Coach Ricci Woodard discussed overcoming adversity during the past season, her thoughts on the team’s recognition and anticipation for this year’s players.
SR: What does it mean to have nine of your former players on the All-Time team with you as well?
RW: We can talk about just those nine, but there are a whole lot of other people that contributed to that, between coaches and other players. It’s a great honor. A lot of those players obviously were great pitchers here at Texas State who helped put this program on the map. It’s a nice recognition for Texas State University, for our softball program and what we were able to accomplish in the Southland Conference.
SR: What experience did your team gain when they played and competed well against the National Pro Fastpitch All-Stars?
Shaun Rutherford lived out his football career with no regrets. He played every down as if it were his last and became a true leader on the Texas State football team.
“I feel like everything went pretty good here,” Rutherford said. “Usually when I come around my presence is known. I can get respect from people quick. I just wanted to lead by example, do things the right way and give people someone to look up to.”
Rutherford came to Texas State after a two-year stint with Blinn College as a wide receiver, punt returner and a back-up quarterback to future Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton.
Along for the ride was senior wide receiver Isaiah Battle, with whom Rutherford had “a big brother, little brother relationship.” Having played at Blinn, Battle witnessed the full growth and transformation from one position to another in his “big brother” at Texas State.
Battle said his ability to change roles speaks volumes to him as an athlete.
All the strength and weight training from football’s offseason will be showcased for fans in the second annual “Night of Champions” at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 18 at the west side of Bobcat Stadium
Last year, two school records were broken, while three lifters in the squat came within 10lbs of Deshun Williams’ 700-pound record.
In 2012, Matt Freeman and Joey Simone surpassed Donavan King’s hang and clean record when they both lifted 373lbs. Simone went on to lift 377 and then set the final mark at 380, giving him the school record outright.
Freeman achieved his own record when he lifted 425lbs on the incline press.
Recently hired basketball coach Danny Kaspar has a new home away from home.
Born and raised in Corpus Christi, Kaspar recognizes the potential of Texas State basketball and the advantages that a growing university provides.
“I’ve always seen Texas State as a university with great potential,” Kaspar said. “I think this is a wonderful place to live, Central Texas. I have many relatives up here. It’s always been just outside my back yard.”
The 2012-13 Southland Conference Coach of the Year plans to place a higher emphasis on defensive basketball. This will be a drastic change from the run-and-gun-style offense the Bobcats utilized last year.
This past season, Stephen F. Austin State University, Kaspar’s former team, led the nation in scoring defense, allowing 51.2 points per game. In contrast, Texas State was ranked 325 out of 345, giving up 75.2 points. In 2010-11, SFA led the nation with 56.7 and was third in 2011-12 with 54.4.
Texas State’s defense capitalized on offensive mistakes Saturday in football’s second and last scrimmage before hitting the field for the Maroon-Gold Spring Game Saturday April 6 at 6:00 p.m.
The Bobcat defense was led by redshirt senior safety Aaron Matthews and junior transfer linebacker Michael Orakpo. Each recorded an interception. Junior defensive tackle Herbert Gonzales recorded the third turnover with a fumble recovery late in the scrimmage. Even with successful turnovers, Coach Dennis Franchione believes there is room for improvement on the physical aspect of the game, saying the physicality was less than what he would have liked.
Texas State will take the field for its second scrimmage on Saturday at 10:45 a.m., and unlike the first—which was scripted—this will be played in actual game conditions.
However, the mindset is still the same—maintain a heavy focus on the run with limited passing.
“We can do a lot of pass in shorts (and helmet practices),” said Coach Dennis Franchione. “We only have ‘X’ amount of scrimmages. So, we don’t do quite as much (passing). We’re always going to be a little more run-oriented in scrimmages as opposed to pass because we can do pass without tackling.”
Following their first scrimmage Franchione did just that. On Monday, the Bobcats worked on airing out the ball with no pads.
“It felt pretty good,” said freshman quarterback Jordan Moore. “Knowing that we’re a run first team, to come out passing the ball more gives the quarterbacks a chance to show off their arm.”
The defense took advantage of offensive miscues in Texas State football’s first scrimmage as the team’s preparation continues for the Maroon and Gold Spring Game on April 5.
Junior transfer safety Brandon Jones made a notable appearance Saturday, returning two turnovers for touchdowns, including a pick six by jumping a stop route thrown by senior quarterback Duke DeLancellotti.
“I just baited him into thinking that I was going to blitz and jumped the hot route,” Jones said.
Since the Bobcat football team took the field to begin spring practice March 1, the excitement and continuity has progressively escalated.
Texas State will hold its first scrimmage of the season March 23 at 5:40 p.m. The combination of team camaraderie and the excitement new conference has spirits running high.
Senior wide receiver Isaiah Battle said it’s beginning of a tradition change.
“Since I’ve been here, I’ve seen nothing like it,” Battle said. “Everybody is enthusiastic, everybody wants the same thing. Everyone wants to go to the bowl game next year, and everybody wants that conference ring. Everyone is buying into it. I love it.”
The need for discipline remains along with the excitement. Entering his third year at the helm, Coach Dennis Franchione is attempting to implement better tackling skills among his players on the defensive side of the ball.
Texas State men’s basketball’s run to the NCAA Tournament and Davalos’ reign as head coach ended March 17 with a loss to New Mexico State University in the WAC semifinals.
The seventh seeded Bobcats (12-22) upset the No. 2 seed the University of Denver in the quarterfinals of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament that advanced the Bobcats to the semifinals.
In their previous meeting with Denver, the Pioneers took apart Texas State’s defense with their spread offense. Denver shot 55.3 percent from the floor and had four players in double figures en route to a 79-64 victory. This time around, the Bobcats hit their final 10 free throw attempts to ensure a 72-68 victory over the Pioneers.