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SERVICE points Whitney Lewis aces community service

Whitney Lewis

2014 spring issue

EAGLE Insider


University of the Ozarks UNIVERSITY OF THE OZARKS has approached education with an unyielding search for truth. That search led our founders to establish the first co-educational college west of the Mississippi. It set the stage for the first Arkansas woman to receive a college degree. And because truth often defies convention, ours was the first historically white college in the state to admit AfricanAmericans. Every day, our history inspires Ozarks students to discover their own individual truths.


Baseball Preview: Veteran Pitching Staff Leads Eagles

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Whitney Lewis: Serving up Community

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Andrew Cummings: Faith and Basketball

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WHAT’S INSIDE

2014

CONTENTS

EAGLE Insider

EAGLE Insider is a publication of the Sports Information Office.

Editor: Josh Peppas Assistant Editor: Emily Black Photography: U of O Sports Information Office, U of O Public Relations Office, Mindpower Print Production: Hewlett-Packard (magcloud)

University of the Ozarks

University of the Ozarks + 415 College Avenue + Clarksville, AR 72830

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EAGLE Insider Molly BOWMAN

New Faces Dot Balanced Softball Team

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Head Softball Coach Laurie Adkins has assembled a group of talented players, including a number of new faces, for the 2014 season. Ten new players dot the roster, many of which will take on big responsibilities, according to Adkins. “A lot of our new players will take on heavy roles this season,” said Adkins. “Some will start and some will play a lot. We have some solid hitters that came in.” Seniors Molly Bowman, Tabitha McClane, Arel Ferguson and RaChelle Robinson provide veteran 2

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leadership, while juniors Shawnee Sorensen and Annie McDonald give Ozarks additional experience. Sophomore Haley McKee is expected to have a break-out season in the circle. “This group wants to be competitive,” said Adkins. “Instead of it being a bunch of superstars, they are all pointed in the same direction.” Hitting could be improved from a year ago, if the team’s younger players can adjust to college pitching quickly. “We have some hitters that make things happen,” said Adkins. “We have long ball hitters.” University of the Ozarks


EAGLE Insider Michael SKIMBO >>

University of the Ozarks

Ozarks is built around a strong junior class that includes All-Conference players Todd Turner, Bishop Bass, Greg Knaggs and Corey Dillard. Seniors Michael Skimbo and Scott Eibes are veteran players that Wiseman will rely on throughout the season. The Eagles ended last season ranked in the same position (No. 16) regionally after a record setting effort. The team finished with the most wins in school history within the NCAA Division III era, posting a 12-4 overall mark on the year. Ozarks was 3-3 in the American Southwest Conference. >>>

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The rising men’s tennis team has experienced plenty of past success, but now the 2014 team has its sites set on taking the program even higher. For Head Coach Shaun Wiseman, Ozarks is worthy of its No. 16 preseason regional ranking from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, but the question remains how his team will handle big moments. If the upstart squad can do that, the 2014 season could be special. “There will be two or three matches this year where it will come down to which team handles the moment better,” said Wiseman.

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Men’s Tennis Team Eyes Post-Season Play

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EAGLE Insider

Jeffrey WORKS Veteran Pitching Staff Leads Baseball Team

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The baseball team returns six starters and a veteran pitching staff to turn the tables from a disappointing end to the 2013 campaign. In 2013, Ozarks picked up a number of impressive wins in the first half of the season before dropping several close conference games in the second half of the year. In the end, the Eagles were the top hitting team in terms of batting average in the entire American Southwest Conference. The pitching staff posted a 4.68 ERA, the lowest mark in Head Coach Jimmy Clark’s twelve seasons. The staff revolves around 4

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a pair of veteran right-handed arms in seniors Jeffrey Works and Tyler Erickson. “Pitching is where it starts and I really think we have talent,” said Clark. Clark’s top returning player is Freddy Prince, a senior outfielder, who won the conference batting title (.406) and was an All-Region and All-Conference player in 2013. Junior Sam Shook was an Academic All-American in 2013. “We have some guys that can hit again,” said Clark. “I like our club offensively. I think if we can get a little more balance, we can have a good year.” University of the Ozarks


