October 23, 2013

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Column

Tennessee says goodbye to longtime Titans owner Bradley Stringfield Managing Editor, Online Sports Editor

In any professional sport it’s easy to point to a few individuals who changed the landscape of a team, city or state, but it’s hard to pinpoint any one man in any one sport that is responsible for more change than former Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams. On Monday, Oct. 21, at the age of 90, K.S. “Bud” Adams Jr. passed away peacefully in his Houston home from natural causes. Many younger Titans fans remember a very different Adams than the one who is widely regarded as one of the most influential men in not only NFL history, but sports history. Yes, this is the same Adams that ran longtime head coach Jeff Fisher and handpicked quarterback Vince Young out of town in the same season. The same Adams that gave the double-finger salute to Buffalo Bills fans during a 41-17 home win in the 2009 season, but there was much more to this man than many truly realize. Adams was the man in charge of the Houston Oilers/

Photo Credit/Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans for 54 years and was one of the co-founders of the American Football League that would eventually merge with the National Football League to create what we now know as the NFL. In 1946, Adams started ADA Oil Company and 13 years later, on Aug. 3, 1959 he announced

the formation of the AFL, starting with Adams’ Houston Oilers. Adams housed many stars while the team was in Houston, such as Curly Culp, Earl Campbell, Billy “White Shoes” Johnson, current head coach Mike Munchak, current offensive line coach Bruce Mathews and the only African-

American quarterback to be selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Warren Moon. In 1996, the Oilers played their last game in the Astrodome after a fairly bitter divorce between Adams and the city of Houston. The next season the team made their move to the Volunteer State and in 1999 took the field as the

Tennessee Titans for the first time in what is now known as LP Field. At the end of that season, the Titans would famously fall just inches short to tying the Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV. In similar fashion to the late Al Davis, many thought that Adams had lost touch with reality in his later years. However, like Davis, Adams’ influence on what is now the NFL cannot be debated. The city of Nashville has grown into one of the premier cities in the country and a lot of credit for that goes to the Titans organization. Sure, it’s fun to blame Adams for a lot of the turmoil that the Titans have been in over the last few years. Is he really responsible for all of it? Of course not, but he is responsible for some. However, no matter how bad the team performs, the importance of Adams to the cities of Houston and Nashville, the states of Texas and Tennessee and the NFL as a whole aren’t debatable. The NFL Hall of Fame has been questioned on several occasions when it comes to who is, and isn’t, inducted each year. Hopefully, in the near future, the work of Adams will go rewarded and he will be enshrined in Canton with many other legends of the game.

Schedule from 10/23 – 11/5 Tennis- UTM Tournament 10/25-27 | Volleyball vs. Eastern Kentucky 10/25 | Soccer vs. Eastern Illinois 10/25 Football @ Austin Peay 10/26 | Volleyball vs. Morehead State 10/26 | Soccer vs. SIUE 10/27 Volleyball @ Eastern Illinois 11/1 | Soccer vs. SEMO 11/1 | Football vs. Murray State 11/2 Volleyball @ SIUE 11/2 | Cross Country @ OVC Championship (Ky.) 11/2 | Rifle @ Rose-Hulman 11/2 Rifle vs. Nebraska (@ Murray State) 11/2 | Rifle vs. Ohio State (@ Rose-Hulman) 11/3

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November 6, 2013

Sports

Linebacker named CFPA National Defensive Performer of the Week Sports Information

For the second time this season, UTM junior linebacker Tony Bell has earned National Defensive Performer of the Week and National Linebacker Performer of the Week by College Performance Awards. A 6-1, 200-pounder out of Memphis, Tenn., Bell also earned adidas Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors on Sunday afternoon. Bell put together one of the most dominant defensive games in OVC history on Saturday in a 45-17 victory over Murray State. He tied an OVC single-game record with 4.5 sacks, which is also tied for the most sacks in a single game by an NCAA player at any level in 2013. He also recorded a career-high 16 tackles, which is tied for the most tackles by any OVC player in a single game this season. Bell, who was also named the Week 2 CFPA National Defensive Performer of the Week and National Linebacker Performer of the Week, currently

leads the OVC in sacks (8.5) and tackles for loss (13) while ranking fifth in fumble recoveries (two), seventh in forced fumbles (two) and eighth in tackles (61, 6.8 per game). His 8.5 sacks rank fourth amongst Football Championship Subdivision players. Along with Bell, CFPA also recognized Jarod Neal and Thad Williams for their contributions to the Skyhawk victory. Neal was one of 15 signal callers to earn Honorable Mention National Quarterback of the Week while Williams was one of 18 players to be named Honorable Mention Defensive Back Performer of the Week. A 6-1, 180-pound redshirt sophomore out of Hendersonville, Tenn., Neal chalked up a career day against the Racers – accounting for four touchdowns. He completed 75 percent of his passes (18-for-24) for 245 yards and a career-best three touchdowns while adding a career-high 38 yards on the ground, including a go-ahead rushing score in the third quarter to give UTM a lead it would not relinquish the rest of the way.

Neal currently ranks third in the OVC in completion percentage (63.3) and passing efficiency (133.5) while coming in at fourth in passing yards (139.6 per game) and total offense (140.4 yards per game). Williams also had a career day on Saturday, coming away with two interceptions to go along with eight tackles. The two picks marked the first time a Skyhawk had a multi-interception game since Markei Guy accomplished the feat at Tennessee State in 2010. Williams now has four interceptions over the last two seasons at UTM. A 5-9, 190-pounder redshirt senior out of Adel, Ga., Williams jumped into seventh in the OVC in interceptions (two). The Skyhakks carry a 6-3 overall record into their Nov. 9 matchup at Football Bowl Subdivision member Memphis. UTM will look to make it two straight victories over the Tigers, as the Skyhawks earned a 20-17 victory in Memphis in the 2012 season opener. Kickoff from Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium is set for 3:30 p.m.

KIVA. While on the team, she was named an AAU All-American, after leading the Asics KIVA 18 red squad to a 9-2 record in the 39th AAU Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships. Bowles says she loves volleyball because, “it’s such a competitive sport.” Outside of volleyball, Bowles spent seven years as a cheerleader, but she said that it didn’t give her the same intense feeling as volleyball. Many student athletes have very busy schedules, and Bowles is no exception. While playing volleyball, she tries very hard to balance her classwork. She says it can get hard to study and keep grades up because of missing classes for games, but so far Bowles has proven up to the task with achieving a GPA of 3.7. Last year,

she was named to the Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll. Born on Jan. 15, 1984 to Davy Bowles and Ollie Jones, Bowles is a very family-oriented person. She has three siblings, Jessica Bowles, Wes Doak and Krystina Bowles. When she is able to go home, she spends time with her family by going out on their boat in the Ohio River to fish, intertube and jet ski and also by attending church. Bowles wears number four because of her brother, Wes. Wes wore the number when he played baseball, but after his career ended, she decided to wear it during her volleyball career. One of Bowles’ favorite movies is Bridesmaids, and her favorite food is buffalo chicken dip.

