OCTOBER 26, 2015 VOLUME 105 ISSUE 24
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Students gain real world experience through local partnership By Clayton Kelley NEWS REPORTER @Claytonkelley
The San Marcos Main Street Program has partnered with business law scholars to bridge the gap between community and students. The program will allow the students to gain hands-on experience with local businesses as well. According to the San Marcos city website, the program’s goal is to expand the downtown area of San Marcos by making it an upscale shopping and entertainment district with a historically focused commercial district. Under the direction of Janet Hale, senior lecturer in the department of finance and economics, honors business law students will begin a partnership with the program by quantifying and analyzing data from local businesses. The results from the students’ analysis will assist in the assessment of the economic impact on San Marcos’ downtown district. The assessment project is student-driven, Hale said. She believes the partnership will benefit her “talented” group of students by teaching them the value of experiential learning. “Without learning through experience, students will not have an anchor for education,” Hale said. Samantha Armbruster, manager of the Main Street Program, said the project helps the downtown area of San Marcos by hosting events and preserving the town’s history. The research will include everything from employee count to square footage inventories of parking and dining areas. “We haven’t done any type of business property inventory in a long time and we are really excited,” Armbruster said. She said the research will provide the data needed to plan for the future by deciding where to put new infrastructure and when to implement safety tactics. “With so much activity happening, this is a great time to capture where we are (downtown) and to be able to look at how far we will grow,” Armbruster said. Armbruster said she has seen university students make a positive impact on the city. “I think it is powerful to use the time that you’re in college to do things that aren’t just hypothetical, and to actually make a difference by helping your community,” Armbruster said. Madison Guthrie, exploratory professional freshman, said she believes the community project will be a win-win situation for both the students and the businesses downtown. “I don’t consider this as just another mandatory grade because what we are doing is actually going to greatly impact the city and the downtown area,” Guthrie said. “A lot of students don’t know what Main Street has to offer and if more students get involved, then more businesses will prosper.” Rebecca Davis, business management student, is looking forward to assessing and
See MAIN STREET, Page 2
PRESLIE COX MULTIMEDIA EDITOR
Morghan Parker, the mermaid of San Marcos, swims in the San Marcos River Sept. 16 in Sewell Park.
Local mermaid dives into her dream By Mariah Simank LIFESTYLE EDITOR @MariahSimank
Today feels like a mermaid day for Morghan Parker. She reaches for a tube of waterproof mascara and sweeps the brush across her eyelashes before running her fingers through her hair and grabbing sunscreen. A natural look. Now, she has a choice. She can slip into the green tail and purple seashell bra top to bring out her inner Ariel, or she can embrace her signature orange tail and matching bikini top combination. The Ariel look wins and Parker selects the green tail, packs a bag and drives to the headwaters of the San Marcos River. Once she reaches the waters edge, she carefully slides the tail on like a sock and glides into the river. Many students graduate in the spring and head off to their new office jobs complete with a business casual look and a briefcase. Parker, however, has a different plan— to become a professional mermaid. Professional mermaids make their living by performing at birthday parties
or in exhibits at aquariums. Parker, a voice performance and music education junior, is currently working as a waitress until she finishes her degree and establishes a more permanent mermaid reputation within the community. According to Fast Company, there are roughly 1,000 full-time mermaids and mermen modeling and performing in shows and at parties across the country today. As a child growing up in Longview, Texas, Parker said she spent her free time on the banks of Lake Palestine donning a matching mermaid swimsuit and fishing pole. “I was always in the water when I was a kid,” Parker said. “Every house that I had lived in, we always had a pool. That was the one stipulation.” Parker said she discovered mermaids through her fascination with the sea and mythology books as a child and sought to connect with them in real life during her teens. She learned of the professional mermaid business during a late night web search on Christmas Eve. “I couldn’t sleep because, well, Santa, and so I got on
PRESLIE COX MULTIMEDIA EDITOR
Pinterest and started looking up mermaid stuff,” Parker said. “One pin led to another and I found out there were actually people who mermaided for their profession.” Parker said it was the moment she realized her dreams could be reality. The life of a mermaid, especially one attempting to make a living off her craft, is not for the easily discouraged.
