VOLUME 103, ISSUE 52
Defending the First Amendment since 1911
FEBRUARY 5, 2014
VIDEO | UniversityStar.com
OPINIONS | Page 4
Coca-Cola Controversy: Students expressed their opinions about the controversy surrounding CocaCola’s recent Super Bowl advertisement.
The Main Point: Failure to delay classes left commuters out in the cold last Tuesday.
Carpool permits in higher demand Numbers up this academic year due to commuter increase By Rebecca Banks News Reporter
The number of carpool permits issued to Texas State students has increased since last year due to a growing number of commuters, according to administrators. Last year the university issued a total of 50 carpool permits to students. In fall 2013, 72 permits were issued, and 52 permits were issued this spring with eight permits pending. The university is expected to receive more requests in the next few months, said Linda Rea, administrative assistant for Transportation Services. Nancy Nusbaum, interim director of Transportation Services, said the increase in carpool permits could be due to commuters from Austin and San Antonio purchasing them to after the Bobcat Tram Interurban bus service was canceled last spring. Students may also be trying to avoid paying price for a parking permit, she said. The university recently added four additional carpool parking spots to the lot in front of the university president’s house in West Campus following requests from commuters, said Stephen Prentice, assistant director of Parking Services.
Allison Brouillette | Staff Photographer Construction on N. LBJ Drive directly in front of Root Cellar Café is scheduled for completion this fall. Kyle Mylius, owner, said the restaurant’s sales have recently decreased 15 to 20 percent.
Downtown business owners reporting drop in sales due to ongoing N. LBJ construction By Kelsey Bradshaw
Senior News Reporter
M Danielle Charles | Staff Photographer The number of carpool permits issued to Texas State students has increased from 50 in the 2012-2013 school year to 124 this year. “If they want to park in our carpool lot and we have three areas on campus that are designated for carpool, then they have to get a permit,” Nusbaum said. “As long as they have a regular parking permit, we’ll give them a free carpool designation permit.” The president’s lot has 17 carpool parking spots. There are 17 parking spots in the central carpool lot located on Elm Street and 19 parking spaces in the east lot on Sessom Drive, Prentice said. “I think the president’s lot sees a lot more traffic,” said Cody DeSalvo, intern for Transportation Services. Students are required to purchase a perimeter parking permit for their vehicle and complete the carpool request form online, DeSalvo said. This spring 2014 semester, 30 permits were given out for the president’s lot, 10 were issued for the Elm Street lot and 12 were given for the Sessom lot. In fall 2013, 32 carpool parking permits were issued in the president’s lot, 13 were given in the Elm Street lot and 27 permits were issued for the Sessom lot, Prentice said. Although each parking lot issues more permits than
See PERMITS, Page 6
any business owners on North LBJ Drive and Hutchison Street say they have experienced a decrease in sales since August due to construction covering much of their property, reducing foot traffic in the downtown area. Phase 1 of the Downtown Reconstruction Project Phase I began in August 2012 and is slated for completion this fall, according to the City of San Marcos website. As part of the 2014 plans for the project, the west side of North LBJ Drive from Hopkins to Concho Streets is temporarily closed for reconstruction for the next two to three months. The north half of East Hutchison Street is temporarily shut down for street and sidewalk construction as well.
Root Cellar Café As a result of the construction, Kyle Mylius, owner of Root Cellar Café, said the restaurant’s sales have decreased about 15 to 20 percent, and parking has become an issue. “There’s been a substantial parking problem downtown for a long time, and when you add a project on top of this and remove so many spots, a lot of people skip downtown because they don’t want to deal with the delay of finding a spot,” Mylius said. Despite any parking difficulties, city officials have kept the Root Cellar informed and up-to-date with the construction schedule, Mylius said.
Stellar Café The restaurant has experienced a loss in sales since the construction began, said owner Michael Kelton. The Café, having opened last year, gained a few regular customers before construction workers began to occupy the streets, he said. “(The city was) really good about letting us know when stuff was coming,” Kelton said. “I’m not sure, had I known that it would take over a year, if I would have jumped in and done this.” Kelton is also co-owner of The Stratosphere Lounge, which has remained stable during the construction. Stratosphere is a more established business on The Square, having been around for eight years, Kelton said.
been happening lately, (pedestrians) are not wanting to walk down a dark alley or walk where no one else is walking,” Fox said. “That’s hindered (Showdown) at night for business.” Although some business owners in the area have reported positive city interaction regarding construction, Fox said officials have not yet contacted the venue. “We were warned in the sense that it’s going to happen and there’s nothing we can do about it,” Fox said. Employees have had to call the city for updates on the project.
