Four Aggies Named to All-SEC Football Team

Birmingham, Ala. — Alabama led the way with 11 representatives on the 2016 All-Southeastern Conference Coaches’ Football Team, including seven on the first team, it was announced Tuesday. LSU had nine selections, followed by Auburn, Florida and Texas A&M with six each.

Ten of the 14 SEC schools placed a member on the first team, while 11 institutions had at least two total All-SEC selections.

The 2016 list includes 21 student-athletes who have made multiple appearances on the All-SEC Team. Ole Miss’ Evan Engram, Texas A&M’s Myles Garret and Tennessee’s Derek Barnett have been voted All-SEC for the third time. Garrett, Alabama’s Cam Robinson and Jonathan Allen, Vanderbilt’s Zach Cunningham, Florida’s Jalen Tabor and Auburn’s Daniel Carlson were named to the first team for the second consecutive season.

Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own players.

The SEC individual award winners will be released Wednesday and the All-Freshman Team will be announced Thursday.

2016 All-SEC Football Team:

POSITION NAME SCHOOL
OFFENSE
TE Evan Engram Ole Miss
OL Cam Robinson Alabama
OL Dan Skipper Arkansas
OL Avery Gennesy Texas A&M
OL Will Clapp LSU
C Ethan Pocic LSU
WR Christian Kirk Texas A&M
WR ArDarius Stewart Alabama
WR
QB Jalen Hurts Alabama
RB Kamryn Pettway Auburn
RB Derrius Guice LSU
AP Christian Kirk Texas A&M
DEFENSE
DL Myles Garrett Texas A&M
DL Jonathan Allen Alabama
DL Carl Lawson Auburn
DL Derek Barnett Tennessee
LB Kendell Beckwith LSU
LB Zach Cunningham Vanderbilt
LB Reuben Foster Alabama
DB Teez Tabor Florida
DB Tre’Davious White LSU
DB Minkah Fitzpatrick Alabama
DB Aarion Penton Missouri
SPECIAL TEAMS
PK Daniel Carlson Auburn
P JK Scott Alabama
RS Christian Kirk Texas A&M
Second Team All-SEC
POSITION NAME SCHOOL
OFFENSE
TE O.J. Howard Alabama
OL Braden Smith Auburn
OL Will Holden Vanderbilt
OL Martez Ivey Florida
OL Alex Kozan Auburn
C Jon Toth Kentucky
WR Calvin Ridley Alabama
WR Fred Ross Mississippi State
QB Joshua Dobbs* Tennessee
QB Chad Kelly* Ole Miss
RB Rawleigh Williams lll Arkansas
RB Ralph Webb* Vanderbilt
RB Leonard Fournette* LSU
AP Derrius Guice LSU
DEFENSE
DL Arden Key LSU
DL Montravius Adams Auburn
DL Charles Harris Missouri
DL Caleb Brantley Florida
LB Tim Williams Alabama
LB Jarrad Davis Florida
LB Jordan Jones Kentucky
DB Jamal Adams LSU
DB Eddie Jackson Alabama
DB Quincy Wilson Florida
DB Justin Evans Texas A&M
SPECIAL TEAMS
PK Gary Wunderlich Ole Miss
P Johnny Townsend Florida
RS Evan Berry Tennessee

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Baylor names Temple’s Matt Rhule as new football coach

By STEPHEN HAWKINS

Matt Rhule is the new coach at Baylor, where he takes over a beleaguered Big 12 Conference program after winning 20 games over the past two seasons at Temple.

Rhule becomes the full-time replacement for two-time Big 12 champion coach Art Briles, who was dismissed after a scathing report over the university’s handling of sexual assault complaints, including some against football players.

Former Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe had been out of coaching two years when he put his retirement on hold in May to serve as Baylor’s acting head coach this season. The Bears are 6-6, and headed to the Cactus Bowl even with a six-game losing streak.