Parker said it is a job that requires simultaneous expertise in swimming, marine biology, and compassion—not to mention a superhuman level of endurance and core strength. Parker said the mermaiding process is still relatively new to her. However, since she started swimming in the San Marcos River in early June, she said things have really started to take off.
Parker said she is working toward building up physical stamina and holding her breath while underwater. At the moment she can stay below the surface for two minutes, and said many professional mermaids can stay under for almost four. Parker is shooting for five minutes. While it may seem outlandish to most people,
See PARKER, Page 3
Lack of parking spots cause Local businesses some students to be concerned ban third party food By Clayton Kelley NEWS REPORTER @Claytonkelley
As Texas State continues into its 18th consecutive year of record-breaking enrollment numbers, the issue of parking on campus has become a frequent topic of discussion among
students. “We need more parking spaces,” said Jake Clark, engineering technology freshman. “I mean, I paid $500 to park where I live (at Blanco Hall), not to hope there’s room for me at the end of the day.” According to data released by Parking Services,
four parking permits are sold for every perimeter spot. Stephen Prentice, assistant director of Parking Services, said no data indicates Texas State needs additional spaces. “The amount of permits being sold are irrelevant,”
See PARKING, Page 2
BEN KAILING STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Parking regulation pamphlets available for pickup Oct. 8 inside Parking Services.
delivery service By Kasandra Garza NEWS REPORTER @KasGarza
Franklin BBQ in Austin, announced food delivery services like Favor and Task Rabbit are banned from the restaurant’s lines, preventing customers from ordering through a third party. After receiving customer complaints, Franklin BBQ representatives announced their decision earlier this month in a press release to ban the third parties in order to eliminate longer lines and promote convenience for inhouse customers. Aaron and Stacy Franklin, owners of Franklin BBQ, stated in an email they owe it to their faithful customers to prevent professional delivery assistants from being a distraction. The pair stated they would prefer not to have a second party to represent their food and brand. Taylor Hustler, co-marketing director for Favor in San Marcos, said restaurants
have refused to work with delivery services such as Favor in the past, including Hays County BBQ in San Marcos. Hustler said the owner of Hays County BBQ told him Favor is not a model fit for a barbecue service. “Customers will get their BBQ; it will be cold or sauce will be mixed up, and he said it didn’t work very well,” Hustler said. “He wanted customers to come in and have that experience of being in their store and create that vibe for them.” Aaron Hernandez, manager and pit master of Hays County BBQ, said the company decided to not serve order-takers with Favor due to an influx of wrong orders being made, along with confusion between similar barbecue restaurants. Hernandez said if Favor had a better system in place, Hays County BBQ wouldn’t have banned the order delivery service.
See FRANKLIN, Page 2
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The University Star Anna Herod, News Editor @annaleemurphy firstname.lastname@example.org
MAIN STREET, from front familiarizing herself with unique businesses in San Marcos. “This project will definitely benefit a lot of local
places here in San Marcos that many people may have overlooked in the past,” Davis said. “It’s nice to know that because of student out-
reach, more local companies here are going to thrive faster than ever before.” Guthrie said she feels students need to shine extra at-
tention on the Square. She wants to see the Square and local businesses have the same quality of attraction like Sewell Park and the
river do. “I love the Square, and I think the extra effort into attracting students to not only its atmosphere, but the
history, as well, is important,” Guthrie said.
