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AUGUST 24, 2015 VOLUME 105 ISSUE 7

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City council sends fluoride debate to ballot box in November By Anna Herod ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR @annaleemurphy

Residents of San Marcos will vote on two propositions Nov. 3 regarding the fluoridation of municipal water after the council voted 5-1 to send the propositions to the ballot box. The council vote on the propositions came after a court battle regarding the validity of an anti-fluoride petition submitted by the Communities for Thriving Water Fluoride-Free San Marcos. City attorney Michael Cosentino asked the court to declare the petition invalid of its 1,634 signatures, according to court documents of a lawsuit filed June 17. Cosentino argued for the nullification of the antifluoride petition under the city’s home-rule city charter. According to the charter adopted in 1967, an amendment petition must be accompanied by “an oath or affirmation” that each signature belongs to the person whose name it is signed under. The city’s refusal to validate the petition backfired after 22nd State District Judge Bruce Boyer ruled on Aug. 14 that San Marcos officials were wrong in their refusal to ratify an organization’s petition to prohibit artificial fluoridation of the municipal water supply. Several anti-fluoride citizens coined the catchphrase, “justice delayed is justice denied,” before the Aug. 18 city council meeting after the court ruling. “I have signed thousands of petitions in my life and never had to sign a second petition confirming my signature was legitimate,” said Samuel Montoya, San Marcos resident, speaking in favor of the antifluoride petition at the Aug. 18 council meeting. “Shame on the city council for using this loophole to take power away from the voters.” Under the Texas Local Government Code, the amendment is given a spot on the ballot if at least 60 percent of the petition’s signatures were from registered San Marcos voters. Boyer ruled in favor of the Communities For Thriving Water Fluoride-Free San Marcos on three of four of the counts the city brought against the anti-fluoride coalition in a “taxpayer funded lawsuit,” Montoya said. Proposition 1 will allow for voters to decide at the polls whether they are in favor of adding fluoride to the municipal water supply. The second proposition clarifies the home-rule city charter requiring a verification petition to validate a citizen’s petition. Kathleen O’Connell, coordinator for the Communities for Thriving Water FluorideFree San Marcos, said in a press release that the organization is filing a writ of mandamus to the Texas Supreme Court in fight to secure Hays County residents their constitutional rights. “We have a duty to the petitioners and the people of San Marcos to actually fulfill on the language that will end fluoridation here,” O’Connell said in the press release. City officials had no comment on the issue due to pending litigation.


Becky Hammon, assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs, addresses the crowd during her keynote speech Aug. 22 at New Student Convocation at Strahan Coliseum.


HAMMON page 7


The Woods apartment complex denied certificate of occupancy, delaying move-in date for students By Alexa Tavarez, Anna Herod UNIVERSITY STAR STAFF

Several students were forced to prolong moving into The Woods of San Marcos apartment complex after the city denied their certificate of occupancy Aug. 14. The Woods was denied their certificate of occupancy due to “unforeseen issues in the outer areas of the property,” according to complex’s website. Management was notified the day before the planned move-in date, leaving many students without an apartment, according to The Woods’ website. Several concer ned citizens and activists were pleased the city denied the certificate to ensure the complex is safe for those living in the complex and in adjacent neighborhoods, such as the Blanco Gardens homes. Many residents believe the incomplete drainage system in The Woods complex was responsible for additional flooding in the Blanco Gardens neighborhood during

the Memorial Day weekend floods. Melissa Derrick, concerned citizen and Place 6 city council candidate. has persistently voiced her hesitation toward the project since the development worked its way up to the city council agenda back in 2012. She believes a proper drainage system is the “highest priority” regarding the Cape’s Camp development. “We don’t ever want to put our students into harm’s way just to get them moved in on the date the apartment complex promised them,” Derrick said. “The apartment complex, I believe, knew that they weren’t ready.” According to The Woods’ website, management was “confident” the complex was ready for move-in despite lacking some of the amenities. Management declined to make any comments in addition to the updates on their website. “It’s unfortunate that so many students are now homeless and an entire neighbor-

hood has been devastated,” said Lisa Marie Coppoletta, San Marcos resident and concerned citizen. “Sixty years of personal memories were flooded out because of irresponsible members on the (council).” Coppoletta said although many students are currently without a home, she was pleased to see people speak out against the Cape’s Camp project when it was originally brought forth to councilmembers. “All the hotels in town are full with people from Blanco Gardens,” Coppoletta said. “Now you have students from Cape’s Camp and the apartments by N. LBJ, who are looking for hotels.” Coppoletta’s comment was a tip of the hat to those students who signed a lease with Eight17 Lofts off N. LBJ Drive. Eight17’s completion date has changed four times since February of last year due to permit complications. The apartment’s management company, Innovative Stu-