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Texas A&M’s Knight Named 2016 Wuerffel Trophy Winner

NEW YORK — Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight was named the winner of 2016 Wuerffel Trophy during today’s National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The Wuerffel Trophy, known as “College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service,” is presented annually by the All Sports Association in Fort Walton Beach.

Knight, a graduate transfer from San Antonio, Texas, was a finalist for the award in 2014 when he was at the University of Oklahoma. He was instrumental in the organization of a diverse group of Texas A&M student-athletes that went on a humanitarian trip to Haiti last summer and Knight has been a part of four excursions at Texas A&M and OU to the impoverished island nation. He’s also been extremely active with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at both schools.

Knight related what drives his commitment to community service.

“When I was a kid, I looked up to guys like Colt McCoy, Sam Bradford, Stephen McGee – I wanted to do exactly what they were doing,” Knight said. “When I got to college, I knew I had a four-to-five year window where I would have a platform and I wanted to make sure I used it to help people. If you don’t take advantage of your platform as an athlete, you’re selling yourself short. It’s been an incredible ride over the last five years and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Fifth-year Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin lauded Knight for his ability to impact so many people in a short amount of time since enrolling at Texas A&M in January.

“The impact that he’s had on the team and in regard to service to the community has been impressive,” Sumlin said. “It’s been a short time – about 11 months – but his impact will be felt at Texas A&M for a long time. He came in first as a teammate and then became a leader. He helped unite our team and the athletics department as a whole. It wasn’t just the football team that went to Haiti, it was a group of student-athletes from a bunch of different sports at Texas A&M. He’s had a huge impact and it’s very powerful for someone that’s only been here for a short time.

Knight will be interviewed at “The Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show” on ESPNU and ESPN3 on Dec. 8, 2016, airing at 6 p.m. EST/5 p.m. CST, featuring interviews with award winners and finalists as they enter The Home Depot College Football Awards Show at the College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta, Ga. The presentation of the 2016 Wuerffel Trophy will occur at the 48th Annual All Sports Association Awards Banquet on Feb. 10, 2017, in Fort Walton Beach.

The Wuerffel Trophy, named after Wuerffel, the 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback from the University of Florida, is awarded to the Football Bowl Subdivision player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.

Voting for the Wuerffel Trophy is performed by a National Selection Committee that includes college football television and print media, industry notables, former head coaches and prior Wuerffel Trophy recipients.

Past winners of the Wuerffel Trophy are: 2015 Ty Darlington, University of Oklahoma; 2014 Deterrian Shackelford, University of Mississippi; 2013 Gabe Ikard, University of Oklahoma; 2012 Matt Barkley, University of Southern California; 2011 Barrett Jones, University of Alabama; 2010 Sam Acho, University of Texas; 2009 Tim Hiller, Western Michigan University; 2008 Tim Tebow, University of Florida; 2007 Paul Smith, University of Tulsa; 2006 Joel Penton, Ohio State University; and 2005 Rudy Niswanger, Louisiana State University.

Other finalists for the 2016 award were Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey and New Mexico offensive lineman Garrett Adcock.

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Men’s Basketball Tops the Islanders, 86-69

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

COLLEGE STATION, TexasTyler Davis scored a career-high 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting as Texas A&M defeated Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 86-69 on Monday night.

The Aggies (5-2) led 45-33 at halftime and kept the Islanders (5-2) at arms’ length the rest of the way, overwhelming their undersized opponent down low and outscoring TAMU-CC 40-24 on points in the paint.

Admon Gilder tied his season high with 17 points for A&M and Tonny Trocha-Morelos scored 13. Cole Martinez had 13 points and Rashawn Thomas added 12 for the Islanders.

The Islanders outrebounded the Aggies 39-31, but committed 16 turnovers, including seven by Thomas, and the Texas A&M outscored TAMU-CC 19-11 on points off turnovers.

Texas A&M had 21 assists on 31 field goals and shot 54 percent overall.