EAGLE Insider Kalli SIMPSON >>

University of the Ozarks

The junior class includes Mollie Grace Wilkinson, Megan Wallace and LeAnan White. Lewis, Simpson and Wilkinson were All-Conference performers last season. Freshman Kristen Swafford brings additional talent to the lineup. “Our expectations are to win the matches we are supposed to win, and then steal a couple of matches,” said Wiseman. “We will be competitive. It is just a matter of beating teams that are just as good as us. Our expectations are to have a good season and make the playoffs.” >>>

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The women’s tennis team will lean on veteran leadership for a chance to make the playoffs in 2014. In 2013, Ozarks posted the most wins (7) since 2003. With momentum in its favor, Ozarks returns three seniors and three juniors to build the team around. “We fought last year through a couple of big injuries,” said Head Coach Shaun Wiseman. “We battled and scratched and clawed for all seven wins. None of them came easy.” Seniors Whitney Lewis, Kalli Simpson and Macie Kelley lead the Lady Eagles into the 2014 season.

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Women’s Tennis Team Leans On Experience

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EAGLE Insider Ryan HOLT

Freshman Ryan Holt Sets New 8K School Record

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Freshman cross country runner Ryan Holt set the new 8K school record and finished 13th at the NCAA III South/Southeast Regional November 16 in Newport News, Virginia. Holt, a native of Belfast, Ireland, now owns the new 8K record after running a 25:38.17. Holt broke the previous record held by Jeremy Provence, who ran a 25:54.19 at the ASC Championships in 2011. At the NCAA III Regional, Holt was the first American Southwest Conference runner to cross the finish line and was named All-Region by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross 6

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Country Coaches Association for finishing in the top-35. 174 runners participated in the NCAA III South/Southeast Regional. Additionally, he earned USTFCCCA All-Academic Team after finishing in the top 25 percent of the region and posting above a 3.3 grade point average. Holt was impressive in his first season as he won two individual titles during the 2013 season. He was named the ASC Freshman of the Year and First Team All-Conference after finishing second at the conference championships. He was conference runner of the week four times. University of the Ozarks


EAGLE Insider Kara WILLBANKS >>

University of the Ozarks

Willbanks can claim the 6th fastest 5K time in school history (20:49). In all, she owns four of the top20 fastest 5K times in program history. As a sophomore, she competed in the NCAA III South/Southeast Regional in Seguin, Texas. She is a three-time member of the ASC All-Academic Team. In addition to her athletic accomplishments, she has been involved in the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and served an internship in the Sports Information Office. >>>

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Senior Kara Willbanks was named the American Southwest Conference Female Runner of the Week in October. Willbanks, a native of Fort Smith, Ark., placed fourth overall at the Arkansas D-III Championships October 23 in Clarksville to receive the honor. She ran the 5K race in 21:24.20 and was the team’s top finisher. Willbanks has been among the top runners at the Arkansas D-III Championships the past two years, including winning the individual title in 2012. In 2013, Willbanks placed 24th at the 5K Ozarks Invitational running a 22:31. She would later place 24th again at the 6K ASC Championships running a 28:06.

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Kara Willbanks Named ASC Runner of the Week

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EAGLE Insider

Todd TURNER Todd Turner Finalist For Arkansas Star of Tomorrow Award

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Men’s tennis player Todd Turner was selected as a finalist for the 2014 Arkansas Star of Tomorrow Award. The Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and the Crain Automotive Team present the award annually to the top college athlete from either an Arkansas-based college or university or an out-of-state school if that athlete is from Arkansas. Turner and the other finalists were honored at a special ceremony in Little Rock February 28. Turner, a junior from Pearcy, Ark., was named to the 8

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Honorable Mention All-Conference Team at No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles in 2013. Additionally, he was named to the Capital One Academic All-District Team, ITA Scholar-Athlete Team and American Southwest Conference All-Academic Team, as well as ASC Scholar-Athlete and ASC Player of the Week. He finished with a 12-4 record in singles and a 14-2 mark in doubles. Turner also helped Ozarks to its first regional ranking from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. The selection of finalists is based on athletic and academic performance along with community involvement. University of the Ozarks


