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OCTOBER 23, 2013

Defending the First Amendment since 1911



The Hill Country Gentlemen is a local band that specializes in western country, rock and roll and blues.

The Main Point: City councilmembers’ decision to include e-cigarettes in the upcoming indoor smoking ban is unfair to businesses and customers alike.








Counseling center to accommodate more students By Autumn Bernhard News Reporter

Austin Humphreys | Photo Editor Coach Jason Washington conducts a drill Oct. 22 with Texas State football players at Bobcat Stadium during practice. The team is preparing for this weekend’s Homecoming matchup against South Alabama.

READY FOR HOMECOMING Texas State will rely on its defense and running game as starting freshman quarterback Tyler Jones continues to grow in his leadership role heading into Saturday’s Homecoming game against South Alabama. See PRACTICE REPORT, Page 5 MASS COMM WEEK

Reporter, author speaks at Mass Communication Week

University officials ‘ramp up’ campus safety, emergency measures News Reporter

By Traynor Swanson News Reporter

Robert Kolker, investigative reporter for New York Magazine, discussed his experience as a news reporter and his book “Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery” Tuesday as part of Mass Comm Week. Many police officers did not think anything extraordinary was occurring when a Craigslist prostitute named Shannan Gilbert went missing in spring 2010. When police discovered four other women’s bodies of similar age and stature several months later, they came to the conclusion Long Island had a serial killer on the loose, Kolker said. Kolker chronicled the details of the women and their killer, who remains at large, in his book “Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery.” The book shines light on the shadows of modern-aged prostitution in the United States by examining the lives of working class people who are struggling to make money, he said. “When writing ‘Lost Girls,’

I thought, ‘here’s a chance to tell the stories of five girls from struggling parts of America the media doesn’t really pay much attention to,’” Kolker said. “Places where escorting on the Internet suddenly becomes an option for some people who realize they can make more money in one night than their friends are making in two weeks working at Wal-Mart.” After discussing his book, Kolker went on to talk about his experience as a journalist. Kolker received a degree in history from Columbia University in 1991, but had an interest in journalism. He wrote for his high school and college newspapers where he reviewed movies and edited the arts and entertainment magazine. After graduating, he said he bounced around looking for jobs with newspapers and magazines. “I realized journalism didn’t just have to be being in the White House press pool or chasing a politician around or being a foreign correspondent,” Kolker said. “I’m

See KOLKER, Page 2



By Kelsey Bradshaw

Bethanie James | Staff Photographer Robert Kolker, investigative journalist, speaks during Mass Comm Week Oct. 22 in Centennial Hall. Kolker talked about his book, “Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery.”

Texas State Counseling Center officials have revised the appointment scheduling process this fall in an effort to better accommodate the growing population of students. Last year, officials had to turn away about 1,700 students for an initial consultation, according to Kathlyn Dailey, interim director of the counseling center. Since then, center administrators have changed the number of daily consultations from seven to 12 per counselor and have discovered not all the spots are being filled, Dailey said. “In the past, students had to call first thing in the morning to get a spot, and we would fill those slots and after they were full we would ask (students) to call back,” Dailey said. “To help this, we have made more spots available and introduced a levels system, which asks students to identify their reasoning behind wanting to be seen.” The new system has three different levels, Dailey said. The first level includes students who indicate thoughts of harming themselves or others. The center puts these students in an on-call slot to be seen as soon as possible. Level-two students are those who have suffered a recent trauma and will be put into an on-call slot. The level-three classification is for students in need of initial consultations and want to begin counseling sessions. According to Dailey, the center tries to see students classified as level one or two

Texas State safety and risk management officials are increasing security measures this fall to ensure students, faculty, staff and visitors are safe in case of an emergency on campus. Preplanning, student awareness and quick response times are the three main protocols faculty and staff members use when considering university safety, according to administration. Russell Clark, director of Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management, is the head of the university’s “guardian angel” team. Clark said he oversees the campus and overlooks Texas State’s environmental health and safety operations. Clark said preplanning is carried out to ensure preparation in the event of an emergency. A few areas Clark oversees include exit sign inspections each month, equipment checks in labs on campus and food safety and handling measures in The Quad. “Anything dealing with safety, I’m involved with it,” Clark said. Clark said Texas State is a “very safe” campus and ranks at the “top” with the total number of cameras and lights available. “I wouldn’t have a problem with my daughter going from the Rec to her dorm late at night,” Clark said. “It’s a very safe environment for everyone on campus.” John Palmer, emergency management coordinator, works with each department on campus to come up with