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Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy

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Guard Chris Collins, Center Tyler Davis

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Texas A&M-Corpus Christi head coach Willis Wilson

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Postgame Notes
Texas A&M 86, A&M-Corpus Christi 69
Dec. 5, 2016 Reed Arena (College Station, Texas)

RECORDS & TOURNAMENT NOTES

  • Texas A&M improved to 5-2 on the season with an 86-69 victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Monday night inside Reed Arena.
  • The win was the Aggies’ fifth consecutive in the series against the Islanders, which stands at 5-1 in favor of A&M.

TEAM NOTES

  • Texas A&M limited the Islanders to a season-low 69 points in the contest, marking the sixth opponent in seven games that the Aggies have held their lowest point total of the season.
  • The Aggies set season-highs in both shooting percentage (54.4) and assists (21) in the contest … A&M also owned a 40-24 edge for points in the paint, despite being outrebounded 39-31.
  • Texas A&M used the starting lineup combination of JC Hampton, Admon Gilder, DJ Hogg, Tonny Trocha-Morelosand Tyler Davis for the seventh time this season (5-2).

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

  • Sophomore center Tyler Davis enjoyed a career-best 25-point performance, converting 9-of-12 field goal opportunities while making 7-of-9 shots from the free throw line … Davis also added eight  rebounds and two blocked shots.
  • Despite not having a great shooting night, second-year forward DJ Hogg was able to contribute in other ways by logging career highs in both assists (9) and blocks (3) while chipping in seven points, three rebounds and a steal.
  • Sophomore guard Admon Gilder tied his personal best with 17 points and four made 3-point baskets … The Dallas native also dished out six assists.
  • RS Sophomore guard Chris Collins also set a career best with six points in the win.
  • Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy improved to 104-72 in his sixth season at Texas A&M and 315-251 in 19 seasons as head coach.

UP NEXT

  • The Aggies’ three-game homestand continues on Wednesday when they host Denver in a 7 p.m. contest inside Reed Arena.

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Furious Rally Falls Just Short at SMU, 54-53

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

DALLAS- Texas A&M rallied from a 16-point deficit, but could not complete the comeback, falling 54-53 to SMU in a women’s basketball game at Moody Coliseum on Monday night.

The Aggies (5-2) trailed 29-13 at halftime, but closed the gap to a single point with 12.5 seconds left, but did not convert on their last possession, giving SMU (6-3) a 54-53 win.

Danni Williams led the Aggies with 21 points, with 16 of her points coming in the second half. Khaalia Hillsman added 12, and Anriel Howard had her fourth straight double double with 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Curtyce Knox led the Aggies with 10 assists.

The Aggies return to action on Thursday, December 8 to take on TCU at 7:30 p.m. on FS1. Texas A&M returns home on Dec. 10 to host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 2 p.m.


QUICKIE NOTES

  • Texas A&M falls to 5-2, while SMU improves to 6-3
  • Texas A&M leads the all-time series against SMU, 27-18.
  • Khaalia Hillsman and Danni Williams have scored in double figures in every game this season.
    • Hillsman has 20 career double-figure scoring games
    • Williams has eight career double-figure scoring games
  • Danni Williams scored 20+ points for the fourth time this season, but the first time since Nov. 20
  • Anriel Howard posted her fourth straight double double with 10 points and 14 rebounds
  • Howard picked up double-digit rebounds for the six straight game, making her the first player in the Gary Blair era with six straight 10+ rebound games
  • Curtyce Knox had 10+ assists for the third straight game and fifth time this season. She is the first Aggie with three straight 10+ assist games since Jordan Jones had six in a row from Feb. 27-Mar. 25, 2014.
  • Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair is 314-130 in 14 seasons at Texas A&M and 722-293 in his Hall of Fame career. He ranks eighth among active coaches and 14th all-time in career wins.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Texas A&M Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs Jason Cook heading to Baylor

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

Texas A&M Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs Jason Cook says he has taken a job as vice president for marketing and communications and chief marketing officer at Baylor University.

The Eagle was the first to report the story.

