Saturday, August 22, 2009

Training Camp comes to a close with Packer Day

This is definitely not the end of the McMurry Sports Blog coverage of football. And also, it's the beginning for many of the other sports that this blog will provide. However, the daily videos (or most days) will stop after this one. We will have weekly press conferences Mondays at 2 p.m., so those days we will always catch up with coaches and players with YouTube videos. Also, we will try to provide special event videos and hopefully (no promises) some highlight videos where we can get them.

As far as text goes, I plan to update the blog pretty regularly with notes from around McMurry that may not make it to the athletics web site. I'll give you an early heads up. We will be streaming audio and video of all 10 football games this season, but fans will have to pay subscription packages (monthly or yearly) or by the game.

Also, the athletics web site is undergoing re-design and hopefully we'll be able to do even more with it. If you remember, three years ago, the web site was brutal, and now it is a site that receives over 1 million hits per year.

So, please keep coming back to visit the blog. We have senior diaries lined up for volleyball (Danielle Kelton) and women's soccer (Kathy Alonso) and those updates will come Sunday and Monday respectively.

I've had a lot of fun, but am exhausted, I know the players and coaches are as well. If you have any comments or suggestions, leave them in the comments below each post. Read also, the official release on the final day of training camp for McMurry Football.

Stay tuned ...

-- KR

Spoiling You

Here's not one, not two, but three photo galleries from today's happenings in McMurry athletics.

First, the volleyball intrasquad scrimmage that took place in front of at least 100 on-lookers. Click here to see the photo gallery. The volleyball team begins the season in Sherman Sept. 4-5 at the University of Dallas Tournament with four matches.

Second, the football team has its last day of two-a-days today. I'll get you the final video of training camp tonight, but here's this morning's gallery from practice at Dyess Air Force Base. I have lived in Abilene 19 years and had been to the base just once as a kid for an air show. I didn't realize how big it was, and they had extremely nice facilities for their personnel to play sports in.

Thirdly, the rough-and-tough football players at McMurry showed a more humane sign after morning practice by running its second Bleacher Creatures events for the children of Dyess Air Force Base, be sure to check out this gallery.

Senior Diary: Waller looks towards final practice tonight

Camp has been going well and our “practice” in Lubbock with another team went great. We had over 450 yards of offense and defense played tough. We came back with strong practices and are now polishing up our offense. This morning we had an inter-squad scrimmage out at Dyess Air Force Base, and again both offense and defense played hard and things are beginning to shape up. We thank all who showed up this morning and appreciate them having us out there.

We finish up our last practice of camp tonight at 7:30 p.m. and are looking forward to our first upcoming game vs Trinity at home on September 5th.

-- Seth Waller

McMurry's final practice is tonight and fans are welcome to come to the last open practice of the season. You'll also get to see the infamous Packer Drill in its final day where all defensive players are required to do 15 consecutive minutes of up-downs in order to play in the 2009 season.

More photos from Dyess and the kids clinic upcoming soon.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Tonight's Practice Video, looking towards last day of camp

Tomorrow, McMurry closes camp with two-a-days. The team will practice at Dyess Air Force Base in an effort to build a further relationship with the local military unit. McMurry began a program a few weeks ago called Operation Maroon Pride where fans can purchase season tickets for active military personnel and their families so they can attend the games for free.

We'll try to bring you coverage tomorrow from that eventful practice. The team will also conduct a kids clinic for the kids that live on the Dyess campus.

Then, the team closes training camp with practice. For the defense, it means that defensive coordinator Joe Lee Dunn will require that his players make it through 15-minutes of up-downs, a tradition carried on by Dunn from Vince Lombardi's days in Green Bay.

We'll wrap up this mega-coverage tomorrow. I hope you fans have enjoyed it, and we'll try to use this blog to keep fans updated with the latest insider news on McMurry Athletics.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Volleyball completes first day of practice

NCAA regulations say that we cannot publicize football scrimmages. So the football team ...................... And, moving on.

Football fans take a break and get to know a little bit about the McMurry volleyball team. Head coach Cammie Petree is in her 14th season (three different stints) and the team is looking for its third-straight trip to the ASC Tournament and first West Division title since 2002. Terah Brown is the reigning ASC West Division MVP and is the only all-American in school history after she earned honorable mention honors as a sophomore last season by the AVCA. Also coming back is the regining ASC West Division Defensive Player of the Year in Sarah Anding and all-conference honoree Danielle Kelton. The team has seven other returnees with significant playing time from last season, and Petree welcomed 15 newcomers Tuesday. McMurry volleyball gets started in Sherman Sept. 4-5 with four matches at the University of Dallas Tournament (actually on Austin College's campus due to floor damage at UD).

