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University Federal Credit Union to provide new ATMs By Raquel Kimm NEWS REPORTER The search for a new financial institution to add automated teller machines throughout the campus has ended. University Federal Credit Union recently won the bid, against other financial institutions, to place its ATMs throughout the university. The ATMs are set to be working by the upcoming fall, said university Treasurer Valerie Van Vlack. Officials took UFCU on a tour through campus to show them possible locations for future ATMs, said Bill Nance, vice president of Finance and Support Services. “UFCU is looking at putting ATMs in places such as the library, the rec, outside the UAC building, the Avery building on the Round Rock campus, Strahan Coliseum and the football stadium,” Van Vlack said. All of the locations piqued

interest, but as UFCU employees and university officials walked the campus, Strahan Coliseum stood out the most, Nance said. “The Capital Improvement plan in the next five years will provide an expansion for Strahan,” Nance said. “This could provide more retail space to be made available for places such as UFCU’s ATMs.” Wells Fargo, the main financial institution on campus, has ATMs all over campus and a bank branch inside the LBJ Student Center, Nance said. Although there is this opportunity for new financial institutions to create a partnership with the university, it will not take away from Wells Fargo. “Wells Fargo’s contract with their ATM and bank branch in LBJ with the university does not end until 2016,” Nance said. The Wells Fargo bank and ATMs have been in place on campus for over five years. “UFCU ideally would like to put four ATMs on campus,” Nance said. “They would be paying for the construction and placement of the ATMs and have sent construction drawings to us to show how much space they would take up to decide where they could be located.” ATM availability on the campus has proven to be beneficial for the financial institution that provides it and to the university, Van Vlack said. “The banks that want to be at Texas State University pay


DENISE CATHEY STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Josiah Reese guides Judee Leugens and Jake Borgen on their kayak tour downstream to the Spring Lake Dam.

Meadows Center introduces glass-bottom kayak tours By Camden Scarborough NEWS REPORTER


he Meadows Center for Water and the Environment is offering new glass-bottom kayak tours of Spring Lake aimed at tourists who visit during the summer months. The Meadows Center is a non-profit organization that has been giving glass-bottom boat tours of Spring Lake for the last 60 years, said Assistant Director Deborah Lane. The center now offers glass-bottom kayak tours for up to six people. The kayaks offer several unique

advantages over the traditional boat tours, said Josiah Reese, kayak guide at the center. Many areas of Spring Lake are too shallow for the glass-bottom boats to reach, but kayaks are quiet and non-invasive to the endangered species in the lake, making them ideal for tours. The kayak tours are more “intimate” than the large boat tours, Lane said. Guests have more freedom to explore on the glass-bottom kayak tours, but participants are required to remain with their tour guide, Reese said. “It’s kind of like a mother duck and her ducklings,” Reese said.

The outcome of the tour depends on weather conditions, the time of day and the tour guide’s judgment on the condition of the water and wildlife, Reese said. Each of the varying conditions makes each tour different from the last. “Just like the philosopher Thales said, ‘You can’t step in the same river twice,’” Reese said. Some “highlights” of the tour are a wetlands habitat with native fish, turtles and migratory birds, over 200 artesian springs and an underwater

See KAYAKS, Page 2

See ATM, Page 2


Scuba program provides training, diving trips for veterans By Carlie Porterfield SENIOR NEWS REPORTER Thanks to local donors, a San Antoniobased program that offers scuba training and diving trips to amputee veterans has been able to offer its their services free of charge to almost 500 veterans in less than 10 years. The program, founded by John Duggan and Mark Heniser, has used Spring Lake at the Meadows Center in San Marcos to host trainings for several years, said Duggan, a dive shop owner. The facilities at Texas State are among the best in the world, said Heniser, program coordinator and physical therapist at the Center for the Intrepid at the Brooke Army

