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Volume 66, No. 2

THE PAN AMERICAN

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Student Union set to expand

EXCLUSIVES

By Roxann Garcia The Pan American

NEWS

Since fall of 2000 the Student Union has been a haven for campus activities, studying, and hanging out in general. But as the university grows, so will the Union. The Union hopes to expand within the next two years to accommodate students, faculty, and student organizations more comfortably. It last underwent re-

MEXICAN AMERICAN STUDIES REVAMPED -NEW INTERDISCIPLINARY MAJOR/MI-

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furbishment in the spring of 2009. The idea of an expansion originated with the need for more elbow room for students to congregate and eat, and for faculty and student organizations to be able to use meeting spaces “The Union really is similar to a living room. That’s our purpose here, said Union director Edna Zambrano. “We’re that space on campus where students and faculty can come together and have a pleasant one-on-one meeting rather than

in a classroom. Unfortunately, we just don’t have enough space for everyone.” CHANGES The folks at the 44,000 square-foot Union would like more seating space for lunchgoers and students who have long breaks between classes and need a hang-out spot. They would also like to include bigger kitchens for more diversity in food product such as bringing in a Chik-fil-A or Panda Express but also

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cussion, according to Esther Herrera. After introductions are made, the leaders present will be allotted 20 minutes each. According to Herrera they will be allowed to speak about whatever legislative issues they feel are important. The leadership group invited is mainly composed of state representatives, including: Ismael “Kino” Flores, Armando Martinez, Ryan Guillen, and Aaron Pena. Also in attendance will be

The University of Texas-Pan American has received much recognition for being a Hispanic-serving institution, but recently grabbed big headlines for ranking on the Forbes list of the top American Universities. UTPA was ranked at No. 32 of the nation’s public schools and No. 218 overall out of 600 four-year schools in Aug. 5’s online Forbes magazine, adding another point of pride. The feat was quickly incorporated into a new commercial for the university. The people at Forbes used several indicators in measuring the best schools, including school debt load, evaluations from ratemyprofessor. com, and graduate success based on Who’s Who in America. UTPA was not included in the list last year. Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs Paul Sale said the university has come a long way in recent years and that being named to the Forbes list could help its graduates. “The university is in a transformational stage,” Sale said. “I believe it will help our graduates be more favorably recognized in the job market and I believe it will give our faculty program more recognition.”

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THE PRESS BOX -CATCH SPORTS EDITORS KEVIN STICH AND SARA HERNANDEZ AS THEY DISCUSS UTPA ATHLETICS WHITMAN’S SHOW AT SIMON SEZ -AUSTIN-BASED BAND PERFORMS MCALLEN

IN

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University receives prominent ranking

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ART EXHIBIT -ARTIST FROM CHICAGO AT THE CLARK GALLERY

for meeting areas for not only faculty but for 100-plus student organizations. As it stands now, 170 organizations use the building per week. “We have student organizations that do not hold their banquets on campus because they don’t fit or it’s never available,” Zambrano said. “So we have students holding events at hotels when they could be saving by holding it here or honestly just doing things on your campus.”

Daniel Flores/The Pan American

BLOCK PARTY - Last Thursday the university held the annual Bucky’s Block Party for students. The event is held to help with organization recruitment.

Summit offers higher ed. policy forum By Brian Silva The Pan American The Student Government Association has booked six Valley officials for a leadership meeting they hope will help students voice their issues and become aware of new higher education laws. The event, called the Valley Leadership Summit, is set to take place next Thursday evening, Sept. 17. However, a few schedule and venue changes

OPINION PG. 2

have been made. The summit is being moved from the Student Union to the Engineering Building. The presentation and question-and-answer session will occur in the Engineering Auditorium, while the reception following will take place in the lobby area of the building. Also, the time of the summit is set at 5 p.m. The event will start off with an introduction by Paul Sale, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, who will start off the legislative dis-

NEWS PG. 3

ARTS & LIFE PG. 10

SPORTS PG. 14


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THE PAN AMERICAN

September 10 , 2009

Illustration by Oliver Chairez

Vol 66, No. 2

September 10 , 2009

1201 West University, CAS 170 Edinburg, Texas 78539 Phone: (956) 381-2541 Fax: (956) 316-7122 EDITOR IN CHIEF Brian Silva / basilva1@utpa.edu ASSISTANT EDITOR Ana Villaurrutia / alvillaurru@utpa.edu VIDEO EDITOR Naxiely Lopez / naxiely@myway.com ASSISTANT VIDEO EDITOR Victor Ituarte / victor.ituarte@gmail.com A&L EDITOR Isaac Garcia / izek_el@yahoo.com ASSISTANT A&L EDITOR Andrielle Figuerroa / j27ig@yahoo.com SPORTS EDITOR Kevin Stich/ k.stich@gmail.com DESIGN EDITOR Gregorio Garza / ggarzaz26@utpa.edu SENIOR DESIGNER Roy Bazan / rbazanzz@utpa.edu ADVISER Dr. Greg Selber / selberg@utpa.edu ADMINISTRATIVE ASSOCIATE Anita Reyes / areyes18@utpa.edu ADVERTISING MANAGER Mariel Cantu/ spubs@utpa.edu WEBMASTER Jose Villarreal / josemvillarrealcs@gmail.com

**Delivery** Thursday at noon The Pan American is the official student newspaper of The University of Texas-Pan American. Views presented are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect those of the paper or university.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Pan American accepts letters of 300 words or less from students, staff and faculty regarding recent newspaper content, campus concerns or current events. The Pan American reserves the right to edit submissions for grammar and length. The Pan American cannot publish anonymous letters or submissions containing hate speech or gratuitous personal attacks. Please send all story ideas to thepanamerican@ gmail.com. Individuals with disabilities wishing to acquire this publication in an alternative format or needing assistance to attend any event listed can contact The Pan American for more details.

Opinion

Solving our fowl problem Brian Silva Editor in Chief This is a call to arms! As the trees have grown so does the never-ending battle against birds taking roost in them. As they gather on our campus so do the piles of poop they splatter on sidewalks, and individuals. To find a solution to mitigate the problem is going to take an innovative response by all of us. But, first we must explore the issue to find an ecologically friendly answer to our little bird issue. Without a doubt, when walking down a sidewalk it isn’t a surprise to see a concentrated area of bird shit abuzz with flies and little bugs. The university sidewalks have become a bird sewer. It’s been pretty awesome that we finally have some solid rains to replenish the thirst-quenched land. However, the rains enhance tenfold the aroma of the situation. I’m pretty sure it’s almost a universal opinion that the uni-

versity loses some of its higher educational shine as the crap piles up. It’s no picnic when a pigeon flies into one’s walking path, or when a fight breaks out over the walkway and feathers come floating down to settle in one’s hair. Sometimes nests plop down, too, along with an egg or two. The university’s current fix to this is to place a cannon in the more heavily populated bird areas. Officials proceed to fire a blast of air they say is intended to scare the crap out of the birds so that they get frightened and never return. I must note that I’ve never seen this process in person. However I heard one SGA senator say the birds promptly return after a few hours. Given that the pigeons look rather comfortably nested in the walkways, I’m inclined to believe that the cannons are ineffective. The other environmentally friendly scare tactic the university uses is placement of spikes. However, it is not uncommon to see nests in between these spikes. It is yet another ineffective treatment to the little mess.

