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Texas State Soccer Season Preview

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The Texas State soccer team is gearing up for its 2014 run in the Sun Belt Conference as it looks to take the next step toward another NCAA Tournament appearance.

Texas State, the conference’s fourth seed, defeated Troy in overtime in the first tournament game last season. The top-seeded Western Kentucky Hilltoppers eliminated the Bobcats in the second round. The team finished the season with an 8-9-2 overall record and a 4-3-1 conference record.

Texas State Football Season Preview

The Bobcats are looking to improve upon last year’s 6-6 record and seventh-place finish in the Sun Belt conference.

Coach Dennis Franchione stressed the importance of offensive consistency at the Bobcats’ media day session.

“Right now we are not very consistent,” Franchione said. “We’re very up-and-down. From an offensive standpoint, it’s nice to have our starting quarterback in place. Tyler (Jones) is having a good camp. Our tight ends need to be more consistent, but our offensive line is better.”

The coaching staff has implemented a hurry-up offense that looks to put more pressure on opposing defenses. The Bobcats ranked last in total offense last year, and Franchione believes a more up-tempo offense will lead to more points.

Get to Know: Rob Lowe

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KJ: Which player do you mirror your game after?

RL: Arian Foster.

KJ: Favorite activity in San Marcos?

RL: The river.

KJ: If you were not playing football at Texas State, what would you be doing?

RL: I would probably be doing something in the medical field in Dallas.

KJ: If you could ask God one question, what would it be?

RL: What is my future like?

KJ: If you could replace your life with a famous athlete, who would it be?

RL: Michael Jordan.

KJ: What is your favorite Disney movie?

RL: Luck of the Irish.

Get to Know: Tyler Jones

AG: Who is your favorite athlete? 

TJ: Michael Jordan. When I was a kid, I was a big fan of Space Jam.

AG: What would your dream car be?

TJ: Ford F-150 pickup truck.

AG: Do you have any nicknames by friends, teammates or family?

TJ: Jonesy. That’s about it.

AG: Why did you choose Texas State?

TJ: There was a little history between the head coach and offensive coordinator here.

AG: If you had to choose another collegiate sport to play other than football, what would it be?

Bobcats win exhibition game against Houston Baptist

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The Texas State soccer team opened its 2014 season with a 1-0 exhibition victory over the Houston Baptist Huskies.

"I saw some things offensively that we've been working on so I was really proud of that," said Coach Kat Conner.

Texas State led the shot attempt category, 16 to seven, while Caitlyn Rinehart, junior goalkeeper, played the entire game in the net, recording five saves. The Bobcats also led corner kicks 5-3.

"Defensively, we looked real suspect in what we were trying to do, in our shifts and in our steps, so we'll have to go back to the drawing board on that and break down the film," Conner said. "But, they've realized something was going wrong and asked to see the film. That's a good thing because that means that they're ready to learn."

Beyond the Game: Lauren Kirch

Incoming freshman blocker Lauren Kirch’s decision process to play at Texas State was unlike most student athletes. Kirch placed her education at an equal, if not higher, priority than her collegiate sports career, and that landed her in San Marcos.

Growing up, Kirch was always the “gentle giant” of the family as her mother, Susan, refers to her. Always being among the tallest students in her class was something Kirch had to adjust to right away. Kirch is 6 feet 2 inches, tied for the third-tallest on the volleyball team. 

“She never really liked being tall,” Susan Kirch said. “From the time she was born she was always taller than everybody else.”

Orakpo, Mayo make preseason award watch lists

Senior linebackers Mike Orakpo and David Mayo were named to preseason award watch lists.
 
Orakpo was named to the 2014 preseason Butkus award watch list. Orakpo is one of 51 linebackers on the list, with 50 players represented from FBS programs. The Butkus award recognizes the nation's top linebacker. Alabama's C.J. Mosley, drafted in the first-round of the 2014 NFL Draft, won the award last year. 
 

Beyond the Game: Taylor Black

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When pitcher Taylor Black’s family first heard from Bud Selig, Major League Baseball commissioner, his father, Harold, was texting Colorado Rockies executives. They were waiting on the final call. 

“We listened to the draft from about 11 a.m. until he was drafted at around 3 in the afternoon,” Harold said. “He had been getting text messages back and forth leading up, and of course there are some emotional highs and lows and getting caught up in the rush when Taylor’s name is finally called.” 

The Rockies selected Taylor with their 26th round selection (773rd overall), making him the fourth Bobcat drafted this year. 

Beyond the Game: Stuart Smallwood

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Stuart Smallwood’s father, Cliff, gave Stuart his first set of golf clubs when he was only three years old. The golfing set came with five balls, a set of clubs and a putter. This play set of plastic golfing toys would eventually spark the interest leading to Stuart’s successful career in the sport.

Stuart’s father played golf at Cameron University, inspiring his son. Cliff mentored his son throughout the beginnings of his career, teaching Stuart how to golf.

“He’s my swing coach,” Stuart said. “He has been there every step of the way and will continue to be in the future. When I was three, he would take me to the putting green and I would just put. I loved it.  That is all I wanted to do. My father and I would have putting competitions for hours.”

Beyond the Game: Sara Rupp

“Mentally disciplined” is how Sara Rupp, Texas State softball signee, is described by her junior softball coach, Mark Tucker. Rupp, a catcher, has played with her twin sister, Randi, her entire life, but she has developed her own identity on the field.

Sara had to make an early decision in high school at Barbers Hill. She played both softball and volleyball until her sophomore year, when she realized softball was more of a year-long commitment.

“The volleyball coach was not too happy about it,” Sara said. “It was mid-season and he wanted me to be committed to that sport. But I thought about it and said, ‘I’m not going to play volleyball in the future,’ so I just focused on softball since that was my future.”

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