Doctoral students given opportunity to do research in Chile By Lesly De Leon SENIOR NEWS REPORTER @leslyd28
Eighteen Bobcats have been given the opportunity to leave the Hill Country and fly to Chile to conduct research for Texas State’s Project LEARN-Chile. The international research opportunity, offered by the Leadership and Educational Action Resource NetworkChile, was extended to Texas State doctoral students in education. Michael O’Malley, principal investigator of educational research and department chair, as well as Tanya Long, co-principal investigator and doctoral research assistant, authored the proposal for Project LEARN-Chile. “It was (O’Malley’s) paradigm, his idea, his framework,” Long said. “But we
had to actually sit and hash it out and write out all the components of the grant.” The proposal was submitted to the 100,000 Strong in the Americas, President Barack Obama’s initiative to encourage trans-national education. According to an April 22 Texas State press release, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced $25,000 was awarded to the Project LEARN-Chile program. Less than eight percent of proposals received 100K Strong’s Innovation Grant, including Project LEARN-Chile. Long said the grant was open to higher education institutions throughout western hemisphere and it was an honor to receive it. “It was really amazing,” Long said. “We didn’t think we were going to. We submitted a good grant proposal,
PARKING, from front he said. “The significant data to look at is how many empty spaces we have.” Prentice said the highest influx of vehicles on campus is during peak hours of class time—from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. There are at least 1,200 to 1,300 empty perimeter parking spaces during these times. Although perimeter lots like the Speck Street garage are fuller than others, the parking lots at Mill Street and Strahan Coliseum normally have vacant spots, he said. “If one says there isn’t enough space (in perimeter parking), that is not correct,” Prentice said. “Someone might say there’s not enough space directly where they want to park, but that’s pretty much how it is at every university.” Prentice said the amount of perimeter permits sold is not capped, but residential permits are more limited. “If there’s 5,000 residents, we will not sell more than 5,000 (residential) permits,” he said. The Moore Street Housing complex is set to be completed in May and will house 598 students. However, Prentice said only 22 new parking spots will be created for the
but the odds were not in our favor.” The project drew inspiration from Gabriela Mistral, a Chilean teacher, poet, diplomat and humanitarian, O’Malley said. Project LEARN-Chile partnered with the Gabriela Mistral Foundation and 100K Strong to award doctoral students travel grants, according to the release. The 18 100K Strong-Gabriela Mistral scholars will travel to Santiago, Chile, in November to conduct field research about education and social sciences, according to the release. “I’m excited about the opportunity to be able to do research abroad,” said Yolanda Reyes Guevara, 100K StrongGabriela Mistral scholar and doctoral education student. Project LEARN-Chile partnered with Universidad
Alberto Hurtado and Universidad Diego Portales. Scholars will study public education in the South American country through a national center for the arts and educational nonprofit organizations, according to the press release. “We are focused on looking at other places of learning, not necessarily a school environment,” Reyes said. “Looking at the role that museums and social organizations (play), and what type of education they provide and how it transforms a person through that process.” Engaging in international research is an important opportunity, O’Malley said. It’s an opportunity to change people’s perspectives by studying another nation’s education, priorities and challenges, he said. “We’ll do research that will
benefit Chile, but we’re really going to learn a lot in terms of understanding how different kinds of organizations pursue educational change and improvement in a different context,” O’Malley said. “We’re excited to be able to learn from them (and) how they go about the educational improvement and transformation process.” The scholars will have the chance to experience the culture of Chile through the research opportunity. “I’m excited about traveling to the country, just excited to really learn about the culture and immerse myself for the week that I’m there,” Reyes said. “I hope to be able to connect with people. Spanish is my first language so I hope to be able to bring my skills to the project.” Reyes hopes to connect with people in Chile so she
can make connections and continue to work with them long term. The scholars are enrolled in a course to develop their project and learn about Chile’s culture in order to prepare for the experience. “When you leave your country, leave your comfort zone, you always gain a new perspective,” Long said. Long said reframing one’s perspective is always good, especially when it comes to educational leadership. “This is a very unique opportunity for 18 doctoral students to be able to collaborate in another country and to be able to engage in research in an international context,” O’Malley said. “They’ve been working really hard to get ready.”