Medical Center in San Antonio. Veterans undergoing rehabilitation at the Center for the Intrepid are offered the opportunity to become certified in scuba diving, Heniser said. Duggan said scuba diving has been a hit with veterans undoing rehabilitation. “There’s no gravity, for one thing,” Duggan said. “They can move around. They find out they can function just as well in the water as you and I can. It opens up a new world for them. They enjoy it and get exercise without realizing they’re doing it.” Scuba diving is an excellent activity for veterans returning home with injuries, but the benefits are more than just exercise and physical rehabilita-

tion, said Heniser. “Especially for amputees, it helps them build or rebuild self-confidence,” Heniser said. “It’s a sport that they can do just like anybody else can and become completely weightless, which is a big deal if you’re in a wheelchair.” The program was started in 2005 to aid some of Duggan’s military friends. “I started doing it because I had some buddies in the military who lost their limbs,” Duggan said. “They liked it. It’s good therapy.” Initially the program targeted amputees coming home from war, but now the program offers adaptive scuba to amputees as well as veterans suffering

See VETERANS, Page 2



Regents approve student collaboration with NASA By Naomi Lovato NEWS REPORTER The Texas State University System Board of Regents has approved a multi-million dollar contract starting for the 2014-2015 year between Texas State University and Jacobs Engineering Group to collaborate on advanced engineering and science work for NASA. Texas State and Jacobs Engineering will work together to develop task orders related to specific research and development needs, said Stan McClellan, director of the Ingram School of Engineering. Texas State was invited last August

to visit the Johnson Space Center, McClellan said. In September, NASA brought some people to campus to look around and then, over the next nine months, built a relationship with the university. Contractual arrangements led to an up to $9 million contract that will foster a number of activities between Jacob’s Engineering and Texas State over the next few years, said Gene Bourgeois, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs. Jacobs Engineering is the prime contractor to NASA and the Johnson Space Center, said McClellan. Jacobs Engineering had an agreement in its contract, stating it would seek out minority-serving universities,

said Gary Beall, professor in the chemistry and biochemistry department. Texas State is a Hispanic-serving institution, and therefore qualified for the partnership. “[Jacobs] does what NASA tells them, and we do what Jacobs tells us,” McClellan said. It’s always useful for students to get involved in collaborative projects with industries, McClellan said. “In engineering, it’s best to have some interaction with industrial problems because they get a better real-world feel,” McClellan said. The contract could potentially involve many different departments around campus and possibly bring the university together and develop into


more opportunities, McClellan said. “I am looking forward to a bunch of interesting projects that involve faculty and students from engineering and other departments on campus,” McClellan said. “This contract isn’t just with engineering. It’s with the campus.” Every department on campus could potentially be involved in a task that’s associated with the contract because it is “very broad,” McClellan said. A relationship with NASA is a highprofile contract full of opportunities for the university, Bourgeois said. Students could potentially help with projects like NASA’s International Space Station and the mission to Mars, and build strong experiences

to help them in the workforce. “I’m looking forward to Texas State faculty and students working with Jacobs Engineering’s scientists and researchers,” Bourgeois said. “Whether that’s through student internships or faculty research projects, the development and testing of new materials at Texas State brings a whole sweep of opportunities for us that we can be engaged in.” Students will have direct “on-theground experience” working with Jacobs Engineering, its staff and NASA’s Johnson Space Center employees on projects, Bourgeois said. “It may lead to future employ-

See NASA, Page 2

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A2 | The University Star | News | Wednesday, June 11, 2014

KAYAKS, from front archaeological dig, Lane said. This summer, the center will give a “full moon” tour on June 12, a Fourth of July fireworks tour and bird watching, photography and evening tours, Reese said. “The whole point is to make it an educational experience, not a recreational one,” Reese said. Visitors come to learn about the historical and biological background of the area, which dates back to the Ice Age, said Jared Wilken, a tour guide at

the center. Hunter-gatherers used the springs as a stop when they were hunting wooly mammoths. “It really lets people get a glimpse into the past,” Wilken said. Tours usually require a reservation, but this Memorial Day weekend visitors were welcome to walk-in tours all day, Reese said. Despite some inclement weather and road closures, Memorial Day operations were not hindered, Lane said. Some