City officials have been notifying San Marcos businesses about the project since plans were finalized and construction began, said Samantha Armbruster, Main Street Program Showdown Manager. “We definitely go out of our way Showdown on Hutchison has seen a reduction in business from older cli- and above and beyond to make sure entele during the construction, said that we notify as many people as posbartender Andrew Fox. Construction sible,” Armbruster said. “We’re pretty workers have been parking sideways, much in constant contact (with the taking up six spots at a time, deterring businesses).” The city has an “open door” poltraffic from Showdown, Fox said. “With a dark, unlit construction icy, welcoming business owners to zone and the rise in crime that’s come in and give their input directly, Armbruster said. The 23-month-long reconstruction We were warned in the sense that project is designed to make several it’s going to happen and there’s aesthetic and functional improvements to the downtown area including nothing we can do about it.” the replacement and addition of water —Andrew Fox, lines and the implementation of new Showdown bartender traffic signals, according to the city’s website.
Councilmembers pass first reading of safe cyclist passing ordinance By James Carniero News Reporter
San Marcos city councilmembers unanimously approved the first of two readings of an ordinance aimed at keeping cyclists safe on roads Tuesday evening. The Safe Passing Ordinance, if enacted by the city council, will require all vehicles to give at least three feet of clearance when pass-
ing “vulnerable road users” on the roadways. These users include pedestrians, joggers, cyclists, skateboarders, equestrians, physically disabled people, construction and maintenance workers, tow truck operators, stranded motorists and farm equipment operators, according to a Jan. 22 University Star article. Commercial vehicles such as semi-trucks would have to give at
3' Cars must give at least three feet of clearance for all ‘vulnerable road users’ under the proposed ordinance.
least six feet of clearance as part of the ordinance. The ordinance, which applies to pedestrians and cyclists, already exists in 22 Texas cities including Austin, New Braunfels and San Antonio, according to the same article. Fire Chief Les Stephens said at the city council meeting that law enforcement would only give out warnings to violators during the first 30 days after the ordinance is passed. After this time, police will start giving out citations. “People might not get the word,” Stephens said. “We don’t want it to be a surprise.” Only police officers who witness the violation will be able to write tickets, Stephens said.
Madelynne Scales | Star File Photo San Marcos city councilmembers passed the first reading of the Safe Passing Ordinance requiring vehicles to give at least three feet clearance to “vulnerable road users” including cyclists. Tickets could be up to $50 and are classified as a level three driving violation. Councilmembers want to answer questions or concerns the citizens may have, said Councilman
John Thomaides, Place 3. Thomaides said he hopes city staff have plans for educational outreach regarding the ordinance.
See COUNCIL, Page 6
2 | The University Star | Wednesday February 5, 2014
Sustainable farm maintained in memory of late alumna By Jordan Gass-Poore’ Assistant Trends Editor
antra Coffeehouse is not only where the late Texas State alumna Stephanie Bledsoe made countless memories, but also where she enjoyed researching how to achieve her dream of embracing an ecofriendly lifestyle. As she sat at a wooden picnic table outside the coffeehouse last year, Bledsoe typed away on her open laptop, conducting research for her sustainable farm Thigh High Gardens. She had recently moved to the 20-acre farm located off Lime Kiln Road and was adjusting to life without electricity. When asked why she wanted to start a sustainable farm, Bledsoe’s blue eyes lit up and a smile slowly formed on her freckled face. “It’s a lifestyle,” she said. “I eat, live and breathe my animals and my plants.” Moving to the farm fulfilled a dream of Bledsoe’s, who, in an effort to inspire oth-
ers, wrote in one of her last Facebook posts: “Do your fears have you down? Have you been letting them stop you from doing what you want and love? Drop them, it’s all in your head. It’s time to just do it. Do it… Do it now.” It was at Thigh High Gardens where Bledsoe fell from her porch of her house on the farm last August, fracturing numerous facial and skull bones, according to online posts by her father, Gary. Bledsoe later lost vision in her left eye, and her jaw was broken on both sides. Bledsoe died Aug. 9 after undergoing hours of surgery and several blood transfusions. Thigh High Gardens to be a work in progress, with the hopes of becoming an educational, model farm mirrored after Bledsoe’s original vision for the property. Silas Parker, founder of the local brewery Dark Side Fermentation, has fond memories of Bledsoe and the 700-squarefoot round structure known as a yurt that surrounds the porch at the farm. Parker remembered when Bledsoe endured the