dent Housing, stopped sending compensation checks on Dec. 12, 2014 despite promises made in leasing contract addendums signed in Sept. 2014. Students were promised a delayed move-in date in late spring of last year, yet Eight17 Lofts still stands unoccupied and unfinished. Management at The Woods will compensate students $125 per day for the inconvenience the delayed move-in day has caused students, according to The Woods’ website. In addition, management is prorating the rent for the days students have not been able to move in, according to The Woods’ website. “You’ve got students and families all homeless because of the [council’s] lust for the development,” Coppoletta said. The council voted 5-2 in favor of the Cape’s Camp development back in January 2013, Mayor Daniel Guerrero and council members

Kim Porterfield, Place 1, Wayne Becak, Place 4, Ryan Thomason, Place 5, and Shane Scott, Place 6, voted to approve the rezoning. Council members Jude Prather, Place 2, and John Thomaides, Place 3, voted against the apartments. The council is currently working on a study to determine whether the incomplete drainage system was the cause of additional flooding to the Blanco Garden homes and adjacent neighborhoods. “What I think every member of the neighborhood wants to know is did this development exacerbate a flood, did it make the water higher, did it make it go backwards?” said Councilman John Thomaides, Place 3, in a June 16 council meeting. “Did it make it go into places it had never gone before?” Officials at the complex have referred all questions to their website. Updates will be posted on the website as they are made available, according to an employee at the complex.


Q&A with Melissa Derrick, Place 6 city council candidate By Alexa Tavarez NEWS EDITOR @lexicanaa San Marcos City Council elections are quickly approaching. The University Star sat down with Place 6 candidate, Melissa Derrick to discuss her campaign.

Born: August 9, 1967, Morgantown, West Virginia Occupation: Administrative assistant for the Center of International Studies at Texas State University, Co-

owner of San Marcos Computers Education: B.A. in Journalism from then-called Southwest Texas University Alexa Tavarez: Where do you call home and why? Melissa Derrick: San Marcos, because I’ve been here for the better part of the past 26 years. I just love the city. I graduated from Texas State and I never wanted to


Melissa Derrick, candidate for City Council Place 6, standing outside of Tantra Coffee House Aug. 23 in San Marcos

leave and I wanted to raise my children here. AT: Why did you decide to run for public office? MD: I’ve lived here long enough to have participated in city government as a citizen during Citizen Comment and I’ve paid very careful attention to how the city is growing and a lot of the things that we as (San Martians) value are the same things that the students do— the river, of course, being primarily what draws people here. It’s a fun and exciting town, and I’m seeing a lot of decisions being made to the detriment of the river and to the established neighborhoods that actually make this more than just a college town but a staple, thriving community. AT: What issue is at the heart of your campaign? MD: Growth… the growth of the city. We’ve been named, for several years running now, the fastest growing mid-sized city in Texas. With growth you find a lot of challenges, and San Marcos is not really used to having as much growth as it has been experiencing. We just need made a new master plan, which is the constitution of the city where we would

like to see development, and make room for stable family neighborhoods and where we should put certain types of developments. AT: What are your thoughts on the amount of development San Marcos has seen in the past years? MD: I really think we need to be more mindful of where we place these developments. We all love students. I’ve worked at the university for 20 years and mentored a lot of students… But when I was a student here, my 49-yearold self would not want to live next to me when I was 21. It’s not a suitable mix. So when they’re putting these thousand-bedroom student cottage-style apartments with a giant swimming pool and they have big parties—it’s not a good mix when the neighbors have 3-year-olds that need to go bed and need to get up to go to school the next day. Students are going to do what students are going to do, and I think they would be happier outside of the neighborhoods as well. AT: Do you feel the city has handled economic growth well? MD: In the past it hasn’t been handled well, but now

we have worked a new, fantastic contract with the Greater San Marcos Partnership that we’re seeing some better things come. We’re all very excited to draw Amazon to San Marcos because it puts us on the map and it pretty much ensures other companies like Amazon to come take a look at us. AT: In regard to the never-ending drought, what role should the city play in regulating water consumption? MD: Right now we are in a position where we have purchased rights to water we do not currently need. We’re selling that water to other users who did not plan as well as we have… For instance, the city of Buda is slated to be out of water in a year. A lot of people think that because we’re selling water that we should be able to use that water to water their lawns but I disagree with that. I think that we’re already used to regulating ourselves and protecting the water we already have, and then to change that culture to an overuse of water—it wouldn’t be right at this time… I think overall people just need to get used to the fact we’re going to be in droughts. This is how it is.

