WEDNESDAY JULY 9, 2014
VOLUME 104 ISSUE 4
D efending the First Amendment since 1911
VIDEO Smoking Ban: Residents comment on the smoking ban that went into effect June 1. Go to universitystar.com
Stapp named San Marcos police chief
COURTESY OF SAN MARCOS POLICE DEPARTMENT
By Carlie Porterfield SENIOR NEWS REPORTER
DENISE CATHEY STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Joann Cole Mitte building to undergo renovations By Camden Scarborough NEWS REPORTER
he Joann Cole Mitte building, home to the School of Art and Design, is undergoing a large-scale facelift to help increase space and decrease crowded classrooms. The $6.2 million project will address the inefficiencies of the current facilities, creating
more classroom, studio and faculty office space. The comprehensive “capital project” is scheduled to begin in summer 2015 and will be completed the next fall, said Juan Guerra, associate vice president of Facilities. Six smaller projects included in the overall renovation plan will begin this year. Construction has not yet begun on the project, but plans are complete for the six smaller projects, Guerra said.
“We have done about everything we can creatively to use space more efficiently,” said Michael Niblett, director of the School of Art and Design. Since the Mitte building was built in 1991, the art program has seen big changes in the technology it uses and its curriculum, as well as increases in the number of students enrolled, Niblett said.
See JCM, Page 3
Interstate Highway 35 frontage road between Kyle, San Marcos now one-way By Nicole Barrios ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR Three miles of Interstate Highway 35 frontage road between Kyle and San Marcos were converted from two-way traffic to one-way this past weekend to improve safety. The frontage roads from Center Street in Kyle and Yarrington Road in San Marcos were temporarily
shut down when work began June 28 at 8 p.m., according to a TxDOT press release. Workers removed the old yellow two-lane stripes on the roadway and repainted with the white one-way stripe, said Kelli Reyna, TxDOT public information officer. Signs were then installed designating the lanes as one-way only, she said. Reyna said this change will not
only help improve mobility throughout the area but also make the roadway safer for drivers. “As the area continues to grow and projects continue to get built, it’s important that we ensure that the system is as safe as possible,” Reyna said. “And one of the ways that we can do that is by turning the two-way frontage road into a one-way roadway.”
The small project of converting the two-way frontage road into a one-way is a part of a larger project that will replace the existing Yarrington Road overpass with turnaround bridges in both northbound and southbound directions, Reyna said. Once turnaround bridges are in place, it will be easier to get from one side of the
See IH-35, Page 3
Apartment pool party results in police intervention, $1,400 fine By Camden Scarborough NEWS REPORTER Almost 2,000 people attended the pool party heard ‘round the world last Saturday at The Retreat last. Promoted by the Texas State Trendsetter hashtag #TXSTSummerBash, hundreds of people were at the party, which ended in a $1,400 fine for the complex. The “Second Annual Summer Bash” was planned by the apartment complex, which hired Endless Entertainment to run an ad campaign using the Texas State Trendsetter hashtag, said exercise and sports
science junior Shawn “Big Neechi” Onyechi, representative for Endless Entertainment. The party totaled well over twice the pool’s capacity of 750, said Police Chief Chase Stapp. Promotions began four days before the event but were halted after two days due to an estimated 15,000-to-20,000-person turnout, Onyechi said. “People were saying they flew in from all over the country,” Neechi said. “Some were even coming from out of the country.” Police arrived just before 4 p.m., when the party was scheduled to
end, because of numerous noise complaints from neighbors and cars parked illegally, Stapp said. “You never know what could go wrong with a crowd that big,” Stapp said. “It was bigger than (The Retreat) could control or handle. Almost all on-duty officers were called in to help.” While the party was in the midst of shutdown, police monitored exits and made sure they only flowed one-way, Stapp said. Security was present at the party from the beginning, and attendees were courteous and stayed to help clean and pick up trash, Onyechi
said. “It was a good time, and no one misbehaved,” Onyechi said. “When the cops came, everyone left. The party was a success.” The San Marcos Fire Marshal issued a citation to The Retreat’s manager, Clark Matthews, but no other citations were issued to any of the party’s attendees, Stapp said. Enforcing underage drinking laws was not a focus as much as getting attendees out safely was, Stapp said. “I just thank God that everyone made it out safe and had a good
See RETREAT, Page 3