triple-digit heat last summer in the tealcolored yurt, which does not have air conditioning, with a wet rag she would put over her face to fall asleep. The property has a solar-powered outdoor shower and a hot tub that can be filled with cold water for baths for temporary relief from the outdoor elements. Parker said the property runs on generators, but more solar panels are being installed. Future additions include a brewery for Parker’s Dark Side label. “It’ll probably never stop growing,” Parker said. Some of Bledsoe’s belongings still remain in the yurt and her ashes are kept in the property’s memorial garden. Bledsoe majored in horticulture at Texas State and was active in the university’s horticulture club, selling microgreens and plants at the on-campus farmers market. Bledsoe’s green thumb ran in her family—her grandmother owned a farmers market. Parker said produce from the farm will eventually be sold on site. Eggs from the
property’s chickens are already sold at local farmers markets. The property has become a home for not only chickens, a peacock, cats and dogs, but for numerous San Marcos residents and soon Parker himself, who said he and his wife, local musician Grace Park, will be moving to the farm. Bledsoe often sang with Parker’s wife, which he said strengthened their friendship. “(Park and I) called (Bledsoe) our sister wife,” Parker said. Parker and Texas State alumnus Zach Halfin are now working with Bledsoe’s brother, Robert, to continue the legacy of Thigh High Gardens. Community members are also keeping Bledsoe’s memory alive through volunteer efforts and the San Marcos Permaculture organization she started with Halfin. Bledsoe’s brothers now own the property, Parker said. “It’s not surprising that they’re super cool, considering how cool Steph was,” he said.
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Danielle Charles | Staff Photographer Silas Parker, future tenant of Thigh High Gardens, displays eggs collected from the property’s chicken coop.
The University Star | Advertisement | Wednesday February 5, 2014 | 3
4 | The University Star | Wednesday February 5, 2014
Breanna Baker | Star Illustrator
THE MAIN POINT
Safety takes precedence in icy conditions Failure to delay classes leaves commuters out in the cold
tudent safety should be the number one priority for administrators, and they should keep this in mind when deciding whether to cancel classes due to harsh weather conditions in the future. University officials inadvertently put some students in danger last Tuesday when they decided to keep the campus open amidst icy weather conditions that temporarily closed or delayed the openings of several schools in nearby districts. In the future, administrators should err on the side of caution when students’ lives potentially hang in the balance. Texas State has historically been known as a “commuter campus.” While it may not seem like many students still commute to campus from outside San Marcos each day, one look at the often filled-to-thebrim commuter lots proves When icy conditions Potentially hundreds of Texas otherwise. are thrown in the mix, the roadState commuters were left to ways can become a dangerous, slippery trap for drivers. navigate icy roads last week. Before the cancelation of the Bobcat Tram Interurban services last August, about half of the interurban tram riders polled in a survey said they would drive to campus with the cancelation of the Austin and San Antonio routes, according to a Jan. 31, 2013 University Star article. Potentially hundreds of both new and long-term Texas State commuters were left to navigate icy roads last week to attend classes that should have been delayed or canceled by administrators outright. While many students love “snow days,” the editorial board is not just looking for a free day off for Bobcats. The icy conditions last Tuesday had an extreme effect on the Austin area and shut down many major roads, including several parts of Interstate Highway 35 that feed into San Marcos. The University of Texas delayed classes and many Austin area school districts closed. There are legitimate
safety concerns involved in driving on ice, especially in Texas where it is not the norm and many people do not know how to handle such conditions. Administrators also need to do a better job of alerting students whether classes will be canceled or not. University officials alert students and faculty about their decision regarding class cancelations through Students need to have time to emergency alert texts and emails, but this is largely decide whether to risk the commute unhelpful when they are to campus during dangerous not sent until a few hours before the campus typically weather conditions. opens. Such was the case when the campus was closed Friday, Jan. 24. Students were not notified until around 5 a.m. that morning that classes had been cancelled. It is unacceptable to wait until 5 a.m. to let the campus community know of such a decision. Commuters especially need to know several hours in advance whether they need to come to campus from outside San Marcos. Students need to have time to decide whether to risk the commute to campus during dangerous weather conditions. A more timely email or text message could have helped students avoid rushing to get to class and possibly finding themselves in further danger. Additionally, a simple email alerting students that classes would be conducted as usual last Tuesday would have been appreciated. In the future, administrators should seriously consider those who drive anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour just to attend class when they decide whether to cancel classes or not. Student safety is not something that can be compromised. 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 or Texas State University.