Cook, who has been at Texas A&M for 13 years, released a statement via Twitter Monday afternoon:

“I want to thank Texas A&M for the opportunity to serve such a great university for over a decade. Aggieland will always be a special place for me and my family, and we have many colleagues and friends with whom we have formed lifelong bonds. I have had the honor and privilege to work at Texas A&M during a “golden age” in which we were able to significantly elevate the university’s brand across the country. I am now looking forward to the next chapter of my career at Baylor University as we work toward the future and tell the special story of this Christian-based research institution. Leann, Brayden, Jace and I truly appreciate all of the love and support of Aggies everywhere.” – @jason_cook

Baylor University also released a statement on Cook’s hiring:

WACO, Texas (Dec. 5, 2016) – Baylor University Interim President David E. Garland today announced the appointment of Jason D. Cook as vice president for marketing and communications and chief marketing officer. Cook comes to Baylor from Texas A&M University and will begin a transition to Baylor in mid-December.

Before his current position as senior associate athletics director for external affairs at Texas A&M, he served from 2008 to 2013 as A&M’s vice president for marketing and communications. At Baylor, he will lead the Division of Marketing and Communications, which directs the marketing, media and electronic communications of the university and works closely with Baylor’s schools and administrative areas to advance university priorities and increase awareness of the mission of Baylor University.

“After spending time talking with Jason and hearing his passion for telling the Baylor story and his belief in our Christian mission, the selection team and I knew he was the right person to fill this important role,” Garland said. “His varied experiences in corporate marketing, crisis management, athletics communication and higher education marketing will be an invaluable addition to the university’s leadership team. He will lead an outstanding staff of marketing professionals as we move Baylor University forward.”

“It is a tremendous honor and privilege to join the Baylor Family at this important time, and I am humbled to serve such an outstanding university,” Cook said. “Baylor holds a special place in higher education with its commitment as a research institution founded upon a Christian mission. I appreciate the opportunity entrusted to me by Dr. Garland and the university leadership, and I look forward to telling this unique story and strengthening the awareness and engagement with Baylor University across the country.”

During his tenure leading A&M’s Division of Marketing and Communications, Cook directed institution-wide marketing, communications, branding, social media, collegiate licensing, media relations and business development functions. He provided strategic communications counsel to A&M’s president, executive team and academic deans, and served as the institution’s chief spokesperson. He played a key role in A&M’s transition to the SEC in 2012 and the establishment of the university’s “one brand” approach. For his efforts, Cook was named the International Brand Master of the Year by the Educational Marketing Group.

From 2010-2011, Cook also served in a dual capacity as chief communications officer for The Texas A&M University System, one of the largest such entities in higher education with 11 universities, a comprehensive health science center and seven state agencies. In this role, Cook was a strategic advisor to the Board of Regents, the Chancellor and the CEOs of the respective system members.

During his three-and-a-half years in A&M’s athletic department, Cook directed athletics-related branding and marketing, media relations, broadcast initiatives, sponsorships, lettermen’s activities and strategic partnerships. He was very involved in the branding, operations and fan experience components of the redevelopment of A&M’s Kyle Field, including the Hall of Champions, an interactive space that celebrates athletic and academic success across all sports. Cook was also instrumental in the launch of the SEC Network, assisting both SEC and ESPN leadership.

Prior to joining A&M’s leadership team in February 2008, Cook served as director of communications and marketing for Texas A&M AgriLife. In this capacity, he oversaw all of the organization’s communications and marketing efforts, which included the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, both members of the A&M System.

From 2003 to 2007, Cook was director of public relations and marketing for the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), another state agency under the A&M System. While at TEEX, Cook was the official spokesperson for the acclaimed Texas Task Force 1 search-and-rescue team, and coordinated communications and marketing activities for the Brayton Fire Training Field, Disaster City and the National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center.

Before joining the A&M System in 2003, Cook served six years as assistant vice president of media and communications for Birmingham, Alabama-based HealthSouth Corp., then a Fortune 500 company. He was responsible for media relations and communications for more than 1,900 healthcare facilities in all 50 states as the company recovered from one of the largest accounting frauds in U.S. history.