response plans after Clark handles initial response efforts to a campus-wide emergency. Palmer said he works with city, county and state officials, so the university has helpful outside resources in case of a considerable incident. He said he has prior experience working with a response team during hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Palmer said his job is a “group effort” and involves every person on campus. “We’re doing a different level of coordination with the other Austin Humphreys | Photo Editor departments that normally wouldn’t think Emergency phones are present around campus of themselves as hav- to ensure safety of students, faculty and staff. ing a role in emergency said. response,” Palmer said. Palmer and Thomas said Jeb Thomas, supervisor of Access Services, manages uni- they agree they have to “ramp versity locksmiths, software up the level of understanding” management such as card when it comes to an emergenswipes, the video camera sys- cy on campus. They are worktem and the blue emergency ing with campus marketing and Housing and Residential phones on campus. In response to a “different Life officials to produce more environment, different time user-friendly brochures for and different threats,” the the public and raise student university is implementing a awareness about safety. “You could do all kinds of three-year program to switch things and have one of the best out the hardware on locks, programs out there for student Thomas said. Mechanisms that prevent involvement, and the next students from locking their day something new happens,” teachers out of classrooms are Palmer said. “There’s never used at Texas State, Thomas going to be another Virginia said. However, the locks will Tech (shooting) exactly like it happened at Virginia Tech. be changed soon, he said. “(We’re going to change the (It’s) never going to happen locks) so that you can push a exactly like it happened with button and lock the door just the elementary school (Sandy like an office lock,” Thomas Hook shooting).”

2 | The University Star | News | Wednesday October 23, 2013

COUNSELING, continued from front immediately. If that is not possible, the center generally sees them on the same day of their call. However, if no slots are available that day, they record the student’s name and ask them to call back at a later date, she said. Students who call a second time should tell the front desk about it, so they can be placed in an on-call slot. This helps the center prioritize better based on the students’ needs, said Heather Aidala, assistant director of the center. Level-three students generally have traditional concerns such as mild depression, anxiety, relationship changes, difficulty adjusting to college life or trouble with stress management, Aidala said. The center has reduced the amount of clinical time they

place toward these appointments, Aidala said. As of right now, the ratio of full-time counselors to students is one to 2,220. The number is lower than recommended for a university of Texas State’s size. However, it is on par with other universities of the same size, Dailey said. Employees have increased on-call hours to 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. and have started seeing patients over lunches to accommodate the gap in the counselor-student ratio, Dailey said. As of now, the center has three doctorial interns, three practicum trainees, two postdoctoral residents and seven full-time clinical positions, according to the center’s website. The center has recently hired a new part-time counselor, Dailey said. Student

Affairs is reviewing the counseling center’s budget, so additional funds might become available to hire additional staff, said Joanne Smith, vice president of Student Affairs. “Every area gets a certain amount of money to run their department,” Smith said. “As we see new needs, we make adjustments.” Counselors are able to meet with twice as many students as last year, since more consultation hours are offered, Dailey said. “Our staff is dedicated to seeing students succeed,” Aidala said. “We do the best we can with our resources. We have surveys going on now for students that have been to the counseling center and so far, students say they wish we had more time for them.”


KOLKER, continued from front not putting those down, but it’s not what I was dialed into as a writer. I realized that I could do micro-stories about small things happening all throughout the city, and they could be about anything.” Kolker stressed the importance of growing and evolving in journalism. Kolker said gaining experience by reporting is the best way to get jobs working for publications, regardless of how big the media organization is and what the stories are about. “When I got out of college I thought, boy, it’d really be nice to work for The New York Times, and I realize now that that’s part of the insecurity of youth,” Kolker said. “It’s better to be learning in a professional context than to be writing for something that just has a cool name attached to it.” Toward the end of the discussion, students had a Q-and-A segment with Kolker. One student asked Kolker what his biggest struggle was throughout his career. “I have a pretty active internal critic,” Kolker said. “Like a lot of people, self doubt can be a big part of what stops me. At this point, I have a lot of strength and confidence to get things done, but I have a lot of shortcomings as well.” Gilbert Martinez, a friend of Kolker’s and senior lecturer in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, encouraged him to travel and speak with Texas State mass communication students. “From a mass comm point of view, he helps to explain the mechanics of being a reporter,” Martinez said. “Another thing is the important issues that are raised in this really important work (his book).”