It must also be said that environmentally friendly options are very few. But, again, we must use our intellectual abilities and collectively come up with an innovative idea(s) to solve the foul fowl problem. The solution may take a united effort by all students, faculty and staff. Together we can clean our campus and mitigate our university being used as a toilet by our bird friends. An option that may be perceived as silly could be the use of noisemakers as we pass under the walkways. If we keep the pressure on these birds and make this an unpleasant place for them to live it’d be an almost guarantee that the birds would flee, permanently. My solution of noisemakers may not be the best. Thus, I challenge you to come up with an innovative way to keep the birds away. Present the ideas to your SGA senator, their mission is to improve the quality of life and education of this university. We’ll all be better off with a little less poop and feathers on our path to class.


Dates to Know: Open House Sept. 11, 2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. SBS research and technology resource room September 10 , 2009

Deadline to file application for degree Sept. 18 Registrar

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University relaunches modernized Web site By Jennifer Garza The Pan American The University of Texas-Pan American launched a new Web site last week, calling it a “reflection of the university today.” According to Vice President for University Advancement Janice Odom, UTPA had outgrown its previous site and updating it was designed to benefit the university, its image, and informational capacity. “We want everything that the public

sees, and the student sees and future students see about this university to reflect who we are,” Odom said. “This is the front door to the campus, so to a lot of people who have never been able to come down here; they judge who we are by that Web site.” The new site had quite a history before the launch. A Web advisory group was created in April to power the revamping. Under the supervision of Odom, representatives from all university departments met to conduct research and gather information to make the site, and the launch,

a success. “It was a really talented and creative group,” Odom said. “In record time, we had organized ourselves; we had decided what direction we wanted to go.” With the assistance of the Internet Services Department at UTPA, the advisory group was able to recreate the Web site with a user-friendly concept in mind. Kumar Raman, director of Internet services, said analytic data such as mostused search terms on the university’s previous site was used to determine what kind of links would be most helpful for

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users. The goal was to organize the content more effectively and efficiently for the students, visitors, faculty and staff. “The easier it is for them to find information on what they are looking for, the less chance they will call in for support,” Raman explained. Raman added the university has not seen an entirely new site since the first one was launched back in 2000. “Every three years we kind of changed it up; it was all the same sort of content but it was all just moved around a little

bit,” Raman said. “If you look at the design now, it’s radically different from what you’ve seen before.” Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter were also integrated into the university’s new Internet presence, allowing students, parents, and alumni to stay connected with UTPA. Increased interactivity is also a feature. Students can suggest improvements to the site’s functions and usability to the advisory group. Raman said they have received lots of feedback from students,

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HESTEC takes on new theme: Go Green! By Samantha Koch The Pan American

HESTEC. The HESTEC team, lead by Vice President of Business Affairs James Langabeer is working with all divisions Since 2001 the Hispanic Engineer- collaboratively to guarantee a campus ing Science and Technology program effort. has made sure its weeklong fair revolved “Community Engagement wanted around science, technology, engineering to continue with HESTEC’s focus of and math (known collectively as STEM). promoting higher education and STEM The goal has been to help future Valley careers, but also wanted to join the generations get involved in those areas, country’s sustainability efforts to lessen and the latest version promises more of the earth’s carbon footprint,” said Milly the same, with some trendy twists. Hernandez, special projects coordinator Last year HESTEC had an estimated for the Division of Community Engage50,000 people attend throughout the ment. week. The event will Executive Direcrun Sept. 27 to Oct. tor for Community Engagement 3, and will imple- Community and Economic Dement an environ- wanted to continue with velopment Jessica mental theme, aptly Salinas hopes that named GreenNova- HESTEC’s focus of promoting the entire univertion: Footprints to sity will become inthe Future, as stew- higher education and STEM volved. ardship of the envi- careers, but also wanted to join “The Division ronment has become of Community Encountry’s sustainability gagements wants a campus favorite the nationwide. efforts to lessen the earth’s to encourage all In his 2010 budUTPA students to get submitted to carbon footprint. volunteer and help Congress, President deliver a very critiBarack Obama has cal program to the allotted about $8 community,” Said Milly Hernandez million from BuSalinas. “The HESSpecial Projects Coordinator reau of Labor StaTEC program staff Division of Comm. Engagement tistics funding to thanks the campus develop a new series community for its of “Green-Collar” jobs to address the continual support and commitment.” need for qualified personnel in the rapHESTEC is bringing in corporations, idly evolving occupations and industries government officials, and educational connected with the environment. Some speakers who will relate their corporate of these include fields of renewable en- sustainability efforts. Confirmed speakergy, green building efficiency technol- ers include, Hilda Solis, Secretary of ogy and sustainable agriculture. Labor, Rear Admiral Albert Garcia, III, As a result, Community Engage- Civil Engineer Corps, Deputy Comment, the “outreach” arm at The Univer- mander, Naval Facilities Engineering sity of Texas-Pan American, decided to Command Deputy Chief of Civil Engimerge the promotion of STEM careers neers, Admiral Samuel Perez, Deputy with environmental issues for the latest

Daniel Flores/ The Pan American

A FRESH START - On Thursday, Sept. 3, the Class of 2013 was welcomed with the annual Freshman Convocation. Van Reidhead, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, takes time to sit with students during the luncheon, where students had the opportunity to network and ask questions.