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New gourmet doughnut trailer arrives in town By Mariah Simank LIFESTYLE EDITOR @MariahSimank

After 20 years in the restaurant industry, one Kyle resident is looking to change up breakfast in San Marcos. Brandon Alarcon, owner and operator of Donut 911, said he started the food truck, that now sits on N. Guadalupe Street, two months ago with a desire to reinvent the popular breakfast treat. Customers have the option to create their own type of doughnut, choosing their own toppings and fillings, Alarcon said. Alarcon said most of the feedback he has received so far has been positive. “Out of the hundreds and hundreds of people, I think there has only been two or

three that don’t like them and it is because it’s just not the same kind of doughnut they are used to,” Alarcon said. “Many people expect to get a lighter, sugary doughnut and that’s not really what I’m going for.” Carl Furry, San Marcos resident, said he was excited to see some activity in the lot after watching it sit dormant for almost two years. “A lot of the trailers moved over to The Hitch and the rest went out of business, and then there was nothing here for a long time,” Furry said. “Then a couple new trailers started to pop up, and it’s perfect timing that he is there because school is in and people love doughnuts.” Alarcon said he has always wanted to start a bakery of his own.

“I figured everybody loves doughnuts and I wanted to do what I could to make them a lot better than the average doughnut shop,” Alarcon said. “I figured no one else is doing anything like this except for Gourdough’s in Austin, so why not give it a shot?” Most of the truck’s customers come looking for breakfast later in the morning or a quick dessert right after lunch, Alarcon said. “I’m usually busy from about 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.,” Alarcon said. “I tried to open up early in the morning, but nobody was coming. So I decided to make the hours later since most students don’t get up until around 8 or 9 a.m.” Alarcon said business was slow during the summer, but the amount of customers has

slowly started to pick up as students return to campus. “It has been kind of slow because there aren’t many students here during the summer, but I already have a lot of regular customers and followers online,” Alarcon said. “I would say we are currently serving anywhere from six to eight dozen doughnuts a day, and on days that I cater an event I would say we serve about 18 dozen.” Alarcon said he expects the truck’s location will draw in a steady flow of students now that school is in session. “We are only a couple blocks from campus, so I’m hoping to get all the freshmen walking to class and I plan to start opening late on Friday and Saturday nights to get the bar crowds as well,” Alarcon said.

Niko Valvez, Donut 911 employee, said working out of a smaller space has allowed the truck to get more creative with their offerings. “I think having a food truck is really unique and allows us to do more specials and try new things out,” Valvez said. “People usually love the doughnuts and we don’t ever have many complaints.” Alarcon said the truck serves a full breakfast. “We do things like French toast and homemade pancakes, but everything else is pretty much done on the doughnut bun,” Alarcon said. “It seems like the favorite now is the bacon, egg and cheese and the sausage, egg and cheese.” Alarcon said his first customers of the day are oftentimes first responders

from the firehouse across the street. “I’m usually there at about 4:30 a.m. and I usually have some stuff set up by 6 a.m., so I told the first responders that if they need something they can come knock on the door or window and I will take care of them,” Alarcon said. “All of them get half off as well.” Alarcon said he hopes to explore other food trailer options after Donut 911 is established in the community. “I don’t know if I would ever commit to a full restaurant because the price of rent is high in San Marcos, but if this food trailer really takes off I’ve got a couple ideas for some other trailers with different food—possibly even in different cities,” Alarcon said.


Top 5 best hiking spots in San Marcos By Denise Cervantes LIFESTYLE REPORTER @cervantesdenise

San Marcos is home to many hiking trails that allow students to enjoy the city’s natural beauty while getting their cardio on. Although the heat can be a powerful deterrent for many people during the summer, there are plenty of trails in the area providing enough shade to keep you going.