ATM, from front

NASA, from front

the school, so the university benefits from having them on campus financially,” Van Vlack said. Students also benefit from having ATMs on campus. “Having my own personal bank on campus is really convenient because I can always pull out money for any immediate purposes and not have to worry about driving anywhere off campus or any additional charges added,” said Anthony Montelongo, management junior and Wells Fargo customer. UFCU officials are also thinking about following in the steps of Wells Fargo and considering starting a branch on campus as well, Nance said. “UFCU already has what they call a ‘mini-branch’ on Concordia’s campus,” Nance said. “It’s basically just a bank branch like the Wells Fargo one we have. With the addition of a branch, UFCU would also provide the university with more money if they are to have one on Texas State’s campus, but with the Wells Fargo branch already in place I’m not sure if we need another one quite yet.” UFCU has put steps in place for its ATMs and potential branch, but all final decisions and contracts are still being reviewed and have not been finalized yet, Van Vlack said. “Wells Fargo being on campus has saved me a lot of time and money,” Montelongo said. “UFCU could provide that luxury to its customers that are students at Texas State, so I hope they jump on board soon so I’m not the only one of my friends with money in their pocket.”

ment opportunities for the students,” Bourgeois said. Beall looks forward to the many projects that will be brought to Texas State. It will also provide a great opportunity for students, Beall said. “In any internship, there is a high possibility that students could end up working for these companies,” Beall said. “After working through this contract, when students graduate they may have the potential to work

visitors were willing to go on the tour despite the possibility of rain. “Though I was looking forward to a busy Memorial Day, we would rather see it rain than not,” Lane said. “This river wouldn’t be here if it didn’t rain.” Visitors will get to see a secluded area that is not open to intrusion from the outside world, Wilken said. “It’s kind of an Eden in the backyard,” Reese said. “A hidden paradise.”


at Johnson Space Center or in Jacobs Engineering.” NASA projects are “fascinating” because they do things that nobody else does, McClellan said. Students get to be involved and see a lot of real world technologies and activities. Fun projects will be brought to Texas State, ultimately bringing the university together, McClellan said.

VETERANS, from front from spinal cord injuries and nerve damage, Heniser said. The Center for the Intrepid also has adaptive kayaking, surfing and wheelchair basketball, Heniser said. The facilities at Aquarena Springs are “fantastic,” Duggan said. “There’s nothing better anywhere that I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been diving since 1975,” Duggan said. “There’s nothing better for training because it’s kind of a contained open water. You get the experience of an open water dive because there’s fish, plants, mud and currents, yet it’s in a contained area where if you need help getting in and out of the water, it’s easy for us to assist.” Since 2005, Duggan said they have trained just under 500 divers in places like San Marcos and springs in Balmorhea, TX. In addition, the program has taken around 200 divers on biannual dive trips to Panama City, Florida, where they get the chance to scuba dive around shipwrecks off the Gulf of Mexico, Duggan said.

“We try to do two dive trips a year to Panama City, Florida, so that they can get in the water and experience real open-water diving,” Duggan said. All scuba diving through the program is free of charge to participants. The trips and trainings are completely funded by several local nonprofit groups like the Air Warrior Courage Foundation and the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association, Duggan said. Another major contributor is Disabled Sports USA, Heniser said. Donors help through their financial contributions and donations of scuba gear. For now, the scuba program is exclusively for veterans through the Center for the Intrepid, but the founders hope to expand their reach in years to come. “We hope to eventually open it up to more civilians,” Duggan said. “A lot of people lose limbs and feel like they’re out of it forever, but they’re not.”


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HITCH Mobile eatery adds new cuisines

MamboFreeze The newest addition to The Hitch is MamboFreeze, a shaved ice and frozen treats truck run by owner Rena Williams. Having just arrived at The Hitch this past spring, Williams brings her experience of running a second MamboFreeze and the original MamboBerry, both located in Austin. It was William’s self-proclaimed “entrepreneurial drive” and love for food that inspired her to move to Austin and open a food truck, having only herself and one other staff member for the first year. Williams is now proud to employ 11 staff members in total. The MamboFreeze menu offers over 200 homemade, all-natural shaved ice flavors. It also features a variety of fresh frozen yogurts, smoothies and a small selection of foods including corn in a cup and vegan tamales. Its most popular summertime

seller, Williams says, is what is known as a Picadilly, which is comprised of shaved ice with layers of chopped pickles throughout finished off with a choice of syrup, pure pickle juice, chile powder or Kool-Aid on top. All of MamboFreeze’s creams and syrups are homemade with pure cane sugar and no artificial flavorings. Similarly, its frozen yogurt is made with non-fat, all natural, organic, locally sourced White Mountain yogurt. “If we can make a superior product without all the high fructose corn syrups and other less-than-natural ingredients, why wouldn’t we?” Williams said. Williams loves the loyal customers who have to rely on MamboFreeze’s consistent product, even standing out in the rain for it. “We treat every customer as if it were our only one,” Williams said.