Chelsea Bowles has success on and off court Amber Sherman Staff Writer

For UTM volleyball player Chelsea Bowles, success on the court and in the classroom are two things she is accustomed to. Bowles, a Louisville, Ky. native, attended Assumption High School, a school well known for its volleyball program. In 2011, under head coach Ron Kordes, Assumption finished the season with a 44-1 record and was ranked No. 3 in ESPN’s Powerade Fab 50. During her time at Assumption, the Rockets won the Burris Invitational in Muncie, Ind., the Durango Classic in Las Vegas and the Asics Challenge in Chicago. One of her favorite experiences, she said, was playing with Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) team

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The Pacer Player of the Week Scored the gamewinning goal against Southeast Missouri to give the Skyhawks the 1-0 victory and the Ohio Valley Conference Championship Abi Sanvee

Photo Credit/Sports Information

UTM welcomes OVC soccer tournament Bradley Stringfield Managing Editor, Online Sports Editor

With their win against Southeast Missouri on Friday, Nov. 1, the Skyhawks clinched the top seed and the right to host the OVC soccer tournament for the second straight season. Morehead State claimed the second seed and also received a first round bye. In last year’s tournament, the Skyhawks defeated Southeast Missouri in the semi-final round before defeating Austin Peay in the championship round. This year, if the Redhawks want to have another chance of taking out the Skyhawks, they will have to hope both teams make it to the final round. The first round will be held Thursday, Nov. 7. In game one, which will be played at 4 p.m., the No.4 seed, SIU Edwardsville, will take on the No. 5 seed, Eastern Illinois. Then in game two, the No. 3 seed, Southeast Missouri, will challenge the No. 6 seed, Austin Peay, with the game time set for 7 p.m. On Friday, UTM will play the winner of game one at 4 p.m., while Morehead State will play the winner of game two at 7 p.m. The teams will have Saturday off and then on Sunday will compete in the OVC Championship at 1

p.m. The Skyhawks have totaled 23 goals on 310 attempts this season. Senior Abi Sanvee leads the team with five goals, four of which were game-winning, including the game winner against Southeast Missouri. Alyssa Curtis is second on the team with four goals on 42 shots. Keeper Mariah Klenke has totaled 84 saves in the 16 games she has played this season. UTM head coach Phil McNamara credits a lot of the team’s success to his group of seniors. “They are arguably the most honored group of soccer players who have came through here,” said McNamara. “They are classy individuals. Hannah McGowen has just been outstanding for this program. For Hannah Fessenden to come back and play this year, was the signing of the year and the cherry on the top. Sarah [Tompkins] has won games for us this year and has been our most consistent player off the bench. Jessica Horvatich has been a rock and provided a lot of pace for us this year. Of course [Sanvee] getting the goal on senior night is great for her experience at UTM. I couldn’t be prouder of this group of seniors.” All of the games throughout the tournament will be broadcasted on OVC Digital Network free of charge. Live streams can be found at OVCDigitalNetwork.com.


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Sports Concussions from Cover

In the recent PBS Frontline special, “League of Denial,” Boston University researchers said there are now 50 confirmed cases of deceased football players who suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disorder linked to memory loss, depression and dementia. Of those 50 confirmed cases of former players, 33 played in the NFL, one in the CFL, one in semi-pro football, nine through college and six through high school. “If an athlete shows signs of a concussion, he is held out of all activities that day [practice or games],” said UTM head athletic trainer Bart Belew. “[We] have used a computerized concussion evaluation [IMPACT software] for 10 years to help manage concussions and assist with return-to-play decisions.” Concussed players returning to the field has become a cliché in the sports world, but Belew says he has never been pressured by a coach to clear a player who has been concussed to go back in the game. “I have been very lucky in the past 14 years,” Belew said. “I can’t remember one time our coaches tried to pressure me into releasing a player early from a concussion.” There are specific symptoms that the UTM training staff is required to look for in an athlete who may have gotten a concussion. “If a player has a suspected

Pacer Photo/Tonya Evans

concussion, he must be taken out of the game immediately,” said Health and Human Performance graduate Nick Roberson. “That player may not return to the game until after they are evaluated by staff who is trained in concussion. Also, return to activity must be done slowly and only after acute symptoms are gone. ... A player who has been diagnosed with a concussion needs to be watched for headache, grogginess, sensitivity to light and sound, [as well as] changes in speech, sleep, reaction time and judgment.” Roberson also said that technology such as the IMPACT software has helped in the assessment process. “[IMPACT software] has really

helped the way we assess players before and after an injury. At the beginning of the football season, before practice starts, all players are given a baseline test. After a head injury occurs, the player is given that same test to measure differences in performance. After 48-72 hours, a player will be retested. These test results offer a printout that can be given to coaching and medical staff to prove where that player is in their healing,” Roberson said. Kevin Goltra, head football coach at Obion County Central High School, also shared his staff ’s concussion practices. “We exercise caution both during the game and at practice, although we do not limit the number of hits in practice as

much as we avoid hits that are unnecessary. We try to make sure the players are in position to protect themselves in all aspects of practice and don’t do any ‘tough guy’ drills that aren’t football-related,” Goltra said. Goltra added that the decision on whether an athlete plays is left up to the trainer. “When it comes to any injury, especially concussions, the coaches leave that completely up to the trainer at Obion County. We do not make any recommendations or requests of the trainer. Whatever he says goes. That keeps the liability off of us and puts the kids’ safety at the forefront. With the specific guidelines concerning concussions, there isn’t all that

much gray area anymore. There are specific steps and protocol that has to take place,” Goltra said. While there have been major investments made to improve the equipment, Belew says that the problem isn’t that easily solved. “Over the past 10-20 years, equipment has improved greatly but it is a double-edged sword,” Belew said. “Technology has made it much safer for players, but this safer equipment has also made players think they are invincible. They see football equipment as a suit of armor. There is no such thing as a completely concussion-proof helmet.” The use of proper equipment is crucial to player safety, but certain aspects of football techniques have been addressed to reduce injury. According to the NCAA website, the NCAA cracked down on head-down contact in 2005. In 2008, the horse-collar tackle became illegal. Also, in 2009, conferences were required to review plays involving players being targeted and potentially suspend offenders. Specific blocking was also eliminated and concussion-management plans were added in 2010. These new steps and guidelines have been put into play to protect high school and college football players from serious head injury. With even just a few concussions, a student’s life may be altered forever. Traumatic brain injury on the field could lead to a lifetime of memory loss, confusion, dementia and even CTE, which could result in depression or death.

Schedule from 11/6 – 11/19 Soccer vs. OVC Tournament 11/7-10 | Volleyball vs. Austin Peay 11/8 | Men’s Basketball @ Wyoming 11/8 | Equestrian vs. Kansas State 11/8 Women’s Basketball vs. Georgia State (WNIT) | 11/8 Football @ Memphis 11/9 | Volleyball @ Murray State 11/9 Equestrian vs. Southern Methodist 11/9 | Women’s Basketball vs. WNIT (Opponent TBD) | 11/10 Men’s Basketball @ Colorado 11/10 Volleyball @ SEMO 11/12 | Men’s Basketball @ Arkansas State 11/13 | Women’s Basketball vs. WNIT (Opponent TBD) 11/14 Cross-Country- NCAA Regionals (Alabama) 11/15 | Equestrian vs. Miami (Ohio) 11/15 | Men’s Basketball vs. Rochester College 11/15 Football @ EKU 11/16 | Volleyball @ Jacksonville State 11/16 | Men’s Basketball @ Florida State 11-17 | Women’s Basketball @ Arkansas State 11/19


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Sports

Hard work yields results on and off field for McNeil Cameron Graham Staff Writer

Football is a demanding sport physically, emotionally and in many other aspects of life. If there is one person that can attest to this, it’s DJ McNeil. Many know him for his success as a tailback for the Skyhawks, but football has more meaning for him than simply running a ball. With life lessons and personal achievements that can potentially be rewarded from the game of football, McNeil practices the ethics of the game even off the gridiron. Born on Nov. 8, 1991, to Dennis and Tina McNeil, DJ McNeil was introduced to a conventional household, with his father being employed as a law enforcement officer. McNeil was urged to work hard during his youth. Taking his father’s advice to heart, he decided to pursue football. “I put pads on and stepped on the field for the first time, and just fell in love with the game,” said McNeil. It isn’t just the glory of scoring a touchdown that drives

When UTM traveled to Tennessee Tech earlier this season, senior running back DJ McNeil rushed for 171 yards on 24 carries and tallied one touchdown in the team’s 28-17 victory. | Pacer Photo/Bradley Stringfield this athlete, however, but the discipline when challenged with such a sacrificing sport. “You’ve always got to be prepared and on your game; that helps keep my priorities in line, I like that,” said McNeil.