Chase Stapp, a San Marcos law enforcement veteran, has been appointed chief of police to follow retiring Chief Howard Williams, City Manager Jared Miller announced June 25. “Chief Stapp possesses a wealth of experience, leadership skills and a deep knowledge and connection with the San Marcos community,” said Miller in a city press release. City Council approved the confirmation of the appointment at its July 1 meeting. Chief Williams will retire August 1. “I’m honored and humbled by the fact that I was considered, and there’s no doubt in my mind that the reason I was considered above the other candidates is because of the strong support that was shown for me by the members of the police department and those outside the department,” Stapp said. According to a city press release, Stapp has worked in every division of the department and has risen through the ranks during his time at SMPD. He has served as a patrol officer, detective, narcotics investigator, night patrol supervisor and training officer. As a police sergeant, he supervised a multi-jurisdictional narcotics task force from 2000 to 2008. “I’ve worked here in the police field for almost 23 years and advanced through the ranks and made the decision that I want to make my home here and retire from here,” Stapp said. “I really saw the chief’s position as somewhere where I could make a difference and make the department an even better place to work.” Stapp said his strong communication skills are a strength he will bring to the position. “I think my communication skills and the ability to build strong relationships both inside and outside the organization is going to be the strength I will rely upon the most,” Stapp said. While policing in a college town can be challenging, Stapp said Texas State students help make the town what it is, and the relationship between the city and the university is an important one to maintain. “The relationship between Texas State and the police department has improved dramatically in the past 5 years,” Stapp said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of that through my involvement in the ACT Committee.” Stapp currently serves as a co-chair of the “Achieving Community Together” (ACT) Committee. The ACT Committee is collaboration between the university and the city of San Marcos to address issues. According to a city press release, ACT has been awarded state, national and international awards. Stapp, a San Marcos Native, graduated from San Marcos High School in 1988 and from Texas State in 1999 with magna cum laude honors. He is expected to complete the Certified Public Manager Program in December 2014 at Texas State. Stapp’s father, the late Ed Stapp, served SMPD in the 1970s for ten years and later retired from the Texas Department of Public Safety as a captain. His wife, Teri, teaches second grade at Hays CISD. His two sons, Cole and Kyle, also graduated from San Marcos High School and are both students at Texas State.
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Wednesday, July 9, 2014 | The University Star | News | 3
JCM, from front
RETREAT, from front
“When it was built there were only 500 art majors,” Niblett said. “Now there are over 1,300. For the size we are, this is still probably not going to meet our needs but it will help.” The need for renovations is due in part to the rising popularity of the art program but primarily to the inefficiency of the current space being used, said Timothy Mottet, dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication. “More space is not available, but the funds for repurposing and reorganizing the existing space are,” Mottet said. A lounge area where students can work comfortably or sit and relax in between classes will be added, Mottet said. “I saw that too many students were sitting on the floor, which
really bothered me,” Mottet said. Some of the development and increased space will be allotted based on what programs are developing faster or are more popular, especially communication design, Mottet said. The school is also hiring more faculty specifically trained in that field. “We thought, ‘If you build it, they will come,’ and they’re coming, which is good,” Mottet said.As an added bonus, programs like communication design do not require as much space since they focus more on new media and studio art, Niblett said. The Sabinal Photo Lab and Studio, located on the other side of campus, is included in the renovation process because it has become outdated, Niblett said. “When the building was built,
film dominated the photographic process,” said photography junior Rian Allen. “Now a good chunk of the building is film developing rooms that don’t get used.” The Texas State University System Board of Regents, which accepted an application from the school based on the needs of the program, approved the renovation project, Mottet said. Funding for the project’s $6.2 million budget will come from the school’s institutional funds set aside for construction and renovations, Guerra said. “We’re very fortunate to have the school funding this,” Mottet said. “This is another big show of the school’s dedication to supporting the arts. Above all, we are creating a better environment for our students and faculty.”
the risk of vehicle collisions. “One of the things it’s going to do is eliminate the potential for head-on collisions, which is the worst type of collision you can have or crash you can have on the roadway system,” Reyna said. Head-on collisions are one of the most frequent types of collisions in two-way traffic, TxDOT has found. If someone is not expecting two-way traffic and travels in the left lane assuming it is one-way, collisions occur, Reyna said. This project is very important to safety in the area, said Ben Engelhardt, area engineer for TxDOT’s South Travis Area Office, in the press release. “I-35 is the transportation backbone for the region, and by switching these high-volume frontage roads to one-way, we hope to
improve traffic movements in the area and ensure our system is as safe as possible,” Engelhardt said in the release. Just preventing that risk will help to increase safety throughout the entire area, Reyna said. “You know, as more than a thousand people move to Texas every day, that’s a really important fact to remember,” Reyna said. TxDOT has posted messages and held community meetings with citizens to spread awareness of the modifications taking place in the area and to let them know the change is coming, Reyna said. “At the end of the day, once the new Yarrington Road bridge overpass and turnaround bridges are complete, it will help the entire area to flow smoother,” Reyna said.