Check out today's first day of practice photo gallery (no newcomers included because of McMurry's first-year Vision Quest Program, only returnees were at afternoon practice, I'll make it up to the freshman and transfer parents).

Here is the roster, the schedule, the link to today's web story, and 2008 Stats. Enjoy the YouTube Video below:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

No coverage tonight

I am taking a much needed night off tonight, so I'll leave you with a couple of random notes to go over. First, we cannot publicize our scrimmage with N.M.M.I. so I won't be going to Lubbock, and you won't be seeing any photos or video coverage from the scrimmage itself. However, Friday morning, I will interview Hal Mumme on the vid-cam and let McMurry fans know how it went and what his perceptions were.

Secondly, know that Saturday is the official last day of camp with practice at Dyess Air Force Base. We initially called it a scrimmage, it is not a scrimmage other than the fact that McMurry's players will scrimmage each other on base. We are doing this to build a relationship with Dyess and to attract active Military personnel to come out to the games. Obviously, we are as a McMurry community asking fans to participate in McMurry's Operation Maroon Pride program so that fans can buy tickets for the active military personnel at Dyess. I will be attending that, and I will get footage and photos from there.

Thirdly, I finished 92 bios on the web for football. Check the roster there. We should have numbers by Sunday on the web.

Lastly, one of the sections on the player questionnaires that they fill out for me to write bios is one where the players write if their relatives have ever played college or pro sports.

Every year, we get some interesting ones. Usually distant cousins or so-and-so is someone's father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate (pardon the Spaceballs reference). However, this year we have a couple of good ones. We need the whole story on this first one, but Delfonte Diamond is the nephew of former NBA great Karl Malone.

As big a name as Malone is, and its a big one, Rae'Shaud Lemon's great uncle is Meadowlark Lemon, a 22-year veteran of the Harlem Globetrotters and a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame.

He was also known as the "Clown Prince" and played over 16,000 games for the Globetrotters.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Training Camp Central: Two-A-Days Recap video

Longer video tonight, no photo gallery. Team is preparing for scrimmage Thursday in Lubbock at Jones Stadium against New Mexico Military Institute. Hope you enjoy the video. Keep visiting and give us comments in the comments box if you have feedback. Kickoff is approaching; it's just 18 days away!

Listen to yesterday's show, see yesterday's gallery

I said I would take care of our fans, and I did. Brian Schmidt, who I've hired to be our contract photographer for McMurry's fall sports, filled in for his first assignment last night and shot the first practice with full pads. Brian will shoot all our home football games and a handful of volleyball and soccer games as well as a cross country meet.

Check the gallery.

Also, if you missed last night's first Sports Overtime Show, you can listen to it here. If you have trouble hearing it, drop me an email and let me know, and I'll try to help you. The file format is ".wma," so I'm not sure what all programs you need to hear it. It opened on QuickTime on my computer, so hopefully that will work for you too.

Click here to listen to the first Sports Overtime Show of the 2009-2010 school year.

Tonight, I'll be at practice resuming my duties and getting video footage.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Today's Weekly Press Conference

Today was the first weekly press conference for McMurry Athletics. These will be a regular event beginning on Monday's and we will post the videos both here and on the main athletics web site. I did not go to practice today, but hopefully you were able to catch the Sports Overtime radio show to hear the interviews with Hal Mumme, Joe Lee Dunn, Drew Wallace, Josh Clements and Greg Weghorst. I did take care of you, however, with photos from the first full-pads practice, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow for me to post them.

Take a look at the uncut press conference. You'll have to excuse about 20 seconds during the interview with Mumme, I took the camera off him trying to silence my phone! Just got a new one and don't know how to work it yet!

Below is the video:

Sports Overtime Radio Show debuts second season tonight!

McMurry' Sports Overtime radio show debuts for its second season Monday night with a live remote from McMurry's Wilford Moore Stadium. The show, which airs locally on ESPN Radio 1560 AM, moved to a new time in its second season at 6 p.m. (CDT) and runs until 7 p.m.

Head coach Hal Mumme and defensive coordinator Joe Lee Dunn will join host Kyle Robarts live from the press box for interviews. Seniors Andrew Wallace and Josh Clements will also be guests on the first show.

Greg Weghorst, the American Southwest Conference Media Relations Director, will provide the ASC Weekly Report and be a regular guest on the show as well for the 2009-2010 school year.

Sports Overtime will cover all three colleges in Abilene throughout the season, but Monday night's show will be exclusively McMurry and mostly a show concerning the football program. The football team will be preparing for its first full-pads practice at McMurry at 8 p.m. and the show will air prior to the practice.