Ringtail Ridge Natural Area

Although the Ringtail Ridge Natural Area is smaller than most trails, the 40 acres provide plenty of room for beginners. Ringtail Ridge also allows dogs as long as they are leashed. Janis Martinez, San Marcos resident, said the trail is two miles long and primarily designed for mountain biking. Martinez said the trail offers picturesque views and an

abundance of shade. “I like it for a good run,” Martinez said. “It is shorter than some trails, but there’s a ridge loop that makes it feel like you get a good workout in.” According to the San Marcos Green Belt Alliance, Ringtail Ridge was previously home to an animal slaughterhouse. Years later, Martinez said runners are still finding fossils. “I have seen bones,” Martinez said. “I see them everywhere, but I didn’t know why. I guess that’s also a little interesting.”

Purgatory Creek Natural Area

The 570 acres of intertwining trails at Purgatory Creek instantly make it a crowd favorite. According to the San Marcos Green Belt Alliance website, the complex is split into three different parks.

Spring Lake Natural Area

The first trail is 3 miles long and winds through Prospect Park. The park, which is 9 acres, also includes a karst cave. “It’s huge,” said Jessica Cruz, English freshman . “It’s my first time here, and I probably would have gotten lost without the map and my roommate.” Hikers can also check out Lower Purgatory, which eventually leads into Dante’s Trail. Cruz said the trail has more gravel for those who wish to go biking or hiking in addition to experiencing incredible views. “I think the best part is the view,” Cruz said. “It makes you feel relaxed and like you’re somewhere else.” Cruz said Purgatory’s trails are great for new and returning students to visit. “I would tell other to people to come and jog or bike around here,” Cruz said. “It’s a must to come and see it at least once.”

The San Marcos Spring Lake Natural Area is home to 251 acres of parkland, making it the perfect place for a long hike or short run. The park is home to five endangered species and supports natural-surface trails as a result, according to the San Marcos Green Belt Alliance website. Mekalah Anderson, computer science sophomore, said the trails are a great way to work out any time of the year. “I come for fresh air and to just get some sun,” Anderson said. “It’s really pretty even when it is hot. That’s why I like coming when the sun is about to go down.” Anderson said the site was originally used for ranching and hunting, but is now home to an abundance of woodlands and meadows. Anderson said the best part of the hike is visiting

the San Marcos Springs and Spring Lake. “The creeks are nice,” Anderson said. “It’s also never crowded, and everyone here is friendly. I try to stop by every now and then when I get the chance.”

Blanco Shoals

Blanco Shoals is home to 81 acres of nothing but hiking trails. Erick Watson, San Marcos resident, said the park is specifically designed to provide the best hiking in the area. “It’s kind of hard to understand if you aren’t a hiker,” Watson said. “A normal gravel trail isn’t the same, so I come here.” The Holt family donated the park in 2002 and asked for the land to remain natural, according to the San Marcos Green Belt Alliance website Watson said most of the trails were designed for people to take a quick hike while being surrounded by nature.

San Marcos River Walk Trail

The San Marcos River Walk Trail conveniently runs across the San Marcos River, making it the perfect path for those looking to cool down after their visit. The track comes out to three miles if it is started at the City Park Pavilion, according to the San Marcos Runners Club website. Aaron Erikson, San Marcos resident, said the trail may not provide the same view of nature as other trails around town, but it does offer an easy way to exercise before floating or swimming in the river. “I don’t come here a lot, but I like that it is by the river,” Erikson said “I usually come just for a quick run. If we decide to come to the river, I like to come get some cardio in before.”


Spring Lake Natural Area is home to 251 acres of parkland as well as five endangered species, and supports natural-surface trails.


Purgatory Creek is home to 570 acres of trails and is considered a crowd favorite.


Distinguished Lecture Series Bridged Through Stories

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September 16, 2015 7 p.m. Evans Auditorium Free and open to the public

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| Texas State University is a tobacco-free campus. This information is available in alternate format upon request from the Office of Disability Services. If you require accommodations due to a disability in order to participate, please contact Honors College at 512.245.2266 at least 72 hours in advance of the event.

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WELCOME TO TEXAS STATE Welcome to Texas State, Bobcats! We know the hills can be intimidating and the construction confusing, so we made this handy map to help you navigate campus. The first day of school can be a stressful experience so having a game plan for where you’re going should help allieviate the stress. Strap on your most comfortable pair of shoes and tackle today head on. Eat ‘em up, cats! The Main Point is the opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board. Columns are the opinions of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the full staff, Texas State University Student Media, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Texas State University or the advertisers.


