A lot of stuff to report on today regarding the Lions and Lady Lions, so let’s get to it.
Congrats to Chantry McMahan for her second place individual finish in the Lion Invitational in Pottsboro. She scored a 75 on the final day and total score of 157 to take the second place. The team as a whole finished 6th, but they have a short time to focus on that as they head west to play in the Midwestern State Invitational at Witchita Falls Country Club on Monday the 17th. Individual scores and stats per Lion Athletics.
Track and Field-
Major props in order to Lion trackers Luis Romero, Matt Rich, Anthony Harris and Ashley Ross for notching all Conference honors for the Indoor track season. Romero was also awarded Most Outstanding Male Runner as well, so great job to Luis! Good Momentum going into the outdoor season and congrats to these guys as they carry on the proud championship tradition of Lion Track and Field.
Alright, so it’s diatribe time. Call me a homer, or biased or whatever, we should have gotten the at-large bid instead of Midwestern. Plain and simple. Our SOS was much harder than theirs, we won 20 games, many of them in tough road environments, played well at the conference tournament, and we earned it, but when a team finishes with roughly the same record and they win both match-ups, it is kind of hard to argue that, so to say MSU has no business being in the NCAA D2 tourney is being just unfair and not objective at all, but to say we did should not have gotten in is also not right. I cannot imagine how crushed the players, especially the seniors, have to be as hard as they worked and pulled a good season together right when it looked like they were heading for another disappointment, but this a young team. This is the first full school year that this Athletic Department has been here, so I expect that next year some of the losses that were close will be wins next year. Finally, congratulations to HC Sam Walker for getting to the Semi’s almost knocking off the second best team in the country 2 straight times, and notching win 225. We are proud of this group and will look for a better season next year.
So, the schedule has come out. Analysis time.
I am thrilled about the schedule. First, opening with ETBU in Commerce is going to be great. Thursday night game, expect a lot of people to be there. Students, Community, and ETBU fans who have kids or friends on the team making the short drive up from Dallas to see their relatives play. Also, you might very well see some ETBU alums and students make the 3 hour drive from Marshall. Heading down to Nacogdoches for a date with former LSC rival Stephen F. Austin is something I am looking forward to. Homer Bryce Stadium is an incredible facility and is beautiful. It is built into the hills like a natural bowl. My Mom attended grad school there and is always looking for an excuse to make a trek down there, so it would be cool to see both mine and my Dad’s alma mater to go at it with one of my Mom’s Alma Maters. Plus, getting a prime tune up, and then playing a Division I school on the road that has had some success in the past few years will be good for conference play. Now, moving into conference play, it will be a meat grinder to go through. TAMU-Kingsville will want revenge for us humiliating them during their homecoming, especially playing at Cowboys Stadium. Then there will be some hard road trips, starting with heading to Blackwater Draw to take on Eastern New Mexico, going to West Texas to face Angelo State, and going to Witchita Falls for a date with Midwestern. All three games we lost at home that were close and came down to the wire. We can win these games, whether they are on the road or not. For the home schedule, we have Tarleton for homecoming in the President’s Cup game, which I think is a master stroke. The stadium will be packed, and Tarleton travels well. Expect a crowd on October 4th. Then, the game everyone will be waiting for, assuming disaster has not struck will be when West TAMU comes to Commerce. Colby will have a shot at his former team on his home turf, and boy do I want to beat those guys. WTAMU will be the measuring stick as to how far we are from LSC supremacy. We finish the regular season with high scoring McMurry in Commerce. Cannot wait for the teams that we play in Commerce to suit it up.
If you notice, we have two TBD’s. This coming year we will have a conference playoff. So we are guaranteed one game, and maybe, two. Depending on seeding, we will have possibly two more home games that will play into who gets a call to the playoffs, and also should we trip up gives us a chance to play a team that we might have lost to and gives us a chance at retribution. That, I really like. In the coming weeks I will highlight all the schools that we play and all write up some match-up capsules to give us something to look forward to.