School pride is a big deal around college campuses, and two distinguished alumni are attempting to improve it.
In an effort to improve attendance at basketball games in particular, Gregg Roberts and Ann Roberts have hosted and funded a Greek Attendance Challenge and Scooter Giveaway for the past six years.
“I’ve achieved the goal that I set out to achieve through basketball,” Gregg Roberts said. “We’ve improved attendance dramatically through those programs, and a lot of students are coming to games that weren’t before.”
Gregg Roberts said the initiative began when he walked in to Strahan seven years ago to watch a basketball game against a Southland Conference rival and was floored that only 400-500 students were in the seats.
Junior pitcher Hunter Lemke steps into big shoes this season as the team’s designated closer, replacing Jeff McVaney as the all-time Texas State career saves leader.
JC: Who is your celebrity crush?
HL: I’d have to say either Jennifer Aniston or Blake Lively.
JC: If you could pick any place in the world to vacation, where would it be and why?
HL: Oh, that’s a tough one. I’d have to say some self-secluded island with a secret house. I’d just stay out there for a week or two.
JC: Who is your favorite athlete?
HL: Derek Jeter.
JC: What is your favorite sports team?
HL: The New York Yankees.
JC: How many siblings do you have, if any?
HL: I have three. I have two brothers and a sister, and they are all older than me.
JC: What song is playing on your iPod right now?
Love of the game is often passed along from father to son in sports, and Texas State’s Finnegan family is no different.
Kyle and Jack Finnegan, junior and freshman, are pitchers for the Texas State baseball team. Their faither, Willy Finnegan, was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1981 after his junior year at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. He spent three years in the minors and has served as a mentor, coach and leader for his sons.
“He would always tell us old baseball stories and just cool, interesting stuff that would get you excited about the game,” Kyle Finnegan said. “He wouldn’t force us to work at it. He would kind of leave it up to us if we really loved the game, and we definitely did.”
Most student athletes focus their time and energy in one sport, but sophomore Colby Targun is making a difference in two.
Targun is a rare athlete who plays two sports for Texas State. He is the second baseman for the baseball team and a safety on the football team.
“Some guys have the ability, even more than Colby, but are afraid of the moment,” said baseball coach. “Colby doesn’t run from the moment. He steps into the moment. He likes being in those moments and really has the ‘it’ factor.”
The team member from Scottsdale, Ariz., has been a gifted athlete his entire life. Targun was a two-time all-state performer who led his team to the championship in 2009 and 2010 at Chaparral High School in Arizona—and that was only in football.
Andrew Stumph, senior catcher for the Texas State baseball team, has never had to be the Bobcats’ vocal leader.
Last year’s big three, Jeff McVaney, Tyler Sibley and Casey Kalenkosky, have graduated, and the 6-feet, 215-pound senior from Katy High School is expected to become the new voice of the Bobcats.
“He needs to be a leader back there,” said Coach. “He’s always been kind of a quiet person who has done his part, but now he needs to verbalize and vocalize his thoughts and feelings of what the team needs to do. He has a lot of thoughts going on (in) his mind because he is such an intelligent player. Now, he needs to let it out to the people around him so they can be better.”
Caleigh McCorquodale, senior setter for the Bobcat volleyball team, is about as cool as they come, from stylish sets on the court to a closet filled with all the most fashionable threads.
She is much loved and respected by coaches and teammates alike, toted as a natural born leader.
“She is one of my favorite student athletes I’ve ever coached,” said Coach Karen Chisum.
“She’s a very good setter, but she is just a fun person to be around,” Chisum said. “All of her teammates like her. She is demanding, but she can also be soft.”
School pride is an aspect Chisum likes to give to her athletes every day.
The narrowest of margins did not favor the volleyball team this past weekend in their two home matches versus New Mexico State University and the University of Denver.
Postseason play is inching closer, and the Bobcat volleyball team will have to notch big wins to transcend the fifth seed in the conference.
This weekend the team will have its last two home games of the season. Texas State will host top ranked New Mexico State University, a team it conquered in comeback fashion earlier this season. The Bobcats will additionally face the University of Denver, another WAC conference qualifier that defeated them in their only meeting on the season.
The Bobcats are currently leaving behind two conference wins over Louisiana Tech University and the University of Texas-Arlington. Junior outside hitter Amari Deardorff was instrumental in both of the team’s victories. She said those matches were crucial in closing the season.
“We really needed those wins, especially because our last few games are going to be pretty hard,” Deardorff said. “We really needed to come into the last part of conference on a high.”
How did you end up at Texas State after playing at Cincinnati?
I just wanted to be closer to home. That was the biggest reason.
Do you have any siblings?
Yeah, I have one sister. She played volleyball at (The University of) Tennessee. We’re really close and tell each other everything.
What would you say your favorite food is?
Probably Chinese food. I like Pei Wei and Panda Express and stuff like that.
Favorite subject in school?
Probably math just because I’m really good at it. It’s not that hard for me.
Any volleyball plans after college?
No, I don’t want to play volleyball afterward. I want to get a job in the real world.
What would your dream vacation be?
The Texas State volleyball team will hit the road for a two game trip versus Louisiana Tech University and the University of Texas-Arlington this weekend.
The Bobcats, who have already clinched a spot in the WAC conference tournament, beat both teams earlier this season and are looking to improve their seeding.
“I think (it is most important) to build some momentum going into the conference tournament,” said Coach Karen Chisum. “I think it’s real important to get both of these wins on the road. It’d be nice to finish up as the fourth or fifth seed and not the seventh or eighth. We’ve got a lot of pride and our goal is to win each of the last five matches we play.”