‘Space’ exhibit promotes discovery By Samantha Koch The Pan American Ever wonder what it would be like to travel to the moon? Or what a rock from Mars, the Red Planet, would feel and look like? From Sept. 27 to Jan. 10, 2010 one can fathom these questions with the help of a new exhibit at the Visitors Center called “Space: A Journey To Our Future.” This space exhibit was created to awaken the aspiration for discovery and to spark imaginations of new generations, according to Evergreen Exhibitions, the creators of the space exhibit. The exhibit will be shipped from Sacramento, Calif., and arrive next week. It will be housed in the Visitors Center and the Student Services lobby near the el-

evators to the Executive Tower. Just like past exhibits, such as Spring 2007’s Retablos: The Art of Faith, and Fall 2008’s “A T. Rex Named Sue,” “Space” will be open to all UTPA members and surrounding communities. All are encouraged to visit. “Hosting exhibits like ‘Space’ provides a service to UTPA students, faculty, staff, and to students in the RGV who might not otherwise be able to see exhibits of this caliber,” said Associate Director of Special Programs Sally Mendiola. This 5,000-square-foot interactive exhibit will include the chance to touch rocks from the lunar surface and Mars, and allow visitors to discover space through computer stations. They will also be able to take a spin on a centrifuge, a machine that creates an artificial

gravity force by spinning and can hold three people. There will also be other stations featuring looks at life on Mars and hands-on activities for visitors to learn about space exploration. Admission to the exhibit will be free and guided tours are available by appointment. To request a tour visit www. utpa.edu and click on the Take the Journey exhibit icon. With a leasing fee of $80,000, the charge will be paid by a variety of sources such as the national sponsors, General Motors, Lockheed Martin and NASA with additional funds from UTPA, McDonald’s and GEAR UP. Last fall’s T. Rex exhibit, which had a

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See HESTEC || Page 7


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NEWS

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SUMMIT continued from Page 1 State Sen. Eddie Lucio and a representative from Congressman Ruben Hinojosa’s office. Herrera, who chairs the SGA public relations committee, said the Office of Student Development has sponsored supplies for the event and the Student Union has taken care of food. The PR committee has spearheaded the effort to put on the summit. Shaney Flores, SGA vice president, said last-minute planning of the

UNION aware of the public policy changes occurring in higher education,” Flores said. He said it’s a chance for students to ask about any questions they have or provide any comments or concerns to their leaders. “We’re also asking staff and faculty to get involved,” Flores said. “To get a holistic view all of us have to be involved in asking how legislators are shaping higher educational policy.” Flores said that the issues of the

Texas Grant, which was a hot button issue during the session, and state funding to the institution are likely to come up. State funding to most universities was increased at the conclusion of the session, which surprised many officials at the state’s higher educational institutions. “This is a wonderful opportunity for students to openly and actively engage their legislators,” Flores said. “Those interactions will always produce great and effective ideas.”

sity well over 18,000 students for the for undergraduates and $101.70 for fall semester. graduate students. Another point of pride is the nearly “We don’t get the reputation we $8.5 million in research expenditures deserve over here, so it’s really great last year, up from $5 million in 2005, that we have been recognized for our a 44 percent increase. hard work,” This is in tune with “It’s exciting to be placed not said Graduthe university goal of only among public universi- ate Senaachieving enhanced tor Rebekah research funding and ties, but overall.” Sepulveda of output. the Student The university is Senate. “It’s still inexpensive in Rebekah Sepulveda exciting to be comparison to most, SGA Graduate Representative placed not only another factor that among public helps to in such rankuniversities but ings. Tuition has for years been the overall.” lowest among schools in the UT SysThis year Forbes weighed stutem, an estimated $13,794 this fall. dent debt more heavily than for past However, rates will rise this semester lists. About 20 percent of the survey from $87.70 per semester hour to $90 looked at the four-year hit accrued

by students. On a national average, four-year debt for undergraduates amounts to $27,803, while at UTPA student it was just $10,500 in 20072008 and $12,190 in 2008-2009. About 91 percent of students here are on some form of financial aid, 66 percent qualified for federal grants, and 60 percent for state grants. Only 18 percent received loans. “We (UTPA) do tend to be a little lower than the average debt…it’s lower than the national average,” Executive Dir Student Financial Services Elaine Rivera said, adding that their efforts have helped keep that number low. “The support services we offer is a real plus as well, we don’t offer loans upfront to students, we try to process other forms of financial aid.”

event is progressing well and that he hopes students will take advantage of this opportunity to affect their university community. After about 7 p.m. the audience will have an opportunity to ask questions. Likely to come up are new state requirements for academic programs. At the conclusion of the legislative session on June 1 several new academic requirements were implemented. “It is imperative that students be

FORBES continued from Page 1 Sale added that UTPA’s increased retention rates and more stringent admissions requirements have contributed to its appearance in the ranking. In 2005 the university decided to have an SAT/ACT enrollment requirement and started the score at 15. UTPA is planning on increasing that score to 18 in 2011. Four-year graduation rates have also been favorable; in the early 2000s the number steadied at 50 percent but has risen to 72 percent, the highest retention rate in the state public school world. Though enrollment has not risen that much the past three years, the number continues to climb. Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services John Edwards said enrollment has increased slightly at 2 percent to 3 percent, which would put the univer-

continued from Page 1 The construction the campus community sees right now is not related to the expansion idea. Canopies are being set up as shade on the patios for students and faculty to enjoy during lunch or meetings. UNION OVERVIEW The union expansion will begin by the hiring of an architectural firm to conduct an expansion survey within the next couple of months. “Hopefully by October we will have a firm come in and study our student body,” Zambrano explained. “That will include what we do, where do we hang out specifically, enrollment and traffic patterns. They also study the square footage you have compared to how many students you have now.” After studies are conducted, the firm will then present a proposal with recommendations on what needs to be done, plus cost. Recommendations may include more eating area, more conference and meeting rooms for organizations and faculty, or even amenities such as a copy shop or rented lockers. The study will conclude as to how far the building may be expanded. The proposal will then viewed by the Student Union advisory board, and it could become a referendum and be proposed to students during town hall meetings individual focus groups. Pictures and scenarios will be presented as well as cost, which traditionally is a burden borne largely by tuition and/or student fees. “Hopefully by spring the referen-

“We have student organizations that do not hold their banquets on campus because they do not fit or it’s never available.”

Edna Zambrano

Student Union director dum will be ready to present to students,” the director stated. “After that, it’s completely up to the students. Something may get sacrificed; students might want different options. It’s going to be up to the students if they will be willing to pay for what they want.” The current Union fee is $30 each semester. Other universities such as the University of Texas-San Antonio and Texas Tech are paying between $90 and $120. The fee is expected to rise with the expansion but it will all be depending on what will get voted once students view the referendum. Until then the Union is expected to be payed for through bonds once the building is finished. The total cost of the expansion has not yet been configured but it is estimated at a few million. “The cost will depend on how much needs to be done and since our Union is not that old, we’re not expecting an outrageous number,” said Zambrano. Construction is not expected to begin for another two years.


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NEWS

NASA continue from Page 3 record-breaking number of 23,094 visitors in the first 30 days. Mendiola hopes “Space” will exceed these numbers. “Exhibits hosted by UTPA have been successful in bringing educational opportunities to students in the community,” said Mendiola. “We hope all stu-

dents in the RGV get a chance to visit this exhibit.” So far Space has been to the Aerospace Museum of California Sacramento and will be going to Portland Oregon’s Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) after visiting UTPA.