Reynaldo Leaños | Staff Photographer Elise Laird, photography junior, creates a polyhedron out of recycled material Oct. 22 in the Joann Cole Mitte Art Building.


City, county, TxDOT partnership will aid in FM 110 transportation project funding By Rebecca Banks News Reporter

Hays County and San Marcos officials will partner in the coming years to establish a 25-year Transportation Reinvestment Zone (TRZ) to help repay borrowed funds from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). The city and county will be involved in a future project to build a loop connecting Interstate Highway 35 to State Highway 80 in an effort to reduce congestion. TxDOT officials will provide the $48 million in funds required for the project up front, said Steve Parker, director of finance for the city. The city and county will be splitting the cost of the project in half, Parker said. Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe, Precinct 1, said the creation of the TRZ is a method to fund large transportation projects. The property taxes for the county and city will be split and a portion of the money will go toward TxDOT to repay the initial funding, Ingalsbe said. This will not affect land owners’ tax rates and will only apply to properties bought after the project is completed, Ingalsbe said. “The (initial) partnership is going to be with TxDOT and Hays County for the road construction,” Ingalsbe said. Parker said Hays County officials are currently working with TxDOT to finalize an agreement with proposed plans for the FM 110 TRZ. Once an agreement is set with TxDOT, Hays County will

work with the City of San Marcos total of 454 acres. to finalize the responsibilities each Ingalsbe explained the exempt party will perform in relation to the properties in the analysis are govTRZ, Ingalsbe said. ernmental properties that do not “We have a preliminary agree- pay taxes or are properties that are ment, but we have to get that for- part of another TRZ for the City of malized in writing,” Parker said. San Marcos. Ingalsbe said the unThe estimated cost for the con- identified properties are owned by struction of FM 110 is $60 million, individuals who pay taxes, however Ingalsbe said. TXP Inc. was not able to identify Hays County hired TXP Inc., an the owners at the time of the analyeconomic and public policy con- sis, and they will be found at a later sulting firm, to conduct an analysis date. for the TRZ, according to Ingalsbe. The analysis identified properties currently located along the new proposed construction site for FM 110 and the taxable value for other nearby Oct. 21, 8:17 p.m. properties. Theft under $500 According to Travis Student Recreation Center James, vice president A student reported their personal and economist at TXP, property had been taken without conthe analysis included sent. This case is under investigation. a breakdown of “land use” categories with Oct. 21, 12:52 p.m. corresponding acreage Theft under $500 and total taxable valBlanco Hall ues. A student reported their personal The analysis estiproperty had been taken without conmated possible revenue sent. This case is under investigation. Hays County and San Marcos officials will Oct. 21, 12:00 a.m. generate as a result of Duty on striking fixture/highway the TRZ for FM 110. The analysis indicated landscape exempted properties Bobcat Stadium along FM 110 totaled University property had been dam1,014 acres with a taxaged by an unknown vehicle. This able value of zero dolcase is under investigation. lars and unidentified properties make up a




Wednesday, October 30 6 p.m. in Evans Liberal Arts Building - Room 116

The University Star | Wednesday October 23, 2013 | 3



Bobcat Batallion competes in annual ROTC Ranger Challenge Ranger Challenge is an annual event recognized and endorsed by the United States Army ROTC Cadet Command. Cadets from Texas State (Bobcat Battalion) have trained for this rigorous event since August and recently competed against surrounding university ROTC programs from the region. The competition was set to take place at Camp Bullis, San Antonio, but, due to the government shutdown, this year’s event was a scaled-back version of the traditional multi-day event that tests the ability and military knowledge of a cadet team comprised of nine members and two alternates. The team trained early each morning on scenarios that included land navigation, weapons, physical fitness, combat medical care and military knowledge. This year’s competition was held Friday and consisted of the Army physical fitness test, a 12-mile road march and a written test. The team finished the march in just 2 hours and 40 minutes. This year’s team was coached by fellow cadet Denis Majewski, a senior international relations major from Mannheim, Germany. Majewski has trained and competed on every Ranger Challenge team since he began the ROTC program in 2010. “Every year is a new challenge and this year we had a dedicated and talented team of both young and older cadets that did an awesome job,” Majewski said. “We made the best of an adjusted competition and did our best.” The Texas State Bobcat team finished second in a field of nine teams from eight surrounding university ROTC programs. The University of Texas won first place and will go on to compete in the brigade competition in Fort Hood this Friday and Saturday. Cadre from Texas State’s ROTC program organized and facilitated this year’s event.