FRANKLIN, from front residence halls. Purchasing new land to create spaces for new gold parking permits has been a topic of discussion in Parking Services, Prentice said. Gold permits would allow residents to park in the Mill Street lot as well as green zones. “It’s challenging when you throw in 500 more people in a completely new space,” he said. “We are going to have to definitely look at more ways to manage that.” Clark said he feels 22 additional spots will not be sufficient. “If nothing is done about it now when there is still time, then this problem is just going to keep happening,” Clark said. Some students choose not to live on campus due to the status of parking. Parking Services made between $4 million and $5 million last year, Prentice said. “We are completely selfsupporting. We get no money from anyone,” he said. “Every penny collected from permits, garage-for-pay kiosks and fines goes right back into repairs and maintenance for parking services.”
Tina Heileman, public relations representative for Favor, said the company works closely with hundreds of partners in an attempt to show how the company can increase business and bring happiness to customers. “Our intention is always to work with our local merchant communities in the best way possible,” Heileman said. “We respect Franklin’s wishes, so we will of course honor their request.” Rebecca Rossi, shift-leader at Dos Gatos Kolache Bakery, said the restaurant is featured on the Favor app. Rossi said Favor runners
used to be recognizable because they all wore blue tuxedo shirts. Hustler said Favor runners are not required to wear their work shirts, which means there isn’t a set way runners can be identified. Rossi said one cannot easily recognize a Favor runner unless they are obviously texting the customer for details about their order. “We want to blend in and keep business flowing as normal,” Hustler said. Rossi said Dos Gatos is generally busy and has noticed an increase in the number of orders. Hustler agreed and said he has seen
an overall increase in sales, especially at Dos Gatos Kolaches. “In the last couple of months since Favor has opened at San Marcos, I see runners coming in on a daily basis—between three to four people every day,” Hustler said. Favor has made business in the delivery realm easier for Dos Gatos Kolaches, Rossi said. It would have been “harder” for the restaurant to hire additional staff to make the deliveries themselves. “We can just get people kolaches when they crave them,” Rossi said. “It also
adds to hospitality because we are able to give to everyone now.” Hustler said Pie Society, a featured pizzeria on the Favor app, has seen an increase in Favor runners. He believes the increase is due to the fact that prior to Favor’s presence, Pie Society did not have delivery service. Hustler said Favor’s goal is to stimulate the economy and the entire area. He believes Favor creates additional opportunities for businesses to reach more customers and sell more orders during the day due to sheer convenience.
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Monday, October 26, 2015 | 3
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PARKER, from front Parker said its all part of her plan. “I will go hike five, six miles a day, run stairs, do as much cardio and physical work that I can to build up my legs and build up my core especially, so I can swim with ease,” Parker said. Parker hopes to use her presence on the river to educate individuals about the waters. She said it is her goal to protect the environment and the swimmers who spend their time on the riverbanks. “The flood really hit us hard,” Parker said. “It is huge for me to make sure that everyone is educated about what the river can give and what it can take away.” Martha Reyes-Muñoz, San Marcos resident, said she was surprised to come across Parker on the river. “My best friend and I were both just laying down and enjoying our beautiful San Marcos River and here comes this girl who looks like Ariel from The Little Mermaid,” Reyes-Muñoz said. “She swam up to us and we talked for quite some time.”
PRESLIE COX MULTIMEDIA EDITOR
Reyes-Muñoz said she visits the river often, but has never come across anyone like Parker before. “She definitely seems like the type of person that is going to make it somewhere some day,” Reyes-Muñoz said. “She was very friendly and seemed to know exactly what she wants out of life.” Parker said a major reason she puts on the tail every day is to show kids they can be whatever they dream of becoming. “I have always had this big conspiracy in my mind that
I was adopted and I wasn’t supposed to be a human, that there was something missing,” Parker said. Parker said she has always been a mermaid at heart, and before she found an outlet to express herself it always felt like something was missing from her life. “When I was young, I never really felt like I could show my true colors,” Parker said. “I had all these ambitions that I thought weren’t recognized, that couldn’t be achieved because I was told ‘no’ so many times.”
PUBLIC HEARING Public hearing for the campus community to comment on the
proposed tuition and fee increases for academic year 2016-2017
Wednesday, October 28, 2015 4:30 PM LBJ Student Center Room 3-9.1
All members of the university community are invited to participate in this discussion with Provost Gene Bourgeois and other members of the President’s Cabinet.