WEB SITE continued from Page 3 faculty and staff. Small glitches such as links not working properly have been reported to the Internet Services Department, however Raman noted that minor issues like those are easy to fix. According to Odom, the university’s new Web site is the first project to reflect UTPA today, and other developments are under way. “The Web site is one part of what we want to do in University Advancement,” said Odom, who returned to the university in 2008 after previous service as UTSA

associate vice president for advancement services. “We are creating a new Marketing and Creative Services division, and what we are going to do is have our own in-house advertising agency.” Odom added this department will consist of writers, designers, and media buyers to make sure all university’s publications and commercials are consistent with UTPA’s image. There are already billboards, ads in Texas Monthly, and other outreach efforts in place from the new division.

HESTEC continued from Page 3 Director, Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) South, Rear Admiral Mark D. Guadagnini, Chief of Naval Air Training. Along with the presentational speakers the Environmental Awareness Club in collaboration with Marianella Franklin, the Director of Sustainability Programs is going to transform Community Day into a “Litter Free” event. Also the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers, Kappa Sigma, and the Environmental Awareness Club are contributing assistance during HESTEC week. Other topics will include the Human Health, Global Environmental Change, UTPA’s new “Go Green” initiative, and information on the new Environmental Science Degree. “It’s very appropriate and timely that HESTEC has chosen its GreenNovation theme this year,” said Robert Edwards, chair of UTPA’s environmental science department. “This is certainly a topic that should concern us all and one which

we all need to do our part, not just for ourselves but for our future generations”. Roberts will be introducing some of the major groups making up the natural environment of the Lower Rio Grande Valley, including plants, birds, snakes and fishes. “I would hope that Environmental Science majors would have a desire to make the earth and its environment a better place for future generations and for the life-sustaining elements within it,” commented Roberts. Above all, HESTEC’s main focus has always been to educate participants about the benefits that higher education and STEM can provide, and to increase the local community’s knowledge of how the world is changing. This year the normal push in these areas will be joined by a week of education about sustainability initiatives to make Earth a better place for future generations to come. For more information on HESTEC,

call (956) 381-3361 or log on to the Web site at http://hestec.utpa.edu/. The latest HESTEC starts Sept. 27 with the usual series of daily events like Educators Day, Latinas Day and the Career Expo. The popular Community Day comes Oct 3 this year. The ninth annual event will showcase exhibits from partners like NASA, TERRI the Robot from State Farm, and the traveling STEM exhibit FutureLab Expo. TERRI the Robot is a fully interactive robot who is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration project and helps make science fun. TERRI can listen to questions asked and actually answer the question, tell jokes. FutureLab Expo is interactive exhibit that includes touching actual rocks from the lunar surface and the Red Planet, discovering space through computer stations and taking a spin on a centrifuge. A yearly feature is back again in the form of live entertainment, with a performance by Angel y Khriz, a reggaeton duo from Puerto Rico.

Chancellor Cigarroa honored by Harlingen leadership

Veronica Gonzalez / The Pan American

CELEBRATION - Carol Rausch, assistant to the president, talks with UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa on Sept. 3 at an event honoring him. The event was sponsored by the Harlingen Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and was held at the Rancho Viejo resort south of Harlingen. (Above right) Cigarroa presents his keynote speech to Chamber members, dignitaries from several UT schools, and elected leaders. (Lower right) Cigarroa is congratulated after receiving the Chamber’s 2009 Person of Honor Award.


Dates to Know: Greek Rush Sept. 10, noon North Quad Page 10

THE PAN AMERICAN

Cinesol Film Festival Sept. 11, 8:30 p.m. TSTC Theater, Harlingen September 10, 2009

UTPA brings to stage Steinbeck’s classic tale By Victor Ituarte The Pan American Last Thursday evening, a hallway inside the COAS building at The University of Texas-Pan American was infested with a group of about 30 wandering men and a handful of women, all speaking to themselves and each other in a way not heard of since the 1930s. Relax. Marty McFly is not to blame. It was the first night of auditions for the upcoming play “Of Mice and Men.” The play, written by American author John Steinbeck, tells the Depression-era tale of buddies George Milton and Lennie Small and their aspirations of owning their own land. Trouble occurs when the mentally disabled Small’s infatuation with touching soft things leads him to a young woman’s dress. He is accused of attempted rape so the pair flees from their job. Brian Warren, a children’s theater and creative drama specialist and newly minted assistant professor in the theater department, is helming the project. Although the cast has already been selected, he shared what he seeks

during auditions. Despite feeling pressured to do her “We look at them in combination of best to nab the only female role in “Of other people: sizes, heights, how they Mice and Men,” she said surprisingly react to each other…those things,” War- she wasn’t nervous. ren explained. “We look to see if they’ve “I think regardless of whether or not done some research. I get the part I think If they’ve looked We’re trying to be really it’s going to be an at what this play is amazing producabout and what kind true to the realism of the tion,” Brandon had of people these are. shared before the auIf they do that sort 1937 Depression Era that the dition. “The director of thing, they often and the stage managplay is set in. ... So in all the er and all the people do very well.” Danielle Branare going to be descriptions he’s true to life, that don, an 18-year-old involved are going UTPA psychology because he worked on a ranch to do an amazing job major from Harlinand I’m not going to gen, auditioned for when he was younger, and had be bitter. I’m going the only female role. to see the play.” “I don’t want to all these details we wanted to Auditioning for say that I did any one of the 10 availbetter because I’m try to capture on stage. able male roles was pretty sure they all theater graduate stutried just as hard, but dent John Riggs. I think they all saw Brian Warren “I’d consider any my passion for it,” of the characters. It’s Director said the sophomore. a great play. It’s a “They know I was there for a purpose huge classic. I’d be happy to get any role and I understand the character.” to participate in it,” the 34-year-old said.

“It would just be a joy to do it and I hope that enjoyment would spread to the stage in my performance.” Riggs said he is not dreading the casting decision because he enjoys auditioning. “During auditioning, you pretty much have free rein on what you do,” he explained. “As opposed to after you get cast, then there’s more director involvement.” The selected cast has already met to read through the script. As the director and actors grow into their roles throughout future rehearsals, the costumes and set design will also begin to take shape. “We’re trying to be really true to the realism of the 1937 Depression Era that the play is set in,” Warren said. “Steinbeck wrote this play with the intent of turning it into a novel, which he eventually did. So in all of his descriptions he’s true to life, because he worked on a ranch when he was younger, and had all these details we want to try to capture on stage.” Look for the second part of the “Of Mice and Men” series where we will take you backstage with a peek at costumes and set designs.

OF MICE AND MEN CAST LIST George - RICK ROSALES Lennie - JORGE CHAPA Curley’s wife - MAEGAN DE LA ROSA Curley - LUIS MORENO Slim - NOEL REYNA Whit - BRANDON GARCIA Carlson - DANIEL LOPEZ Candy - GUS KENNEDY Boss - ROMEO CANTU Crooks - TBA

Follow panamericanonline. com as we continue coverage of the production.

BREAK A LEG- Luis Moreno (left) and Danielle Brandon team up during auditions. The role of Curly went to Moreno.

