Behind The Scenes

Baseball Field

The Arkansas State baseball team has 35 players on their roster that are seen every day on campus, out in public, and of course on the baseball field. You also see the coaches out in the public, sometimes around campus, and on the field that get a lot of credit for getting their team ready to start a new season. The people that never get credit or are even well known around campus for what they do is the equipment managers on the baseball team.

The managers play a huge role on the team. They get the field ready every day before practice, they open the locker room for early morning lifting, and they do the laundry after weights and practice. If the baseball team did not have these guys than I don’t think they would know what to do. They do all of the stuff that none of the players want to do or what the coaches want to do.

Another big role they have on the baseball team is getting the lockers stocked up with all the gear the team needs. You might think this is an easy task but they have to make sure each player has the correct size, the right number, and that they are not missing anything. They also make sure the gear is not damaged and if it is then they make sure a non damaged pair is in the locker and ready for the game or practice.

Their job is not something that goes unnoticed. They are rewarded every year for the job they do year round. The way they are rewarded is through a scholarship that is granted to them. The scholarship works differently for each manager based off of their year in school. Freshman are granted a 25 percent scholarship, sophomores get 50 percent, junior get 75 percent, and seniors receive a 100 percent scholarship. The benefits of this job are pretty good but their is an interview process that is involved, late nights and early mornings, and jobs that are not to fun a lot of the time.

The managers also get to travel with the team and miss class in the spring. This might seem like a vacation but it really isn’t. They still wash the jerseys every night and have the clothes ready the next morning for the team to play their next game. They also make sure the team has lunch every day and dinner every night. They have done a great job through the years doing this for the team so we will see if they can keep it up.

The baseball coaches and players know what these managers go through every day. They are treated just like every other player on the team and they know that. This is a big role in Coach Raffo’s eyes and he makes sure his players know that. He makes sure the managers are thanked as much as possible and he cares for them just as much as his players.

Arkansas State Baseball

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Here’s to Senior Year

Volleyball season is officially under way. The Arkansas State volleyball team have 3-3 record in the Sun Belt conference. For two seniors on the team, they are ready to take on the season. Drew Jones and Jessica Uke teammates since 2014 and have even made SBC Freshman of the week during their freshman year.

Drew Jones is an accounting and finance major from Fort Smith, Arkansas. She is an outside hitter and has her own personal accomplishment in volleyball for collegiate and high school. In a previous game against UT Arlington, Jones was the lead player from the game with receiving her ninth double- double of the season, and including 13 kills on a .448 attacking percentage and 10 digs. Drew Jones was a three-time All-Conference and All-State player and named 7A State Tournament MVP as a senior. Jones was also able to lead her Southside team to a 34-3 record and 7A State Championship.

Jessica Uke is an exercise science major from Dallas, Texas. Her position is middle blocker who had a great season in 26 matched with 21 starts her junior year. That year she led the team with a .365 hitting percentage and was ranked second best in the Sun Belt Conference and fifth best in a season at Arkansas State University. Uke led her high school team, Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS), to the 2013 5A State Championship match and was also TAPPS honorable mention middle blocker as a senior.

Interview w/ Drew Jones and Jessica Uke

Drew Jones Bio

Jessica Uke Bio

A-State Volleyball 2017 Schedule

Coaching Carousel

The Arkansas State Men’s Rugby Club has been a perennial rugby powerhouse for over 15 years. However, much like the A-State football team, the rugby program has experienced five coaching changes since 2010. Even with the turnover, The rugby Red Wolves have experienced tremendous success, winning back-to-back national sevens titles in 2012 and 2013. With all of the change, there is one constant, The Pack.

IMG_1246“No matter which coach comes or what adversity the whole team goes through, we stick together. That’s what packs do” explained senior Dylan Boast from Atlanta, Georgia.

“We’re just a super tight-knit group of guys. That’s really what kept me here. There were other options, but I couldn’t turn my back on the boys” said Neil Maestri, a senior winger from Katy, Texas.

Speaking of tight-knit, the Red Wolves are not just from all over the country, but all over the world. This diversity of cultures also helps the boys become closer by sharing life experiences.  Imagine being a parent and sending your child overseas, just to learn that the coach who recruited him is no longer there. You would want you child to still succeed in the classroom and on the pitch and represent themselves in all aspects. That is another similarity between the five coaches; maintaining a good reputation and putting in the hard work it takes to succeed.