IH-35, from front highway to the other. “This is the first step to being able to complete the larger project,” Reyna said. The larger $12.2 million project will be completed over 20 months by the contractor, OHL USA, Inc., according to the press release. The two-way to one-way lane conversion portion of the project was completed Sunday afternoon with no complications, Reyna said. “Whenever you have a high-volume roadway, and especially, in this case, this high-volume frontage road, we really do feel that changing this from a two-way and converting it to a one-way is helping to insure the system is safe,” Reyna said. Through the completion of this change, TxDOT hopes to reduce
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time,” Neechi said. The San Marcos Police Department met with Retreat management to discuss future plans on how to better manage an event like this, Stapp said. “I think that conversation went well,” Stapp said. The Retreat’s manager, Clark Matthews, could not be reached for a comment.
4 | The University Star | Wednesday, July 9, 2014
THE MAIN POINT
Honors College offers great benefits
exas State students should strive to become a part of the Honors College and take advantage of the benefits associated with it. The Honors College is a great opportunity for those who have the discipline to apply themselves and maintain the GPA required to get accepted and stay in. Many students may be hesitant to even apply for the Honors College because there is an assumption that it is highly selective. However, although it is not a free-for-all, any student who has the initiative has a good chance at being accepted and thriving in the Honors College. There are many positive advantages to being in the Honors program at Texas State. The most notable is Honors students are allowed priority registration. With all of the stress and craziness that comes with signing up for classes, registering first and worrying about getting into a specific class is a great experience. In addition, classes within the Honors College are typically more personable. Instead of being ushered into large lecture halls like sheep into a pen, Honors students have smaller, more intimate classes with a maximum of 20 people. Professors encourage student interaction by hosting social gatherings for the classes and strive to establish connections between the students and professor with a ‘Meet the Professor’ night before registration starts. Classes in the Honors program are also centralized and interesting. The courses offered change every semester and cover a broad range of topics. During the upcoming fall 2014 semester, classes such as Re-Humanizing Communication, Elementary Number Theory, and The Search For Right and Wrong in Politics will be offered. The beauty of these classes is that they are able to substitute for other, possibly more boring classes students need to take to fulfill their basic core requirements. Honors College classes foster
conversation and critical thinking in a way that makes students look forward to going to class, which is no easy feat. Honors College applicants should note the distinction between graduating with a minor in Honors and graduating in the Honors College. To graduate in the Honors College, students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher, complete 15 hours of Honors courses and complete the Honors Thesis course. In order to graduate with a minor in Honors Studies, students must complete 21 hours of honors courses including the thesis course and also display “cross-cultural competency,” which is typically fulfilled by studying abroad. There is also the distinction of graduating with honors, meaning students maintained a GPA of 3.40-3.59 to graduate Cum Laude, 3.60-3.79 to graduate Magna Cum Laude and 3.80-4.00 to graduate Summa Cum Laude. These distinctions are not related to the Honors College. All in all, the positives of being in the Honors College at Texas State outweigh any difficulties of meeting program requirements. The sooner students get into the program, the better. However, with dedication, it is never too late for anyone to get their head in the game.
Ryan Jeanes STAR ILLUSTRATOR
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.