EAGLE Insider Men’s SOCCER >>

University of the Ozarks

Ozarks started the season with a 6-0-1 unbeaten streak and were among the top offensive teams in the ASC. The team finished the year ranked in the top-5 in points, goals and assists. The Eagles displayed tremendous balance as seven different players scored three or more goals. Cossaboon’s team ranked in the middle of the pack as a defensive unit, finishing fifth in shutouts (4) and sixth in goals against average (1.79). Austin Benner, Shuan Keane, Travis Leach and Eloy Salgado received All-Conference honors. Eight players made the ASC All-Academic Team. >>>

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The men’s soccer team qualified for the American Southwest Conference playoffs in 2013. Ozarks earned a tie (0-0) against nationally-ranked Texas-Dallas in its final regular season match to earn the playoffs’ No. 6 seed. The Eagles played Texas-Dallas again, the No. 3 seed, in the playoffs, but lost 2-0. The Eagles finished the season with a 7-7-5 overall record and a 2-4-4 mark in ASC play. It was the second time Ozarks has qualified for the playoffs under Head Coach John Cossaboon. Ozarks has been to the post-season 11 times.

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Men’s Soccer Team Qualifies For Post-Season Play

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EAGLE Insider Josh FERRELL

Josh Ferrell Named Freshman of the Year

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Freshman shooting guard Josh Ferrell was named the 2013-2014 Men’s Basketball American Southwest Conference Freshman of the Year. Ferrell, a 6-foot-1 native of West Fork, Ark., also earned a spot on the All-Freshman Team. Ferrell was the top scoring freshman in the league with a 11.8 points per game average. He also led all conference freshmen in steals (2.1) and minutes played (36.4). His scoring average ranked twenty-ninth overall in the ASC and he was the league-leader in minutes played. His 2.1 steals per game average was sixth in the ASC. 10 > > >

Ferrell started in all 25 games and hit 48-of-151 (31%) from the three-point line, while dishing out 2.1 assists per game. He would hit a three-pointer in all but three games during the season. Against Mississippi College February 20, he scored 23 points, dished out six assists and had four steals. He opened his collegiate career in grand fashion hitting seven three-pointers and scoring 27 points in the Eagles season-opener. Other conference honorees included point guard Ricky Allen, who earned Honorable Mention All-Conference. Allen ranked among the ASC’s top-15 in six different categories. University of the Ozarks


EAGLE Insider Taylor FARMER >>

University of the Ozarks

figures in scoring 23 times, including a season-high 26-point effort against Louisiana College January 16. She scored 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field and grabbed 12 rebounds against Sul Ross State January 4. Davis finished second in the ASC in rebounding (9.0), fourth in field goal percentage (56%), fifth in blocked shots (1.6) and fourth in minutes played (31.0). In February, she was named ASC Player of the Week after scoring 30 points and grabbing 20 rebounds against Sul Ross State. >>>

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Taylor Farmer and Kindra Davis were named to the 2013-2014 All-Conference Team following a vote by each American Southwest Conference head coach. Farmer, a 6-foot junior forward from Waldron, Ark., was named to the All-Conference Third Team. Davis, a 6-foot senior center from Fort Smith, Ark., was named to the Honorable Mention All-Conference Team. Farmer ranked eighth in the league in scoring (15.0), twentieth in rebounding (6.2), eighth in field goal percentage (51%) and third in blocked shots (1.8). Farmer led the team in scoring as well as steals (34). She reached double

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Farmer, Davis Named All-Conference

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EAGLE Insider

Service Points: Whitney Lewis aces community service

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hitney Lewis is passionate about serving others. The senior tennis standout has been at the forefront of leading community service projects for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), one of the largest and most visible student-led organizations on campus. As SAAC President, Lewis and her fellow athletes have been involved in a range of community service activities, including the Special Olympics, and most recently a canned food drive for a local food pantry. 12 > > >