A native of Tupelo, Mississippi, and the son of a Baptist minister, Cook received his bachelor’s degree in communications summa cum laude from Mississippi State University. He earned his accreditation in public relations from the Public Relations Society of America in 2000. Cook and his wife, Leann, a 1992 Texas A&M graduate and former assistant commissioner of the SEC, have two teenage sons, Brayden and Jace.

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Packers get back to .500, beat Texans 21-13

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) _ Aaron Rodgers threw for 209 yards and two touchdowns, and the Green Bay Packers pulled away from the Houston Texans with two fourth-quarter touchdowns for a 21-13 win Sunday to get back to .500.

The Packers (6-6) weathered snowy conditions at Lambeau Field, making just enough plays on the cold turf to even their record for the first time since they were 4-4 after losing to Indianapolis on Nov. 6.

Brock Osweiler connected with DeAndre Hopkins for a 44-yard touchdown pass with 1:51 left to get within eight for Houston. Nick Novak missed the extra point, with footing slippery at Lambeau.

The Texans (6-6) had one last shot after the Packers failed to run out the clock. But Osweiler’s last-ditch pass-and-lateral play from Houston’s 12 with 4 seconds left failed, handing Houston its third straight loss.

The Packers broke a 7-all tie when Rodgers found Jordy Nelson open in the end zone for a 32-yard touchdown pass with 12:42 left after Texans cornerback Charles James slipped on the turf.

Nelson finished with eight catches for 118 yards.

Aaron Ripkowski’s 3-yard touchdown run with 4:11 left proved to be the decisive score for Green Bay, which has won two straight following a four-game losing streak.

Hopkins finished with just two catches for 55 yards for the Texans.

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Texas A&M Accepts Invitation to AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

Texas A&M has accepted a bowl invitation to the Advocare V100 Texas Bowl in Houston, and will face off against Kansas State of the Big 12 Conference in NRG Stadium on Wednesday, Dec. 28.

The Aggies (8-4) will be seeking to win its fourth bowl game in five tries under fifth-year head coach Kevin Sumlin when they take on the Wildcats (8-4) in the Texas Bowl, which will kick off at 8 p.m. and be televised nationally by ESPN. It’s the eighth straight season that Texas A&M will play in a bowl game, which is a program first.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to compete against a coaching legend like Bill Snyder and the Kansas State Wildcats in the Texas Bowl,” Sumlin said. “A large portion of our team is from the Houston area, and we have a tremendous fan base in the city of Houston. We look forward to getting the chance to play in front of 12th Man in NRG Stadium, which is one of the top football venues in world.”

Texas A&M Director of Athletics Scott Woodward said “It’s an honor to accept the invitation for Texas A&M to play in the 2016 Advocare V100 Texas Bowl. NRG Stadium is a great setting for a bowl game, and I know the city of Houston will be a tremendous host for the team and our fans. It’s a great opportunity to play a game in the middle of a large concentration of Aggie fans against an opponent that is very well-known to the 12th Man.”

Texas A&M’s invitation to the 2016 Advocare V100 Texas Bowl marks the 38th bowl game in program history. Texas A&M has played in three bowl games in the city of Houston, and the Aggies have compiled a 2-1 record in those games. Most recently, the Aggies beat Northwestern, 33-22, in the 2011 Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas at Reliant (now NRG) Stadium. The Aggies also defeated TCU, 28-9, in the 2001 Galleryfurniture.com Bowl in the Astrodome and lost to USC, 47-28, in the 1977 Bluebonnet Bowl in the Astrodome.

Texas A&M and Kansas State were both members of the Big 12 Conference from the league’s inception in 1996 until the Aggies’ departure to the Southeastern Conference after the 2011 season. The Aggies and Wildcats have played 15 times with the Aggies holding a narrow 8-7 lead in the series, but the Wildcats have won the last three matchups. As conference foes, the two teams split 10 games with one of the Aggies’ victories producing the school’s most recent conference championship in 1998. In the 1998 Big 12 Championship game, the Aggies rallied from a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit to force overtime and then won it in the second overtime on a 32-yard catch-and-run by running back Sirr Parker from quarterback Branndon Stewart.