At Briarcrest High School, McNeil played under Coach Major White, where he assisted in the team’s 7-5 record and advancement to the second round of the state playoffs. Also before his college career, he was named

Column Skyhawks close out season with EIU Bradley Stringfield

Managing Editor, Online Sports Editor

This Saturday, the Skyhawks will take on the back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference champion Eastern Illinois Panthers in the last game of the regular season. The Panthers, who are ranked second in the FCS Coaches’ Poll, are 9-1 and a perfect 7-0 in the OVC. Their only loss was a 43-39 loss to Northern Illinois, a team who is currently 10-0 and ranked sixteenth in the BCS Standings. The Skyhawks (7-4, 5-2 OVC), who just upset Eastern Kentucky, will have their hands full with EIU’s offense.

The Panthers literally lead the OVC in every offensive category while the Skyhawks rank second in scoring defense, third in total defense and third in passing defense. The matchup that everyone will be watching is Panther’s quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and the Skyhawks secondary. Garoppolo has had no problems shredding defenses this year. The Skyhawks pass rush, led by DJ Roberts and Tony Bell will have to keep Garoppolo on the ground to keep the game from getting out of hand. The key for a Skyhawk victory may very well be on special teams. EIU ranks near the bottom of the conference in nearly every statistical category with the

exception of punt returns, they rank first. While the Panthers received an automatic birth in the FCS Tournament for winning the OVC Championship, UTM is still trying to find their way in. For a team that started off the season with wins against Chattanooga and Central Arkansas, the Skyhawks had a mid-season slump that all but ended their playoff hopes. However, with a chance to knock off the No. 2 FCS team in the country in their own stadium, the Skyhawks shouldn’t need any extra motivation to end the regular season on a good note. As Dan Fouts once said, “It’s the last game of the year, can’t hold anything back.”

as a member of the Commercial Appeal’s Best of the Preps AllMetro team. Being a running back also had external effects on McNeil’s character because of the physicality of the position.

Playing in the backfield since his earliest days in the game contributes to the experience that he uses even to this day. Having to act quick on most plays, he remembers to utilize fundamentals from his past, as well as much needed advice from his current team. When off the football field, McNeil is like any other ordinary student in terms of going to class and other daily activities. He is currently earning a Bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Performance. While there is a possible future career with football for McNeil, he considers his assets by making other preparations for employment after graduation. “I might actually be up for a job with the Memphis Grizzlies,” said McNeil . McNeil has worked tirelessly in pursuing his goals, having earned many rewards through the game of football. Using both his formal and informal education, he hopes to give back to the sports community in gratitude that it has given him meaning and shaped him as an individual.

The Pacer Player of the Week • Career-high 44 points against Quinnipiac • Led Skyhawks to overtime victory • Joined the 2,000 point club; currently has 2,033. Jasmine Newsome

Photo Credit/Sports Information


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Sports Roberts uses mind, grind to find success Tony Hudson Guest Writer

While many people know DJ Roberts for his football accolades, he has been just as successful off the field as well. Roberts was born and raised in Knoxville, Tenn., and attended Austin-East High School. From an early age, he learned the value of education and that it cannot be replaced. Roberts likes to live by Malcolm X’s phrase, “Education is our passport to the future. For tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” With that as a constant reminder, he doesn’t take a second of his education for granted.

Roberts, a Health and Human Performance K-12 major, not only values his education, but also the education of others. Roberts chose Health and Human Performance for his love of working with children and wanting to keep them fit. Throughout the year, he participates in what is known as a “pig skin pal.” He visits Martin Elementary and plays with and reads to the students. “I really enjoy interacting with the kids and knowing that I play a role in their lives,” said Roberts. Besides education, family played a role in Roberts attending UTM. “My cousin, Kenny Jones, was playing here at the time,” said Roberts. “We always wanted to

play college football together. On my visit, it also felt like a family-oriented team, which helped me decide to come here.” Roberts credits his mother for helping him become the person and player he is. “My mom motivates me,” said Roberts. “She showed me that hard work pays off. She works two jobs, sometimes three, to provide for my sisters and I. I truly thank her for that.” The hard work that his mother instilled in him really paid off in last year’s season. Roberts earned All-Ohio Valley Conference second team defense and OVC Defensive Player of the Week in a win against SEMO with eight tackles. At the end of the season, he ranked third in the OVC

with tackles for loss (11.5), fifth with fumble recoveries (two) and racked up 53 tackles (28 solo). He also recorded a season-high nine tackles (six solo) in a win at Memphis. “My favorite football moment is last year when I blocked the field goal against Eastern Kentucky University to give us the win. That was our first time in school history to beat EKU.” After a long day of working hard in the classroom and on the field, Roberts likes to wind down by playing video games, fishing or working out. Roberts is a guy that loves the simple life but also has big dreams. After he graduates in the spring, he plans on pursuing his dream of the NFL, his Master’s degree and

becoming a football coach. He also dreams of traveling to Paris and taking a picture under the Eiffel Tower. Looking back over his time at UTM, Roberts has enjoyed all of it. The memories made and the people he has met are priceless. He says he not only learned about himself but the world. “I wouldn’t change anything I experienced during college,” said Roberts. “What I went through made me the strong man I am today. One important thing college has taught me is responsibility. To the current and future UTM students, have fun while you’re in college but remember why you are here. Education is always first.”

Players earn Adidas OVC Weekly Football Awards; recognized by CFPA Sports Information Ben Johnson and Jackson Redditt, both of the UTM football team, have been recognized by the Ohio Valley Conference for their performances in a 16-7 victory at Eastern Kentucky on Saturday. College Football Performance Awards also announced that Redditt earned Week 12 Honorable Mention Kicker Performer of the Week while junior Tony Bell was named Week 12 Honorable Mention National Linebacker Performer of the Week. Johnson was named adidas

OVC Defensive Player of the Week while Redditt brough home adidas OVC Specialist of the Week. Both players helped lead the Skyhawks to their first-ever win in 12 tries at Roy Kidd Stadium dating back to 1973. The win also clinched yet another winning season, the fifth in the last eight seasons under head coach Jason Simpson. A 6-2, 235-pound redshirt senior linebacker out of Primm Springs, Tenn., Johnson registered a game-high 11 tackles, an interception and a pass breakup against the Colonels. He also added 0.5 tackles for loss for a defense

that conceded just 225 yards of total offense and held Eastern Kentucky to season-lows in points (seven) and rushing yards (80). Johnson’s interception effectively sealed the Skyhawk victory, as he picked off Kyle Romano’s pass and returned it 42 yards late in the fourth quarter. Johnson currently ranks second in the OVC in tackles (91, 8.3 per game) and fourth in tackles for loss (11.5). He is responsible for 319 career tackles, which ranks eighth alltime in UTM program history. Redditt enjoyed one of the best games of his career on Saturday,

drilling three field goals from 38, 51 and 45 yards out while also successfully booting his lone PAT attempt. He opened the game with a pair of field goals in the first quarter, the last of which was his career-long of 51 yards. One of his biggest kicks of the day, however, came in the fourth quarter when his 45-yard attempt split the uprights to make it a two-possession game at 16-7. The 6-2, 190-pound redshirt sophomore out of Mt. Juliet, Tenn. leads the OVC in PAT percentage (1.000, 31-for-31) while ranking third in field goals (12, 1.09 per game) and eighth

in scoring (67 points, 6.1 per game). Bell tallied seven tackles, 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a quarterback hurry against Eastern Kentucky on Saturday. The 6-1, 200-pounder out of Memphis currently leads the OVC in sacks (10) and tackles-for-loss (14) while his 72 tackles rank ninth in the league. UTM will look to build its playoff resume this Saturday, Nov. 23 when it squares off against No. 2 Eastern Illinois at Hardy Graham Stadium. Kickoff time is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Schedule from 11/20 – 12/4 Men’s Basketball vs. UMKC 11/20 | Rodeo @ Troy 11/21 | Men’s Basketball vs. Jackson State 11/22 | Football vs. EIU 11/23 Women’s Basketball vs. Missouri 11/23 | Men’s Basketball vs. Lipscomb 11/25 | Women’s Basketball vs. Evansville 11/25 Men’s Basketball vs. Bethel 11/27 | Women’s Basketball vs. Winthrop (Pittsburgh, Penn.) 11/29 Men’s Basketball @ UNLV 11/30


