Baseball To Decide WAC Commissioner’s Cup
Last week, it appeared that the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Outdoor Track & Field Championship in Arlington would determine this year’s WAC Commissioner’s Cup winner. That did not happen. The race to crown the league’s best all-around sports program for 2012-13 will come down to the year’s final championship event — the WAC Baseball Tournament, which is scheduled for May 22-26 at Quik Trip Park in Grand Prairie.
UTSA currently sits in third place with 81.5 points. Idaho is in first with 86.5 and Utah State is in second with 82. The Roadrunners baseball team swept a three-game league series with New Mexico State last weekend and secured a spot in the tournament. Neither Idaho nor Utah State plays baseball, therefore, UTSA is assured of finishing second ahead of Utah State in the Cup race, but we must accumulate five points to catch Idaho.
That’s where the projections become difficult.
Commissioner’s Cup points are awarded in order of finish, equal to the number of teams that participate in each sport and are averaged between a team’s regular season conference finish and its postseason tournament or championship finish, if applicable. UTSA currently sits in fifth place in the regular season baseball standings, which is worth six points. The Roadrunners (28-22, 12-11 WAC) travel to Louisiana Tech (18-34, 6-18 WAC) this weekend for the final three-game WAC series of the regular season. They then will enter WAC Tournament pool play on Wednesday, May 22, and the two pool-play winners will play a single game four days later to determine the champion and recipient of an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Regardless of the baseball outcome, it has been an outstanding year for the Roadrunners. Competing for the first time in a Football Bowl Subdivision conference and remaining in the hunt for the Commissioner’s Cup until the last week of the year is a tremendous accomplishment.
Graduates A True Measure Of Success
Commissioner’s Cups, conference championships and NCAA Tournament berths are outstanding feats, but the most life-changing accomplishments for UTSA Athletics each year are graduating student-athletes. Twenty-six current and former Roadrunners walked the stage on Monday at the Alamodome and accepted diplomas for undergraduate degrees. Below is a list of student-athletes by sport who earned degrees this semester:
Baseball (4) — Colby Braddock, Rodney Garza, Andrew Keplinger , P.D. McIntyre
Men’s Basketball (1) — Larry Wilkins
Men’s Cross Country/Track & Field (4) — Daniel Balbontin, Ivan Garcia, Roscoe Robinson, Ronson Small
Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field (4) — Jessica Bitterly, Briony Miller, Chenale Smith, Nicole Washington
Football (3) — Lekenwic Haynes, Brandon Reeves, Eric Soza
Women’s Golf (1) — Bruna Spengler
Soccer (2) — Edith Lopez, Lindsay South
Men’s Tennis (3) — Tyler Brown, Hugo Guanais, Pedro Zanotelli
Women’s Tennis (1) — Kavya Menon
Volleyball (3) — Elise Huskey, Kelsey Jewasko, Megan Wimbish
Additional student-athletes who are scheduled to graduate in the summer also walked on Monday since there is no summer commencement ceremony. UTSA Athletics will recognize that group in August.
Purchase Your March Madness Tickets Today
One of the many benefits to being a Roadrunner Athletic Fund (RAF) donor is the privilege to purchase tickets before they go on sale to the general public when UTSA hosts an NCAA Championship event. March Madness is coming to San Antonio on March 21 & 23, 2014, when the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Second & Third Rounds are played at the AT&T Center. RAF donors may purchase tickets now through May 31 during a special pre-public sale. Donors will receive preferential seat assignments in the best available locations. Tickets will go on sale to the public for this event in October. To become an RAF donor and buy NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament tickets during the pre-public sale, call Brandon Raphael at (210) 458-8138.
Coker Assists Effort To Save Lives
UTSA head football coach Larry Coker captained the winning team at the HeartGift Heroes Golf Event on May 10 at Dominion Country Club. The real winners actually will be youngsters with congenital heart defects who will receive life-saving surgeries as a result of the tournament fundraising. For every $25,000 raised at the HeartGift tournament, one youngster from a foreign country will be flown to San Antonio for an open-heart surgery. Coker and local electronics storeowner Bjorn Dybdahl captained two teams in Ryder Cup-like competition. The tournament sponsored by DOCUmation, a UTSA Athletics sponsor and local business technology company, raised enough for three youngsters to receive surgeries during the coming year.
adidas Proud Of UTSA Association
Before the UTSA Athletics three-year partnership with adidas even takes effect, the brand recognition is earning valuable nationwide visibility. The announcement slogan “UTSA is all in” and the Roadrunners logo have spent much of the past week rotating on the front page of the adidas team website. adidas will supply all 17 UTSA intercollegiate sports and spirit programs equipment for competition, practices, training, coaching, travel, recruiting and media engagements beginning in July.
For the past 10 years, UTSA Athletics has sponsored the Dreamrunners program. Student-athletes and coaches go to area elementary and middle schools to encourage youngsters to stay in school, graduate and go to college. It’s amazing how young people listen so intently to college athletes. It’s the power of hero worship. Yes, we do have a responsibility to be role models, no matter what some might say.
As part of our visits, we encourage teachers and adults to bring youngsters to our games. We provide nominally-priced tickets to schools, teams and other youth groups for all athletics events. Kids can learn more watching a college athletics event than they can in a week’s worth of practice. More importantly, we are creating dreams for youngsters who visit our campus and develop a desire to attend college.
Some of my most treasured correspondence is from parents and teachers who participate in the Dreamrunners program. Here’s an example from David Bermea, coach of the Hondo Wild Cats in the Minor Softball League. He wrote the following after attending a recent UTSA Softball game.
"Just wanted to let you know that we had a blast! The Wild Cats really enjoyed it. They were able to get on the UTSA radio and shout out one of their chants for UTSA when they were at bat. I can’t thank you enough for opening my team’s eyes and hearts. Some even expressed ideas about playing college softball! I would like to see about maybe doing something next season for the girls softball league here in Hondo."
It’s never too early to begin planning for your youngster’s future.
Larry Coker often mentions going on a yellow school bus to a University of Oklahoma football game and paying 25 cents to sit in the end zone. It was the first time that he was on a college campus. It helped cement a desire to play college football and eventually become head coach of a National Championship team.
It’s just a little more than three months until the beginning of the 2013 UTSA football, cross country, soccer and volleyball seasons. Call (210) 458-UTSA (8872) today to begin planning your Dreamrunners game trips.
Director of Athletics