For ticket information, go to: 12thMan.com/bowltickets.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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No.7 Texas A&M Sweeps Owls to Finish out Fall Season

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 7-ranked Texas A&M women’s swimming team concluded the fall portion of its 2016-17 season with a 150.5-99.5 clean sweep over Rice on Saturday afternoon at the Student Recreation Natatorium. The Aggie divers also took on the University of Houston with second- and third-place finishes in both dives.

“We had good, solid racing all the way through and it’s a good way to keep them engaged and competitive instead of taking a long break from the invite until our first meet in January,” head coach Steve Bultman said following the meet. “Between now and when exams end, we are just trying to maintain conditioning. While school is out of session and we are back here training, we will start gearing people up for SECs. We have about 10 girls qualified right now [for NCAA’s], but we want to get more girls qualified.”

The Aggies concluded their fall portion of their season 4-1 in dual meet action, undefeated in SEC competition, and as champions at the Art Adamson Invitational. Texas A&M will begin the second half of their season on Saturday, January 7 against the Auburn Tigers.

Texas A&M won all 14 races against Rice, while claiming the top three spots in seven races and finishing 1-2 in four others. Leading the way for the Aggies was junior Bethany Galat with first place finishes in the 200-yard butterfly (2:01.62) and the 200 IM (2:02.12). Trailing Galat in the 200 fly were sophomores Alexandra Buscher and Tiffany Futscher, while sophomore Sydney Pickrem and junior Lisa Bratton rounded out the top three in the 200 IM.

The Aggies opened the meet by claiming the top two times in the 200-yard medley relay. The trio of juniors Lisa Bratton, Jorie Caneta, and Galat gave the Aggies a strong lead and redshirt freshman Raena Eldridge anchored the Aggies to a winning time of 1:42.15. The foursome of junior Laura Norman, junior Franko Jonker, freshman Golf Sapianchai, and junior Kristin Malone claimed second.

Bratton also clinched a win in the 100 back in 55.32. Trailing Bratton in second and third were Norman and freshman Sam Siebenaller. Norman also had an individual victory in the 100 free in 51.04 just edging out freshman Amy Miller with a time of 51.47.

Caneta came away with an individual victory in the 100 breast (1:01.02), which was a NCAA “B” qualifying time. Jonker was close behind in second (1:01.72) with senior Ashley McGregor in third. Caneta and Jonker went 1-2 in the 200 breast with Jonker touching first in 2:12.70 and Caneta following behind in 2:13.39, both earning “B” qualifying cuts.  Junior Esther Gonzalez claimed third. Gonzalez also earned an individual victory after her strong, long distance performance in the 1000 free (10:11.88).

Other Aggies first place times were senior Sycerika McMahon who dominated the 500 free after winning by over six seconds with a time of 4:54.07 and freshman Sara Metzsch in the 200 back in 2:00.55, which was her first individual win. Eldridge also claimed her first individual victory of the season in the 50 free with a time of 23.47, with Sapianchai coming in a close second (23.82). McGregor touched first in the 100 fly (55.58), with Eldridge and Sapianchai rounding out the top three, and sophomore Claire Rasmus winning the 200 free in 1:48.67.

Across the natatorium, the dive team took on the University of Houston and claimed second and third in both dives. In the one-meter, sophomore Alais Kalonji scored 257.48 to earn second with junior Zoe Alaniz take third. In the three-meter dive, senior captain Madison Hudkins placed second with 305.48 and Kalonji was third.

Closing out the meet for the Aggies was the foursome of Eldrige, Rasmus, Siebenaller, and Metzsch who clinched the 200 free relay victory (1:34.96).

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Season Ends with Loss to SMU

AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas A&M Aggies saw their 2016 campaign come to a close with a 3-0 loss to the SMU Mustangs in the first round of the NCAA Championship at Gregory Gym. The Mustangs completed the sweep by scores of 25-23, 25-23 and 25-18.