By Caitlin Rodriguez TRENDS REPORTER


WAT ZAB Thai Food WAT ZAB Thai Food brings authentic Thai cuisine to downtown San Marcos. Having been part of The Hitch since March 2013, WAT ZAB and one of its owners, Pen Rios, have definitely cemented themselves as a permanent fixture within the community. The owners have a strong customer base that remains attracted to their use of pure flavors and ingredients. WAT ZAB features an extensive menu

that offers a range of dishes including appetizers, noodle bowls, fried rice, curry and a handful of entrees. Always serving food with a smile, their main focus is on the correct use of authentic spices. Some of their most popular dishes include the Pad Thai and the Thai Beef Noodle soup made with rice noodles, beef, meatballs and bean sprouts and topped with garlic, onion and cilantro.

Smoked Out Barbecue This establishment brings classic portable barbeque to San Marcos. It offers a variety of barbecued meat sandwiches or stand-alone shredded pork and brisket in addition to some flavorful and unique side dishes. Smoked Out was established in spring of 2013 when Texas State alumnus and owner Brandon Bibeau decided to abandon the corporate world in favor of founding his own business. Bibeau had been cooking barbecue since he was a child and decided that, while not exact-

ly easy, making delicious barbecue from a trailer was definitely “feasible.” Bibeau then set out to bring a distinguishable barbecue array to San Marcos, something he said wasn’t available before. Some of Smoked Out’s most popular items include the loaded baked potato and the most recent addition of crispy smoked chicken. The chicken is smoked and then vacuum-sealed until it’s made to order with a dip in the deep fryer to create a crispy, spicy outer skin.

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B2 | The University Star | Wednesday, June 11, 2014



Summer classes positive choice for Bobcats W

hile it is understandable to want to take a break and relax for the summer after stressful fall and spring semesters, Bobcats who enroll in summer classes should be mindful of the temptation to blow off courses and remember to take them seriously. Classes are a great way for students to stay in the mindset of being responsible during the summer. Thankfully, summer classes are a good way to staying on track to graduate while avoiding too heavy a course load during the fall and spring semesters. Summer classes are faster paced because the objective is to shrink a 14-week course into four weeks. For this reason, there is also typically a stricter attendance policy as well. This means that any jobs or internships or vacations that might occur need to be planned around summer classes or vice versa. Students should be sure to take summer classes seriously if they choose to enroll

in them. Utilizing educational opportunities in the summer can lead to an early graduation when done properly. Additionally, students should meet with their advisors before enrolling in summer courses. Nothing is more frustrating than realizing that all of the money and time sunk into a summer full of classes is ultimately useless. Advisors are there to help ensure that students stay on track and are handling all of the responsibilities required to graduate on time, and students should remember to utilize them. A large number of students take summer courses at their respective community colleges. The biggest advantage to taking classes at a community college is often the cheaper price. However, students ought to make sure the credits for those classes taken can transfer back to Texas State. In addition, making sure transcripts and other necessary documents get sent is an important step to avoiding headaches later down the road.

In order to avoid as many credit transfer issues as possible, the editorial board suggests that students taking community college classes utilize Texas State’s transfer course equivalency system. This tool can be found on Texas State’s website and provides transfer credit equivalencies for commonly transferred courses. Another tip is to take early level core classes at community college instead of trying to take some hyper-specific, upper-level major courses at the local community college. Summer classes can be the perfect way to balance an abundance of downtime during the summer with doing something productive. Students taking summer classes can still have time to float the river and attend a plethora of creatively themed fraternity parties if they handle their schedules properly. Summer does not have to mean choosing between having fun and going to class—at Texas State, both can intertwine.

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.



University, city officials should allow e-cig use in public

JD Moore COPY EDITOR Public relations senior


y name is JD, and I used smoke 30 cigarettes a day. Gum gave me heartburn. Patches hurt my skin. I could not quit. Now, my breath smells better, my mornings are free of coughingfits, my wallet is fatter and I have not needed my asthma inhaler in months. The problem? My city and my university believe that my way of quitting is no better than my original habit.