Several of the Ranger Challenge cadets will start training for the Bataan Death March in White Sands, New Mexico. This annual event is a 26-mile march that commemorates the honor of the heroic service members who defended the

Philippine Islands during World War II, sacrificing their freedom, health and lives. —Courtesy of Captain Sam Arnett

4 | The University Star | Wednesday October 23, 2013



City council’s e-cigarette ban nonsensical T

he decision of city councilmembers to include e-cigarettes in the upcoming indoor smoking ban is unfair to business owners and customers alike and should be reconsidered. An Aug. 28 University Star editorial outlined the staff’s concerns with San Marcos’ new ordinance, which will ban smoking in all indoor businesses by June 1, 2014. The ordinance infringes on the rights of business owners, appeared to give an inaccurate representation of The Square’s patrons in city surveys and could be damaging to the local economy. All of these concerns still stand, but the editorial board does not dispute there are potential public health benefits to a city-wide smoking ban. However, the health benefits of including e-cigarettes in the ban are much less apparent, and it is debatable whether the devices are even harmful at all. E-cigarettes, which have not been scientifically proven to produce secondhand smoke, offer a healthier and more versatile alternative to traditional cigarettes. For Square regulars who are unwilling or unable to quit smoking, e-cigarettes would have been ideal for a night out without offending other patrons or breaking the new laws. The amendment marginalizes these residents even further, forcing them to make decisions about their personal health that should be left to themselves, not the City of San Marcos. According to a Sept. 5 Center for Disease Control press release, the agency does not have much information on the components and potentially harmful constituents of e-cigarettes since they are largely unregulated. While further studies and regulations might be necessary before the devices can be widely accepted, they are clearly safer and less offensive than cigarettes, at least for those near smokers. It is unreasonable for the city councilmembers to justify banning the use of a product that produces no smoke, odor or irritants with unproven health risks. Other products that have proven much more harmful to their users such as alcohol and fried food are completely legal to consume indoors within city limits. Several shops that sell e-cigarette equipment have opened in San Marcos in the past year. Many owners of these new businesses put their own finances at stake to start their companies, a decision some may not have made if they knew the

Ryan Jeanes | Star Illustrator city councilmembers would be so quick to crack down on their product. Future studies may in fact indicate e-cigarettes are almost as dangerous as real ones—but that outcome seems unlikely, and until scientific evidence can back it up, such a ban is rushed and shortsighted. A major incentive for smokers to switch to e-cigarettes is that they can be used indoors legally and without offending others. By taking that incentive away, the city councilmembers’ decision not only hurts local businesses, but reduces the chance of smokers switching to an alternative that, though not without potential risks, is safer than inhaling tobacco smoke.

It is unclear who, if anyone at all, will benefit from prohibiting e-cigarettes in public businesses. Bar owners will certainly not benefit from the ordinance and be forced to turn away “vaping”—but paying— customers. Many non-smoking customers, even ones offended by cigarette smoke, would be unaffected by e-cigarettes. Even potential extra revenue the city would gain from fining e-cigarette smokers may not be enough to cover increased enforcement costs. Put simply, e-cigarettes have opened up new job opportunities and business ventures in San Marcos, in addition to giving smokers a healthier way to con-

tinue frequenting their favorite bars and contributing to the local economy without breaking the law. City councilmembers unfairly responded by banning the healthier alternatives to cigarettes, effectively stomping out the rights of smokers. 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.


Shooting range could be beneficial for San Marcos residents n outdoor A gun range built between San

Marcos and New Braunfels could be beneficial for local licensed gun owners who want a safe place to practice shooting. Molly Block There is no Opinions Columnist question that Mass communication senior Texas is one of the most gunfriendly states in the country. The issue of gun rights and ownership continues to spark debate between Texans who believe firearms have a place in society and those who do not. Even though it is unlikely residents will come to an agreement any time soon, licensed gun owners have every right

to legally own a gun and safely use them at shooting ranges. The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, which states “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” guarantees American citizens this freedom. According to an Oct. 8 University Star article, the County Line Shooting Center is scheduled to open in mid-November and will be located on Old Bastrop Highway. Some residents are concerned the range is too close to residential areas, but there is no reason for locals to be concerned. According to the same article, firearms with longer bullet trajectories are not permitted and the dirt built up around the range to prevent the travel of stray bullets meets state safety requirements. Furthermore, a range safety officer will be present during each shooting course despite the fact the state does not require