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The University Star | Opinions | Wednesday February 5, 2014 | 5
Acronym loses meaning in effort to be all-inclusive
Rivers Wright Opinions Columnist Journalism junior
he term LGBTQIA has become T out of hand because it attempts to include seemingly every sexual
identity possible, and should be replaced by a more practical acronym—GSM. LGBTQIA is a mouthful, and it seems like every time I turn around a new letter has been added on the end. When the acronym was first coined it stood for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. I consider that the good old days. It was a broad umbrella term that encompassed a majority of the community. However, because people have become hypersensitive these days, letters were added to make the term increasingly inclusive, bringing the new acronym from LGBT to LGBTQIA—Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning or Queer, Intersex and Asexual or Ally. Personally, I find it to be too much to keep up with. It has become too easy to step on people’s toes by forgetting the newest politically correct term. For this reason, the lesser-known acronym of GSM, standing for Gay and Sexual Minority, is overall easier to remember while remaining inoffensive and inclusive. I do not understand the point of adding all these letters to a term that
was already universally recognized as representing a large group. People automatically knew who was represented when someone said LGBT. Sure, everyone deserves to be recognized and shown equal respect. However, there are better ways of showing it instead of adding yet another letter to an already lengthy acronym and getting offended when people do not keep up with the latest additions. In my opinion, GSM is a perfect umbrella term and a good alternative to the increasingly long and confusing acronyms. Furthermore, some of what LGBTQIA stands for is not agreed upon. Ally, for example, is a member of the dominant straight community who supports equality for sexual minorities. I do not understand why anyone would think allies should be included in an acronym used to define a community comprised of sexual minorities. An ally is just a person who supports and defends the lifestyle of the core GSM community. They may receive backlash because they support the community, but that does not make them a part of it. While it is great we are trying to be as inclusive as possible, not every aspect of life needs to be politically correct. Extending the LGBT term to be more inclusive is thoughtful and is a step in the right direction. However, it is impractical. We do not need to blow issues to epic proportions because someone might feel left out. Instead, we should move on to more practical terminology such as GSM. By extending the dominant umbrella term for the gay community to LGBTQIA, the once legitimate term has become almost laughable in its length. I think it is time to move on to the next term, and in the future try and resist the urge to accommodate hypersensitive persons by adding more and more letters as time goes on.
Duck Dynasty star does not deserve judgment
Molly Block Opinions Columnist Journalism senior
should not be so quick SPhilociety to judge “Duck Dynasty” star Robertson for exercising his
freedom of speech and giving his opinion about a subject that clashes with his family’s Christian beliefs. From the first episode of the popular A&E television series, Robertson made it very clear to viewers that he and his family are Christians. It was not overstated or made into a big deal, but fans of the show knew that the family from Monroe, La., followed the teachings of the Holy Bible. As the family gathered around the dinner table, Robertson would say a prayer before supper. It does not matter if other people agree with the family’s beliefs or not, Christianity is evidently important to them and influences how they choose to live. Knowing this, it makes sense that Robertson would feel the way he does about gay marriage. Now, I am not saying that Robertson should have said what he did. I am simply stating his comments should not come as a surprise to anyone. If there are people who have a problem with his way of thinking, they can simply make the decision to not watch the show. In no way should he have ever been suspended from the show for merely speaking his beliefs. As American citizens, everyone should be able to express his or her opinions, even if it has become culturally unpopular. According to a December 2013
article from Fox News, Robertson paraphrased Paul’s letter to the Corinthians in the Bible by saying, “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.” Of course, not everyone is going to agree with Robertson’s way of thinking, and that is perfectly all right. Many people view Robertson as a hateful, insensitive redneck. I do not believe it is right to decide someone is hateful and intolerant just because they do not support gay marriage. Whether or not Robertson’s comments were out of line, they are the beliefs which he holds to be true, and it certainly does not make him a bad person for saying so. As a fan myself, I like Duck Dynasty because unlike so many other reality TV shows that are just garbage, the television series is a family show. According to the same Fox News article, Duck Dynasty became the most-watched non-fiction cable TV show of all time in 2013. There must be a reason for this, and I believe it is because parents are so tired of their children watching shows that put negative values on display. Teen Mom, for example, very obviously promotes teen pregnancy. On the other hand, Duck Dynasty sends a totally different message, and it is quite refreshing. There is little to no cursing in the show, no backstabbing and nobody gets naked. Our world would be a better place to live in if people decided to act more like the Robertsons and less like the Kardashians. Christianity aside, Phil Robertson is a decent guy with good morals and values. He should not have been temporarily suspended from his show nor judged so harshly for expressing his beliefs. If someone does not agree with his opinions, that person should not watch the show. It really is that simple.