As it stands, Texas State treats all electronic cigarettes (e-cigs, personal nicotine vaporizers, etc.) as tobacco products. As of June 1, the City of San Marcos will disallow smoking and vaping (e-cig use) in bars, restaurants, government buildings and other public spaces. This classification is wrong, does not reflect readily-available research and will ultimately further preventable illness and death. Unlike smoke-producing, tobacco-burning cigarettes, battery-powered e-cigs create a warm vapor by heating a liquid usually referred to as e-juice. The main ingredients in most e-juices are propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. Candy-grade flavoring, distilled water and sometimes nicotine are added in small amounts. Those five substances are the only things inhaled and exhaled by an e-cig

user. There's no smoke, no fire and no cause for alarm. According to the EPA, propylene glycol was first registered by the FDA in 1950 for use in hospitals as an air disinfectant. Vegetable glycerin has the highest seal of approval from the FDA— GRAS, or “generally recognized as safe.” Both are safe substances found in many cosmetics, medicines and foods. Flavorings used by reputable vendors are safe for human consumption. A research article published in a 1996 edition of Life Sciences proved that nicotine has been shown to have no cancerous effects when inhaled. More recently, there was a March 13 article published on that showed that it may even help improve brain function. Medical doctors, researchers and almost anybody with an e-cig in hand will be able to tell

you personal vaporizers worked better than presently "approved" smoking cessation methods. The act of inhaling and exhaling vapor, with or without nicotine, helps smokers successfully quit with a better rate of success than gum and patches with fewer potential side effects than cessation drugs like Chantix mind-altering prescription antidepressants like Wellbutrin. Research shows that “vapers” are in the clear, but what about people exposed to secondhand e-cig use? A May 7 article contained details of an Italian study of e-cig use under realistic usage conditions. The study showed that e-cigs presented none of the harmful traces of chemicals correlated to tobacco cigarettes left after a five-hour session. This means e-cigs are better for those using them and for anybody in


the immediate area. Any blanket-ban on e-cig use would be harmful to the community. Texas State, the City of San Marcos and the vaping community need to take a more democratic, levelheaded approach to placing restrictions on emerging technologies like e-cigs. I am not asking for an e-cig free-for-all in huge lecture halls or city courtrooms. I do not want to see “vapeholes” abusing the existing rules and loopholes to blow clouds in 300-seat lecture halls or in the general direction of little kids at the nearest family restaurant. Individual business owners, classrooms members and resident hall roommates should be able to decide what is and is not allowed in their spaces. Simply put, Bobcats and San Martians should work together to make the university and the city truly smoke-free.


High-speed rail system would be Religious tolerance necessary for students beneficial for traveling in Texas

Rivers Wright OPINIONS COLUMNIST Journalism senior


veryone is allowed to practice or not practice religion as they so choose, but issues arise when that religion becomes as imposing as an unwelcome visitor. The First Amendment contains the freedom of religion. However, this amendment does not mean that students should not respect and understand the religious boundaries of those around them. Just as people do not all come in black or white, people do not all practice the same religion. People practice all types of religions, from Catholicism to Buddhism. No religion is superior or holier than another just as no race is superior to another. Unfortunately, some students forget this fact and either try to “convert” others to believe the same way they do or belittle others for not being of a certain religion. Because of these two circumstances, students are quick to hide from those they perceive to be religious zealots for fear of attempted conversion or ridicule. Pushing a religion down someone’s throat in the hopes they will see the light and worship along with others is a good way to scare people off. This radical tactic of spreading the good word is un-

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comfortable and embarrassing for people to watch. There are calmer and more rational ways of attracting students to hear what is being said without yelling at them and condemning them for not immediately following in the footsteps of a specific ideology. Students calmly saying “thank you, but no” is their way of practicing freedom of religion as well. That does not mean students should be yelled at for not wanting to listen, no matter how calmly the sermon was being delivered. If they wanted to stop and listen, they would. If they don’t like what they hear, they can choose to leave. Going door to door asking people to attend one’s church is perfectly acceptable as long as the person does not badger or belittle people when they say no. Getting angry at students for not wanting to worship the same as someone else does is counterproductive and a waste of everyone’s time. This is not to say students should stop spreading religion altogether. Some students need direction and want to learn more about a certain religion and decide if it is the right one for them. If it is not, students should be allowed to explore other religions without criticism and ridicule from their previous choice. They should also be taught from an unbiased perspective. Tolerance should not only be practiced within a religion for other religions but for people in general. Hating someone because they lead different lives or simply sin differently than someone else is ridiculous and immature. Understanding that everyone is different is a valuable lesson that people seem to be forgetting. The world is constantly changing, and people need to catch up to the times and change with it.

