No. 6 Texas A&M Men’s Tennis Blanks LSU, Advances in SEC Tournament

The 6th ranked Aggie Men’s Tennis team defeated LSU, 4-0 in the SEC Tournament Quarterfinals this morning at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.

The Maroon & White advance to take on Mississippi State tomorrow in the semifinals. First-serve is slated for noon.

Browns QB Manziel Hopes to Earn Back Respect After Rehab

CLEVELAND (AP) _ Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel has apologized to the team and its fans and asked for privacy during his recovery from an undisclosed substance problem.

Manziel released a statement through the Browns on Friday. He thanked doctors and staff at Caron, a Pennsylvania facility which specializes in the treatment of drugs and alcohol. Manziel was discharged last week following a 2 1/2-month stay.

Manziel says he takes “full responsibility for my actions” and he intends to “work very hard to regain everyone’s trust and respect.”

Manziel, who earned his “Johnny Football” nickname while winning the Heisman Trophy as a freshman at Texas A&M, intends to attend Cleveland’s offseason practices next week.

Earlier this week, he attended a Texas Rangers game followed by a visit to see the Dallas Mavericks play.

Manziel had a rough rookie season in 2014. He spent most of it as the team’s backup before making two starts.

NFL Reinstates Adrian Peterson from Suspension

By JON KRAWCZYNSKI

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ The NFL has reinstated Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, clearing the way for him to return after missing most of last season while facing child abuse charges in Texas.

The league announced its decision on Thursday. Commissioner Roger Goodell sent Peterson a letter advising him of his reinstatement. Goodell wrote that Peterson will have to fulfill all the obligations of his plea deal with authorities after he reached a plea deal to reduce a felony charge to a misdemeanor.

Goodell also told Peterson he would have to continue attending counseling while adhering to the league’s new personal conduct policy to avoid further discipline.

Peterson’s agent has said the star running back wants to play elsewhere next season. But the Vikings say they have no plans to trade him.

College Station Girls Soccer Sees Historic Postseason Run come to an End

The College Station Lady Cougars soccer team fell to Austin Vandegrift, 2-0 this afternoon in the 5A State Semifinals.

 

Aggies Edge Abilene Christian, 3-2

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Logan Taylor pushed the No. 1 Texas A&M Aggies past the Abilene Christian Wildcats with a 3-for-3 for outing that included two RBI in the Aggies 3-2 victory Wednesday on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.

Texas A&M Aggies (34-3) continued their perfection in non-conference play and midweek games with the aid of timely hitting and superb bullpen work. The Aggies fought off two separate Abilene Christian leads before taking the lead for good in the seventh.

The Aggie bullpen was lights-out pitching 5.0 scoreless innings in relief of Turner Larkins who worked 4.0 innings allowing two runs and only three hits.  The bullpen quieted the Wildcats for the rest of the game and gave the offense time for their patented comeback. The win went to Ty Schlottmann (3-1) who pitched 1.2 perfect innings. The combination of Kyle Simonds, Andrew Vinson, Schlottman, and Mark Ecker allowed only two Wildcats to reach base and sent five down on strikes.

Abilene Christian (8-26) opened the scoring, posting a run in the top of the first. Taylor Waters and Tyler Eager started the threat with consecutive singles and Russell Crippen was hit by pitch to load the bases. Simonds walked Marcelle Carter bringing in Waters and putting the Wildcats on the board. The Aggies escaped further damage in the inning with a 4-6-3 double play off the bat Chris Altimont.

The Aggies were able to answer with a two-out rally in the bottom half of the inning. Mitchell Nau boarded with a walk and was brought home by a Logan Taylor double tying the score at 1-1.

The Wildcats took the snatched the lead back in the top of the third. With runners on the corners and two outs the Wildcats executed a double steal with the lead runner Draper advancing home after the throw down to second wasn’t in time.

Again, the Maroon and White didn’t let ACU hold the lead for too long, responding in the home half. of the third Allemand got the rally started with a single and a stolen base. Mitchell Nau pushed Allemand to third on ground out. Allemand completed the circuit on a wild pitch by Nate Cole, bringing the score back to a tie.

Abilene Christian sent Cole to the mound for his first start of the season. He was effective in his five innings of work fanning nine aggies and only allowing two runs. Cole was relieved by Kevin Sheets (0-2) who was hung with the loss.

The Aggies finally took the lead in the seventh inning, again with a rally started by Blake Allemand who raked a one-out double. The Wildcats decided to intentionally walk Nick Banks putting two Aggies on and only one out. Nau drove a ball to center that was dropped by Colton Hall, but Hall recovered to retire Banks at second base for the fielder’s choice, putting runners at the corners. Logan Taylor brought the Aggies ahead with his third hit of the ball game this time in the form of a single to right field.

Abilene Christian had a glimmer of hope in the eighth inning as Eager tattooed a ball towards dead center. Defensive replacement Nick Choruby chased the ball down a few steps before the wall without quite enough time to hit the brakes before having a meet-and-greet with the wall. His highlight-reel snag sent down the three-hole hitter and put the Aggies four outs away from the win. Ecker came in to close down the Wildcats out in the ninth earning his seventh save of the season.

The top of the order accounted for most of the offensive damage in the win. Allemand batted 3-for-5 and scored twice. Nau was responsible for the other run and found his way on twice. Taylor reached base in every trip to plate, going 3-for-3 with a walk and the only two Aggie RBI.

Texas A&M will be back at Blue Bell Park at Olsen Field on Friday to begin a three game SEC home stand against the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Texas A&M Quotes

Head Coach Rob Childress
On the win…
“When you get this deep into conference and you have been in a motion that you have been in on the weekends, to come out and find a way to win tonight, I was really proud of our guys. The bullpen did an outstanding job. We played great defense, which gave us a chance to win the game tonight. They score one in the first, we weren’t real sharp on the mound. They scored in the third inning, which was on me. First and third with two outs and two strikes, we shouldn’t be throwing through there. I could have changed our play. Our guys picked me up tonight and I appreciated that.”