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Sports

Teamwork comes first for UTM soccer player Youlanda Allen Guest Writer

Abi Sanvee, a senior Health and Human Performance major from Memphis, chose to attend UTM because she wanted to be a part of an excellent team. Sanvee said she had scholarship offers from other schools, but she was looking for something different. One big influence that UTM had on her was that they had just won a championship the year prior, and she wanted to be involved with a team that worked hard at being successful. “Abi is very talented. ... [She] has played a big part in the team’s success. She has proven on and off the field to be liked by her peers and coaches,” said UTM head coach Phil McNamera. McNamera also said that

Photo Credit/Sports Information

Sanvee has enjoyed a very good career with the Skyhawks. This statement is backed up by double-figure wins each year, two back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances and four consecutive Ohio Valley

Conference titles. This season, Sanvee led the team with five goals this season, four of which were gamewinning shots. “Each game we won off of the game-winning goals was a team effort. ... I was just in the right place at the right time,” Sanvee said. Born in Liberia, Sanvee moved to the United States with her mother at age 7. She grew up in Memphis and graduated from Evangelical Christian School in 2010. She says her favorite high school experience was winning regionals and going to state. Although she loved soccer, Sanvee also played basketball in high school. She says her mom put her in sports to keep her busy. She started playing competitive soccer at age 10. Her 5-year-old sister, Lia, will begin playing soon.

Sanvee says that practice is sometimes monotonous, but you have to focus on your love for the game. She says that balance is a big challenge because you must stay focused as a team by making sure each member eats a balanced meal, doesn’t drink, doesn’t go to parties and puts school first. She says their coach even brought in a nutritionist to be better able to help them stay healthy and fit and make sure they eat balanced meals and load up on carbohydrates. Sanvee says that her schedule is so busy that she doesn’t have time for any organizations outside of her church, Central Baptist Crash Ministries. Despite a hectic schedule, McNamera plans activities for the team, such as camps and visits to shelters to keep them in touch with the community.

During the school break, she intends to play intramural basketball with two other teammates when soccer season ends. She also says she doesn’t get to go home often during season, but her family comes to all of her home games. Sanvee’s hobbies include reading old classics, crocheting, collecting old cartoons and basketball occasionally. After graduation, she plans on getting into nursing school and studying to be a RN; she is currently majoring in nursing. “I believe that being a part of UTM’s soccer team and being pushed and driven by the coaching staff is going to translate [to] how I perform in my career later,” Sanvee said. She says her advice to other student athletes is to make the most of their time and bond with their teammates.

UTM volleyball draws player to university Tony Hudson Guest Writer

Amanda Crask is a sophomore Education major from Louisville, Ky., who became an Education major because of her desire to help children. She would love to see children learn as a result of her teaching. Crask is also a member of the Student Athlete Activities Committee (SAAC). When she’s not in the classroom or helping her organization, she is on the volleyball court for UTM. “I started playing volleyball in second grade when my mom coached me, but I didn’t start playing competitive volleyball until fourth grade and I’ve been

playing ever since,” said Crask. Crask has been playing volleyball for most of her life.Her biggest accomplishment thus far was winning the Kentucky High School Sports Athletic Association (KHSSAA) State Championship two out of four years. Besides her love for the game, her coach played a major role in her decision to attend here. “Ultimately volleyball brought me to UTM, but Coach McClure also was a big part of why I chose this school. He’s a pretty funny guy and I like the way he coaches us,” said Crask. Crask doesn’t have a hobby, but loves to shop and wishes she had the money to do it. After graduation, Crask plans to

move back home to Louisville. She doesn’t have a job that she would like to start, but she does know that she wants to travel to Europe. “Besides the culture and shopping in Europe, I have some relatives in Italy that I would love to meet one day,” said Crask. Crask likes to live with no regrets. “I always tell myself to have no regrets, no matter what happens. I think I can learn something [in] any situation, [so] I try to never regret anything,” said Crask. So far, Crask’s favorite UTM memories are the home games. She loves seeing everyone come out and support the team, and she believes that she plays better

Photo Credit/Sports Information

when there is a big crowd. Crask is only a sophomore here, but she has learned many

lessons. Of the lessons learned, appreciation is the biggest. “College has taught me how to manage money. ... I never paid bills before I came here, and it’s nice to know how to do it now before I get a job and start my life beyond school. I am very thankful for this lesson. Seeing bigger schools, I am appreciative of the smaller class sizes we have. It would be a lot more difficult to learn if I was in a huge lecture hall with tons of students in my class. I hope that my peers value this as well,” said Crask. “I wouldn’t change being a student athlete, but I think it would be interesting to see what the average college student’s life is like.


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Sports Schedule from 12/4 – 1/6

Student & faculty discount! ALL day every day!

Women’s Basketball @ Samford 12/4 Men’s Basketball @ Alabama 12/4 Men’s Basketball vs. Northern Kentucky 12/7 Women’s Basketball @ Illinois State 12/8 Men’s Basketball @ Presbyterian 12/16 Women’s Basketball @ Ohio State 12/17

Largest import selection in town! 18-door cooler to supply all your party needs

Directions: 45E South toward South Fulton, turn left towards Purchase Parkway, take Exit 1 on Purchase Parkway, go right off the exit.

Men’s Basketball @ Arkansas 12/19 Women’s Basketball @ Illinois 12/21 Men’s Basketball Southeast Louisiana 12/21

Hours:

Mon.-Thurs. 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat. 8 a.m. - 12 a.m. 207 Nolan Avenue Fulton, Ky. 270-472-0096

Women’s Basketball @ Southern Illinois 12/23 Women’s Basketball @ Florida State 12/28 Women’s Basketball @ Jacksonville State 12/30 Men’s Basketball @ Jacksonville State 12/30

Please drink responsibly.

Men’s Basketball @ Austin Peay 1/2 Women’s Basketball @ Murray State 1/4 Men’s Basketball @ Murray State 1/5 Women’s Basketball @ Austin Peay 1/6

The Pacer Player of the Week • Led his team to a 95-82 victory over Bethel • Led the game with 26 points • Recorded 11 total rebounds, all defensive • He was also 10of-13 from free throw line Myles Taylor Photo Credit/Sports Information


January 22, 2014

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Newsome named to 2014 Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List Sports Information The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced on Jan. 15 that UTM women’s basketball senior guard Jasmine Newsome has been named to the watch list of candidates for the 2014 Nancy Lieberman Award. The award recognizes the top point guard in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball. Candidates exhibit the floor leadership, play-making and ball-handling skills of Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame became the new host of the Nancy Lieberman Award in October 2013 after the Rotary Club of Detroit managed it for several years. Newsome has been a model of consistency for the Skyhawks,

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ranking second in program history with 2,301 career points while ranking seventh on the Ohio Valley Conference’s alltime leaderboard. A Millington, Tenn. native, Newsome has

Schedule from 1/22 – 2/4 Rifle-UTM Invitational 1/21-26 Men’s Basketball vs. Eastern Illinois 1/23 Tennis @ Lipscomb 1/24 Equestrian vs. Georgia 1/24 Men’s Basketball vs. SIUE 1/25 Equestrian vs. Delaware State 1/25 Women’s Basketball vs. SIUE 1/25 Rifle-Withrow Open @ Murray 1/26 Women’s Basketball vs. Eastern Illinois 1/27 Men’s Basketball vs. Eastern Kentucky 1/30 Track @ SIUE 2/1 Women’s Basketball @ Eastern Kentucky 2/3

been named OVC Player of the Week two times this season and ranks third in the conference with 19.1 points per game while leading the league with 5.1 assists and 2.2 steals per game.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to award a young athlete that shows the same sort of dedication to the game of basketball as the legendary Nancy Lieberman,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “This award is our chance to recognize some truly extraordinary point guards in women’s college basketball.” The Hall of Fame appointed a premier Selection Committee made up of top college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers to review the candidates. The list will be narrowed down to a final 20 in February, then final five by March. The Lieberman Award winner will be announced during Final Four weekend activities.