Daniel Flores /The Pan American can n MAKING THE CUT - Director Brian Warren and stage manager Dulce Navar Navarr oversee auditions, last week.

LINE PLEASE - Student Marcos Martinez (left) goes over lines with potential cast member Jorge Chapa at the “Of Mice and Men” auditions.


September 10, 2009

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Kappa Sigma rush to break Greek stereotype By Andrielle Figueroa The Pan American The chants of young men and women have been heard echoing through the North Quad this week, and some entering freshman may wonder why. Sept. 8 kicked off the beginning of Greek Rush where the groups sign up fresh meat for this academic year. By looking at movies like “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” “Revenge of the Nerds,” and “Old School,” people have gathered their own ideas of what a fraternity or sorority should look like and be. Partying, sex and hazing are the socalled essentials to Greek life, according to popular culture productions. The vice president of Kappa Sigma fraternity would like to change this misconception. Fabian Trevino, 21, has been in Kappa Sigma since spring 2008. The McAllen native believes that movies have tainted the idea of Greeks, so he explained what new rushees can look forward to on the Kappa Sig agenda. “We offer many things like ‘Leadership in the Classroom,” intramural sports, and we are a social group,” Trevino stated. “That [stereotypical] idea is demolished by what we do.” ‘Leadership in the Classroom’ is the term used by the older brothers for their pushing of participation and studying in the rushees classes. Involvement and attendance are usually large parts of final grades, Trevino stated there is no room for slacking off in the Kappa Sigma brotherhood.

Hector J. Garcia/The Pan American RUSHING THE STANDS - The Kappa Sigma clan shows spirit on Sept. 2 at the volleyball game against University of Texas at Brownsville. Trevino explained that Kappa Sigma bases itself on four pillars, which include fellowship, leadership, scholarship and service. Kappa Sigma is one of seven fraternities on campus, along with six sororities. Kappa Sigma has been around nationally since 1869, but originally

began at the University of Texas Pan American in 1967. Greek Rush has begun and as in the movies one might assume hazing is involved. Trevino explains that is another thing of the past. Instead of harassing would-be members, the group uses community and campus involvement

as its way of welcoming new people. “If you take a look at community hours, actually any Greek house on campus, we are very involved.” Trevino added, “We feel that by being involved builds better men and strong character.” Kappa Sigma’s are involved with

local food banks, painting homes in McAllen and the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Kappa Sig joins hands with ADA in biking to the coast where the frat jumps on bikes and ride from UTPA to Corpus Christi to raise awareness and funds for the cause. Still, Greek life may not be for everyone, and 24-year-old psychology major Sylvia Morales explains how she feels about Greeks. “A social network is always a good idea, however, I believe frats/sororities can encourage negative behavior, like binge drinking or risky sexual behavior,” Morales explained. “When they are formed to help the community, rather than damage their livers, I believe they can make a positive impact.” One new rushee for Kappa Sigma is Justin Quintanilla, an 18-year-old kinesiology and sports marketing major. He explained why he decided to join the group. “I just wanted to find people I could hang out with, everyone has been very welcoming,” Quintanilla said. Originally from Corpus Christi, the 18-year-old was ready for the fraternity and what he would take from the experience. “Partying is definitely not what they are all about; it’s about preparing people for life after college.” Students who would like to get involved can attend Greek Rush events during the next two weeks. To learn more about the fraternities visit www. utpa.edu or visit www.panamericanonline.com to check out exclusive videos from Greek Rush week.

ENTERTAINMENT AT A GLANCE

Greek Rush North Quad, Noon-1 p.m. Pool Party BBQ WRSC Pool, 5-8 p.m.

Sundaes on Mondays Student Union, Noon-1 p.m. Album Release Muse - The Resistance

TV Show Premiere House - FOX, 7 p.m.

Album Releases Megadeath - Endgame Uncle Cracker - Happy Hour

Eric “Smooth-E” Schwartz

SU Theater, 7-9:30 p.m.

TV Show Premieres Bones - FOX, 7 p.m. Fringe - FOX 8 p.m.

Poker Tournament Student Union, 4-7 p.m.

Album Release Madonna - Iconography

TV Show Premiere Family Guy FOX 8 p.m.

August Burns Red w/ Acacia Strain The Incubator, 6 p.m.

Guys Night: Night Football

Student Union, 6-10 p.m.

Album Releases Paramore - Brand New Eyes Mariah Carey - Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel

Air Hockey Tournament

Student Union, 3:30-5 p.m. Showbread The Incubator, 8 p.m.

Slick-Track Go Karts Chapel Lawn, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Guitar Hero World Tournament SU, 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Cinesol Film Festival TSTC Theater, 8:30 p.m. 1902 N. Loop 499 Harlingen, TX

Confide w/ Agraceful The Incubator, 6 p.m.

Faculty Recital FC-103, 3 p.m.

Guest Rectal Mark Carlson

Saul Williams Cine El Rey, 8 p.m.

Fine Arts Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.

TV Show Premiere Dollhouse - FOX, 8 p.m.


Page 12

ARTS AND LIFE

September 10, 2009

Futuristic film breaks Latino boundaries By Nadia Tamez-Robledo The Pan American Before explaining the synopsis of the latest movie he has written, McAllen native and now Los Angeles resident Jose “JoJo” Henrickson gave a disclaimer: big high-budget Hollywood flicks can be summed up in one sentence, but indie films take a little more than just 10 words at the bottom of a movie poster to describe. “I find it difficult to express what I’m trying to do in film in one line,” the 42-year-old said. “It’s a film that Hollywood would never make, that they could never make, mainly because there’s all Latinos in the cast and it’s an all-Latino story. I have the firm belief based on my own experience that the reason you don’t have a lot of good films that come out of Hollywood that are Latino-based is because you have non-Latinos with the money, and they’re the ones calling the shots.” The futuristic film “GB: 2525” takes place in a Latino neighborhood in Los Angeles where several gangs have managed to live peacefully by a truce. When the assassination of the 54th Street gang leader threatens to usher in an all-out war, three members set out to find the

murderer and navigate a labyrinth of rival gang territory under a hail of laser gun fire before stumbling upon a conspiracy that goes beyond the hazy boundaries of their barrio. “To me the film stands alone,” Henrickson said. “It’s a futuristic Latino movie, but it’s what I like to say is a very thought-provoking time bomb because it has a lot of social commentary between the lines.” Henrickson’s most recently produced film is the 2007 Spanish-language “La Ladrón que Roba a Ladrón,” which was distributed by Lions Gate. If his body of work as a writer and director showcases anything, it is a move away from typecasting by portraying Latinos in films more realistically. “You’re hearing me talk right now and I’m not like, ‘Well, ese. Que no, homes.’ But that’s the perception of the people in Hollywood who are not Latino but who have the money, and whoever has the money has the final say,” Henrickson said. “That comes out of personal experience, especially with ‘Ladrón.’ That was a huge, eye-opening moment for me. When you do indie films, you get to control that.” The storyline of “GB: 2525” weaves in themes of racism and exploitation