Internet addiction is real, time to act

Evelin Garcia OPINIONS COLUMNIST @EvelinG285


he Internet has turned into the heroin of the 21st century. It is the flavor of the month, the drug of choice, the addiction a mass of people just cannot seem to shake. Internet addiction is a real thing, and the unsettling reliance on technology has led to some serious problems in society. The main reason why the problems associated with Internet addiction endure, relies on the belief that a person cannot be, technically, addicted to the Internet. Not in the destructive sense at least, this lack of awareness and misbelieve of its existence leads to further complications regarding the addiction. Internet is an essential part of lives

all around the world. It has influenced cultures that otherwise would not appear as they do today. Something so powerful can certainly affect people negatively. In fact, according to a study from scientists of Swansea and Milan University, Internet addiction can cause a 30 percent higher chance of a weakened immune system. While people are debating over the reality of Internet addiction, the science shows that it is already leading to the decreased health of those who admit to overusing it. Aside from the hard science backing it up, reading the symptoms of addiction proves that those who overuse online services fall squarely into this camp. These addicts find themselves irritated and anxious without Internet connection. Most of us have experienced scenarios where close friends and even family members seem to lose their mind when the Internet is not at their disposal. Internet addicts surround us—parents, siblings or even our teachers.. If people need a tangible example, look no further

than South Korea. This is a country that has struggled with digital addiction. The problem with Internet addicts in South Korea has reached epidemic proportion, leading officials to even create and secure space for Internet addicts in drug rehabilitation center. There is a documentary titled “Love Child” based on a South Korean couple that chose online video games over the life of their baby. This example perfectly illustrates the reality of Internet addiction—it is not something that is just made up. We need to create resources to battle Internet addiction in the same way we battle other types of addictions such as eating, drugs and alcohol. The sooner we do this, the better everyone will be. Internet addiction is real and present in the homes of millions. Unless society gives credit to its existence, it will be here to stay. It is time we recognize our Internet addiction too. Internet has given much to the world, but if left unchecked and unfettered it can take much more. —Evelin Garcia is a journalism junior

Your friendly neighborhood watchdog.

The University Star Editor-in-Chief...........................................Kelsey Bradshaw, Managing Editor.......................Imani McGarrell, News Editor....................................................Alexa Tavarez, Sports Editor.............................................Quixem Ramirez, Lifestyle Editor.........................................Mariah Simank, Opinions Editor..........................................Brandon Sams, Multimedia Editor......................................Preslie Cox, Copy Desk Chief....................................Abby Marshall,


Graduate with relevant experience, not just a degree

Madison Teague SENIOR OPINIONS COLUMNIST @maddiebell_bell


very parent, teacher and former student will give you the same advice: buy your books, go to class, take notes, do homework and study. All great advice for graduating with your choice degree, but basic advice lends itself to basic results and students will not stand out from the pack if they succumb to the bare minimums. The most important way to stand out from the sea of monotony is building a solid and interesting résumé of experience and expertise. A résumé reflects the graduate’s applicable real world experience. In this conversation there are three important factors around which each student should focus their schedules in order to round out their résumés. First and foremost, classes are always the priority. Students are paying huge amounts just to attend class and skipping costs money. The point of attending a university is to gain knowledge, no matter how hard some may

try to learn the material through osmosis by sleeping on textbooks. Nothing compares to showing up to class and actually paying attention. Once a class schedule is set, students can plan work and activities around it. Second, it is important to secure a job to gain work experience. Many students must work to pay their bills and college tuition, so they are required to work and go to school. The key to working through college is to find a job that compliments one’s major. Many jobs require relevant prior experience. Working as a wait-staff member might pay the bills, but unless the student is majoring in hospitality it will not do much good in the long run. The last basic element to building a successful résumé is through participation in extracurricular activities. Extracurricular activities are an amazing way to add substance to any résumé. There are so many options available that the decision can be overwhelming, so it is important to try and stick to an activity that is relevant to career-building. If a student is majoring in political science, they should try joining Student Government. Any leadership position that you may acquire during your membership in any organization is worth mentioning on a résumé. It is important to do things that are of interest.