Senior shortstop Blake Allemand
On pulling out the win…
“We came out a little slow, but I credit those guys (Abilene Christian). They came out ready to play. We started figuring it out. We were getting better at-bats. Logan Taylor came in with some big hits giving us some big time RBIs. Kyle Simonds came in there and shut the door on them on the mound side of things.”

Junior outfielder Logan Taylor
On getting the big hits on a night where the offense was struggling…
“I was just trying to let the ball get deep, and put a good swing on it. Whatever happened happened. Honestly it wasn’t anything that I did it was Nick Choruby making that catch (in the eighth). It was a game-saver, it would have been a double or a triple for that guy, and he came through with a big-time play.”

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

 

Efferding Named to SEC Community Service Team

COLLEGE STATION – Texas A&M’s Jeremy Efferding has been named to the 2014-15 SEC Men’s Tennis Community Service Team, the Southeastern Conference announced Wednesday. It is the first appearance on the team by the Senior from Boca Raton, Florida.

The Community Service Team recognizes the accomplishments of student-athletes beyond the field of competition, highlighting a student-athlete from each school who gives back to her community in superior service efforts. All league-sponsored sports have had a Community Service Team since 2004, with at-large teams for men’s and women’s sports being chosen from 1999-2003.

Efferding and the SEC Co-Champion No. 6 Aggies (18-4, 11-1 SEC) will open tournament play Friday at 12 p.m. against the winner between Thursday’s match-up of No. 7 seed LSU and No. 10 seed South Carolina. Should A&M advance, the Aggies’ semifinal match is slated for Saturday at noon. The championship match will be played Sunday at noon. Texas A&M, 18-4 overall, enters the tournament having won 10 of its last 11 matches and including the last nine against conference opponents.

Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M men’s tennis. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M men’s tennis team on Twitter by following @AggieMTEN or on Facebook at Facebook.com/AggieMensTennis.

The complete 2014-15 SEC Men’s Tennis Community Service Team is as follows:

 

Andrew Goodwin • Alabama
Senior • Alpharetta, Ga.

Volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and the USTA/ITA Campus Kids’ Day. Assisted with the Alabama Athletics Department’s Halloween Extravaganza and the National Consortium for Academics & Sports and U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s Shut Out Trafficking program. Also visited with students at The RISE School in Tuscaloosa.

Branch Terrell • Arkansas
Freshman • Benton, Ark.

Participated in RazorBuddies, a program in which Arkansas athletes are paired with a kid from a local elementary school who they meet with biweekly and act as a mentor to. Also participated in Shop With SAAC where he nominated a child from a local elementary school to receive a gift card and then went shopping with the child to use the card to purchase Christmas toys. Spoke to 200 kids at a local elementary school about the value of getting proper exercise, eating healthy and getting plenty of rest as part of Sweat Hogs. The men’s tennis team taught tennis to kids in community for an afternoon in January. Also volunteered in the youth ministry of his church over Christmas break.

 

Lukas Ollert • Auburn
Senior • Munich, Germany

Visits and reads at many elementary schools as well as serves as a mentor to international students and international student-athletes. Volunteered for Beat Bama Food Drive and for East Alabama Ending Child Hunger – packing backpacks of food weekly for underprivileged youth. Helped with the East Alabama Medical Center Valentine campaign where he visited with patients and handed out cards for Valentine’s Day. Is a member of SAAC and the ALI leadership program.

 

Eric Diaz • Georgia
Senior • Athens, Ga.

Participated in UGA Charity Adult Tennis Clinic, which benefited the Cancer Foundation of Northeast Georgia. Involved in the “Home Runs For Hometown Rivals” baseball game held on campus each spring, an event organized jointly between Special Olympics UGA and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). Participated in tennis clinic in January in which he interacted with children in the community and UGA students to teach basic tennis skills.

 

Brett Johnson • Kentucky
Senior • Louisville, Ky.

Annually helps out with God’s Pantry in the Lexington area as part of his intense work with UK Athletics off the field. God’s Pantry is dedicated to providing sacked lunches to under-privileged children in the Lexington community. He recently was selected by the UK Athletic department staff to attend an educational service trip to Ethiopia over the summer of 2013, where he helped to develop relationships with the African people, and assist in their community. He helps pack those lunches on a yearly basis, and deliver them to the local schools in need. In addition, can be seen helping out young tennis up-and-comers as they try and master the sport. Also works multiple camps per year as well.

 

John Michael Busch • LSU
Sophomore • Kennesaw, Ga.

Participated in numerous service events over the last year. Took part in the LSU Move-in Day, Thanksgiving with the Tigers, Big Buddy Fishing, several children’s hospital visits, the Blue Ribbon Soiree, Wildlife & Fisheries Day, the LSU Halloween BOOzar, City Year Community Resource Fair, Young Heroes and other projects within the Baton Rouge community.

 

Kyle Koch • South Carolina
Senior • Irmo, S.C.

Has logged the most community service hours on the team, working mostly serving breakfast at Transitions, a homeless recovery center in Columbia. Participates in tennis clinics around the community regularly. Spent time at Ronald McDonald House and walked in the Light the Night Walk.

 

Hunter Reese • Tennessee
Senior • Kennesaw, Ga.

Served this year as president of Tennessee’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee, participating in weekly meetings and working behind the scenes for the group. Read to children at Claxton Elementary School in Knoxville. Assisted at Voloween, an on-campus Halloween event for children. Worked at a holiday dinner for those in the Knoxville community before Thanksgiving. As SAAC president, spoke at the Welcome Back BBQ event to kick off the school year for Tennessee’s student-athletes.