“It’s amazing to be able to have my name associated with some of the best point guards and most well-rounded female athletes at the college level,” Lieberman said. “This is the first year the award is hosted by the Hall of Fame and I think candidates will be even more aware of how prestigious this honor is.” Previous winners of the Nancy Lieberman Award include last year’s recipient Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame), Sue Bird (Connecticut), Renee Montgomery (Connecticut), Diana Taurasi (Connecticut), Lindsey Harding (Duke), Courtney Vandersloot (Gonzaga), Temeka Johnson (LSU), Kristi Toliver (Maryland), Ivory Latta (North Carolina) and Andrea Riley (Oklahoma State).


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January 22, 2014

Sports

Butler becomes OVC’s all-time leading scorer Bradley Stringfield Managing Editor, Online Sports Editor

Breaking records is nothing new for UTM’s Heather Butler and against Morehead State on Jan. 18, she broke yet another one. Aside from totaling 26 points in the game to help her team defeat their Ohio Valley Conference foe 74-52, Butler became the OVC’s all-time leading scoring with 2,532 points. The previous mark was 2,526 set by former Tennessee Tech player Cheryl Taylor in 1987. “Honestly, it is one of those things that you cannot even begin to put into words,” Butler told UTM Sports following the game. “I could not have done it without my teammates all four years. They have always meant so much to me and I get emotional just thinking about what all this program has meant to me personally. All of my coaches, going back to high school, have always given me the upmost support and the support staff of my mother and

sister has been incredible. It is a good feeling to know that they are proud of you, overwhelming in a way. To be able to go away from this program my senior year, knowing that I did everything I could, allows me to leave this program down the road with a smile on my face.” Not only did she claim the OVC’s top scoring record, but she moved into 35th on the NCAA’s all-time scoring list. During her time at UTM, Butler has rewrote both the OVC and the UTM record books en route to winning three-straight OVC Conference Championships. Despite the individual success that she has had, Butler doesn’t miss an opportunity to thank those who have helped her get where she is. “My family is my backbone and follow me around everywhere I go,” said Butler. “Throughout growing up, my mom was always there for me, whether it was rebounding or whatever my needs. I do not have words to describe

how much my mom, sister and everyone in this program means to me.” After the game, Morehead State head coach Tom Hodges spoke on Butler breaking the record. “[She] is very deserving of the OVC’s all-time scoring record,” said Hodges. “I’m just sorry it happened here at Johnson Arena. Heather is a ball of energy and catalyst for everything they do. A lot of the success UT Martin has enjoyed in recent years is due to her. I’m glad to see her go because she’s such a great player.” On Monday, against Tennessee Tech, she recorded 35 points moving her career total to 2,567. Her teammate, Jasmine Newsome, scored 36 points against the Golden Eagles moving her career-total to 2,356 , which moves her into fifth alltime in the OVC. The Skyhawks (14-6, 7-0 OVC) will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 25, to take on SIU Edwardsville at 2 p.m. in Elam Center.

COLUMN

Sports Editor takes on lack of attendance Bradley Stringfield Managing Editor, Online Sports Editor

Recently, The Pacer launched its own blog, Voice It!. I wrote the first post on this blog and I put together a list of three things I think new Athletic Director Julio Freire should focus on. Number one on that list, increasing student attendance at games. Anyone who has been around me the past year has heard me rant, on multiple occasions, about the lack of student attendance at UTM sporting events. Community members, parents, faculty and alumni flock to games, but students are nearly an endangered species at these events. I’m not going to act like I know why students don’t come out to

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support the Skyhawks. If they win, there aren’t many people there and if they lose, there are only slightly less. People often ask me, “Why would I go see a team if they’re just going to lose?” First of all, if that’s your rebuttal, it’s invalid. You clearly don’t show up when they win. Furthermore, sports fans will go see their team, even if the opinion of some of those fans is that their team sucks. That’s not the issue with UTM; the teams don’t ‘suck’. Is it a marketing failure? I don’t think so. Do people just not care about sports here? Not even remotely true, people here love sports. The Ohio Valley Conference is growing every year. People are paying attention to what goes on in the OVC now.

The women’s basketball team keeps finding OVC and NCAA records to break and the men’s team is getting better every week. So I have a challenge for you, reader, go watch a game. Take a break from homework; sober up a little bit and go watch a game. Every issue of The Pacer contains an upcoming schedule of events. If you can’t find what you need there, go to www.utmsports.com. Give it a chance, go to a game. If you don’t like it, write a letter to the editor to The Pacer, comment about how terrible it was in the comment section on our website or unleash a profanity-laced rant towards me on Twitter, @official_ bks. However, if you do go, and you enjoy it, all I ask you go back. Support your school and support your teams.

UTM Sports briefs Equestrian team signs two riders for 2014-15 Carli Pitts and Austin Brewer have inked National Letters of Intent to join the University of Tennessee at Martin equestrian team next season. Both riders will compete in Western horsemanship as freshmen beginning in the 2014-15 season. Pitts, an Evansville, Ind. native, is currently enrolled at Emerson Preparatory School and brings a wealth of accolades to the Skyhawk program. Brewer, who hails from Nampa, Idaho, currently attends Another Choice Virtual Charter School and has been riding competitively since the age of five. Pitts and Brewer join Hunter Seat riders Reiley Wilson (Traverse City, Mich.), Sarah Martinage (Odessa, Fla.), Mia Bray (Indio, Calif.) and Samantha Hill (San Diego, Calif.) in head coach Meghan Corvin’s signing classs.

Former Skyhawk wideout claims another award For the fourth time since the conclusion of the University of Tennessee at Martin’s 2013 football season, Jeremy Butler has been named an All-American. College Sporting News named wide receiver to its 2013 Fabulous Fifty Football Championship Subdivision AllAmerican Team. Butler was one of eight Ohio Valley Conference players and one of four wide receivers to make the list of the top 50 football players in the FCS ranks.

Women’s basketball defeats Tennessee Tech On Monday, the UTM Women’s Basketball team defeated OVC rival Tennessee Tech 102-78. Jasmine Newsome led the team with 36 points while Heather Butler finished the game with 35 points. Newsome recorded team-highs with six rebounds and seven assists and Butler scored a game-high seven three-pointers. Ashia Jones was also in double-digits for the Skyhawks recording 19 points. For Tennessee Tech, Candace Parsons led with 13 points, followed by Molly Heady with 12 and T’Keyah Williams with 11. For the full game recap go to www.thepacer.net.