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The University Star
Brandon Sams, Opinions Editor @TheBrandonSams firstname.lastname@example.org
THE MAIN POINT
Students should beware of fraudulent nonprofit organizations
tudents should beware of fraudulent nonprofit organizations Beware of nonprofit organizations. Some institutions and companies do not benefit the communities they purport to uplift and may even resort to allocating people’s money for their own benefit. Many people wrongfully conflate nonprofit companies with charitable organizations. However, they are far from the same. A nonprofit company is the exact same as a forprofit with two notable exceptions. Nonprofit organizations are not allowed to distribute profits to anyone, so there are no shareholders. Since shareholders do not exist, no one technically owns the company, and since there is no owner, it cannot be sold. Instead, the organizations are run by trustees who are barred from selling their titles. Meanwhile, charitable organizations have similar, but stricter guidelines. The trustees in charitable organizations are generally volunteers, not paid staff members. They can only do things for the purpose of public benefit and therefore receive tax relief from the government. If possible, instead of working with a nonprofit company, it is best to work with a charitable organization. Unlike nonprofits, charitable organizations are audited by several government bodies and make no profit. Notable nonprofit Locks of Love has over $6 million worth of hair unaccounted for. Even more bizarre,
ISRAEL GONZALES STAR ILLUSTRATOR
only 3 percent of hair donated actually ends up in a hairpiece for a person living with a medical condition that causes them to lose their hair. There are little to no regulatory bodies in place to counteract the intermittent misuse of nonprofit funds, unlike their charitable counterparts. While the CEO of Susan G. Komen annually receives $684,000, charity operatives rarely get paid
for their work and exist solely to benefit others. If the purpose is to help benefit communities and people at risk or in dire situations, then look no further than charitable organizations. However, some people may just want to see workers get compensated for the work they put into bringing awareness and research opportunities to things like breast cancer and AIDS relief. With that,
it may be hard to decipher which organizations are actually worth donating to and which ones might lead to nothing but misused profit margins. Have no fear, Bobcats— the hard work has already been done. Websites like Charity Navigator can help people decide which organization is best for what they hope to do with their dollars. The website gives an indepth analysis of national,
statewide and even some local nonprofit and charitable organizations, including financial information, accountability ratings and revenue metrics. Before committing to any cause, it helps to know what these organizations are actually funding. No one wants to spend a lifetime giving money to a company that turns out to invest resources in nothing but its own pocketbooks. Take the time to research
and inquire about organizations seeking donations so everyone can end up on top. The people stuck in precarious, grim situations are properly benefited and those with charitable dispositions get to sleep a little more comfily knowing their donations are being put to good use. In the end, everyone comes out on top. Be diligent, be mindful and stay charitable.
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.
Aging comes at a high price You can borrow my braids, but just give them back
Mariana Castillo OPINIONS COLUMNIST @mar9cast
t’s a shame the government thinks more about getting paid than helping its elderly population. The process of caring for an aging loved one is hard enough to think about, but state officials make it even more difficult when they take advantage of the elderly and their families. Identifying the safest option for the aging weighs heavily on primary caregivers. Several factors can contribute to someone needing around-the-clockcare, such as arthritis making walking more difficult, or Alzheimer’s and dementia drastically altering the mind. All of these conditions can require a permanent, fulltime caretaker. However, families with the time and resources for in-home care can avoid the pain of putting their parent or spouse into a nursing home. The ability to have loved ones nearby
and have professional help come over daily eases the passing of the beloved elderly. The Texas Medicaid and Chip state programs provide benefits to those who meet certain requirements. Texas Health and Human Services for Medicaid for the elderly must have a certain income or balance that is below a low threshold. In other words, only those who do not have much money saved can receive benefits from the state government. Sounds simple and reasonable enough. However, the actual process of filling out the application is a nightmare. Medicare does not cover the entire stay of an elderly patient at nursing facilities or rehabilitation centers. After a period of time, the legal guardian or attorney stated in the will decides if it is in the patient’s best interest to return home. It is a difficult decision, but it comes down to keeping loved ones safe. The next step is to apply for Medicaid benefits if the applicant cannot afford the payments. I myself had to fill out an application for my 90-year-old mother. The questions were phrased strangely, using complex text that could only be understood by a legal expert.