The service rendered has been important to those she has assisted, but it has also made an impact on her. “Since I’ve started helping out in the community, service has been ingrained in me,” she said. “I just like helping people out so much, and I enjoy seeing their smiling faces. As SAAC President, I really want to stress the importance of giving back to the community. And, when our athletes catch the vision of service, it is a magical and awesome feeling. I think giving back is part of my religious beliefs because I want to be a good steward just as Jesus was.” Recently, Lewis spearheaded a canned food drive on University of the Ozarks


University of the Ozarks

When our athletes catch the vision of service, it is a magical and awesome feeling. Whitney Lewis

2014

“I love this university so much,” she said. “I feel like Ozarks has prepared me for the workplace. The course work is challenging, but rewarding.” Tennis, too, has given her plenty. According to Lewis, she has learned patience and endurance as a result of the game. “I believe those things can be applied in life,” she said. “And having a team bond is unique and awesome. I’ve learned so many things in tennis that apply to real life.” She proudly follows the NCAA Division III moniker: student first, athlete second. She has been on the American Southwest Conference All-Academic Team three times and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar-Athlete Team twice. “The core of NCAA Division III is being that student first, and then an athlete second,” she said. “It takes a lot of discipline and sometimes it gets difficult, but you have to stay focused.” Lewis is among the career win leaders at Ozarks, playing mostly at the No. 1 and No. 2 singles position. She was named All-Conference at No. 2 singles last season. Wiseman believes Lewis’ formula for success is simple: she outworks her opponents. “She makes sure no one outworks her,” he said. “I hope that I will get another opportunity to coach someone like her, but doubt that I ever will.”

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campus in conjunction with the American Southwest Conference’s Make a Change event. The project netted 700 cans of food for Clarksville’s Interfaith Service Network. Lewis has been especially fond of helping at Special Olympic events. She has made certain SAAC has assisted at basketball, track and field, swimming and softball events for the Special Olympians. “I enjoy seeing a smile on the Olympians’ faces,” she said. “They may not have all the abilities in the world, but they just want to have fun. For me to be a part of that experience is amazing. Wherever I work in the future, I want to encourage others to do community service, and I want to be an advocate for the Special Olympics.” Head Women’s Tennis Coach Shaun Wiseman has seen first hand the type of person his star player embodies. Wiseman is the athletic department’s SAAC advisor and has worked alongside Lewis on a number of projects. “She is an amazing girl to be around,” said Wiseman. “I’ve never seen anything bad come from her. She is a genuinely good person and is universally loved and respected on campus.” Lewis’ positive outlook is impressive, according to Wiseman. “She is enthusiastic and positive in all that she does,” he said. “She is a girl that always has a smile on her face.” Lewis, a native of Hartman, Ark., believes Ozarks has given plenty back to her. A management and administration major, she plans to eventually attend graduate school following graduation this May.

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EAGLE Insider Mary EOFF

Mary Eoff Finalist For State-Wide Award

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Mary Eoff was selected as a finalist for the 2014 Arkansas Star of Tomorrow Award. The Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and the Crain Automotive Team present the award annually to the top college athlete from either an Arkansas-based college or university or an out-of-state school if that athlete is from Arkansas. Eoff and the other finalists were honored at a special ceremony in Little Rock February 28. Eoff is a junior midfielder and goalkeeper for the Lady Eagles soccer team. A native of Rogers, Ark., she is a 14 > > >

member of the American Southwest Conference All-Academic Team and has helped the program to a pair of team academic awards from the NSCAA. She is involved in the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, where she recently participated in a question and answer session with local elementary school students. The selection of finalists is based on athletic and academic performance along with community involvement. Ray Tucker, the Sports Hall of Fame’s executive director, views the award “as one of the most significant awards in Arkansas sports.” University of the Ozarks