However, emphasis should be placed on activities that can lead to a more fulfilling future. It is important to understand how to create a proper résumé that utilizes these three basic elements. Luckily, here at Texas State there is a great program in place to help students build the perfect résumé. If Bobcats are really looking to set their résumé above the rest, there are additional steps you may want to take. Studying abroad in your field is a fantastic way to grab any employer’s attention and gives an experience that will be hard to forget. Joining a fraternity or sorority is one way to get in touch with many job connections. Greek life offers leadership positions and promotes participation in public service. Setting oneself apart from the crowd should be on the priority list of all college students. Roughly 1.8 million bachelor's degrees were awarded to graduates between 2014 and 2015—simply graduating with a piece of paper is not enough. Today’s students must gain knowledge and experience, and Texas State students have every opportunity to succeed in these ways. Building a diverse résumé at the beginning of your college career will help ease the stress of finding a good job after graduation.

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—Madison Teague is a English junior

The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University and is published every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the spring and fall and every other Wednesday in the summer semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. on publication days with a distribution of 6,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright Monday, August 24, 2015. All copy, photographs and graphics appearing in The University Star are the exclusive property of The University Star and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the editor in chief. The first five issues of each edition of the paper are free. Additional copies of the paper can be purchased at 50¢ per copy. Contact The University Star office at (512) 245-3487 to purchase additional copies.

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The wake-up call for Lawrence White, senior tight end, came when he was asked to switch to offensive line. White was sitting around 280 pounds at the time. He was not quick enough to carve out a meaningful role as a tight end. The Texas State coaching staff felt White made more sense as an offensive lineman because he could leverage his 6-foot-7inch frame against defenders. It was a case of adapt or die for White. Instead of changing positions, White set out to adapt his body. The next day, after facing a possible position shift, White began a no-sodium diet centered on proteins. Grilled chicken and peanuts were staples of his diet. White ate every two hours to speed up his metabolism. He avoided fast food and soda. In four months, White dropped around 55 pounds. “It was the craziest diet I’ve ever done in my life,” White said. White’s diet lasted four months before his weight dropped to 225 pounds. He eliminated the excess poundage weighing him down, but now he had a new problem. He wasn’t heavy enough. White took to the weight room and added muscle to his body. At the beginning of fall camp, White’s weight is in the 250-255 range. That’s right where he wants it to be. “I can move a lot better and do a lot more than I did before and I’m stronger,” White said. The coaching staff has taken notice, with Coach Dennis

Franchione calling White one of the most impressive players in fall camp. White’s improvement has played an important role in what Franchione believes is the best tight end duo in the Sun Belt Conference. White and Ryan Carden, senior tight end, are replacing leading receiver Bradley Miller, who hauled in 44 passes for 431 yards last year. “I want to step up,” White said. “As of right now, I’m focusing on fall camp so when I do get in the game I fulfill that role well and help the team as much as I can.” The tight end role in Franchione’s up-tempo scheme is not a small one. Texas State’s offense finished third in rushing yards per game within the Sun Belt Conference and White will often be in a position to pry openings up for the running backs. If he fails, the running game will falter. And Tyler Jones, junior quarterback, can attest to the value of a tight end in the passing game. As a sophomore, Jones completed 70 of his 246 passes to tight ends. “Tight ends have a huge role in our offense,” White said. “A lot of our blocks are key blocks. If we miss our blocks, the play is dead. I want to be a great blocker and great receiver. We don’t throw too often but when we do, I want to make sure I make every catch.” Coaches caught a glimpse of White’s potential in the second half of the 2014 season. The junior earned his first start of the season against New Mexico State, after sitting out the first five games of the season. White didn’t look back. He caught a pass from Jones in the third quarter against the Ag-


Lawrence White, tight end for the Bobcats, practices Aug. 19 at Bobcat Stadium. gies, weaving around defenders ‘Don’t mess up, Lawrence, until he reached the end zone don’t mess up.’ Now when I for a 23-yard touchdown. step on the field I’m looking In the following game, White to dominate. It’s a complete finished with four receptions, 180 from what I used to be.” 41 yards and one touchdown White’s transformation, in the 28-25 loss to Georgia however, was something years Southern. This time, White’s in the works. He began playtouchdown occurred in the ing tight end as a kid, but he end zone with one minute re- faced roadblocks at every stop. maining in the fourth quarter. His coaches wanted him to be It was telling, too, that Jones an offensive lineman in high looked White’s way when the school and junior college as game was on the line. well. White showcased his breakWhite declined and conaway ability in the game against tinued to train with his high South Alabama. Jones found school team as a tight end, White for a 46-yard touch- even though it meant he didn’t down, which turned out to be play a single game. his only reception of the game. White isn’t done yet, but he’s In total, White accumulated already received the validation 110 receiving yards and three that he always wanted years touchdowns in three games. ago. He’s a legitimate tight end. His 17.6 yards per reception Texas State is looking for led the entire team, though him to live up to that bill this he only caught eight passes season. last season. “Eventually I got to the point “It boosts my confidence,” where they accepted me as a White said. “I used to be ner- tight end,” White said. “It took vous. I used to think to myself, my whole life.”