The University Star Editor-in-Chief...........................................Kelsey Bradshaw, email@example.com Managing Editor.......................Imani McGarrell, firstname.lastname@example.org Letters................................................................................email@example.com News Editor........................................................Anna Herod, firstname.lastname@example.org Sports Editor.............................................Quixem Ramirez, email@example.com Lifestyle Editor.........................................Mariah Simank, firstname.lastname@example.org Opinions Editor..........................................Brandon Sams, email@example.com Multimedia Editor......................................Preslie Cox, firstname.lastname@example.org Copy Desk Chief....................................Abby Marshall, email@example.com
It made the whole process even more frustrating. Attorneys must be hired to help common folks understand what the state will provide and what it will take after their loved ones pass. Hiring a lawyer requires more money than many lower-class and middle-class citizens have to spend. This program is supposed to help those who do not have a lot of money to begin with—but largely it does not. The place where my mother currently resides has sided with the state, meaning they want money before giving out the help she needs. And unfortunately, approval for a Medicaid application can take months. A nursing home will risk its residents’ lives by threatening to move them out. This forces our loved ones to move back into environments that are no longer safe, all to protect the capitalist nursing home’s bottom line. A nursing home may follow state rules but still mistreat its residents. These people are grandparents and older siblings and great-aunts and uncles. They can no longer fend for themselves, and the government should not take advantage of its most vulnerable citizens.
—Mariana Castillo is a journalism sophomore
Mikala Everett OPINIONS COLUMNIST @mikala_maquella
merica is seen as one of the world’s greatest melting pots. Various cultures and traditions are brought together and infused into the mainstream. This can be marvelous, but only when aspects are recognized for their cultural importance. For the most part, I do not have a problem with people borrowing traits from other cultures. If someone thinks henna is super cool, that’s fine. Perhaps a person wants to try out some dreads—tight. Hell, maybe someone even wants to rock a sari—I say get it, girl. However, my issue arises when these aspects are not borrowed, but taken. This often occurs when these characteristics are used as fashion trends deemed “edgy” and “chic” because the media says so. Yet, when a person of
the culture from where the “trend” originates wears said “trend,” they are flooded with a well of negative reactions. There is a difference between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation. Cultural appreciation is fabulous. Appreciation occurs when an individual from an outside culture can recognize and celebrate the differences between their culture and another’s. However, cultural appropriation is pure theft. It is not okay for someone to take a feature that has been part of a culture for generations, and then claim it has just been discovered. I’m looking at you, Vogue. Also, if an individual says that others are appropriating his or her culture, the appropriators cannot argue that they are not. That logic is applicable to taking someone’s shoe and trying to argue that you had it the whole time. It makes no sense. While black culture is most commonly appropriated, it is far from being the only group annexed. The infusion of henna, saris, kimonos, chopsticks and many other items from Asian cultures has also been regarded as “hip” and “cool.” Native American and Latin cultures have
also experienced this kind of bastardization. Unfortunately, society still says it does not matter that most of these groups have been doing this for hundreds and thousands of years—it’s cool now. It is extremely hurtful to see parts of the culture that you grew up with and have emotional ties to referred to as “trends.” These “trends” make it seem as nothing is ever your own and if it is, it will not be for long. I’m always down for some fusion. All present cultures need to be recognized and celebrated. There are glorious things that can be birthed from the melding of various cultures. All the examples I can think of at the moment are food-related, so it is pretty obvious where my interests lie. On a serious note, cultural appreciation will always be positive while appropriation will never be. Therefore, we should stick to the positives and spread the peace, love and appreciation. Once we do that, the path to diversity is clear and we can go get some take-out.