EAGLE Insider Chad FLOYD >>

University of the Ozarks

Floyd, a native of Ozark, Ark., holds state, district and national training certifications and has an Arkansas teaching certificate in Health and Physical Education. In 2008, Floyd was named the winner of the university’s Alvin C. Broyles Outstanding Professional Staff Award, which is given to a member of the professional staff who has demonstrated exemplary dedication, professionalism and ability in his or her position. Prior Ozarks, Floyd worked in the Minnesota Twins minor league system, and at Arkansas Tech University and University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. >>>

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For the third time in his career, Head Athletic Trainer Chad Floyd was named by his peers as the of the American Southwest Conference Athletic Trainer of the Year. Floyd, who is in his thirteenth year as the Head Athletic Trainer, received the award from ASC Commissioner Amy Carlton February 13 at a home basketball game. Floyd shared the award with the training staff from UTDallas. To be considered for the award, head athletic trainers must be in good standing with professional organizations and be either NATA or state licensed, and must have been at the institution for a minimum of two years.

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Chad Floyd Receives ASC Athletic Trainer of the Year

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EAGLE Insider

More Than Basketball: Andrew Cummings’ Faith Grows On European Hoops Trip

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n what began as a basketball-minded trip to Germany for Andrew Cummings turned out to be a fulfilling faith-sharing experience. Cummings, a senior men’s basketball player at the University of the Ozarks, spent three weeks over the summer competing with a team full of collegiate basketball players for the News Release Basketball organization. News Release Basketball selects players from across the United States and travels through Europe to conduct basketball camps and gives its volunteers the opportunity to share their religious 16 > > >

convictions. Cummings and his teammates were able to assist at youth basketball camps and participate in testimony meetings throughout the overseas journey. The team went undefeated in six games during a three-week span, but basketball became secondary once he realized his purpose there. “At first, all I thought about was playing well and impressing the professional teams so that I could get picked up by one of them,” said Cummings. “But then when I got to training camp, I felt like God wanted me to spread His word. I felt like He wanted me to be a servant. The trip University of the Ozarks


University of the Ozarks

The trip helped me realize that basketball will come and go, but serving the Lord is our mission in life. Andrew Cummings

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Following a week in Lörrach, he and his teammates traveled to Munich and Vilsbiburg for more games and camp sessions. While his European trip was a bit of a culture shock, he would have no hesitation on volunteering for the trip again. “Being in Europe was awesome,” he said. “It was the first time I’ve been there. The lifestyle is different though. There isn’t really air conditioning and a lot of areas do not have Wi-Fi access. Having ice with a soda is uncommon. But the food was one of my favorite things about being over there.” Cummings’ trip also opened up a potential job opportunity with News Release Basketball. “A representative with News Release Basketball offered me a job when I graduate,” he said. “A number of cities want them to set up ministries, so I could play semi-professional basketball and serve in a ministry. I’ve always wanted to be a youth pastor and this may be a good opportunity to do that. I will keep that in the back of my mind after I graduate.”

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helped me realize that basketball will come and go, but serving the Lord is our mission in life.” Cummings, who serves as President of Ozarks’ Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter, was able to share his faith on several occasions during the trip. “The local YMCA held a basketball camp and incorporated our team,” he said. “Each player on my team conducted basketball training sessions and then we would share our testimonies. We also went to area churches and gave our testimonies. After the camp was over in the evening, we went into town to seek out service projects.” Cummings also grew close to his host family in Lörrach, Germany, where he stayed his first week. The Cremer family included his host parents Christian and Simone, and their sons John and Ronin. “They treated me like one of their own children,” he said. “Many host families were once involved with camps and now they want to be able to give back by hosting others.” Cummings, 6-foot senior guard from Mansfield, Texas, was named to the American Southwest Conference All-Defensive Team his junior year. He averaged nearly nine points per game this season. Cummings believes he improved his skills after practicing for three weeks against his teammates, many of whom were NCAA Division I players. “The basketball was competitive,” he said. “I was playing with NCAA Division I players and I think that made me a better player. In games, we played against true professional players that were getting paid.”