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Christopher Gonzales SPECIAL TO THE STAR Healthcare administraton senior


exas needs a high-speed rail as a method of transportation. High-speed rail really does not exist in the United States. The fastest train in America connects Washington, D.C. to New York City at a speed with which an everyday passenger car can compete. In China, old diesel trains that once ran for nine hours from Changsha to Guangzhou have been updated with high-speed trains that service the same distance in two hours, which is seven hours faster than the diesel counterpart. It is a known fact that Texas is huge. Driving from Houston to Fort Worth is the same distance as traveling from Brownsville to San Antonio. Both road trips require four hours and cover well over 250 miles. Driving long distances can be burdensome and expensive. Even with a fuel-efficient vehicle, a

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round trip between North and Central Texas will hover around $50. The same round trip by SUV or pickup truck will cost about twice that. This cost is a burden to many. According to a Jan. 29 Ft. Worth Star-Telegram article, recent reports show the divide between the “have-nots” and the “have yachts” (the divide between the rich and the poor) in Texas is growing. It only makes sense to provide Texans with transportation that is faster, more accessible and less expensive than owning a car or riding a bus. High-speed rail does just that. Similar to high-speed rail is commuter rail, a method of transportation comparable in price and convenience. Already, commuter rail between Dallas and Fort Worth via the Trinity Rail Express runs at an affordable $7.50. This ticket price includes one-day round trip service and fare for other light-rail options in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The distance between these two cities is almost identical to the distance between Austin and San Marcos. Think about it. San Marcos is 30-some-odd miles from Austin. This is a typically short distance, yet because Central Texas lacks mass transit options seen in other metropolitan areas,

for the financially disadvantaged person who owns no vehicle, Austin is typically out of reach. Paying $10, $20 or even $35 for a high-speed rail ticket would be worth it if high-speed rail travel became an option in Texas. People who own no vehicle or those looking for an alternative route to travel need not be concerned about fuel prices, vehicle maintenance, insurance and toll roads. For many, convenience is slightly more important than affordability. The IH35 corridor is constantly harped by the masses as slow and flawed. IH-35 is congested as it is not only commonplace for commuters but also a North American Free Trade Agreement corridor. Considering the volume of vehicles and cargo trucks, a six-lane freeway transporting goods and people between Austin, San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth and Northern Mexico is a weak system for efficiency and everyday commuters. High-speed and commuter rail options are great for everyone. Even though I own a fuel-efficient vehicle, if I had the affordable option to travel across Texas quickly while reading a book or taking a nap, I would choose that route any day.

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, June 11, 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, June 11, 2014 | The University Star | B3


Dylan Bein

Ashley Wright

sophomore pitcher

freshman pitcher By Ishmael Johnson ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR @ish_46 When Dylan Bein was four, his father Danny lightheartedly predicted his son was going to be a pitcher at a carnival. The game was the common carnival attraction—throwing baseballs at stacked milk bottles to win a prize. “There are all these guys, including me, taking the balls back and trying to hit the milk jugs off,” Danny said. Four-year-old Dylan had three balls at his disposal. He hit every target he aimed for. “All of us were standing around like, ‘You have to be kidding me,’” Danny said. “I thought, jokingly, and told his mom, ‘This kid’s going to be a pitcher.’” Although it was originally intended as banter, the statement became true. Dylan grew up to be a good allaround athlete and ended up choosing baseball as his primary focus before he reached Vista Ridge High School. “I was mainly taught my baseball through the Austin Wings, the summer program I played with,” Dylan said. “But at Vista Ridge, Coach Jason Bourgeois, he definitely knew how to push me and knew my potential. He was like a best friend to me on and off the field.” Dylan said he accomplished a lot at Vista Ridge, but he regrets never winning a state championship. But Dylan realized baseball could take him through school and perhaps farther during his sophomore year. His dad noticed earlier. “I remember when he was about five years old and I knew he was going to be a big kid and he was very athletic,”