throughout, and the writer said the strong focus on Latino characters got a reaction from audiences in Los Angeles early on. “With ‘GB,’ in the early rough cuts, what I noticed when we showed it to non-Latinos, they shut down right off the bat, wouldn’t even give it a chance to get beyond the visual,” he said, adding that even friends of his tuned out in reaction to the setting and makeup of the cast. “They pop in ‘GB: 2525’ and they see gang members and cholos and immediately they think, ‘That’s not my life.’” Henrickson made the decision to go back to the footage and digitally drain the brown color from the movie. The film now contains mostly shades of grey and blue. “I drained the brown from the color for two reasons. One, so that nonLatinos can accept it more. It’s not so blatantly brown. Two, it gives it an air of sci-fi,” he said. “I actually like the way [director of photography Kieron Estrada] shot it, period. I wouldn’t have changed to color at all. I laugh at that because I feel like ‘Wow, I had to drain the brown.’ And now you have nonLatinos reacting positively to the movie right off the bat.” Henrickson is well aware that, while

trying to break down stereotypes of Latinos in film, he has in fact written a movie utilizes those typecasts. He himself plays the role of Spider, a smacktalking tech junkie. “You have to play the game, you have to play the Hollywood system,” he said. “If those are the films that are making money, then my goal and my advice to anyone else is to give them what they’re used to, just make it creative, and make it intelligent. You have to be somewhat subversive.” MAKING A DIFFERENCE Though Henrickson would like to think of himself as an artist, the former stand-up comedian said that writing an entertaining film and giving exposure to Latino actors were priorities before consciously expressing his social criticisms. “My primary focus is to help my Latino friends showcase our talent and get us out there, so it’s very presumptuous of me to say, ‘Oh, this is what I was going for,’” he said. “For me it’s always 20/20 hindsight. It’s very visceral, it’s about a gut feeling.” Though he has lived and worked in Los Angeles for over 20 years, Henrickson grew up in McAllen and got his start in making short movies in broad-

casting class at McAllen High School. After a stint at TSTC in Harlingen, he moved to Austin and worked at McDonald’s until he saved up enough money to move to the West Coast with a friend. “As a writer/filmmaker, I learned to write what I know, and what I know is people of the Latino culture,” he said. “You’ll hear that mantra constantly in Hollywood.” Henrickson, along with brothers Kieron Estrada, director of photography, and John Estrada, producer, put five years and $50,000 of their own money into the making of the film. The next challenge for the trio is getting “GB: 2525” the attention of a distribution company, but Henrickson is sure that the movie would not have been the same had it been produced by a large studio from the beginning. “If the script had been submitted to a Hollywood executive, they would have asked for a name. ‘Can we get Flavor Flav? Can we get your next Eminem?’” he said. “My goal to push forward Latino talent would be pushed to the wayside because, frankly, there is no big Latino talent. Jimmy Smits and Edward James Olmos are too old to play any parts in this film. It’s too big.”

First-time local director to test-screen feature film By Isaac Garcia The Pan American Give any Hollywood director a budget of $500 and one would have to expect absolutely nothing. But give firsttime director Roberto Collado Anzaldua the same budget and he is sure to produce a full-length feature film. Anzaldua, 24, a senior and theatre/ film major who previously worked on the local film “The Red Queen,” is set to test-screen his debut feature, “11 Years of Nightmares and a Wasted Lifetime,” at the Student Union Theater, Saturday at 6 p. m. The film follows the life of a young girl who goes “psychologically deaf,” making the unconscious decision to close herself off from sound after she hears her mother being shot to death in the room next door. Trying to move past her emotional trauma, she embarks on a journey in an attempt to regain her hearing through the aid of music. One interesting aspect of the film is that the lead actress doesn’t have any lines. “The fact that the main character is ‘psychologically deaf’ is a social commentary and a metaphor about women’s roles in society,” said the Reynosa native. “We also tackle the influence of money, drugs and obesity, but at the same time we are very subtle about these

themes. They aren’t that obvious and it takes some analysis to see the themes.” Another aspect of the film is that the main cast speaks entirely in English while the extras speak Spanish. The group is a mix of cultures. “We didn’t want to be obvious about the location of the film nor did we cast specific people for each role,” Anzaldua said. “We even cast a French girl and never during the writing process did we say, ‘Let’s cast a French girl for this part.’ The rest of the cast is 50/50 and it’s important to stay multi cultural in an evolving place like the Valley.” Helping Anzaldua in his cinematic endeavor is 22-year-old senior and theatre/ film major Dulce Navar, who served as production manager for the film. “We couldn’t have been more prepared going into the production of the film, even though the crew was small,” Navar said. “Pre-production started in 2008 and post production wrapped the first week of September in 2009.” Although the budget for his film was tiny and the cast worked for free, Anzaldua is happy with the outcome; he didn’t experience any problems during production thanks to the efforts of his crew. “One of the scenes called for police cars and ambulances and Dulce was able to get them free of charge,” he reported.

“We were also able to make a rain machine for a scene that called for rain.” Ultimately Anzaldua and Navar produced this feature so that the community could see that feature films do not need a big budget to be able to tell a good story. “We want people to see it and to leave

thinking that it doesn’t take millions of dollars to make a good feature,” Anzaldua said. “It’s also a thank-you for all the people that helped us along the way.” After the screening Anzaldua and Navar will host a public forum where they will encourage the audience to share

opinions of the film. They also plan on submitting the feature to film festivals. “Right now we are looking into entering the film at Sundance and a film festival in France - basically we’re going to show the film to as many people as possible,” Navar said.

Roberto Anzaldua CAN YOU HEAR IT? - Casandra Dean, 20, plays the lead role of “psychologically deaf” Veronica who is trying to regain her hearing after a traumatic childhood experience.


September 10, 2009

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Dates to Know:

Volleyball

McNeese State Invitational Sept. 11-Sept. 12 Lake Charles, LA Page 14

Cross Country

Texas A&M Invitational Sept. 12 College Station September 10, 2009

SPORTS

Lady Broncs drop three straight at home; ‘Battle of the Orange’ goes to UTB By Kevin Stich The Pan American

volleyball and we just didn’t respond like we should have,” she said. “We’re tired, we played all last weekend, we had a seven-hour trip and then we came and played back-to-back matches.”