Fall 2017 Red Wolves Rugby Schedule:

Oct. 7 — Alumni Weekend (Curt Huckaby Field), 1 p.m.
Oct. 14 — Missouri (Columbia, Mo.), TBA
Oct. 28 — Lindenwood Belleville (Curt HuckabyField), 1 p.m.

Nov. 4 — Arkansas (Little Rock), TBA
Nov. 11 — Davenport (Grand Rapids, Mich.), TBA
Nov. 18 — Texas (Curt Huckaby Field), 1 p.m.

A-State Coaches (since the 2010 season)

  • Matt Huckaby
  • Alex Houser
  • NeMani Delaibatiki
  • Shaun Potgieter
  • Blake White

For more information, please check out the following links:

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Womens Rugby In Jeopardy.

Although the college rugby season is just about over Arkansas State women’s rugby has little to show for it. The teams lack of success is not due to a lack of effort but a coach that has gone AWOL.

Without a coach the women’s team has been unable to practice and compete this past season. This all started about six months ago when women’s rugby coach Andrea Street quit coming to practices and eventually quit the team all together.

The problems didn’t stop there however. When Street left she allegedly took off with both the team jerseys and funding raised by the student athletes.

Hannah Malone was enthusiastic to play this season until she heard about what had happened with her coach. She had been brought into the rugby pack during her freshman year and was expected to do well this season.

Hannah described what had happened saying “It felt like we lost all of our structure and everything we worked for was pointless.”

Now without a coach, jerseys or money the Arkansas State Women’s Rugby team is in jeopardy of becoming non existent.

For more information about A-States Women’s Rugby check out:

https://www.astate.edu/a/campus-recreation/club-sports/

https://www.facebook.com/astatewrc/

https://www.gofundme.com/astatewrc

Track and Field: Comfortable Indoors

The Arkansas State Track and Field team literally “hit the ground running” this past weekend at the annual A-State Kickoff Klassic at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro. The two day event consistently featured strong showings from ASU athletes in a variety of events. Seeing the Kickoff Klassic is the only event of the indoor season for this semester, it is not only a great motivator to get the athletes through the long holiday break, but also serves as a barometer for what to expect in the spring semester.

If one is to judge how the bulk of season will go by this event, they would have to be more than encouraged from the results. With 13 Red Wolves’ winning the top spot in their respective events, ASU made their presence felt early in the indoor season. Erin Farmer, a senior from League City, Texas obliterated her own record set last season in the shot put competition. Extending her record from 15.93 to 17.19 meters, Farmer obviously did not take much time off in the “offseason.”Furthermore, the women’s shot put team swept the podium with junior Calea Carr taking second and freshman Danielle Lorenze claiming third.

Not to be outdone, the men’s hurdlers also made it a clean-sweep in the 55 meter hurdles. Jamil Peeples won the race, followed by Nick Hilson and Clarence Simpkins to make it all Red Wolves in the top three spots. Additionally, Jaylen Bacon grabbed the top spot in the 55 meter dash, and Elijah Ross finished just nine-tenths of a second behind him in second. These are but a few of the players on the men and women’s side that proved to be the best in their events.

Going forward, the Arkansas State Track and Field team looks forward to five more indoor competitions on its way to the Sun Belt Conference Indoor Championships beginning on February 20th. Next up, the Red Wolves set out to prove their performance recently was more than home field advantage as they travel to Lexington, Ky, Jan. 13-14 for the Kentucky Invitational. Then it’s on to Bloomington, Ind. Jan.20-21 for the Gladstien Invite, and returning home the following weekend Jan.27-28 for the A-State Invitational. Finally, the final two stops before the conference championships is in Carbondale, Ill. Feb.3-4 at the SIU Invitational and Feb.10-11 in Albuquerque, N.M. at the Don Kirby Elite.

That’s right, there is not one weekend off for the Red Wolves Track and Field team when they return from break. It goes without saying, the commitment and sacrifice these athletes make to compete at the collegiate level is highly commendable. So, if you find yourself with the weekend off next semster, go and support your track and field athletes. These champion athletes represent the university with respect and hard work. What is more, they win while they do it.