officers to be on site during sessions. In addition, the new shooting range plans to offer free firearm safety classes for those concerned with gun education within the community. With many rules and regulations in place to ensure the new shooting range is as safe as possible, there is no reason why people should be afraid of the structure’s proximity to local neighborhoods. It is crucial to conduct background checks and take precautions before allowing access to the range. With that being said, a safe place to practice shooting is invaluable for those who own firearms. People who want to correctly and safely learn how to operate a gun for self-defense purposes can practice at the facility without having to worry about endangering others. The purpose of the gun range should ultimately be to provide gun owners a

secure location to practice and to provide education for children and adults. According to a study done by WISQARS Injury Mortality Reports, unintentional firearm injuries caused the deaths of 606 people in the U.S. in 2010. Careless accidents could be avoided and people could better defend themselves if residents and young adults were more educated about the dangers of firearms and knew how to correctly use them. Though it will likely continue to be a topic of debate among residents, the new shooting range does have potential benefits for San Marcos and the surrounding communities. If gun owners need a place to practice shooting and learn how to correctly operate their firearms, the County Line Shooting Center will be the ideal place to accomplish this.


Traditional testing methods unsuitable for teaching theaters he current procedures for administerT ing tests in large classes are inefficient and illogical, and instructors should

consider implementing changes to make the process more efficient. For large classes, students often use their ID cards to scan in and out for attendance records. Standing in line to scan in and out is ordinarily not a big deal. However, on test days it is different. Having students wait in line for several minutes takes away time that James Soto could be spent Opinions Columnist on working or preparing for English senior

The University Star 601 University Drive Trinity Building, Room 101 San Marcos, TX 78666 Phone: (512) 245-3487 Fax: (512) 245-3708

the exam. During a 50-minute class, every second is crucial to doing well on the exam. Being present to take the test and turning it in should be enough to indicate attendance. If a student has a zero for a grade, that says it all. Another common practice of laying out test forms on seats seems convenient at first. Unfortunately, scantrons are often kept separately at the front of the classroom, causing a huge crowd to gather. Students end up grabbing at scantrons as quickly as possible, pushing and squabbling like dogs fighting over a piece of meat. Why not just put the scantrons and the test forms together on the seats? This would allow students to find a seat and get started on the test as quickly as possible in large classes. Another annoyance is there often are not enough scantrons for everybody. In one of my classes, students actually had to

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stand around waiting for extra scantrons to arrive so they could start the test. If the scantrons and forms were laid out together, someone could realize there were not enough to begin with and the situation could be resolved before the class started. Instead, even more of the students’ time is wasted because of a mistake on the proctor’s part. Issues can arise with disruptive proctors or instructors. For some reason, some proctors enjoy constantly interrupting the class to give announcements about filling out the student information portion of the scantron correctly and how much time is left to take the exam. God forbid an answer be written incorrectly, because it will undoubtedly be announced loudly several times over the course of the class period. Announcements should be taken care of before the test begins, not during. I understand instructors just want to be

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helpful, but superfluous announcements are just distracting. For many, silence is crucial to being able to concentrate and therefore score a passing grade on a test. It is not fair or reasonable to cause students to waste time on test days because of unnecessary ID card procedures, miscalculations of the correct number of scantrons needed and constant verbal interruptions during the exam. Large classes are common at universities across the nation. Surely there are more effective ways to go about the test-taking process in these large classes. Students are obligated to learn material as best as they can in order to do well in their courses. In addition, instructors and proctors have obligations to their students to provide a distraction-free setting in which to take exams.

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, October 23, 2013. All copy, photographs and graphics appearing in The University Star are the exclusive property of The University Star and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the editor in chief. The first five issues of each edition of the paper are free. Additional copies of the paper can be purchased at 50¢ per copy. Contact The University Star office at (512) 245-3487 to purchase additional copies.

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The University Star | Wednesday October 23, 2013 | 5




Bobcats prepare for South Alabama


Volleyball must use momentum to stay consistent

Cameron Cutshall Sports Columnist @CameronCutshall

Texas State volleyball team has completTTheheedBobcats just over 70 percent of its regular season. currently sit in sixth place in the

Austin Humphreys | Photo Editor

A Texas State football player runs a kicking drill Oct. 22 during practice at Bobcat Stadium.