Danny said. “I thought, ‘This kid is going to do be able to do whatever he wants,’ and he could have.” Dylan was recruited by schools from all over the region before picking Texas State, despite growing up in Austin and watching the Longhorns play at Disch-Falk Field just down the road. “It’s right here close to home,” Dylan said. “I like the atmosphere, the river, the small college town. It’s not a big town, and it’s sort of like your own little home.” His father, friends with Texas assistant coach Skip Johnson, came full circle on Dylan’s decision to attend Texas State. He says he could not be happier with the choice he made. Even though he spends most of his time outdoors playing baseball, Dylan still prefers to be in the open in his spare time. He does not like being confined. Being a starting pitcher comes with its perks and responsibilities. A pitcher has to be disciplined and adaptive, both common attributes necessary for hunting and fishing, two of Dylan’s hob-

Get to Know Alli Akina

junior outfielder By Devin Tyler SPORTS REPORTER @DevinNoOneCares DT: Out of all the sports, what makes softball your sport of choice? AA: It is my best sport, for one thing.

I have been playing since I moved to Texas. I like softball because it’s a mental game. You are playing against yourself more than anything. DT: What is your most memorable moment in your softball career?

bies. “You definitely have to have patience,” Dylan said. “Fishing is all about doing the right thing at the right time, knowing when to go, and that’s how it relates to pitching.” Picking and choosing, decision-making and accuracy relate to pitching as well as Dylan’s interests. When Dylan is on the mound, he waits for the right moment like he’s hunting. “He just has an uncanny way, like nothing matters,” Danny said. “When he pitched against the Ragin’ Cajuns, the number one offense in the country, you can’t tell if Dylan’s up by 10 or down by 10.” Dylan said he focuses on the tasks at hand and what his part is in the scheme of the game plan to pick up the victory for Texas State. Dylan’s first season at Texas State has concluded, and he hopes to reach a Major League Baseball farm system through the draft. “The main thing is watching the draft,” Dylan said. “The draft’s here in about a week. I mean, that’s all the motivation you can get.”


By Kirk Jones SPORTS REPORTER @kirk_jones11 Softball runs in Ashley Wright’s blood, dating back to when her mother, Ruth Wright, was pitching and playing third base at Stephen F. Austin. “Softball has just always been in our family,” Ashley said. “My mom was always out throwing with me and my sister. We would go to the SFA games and watch her coach.” Ashley was surrounded by softball minds growing up. Her mother and aunt played collegiate softball. “Both my mom and my aunt played at Stephen F. Austin” said Ashley. “Then my mom ended up coaching at SFA, and my dad would take us to the games to watch her coach.” Ruth never forced Ashley to play softball. She let her make the decision, unless she was coaching. “This sounds bad, but when I was coaching, my husband would lock them in the batting cages,” Ruth said. “When they were kids, I didn’t want them running around all over the stadium, so we kept them in the cages. They would throw and hit during the games.” Ashley grew up in Huntington, Texas, just 100 miles from the Louisiana border. Her mother coached the Huntington Heartbreakers, a softball select team. The team traveled to Houston every weekend and occasionally to Louisiana and California to compete in national softball tournaments. “We definitely traveled a lot during those times, but you have to in order to compete at a high level,” Ruth said. “You have to play tough teams, and it has to be a year round sport. I would tell Ashley and even my players that you might miss out on activities like going out on the lake, but if you’re committed you will have great success.” Ruth coached her daughter’s high school and select softball teams. The former softball player in her wanted Ashley to elevate her game to the next

AA: As a team, it is when we beat Alabama in a three-game series at our home. My favorite moment as a player was when I robbed Courtney Harris’ homerun during practice.

all-time favorite. Now my favorite movie is Frozen, like every other girl.

DT: Some athletes usually have a playlist of music they listen to before a game. What would yours consist of? AA: I’m Hawaiian, so I like to listen

just about every night. My favorite flavor is cookies and cream. I also can snack on chips and queso any time of the day.

to a lot of reggae. It keeps me in a good mood. I listen to bands like Rebelution and The Green.