Track and Field/XC page

NCAA men’s indoor site

NCAA women’s indoor site

Upcoming schedule

ASTATE Q&A: Mallory Warrington

Every succesful team, in any team sport, has to have a top-notch passer. A master pass distributor is the the key element that makes a team flow smoothly. It requires a unique combination of awareness, selflessness, and exceptional athletic ability. In fact, when one refers to a great team as “a well-oiled machine,” the assist-man/woman is the oil. In the NFL, you might think Tom Brady. In the NBA, my first thought is Chris Paul. For Arkansas State Red Wolves Volleyball, it’s Mallory Warrington.

Warrington is a 5’7 Senior from Lake St.Louis, Missouri. Her Senior Class will go down as a group that played a part in transforming ASU Volleyball into a consistent winner. Individually, the redshirt senior finished off her collegiate career with a boom. Prior to the conference tournament, Warrington’ s 1,253 assists ranked third in the entire NCAA; her 11.93 assists per set ranked second. To top it off, she was awarded Sun Belt Conference Setter of the Year and First Team All-Conference.

Recently, Mallory was kind enough to answer a few questions for me:

Hi Mallory, first of all, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, and congratulations on a truly impressive career. I had the privilege of doing commentary for a game earlier in the semester, and I have followed the team’s progress since. Here are a few questions I have for you:

  1. You are credited as being one of the leaders of Senior Class that changed the culture of volleyball here at ASU, how does it make you feel to be mentioned in such high regard?

It’s honestly an honor to be considered someone that had a role in building this program. All 5 seniors had a different role that worked with each other and helped this team get to where we are today. Coming into this program we each had high expectations and worked very hard for four years to leave our mark!

  1. You have received countless awards throughout your career for outstanding play, is there one that stands out the most?

      I am very humbled by the achievements I have accomplished and there is no way    I could accomplish them without my teammates. One that truly stands out to me is            Setter of the Year 2015. I sat out the spring season in 2015 due to shoulder surgery        and   had to work very hard to get back to normal. It was nice to see that all of my hard     work paid off!

  1. Many athletes have little rituals they do before a game, do you have one that you would like to share?

The closest thing I have to a ritual before games is doing every thing in the exact same order. I like routine before games!

  1. Now that your collegiate career is coming to a close, do you have plans to pursue a professional career?

I do not have plans to pursue a professional career. I have been blessed to play this sport for 15+ years and I think it is time to move onto the next chapter in my life. I plan to finish my degree in Radiology and specialize in x-ray and ultrasound.

  1. Finally, you are known as a set-up specialist. Did you ever wish you were on the other end delivering the kills, or is it truly better to give than receive?

I have always been a setter since the day I started playing competitive volleyball. I is something that came very natural to me. I enjoy setting, because I love to celebrate for my hitters and praise my passers. It is nice that I get to touch the ball almost every play and control what happens on our side of the net!

Once again, thanks for the time, and best of luck to you in the future!

ASU is truly lucky to have had Mallory Warrington and the rest of this year’s Senior Class. From all of us to all of the Seniors on the Red Wolves Volleyball team, thank you; you make us proud!

Sun Belt Conference Awards

Warrington Bio

NCAA ASU PAGE

Service Ace

Service Ace

Sabina Jeresic is a student-athlete who is a member of the Arkansas State Women’s tennis team. She is from Virovitica, Croatia. She told me some interesting things during a recent interview. She has played tennis since she was a child, she began at the age of 7. Since then she has started to have a passion for the sport.

Sabina was privileged enough to be able to come to the United States to pursue her goals. However, she is unsure if she wants to actually become a professional tennis player, as she is worried more about being a student rather than being an athlete just yet. She told me that in her home country of Croatia you really have two options as an athlete; you can put all you have in becoming an athlete where you may or may not succeed, or you can go to college and pursue an education.

 

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Sabina Jeresic improving her skills at the practice court

Sabina Jeresic Interview

 

As stated in the interview above Sabina’s favorite tennis player is Roger Federer She told me that if she were to become a professional she would want to model her game and attitude like his. It is definitely a big goal to follow after and some big shoes to fill, but with a lot of effort, and determination Sabina will accomplish her biggest dreams.

A lot goes with becoming a student-athlete. They have to learn how to manage their time for sports, eat healthy, and make time for school at the same time. Pursuing tennis is not a decision that most people make because the sport isn’t as popular as others. However, if you keep pressing on and pursuing your dreams any sport can rise from under the radar.