Black History Column Series
In honor of Black History Month, the opinions section will spotlight a column written by one of The University Star’s black staff members in each issue. The University Star hopes to showcase a variety of perspectives in the new series dedicated to bringing issues in the black community to light.
Natural hairstyles large part of black heritage, should be embraced atural hairstyles are a way for black N people to relate to their heritage, and statements regarding the styles as
“unprofessional” show a reflection of the Eurocentric ideals within society. One of the most unique aspects about black people is the versatility of our hair. From braids to relaxers to afros, we have many styling options. Unfortunately, those options come with a plethora of issues attached. American beauty ideals are mostly Eurocentric. This means value is placed on characteristics found mainly in those with European ancestry. Features like fair skin, round eyes and straight hair seem to top the list of the most desirable physical characteristics in society. The issue with these ideals is they generally exclude minority groups and others who do not fit into the box. Black people have faced negative reactions to their natural hair since the days of slavery. Typically, the light-skinned straighthaired slaves were sold at higher prices and allowed to work more desirable jobs when compared to their dark-skinned kinky-haired counterparts, causing many to use things like butter and bacon grease to try and slick down unruly hair. However, even after slavery ended, image issues within the black community concerning natural hair persisted. According to a 2009 article on popular natural hair care website, naturallycurly. com, those with “good hair”—meaning that they styled it after white hair types—were generally deemed more well adjusted by white people. The article went on to explain that “good hair” was often a prerequisite for getting into certain schools and social groups. The issues faced by black people today surrounding hair are not new. They often face ridicule and judgment for wearing natural hairstyles. In November 2013, a Florida girl named Vanessa VanDyke was told that she had a week to either cut her hair or be expelled. The issue sprang up after the 12-year-old girl’s mother complained to school officials about the teasing inflicted on VanDyke by her classmates because of her naturally curly hair. Many have even experienced issues with workplaces being intolerant of natural hairstyles. Workplace policies often prohibit hairstyles such as dreadlocks and afros, viewing them as supposedly unprofessional or disruptive to a work environment. Black women are often the people mostly thought of in the context of the black hair discussion, but our men face the same troubles. In 2001, the dean of Hampton University’s School of Business banned male students from wearing braids and dreadlocks because they were not “businesslike.” Hampton
Imani McGarrell Opinions Columnist Journalism sophomore
came under heavy fire from the black community for this decision. For many, traditional hairstyles are a way to uphold black heritage as opposed to simply buying into white corporate culture. There is no reason a person’s natural hair should be deemed automatically disruptive or unprofessional. I do not think we should be punishing people for things outside of their control—for example, the natural kinky state of black hair. Furthermore, traditional black hairstyles should be just as accepted as any other style. The fact that natural black hair and hairstyles are so frowned upon is reflective of the preference of white over black racial qualities inherent within society. It is ironic to me that so many business and corporations are dissuaded by black hair, when ordinary people are completely fascinated by it. A friend of mine has been natural for a little over a year now, and she says every day she gets a ton of compliments from white women gushing about how beautiful her hair is and how much they wish their hair could do that. Despite the positive attention from some, many who sport natural hairstyles commonly complain about random people on the street either coming and asking to touch their hair or incredibly enough, just sticking their uninvited hands right in. The way people seem to view natural hair as open to their gawking and unwanted touches is offensive. Those with natural hair are not exotic animals to be poked and prodded, they are human beings like anyone else, and they deserve the same respect given to those with straight, more European hair. What people need to realize about natural hair is it is an important aspect of many people’s identity. The natural hair movement is about rejecting the beauty ideals that so often put down black people for not being able to measure up to white beauty standards. It is about embracing the kinks, curls, waves and coils as they are and realizing they are just as beautiful as any other kind of hair.