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—Mikala Everett is a marketing sophomore
The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University and is published every Monday and Thursday of the spring and fall and every other Wednesday in the summer semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. on publication days with a distribution of 6,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright Monday, October 26, 2015. All copy, photographs and graphics appearing in The University Star are the exclusive property of The University Star and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the editor in chief. The first five issues of each edition of the paper are free. Additional copies of the paper can be purchased at 50¢ per copy. Contact The University Star office at (512) 245-3487 to purchase additional copies.
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The University Star
Quixem Ramirez, Sports Editor @quixem email@example.com
MID-SEASON AWARDS FOR TEXAS STATE FOOTBALL By Quixem Ramirez and Paul Livengood
Editor’s note: With half of the football season under wraps, Quixem Ramirez and Paul Livengood broke down the Texas State football team. Here are their picks for Offensive MVP, defensive MVP and whether a bowl game is still realistic.
WHO IS THE OFFENSIVE MVP AT THIS POINT IN THE SEASON? QR: I wanted to be a contrarian and pick Adrian Bellard, but I can’t ignore the productivity of Tyler Jones, junior quarterback. He’s leading the team in multiple statistical categories while being the backbone of an experienced offensive unit. It’s Jones’ team, and the Bobcats’ attitude reflects his calm demeanor. PL: Jones. He seems to be
the only skill position on offense producing. He leads the team in not only passing—naturally, as a quarterback—but also rushing. Rob Lowe has not shown up thus far the way most anticipated. Jones has accounted for 12 total touchdowns compared to two turnovers.
WHO IS THE DEFENSIVE MVP AT THIS POINT IN THE SEASON? QR: Damani Alexcee, junior safety. As one of the leaders of the defensive unit, Alexcee has emerged as a triple-threat that can defend the pass, rush the quarterback and corral the opposition. PL: It’s hard to pick one person, because no one has really stood out individually. If I had to pick someone, I’d say Jerrid Jeter-Gilmon. In just three games, Jeter-
Gilmon has placed fourth on the team in tackles (19), averaging 6.33 tackles per game.
WHO IS THE MOST IMPROVED PLAYER? QR: Demun Mercer, sophomore wide receiver. Mercer, the younger brother of Jafus Gaines, has almost doubled his reception total in five games this season (15). His abilities have given a normally vertically challenged Texas State offense some life. PL: Alexcee. In just five games, the senior safety has already surpassed his tackle total from the entire season of 2014. Alexcee leads the Bobcats in tackles, tackles for loss, and sacks.
WHO IS THE BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT THUS
FAR? QR: Lawrence White, senior tight end. He had all the makings of a breakout season. White dropped 55 pounds, then took to the weight room and added muscle. His body was at peak shape. At 6-foot-7, White figured to be one of Jones’ safety valves as a receiver. It hasn’t happened. White has seven receptions for 60 yards and one touchdown this season. There are six receivers with more receptions this season than White. PL: David Mims, senior cornerback, has not lived up to his preseason hype this season. Voted the Preseason Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Mims has recorded zero interceptions and two pass breakups. Mims has been beat one-on-one for touchdowns four times in the past two games. In 2014, he
had five interceptions in the last seven games of the season.
GIVE ONE BOLD PREDICTION FOR THE SEASON. QR: Texas State’s defense will be better. That’s a piping hot sports take. PL: Texas State has yet to get an interception this entire season. That five-game interception-less streak will end this against South Alabama. In their first home conference game of the season, the Bobcats will find a way to pick off Cody Clements, who sits toward the bottom of the country in total QBR rating.
IS A BOWL GAME IN THE CARDS OR NOT?
QR: Let me be the glass half-full guy for once. The schedule is lighter and four of the next five games are at home. That could give the Bobcats some cushion before the team’s final game against Arkansas State, which could have immediate bowl game implications. Of course, that game won’t even matter if Texas State doesn’t take care of business at home in the meantime. PL: At this point, I think being selected for a bowl game is not likely. They will be fighting just to be bowl eligible at this point. Yes, there is an extra conference bowl tie-in, but Georgia Southern and Appalachian State are now eligible for a bowl game this year. Both teams sit atop the conference. *All statistics are before Texas State’s game against South Alabama.
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