Making their sixth consecutive and 24th NCAA Championship appearance, the Aggies ended the season with a 21-9 record.

Sophomore middle blocker Kaitlyn Blake led the Aggies’ attack with a .500 attack percentage and 11 kills. Senior middle blocker Jazzmin Babers posted a .304 attack percentage and 11 kills, and freshman outside hitter Hollann Hans notched a team-high 13 kills while hitting .250. Junior setter Stephanie Aiple closed out the match with 38 assists and nine digs.

SMU (26-7) started the first set on a 7-3 run with kills by four different players. After trading points to get to 9-5, the Mustangs extended the lead out to 13-5 after a pair of attack errors by the Aggies. Texas A&M, which outhit the Mustangs, .244 to .224 in the frame, went on a 6-1 run to stabilize the match and cut the SMU lead to 14-13. The spurt featured two kills apiece by junior hitters Kiara McGee and Ashlie Reasor.

The Mustangs stretched the advantage back to five points at 18-13 with a surge bracketed by Janelle Giordano kills. The squads exchanged the next four points to give SMU a 20-15 edge. The Aggies went on a 5-1 run with two kills by Babers and one kill each by Hans and Blake to pull within one point again at 21-20. The Mustangs extended the lead to 24-21 when Blake fought off a set point with a pair of kills before Lauren Mills put down the final kill of the stanza for SMU.

The second set was tightly contested with the largest margin for either team being three points. The squads played on an even keel for the first 18 points with the score tied on nine occasions before SMU went on a 3-0 run to take a 12-9 lead. Babers and Blake each put down two kills as the Aggies drew even at 14-14, and Reasor floored a spike as the Maroon and White staked claim to a 15-14 margin.

The score was knotted six more times in the second set on the way to a 22-22 tally. In the waning moments of the set, SMU, which outhit A&M, .239 to .204 in the set, took advantage of two attack errors by Texas A&M to take a 24-22 lead. Hans fended off one set point with a kill before Mills’ successful attack handed SMU the set, 25-23.

The third set was once again a teeter-totter affair early on with teams playing to nine tie scores en route to a 10-10 score. The Mustangs broke away with a 7-1 run featuring two kills apiece by Kristen Stehling and Katie Hegarty. The Aggies, who were outhit, .289 to .075, made a run with two kills by Hans on a 4-0 run to cut the gap to 17-15. It would be the last time the Maroon and White would be within two points of the Mustangs and SMU’s Giordano ended the match with a kill.

In her last career match, Babers moved past Amy Cumings (1987-90) for 12th place on Texas A&M’s career kills list with 1,139. Junior libero Amy Nettles, who led the Aggies with 18 digs, passed Kelsey Black (2008-11) for 15th place on the career digs list with 1,113.

Blake led A&M with four blocks, including three block assists to give her 145 for the season, tying for the third most in a season in program history and only nine short of the all-time record

In addition to Babers, the all-time career leader in both total blocks and block assists, the match also was the last for senior outside hitter Emily Hardesty, defensive specialists Victoria Arenas and Katelyn Labhart and setter Kaysie Shebeneck.

Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M volleyball. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M volleyball team on Facebook and on Twitter and Instagram by following @AggieVolleyball.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Rockets best Warriors in 2OT; Mavericks downed by Hornets

Harden’s triple-double leads Rockets over Warriors in 2OT

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) _ James Harden notched his fourth triple-double of the season with 29 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists, and the Houston Rockets outlasted the Warriors 132-127 in double overtime Thursday night to end Golden State’s 12-game winning streak.

Harden put his team ahead on a 30-footer with 3:12 left in the second overtime and hit a pair of free throws with 2:10 to go following a flagrant foul on Draymond Green.

Eric Gordon scored 23 off the bench as Houston snapped an eight-game skid to the Warriors, who lost MVP Stephen Curry with 3:25 left in the last extra session when he was whistled for a charge. Ryan Anderson also scored 29 with five 3-pointers and the teams combined to shoot 88 3s, 44 apiece.