Are you in favor of the construction of a nine-story mixed-use development proposed by Carson Properties to be built on the land currently occupied by Triple Crown, Cedars Mediterranean Restaurant and Eskimo Hut?
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6 | The University Star | News | Wednesday February 5, 2014
PERMITS, continued from front parking spots available, the carpool parking lots have not been filled to full capacity, Prentice said. “There’s 17 spaces and there’s 32 people who requested it, but they are not there all the time so it turns over,” Prentice said. Two or more students can request to be in a carpool group and each member must register themselves and their vehicles using the carpool parking request form, according to the Parking Services website. Vehicles that have a carpool parking permit can park Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to the website. “One thing we implemented this year for carpoolers is the people who are the riders. We’re giving them three scratch off permits,” Nusbaum
said. “So if they have to come to campus and they need to leave before their carpool needs to leave, they can just scratch the date off on that permit and come to campus and not be ticketed.” Riders are provided with only three temporary parking permits and are not able to receive any additional permits once all three are used. Once all temporary passes are used, students need to get a daily temporary parking pass, Nusbaum said. “I served on the Transportation (Services) Advisory Council, and you just realized sitting there we have very little space. So if I can maybe not bring my car to school and carpool with my roommate then that’s one extra space that someone else can have,” DeSalvo said.
COUNCIL, continued from front “Other cities have done this. We should communicate with them,” Thomaides said. “There could also be important outreach with Texas State because there are a lot of students benefitting from this law.” The educational outreach for the safe passing stipulations could be very similar to what the city has done in the past for other ordinances, said Mayor Daniel Guerrero. Councilman Shane Scott, Place 6, said the city could educate the community through a commercial on television. New funds could be provided to the city’s video engineer to help him film a commercial, Guerrero said. Councilman Jude Prather, Place
2, said notices could be sent out with utility bills. City Manager Jared Miller said the staff will consider each idea. “We’ll have everything for you to see,” Miller said. “Social media, utility bills, the website, a laundry list of ideas.” Councilwoman Lisa Prewitt, Place 1, asked Miller if roadside billboards with ordinance information could be built. Miller said billboards could just end up being a distraction for drivers. The final vote on the ordinance will take place in city council’s Feb. 18 meeting. The ordinance will be enacted if it is approved by councilmembers that day.
It makes you smarter.
The University Star | Wednesday February 5, 2014 | 7
Ben McElroy junior outfielder
Photo courtesy of Texas State Athletics
By Kirk Jones
Sports Reporter @kirk_jones11
Baseball was not always Ben McElroy’s first love. “There were times when baseball was my third favorite sport behind football and basketball,” McElroy, junior outfielder, said. “I would even want to quit sometimes in seventh and eighth grade, but my dad would always encourage me to stick with it and tell me that I really had a future in baseball.” Before his senior season in high school, McElroy decided he wanted to focus on baseball to impress coaches in the hopes of playing at a university. “I really didn’t get any offers for basketball or football to play at the college level,” McElroy said. “I really didn’t think I had what it took.” McElroy was set to enroll at the University of Texas as only a student, not an athlete, when he put together a “solid” high school senior season that caught the eyes of the Bobcat coaching staff. “About April my senior year I was all set up to be a student at Texas,” McElroy said. “I was rooming with my best friend and we had a dorm set up and everything, and I was lucky enough to put together a solid senior year.” McElroy batted .446, with seven
home runs, 39 runs batted in and 17 doubles, earning him First Team All-District honors at the end of his senior season. The Highland Park native received a call and was asked to come to Texas State and meet the coaching staff. “After I went on my visit, the coaches were much cooler and nicer,” McElroy said. “They were really friendly and welcoming versus the other schools I visited, and I knew it was a good place to play.”