Policing language problematic in LGBTQIA community
Brandon Sams OPINIONS COLUMNIST Public relations freshman
olicing language and appropriating, or in some cases misappropriating, terms can often fall into a grey area as they can be deemed despicable by one, and a badge of honor by another. In recent weeks the discussion
of language policing has been a topic of debate. Drag queen extraordinaire RuPaul’s usage of the words “tranny” and “she-male” in his hit television series ““RuPaul’s Drag Race”” has caused many in the transgender community to advocate for the censoring of the terms as they are said by non-transgender people. While transgender advocates such as Parker Marie Molloy and Carmen Carrera have condemned ““RuPaul’s Drag Race”” for its usage of the terms, they fail to realize their nuanced usage. Drag Queens, who fall under the transvestite umbrella of the transgender community, are no strangers to the words “tranny” or “she-male,” as they have been slurs used against them since be-
fore transsexualism was a known phenomenon. I find it a bit presumptuous to condemn these people who transcend gender for the usage of the term, when they have a right to use it just as much, if not more so, than actual transsexual women and men. Also, while people have a right to be offended by others, they do not have the right to demand others to be offended as well. If transgender, transsexual or transvestite people want to use the terms as an act of endearment among one another, which is the way they used it on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” then that’s their prerogative. If others in those communities are offended by it and find it problematic, that, too, is their prerogative. The choice of appeasing
Marijuana decriminalization would be beneficial to all
Jenna Coleman OPINIONS COLUMNIST Journalism junior
he decriminalization of marijuana is actually more beneficial to taxpayers, citizens and the government than some may think. All over the country, the discussion over decriminalizing marijuana is springing up. Excessive sentencing over possession of marijuana and billions of tax dollars spent on the incarceration of those who have used marijuana are a huge concern to me. The recent case of Jacob Lavoro, a nineteenyear-old from Cedar Park, Texas, has made national news. He is facing life in prison for possessing and allegedly selling pot brownies which contained hash oil. Since the Williamson County Police could not measure the amount of oil, they measured the weight of the brownie, charging Lavoro with a felony for the large amount of brownies he possessed. The absurdity of this case does not need to be stressed. A life sentence, for possession of marijuana brownies, should not even be in question. A very powerful argument is the availability of law enforcement time and resources, if marijuana was decriminalized, for more legitimate problems. Leaving the trivial offenses, such as marijuana possession, out of the court rooms. Norml.org states that approximately 60,000 people are currently behind bars in the U.S. on marijuana charges, costing tax payers and estimated 1.2 billion dollars per year to incarcerate these individuals. The same site also claims that taxpayers annually spend up to $10 billion prosecuting
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for marijuana offenses, while almost 90 percent of these offenses are mere possession arrests. These high fees can be better spent elsewhere in this debt- imprisoned country, and marijuana users should be left alone. One of the possible fears of those who do not support decriminalization could be that decriminalization will lead to a society of unmotivated potheads. On the contrary, as Norml.org states, government studies have shown that decriminalization has no effect on people’s use of, beliefs about or attitudes toward marijuana. Furthermore, Norml.org csites a number of other studies that have been written on the effects of marijuana decriminalization in other countries. A large percentage of countries that have decriminalized or legalized marijuana have demonstrated a pattern of lowered use of marijuana and more harmful drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamines. An April 2009 Time article states that in Portugal, where the criminalization of possession has been abolished, there are actually lower rates of death and hospitalization due to overdosinge on hard drugs and a decreased drug use in teens. Amongst these points lie other reasons why decriminalization, and even the legalization, of marijuana is not only logical, butbut also beneficial. The government can raise revenue through taxation of legalized marijuana. Full legalization of marijuana would dismantle marijuana drug trafficking and disempower the drug cartels that hover around the Mexican border. Furthermore, according to a Sept. 2013 USA Today article, many Americans admittedly agree that alcohol is more harmful than marijuana, both to society and one’s health. Overall, the decriminalizing of marijuana would protect citizens from nonsensical offenses, taxpayers from unnecessary fees used to incarcerate marijuana users and law enforcement officer’s time. Altering the way the law interacts with marijuana will effectively pave the way for a government that would eventually be able to benefit from marijuana use.
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demands arechoice of appeasing demands is up to the individual, not the faux-monolithic collective. In this polarizing debate, coined the “tranny debate,” cisgender people, or people who identify as the gender they were assigned at birth, have no bearing in this controversy. Seeing cisgender gay men trying to tell these transgender, transsexual and transvestite people what language can and cannot be used reeks of privilege and ignorance. They are not a part of these communities., Ttherefore their opinions regarding the nuances of these communities hold little to no weight. These terms have no impact on their life or their identity. Essentially, if someone declares a word to be problematic and
an affront to them, the logical thing to do is to at least adjust the language used in their presence. Everything comes down to respect, sensitivity and empathizing with one another. The polarizing aspects of the “tranny debate” will continue to be a topic of discussion in the transgender community, and the greater LGBTQIA community-at-large. Policing language can only go so far. Drag queens and others within the transgender community will continue to use these terms as they have reclaimed them. Conversely, others within the community will continue to advocate for the dissolution of these words altogether. There is no right or wrong, as I always say—there is nuance to everything.