Fans can listen live by clicking the audio link below, and it will be archived and posted on the McMurry Athletics Site and the McMurry Sports Blog within 24 hours.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Training Camp Central: Day four over, hiting the breaks on coverage

For four days, I've brought you photo galleries and YouTube videos of camp. Beginning tomorrow I'll have to slow down coverage a bit. This week is absolutely crunch time to complete the digital media guide, to finish player bios, coach bios and get the game-day magazine ready for production. I won't abandon coverage all together, but there won't be as much multimedia this week. Also, I will sprinkle in coverage from soccer, cross country and volleyball as those sports all begin this week. I hope you've enjoyed what you've seen. And I WILL make daily posts, but there may not always be videos or galleries to accompany it. Coach Mumme wasn't pleased with practice tonight, you'll see that on the video. The picture that accompanies this entry is Mumme with sophomore cornerback Gavan Bass.

Click here to see tonight's photo gallery.

And here's the YouTube video:

Talk to you tomorrow McMurry fans, spread the word about the blog, twitter, athletics home page and YouTube Channel - let's make our multimedia pages the most visited in NCAA Division III!


Largest number in school's history shows up for men's soccer camp

Now on to futbol. Take a break from 11-on-11 with helmets and pads and take a look at a video of today's first practice for men's soccer at McMurry. Third-year head coach Tim Grove welcomed 30 players to camp Sunday and expects that 32 will be practicing by Tuesday. You'll see it in the video, but Grove's attitude is one that McMurry fans would appreciate. He said that he thinks that the rebuilding process is over and that he expects results this year. McMurry's goal as a men's program is to make the conference tournament, a feat the team hasn't accomplished since 2004.

Take a look at the video below and check back later in the week for updates on both men's and women's soccer.

Women's Soccer underway at McMurry

Tim Grove took over the women's program in the offseason and 2009 marks the first season that the women will be playing soccer under his direction. Grove is also the men's head coach and in his third season overall with McMurry University. Fifteen women showed up for camp today and Grove said he expects three more to be with the team before the season starts. Below is a glimpse of today's first practice and an interview with Grove about the first day of camp.

First senior diary - Seth Waller - and a link to an Abilene Reporter News Column

First, the Abilene Reporter News' Bill Hart writes a Sunday column about various people who have played or are playing sports professionally, collegiately or at the high school level. Usually he connects people to the Big Country area or mentions former players and coaches who used to be connected with Abilene or its surrounding area and where they are now. Today, he pulled some info from my story on Hal Mumme and Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach.

Read the column here.

And now ... drumroll ... the first senior diary of 2009. This is something that I hope becomes a major feature on this blog. I am going to work with all the athletics programs at McMurry to get an upperclassmen, and a senior preferably to write at least an entry a week on this blog to tell about their experiences as a McMurry athlete.

Seth Waller, a senior tight end, has been kind enough to share this week. I asked him to do a little more than once a week during training camp, but we'll fully understand if he's unable to. Otherwise, once the season starts, look for Seth's weekly blog entry early in the week.

But without further delay, here is what Seth had to say about the first three days of camp in his final season with McMurry's football team.

First day of camp went very well. Effort was great and the new guys picked up on the new offense quickly. With an offense that installs in only three days, day one was a big learning day for many new players. With our first scrimmage in one week versus NMMI in Lubbock, we have to get busy and go to work everyday.

Day two began with our weight workout and more meetings. Practice again went well and defense came out ready to work vs. the offense. Day two of installing the offense picked up right where day one left off and with practice and repetition, we will be well on our way to the number one offense in the conference. The Freshman and transfers are working hard to fight for a spot and the right to earn a white helment.

Day three opened up with our first day of half pads and we were anxious to get out and have a little more contact. Our offense is now in and again we will need to rep and continue to practice hard everyday. Now comes cleaning up the offense and perfecting every play. Day four is going to bring tired minds and sore bodies. Mental toughness will be key to good practices and to keep our camp going strong.

Look for more photos, and a short video tonight!


Teaff wants pre-game handshakes between players

A lot of you may not know, but Grant Teaff (pictured from a McMurry yearbook when he was the head coach) is still a big name in NCAA football. He played at McMurry, was the head coach from 1960-65, and went on to have a long coaching career including a head coaching stint with Baylor University. Now, Teaff is the president of the American Football Coaches Association that governs all the NCAA Football programs at any division. ESPN reported an article saying that Teaff is pushing for teams to introduce a pre-game hand shake between both players and coaches. Coaches are now required to shake hands before and after the game (most do anyway), and Teaff hopes that all NCAA football programs will try the pre-game hand shake before the first game of the season, although it isn't mandatory.

Read the story in its entirety.