that, and that is what differentiates between an average player and a great one.” McElroy immediately received playing time after accepting his offer to play baseball for Texas State. He started 23 games while making the jump from his freshman to sophomore year. “His maturity developed well,” said Assistant Coach Mike Silva. “He had been through the trials and tribulations of practices and games at the college level. He knows how to handle failure now more than ever. Most players when they are developing try to become something they are not and accepting your style is key.” McElroy developed from a .229 batting average and a .323 base percentage his freshman season to .306 and .403 average, respectively. “He’s a gap-to-gap hitter,” Silva said. “I expect him to be consistent —Ty Harrington, coach working on things he needs to work on. Also, with some leadership qualities I expect him to help out with some of the younger guys.” Coach Ty Harrington has seen Coaches have high expectations McElroy grow as both a player and that McElroy will develop into a key a student during his tenure with the contributor with a strong schedule Bobcats. ahead this season. “Ben is a good athlete,” “Going into his third year it’s that Harrington said. “If you go back and time in life where he needs to be a look at the history of who he is, he major contributor,” Harrington said. was a football and baseball player “He needs to be a leader and not folin high school. He loves the big mo- low like some younger players, and ment and doesn’t shy away from he’s beginning to do that.”
He loves the big moment and doesn’t shy away from that, and that is what differentiates between an average player and a great one.”
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Get to Know Ross Goebel
senior pitcher Austin Humphreys| Photo Editor
By Ishmael Johnson Sports Reporter @Ish_46
IJ: What’s your favorite spot in San Marcos? RG: Probably floating the river with the rest of the guys on the team.
IJ: What’s your favorite type of music? RG: My favorite type of music would be anything country, from Texas country to the oldies and anything in between.
IJ: Is that a usual team bonding thing? RG: We do it once a year. Usually we’ll have a team float just to get to hang out with the freshmen.
IJ: Favorite movie? RG: “For the Love of the Game.” IJ: What’s your favorite Texas State memory? RG: My favorite memory would be the first time I pitched in my Texas State debut back in my junior year.
IJ: Do you have a pre-game food? RG: Pre-game food is definitely Chipotle. IJ: Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions? RG: Nothing really superstitious. I just try and go through the same routine(s) every time (like) stretching, and I always want to throw the same pitches.
IJ: Favorite athlete? RG: I’ve always loved Craig Biggio. IJ: Are you an Astros fan? RG: Huge Astros fan. We always went to the games when we were little with our parents. IJ: Who’s your inspiration? RG: My inspiration would be my family members, my dad and my brother. My dad never could play baseball when he was growing up—he always had to work. I kind of want to play for him. My brother was always there for me and always backed me up in whatever I did. IJ: What do you hope to accomplish in your last semester? RG: A conference championship.
8 | The University Star | Sports | Wednesday February 5, 2014
Bobcats have second chance against Warhawks at Strahan “The good news is we played them early in the conference season,” Antoine said. “We’ve had opportunity to play a lot of games and watch them and their peaks and valleys.” Texas State is riding its second winning streak of the season. The Bobcats outscored the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Feb. 1 by 14 points in the second half to earn their second road victory. “As well as we played at Western Kentucky, there is still room for improvement,” Antoine said. “The good thing is that room for improvement isn’t something that needs to take a considerable amount of time. We’ve been looking for consistency, and we’ve seen that in some areas.” Freshman guard Kaitlin Walla and sophomore center Kileah Mays contributed 18 points off the bench in the 72-63 victory against the Hilltoppers. Antoine said she does not want a drop-off when she replaces her starters with the bench.
Star File Photo
By Quixem Ramirez Sports Reporter @quixem
The Texas State women’s basketball team will face the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks for the second time this season at Strahan Coliseum tonight after a previous 26–point loss. The Warhawks scored 24 points off 18 turnovers and made 28 of 33 free throws attempted in the 78–52 victory over Texas State Jan. 11. Only two of the 14 Louisiana-Monroe players did not score in the contest. “The game was very hard to watch as a coach,” said Coach Zenarae Antoine. “There were a lot of factors contributing to the blowout loss. We missed easy layups. We didn’t do a good job communicating defensively. They got a lot of easy layups and shots.” The Bobcats missed 30 of 34 shots in the first half during their first matchup against the Warhawks this season. Junior guard Meghan Braeuer, junior forward Jacqueline Jeffcoat and senior guard Kaylan Martin combined for 5 points, shooting 1 of 18 in the match. The Warhawks are 2–4 since the previous matchup, dropping to seventh in the Sun Belt. The Bobcats are fourth in the conference, with a 3–1 record since their last matchup with Louisiana—Monroe.