The Pacer Player of the Week • Recorded 26 points in a win against Morehead State • Recorded 35 points against Tennessee Tech • Became the Ohio Valley Conference’s All-Time Leading Scorer with 2,567 points

Heather Butler Photo Credit/Sports Information


February 5, 2014

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COLUMN

Possible player unions would shake up college athletics Bradley Stringfield Managing Editor, Online Sports Editor

If you hate the idea of college players being paid, then you are definitely going to hate this. In a historic move by a group of Northwestern football players, led by former quarterback Kain Colter, the group is attempting to create a union. This is the full statement released by the players on Jan. 28. “We Northwestern football players are grateful for our opportunity to play football for a prestigious university and athletic program. However, just as other athletes who compete in multibillion dollar industries have done, we must secure and maintain comprehensive protections by asserting the rights afforded to us under labor laws. We are not taking these measures out of any mistreatment from Northwestern. However, we recognize the need to eliminate unjust NCAA rules that create physical, academic and financial hardships for college athletes across the nation. To remain silent while players are denied justice is to be complicit in inflicting injustice on future

Photo Credit/Chicago Tribune

generations of college athletes.” If you thought the NCAA was made a fool when they only hit Aggies’ quarterback Johnny Manziel with a half-game suspension, then you better just grab your popcorn for this one. I make no effort to hide my disdain for the NCAA. For years, the organization has financially prostituted student-athletes on all levels. However, the idea of a college players union will just pour more gasoline on the already lit dumpster fire that is the NCAA. This group of athletes is working in conjunction with the National College Players Association, led by the organizations president,

Ramogi Huma. Huma has filed a petition in Chicago with the National Labor Relations Board. According to the NCPA’s website, NCPAnow.org, the organization has 11 goals. 1. To minimize college athletes’ brain trauma. 2. Raise the scholarship amount. 3. Prevent players from being paying sports-related medical expenses. 4. Increase graduation rates. 5. Protect educational opportunities for studentathletes in good standing. 6. Prohibit universities from using permanent injury suffered during athletics as a reason to

reduce/eliminate a scholarship. 7. Establish and enforce uniform safety guidelines in all sports to help prevent serious injuries and avoidable deaths. 8. Eliminate restrictions on legitimate employment and players’ ability to directly benefit from commercial opportunities. 9. Prohibit punishment of college athletes that have no committed a violation. 10. Guarantee that college athletes are granted athletic release from their university if they wish to transfer schools. 11. Allow college athletes of all sports the ability to transfer schools one time without punishment. Hide the women and children, they want to help improve graduation rates and keep their colleges from screwing them over if they get injured making that school money. The fun one is number eight, the ability for players to benefit directly from commercial opportunities. This is the one that sticks out to me. In college athletics, you can’t profit off of your name. Everyone else can, everyone except the athlete. I will never be able to possibly understand this. I will never understand

how a player like Fred Flenorl can suffer a severe neck injury for his school, but can’t sell an autograph to a fan for himself and his family. This is what will cause the eventual downfall of the NCAA. There are athletes all over the country that struggle financially. This isn’t an FCS vs. FBS discussion. This is a discussion about the livelihood of players who are risking their bodies so that everyone except themselves can profit. Not all of these players are on full-rides. Some of them aren’t even on scholarships. This isn’t just a discussion about how to get college athletes paid; although, that is a major part of it. This is a discussion about improving the safety and overall well-being of student-athletes everywhere. The problem is that these student-athletes are viewed as just that, student-athletes. It’s difficult for people, myself included, to realize how much money these ‘student-athletes’ create each year. But I’m sure it ends with -illion. Soon, that will all change. Soon, they will be recognized as employees of universities. Hopefully, Northwestern is the start of that change.

Schedule from 2/5-2/18 Men’s Basketball @ Eastern Illinois 2/6 Riffle- OVC Tournament @ Murray State 2/8-9 Women’s Basketball @ SIUE 2/1 Men’s Basketball @ SIUE 2/1 Men’s Basketball @ SEMO 2/12 Women’s Basketball 2/15 Women’s Tennis vs. Central Arkansas (@Aurora, Ky.) 2/16 Women’s Basketball vs. Tennessee State 2/17


February 5, 2014

Sports

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UTM football players garner All-American status Sports Information The UTM football team produced three 2013 Phil Steele All-Americans, as the publication included Jeremy Butler, Tony Bell and Ben Johnson to its exclusive list that was released on Thursday afternoon. This marks the fifth time Butler has been hailed as an AllAmerican and the fourth AllAmerican accolade for Bell. With this award, Johnson picks up his first All-American recognition. Butler was named to the third team offense, Bell was selected on the third team defense while Johnson tallied fourth team defense honors. The 6-2, 208-pound Butler ranked amongst the best wide receivers in Football Championship Subdivision ranks last season. The senior out of Bradenton, Fla. had the sixthmost receiving yards (1,203) and the seventh-most receptions (90)

in the nation. Both of those totals were new UTM records for a single season. Overall, Butler leaves the Skyhawk program as the career leader with eight 100-yard receiving games while ranking second with 20 touchdown catches. He also ranks in UTM’s career record book in receptions (141, third) and receiving yards (1,953, fifth) while setting all of these records in just 22 career games. Bell emerged as one of the most dominant linebackers in the Ohio Valley Conference in 2013. The 6-1, 200-pound junior out of Memphis, Tenn. was tabbed as National Defensive Player of the Week twice while pacing the OVC with 10.5 sacks (seventh nationally) and 15 tackles for loss. He also ranked second in the league in forced fumbles (three), fourth in fumble recoveries (three) and 10th in tackles (80). He was responsible for the most tackles (16 against Murray State),

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sacks (4.5 against Murray State) and tackles for loss (5.0 at Boise State) in a single game out of any player in the OVC in 2013. Johnson capped off a remarkable career by leading the OVC in tackles for the second consecutive season. The redshirt senior linebacker out of Primm Springs, Tenn. racked up 102 tackles – paced by five doubledigit tackle games. The 6-2, 235-pounder set season-highs with 12 tackles in wins over Central Arkansas and Southeast Missouri while also compiling 12.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, an interception and five passes defended in 2013. Overall, Johnson’s name can be found in seventh place in the UTM record books on the career tackles list (330). Together, these three Skyhawks helped lead UTM to a 7-5 overall record in 2013, the fifth winning season in head coach Jason Simpson’s eight-year tenure.

UTM Sports briefs Golf team voted fifth in OVC Preseason The UTM golf team was chosen fifth in the Ohio Valley Conference race in 2014, as the results of the coach’s poll were released by the league office this morning. The OVC’s head coaches took part in the voting. The Skyhawks talied 66 points in the poll, 30 points behind first place Austin Peay, who received eight of the 11 first-place votes.

Tennis donates used balls to Paris Police

Representatives from the Paris, Tenn. police department recently visited the James C. Henson Tennis Center to graciously receive several dozen used balls donated from UTM. All eight members of the Skyhawk tennis squad were in attendance and even found time to play with the two K-9 dogs. The Paris police department uses the worn-out tennis balls to help train the K-9s, who went through an attack demonstration for the team. “We recycle our older tennis balls to several local organizations,” Skyhawk head coach Dennis Taylor said. “We have taken them to nursing homes to use on their rollers and schools to put on the bottom of their desks. We are always happy to help out in any way we can.”

Football National Signing Day set for Feb. 5

Skyhawk fans are invited to attend the UTM 2014 football signing day press conference, which will be held in the Boling University Center second floor ballroom on Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 4:30 p.m. Skyhawk head coach Jason Simpson will provide analysis on all of the new UTM signees, who will be featured on short video clips throughout the press conference. UTM is coming off a 7-5 record in 2013, the fifth winning season in Simpson’s eight-year tenure. The Skyhawks spent three weeks in the national top-25 Football Championship Subdivision polls with all five losses coming to either Football Bowl Subdivision schools or FCS playoff participants. The Skyhawks begin the 2014 season at Southeastern Conference member Kentucky on Aug. 30. The home opener is scheduled for Sept. 11 against Cumberland University.

The Pacer Player of the Week • Butler scored a career-high 44 points to defeat Ohio Valley Conference East leader EKU 87-65. • With the victory, the Skyhawks move to 10-0 in conference and 17-6 overall. Heather Butler Photo Credit/Sports Information


February 19, 2014

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Whiteout:

Doubleheader expected to be largest athletic event of year

Bradley Stringfield

1. Duke 2. Michigan State

Managing Editor, Online Sports Editor

This Saturday, the UTM athletics department is hosting a whiteout game for one of the last doubleheaders of the season. The move is one of the first major ones led by new athletics director Julio Freire. On Feb. 22, the women’s basketball team (19-7, 12-1 OVC) will host conference foe Murray State with tipoff set for 2 p.m. Following the women’s game, the men’s team (8-19, 3-9 OVC) will take on Southeast Missouri at 4 p.m. Prior to the games, each player will be introduced to what is expected to be one of the largest crowds at the Elam Center this season. Each player will also invite a professor to be introduced to the crowd. The first 500 students who swipe their Skyhawk card will receive an official Russell Athletic brand UTM basketball shirt. Also, all faculty and staff will receive two free reserved chairback tickets by swiping their Skyhawk cards. Freire has invited students to come and decorate the student section the day, or morning, before the game in hopes of getting a student section together for not only this event, but the rest of the season. In addition, Freire will be joined to Chancellor Tom Rakes in the student section during the second half of the men’s game. All of this is being done as an effort to help forge a stronger bond, and working relationship, between the students of UTM and the

Top 5 Student Sections in NCAA*

3. Utah State 4. Illinois 5. Gonzaga

OVC Student Section Rankings** 1. Murray State 2. Austin Peay 3. Belmont 4. Eastern Illinois Having students cheering in the stands at sporting events is incredibly important, UTM Athletics Director Julio Freire said in a presentation at a recent student presidents roundtable meeting. | Photo Credit/Sports Information athletics department, which has been one of Freire’s biggest goals since arriving at UTM.