 

Jeremy Efferding • Texas A&M
Senior • Boca Raton, Florida

Worked with the Kids for Christ program organized by InFaith, an after school Bible program that reaches out to under-privileged children from urban areas. The two-time All-SEC team member helped organize after school programs including Bible stories, arts and crafts and mentoring services. The senior was heavily involved with the Back-to-School Day activities; the program consisted of collecting school supplies in back packs to encourage childhood education. The Boca Raton native also helped with the Christmas celebration, the December program helped fulfil children’s Christmas wish lists along with teaching the nativity story.

Baker Newman • Vanderbilt
Freshman • Miami, Fla.

Has worked with Soles4Souls, a global not-for-profit institution dedicated to fighting the devastating impact and perpetuation of poverty. Traveled to Costa Rico for a week and a half over Christmas break with 12 other student athletes. Baker, along with his fellow student-athletes washed impoverished children’s feet and distributed shoes and clothing. To join the service trip Baker was required to write an essay and provide a letter of recommendation.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

#23/24 Aggie Softball Crushes Lamar 13-0 in Five Innings

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 23/24 Texas A&M softball team (33-112, 8-7 SEC) took control early, scoring eight in the first inning to down Lamar (21-20), 13-0.

Junior Katie Marks got the start in the circle, allowing just two hits in five innings of work, adding three strikeouts and walking just one in her twelfth win on the year.

The Aggie bats were hot from the get go, with sophomore April Ryan knocking a single through the right side and freshman Tori Vidales drawing her first walk of the night to put two on. Sophomore Celena Massey loaded the bases after being hit by a pitch with freshman Ashley Walters at the dish.

A short hit to third base form Walters prompted the Lamar defender to make the throw home and then a throw to first beat Walters for what appeared to be a double play. The umpire ruled that the Cardinals’ catcher was off the bag, allowing Ryan and Vidales to put the first two runs on the board.

Freshman Kristen Cuyos drew a walk, followed by an RBI double from freshmanKayla Ober to put two on with two gone and a 3-0 lead. Freshman Erica Russelltook her base on the third walk of the inning to fill the bags. A single straight up the middle from senior Brittany Clopton sent home the fourth run and kept the bases full.

With two outs and the bases loaded, Ryan stepped up to the plate and hit her fifth dinger of the season, bringing everyone home and giving the Ags an 8-0 lead to close out the opening barrage.

Marks retired the Lamar side in order in the second, giving the Aggie offense another go quickly.

Massey wasted no time putting something on the board, crushing her second home run of the season in the leadoff position. Walters followed with a double to center field and Cuyos reached on an error to put runners on the corners. Ober stepped up with another RBI, this time a single through the right side, to score Walters.

Lamar made a pitching change and the Aggies added another hit, another single up the middle from Clopton, but couldn’t scratch any more across.

Holding a 10-0 lead, neither team managed any offense in the third inning.

The Cardinals added their second hit in the top of the fourth inning, sending a single through the left side but left the runner stranded on first.

Texas A&M tacked on the final three runs in the home half of the fourth. JuniorAlex Masek led off with a single, advancing to second on a throwing error from the Lamar pitcher. A ground out from Clopton moved Masek to third and a single through the left side from freshman Erin Houthoofd sent the junior sprinting home. Lanphear went yard for the seventh time this season, scoring Houthoofd and putting the final cherry on top of a great offensive night.

Up 13-0, Marks and the Aggie defense made quick work of the last three outs, putting the first two away on two pitches. After the first walk issued by Marks all night, a ground out to Vidales closed the game for good.

With the victory, the Aggies eclipsed last season’s win total and Marks and seniorRachel Fox have matched their combined victory total from 2014.

Coach Evans Post Game Sound
“When you get an opening you have to run through it. I thought we did a good job of taking advantage and stroking the ball, taking walks early and scoring. It was really nice to see the offense break out. We don’t get games very often where you can relax and enjoy yourself in the dugout, it’s usually a heated battle. I loved to see the way the team came out hitting.

Let’s Hear a Hullabaloo
…for going, going, gone. Junior April Ryan had her first grand slam of the year and the first four-run homer for the Ags since returning from the first tournament in California. Ryan led the Aggies with two hits, two runs and four RBIs at the plate tonight. Gig ‘em, April!

Coach Evans on Ryan:
“April Ryan was terrific tonight. She went out there and went with the pitch. Her first pitch was a hard hit, her second at-bat was the grand slam. It’s nice to see her up there feeling comfortable.”

Up Next

The Aggies head to Louisiana to take on the Bayou Bengals of LSU this weekend, with the first pitch coming at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday. Follow along with live stats at 12thMan.com and @AggieSoftball on Twitter for all the hits, pitches and everything in between during the 2015 softball season.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Desiderio Named One of SEC Freshman Riders of the Year

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Southeastern Conference has announced its 2015 equestrian awards, recognizing standout performances throughout the past season. The awards were voted on by the league’s four head coaches and announced on Tuesday.

The SEC Riders of the Year included: Auburn’s Elizabeth Benson (Equitation Over Fences); Georgia’s Kylee Arbuckle (Equitation On the Flat); Georgia’s Paige Stawicki (Horsemanship); and Georgia’s Lauren Garmon (Reining).

The SEC Freshman Riders of the Year included: Texas A&M’s Alex Desiderio(Equitation Over Fences); Georgia’s Addyson Cord (Equitation On The Flat); Georgia’s Bailey Anderson (Horsemanship); and Georgia’s Kyndall Harper (Reining).

Desiderio posted an 8-5 record in equitation over fences, which tied her for the most wins on her team in that event. She holds her team’s second-highest score of the season at 86. Six of Desiderio’s eight wins came against top-10 programs and four of those were by a double-digit margin.