“I think we are going to go into this game better prepared and truly understanding what it’s going to take.” —Zenarae Antoine, coach “Kileah has been working so hard, and she found her way into playing substantial, critical minutes for us,” Antoine said. “That’s exciting, and that tells you our team is growing. As we continue to grow, we’ll know how good they are, and where the depth is on this team. The depth on the bench is going to be critical.” Louisiana-Monroe has three players averaging double-digits this year. The Warhawks average 41.7 rebounds per game, the second highest mark in the conference. “I think we are going to go into this game better prepared and truly unhderstanding what it’s going to take,” Antoine said. “It’s going to take a team effort, and they cannot slip.” Texas State is 1.5 games behind Arkansas State for the SBC lead. The Bobcats have 10 games remaining, all conference opponents, until the SBC tournament. “Playing in the postseason is the ultimate goal,” Antoine said. “The team clearly understood when we hit February we need to be playing basketball. They just need to keep rebounding and stay consistent.”
TRACK & FIELD
Athletes break school records at Howie Ryan Invitational in Houston By Cameron Cutshall Sports Reporter @CameronCutshall
The Texas State track and field team achieved record-breaking performances last weekend when the Bobcats returned to Houston to compete in the Howie Ryan Invitational. Leading the way was the throws team. Sophomore Talore Kelly and junior Darian Brown both broke school records in the women and men’s weight throws competition. Kelly finished second in her event with a throw of 18.41 meters, which was enough to break Jalisa Hall’s record of 18.39 meters set last year at the Western Athletic Conference Indoor Championships. Brown finished first in his event with a throw of 19.92 meters. The mark was enough to break the school record Brown previously owned of 19.47 meters set last year at the WAC Indoor Championships. “It’s a blessing—at the same you have to keep looking forward, and hopefully I can do it again next week,” Brown said. “Consistency (has been the key for me so far this season). Honestly, Coach (Nathan) Ott is the mastermind, and I’m just the workhorse behind it. I’m just listening to him, and he has me doing the right things.” The women’s distance medley team finished first in the event with a time of 11:50.94. The performance was fast enough to set a new school record, breaking the time of 11:59.22 set in 2007. The event’s runners included freshman Keila Rodriguez, sophomore Amber Gilmore, junior Briana Sharp and senior Michelle Jones. “Some things definitely started coming together, so I was happy to see that,” said Coach Dana Boone. “Good things happened in the throws, and it was good to see the distance medley break the school record time. That was impressive.” The men’s distance medley
came in second with a time of 10:19.38. The runners were senior Reggie Reed, freshman Justin McMillin and sophomores Joseph Rodriguez and Cameron Shoppach. The men’s 4x400 meter relay team comprised of seniors Reggie Reed and Raymond Hatton and sophomores Anthony Johnson and Larron Black finished fourth in the meet with a time of 3:19.57. The women’s 4x400 meter relay team consisting of freshmen Marika Brown, Abby Hani, Erica Martin and Brianna Adams finished second in the meet with a time of 3:51.38. “There were a lot of individual performances that you could finally start to see coming together,” Boone said. Other notable performances included those of junior Michael Grijalva and sophomore Joseph Pena, who both competed in the men’s 5,000-meter run and finished in second and third place. For the 60-meter hurdles event, senior Chelsea Stephen finished fourth with a time of 8.50. The time was good enough to tie the school record Stephen set last year at the WAC Indoor Championships. In the men’s pole vaulting competition, sophomore Seth Arnold put up his second first place finish this year. Arnold had a height of 17 feet, 1.5 inches. There were no other competitors in the event that had a height above 16 feet. Junior Anicka Newell finished in a four-way tie for second place in the women’s pole vault. Finishing out the performances of the day was junior Allie Saunders who finished second in the women’s triple jump with a distance of 12.30 meters. “I was very pleased overall,” Boone said. “Sure there are areas where we can improve, but overall it was much better performances (this week).” The Bobcats will travel to Birmingham, Al. this weekend to compete in their next competition at the Samford Multi and Invitational.