This game will serve as a preview of what’s to come for students and [UTM] athletics in the future

In a recent presentation he made at a Student Organizations President’s Roundtable Meeting, Freire pointed out examples of some of the most prominent student sections in the country. He also pointed out several in the OVC and ended with what he

envisioned UTM’s to be in the near future. Sodexo, in an attempt to draw more students to the event, will close the University Center cafeteria and instead, offer dinner in the University Center cafeteria. They will, however, still accept your Skyhawk card meal plans at the event. As part of his initiative to get more student involvement with athletics, Freire went around to student organizations on campus and personally invited them to Saturday’s event. During timeouts and the two halftimes, members of various organizations will provide entertainment to all in attendance. “This game will serve as a preview of what’s to come for students and [UTM] athletics in the future,” said UTM

Athletics in a press release. “So come on out and enjoy a meal, make some noise and cheer on your Skyhawks as they take on two of their biggest Ohio Valley Conference rivals.” This will be the second time this season these teams have all met. On Jan. 4, the women’s team edged passed Murray State 88-87 on the road. After that victory, the team would win eight straight games before SIU Edwardsville ended their winning streak at 10 games. On Feb. 12, the men’s team defeated Southeast Missouri 79-70 to end a four-game losing streak. The victory was their third OVC win of the year.

5. Southeast Missouri 6. SIU Edwardsville 7. Eastern Kentucky 8. Morehead State 9. Tennessee Tech 10. Jacksonville State 11. Tennessee State 12. UTM

*Ranked by the NCAA **Ranked by a poll done by The Pacer


pacer

February 19, 2014

Sports Schedule 2/19-3/11

Baseball 2/19 2/21 2/22 2/23 2/25 2/28 3/1 3/2 3/4 3/5 3/7 3/8 3/9

4 p.m. at Ole Miss 3 p.m. vs. Eastern Michigan 2 p.m. vs. Eastern Michigan 1 p.m. vs. Eastern Michigan 2 p.m. vs. Southern Illinois 6:30 p.m. @ Stephen F. Austin 2 p.m. @ Stephen F. Austin 1 p.m. @ Stephen F. Austin 4 p.m. @ Central Arkansas 1 p.m. @ Central Arkansas 6 p.m. @ Jacksonville State* 1 p.m. @ Jacksonville State* 1 p.m. @ Jacksonville State*

Men’s Basketball 2/20 2/22 2/27 3/1 3/5-8

7 p.m. vs. Tennessee Tech* 4 p.m. vs. Southeast Missouri* 7 p.m. vs. Murray State* 4 p.m. vs. Austin Peay* TBA vs. OVC Tournament#

Women’s Basketball 2/22 2/27 3/1 3/5-8

2 p.m. vs. Murray State* 7 p.m. @ Eastern Illinois* 2 p.m. vs. Austin Peay* TBA vs. OVC Tournament#

Equestrian 3/7 3/8

Golf 3/9

Rifle

10 a.m. vs. Minnesota-Crookston 10 a.m. vs South Carolina TBA vs. Grover Page Classic

2/22 TBA at NRA Sectional/NCAA Qualifier (at Murray State)

Page 16

the

Rodeo 2/20 3/6

UTM Sports briefs

TBA @ Cossatot CC TBA @ Southern Arkansas

Softball

2/21 3:45 p.m. vs. Buffalo ^ 2/22 9 a.m. vs. Northern Colorado ^ 2/22 6 p.m. vs. Saint Louis ^ 2/23 11:15 a.m. vs. Bowling Green^ 2/23 3:45 p.m. @ Ole Miss ^ 3/2 9 a.m. vs. Princeton ~ 3/2 1:30 p.m. vs. Stetson ~ 3/3 10 a.m. vs. College of Charleston~ 3/4 1 p.m. @ Bethune Cookman 3/4 3 p.m. @ Bethune Cookman 3/6 4 p.m. @ UCF 3/7 1:30 p.m. vs. Colgate ~ 3/7 6 p.m. vs. Western Carolina ~ 3/8 9 a.m. vs. Troy ~ 3/11 3 p.m. vs. Saint Louis 3/11 5 p.m. vs. Saint Louis

Tennis

2/21 7 p.m. @ Evansville 2/22 10 a.m. vs. Arkansas State (@ Carbondale, Ill.) 2/23 10 a.m. @ Southern Illinois 3/2 1 p.m. @ North Alabama 3/3 1 p.m. @ Auburn-Montgomery 3/5 2 p.m. @ West Florida 3/8 2 p.m. @ Jacksonville State* * OVC opponent ^ Ole Miss Tournament - Oxford, Miss. ~ UCF Tournament - Orlando, Fla. # Municipal Auditorium - Nashville, Tenn.

The Pacer Player of the Week • In a 104-65 victory over Tennessee State to clinch the Ohio Valley Conference, Heather Butler totaled a game-high 27 points. • Two days prior to the Tennessee State game, Butler was second on the team with 19 points in a 102-70 victory over Southeast Missouri.

Heather Butler Photo Credit/Sports Information

Baseball loses 2014 season opener 5-0 to UAB

A pitching duel took place last Friday at Regions Field, as the UTM matched Conference USA member UAB pitch-for-pitch through seven innings before the Blazers pulled away for a 5-0 win. Skyhawk starting pitcher Taylor Cox posted one of the best starts of his career tonight, conceding just one unearned run on only six hits and zero walks over a career-high seven innings. However, despite his efforts, he was saddled with the loss after UAB broke a scoreless tie with a run in the bottom of the sixth. Chris Ross took over in the bottom of the eighth, allowing four runs in the final frame.

Softball team closes out Panther Invitational

The UTM softball tallied a rare 6-6 tie against Bowling Green before dropping its final game against Georgia tech 8-5 to close out the Georgia State Panther Invitational. The Skyhawks (3-4-1) scored 11 runs on the day while tallying one home run and 16 hits on the final day of the Panther Invitational, held on the campus of Georgia Tech. Sophomore Deven Wilson led the way for the Skyhawks with a .500 batting average, tallying three hits including one double and an RBI. Wilson was one of five Skyhawks to tallying two hits or more. Kenzi Tate tallied the team’s lone home run to go along with a pair of hits and one RBI.Freshman Renate Meckl made the most of her two hits on the afternoon, driving in three RBIs to lead the team. Meckl was joined by classmate Gabby Glenn who tallied three hits, including one double and two RBIs.

ADDIE BEA’S SEAFOOD 10% Student Discount on SKYHAWK Wednesdays

Sun.-Wed.:11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Thurs.-Sat.: 11 p.m.-8 p.m.