2015 SEC Equestrian Awards

Coach of the Year: Meghan Boenig, Georgia

Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Allie Dusha, Auburn

Equitation Over Fences Rider of the Year: Elizabeth Benson, Auburn

Equitation On The Flat Rider of the Year: Kylee Arbuckle, Georgia

Horsemanship Rider of the Year: Paige Stawicki, Georgia

Reining Rider of the Year: Lauren Garmon, Georgia

Freshman Equitation Over Fences Rider of the Year: Alex Desiderio, Texas A&M

Freshman Equitation On The Flat Rider of the Year: Addyson Cord, Georgia

Freshman Horsemanship Rider of the Year: Bailey Anderson, Georgia

Freshman Reining Rider of the Year: Kyndall Harper, Georgia

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

SEC Runner of the Week Honor for Aggie Sprinter Bralon Taplin

BIRMINGHAM – Texas A&M senior sprinter Bralon Taplin earned SEC Runner of the Week honors and added a honorable mention for the National Athlete of the Week named by USTFCCCA after establishing the collegiate leading time of 44.89 seconds in the 400 meters this past weekend.

Taplin set a career best as runner-up to defending Olympic champion Kirani James, who set a world-leading time of 44.31, at the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, Arizona, this past Saturday. Third in the race was Aggie teammate Deon Lendore with a time of 45.18.

Moving to No. 6 performer with the No. 7 performance in Texas A&M history, Taplin’s time is third best in the world for the 2015 season. He is also fourth on the all-time list among athletes representing Grenada following Kirani James (43.74), Texas A&M assistant coach Alleyne Francique (44.47) and Rondell Bartholomew (44.65).

Taplin and Thomas Joyce of California were both honorable mentions for the national award that went to Georgia’s Garrett Scantling, who improved his career best decathlon score to a world-leading 8,232 points at a home meet.

Texas A&M men and women each remained No. 1 in the national team computer rankings released by USTFCCCA this week.

The Aggie men lead the rankings with 408 points over Florida (362), Oregon (302), LSU (235), USC (218), Texas (196), Florida State (181), Arkansas (178), Texas Tech (171) and Alabama (164). The A&M women lead with 319 points over Florida (303), Texas (292), Arkansas (287), Georgia (278), Kentucky (256), USC (247), Oregon (244), Kansas State (173) and Baylor (154).

Competing closer to home this weekend Texas A&M travels the short distance to Waco for the Michael Johnson Classic on Saturday. Field events start at 11 a.m., an afternoon running session begins at 1 p.m. and the evening running session starts at 5 p.m.

Admission to the meet is $10 for adults and $5 for youth, ages 2-17. All tickets are general admission.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Texas A&M’s Hristov Named to SEC Women’s Tennis Community Service Team

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Texas A&M’s Stefania Hristov has been named to the 2014-15 SEC Women’s Tennis Community Service Team, the Southeastern Conference announced today. It is the first appearance on the team by the junior from Iasi, Romania.

The Community Service Team recognizes the accomplishments of student-athletes beyond the field of competition, highlighting a student-athlete from each school who gives back to her community in superior service efforts.

All league-sponsored sports have had a Community Service Team since 2004, with at-large teams for men’s and women’s sports being chosen from 1999-2003.

The complete 2014-15 SEC Women’s Tennis Community Service Team is as follows:

Natalia Maynetto • Alabama
Junior • Naples, Fla.

Volunteered with Habitat for Humanity as well as the athletic department’s annual Halloween Extravaganza and Project Angel Tree events with fellow student-athletes. Assumed a leadership role with the Alabama women’s tennis Kid’s Day Clinics and the team’s Power of Pink initiative to raise awareness for breast cancer research.

Flavia Araujo • Arkansas
Junior • Sao Paulo, Brazil

Participated in Lift Up America by loading people’s cars with boxes of frozen protein provided by Tyson Foods Inc. Spoke to 1300 kids at Bud Walton Arena, as part of the Red Ribbon Rally, about staying away from drugs and alcohol.  Participated in Sweat Hogs and Book Hogs, where she taught grades 1-4 from multiple elementary schools in Fayetteville about physical education and nutritional habits as well as the importance of reading and developing skills. Recruited customers of Harps to donate cans and goods to the Cooperative Emergency Outreach (CEO). Participated in the Buddy Walk, a fundraising awareness event for those who have Down syndrome to be included in our community – with Down Syndrome Connection of NWA.  At the MLK Youth Event, she played sports with kids and teenagers to encourage physical activity and inspire them to fulfill their potential. Also interacted with veterans from the Veterans’ Hospital and learned about their war stories as well as life achievements. After the tornado’s destruction in Mayflower, helped with relief efforts by unpacking, sorting, and separating donations. Performed a guitar number at a variety show to raise money for YRCC community center as well as volunteered for many services including playing with kids and helping with office activities.

Jen Pfeifler • Auburn
Senior • Gulf Breeze, Fla.

Representative for women’s tennis for Auburn’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Participated on Auburn University’s Drugs and Banned Substances Committee. Volunteered with Auburn’s End Child Hunger initiative, working with other student-athletes to pack backpacks for children in Lee County.

Brianna Morgan • Florida
Junior • Beverly Hills, Calif.

Has inspired younger teammates to volunteer and has invited them to volunteer with her at events such as Gator Tracks (donating pairs of shoes to local youth in Gainesville community); Goodwill Gators (community outreach program for student-athletes that provides various opportunities to give local children, teens and UF student-athletes the chance to interact and learn from one another through quality volunteer activities); Salvation Army (volunteers with local chapter); Climb for Cancer (brings together children undergoing cancer treatment with Gator student-athletes to engage in various sports activities and is organized through the Climb for Cancer Foundation).

Kirsten Lewis • Kentucky
Junior • Birmingham, Ala.

Went on a 10-day service trip to Ethiopia with a group of UK student-athletes. The group repainted schools, helped build houses and interacted with several communities. Also made blankets as part of the UK Blanket Project, passed United Way collection buckets at UK football games and served food to the homeless at the Hope Center.  Has been a Salvation Army Bell Ringer, assisted at Breakfast with Santa and was a National Student-Athlete Day Craft Center event volunteer.

