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Player of the Week

Baseball team set to start season <WUUa*WT\WV


Theron Jenkins Hometown: Flowood, Miss. Major: Recreation Position: Forward Stats: Theron recorded a doubledouble against rival UAH with 23 points and 12 rebounds.

Week At A Glance Women’s Basketball When: Thursday, 6 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. Satur

Where: Home W Who: W West Georgia West Alabama

Men’s Basketball

Coming into the 2012 baseball season, the Lions have to carry the burden of high expectations while dealing with a tough schedule. With six returning All-Gulf South Conference selections from a team that went 37-14 a year ago, the Lions are the preseason co-favorite to win the 2012 GSC baseball title in voting by the league’s head coaches. The Lions are tied in the pre-season poll with defending NCAA Division II National Champion West Florida with 44 total points. “We are all really anxious to get started and get on the field to play and see the hard work we put in the off-season shows,” said Head Coach Mike Keehn. “Our biggest thing right now is to get all the little things ready for the season such as our bunting, stealing and our signals.” On the offensive side of the ball, the Lions will return some key pieces—including five allconference performers—while also returning the entire infield from a year ago to help with the defensive percentage. “On paper, we look like we should be pretty good with our bats, but it comes down to defense,” Keehn said. “With as many infielders as we have returning, we have the opportunity of being even better on defense


Saturday. 3 p.m. UL_QT[WV(]VIML] Satur

Who: h :W West Georgia West Alabama W

Baseball When: Saturday, 1 p.m. (DH) Sunday, 1 p.m. Where: H Home

than we were a year ago, and that will be our key to success.” Junior Josh Cyr will return for the Lions at first base in his third consecutive year of starting at that position and also as a second team all-conference performer. Last season, Cyr had a 314 batting average with seven homeruns and 46 RBIs. “Cyr has been in our league longer than anybody else and really understands how to make the necessary adjustments at the plate, and playing as a freshman helps him,” Keehn said. “Last season, teams pitched him real photo by SUSAN KING I File Photo tight, and he had to make adjustUNA sophomore Josh Carpenter tries to score during a game against ments in the season.” Southern Arkansas last season. The other returning allconference players include J.P. doing that; they are just going to us this season and our staff.” One of the biggest concerns LaMunyon, third-baseman; have to mature and work on it.” As for the pitching staff, the coming into the season for the Josh Carpenter, short-stop; Jake Sloan, designated hitter and Mi- Lions lost Trey Mitchell in the Lions is the back end of the bullchael Schmidt, second baseman. starting rotation but will return pen, as the team lost both setup All four of those players had two of the three weekend start- man Casey Jones and closer Joel breakout seasons last year and ers to the team, including ju- Sessions, and closing out games make big contributions to the nior Chad Boughner and senior will be a big question mark. Johnny Hornbuckle. “We have about four guys team. Boughner finished last sea- right now who all have good “The biggest thing with those guys (LaMunyon, Carpenter, son with an 8-3 record with a arms, but we are still trying to Sloan and Schmidt) is that they 3.53 ERA while striking out 57 find out what their roles are for came out of nowhere and no- batters. Hornbuckle also had a the bullpen,” Keehn said. “Right body knew anything about them solid year, with an 8-3 record now, that has to be one of the in terms of pitching to them,” with a 4.07 ERA while striking biggest questions we have.” out 80 batters. The baseball team is set to Keehn said. “Both guys didn’t have the start the season this Saturday “Whatever they weren’t doing right, teams figured that out numbers that (Mitchell) had against Kentucky State with a late, so that’s what we’ve been last year, but I felt that they were double header starting at 1 p.m. telling them that they need to pretty consistent for us last sea- and a game Sunday also starting make adjustments on,” Keehn son,” Keehn said. “Having two at 1 p.m. Both games will be at said. “I think they are capable of weekend starters will be huge for home.

McBrayer transitions from Olympics to UNA

W en: Thursday, Wh When: Thursd 8 p.m. 5I\\?QT[WV

Where: W h Home

Thursday, February 2, 2011 • The Flor-Ala

Noel McBrayer grew up in Birmingham and went to Woodlawn High School and later Samford University. In 1972, he accepted a job at UNA to teach. He spent the last 30 years as a full-time instructor at UNA and the last 10 years as an adjunct professor. He has taught students tennis, pickle ball and various other dueling sports, including badminton, which has earned him a bit of a reputation on campus. McBrayer has competed in badminton at the Senior Olympics five times and placed in all of them. At the age of 66, he is in great shape and attributes his health to his active lifestyle.

it and knew in my heart that it was the right place to be.

Q: What got you into badminton? A: While attending Samford Univer-

sity, I came across indoor badminton. Part of my duties for my scholarship included running and closing up the gym each night. The room that I lived in was in the gym. So at night—once I got the gym locked up—my friends and I would play all night. Eventually, I got good and began playing in the state tournaments. Once I got to UNA, I put together a team, and we started playing around photo by TOMMY BOLTON I Student Photographer Noel McBrayer takes his Olympic talent to UNA to teach the Southeast. We did well and won numerous tournaments, but eventually students the game of badminton. the funding from the school for the team that they can play for the What motivates you? went away, and it kind of fizzled out. rest of their lives. Tennis, badminton, volleyball— I have a peace in my There is a rumor that during all these are what we call heart that I am doing what of your years at UNA, you have only lifetime sports. I’m 66 years I am supposed to be dolost once to a student. Is this true? old, and I’ll play badminton ing. The students keep me until the day I drop. young and keep me motiWell, it’s almost true. I’ve actually What brought you to vated, but knowing each lost three times. Once was to a graduUNA? Do you have any morning when I wake up ate student. And then about three other hobbies? that I am doing what I feel years ago, there was a kid here from I came up here in 1965 to I was called on to do is my Canada. We had to play over at the play in a tennis tournament. I’m a bogey golfer, and main motivation. Rec Center, which is a horrible place All I knew about this area at love to fish. I would fish to play badminton, but he beat me by Ievery the time was tornadoes. I day if I could. I also one point two different times. did not have a good impreshelp out at my church with sion of the school at the time. What do you get out of teaching children’s activities and with When I was offered the job, I here at UNA? a singing group as well. I had to do some deep thinktravel around and haul the ing because I thought it was I feel like I’m making a difference sound equipment around. the armpit of the state. But I for people by teaching them something Basically, I’m their roadie. had some friends up here and


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February 2nd, 2012 Issue  

Read the latest issue of the Flor-Ala to see coverage of the Miss UNA 2012 contest, THE FRIEND ZONE, and Q&As with UNA sports faculty and a...

February 2nd, 2012 Issue  

Read the latest issue of the Flor-Ala to see coverage of the Miss UNA 2012 contest, THE FRIEND ZONE, and Q&As with UNA sports faculty and a...