Campus ticketing system flawed, underregulated
Kirsten Peek SPECIAL TO THE STAR Journalism senior
arking Services should not have the power to place holds on student accounts. Many students choose to put off paying their parking tickets due to the high price of each offense. If a student fails to pay the standard $40 parking violation ticket, after 10 days the fee with be increased to $55. If the ticket still is not paid, a hold will be placed on their account and the student will not be able to register, drop classes or graduate. There are a number of flaws in this system. Parking Services does not electronically notify the driver when they receive a ticket. They trust that the ticket, stuck under the windshield wiper of the offending car, will deliver the message to the vehicle owner. While it usually ends up in the intended hands, I have witnessed a student walking though a parking garage removing the tickets from cars, presumably thinking he was doing everyone a favor. If the offending vehicle is not registered to Texas State, Parking Services looks up registration records through DPS and will assign the ticket to the account of the student with the corresponding last name and home address. This means that if a Texas State parent comes to visit campus, parks illegally, and is given a ticket, the ticket will be assigned to the account of their child, even though they werethe
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student was not the one driving and may have no knowledge of this occurrence. In this scenario, even if the car is registered to the parent, the student is forced to take responsibility for the ticket. After a hold is eventually placed on a student account, the student is still not notified. The only way they will find out they have a hold is if they happen to log onto Catsweb to check their status. Few students regularly have reason to log on to Catsweb outside of registration and drop periods. This means that students who have unknowingly received a ticket or two during the past year will be surprised when they log on to Catsweb on the drop date and see they have to pay Parking Services for all tickets and late fees before they can drop their class. According to the Parking Services website, the department is a self-supporting entity that must generate itstheir own revenue to cover all parking operation expenses. The site states that there are “three main sources of revenue for the parking system:- permit fees, permit violation fees and parking meter fees.” What this says to me is that Parking Services has incentive to do what itthey can to make as much money as possible off of tickets. I believe this is why they do not extend more effort to make sure students are aware of existing tickets, holds and punishments for not paying tickets. They have reason to want students to put off paying tickets, because they make more money when they get to charge a late fee and to blindside students with holds, so that the students will just panic and pay the tickets instead of appealing. The unpleasantness and hassle of dealing with an unexpected hold teaches a lesson that many students only have to learn once. That being said, an outstanding parking ticket from three months ago should not be cause to withhold a final transcript. Parking Services should not have that much power over the fate of students.
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 Wednesday, July 9, 2014. 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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Wednesday, July 9, 2014 | The University Star | 5
San Marcos Statues By Kara Dornes TRENDS REPORTER
Chief Placido Dedicated by the Leadership of San Marcos Class of 2007, the city’s statue depicts Tonkawa tribe leader Chief Placido. The statue sits proudly on a pink granite base placed in a prominent spot at the city park adjacent to the San Marcos River. The Tonkawa Native Americans lived in what is now San Marcos prior to the arrival of Anglo settlers in the 1840s. Chief Placido and his Tonkawa warriors were allies to the settlers and fought alongside them during the Mexican-American war and against their common adversary, the Comanche. “We decided that this would be a good way to thank the Tonkawa people,” said Rodney Van Oudekerke, historic preservation commission chair.
The Vaquero Donated by Bill and Sally Wittliff and dedicated in April 2013, the “Vaquero” statue is located on the Texas State campus in the Old Main Plaza. This bronze masterpiece stands over 18 feet tall. Sculpted by Clete Shields, the statue was inspired by Wittliff’s photographs capturing scenes of the last traditional roundups on the vast Rancho Tule in northern Mexico. The bronze vaquero stands by his saddle wearing chaps and holding his quirt. Scenes of vaqueros working and living in the chaparral are sculpted in relief on three sides of the pedestal with the words “vaqueros always, since the beginning, inscribed on the front,” said Michele Miller, Witliff media relations and publications specialist.