Skylar Kuykendall • LSU
Junior • Jasper, Ala.

Helped at the annual Halloween Boozar, which over 700 students from around the Baton Rouge area attend. One of many student-athletes that dressed up and helped paint faces and play games. Also helped at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service this January. Kuykendall along with some of her teammates helped clean and paint a local school.

Kelli Hine • Missouri
Junior • New Braunfels, Texas

Has read to children at Mill Creek Elementary, helped Caleb’s Pitch – a nonprofit organization aimed to enhance children’s lives with serious childhood illnesses and participated in Rally Club Buddy, a program between Mizzou Athletics and local Columbia, Mo. elementary schools.  Has also volunteered with “Mizzou Moves” at Fairview Elementary School (promoting healthy lifestyles with students), the Grant Elementary Read-A-Thon, Central Missouri Food Bank and with hazardous waste pick-up with the City of Columbia. Was a  Susan G. Komen Race participant and a Good Shepard Lutheran PE assistant.

Brigit Folland • South Carolina
Sophomore • Bristol, United Kingdom

Was an even volunteer at the Tunnels to Towers 5k as well as the Catawba Trail Elementary School fall festival.  Helped with the Harvest Hope Food Drive and cleaned and organized a Ronald McDonald House for the holidays.  Participated in a free tennis clinic given to members of Wildewood Club and was involved in a free tennis clinic hosted by Babcock Foundation.

Joanna Henderson • Tennessee
Senior • Aberdeen, Scotland

Works with the Emerald Youth Mentoring program.  Has also been a CMOH Speaker, participated in the Lenoir City Let’s Move Day and  has spent time at Pond Gap Elementary School for “Read across America day.”  Assisted at Tennessee’s annual Volaween and helped at a Chancellor’s Associate Breakfast for Professional Development.

Stefania Hristov • Texas A&M
Junior • Iasi, Romania

As a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), helped the organization with its annual Aggies CAN food drive, the largest student-athlete run canned food drive in the nation. Prior to a sporting event, collected canned food donations from fans and handed out coupons to anyone who contributed to the drive. Also helped at the annual Aggie Sports Day, volunteering as a ticket scanner prior to an A&M football game. In addition, volunteers at the Brazos Valley Food Bank, where she has helped sort and categorize items for distribution to families in need.

Courtney Colton • Vanderbilt
Junior • Davie, Fla.

Works and volunteers with teachers at local elementary school helping in day-to-day operations. Assisting in reading instruction. Designed a behavior intervention for students. Currently designing a behavior management plan for a class. Helps with math instruction. Volunteers for Eakin Elementary school helping out with their family fit nights.

Hristov and the No. 7 Aggies  (15-4, 11-2 SEC), who finished in a three-way tie with Georgia and Vanderbilt for second place in the conference standings, head to Columbia, S.C., this week to compete in the 2015 SEC Women’s tennis Tournament at the Carolina Tennis Center. Texas A&M is the No. 3 seed and opens tournament play Friday at 2 p.m. (ET) against the winner between No. 6 seed LSU and No. 11 seed Arkansas or No. 14 seed Missouri.

Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M women’s tennis. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M women’s tennis team on Twitter by following @AggieWTEN or on Facebook at Facebook.com/AggieWomensTennis.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

House Returning for Senior Season

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Following an impressive junior campaign on the hardwood, Aggie guard Danuel House has announced that he will be returning to Texas A&M for his senior season.

“I’ve made the decision to come back for my senior year,” House said at the Aggies’ end of the year banquet Monday night. “I’m looking forward to competing for a championship next season and getting my degree.”

Among the many accolades bestowed upon the Fresno, Texas, native during his first season in Aggieland after transferring from the University of Houston was a selection to the All-SEC First Team by the league’s coaches as well as a spot on the NABC All-District 21 Second Team.

House emerged as one of the SEC’s most explosive and consistent scorers in 2014-15, ranking fourth in the SEC by scoring 16.2 points per league contest while also ranking second in the league by averaging 2.7 3-pointers made per game and third in 3-point shooting at 41.1 percent.

For the entire season, House paced the Aggies in scoring at 14.8 points per game while shooting 41.7 percent from the field and 40 percent from beyond 3-point range. He was named SEC Player of the Week on Feb. 2 after averaging 17.5 points and shooting 72.7 percent from 3-point range during wins at Auburn and at home vs. Vanderbilt.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Aggies to Play Longhorns in Baseball in 2016, says Texas A&M Coach

STORY BY KATE HAIROPOULOS

It’s not football, but…

Texas A&M and Texas will schedule each other during the baseball regular season beginning in 2016, according to Aggie coach Rob Childress. He revealed the tidbit during an interview for this story on the top-ranked Aggies last week.

The schedule is still unofficial, but the plan is for A&M to host the Longhorns next season and to visit UT in Austin in 2017.

The rivals haven’t played in the regular season since A&M departed the Big 12 for the SEC beginning with the 2012-2013 school year. The programs met in the NCAA regional last season, with UT winning the regional and advancing.

When the baseball programs didn’t meet in A&M’s first season in the SEC, it marked the first break in the series since 1914.

The schools still have no plans to resume their football series, as has been discussed and debated passionately since the Aggies split from the Big 12.

A&M and Texas have, though, met in a variety of sports over the last couple years.

The women’s basketball programs met the last two seasons in events held at neutral sites. The men’s basketball teams have not yet played.

Story courtesy of “The Dallas Morning News”

Astros, Rangers Come up Short to AL West Foes

ATHLETICS-ASTROS

Butler’s 3-run homer helps A’s beat Astros 8-1

HOUSTON (AP) _ Billy Butler hit a three-run homer and Marcus Semien and Brett Lawrie connected to back a solid start by Scott Kazmir and give the Oakland Athletics a 8-1 win over the Houston Astros on Monday night.