1053 Old Fulton Rd. Martin, TN 731-587-3287


Campus Recreation A way to stay active on campus

Photo/Bradley Stringfield

Bradley Stringfield Each year, a new group of students comes to UTM with fears of gaining the dreaded freshman 15. Fortunately, Campus Recreation offers plenty of options to keep that from happening. A big part of what Campus Recreation offers is found in the Student Recreation Center. The Rec Center is a place for students to lift weights, catch up on cardio, play basketball and take part in many other activities. The main attraction is the 7,568-square-foot weight room with over 25 selectorized strength training machines, over 12,000 pounds of dumbbells and nine Olympic Benches. For those not interested in lifting weights, the Rec Center provides over 55 pieces of cardio equipment, most of which include TV touch screens with cable connections, iPod docks and USB jump drive ports. If the idea of working out

23 Taking Flight Recreation

alone seems daunting, Group Fitness offers free classes in many different areas. Classes such as Zumba, Kickboxing, Indoor Cycling, Yoga, Hip Hop Dance and the most popular, AbLab, are all available for the entire semester. One of the newer things that Campus Recreation is bringing to UTM is the Health Club. Health Club is a program that educates and encourages members on the importance of being active and leading a healthy lifestyle. Every Health Club member will receive two fitness assessments during the semester. The assessment includes body fat percentage, muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular fitness and flexibility. They will also hold various Wellness Forums to provide helpful information on nutrition, eating disorders, body image, stress, spring break wellness, benefits of exercise, and how to use the equipment in the fitness center. For those who prefer the feeling of being drenched in pool water rather than sweat, the pool in the Tom and Kathleen

Elam Center offers that option. The Olympic-size swimming pool has a water depth of 3.5 to 5 feet in the shallow area, 6 feet in the middle section and 12 feet in the diving well, which has a one-meter diving board. You can also reserve the pool, or Elam Center, for special events

Don’t hide in your dorm room; don’t hide in your apartment. You need to get out and interact with people.

by calling Elam Center Facility Manager Chris Smolk at 731881-3754. Above all else, many say that Campus Rec is a great way to adjust to college life. “Campus Rec is a great way of meeting other people,” said Eric Simmons, assistant director of Campus Recreation. “Everybody dreads the freshman 15, and this is a good

way of preventing that. Campus Rec covers a lot of different things, so if you’re interested in a particular thing, we do have sport clubs. So there’s all kinds of different opportunities.” Campus Recreation is also a place for students to seek employment without having to leave the campus. Whether you want to be a lifeguard, intramural referee, or work in the Rec Center, there are plenty of opportunities. One of the big mistakes many beginning students make is seeking constant refuge in their place of residency, but with everything Campus Rec offers, getting involved is easy. “Get out; do stuff,” Simmons said. “Don’t hide in your dorm room; don’t hide in your apartment. You need to get out and interact with people.” For more information, go to www.utm.edu/departments/ campusrec. You can also find them on Twitter (@ UTMCampusRec) and Facebook (UTMCampusRec) or give them a call at 731-8817745.


Intramural Sports Group activity for anyone Bradley Stringfield A big part of the often -discussed college experience has to do with intramural sports, and UTM is no different. With nine different intramural sports and some new ones in the works, there is a place for anyone to get involved. Most freshmen arrive on campus without knowing many people, if any, and playing intramural sports is a way to get out there and make friends. “[Intramural sports] is good for you to get out and meet people,” said Chris Hays, coordinator of Intramurals. “[Intramural sports] can give you an outlook on the different types of people that are around the campus. You can find out the people who are in your class. It’s also keeping you active [and] helping you build a network with people you may one day come in contact with outside of an intramural sport.” There are traditional games such as soccer, golf, tennis, flag football, volleyball and basketball, all available for the fall. However, there are also games such as ping pong, cone ball, inner-tube water polo and one of the new games added to

the list of intramurals, handball. All of the dorms on campus and the Greek organizations have their own teams to play for, but for those who live off campus or do not want to play for the housing teams, independent teams are an option. Also, if a student can’t find a team to play for, he or she can sign up as a free agent and get picked up by a team in need of another player. Another advantage of intramural sports is that it offers a way for students to get jobs on campus. “One of the big things for freshmen when they come here [is that] their parents want them to find a job, and we offer the easiest job on campus for [students] to get involved in,” Hays said. “You show up to a meeting and show me you have skills in a sport, and you have a job. … That’s the way you get involved with Campus Rec.” For more information on how to get involved with intramurals, fees or sign-up dates, go to www.utm.edu/ departments/campusrec, or www.imleague.com and search for UTM, or contact Hays at 731-881-3753.

Photo/Campus Recreation

Fall Sports

Registration Deadlines

Spring Sports

Registration Deadlines

Soccer Two-Player Golf Tourney Tennis* Flag Football Inner Tube Water Polo Volleyball Ping Pong Coneball Tourney Three-on-Three Basketball

Sept. 5 at Noon Sept. 10 at Noon Sept. 17 at Noon Oct. 2 at Noon Oct. 18 at Noon Nov. 5 at Noon Nov. 6 at Noon Nov. 12 at Noon Nov. 22 at Noon

Basketball Racquetball Tourney* Handball Billiards Tourney Basketball Competition** Softball Home Run Derby 11-on-11 Soccer Ultimate Frisbee

Jan. 14 at Noon Jan. 28 at Noon Feb. 4 at Noon Feb. 6 at Noon Feb. 20 at Noon March 4 at Noon March 13 at Noon March 18 at Noon April 8 at Noon

*Offers leagues for Singles and Doubles **Includes Dunk Contest and 3-point Shootout

Taking Flight Recreation

24


UNiversity Sports The Skyhawk way Bradley Stringfield

Everyone has something they’re passionate about and on most college campuses, UTM included, people are passionate about sports. UTM has 13 different sports teams on campus: baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, cross-country, equestrian, football, golf, rifle, rodeo, soccer, softball, women’s tennis and volleyball. Over the years, UTM has enjoyed many successful seasons in various sports and has been home to many prominent figures in the sports world, such as Indiana Fever Head Coach Lin Dunn, New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese and former Lady Vols Head Coach Pat Summit. This year, two former Skyhawks were drafted – Montori Hughes by the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL and Dan Tobik by the Los Angeles Angels in the MLB. Two of Hughes’ teammates, Quentin Sims and Derek Carr, each received camp invites as well – Sims by the Atlanta Falcons, who signed with the New England Patriots in July, and Carr by the New York Giants. Also, Rickiesha Bryant, a former-Skyhawk women’s basketball player who played on three Ohio Valley Conference Championship teams, signed a deal to play with BG 74 Göttingen in Germany. In the past few years, the Skyhawks have enjoyed great success in the OVC. Last year alone, UTM sent the women’s basketball team and women’s soccer team to NCAA tournaments where they would take on University of Notre Dame in basketball and University of Kentucky in soccer, where they lost in

25

Taking Flight Recreation

Photos/Sports Information

overtime. For years, the rodeo team has been one of the most successful teams at UTM and last year was no exception with the team competing in the College National Finals after winning the Ozark Region Title. The equestrian team earned a spot in the National Collegiate Equestrian Association championship, but fell to defending National Champions Baylor University. The softball team fell just short of capturing the OVC Championship this past year

against Jacksonville State, but, during the season, the team captured the 400th career win for longtime Head Coach Donley Canary. Not to be outdone, the volleyball, golf, rifle and men’s basketball teams all earned trips to the OVC Tournament, but failed in terms of capturing the OVC Championship. Baseball is currently trying to turn the program around. With the recent departure of longtime Head Coach Bubba Cates, the team is looking for a new leader. Women’s tennis is

also looking to rebound from last season, but with a very strong recruiting class coming in this year, Head Coach Dennis Taylor will have plenty of talent to work with this season. While all of the athletes are impressive on the field, what they have done in the classroom is equally, if not more, impressive. A total of 116 student-athletes were named to the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll this year, while 17 of those earned an OVC Medal of Honor for a perfect 4.0 GPA. The rifle, softball and women’s tennis teams earned the most Medal of Honor recipients in the OVC, while the football, rifle, softball, women’s tennis and volleyball teams all earned the most Commissioner Honor Roll honors for their respective sports. Incoming freshmen have the same opportunity to contribute to the success of these programs as the athletes themselves. With the right support, the 2013-14 seasons can be just as successful, if not more, than last year’s and all those that came before.

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