Let’s get to it.
Lion Soccer notched a scoreless draw against Westminster College of Utah over the Weekend, and head to Alva, Oklahoma to face Northwestern Oklahoma State Tonight in a 6 PM start. The Lions return home this Thursday night for their home opener against another tough group in Ouachita Baptist.
Huge props to the Men’s Cross Country team as they won the East Texas State shootout team title and Timon Kemboi, a Sophomore from Kenya, took the overall individual title in his first collegiate race. The Lion women finished second behind one of the best Women’s teams in the Nation in Dallas Baptist. Sanger’s Brandi Stalder was the Lion Women’s only top ten finisher, taking 6th place. Overall a great result for both teams. Both teams return to action September 21st as they head to Joplin, Missouri for the Missouri Southern Stampede.
Craig Case’s squad started out the season strong this past weekend as they defeated Henderson State, St. Edwards, and Mississippi College at the Henderson State/Ouachita Baptist joint invitational. OBU defeated the Lions 3-2 but so far, so good for the Lions in this season. The Lions face a huge game this Friday as they take on the number 1 ranked team in the nation, the University of Tampa, at the Colorado Premier tournament. They then face Regis University after and then two other opponents that will be decided in pool play. The first home match is September 20 against Texas A&M-Kingsville.
Usually, this is where I do the 5 thoughts on our upcoming opponent but I feel the need to do some editorializing regarding this past weekend. Many people are upset that we played an opponent that was nowhere near what we typically play in competition, but let me say this. Do not blame the administration, blame schools for not honoring their commitment to play us. All of this goes back to North Alabama breaking their contract to go play a former rival and then getting moved to Division I-FCS. UNA refused to come play in Commerce despite us braving a Hurricane to play them in 2017 in Florence, Alabama. Tim McMurray did EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING in his power to schedule a better game. He called over 120 schools and nobody wanted to play us. Division I-FBS schools would never schedule a Division II school, Division I-FCS schools want to play weaker Division II schools so they will not take an embarrassing defeat and then have to pay them. Your average Division II school will not come up to North Texas in the stifling heat to get beaten and also put a ding in their schedule, while Division III schools and NAIA schools refuse to play an elite school on the next level. We are in a tough situation scheduling wise but these next couple of years will be better as the NCAA is creating a cross conference schedule so that Division II schools can play other Division II schools and not worry about losing games. We had over 8,000 people at the game last night, and in between ticket sales, game casts, and merchandise and concessions, that was a lot of money to be made, and we made it by having a game and giving our new coach and his staff a chance to evaluate players. Not ideal, but certainly better than nothing and again, I give Tim McMurray all the credit. He could have thrown up his hands and said “Well, nobody wants to play us” and just quit, but he didn’t. He pressed until he found an opponent that we needed and got the job done. So props to him and the staff. We got the best situation out of a raw deal that was handed to us.
Thats all for the Morning Wire, stay tuned as we preview the Western Oregon game this week.