Prior to fall football practice, Brian Guendling was faced with a decision—play football or dedicate his time to American Sign Language (ASL). Guendling, a defensive lineman for four seasons, chose sign language. “I couldn’t do both,” Guendling said. “I love football, (but) my passion is ASL and signing. I love being around the deaf community, so that’s

what I decided to do. I feel like following your passion is most important at this stage of life.” With the backing of his teammates and coaches, Guendling’s choice was easier. “They encouraged me to do this,” Guendling said. “They thought it was awesome. They said, ‘Go out and do your passion. Go change some lives.’ That’s what I want to do.” The impetus behind the decision was Guendling’s video in July, which exceed-

ed 200,000 views on YouTube. Guendling, aided by his teammates and friends, performed Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” in sign language. Guendling’s sign language concert was the first of its kind. His video was wellreceived, with a YouTube commenter adding: “This video and Brian goes to show that good people do exist in a world full of hate and bad blood. People need to step up like Brian to bring an end to hate, violence, racism and

more.” “It’s very heartwarming,” Guendling said. “What deaf people have told me is that they are very overlooked. Deaf people are no different than everybody else. Just because they can’t hear doesn’t mean they can’t listen to music.” A month later, Guendling is continuing his sign language efforts without football to pry away his attention. He’s working with ASL interpreters in Houston to improve his fluency, attending

events for the deaf community and spending 5-6 hours each day practicing songs for future performances. Guendling has sign language concerts planned in San Antonio, San Marcos and Arizona in the next three months. The process is just going to take some time. “There’s no rush,” Guendling said. “We are working on each song individually. It will grow.” Guendling’s goals are lofty. He views himself as a person

that can connect two worlds together. Once he graduates, he plans on traveling around the country to spread his message. While some may doubt him, Guendling is following Mars’ lead. Don’t believe him? Just watch. “I found my calling in life,” Guendling said. “I love the deaf community. I’m hoping with my efforts other people will stand up as well to bring our community culture into one.”

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Monday, August 24, 2015 | Sports | The University Star | 7

HAMMON, from front


The freshmen and transfer students at Saturday’s New Student Convocation ceremony all had one thing in common—it’s their first year at Texas State. Keynote speaker Becky Hammon is the perfect person to talk about firsts, as she’s no stranger to them herself. After signing with the San Antonio Spurs in 2014, Hammon became the first fulltime female assistant coach in NBA history. She’s the first full-time female coach out of North America’s four major professional sports. She’s also the first female head coach in

the NBA’s Summer League, winning the championship and proving she’ll be sticking around for awhile. During her speech at convocation, Hammon spoke to the 112th freshman class to arrive on campus about the tools she’s used to find success in her career. “The most important thing you can have in your life is character—good character,” Hammon said to the packed audience of over 8,900 attendees. The audience at the convocation sat wearing maroon shirts that read “Define Yourself.” One of the lessons Hammon spoke on was defining her character and her career. Hammon turned character into an acronym, using each

letter as a descriptor to further break down her success. The components of character she described were courage, habits, accountability, resiliency, authenticity, culture, trustworthiness, effect and respect. She shared that some of the lessons she’s learned about success have come from her experience with the Spurs, head coach Gregg Popovich and the culture the team creates. “We highly value culture down in San Antonio,” Hammon said. “We don’t bring in a bad-character guy or a bad teammate into our circle no matter how good of a basketball player he might be. Character counts in our locker room.” As for some her professional firsts, Hammon explained re-

The most important thing you can have in your life is character, good character.” ­—BECKY HAMMON, SAN ANTONIO SPURS ASSISTANT COACH

spect for herself and the people around her has always been a top priority. She shared a story about a media sit-down in which she faced a reporter who relayed one of his colleague’s emails. The colleague expressed disdain for Hammon, saying he believed the Spurs were pulling a publicity stunt and had nothing to learn from her except how to bake

chocolate chip cookies. “I told him to tell that reporter that I make a hell of a chocolate chip cookie,” Hammon said. The story hit a vein with many students in the crowd. “I thought the way she responded to that guy was really great and respectable,” said Vanessa Villalobos, English freshman.