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EAGLE Insider Women’s BASKETBALL

Lady Eagles Qualify For Post-Season Play

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The women’s basketball team qualified for the American Southwest Conference Championship Tournament this season. Ozarks secured the No. 6 seed in the tournament after taking a come-from-behind victory against Mississippi College February 20. Ozarks faced No. 3 seed University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in the eightteam field at University of Texas-Tyler. The Lady Eagles lost the game against University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, but gained valuable post-season experience for those returning in 2014-2015. 18 > > >

Head Coach Carl Ramsey, who just finished his 35th year of coaching at the college and high school level, has led the women’s basketball program to the post-season three times and earned Coach of the Year once. Two players, Kindra Davis and Taylor Farmer, were AllConference players. Both were among the most productive inside players in the league. Davis was fourth in the ASC in field goal percentage (56%) while Farmer was seventh (51%). Davis was the second leading rebounder (9.0) in the conference. Farmer was tied for seventh in scoring (15.0). University of the Ozarks


EAGLE Insider Travis LEACH >>

University of the Ozarks

Salgado, a native of Mansfield, Texas, ranked among the ASC’s top-10 in five different categories. He finished third in shots (52), fourth in shots per game (2.89), seventh in points (17), second in assists (7) and fifth in assists per game (.39). Keane, a native of Rockwall, Texas, was fifth in the ASC in goals (7) and eighth in goals per game (.41). He had two assists and one game-winning goal. Benner, a native of Allen, Texas, led the ASC in saves (90), ranked sixth in goals against average (1.50), third in shutouts (4) and sixth in saves percentage (.763). >>>

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Four men’s soccer players were named to the All-Conference Team after a vote of the American Southwest Conference head coaches. Sophomore defender Travis Leach and senior midfielder Eloy Salgado were named to the All-Conference Second Team. Junior midfielder Shaun Keane and sophomore goalkeeper Austin Benner received Honorable Mention All-Conference. Leach, a native of Denton, Texas, was a stellar defensive player in the back as well as an offensive threat. He scored three goals and tallied one assist.

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Men’s Soccer Players Receive All-Conference

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EAGLE Insider

Vicky ROMERO Vicky Romero Named All-Conference

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Women’s soccer player Vicky Romero was named to the 2013 All-Conference Second Team after a vote of the American Southwest Conference head coaches. Romero, from Van Buren, Ark., played in all 19 matches and ranked among the ASC’s top-10 in five different categories. The 5-foot-3 junior forward finished third in the ASC in goals (13), seventh in shots (43), fifth in points (27), seventh in points per game (1.42) and fourth in goals per game (.68). She was the team-leader in all the aforementioned categories as well 20 > > >

as game-winning goals (2) and shots on goal (29). Romero exploded onto the scene with a five-goal performance against Stephens College September 6. Romero finished with ten points and ten shots in the match. She had a two-goal effort against both LeTourneau University and Williams Baptist College. In all, she scored goals in seven different matches. A starter in 18 matches, Romero added one assist. The women’s soccer program has accounted for ten AllConference players the past six seasons and has received the NSCAA Academic Team Award back-to-back years. University of the Ozarks


COACHING STAFF Baseball: Jimmy Clark 479-979-1484 + jclark@ozarks.edu Men's Basketball: David Ferrell 479-979-1326 + dferrell@ozarks.edu Women's Basketball: Carl Ramsey 479-979-1325 + cramsey@ozarks.edu Cheerleading: Heather Dickerson 479-979-1216 + hdickerson@ozarks.edu Men’s & Women’s Cross Country: Brian Hull 479-979-1421 + bhull@ozarks.edu Men's Soccer: John Cossaboon 479-979-1210 + jcossaboon@ozarks.edu Women's Soccer: Bryan Drotar 479-979-1334 + bdrotar@ozarks.edu Softball: Laurie Adkins 479-979-1463 + ladkins@ozarks.edu Men’s & Women’s Tennis: Shaun Wiseman 479-979-1332 + swiseman@ozarks.edu WANT TO PLAY FOR OZARKS? www.ozarks.edu/RecruitMe


2014 Spring Issue

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2014 Spring University of the Ozarks Eagle Insider