Wednesday night the Lady Broncs found themselves on the wrong end of volleyball fate once again as the team suffered a 3-0 defeat (25-15, 28-26, RECAPPING THE ACTION 25-14) to Cal-State Bakersfield (3-4), Coming off a loss in the home opener dropping their fifth straight home game. to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (4-4) the Junior Rita Gonzalez had nine assists to night before, despite a 49-kill perforaccompany Marci Logan’s nine kills, mance, this only added to the disappointfor a team total of 24. But it did little to ment. The ladies looked good early playmatch the Roadrunner scoring, as they ing with energy and handing the Lady accumulated 41 kills of their own. Islanders a 25-15 loss. It has been a rough beginning for the The teams would split the next two team, now 1-6. The anti-climactic dis- games (22-25, 25-20), and in the final appointment was apgame, after tying parent Sept. 2 when the game 20-20, the Lady Broncs I wasn’t doing my job. UTPA lost five faced cross-valley the next seven Everyone needs to go in and do of rival University of points to force a Texas-Brownsville their job, and I wasn’t doing it. fifth game. The fi(6-1), which resulted nal game would be in a 3-0 loss. The a one-sided affair UTPA Field House as the girls dropped had teemed early on Marci Logan the match 15-7. as The University of Outside Hitter Against the Texas-Pan American Scorpions, the Lady volleyball team faced a showdown with Broncs had trouble to say the least. UTB the Lady Scorpions in a neighborhood had nine blocks to UTPA’s one, and 33 bout touted as the “Battle of the Orange.” kills to the Lady Broncs’ lackluster 22. UTPA and UTB fans alike had filled The Scorpions also managed six service the stands, banners flying with the hopes aces in their victory. that their team would take home bragIf the statistics weren’t evident of the ging rights. But the Lady Broncs could Lady Broncs frustration, veteran outside not muster the firepower to thwart the hitter Marci Logan (two kills), sat out Lady Scorpion defense. Head coach An- most of the second game, blaming poor gela Hubbard said that the team was suf- execution as the culprit. fering from fatigue. “I wasn’t doing my job. Everyone “UTB is a great team, they play great needs to go in and do their job, and I

wasn’t doing it,” she said. But it wasn’t just Logan who was off her game, as the whole team looked inconsistent. The outside hitter parlayed some ideas as to how the team could sustain momentum. “We didn’t play our game. If we had

played like we played them last time, then we would’ve beat them,” Logan said after the UTB match. “It’s a team effort. If the front row feels like the back row is going to take care of them when they go up to hit, they’re going to cover them. Then we gain momentum in the

front row. If the back row gets a dig and we make a good set and get a kill, then the back row gets more confident. And we just didn’t have that.” The Lady Broncs will go on the road to face Louisiana-Lafayette Friday. They will return home Oct. 8 to face North Dakota.

Hector J. Garcia/The Pan American

PULL TOGETHER - Lady Broncs try to hold steady after suffering three home losses, including one to rival UTB. They return home to redeem themselves Oct. 8 against North Dakota.


September 10, 2009

SPORTS

Page 15

Broncs to keep stride; men second, women fourth in GW poll By Alvaro Balderas The Pan American As the 2009 University of Texas PanAmerican men’s cross country season nears, a clear set of goals has been laid out. And as is true with every commencing season, there is a high level of optimism among the Broncs, giving them hope of achieving those goals. Defending their Great West Conference Championship, placing high at regionals, and trying to qualify to the NCAA Championships are the objectives that the second (men) and fourth (women) ranked Broncs will have to meet this season, given their talent and expectations. And it won’t be easy duplicating last year’s great performance, perhaps the school’s best team showing. The Broncs will lack their top two runners from last season in J.J. Hernandez (San Juan/ PSJA North) and Luis Nava (La Joya/ La Joya HS) who both graduated. Nava and Hernandez each attained two top five finishes last season at the New Balance Islander Splash, HBU/Puma Cross Country Invitational and the Great West Conference Championships, maintaining stability for the Broncs. Their prowess helped the team win the Great West Conference Championship and the pair got into program record books by finishing sixth place at regionals – the second best finishes in school history. Although Bronc head coach Dave Hartman knows he will be hard-pressed to replace his top dogs, he believes there is enough talent on the team to compen-

sate for the key losses. ing in this year. It‘s going to take a lot “It’s tough losing those guys. We of effort from the team to replace them,” were kind of looking at this year for us said Gonzalez, whose work in the 800 as being decent but some of our new ad- last year also got him a spot in program ditions are looking pretty good. There’s history. “Even with key guys gone our definitely a sense of excitement on the goal is to again win conference and do men’s side for this season,” said first- well in regionals. It’s very difficult but year coach Hartman, who was last year’s not impossible.” track and field coach. “I’m trying to raise Newcomer Edcouch native Frank expectations here so I’m excited to get it Garcia and sophomore Rolando Vela, a going already.” third North ex, are two up-and-comers Senior Wally Gonzalez and graduate who will also try and assume responsistudent Omar Doria will step into Her- bility for the Bronc squad. nandez and Nava’s places, becoming the team’s pillars this campaign. WOMEN “I think we’re going to do very well With only one athlete returning from and surprise a lot of the 2008 group, it’s people,” Doria said. to say the womWe lost talent and experience safe “We have the same en will be in rebuildcapabilities of be- coming in this year. It’s going ing mode this season. ing as strong as last “It’s going to be year or even better. to take a lot of effort from the interesting this year I’m going to try and for the women,” motivate the guys team to replace them. Even Hartman admitted. and be as much of a “We’re going to take leader as I can, but I with key guys gone our goal some licks but that’s think all of us compart of it. I think is to again win conference and just bined will help each they’re going to build other better than do well in regionals. It’s very momentum as the one person can.” season progresses. Gonzalez, the difficult but not impossible. There’s a lot of midteam captain and distance girls that like Doria a grad have great strength of Edinburg North from track. Some of High School, be- Wally Gonzalez them will surprise lieves the Broncs Men’s cross-country team capt. themselves by the will be in good end of the year and enough shape, considering the losses, to turn into cross country runners.” at least duplicate last year’s accomplishA few bumps on the road are the first ments. steps on the way to achieving their goals, “We lost talent and experience com- Hartman believes. Promising freshmen

Cinthia Adame (San Benito) and Judith Chumba (Eldoret, Kenya) will try and smooth out that ride this year as newcomers. “These girls are going to continue to get better and better,” the coach predicted. “In a couple of years I want the women’s team in a position to qualify for the national championships.”

The Broncs will run in four meets before competing in the big races at the conference championship in the Bronx on Halloween and a week later in the South Central Regional Championship in Waco. The season starts for both the men and the women this Saturday at College Station as they compete in the Texas A&M Invitational.