Kazmir (2-0) allowed three hits and one run while striking out eight in six innings.

The Athletics scored three runs in the first inning before Lawrie’s solo shot in second made it 4-0. Semien added a one-run homer in the fifth inning before Butler’s first home run this season pushed it to 8-1 later in the inning.

Butler has hit safely in each game this season and has the only eight-game hitting streak in the American League.

Jose Altuve had three hits of Houston’s five hits, including a solo home run in the fourth inning.

Houston starter Scott Feldman (0-2) yielded 10 hits and eight runs _ seven earned _ in five innings for the loss.

ANGELS-RANGERS

Angels rally from early deficit to beat Rangers 6-3

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ Collin Cowgill and David Freese each hit two-run homers in the fifth inning for the Los Angeles Angels, who rallied from an early deficit to beat the Texas Rangers 6-3 Monday night.

Matt Shoemaker (2-0) was down 3-0 after the first, but pitched into the seventh without allowing another run. He won his ninth consecutive decision over a 10-game stretch.

Both homers by the Angels off Ross Detwiler (0-2) came with runners on base after walks. Cowgill’s first of the season tied the game at 3, and Freese’s third made it 5-3.

Mavericks Fall; Rockets Sting the Hornets

MAVERICKS-JAZZ

Jazz pull away from Mavericks in 2nd half for 109-92 victory

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ Rudy Gobert had 20 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks to help the Utah Jazz beat the Dallas Mavericks 109-92 on Monday night in the final game of the season in Salt Lake City.

Both teams were extremely short-handed with the coaches deciding to sit several stars. Gordon Hayward (Achilles tendon), Trey Burke (back) and Derrick Favors (coach’s decision) did not play for the Jazz. Dirk Nowitzki, Tyson Chandler and Monta Ellis were all rested for the Mavs.

Gobert dominated the paint and had his 25th double-double of the season. Bryce Cotton scored a career-high 21 off the bench.

J.J. Barea led the Mavs with 18 off the bench while Charlie Villanueva finished with 15 points and Amar’e Stoudemire chipped in 15.

ROCKETS-HORNETS

Harden scores 29, Rockets beat Hornets

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ James Harden scored 29 points, Josh Smith had a double-double and the Houston Rockets defeated the Charlotte Hornets for the ninth straight time 100-90 on Monday night.

Harden was only 7 of 20 from the field, but did plenty of damage from the free throw line where he was 14 of 16.

Smith added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Rockets, who moved back into a tie with San Antonio for first place in the Southwest division with one game remaining in the season.

Jason Terry had 13 points and Trevor Ariza and Corey Brewer chipped in with 11 for the Rockets (55-26).

The Rockets rested center Dwight Howard.

Brian Roberts scored 23 points off the bench for the Hornets, who have lost five straight games.

Charlotte played without starters Al Jefferson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Cody Zeller and reserves Lance Stephenson and P.J. Hairston due to injuries.

Men’s Basketball Awards Banquet Honors Standouts

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Student-athletes, coaches and friends of the Texas A&M men’s basketball program gathered inside the Diamond Club of Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park Monday night during the team’s annual awards banquet.

The 2014-15 campaign saw the Aggies win 21 games, the 14th 20-win season in program history, and tie for third place in the SEC Standings.

The program’s award winners are as follows:

 

Most Outstanding Player: Danuel House

Playing his first season in Aggieland after transferring from the University of Houston, House emerged as one of the SEC’s most explosive and consistent scorers. The Fresno, Texas, native ranked fourth in the SEC by scoring 16.2 points per league contest while also ranking second in the league by averaging 2.7 3-pointers made per game and third in 3-point shooting at 41.1 percent.

For the entire season, the junior guard paced the Aggies in scoring at 14.8 points per game while shooting 41.7 percent from the field and 40 percent from beyond 3-point range. He was named SEC Player of the Week on Feb. 2 after averaging 17.5 points and shooting 72.7 percent from 3-point range during wins at Auburn and at home vs. Vanderbilt.

At the conclusion of the campaign, House was named first team All-SEC by the league’s coaches and also garnered a spot on the NABC Division I All-District second team.

 

Defensive Player of the Year: Kourtney Roberson

The fifth-year senior enjoyed the best season of his collegiate career on both the offensive and defensive end. The Arcadia, La., native averaged 8.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game last season and saw his production jump during league play when he maintained 9.6 scoring and 7.1 rebounding averages. From the field, he shot an impressive 62.9 percent.

On the defensive end, Roberson racked up 17 steals and 13 blocked shots while helping the Aggies rank as one of the SEC’s top defensive squads. The Aggies ranked second in the league, allowing opponents to shoot just 39.8 percent against them in conference play.

For his career, Roberson played in 142 games and finished with 1,075 points to rank 29th in program history, and with 833 rebounds, leaving him seventh all-time at A&M.

 

Chris Walker Hustle Award: Alex Caruso

For the second consecutive season, Caruso paced the SEC in assists by dishing out 182 for an average of 5.5 per game. The College Station native also led the Aggies and the SEC with 69 steals while seeing his scoring average jump to 9.1 points per game. Caruso enjoyed four 20-point performances during the 2014-15 campaign, including a season-best 23-point outing on Dec. 6 as the Aggies overcame a 13-point second-half deficit to defeat Arizona State at Reed Arena. He was named Co-SEC Player of the Week on Dec. 8 after his exploits vs. the Sun Devils.

Caruso will enter his senior campaign ranking third in program history with 199 career steals and sixth in assists with 464 dimes during his three-year Aggie career. Following the season he was honored as honorable mention All-SEC by theAssociated Press.

 

Newcomer of the Year: Jalen Jones

During his first season wearing the Maroon & White after transferring from SMU, Jones became a pivotal part of the Aggie lineup culminating in second team All-SEC honors from the league’s coaches. The product of Dallas’ Kimball High School ranked second on the team in scoring, averaging 13.7 points per game, and led the team in rebounding, at 6.6 boards per contest, as well as in blocked shots with 17.