Fighting Stallions One of the most well-known fixtures on campus, “Fighting Stallions” stands 17 feet tall on the Quad’s west end. The statue was gifted to Texas State in 1951 by noted sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington and her husband Archer, both from South Carolina. In addition to marking the campus’ designated free speech zone, the horses serve as a talisman of sorts for students. Bobcats can often be seen rubbing the metal horses for good luck before major exams.
Statue of Justice Located on top of the Hays County Historic Courthouse, the Statue of Justice stands. Like the figures found on many courthouses throughout the world, the statue is of Lady Justice, an allegorical personification of the moral force in judicial systems. Lady Justice wears a blindfold to indicate that justice should be given out objectively without favor. She holds a scale to measure the strengths of a case’s support and opposition and a double-edged sword that divides with the power of reason and justice in either direction.
Jack Hays Hays County’s namesake, John Coffee “Jack” Hays, was a Texas Ranger hailed as a brilliant leader and fearless fighter during the Mexican-American War, known by the name “Devil Jack” to his friends and foes alike. After his years as a soldier, Hays went on to pioneer trails through the Southwest to California and was eventually elected sheriff of San Francisco County. The sculpture was created by artist Jason Scull and stands proud on the Hays County Courthouse Square in downtown San Marcos.
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Wednesday, July 9, 2014 | The University Star | 7
By Ishmael Johnson ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR “Mentally disciplined” is how Sara Rupp, Texas State softball signee, is described by her junior softball coach, Mark Tucker. Rupp, a catcher, has played with her twin sister, Randi, her entire life, but she has developed her own identity on the field. Sara had to make an early decision in high school at Barbers Hill. She played both softball and volleyball until her sophomore year, when she realized softball was more of a year-long commitment. “The volleyball coach was not too happy about it,” Sara said. “It was mid-season and he wanted me to be committed to that sport. But I thought about it and said, ‘I’m not going to play volleyball in the future,’ so I just focused on softball since that was my future.” Both Sara and Randi committed to Texas State their sophomore year of high school, and it was always in the cards that they would attend school together. Sara says the two mentioned the possibility of attending different schools, but it was never an actual discussion when it came to their final decision. “Texas State was just perfect where it’s at: far from home but close enough to come home, and so it just fit,” Sara said. “We went up and just visited. It was just beautiful and right for us.” Sara and her sister have always had a close bond, and it’s mimicked on the field by their catcher-to-pitcher relationship. The catcher and the pitcher have to have a deeper mental connection to attack each batter. “I learned quickly with this kid that she had a good mind for it, so I let her (call the game), and she kind of grew into it,” Tucker said. “We would talk between innings about certain pitches, about how to attack certain hitters.” Coach Tucker quickly learned to en-
trust Sara with the responsibility of making in-game decisions as opposed to making them himself. During one summer with the Texas Bombers, Sara’s sister, Randi, got injured and was unable to play. Coach Tucker referenced this moment as a turning point for Sara’s maturity. “She wasn’t sure if she was really happy playing,” Tucker said. “They are really close with each other, and she really had to work at it. I remember at one point she had to skip a tournament. She took a weekend off, and I talked to her about it.” Coach Tucker explained to Sara that she would have to learn to persevere without her sister eventually and that this was a good opportunity to start that process. Sara used it to catapult herself and become one of the veteran presences Tucker entrusted to speak to her incoming Bomber teammates. “She really gave a great speech,” Tucker said. “She talked about how much it meant to her, how much she loved the game, loved the sister, and she had learned that she needed to put herself out there.” Despite Barbers Hill finishing just short of a state championship, Sara says she’ll remember playing one last season with a group of players she had played with her whole life. “This was our last year, so we gave it all or nothing, and the determination between all six of us seniors—it was awesome,” Sara said. “Any day could have been our last day playing together, so we just wanted to go as far as we could.” The drive of the family-like unit and the fan base at Barbers Hill will be things Sara misses most when she joins Texas State. “These kids are wanting to learn, wanting to get better, and they’re willing to work at it,” Tucker said. “The group of them are unbelievable. They almost know what they’re going to do before they do it.”