DT: What are some of the hobbies you enjoy outside of softball? AA: Aside from softball, I like hiking,

kayaking and pretty much anything outdoors. I also like playing football too because my dad is a football coach, so I have been playing for a while. DT: What was your favorite movie as a child, and now? AA: As a child my favorite movie

of all time is Little Giants. It is my

DT: What is your favorite snack and why? AA: Ice cream. I have ice cream

DT: Where do you see yourself in five years? AA: Well, I just started intern-

ing with Longhorn Network in

level. “I was pretty hard on her as a player,” Ruth said. “I would push her the most because I knew she had it in her to be a great player. She took it well and had great work ethic to become better and better.” Ashley and her sister, Erica, pushed each other to the brink on the softball field. Erica will play softball at the University of Texas this fall. “My sister and I would always do something and see who could do it better,” Ashley said. “She is one of my biggest role models because she has such a positive influence on my life. Even I’m not playing my best, she’s there for me.” Ashley appeared in 21 games last season, starting in 11. She allowed 60 earned runs and 51 walks in 68.2 innings pitched. “I definitely think this season I faced some adversity,” Ashley said. “I didn’t get the pitching time I wanted, and just pushing myself through those situations and going over those situations helps get through the struggles.” Ruth still calls her daughter to give her advice and help improve her game. “I do it so much sometimes that she tells me, ‘I know I know,’” Ruth said. “But she knows I’m there when she needs me and I can help her whenever she needs me.”


Austin. I would ultimately get into the broadcasting aspect. Football would be the sport of choice to be a broadcaster for.

DT: What is your favorite channel or show? AA: I always watch Animal Planet,

The History Channel and The Discovery Channel. I just like learning about other places in the world because I don’t get to travel around the world. It has always been interesting to me.

DT: If you won a million dollars, what would you do with it? AA: I would give half to my parents,

some to my siblings and the rest I would keep to myself. I would spend some and buy myself a new car, probably a nice off-roading jeep.



Texas State athletes advance to national outdoor competition By Tyler Hammond SPORTS REPORTER @tyhamm28 Texas State Track and Field competed in the NCAA West Preliminary Round at the University of Arkansas last weekend. The team had two athletes advance to the NCAA Final Championships, Darian Brown, junior thrower, and Allie Saunders, junior jumper. “The biggest thing that Allie and Darian bring to our team is experience and leadership, but each shows leadership in a different way,” said Coach Dana Boone. “Darian is a vocal leader, while Allie leads by example on the track. The two of them qualifying for the final championships is a good step for the future to build our program.” Saunders qualified for the Final

Championships Friday, finishing eighth out of 44 participants with a triple jump of 12.77 meters. Saunders’ triple jump matches an outdoor career high that she set earlier this season. Brown completed a discus throw of 58.10 meters, just short of his outdoor career high, which placed him seventh out of 47 participants. “Throughout the season we had a few rough patches, went through ups and downs, but I’m obviously pleased with the end results,” Brown said. “Everything has turned out for the better, and I have reached my season-long goal of qualifying for nationals.” Danielle Candelaria, senior jumper, tied for 13th in the high jump with a height of 1.72 meters but missed qualifying for the final championships. Marika Brown, freshman runner, finished 19th

in the 200-meter semi-finals with a time of 23.75, and Talore Kelly, sophomore thrower, finished 28th in the hammer throw. “Last year we had a lot of seniors, causing us to lose several leaders on our team,” Boone said. “One of the most important things for me this season was to train up and develop new leaders, build the culture so we perform when it counts. Having two juniors qualify for nationals will benefit us next year.” Twenty Bobcats qualified for 21 events in the NCAA West Preliminary. There were 200 teams represented and approximately 1,670 athletes competing. Prior to the NCAA West Preliminary, the Texas State track and field team competed in the Sun Belt Outdoor Conference Championships, with the women’s team finishing third and the

men’s team finishing fourth. “This season, we didn’t do as well as we had hoped, but we have

conferences, so that has provided us with a challenge, but overall it was a good season.”

“Throughout the season we had a few rough patches, went through ups and downs, but I’m obviously pleased with the end results.” —Darian Brown, junior thrower a lot to build on because this is a young team,” Boone said. “Since I have been at Texas State, we have been through three different

The 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships will be held June 11-14 at the University of Oregon.

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