SEC play saw Jones increase his production on the court as his scoring jumped to 13.8 points per game, 13th in the league, and his rebounding average ascended to 7.1 boards per outing, which ranked sixth among all SEC players.

Jones enjoyed a pair of double-double performances, Nov. 21 vs. College of Charleston and Feb. 24 at Arkansas, and posted a career-best 27-point showing during Dec. 13th’s victory over Youngstown State.

 

Daniels Scoates Garner Scholar Athlete Award: Tonny Trocha-Morelos

After an odyssey to make his college basketball debut tested his resolve and dream of suiting up for the Aggies, Trocha-Morelos enjoyed a solid debut season for the Maroon & White both on the court and in the classroom.

On the hardwood, the Cartagena, Colombia, native played in 29 games while totaling 43 points and 57 rebounds on the season. Additionally, Trocha-Morelos ranked fourth on the team by blocking 12 shots. In the classroom, he continues his diligent work, majoring in university studies leadership.

 

Unsung Hero Award: Jordan Green

Jordan’s impact on the Aggie basketball program will be felt long after he is gone as the Flower Mound, Texas, native did so many things to make the program successful during his playing days. Jordan played in 129 career games for the Aggies, contributing 630 points, 239 rebounds and 184 assists during his four-year career but the overwhelming majority of his contributions were never reflected on the stat sheet.

In addition to his endeavors on the hardwood, Green was recognized as one of the leaders in the locker room and has been active in the team’s community service efforts. Green earned a spot on the SEC’s Community Service Team in March and attended the Final Four as part of the NABC Good Works Team.

 

Strength and Conditioning Award: Tavario Miller                 

Taking a big step forward on the court last season as a sophomore, Miller’s hard work in the offseason and in the weight room throughout the year was recognized by his team. Due in no small part to his painstaking efforts in the strength and conditioning program, Miller saw his production on the court rise across the board. The Long Island, Bahamas, native enjoyed a career-night during the season-opener against Northwestern State as he scored a career-best 15 points to go along with six rebounds.

 

Reed Rowdy Award / Aggie Angel Award: Chuck Rosales & Lindsey Carey

The Aggie basketball program also took a few minutes to recognize two members of the support organizations that give the team so much encouragement and behind-the-scenes effort throughout the year. Honored with the Reed Rowdy Award was Chuck Rosales, a senior from San Antonio, and Lindsey Carey, a senior from Georgetown, Texas, was presented with the Aggie Angel Award.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Rangers LF Rua has Heel Fracture, Bonilla to Have Tommy John

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ Texas Rangers left fielder Ryan Rua has a small fracture in his right heel, and right-handed reliever Lisalverto Bonilla is scheduled for season-ending elbow surgery.

Rua got his diagnosis during an exam Monday, three days after he came out of the team’s home opener with what was called a sprained ankle. He will be in a protective walking boot for three weeks because of what the team now says is a small displaced fracture in his heel.

Bonilla will have Tommy John surgery Friday that will be performed by team physician Dr. Keith Meister.

After opening the season on the 15-day disabled list, the Rangers transferred Bonilla to the 60-day DL on Saturday.

Five Named to All-SEC Teams

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M Equestrian placed three members on the 2015 All-SEC teams, as well as two on the All-Freshman teams, the league office announced today.

Seniors Haley Buchmiller and Laura Sumrall and sophomore Kaci Fisher took all-conference honors, while freshmen Alex Desiderio and Avery Ellis took the first conference honors of their young careers in SEC equestrian’s inaugural season.

The SEC honored 17 student-athletes on the All-SEC Team this season. Sumrall led the Aggie reining squad with a 12-2 record this season, and picked up two Most Outstanding Player (MOP) honors over the course of the season including one against Georgia during the SEC Championship, earning a place on the SEC All-Championship team. Buchmiller owned a discipline-best 9-3-2 record on the Flat, earning a team-high four MOP honors in 2014-15 and a spot on the NCEA All-America first team. Fisher represents the horsemanship squad and opened the season with an eight-meet undefeated streak, finishing with a 10-3-1 record and two MOP honors.

Of the 10 riders on the SEC All-Freshman Team, A&M claims two. Desiderio is the only representative over Fences (8-5, 1 MOP) and Ellis earned a place on the horsemanship squad after a 5-2 record with one MOP honor in only seven competitions.

The Aggies travel to Waco in search of their first national championship since 2012, April 16-18. The overall fourth-seed will have a bye in the first round of action, facing the winner of No. 5 Auburn and No. 12 UT-Martin on Friday. To learn more about Texas A&M equestrian, log on to 12thMan.com and follow @AggieEquestrian on Twitter.

2015 All-SEC Equestrian Awards

Equitation Over Fences All-SEC Team
Elizabeth Benson, Auburn
Liza Finsness, Georgia
Ashley Foster, Auburn
Amber Henter, South Carolina
Katherine Schmidt, South Carolina

Equitation On The Flat All-SEC Team
Kylee Arbuckle, Georgia
Elizabeth Benson, Auburn
Haley Buchmiller, Texas A&M
Liza Finsness, Georgia
Katherine Schmidt, South Carolina

Horsemanship All-SEC Team
Sam Chiodo, South Carolina
Kaci Fisher, Texas A&M
Rachel Kolb, Georgia
Sara Parr, Georgia
Paige Stawicki, Georgia

Reining All-SEC Team
Layla Choate, South Carolina
Allie Dusha, Auburn
Lauren Garmon, Georgia
Katsy Leeman, Auburn
Laura Sumrall, Texas A&M

Equitation Over Fences SEC All-Freshman Team
Alex Desiderio, Texas A&M

Equitation Over Flat SEC All-Freshman Team
Addyson Cord, Georgia

Horsemanship SEC All-Freshman Team
Bailey Anderson, Georgia
Sammie Johnson, Georgia
Megan Overberg, South Carolina
Avery Ellis, Texas A&M

Reining SEC All-Freshman Team
Alexa Rivard, Auburn
Kyndall Harper, Georgia
Bailey Walters, South Carolina
Paisley Roberts, South Carolina

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Texas A&M’s Mamalat Named SEC Player of the Week

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M’s Anna Mamalat has been named the SEC Player of the Week for women’s tennis, the Southeastern Conference office announced today. It is the first such honor for the junior from Philadelphia.