Men’s Cross Country Roster Colton Bosler Omar Doria Frank Garcia Wally Gonzalez Andrew Lopez Gilroy Martinez Jr. M. Angel Ramirez Vidal Ruiz, Jr. Rolando Vela

FR GS FR SR SO SR JR SR SO

Pharr, TX Edinburg, TX Edcouch, TX Edinburg, TX McAllen, TX McAllen, TX McAllen, TX La Joya, TX Edinburg, TX

Women’s Cross Country Roster Cinthia Adame Judith Chumba Mekka Edwards White Diana Galloso Hilda Galloso Shayna Parker Daphne Payton Michelle Zamora

FR FR JR JR FR SO FR FR

San Benito, TX Eldoret, Kenya West Hills, CA Edinburg, TX Edinburg, TX Inglewood, CA Giddings, TX San Antonio, TX


Page 16

September 10, 2009

SPORTS

SportsCommentary

Little League World Series; Sandlot hopefuls By Sara Hernandez The Pan American

By Sara Hernandez The Pan American For many 12-year-old boys, sports mean everything, whether it be playing at recess, being part of their school team, or supporting their team of choice on TV. But the Guadalupe Trevino Kelly Little League Baseball team from Reynosa took all that to the next level. Boys such as 13-year-old Marcelo Martinez became national idols for the Mexican community when they played at the famous Little League Baseball World Series last month, earning third place after defeating Texas neighbor San Antonio 5-4 in the consolation game. Martinez, who started playing baseball eight years ago, said that the most exciting part of attending the championship at Williamsport, Penn., was meeting new people from all across the globe, and getting to measure his playing level on the field with other teams. “The thing I liked the most was having the experience of hanging out with people from other places of the world, from China, Japan, the United States,” he said. “The best part were the games because there was demonstrated how good we were compared to other teams.” But the ninth-grader from Instituto Tamaulipas didn’t take it easy. In his first game as pitcher against China-Taipei, the Asia/Pacific team, he allowed no hits or runs and struck out 12 batters. When Reynosa faced that same team in a later contest, Martinez fanned eight opponents and allowed only four hits,

FIELD OF DREAMS - The Little League team from Reynosa, Mexico, celebrates at its homecoming from the Little League Baseball World Series. The team placed third at the championship.

Sara Hernandez/The Pan American

though the Mexicans lost. in Mexico, but I didn’t expect this much “As a pitcher, the game depends on at the international level, so I feel very you, whatever you do or stop doing is proud of what these boys were able to going to show in the result, and it’s very do and their performance and effort in exciting,” he said, in Spanish. Williamsport.” Altogether, Martinez pitched 8 2/3 The tournament was comprised of innings, struck out 20 batters, and al- two pools, the United States and the lowed only four runs. International, both made up by eight reIn order to protect young pitching gions. The winner of each pool earned arms, the Little the United States or League has reguInternational Chamlations allowing I expected them to do well pionship, and played pitchers in his diWorld Series at the local level, maybe in the vision a maximum Championship game of 85 throws per Mexico, but I didn’t expect this in order to define the game. Moreover, a ultimate titleholder. pitcher who throws much at the international level, The eventual winner 61 or more times of the whole tourney must rest three cal- so I feel very proud of what was the team from endar days and a Chula Vista Calif., game; two calendar these boys were able to do and representing the days and a game West. their performance and effort in The for 41 to 60 throws; Reynosa one calendar day Williamsport. team went undefeatfor 21 to 40 throws; ed in the first round, with no mandatory beating Canada 2-1, rest if pitching less dominating the GerAgustin Montoya than 20 balls. man team representThe division Reynosa manager ing Europe 13-0, and includes boys 11 winning a tight one and 12, or players who turned 13 after against the Asia-Pacific team 3-2. March of the current year. In the international semifinals, they Reynosa Manager Agustin Montoya defeated Japan 6-0, but were challenged said he was very proud of the accom- by the Asian team they had already deplishment of a group who became “his feated in the International Championkids for 14 days.” ship game, losing 9-4. “I’m very happy for putting the name “That’s the way sports are – someof our league, our city, and our country times you win and other times you lose – so high,” he said, in Spanish. “I expected but you must always fight until the end,” them to do well at the local level, maybe Montoya said.

And they did. Los Peloteritos, as they are known as in Mexico (it means “little ballers” in Spanish) came back and defeated the United States Southwest team from San Antonio 5-4 with a two-run home run by Raymundo Berrones in the sixth and last inning. The players have many favorite memories of their time in the global youth sports spotlight. “Going to Williamsport was my dream, and we did it,” said 13-year-old pitcher Raul Rojas, who closed the final inning of the first game against the Asians, preventing the opponent from equaling the score. “Now it’s a new step.” However, Montoya said that the coaching staff wants to have a different type of continuity with these players in the next age division they’ll move to, which includes athletes 13 and 14 years old. The staff wants to keep the group together to try to look for a better future as baseball players for those who have the talent to strive for that. No matter what the future holds, Reynosa can bask in the glow of a remarkable season. It was perhaps personified by the focused look on the face of Martinez while he pitched in Williamsport; his demeanor was interrupted by sporadic smiles when the game went well, and despite his mature appearance on the field, this rather shy youngster’s eyes are now filled with pride, happiness, and still some disbelief about what happened some days ago. “It feels good and I’m proud because we finished third in the entire world,” he concluded.

There’s a point in every player’s life when they realize it’s too late. As they follow the athletic discipline religiously, there’s always the hope that they will be able to make it to the big time. But when they see people their age succeeding in the professional world and eventually start cheering for athletes younger than them, they come to the conclusion that it is, in fact, too late. Players become fans when their field days are over. But watching the boys from Reynosa succeed in the Little League World Series brings some of the locals a feeling that it may not be too late for some of them. These kids are actually living the dream many grown-ups never got to experience. And it feels good, especially because one can see a different kind of satisfaction in their faces than one is used to seeing when watching professionals do well on a competition. They were having a blast. Even between competing teams, one could tell that there was some kind of bond among players, who comforted their rivals even when defeating them. Sure, there were some tears but they were surpassed by smiles of fulfillment, just for being there. The kids didn’t seem to have any goal besides enjoying the moment, which many of us could learn from. Back at home, the boys gladly posed for pictures and gave autographs to people who approached them, but an environment of childhood could still be sensed in their gathering to appear in a local TV broadcast. One could see them joking around praising what took them there in the first place --the team. There was also the feeling that the best is yet to come for these talented group of young players who can consider this achievement as the first step towards a greater goal. Still, the fact that the Mexican players were able to do well in this international tournament doesn’t mean they will become professionals and will end up as the stars of some big-time Major League team. Hopefully they will at least get a chance. If given the opportunity, it would be nice to hear about a couple of them in some years as they follow the steps of the Florida Marlins’ Jorge Cantu, who is native from Reynosa, and Cardinal pitcher Jaime Garcia, from Mission. Hopefully, these boys will continue playing and having fun with baseball, and although certainly some of them might realize that “it’s too late” at a point, they all know today that it’s never too early…at least for making their dream come true. Come what might, they will hold the memory of that summer when the little were great and the great wore green.


September 10, 2009