By Samuel Rubbelke Sports Reporter @SamuelRubbelke

Texas State will continue to rely on its defense and running game as starting freshman quarterback Tyler Jones continues to grow in his leadership role heading into Saturday’s Homecoming game against South Alabama. The Bobcats rank first in the Sun Belt in multiple defensive categories. The defense is allowing 22.6 points a game, 100.3 yards per rush and has a pass efficiency defense rate of 115.3. “Defensively, (the Bobcats) are number one in the league in points allowed,” said South Alabama Coach Joey Jones. “That’s the only way you can rate a defense to me. They are keeping people out of the end zone, and that’s what matters. They’re doing a great job and have a great scheme.” Last week, Texas State pulled out a 24-17 victory over a winless Georgia State team that has a 134-point differential on the season. “I think we are going to have to win ugly—win with defense and win ugly,” said Coach Dennis Franchione. “As we grow offensively, hopefully that’s going to change and get better. I think we did what we needed to do to win last week and that’s the goal.” Tyler Jones completed five passes for 47 yards in the Bobcats’ most recent game. The Bobcats are ranked last in the conference averaging 128.6 yards per game through the air. The freshman quarterback who started for Texas State in the past four games has accumulated 376 passing yards with one touchdown

off of 35 completions. The sophomore tandem of running backs Robert Lowe and Chris Nutall have aided the freshman quarterback and have helped take pressure off the passing game. Lowe was selected as the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week after his career-high performance of 177 yards and a touchdown. The 177 yards gained by Lowe marks the third highest single game rushing-total for the conference this year. “I’m just grateful,” Lowe said. “We have four good (running) backs, and I am grateful for being the starter right now. I know it can change at any moment. I have to keep working.” Nutall had two touchdowns against the Panthers and ran for 90 yards. This is the third game this season Nutall has scored two touchdowns in a single game. “Offensively, (the Bobcats) run an option scheme, which causes some issues,” Joey Jones said. “We have to be smart about how we play.” Tyler Jones will look to avoid pressure from South Alabama senior defensive linemen Romelle

Jones and Alex Page. The two Jaguars are ranked second and third respectively in sacks per game. Romelle Jones averages 0.75 sacks a game while Page records 0.67 on average. Junior kicker Will Johnson was awarded Sun Belt Conference Special Teams Player of the Week after the Bobcats’ matchup against Georgia State. Johnson averaged 44 yards on four punts and 65 yards on five kickoffs against the Panthers. All four of his punts landed inside the Georgia State 20-yard line, including his first kick that went 63 yards. Johnson is averaging a conference-best 47.1 yards per punt.


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Sun Belt Conference, with an overall record of 15-9 and 5-4 in conference play. Starting this Friday, the club will play every team they have faced in the Sun Belt to finish the remaining nine games of the season. It goes without saying these last nine conference games will be critical to Texas State as they approach the Sun Belt Conference tournament. The tournament is now just under a month away in Troy, Ala. Hopefully with these last nine games, the Bobcats can adjust mistakes they made the first time around and continue working on the skills that brought recent success to the team. Here are some key elements the ball club should focus on for the remainder of the season. Something the team should strive to do as they finish out the season is maintain the consistency gained from their recent twogame winning streak. A major key for moving forward is the emergence of youth from freshman setter Jordan Moore, sophomore middle blocker/outside hitter Brooke Smith and freshman outside hitter Shelby Vas Matt. The new lineup Coach Karen Chisum has set up with the 6-2 formation is creating fresh chemistry for the Bobcats. It allows the older established players to sit down and take a break, while not having to experience a dip in production during their absence. Implementing this formation is crucial for the Bobcats and their success for the remainder of the year. Some aspects of the game the volleyball team needs to improve is getting ahead early, maintaining their lead and finishing off the games. Since the Bobcats have some ground to make up in the Sun Belt Conference, they do not want their opponents to get ahead of them early and have to start playing catch-up. Texas State has the talent to create that separation early and maintain that type of lead throughout each set. If the Bobcats can come out prepared and organized early, the moments of brilliance they have shown throughout the season will start to become more and more consistent. Consistency is key with the team. One true test that will make or break the team as they finish the season is the ability to win on the road. Six of the remaining nine games will be played away from Strahan Coliseum, and the Bobcats are currently 3-4 on the road. This could be easily fixed if they can ride the momentum they have now and continue doing the things that make them successful. The key players need to keep producing at a high level and continue adding in a little infusion of youth in the lineups. The team must start hot and then finish strong. If they do these things, there should not be much getting in the way of this team moving forward to the Sun Belt tournament.

6 | The University Star | Advertisement | Wednesday October 23, 2013

October 23 2013  
October 23 2013