By Devin Tyler SPORTS REPORTER Stuart Smallwood’s father, Cliff, gave Stuart his first set of golf clubs when he was only three years old. The golfing set came with five balls, a set of clubs and a putter. What may have seemed like a play set of plastic golfing toys would eventually spark the interest leading to Stuart’s successful career in the sport. Stuart’s father played golf at Cameron University, inspiring his son. Cliff mentored his son throughout the beginnings of his career, teaching Stuart how to golf. “He’s my swing coach,” Stuart said. “He has been there every step of the way and will continue to be in the future. When I was three, he would take me to the putting green and I would just put. I loved it. That is all I wanted to do. My father and I would have putting competitions for hours.” Stuart competed in the last tournament of his college career at the NCAA Championship Regional at Briggs Ranch Golf Club last May. During the first day of regionals, Stuart kept himself in contention by posting a score of 73, leaving him three shots away from the cutline determining advancement in the tournament. The following Friday his game showed signs of slight inconsistency as he finished the day with a score of 3-overpar 75. Stuart was eight strokes off the cutline. In order to overcome the deficit, Stuart would need to be very consistent and assertive on the course the next day. Stuart finished the round with a score of 77 on Saturday, with an average of 75 for the tournament. Although he put forth a competitive effort, it was not enough to advance further into the NCAA Championship Regional. “Unfortunately, I played poorly at regionals,” Stuart said. “During the final stretch of the course I was thinking
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By Kirk Jones SPORTS REPORTER When Taylor Black’s family first heard from Bud Selig, Major League Baseball commissioner, his father, Harold, was texting Colorado Rockies executives. They were waiting on the final call. “We listened to the draft from about 11:00 am until he was drafted at around 3:00 in the afternoon,” Harold said. “He had been getting text messages back and forth leading up and of course there are some emotional highs and lows and getting caught up in the rush when Taylor’s name is finally called.” The Rockies selected Black with their 26th round selection (773rd overall), making him the fourth Bobcat drafted this year. “It’s great feeling knowing all your hard work has paid off,” Taylor said. “It’s a dream come true really ever since I have played competitively this had been the goal and to finally get here it’s just amazing.” Taylor credits Mike Bassik, former Texas Ranger pitcher and a one time Rangers pitching instructor, for his ascent to the major league level. “I realized after Taylor had been seeing Mike more that he had major potential,”
about just finishing well and trying to advance.” A month prior to the NCAA Regional Championship Tournament, Stuart won the Sun Belt Conference Individual Championship in Biloxi, Mississippi at the Grand Bear Golf Course. His victory secured him a spot in the Regionals. “During Regionals I wasn’t really thinking about the game as being my last, but during the Sun Belt Conference I did because it was going to be the last game,” Stuart said. “It had not been a great year, but I wanted to go out well and I played three days of great golf and won. My college career has been a roller coaster, but it making it to Regionals ended my career on a high note.” Though Stuart’s college golf career may be over, his career in the sport general is far from it. This upcoming fall semester, Stuart will be an assistant coach for the Texas State men’s golf team while continuing his golf career professionally. He plans on entering the professional ranks in the next six years. Stuart’s former golf coach from high school, Randall Lewis, still keeps in touch with his former player. The connection between Stuart and Randall is more of a friendship than a typical coach-player relationship. “During high school, he was probably more of a friend than a coach because my dad was doing most of the coaching at that age,” Stuart said. “Occasionally he would offer some advice, but he knew I didn’t really need much. Outside of the course he helped me with life off the golf course, which was good for me.” Lewis knows Stuart has what it takes to compete at the professional level. “He is one of the most fierce competitors I have ever seen,” Lewis said. “In high school he played at a level beyond his years. He’s prepared his whole life for these moments. One day if he makes it to the masters and needs a caddy, I will be ready.”
Harold said. “Mike told me in a candid conversation one time that Taylor has the potential to make it to the highest level if he commits and continues to work hard.” Black finished his Bobcat career after his junior season, the first season he was eligible for the Major League Baseball draft. Black won 11 of his 37 career starts, with 185 strikeouts, 82 walks and a 3.58 earned run average. “Next year is never promised,” Taylor said. “You never know what could happen if I went back or if I would ever get drafted again so I just took the first opportunity I could and ran with it.” In his first minor league game with the Grand Junction Rockies, Colorado’s class rookie affiliate, Taylor picked up the victory against the Ogden Raptors. Taylor allowed one hit in two innings. “I kind of got lucky,” Taylor said. “We were down like seven or eight runs when I came out and we ended up coming back and winning getting that first win is awesome I got the first one down and many more to come.” Black followed his first win performance with his first start of his major league career pitching 4.1 innings, allowing three hits and zero earned runs. Through his first three appearances, Taylor has allowed two earned runs in six innings.
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