Villalobos didn’t know who Hammon was before hearing her speak, but was inspired by her speech and now plans to approach her freshman year differently. “Her speech really made me think of how I want my freshman year to go,” Villalobos said. “She inspired me to really try hard and make the most of my time here.”



Emotions have run high for Claire Kreuz, junior outside hitter, during her college volleyball career. Kreuz grew up in Boerne, Texas, and played for Samuel V. Champion High School. She was named District MVP in her junior and senior season. With her track record, Kreuz was given the opportunity to play collegiate volleyball. Kreuz started visiting college campuses when she was 16 years old and found that she wanted to play volleyball as far away from home as possible. She found exactly what she was looking for at Charlotte. “When I went on my visit, I immediately fell in love,” Kreuz said. “The city was so beautiful and I fell in love with

the coaching staff right away. It didn’t take me long to make my decision.” Kreuz’s parents were supportive of any decision their daughter was going to make, but moving that far from home was an eye-opening moment for them. “We didn’t think she knew what it meant to live that far away from her family,” Tanya Kreuz, Claire Kreuz’s mother, said. “We tried to explain to her how far away she’d be, but she really wanted it.” The day before Claire Kreuz moved to Charlotte, tragedy struck. Claire Kreuz’s maternal grandmother passed away due to natural causes at 85 years old. “We found out while we were in our hotel in Charlotte,” Tanya Kreuz said. “It was a very difficult time, but we still

had to do what we came to Charlotte to do.” Claire Kreuz stuck with her decision to go to school in Charlotte. The family helped move her into her dorm July 30, 2013. After helping Claire Kreuz get settled, the family traveled back to Boerne and the athlete found herself alone in a strange place. “I had never dealt with anything like that before,” Claire Kreuz said. “It was really hard not being able to talk to my parents whenever I wanted, and I immediately became homesick.” After she moved in, Claire Kreuz started practicing with her team and going to summer school. She kept the news about her grandmother quiet around her new team. Two weeks later, the news about her grandmother got out

I had never dealt with anything like that before. It was really hard not being able to talk to my parents whenever I wanted.” ­—CLAIRE KREUZ, JUNIOR OUTSIDE HITTER

and the coaching staff made her go home to be with her family. Before the season started, Claire Kreuz was back with the team. The freshman played through the emotional pain and became an impact player for the Charlotte 49ers right away. The team’s first match was against CSU Bakersfield in the Wildcat Classic Tournament in Davidson, North Carolina. The Kreuz family wanted to watch the athlete play in her first collegiate game. The family was ecstatic to come see their daughter in Charlotte for the first time since moving her in. The day before they had planned to leave, however, disaster struck again. Tanya Kreuz’s older brother committed suicide. The family still made the voyage to Charlotte and Claire Kreuz played in the game. Claire Kreuz led the team with 13 kills, but the team lost 3-1. “It was really tough on all of us when my uncle died,” Claire Kreuz said. “It was better that

my family was with me when it happened though.” Claire Kreuz was second on the team in kills with 253. She led the team in aces with 27 and started every match during the 2013 season. Claire Kreuz grew closer to Coach Chris Redding, as she was going through the death of two family members. Redding was fired following the 2013 season because the team was not living up to expectations. “I understand why they had to fire Coach,” Claire Kreuz said. “It was tough because he was a big reason why I came to Charlotte in the first place.” The school shortly found their next coach in Gokhan Yilmaz, who came over from the Florida State coaching staff. Yilmaz came in and decided to bench Claire at the start of the 2014 season, which did not sit well with her. “Claire wasn’t getting the playing time she thought she deserved,” Tanya Kreuz said. “After one of the games where the team wasn’t playing well, she went to talk to him and she really let him have it. Claire isn’t one to get really angry,

but on that day she unleashed herself.” After the confrontation with Yilmaz, Claire Kreuz proved herself to the coach by making it on two All-Tournament teams. She also started every match for the rest of the season. Claire Kreuz had another successful season, but she found herself looking at the situation in Charlotte. Maybe it wasn’t the place for her anymore. She remained homesick, wanting to come back and play volleyball in Texas. “When Coach Redding was fired and I butted heads with the new coach, I knew I wanted to leave,” Claire Kreuz said. “I just knew that leaving all of my friends behind in Charlotte and starting over in a new place would be really hard.” After the 2014 fall semester, Claire declared that she would transfer. Arkansas and Texas State both expressed interest. Two years and two deaths in the family later, Claire was finally back home.

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