Mamalat went 3-0 at No. 6 singles and was instrumental in A&M going 3-0 last week — all against top-25 teams — including back-to-back 4-3 upsets against No. 7 Baylor and No. 8 Vanderbilt.

At Baylor, Mamalat overcame deficits in each set against Kelley Anderson, winning four consecutive games for a 7-5 first-set win. In the second set, Mamalat fell behind, 3-0, but fought back to force a tiebreaker in which she scored the final three points to win 7-6 (5) and tie the overall team score at 3-3.

Against No. 8 Vanderbilt, Mamalat put A&M at 3-3 once again after overcoming a 7-6 (5) first-set loss against Ashleigh Antal and winning the next two sets, 6-2, 6-2. Mamalat was first off against No. 21 Kentucky, giving A&M a 1-0 lead after defeating Kate Lanier, 6-1, 6-0.

With the wins, Mamalat extended her career-best winning streak to seven matches and improved to 7-1 in SEC singles matches as well as 9-2 in all dual matches.

Mamalat and the No. 10 Aggies  (15-4, 11-2 SEC), who finished in a three-way tie with Georgia and Vanderbilt for second place in the conference standings, head to Columbia, S.C., this week to compete in the 2015 SEC Women’s tennis Tournament at the Carolina Tennis Center. Texas A&M is the No. 3 seed and opens tournament play Friday at 2 p.m. (ET) against the winner between No. 6 seed LSU and No. 11 seed Arkansas or No. 14 seed Missouri.

Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M women’s tennis. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M women’s tennis team on Twitter by following @AggieWTEN or on Facebook at Facebook.com/AggieWomensTennis.

Last Week’s Results:

TEAM

Date    Team (ITA Ranking)   Score
4/8       Baylor (7)                    W/4-3
4/10     Vanderbilt (8)              W/4-3
4/12     Kentucky (21)              W/4-0

MAMALAT’S SINGLES RESULTS:

Date    Team (ITA Ranking)   Individual                   Result/Score
4/8       Baylor (7)                    Kelley Anderson          W/7-5, 7-6 (5)
4/10     Vanderbilt (8)              Ashleigh Antal             W/6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-2
4/12     Kentucky (21)              Kate Lanier                  W/6-1, 6-0

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Hank Conger’s Homer in 14th Sends Astros Past Rangers 6-4

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ Hank Conger hit a two-run homer in the 14th inning following George Springer’s game-saving catch in the 10th, and the Houston Astros beat the Texas Rangers 6-4 Sunday.

Conger homered after Evan Gattis reached base for the first time this season _ on a walk in his 21st at-bat of the year.

Robbie Grossman ran for Gattis, but it didn’t matter when Conger pulled a pitch from Jason Verrett (0-1) into the second row of seats in right field.

Will Harris (1-0) retired six straight batters. He struck out the side in the 12th, his 19th consecutive scoreless outing dating to August.

Samuel Deduno loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the 14th but got his first big league when Rougned Odor lined out to right field.

All Three NBA Lonestar Teams Winners

Mavericks Hold Off Lakers 120-106 for Season Series Sweep

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Tyson Chandler had 20 points to lead seven Mavericks in double-figure scoring, and Dallas tuned up for the postseason with a 120-106 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night.

Richard Jefferson scored 17 points and Dirk Nowitzki had 16 in the third straight victory for the Mavericks, who will finish seventh in the Western
Conference. Dallas led for the final 44 minutes and completed a season sweep of the Lakers for the first time in franchise history.

Wesley Johnson scored 16 points and hit four 3-pointers for Los Angeles before spraining his left ankle shortly before halftime. He didn’t return, leaving the Lakers with nine healthy players in the second half of their sixth loss in seven games.

Jordan Clarkson had 26 points for the Lakers, who extended their team record with their 59th loss.

Duncan leads Spurs to 11th straight win, 107-91 over Suns

SAN ANTONIO (AP) _ Tim Duncan had 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead the San
Antonio Spurs to their 11th straight victory, 107-91 over the Phoenix Suns on
Sunday night.

San Antonio moved into second place in the Western Conference and took a
half-game lead over idle Memphis in the Southwest Division. The defending
champion Spurs have won 21 of 24.

Kawhi Leonard had 18 points and nine rebounds, Marco Belinelli added 13 points
and Tony Parker had 10 points and five assists to help San Antonio improve to
55-26.

Gerald Green had 23 points and Eric Bledsoe added 20 points and 10 assists for
Phoenix. Eliminated from playoff contention Wednesday night, the Suns have lost
four straight and nine of 10 to drop to 39-42.

Harden has 30 to help Rockets over Pelicans 121-114

HOUSTON (AP) _ James Harden scored 30 points and the Houston Rockets used a big
run at the beginning of the fourth quarter to take the lead and held on for a
121-114 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday night.

The Rockets ended a two-game skid behind the NBA-leading 35th 30-point game for
Harden, who leads the league in scoring.

Corey Brewer and Dwight Howard carried Houston in the opening minutes of the
fourth quarter combining for all of the Rockets’ points in a 14-5 run that put
them on top 100-91.

New Orleans scored six straight points to get within five with about a minute
left, but Pablo Prigioni made two free throws to extend the lead.

Anthony Davis had 27 points for the Pelicans who are fighting for the final
Western Conference playoff spot.

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