One of the best-selling shirts in the St. Mary’s University bookstore reads: St. Mary’s Football — Still Undefeated. But the popular jersey is just a forlorn reminder that St. Mary’s doesn’t have a football
team. Sadly, with the exception of Trinity University
, no other college or university in the Alamo City does, either. So get your fill of the pigskin at E.M. Stevens Stadium this year and cheer on the Tigers
. Chances are, you won’t be disappointed.
| Last year, the Trinity Tigers made their 13th straight trip to the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship. |
Last year, Trinity finished their season 9-1, made their 13th straight trip to the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship, and earned a ride to the NCAA playoffs for the ninth year in a row. Led by Head Coach Steve Mohr, the Tigers are returning with 13 starters from last year’s team, including All-American defensive lineman Dustin Allen. Allen led his team with nine sacks and 15 tackles for loss last year. Mohr is in his 17th season with Trinity and has accumulated an overall record of 128-50. Mohr’s high mark for the last 12 years, 118-20, is the second-best such record in Division III.
According to the Trinity University athletic department, defense will most likely be key for the Tigers during the 2006 season. Seven of their returning starters were part of last year’s defensive unit — the Black Flag. Ranked fourth in Division III in points allowed per game, Trinity gave up just under 12 points per contest last year, and only 4.4 in SCACC play. They allowed only two touchdowns in their final six regular-season games, notching a 9-0 regular-season mark, 5-0 in conference.
In addition to these accomplishments, the Tigers have been ranked in the top 25 D-III teams in three independently released pre-season polls. Street & Smith had the Tigers ranked highest at 16th. Lindy’s Football Magazine
put them at 20th, while USA Today Sports Weekly
held them at 23rd.
Trinity opens its season at home on September 2 against East Texas Baptist at 6 p.m., then travels to Seguin to take on Texas Lutheran University on September 9.
Take a drive down Hildebrand and you’ll find football of a different sort. The University of the Incarnate Word
is notorious for its exceptional men’s and women’s soccer
programs. Last year, both teams were invited to the National Championship Tournament. Though each team has competed in the tournament before, last year was the first time in the school’s six-year NCAA history that they achieved the feat simultaneously.
Finishing their season at 14-4-3, the Lady Cardinals
ended up losing 2-0 to the number-one team in the nation, Metro State. UIW dominated All-Heartland Conference honors, as five Cardinals were voted onto the team and two of three major individual awards were presented to Incarnate Word. Returning for the 2006 season, junior Barbara Butts led the conference in scoring last year, both in goals and total points, and was voted most valuable player. She will be joined this year by senior mid-fielder Amber Cole who was also a 2005-06 all-conference selection.
Head Coach Tina Patterson was awarded the conference’s top coaching award for the fourth time in her team’s six years of conference play. Patterson has led the women’s program for 12 years, and has a winning percentage among the top 15 of all NCAA Division II coaches that have a minimum of five years at an NCAA institution.
The Lady Cardinals next match takes place at noon on September 2 against Regis University at Cardinal Field.
Another local team to keep an eye on is St. Mary’s University
’s women’s basketball
squad. Last season, St. Mary’s won the Heartland Conference Championship Tournament, earning an automatic regional bid. The Lady Rattlers
ended their season 17-12, bowing out to number-one ranked Washburn University, which set a Division II record with 50 consecutive victories. St. Mary’s will retain the core of their team this year, having lost only two seniors to graduation. Head Coach Paige Clawson, however, left her position this summer to join the United States Secret Service. (We can print that, right Coach?) During Clawson’s five-year tenure at STMU, the Lady Rattlers earned three HLC titles and made two NCAA National Tournament appearances. Former assistant coach Jason Martens has been named head coach of the program for the 2006-07 season.
The Lady Rattlers season will kick off at home on November 17 against Central Missouri State at 7:30 p.m. For complete team schedules, visit the university websites: Trinity.edu, Uiw.edu, and Stmarytx.edu