Kevin Durant matched his season high with 39 points to go with 13 rebounds. Green had 20 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists.

Walker lifts Hornets past Mavericks, 97-87

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ Kemba Walker scored 18 points and the Charlotte Hornets beat the Dallas Mavericks 97-87 on Thursday night for their third win in the last four games.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added 14 points and Jeremy Lamb had 12 off the bench for the Hornets, who remained in first place in the Southeast Division.

Harrison Barnes scored 17 points and Justin Anderson added 15 for the Mavericks, who have lost 10 of their last 11 games.

The Hornets led by two when Walker drained a long 3-pointer to beat the shot clock with 3:51 to give his team the spark it needed. Lamb followed with a driving layup that resulted in a three-point play to push the lead to 86-78.

The Mavs would battle back behind Barnes to cut the lead to three, but Lamb hit two free throws and Walker buried a 3-pointer from the right wing with 41 seconds left.

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Crosby leads Penguins past Stars 6-2

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Sidney Crosby broke the game’s final tie and assisted on another score in the third period as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Dallas Stars 6-2 on Thursday night.

Crosby scored his league-leading 16th goal in the second period and assisted on Conor Sheary’s sixth as Pittsburgh scored three goals in the final 4 minutes. Eric Fehr’s third of the season was the 100th of his career and Patric Hornqvist’s seventh came on the power play. Nick Bonino and Ian Cole both scored their third for Pittsburgh, which avoided consecutive regulation losses for the first time this season.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 33 saves for Pittsburgh. Fleury, who won for the first time in five starts, has six wins in his last nine home games.

Tyler Seguin scored his eighth and Devin Shore his second for the Stars, who continue to struggle on the road. Dallas has lost its previous five away from home and has three wins in 14 road games this season. The Stars have lost three straight and seven of their last 10.

Antti Niemi , playing in his 400th career game, stopped 34 shots.

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Cowboys hold on against Vikings for 11th straight win

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Dez Bryant caught four passes for 84 yards and the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, helping the Dallas Cowboys win their 11th straight game with a 17-15 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night.

Bryant’s 56-yard catch in the first half set up Ezekiel Elliott’s 1-yard plunge. The receiver caught an 8-yard scoring pass in the fourth quarter after a fumbled punt by Minnesota’s Adam Thielen.

Elliott rushed for 86 yards on 20 carries for the Cowboys (11-1). They have the longest single-season winning streak in franchise history.

Sam Bradford threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Jerick McKinnon with 25 seconds to play, but the 2-point conversion failed for the Vikings (6-6), who found out earlier on Thursday that coach Mike Zimmer would not be able to attend the game after having emergency eye surgery on Wednesday night.

Dak Prescott was 12 for 18 for 139 yards passing for Dallas.

The Vikings forced two turnovers from a team that had not coughed one up in the previous four games, including a strip sack by Brian Robison that set up Forbath’s 33-yard field goal for a 9-7 lead early in the fourth quarter.

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Eye surgery to keep Zimmer from coaching Vikings vs. Cowboys

By DAVE CAMPBELL

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer will miss Thursday night’s home game against Dallas following emergency surgery to repair a detached retina.

Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will serve as the interim head coach against the Cowboys, a decision that Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said would be the least disruptive to the team. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and offensive line coach Tony Sparano have experience as NFL head coaches, but they’ll remain in their roles. Zimmer is the play-caller for the defense, a duty that will fall to defensive coordinator George Edwards.

This was the third procedure Zimmer has had over the past month. Spielman said Zimmer would stay at home to rest and not attend the game.

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My Aggie Nation Podcast: Bowl season could still be exciting for Texas A&M

(Source: myaggienation.com)

(Source: myaggienation.com)

Hosts Travis L. Brown and Zach Taylor analyze the newest College Football Playoff Top 25 and make a case for an eight-team format. Also, Brown and Taylor take a look at possible opponents for A&M, should the Aggies go to the Texas Bowl. Finally, they discuss theories for the new HBO show Westworld and pick this weekend’s best college football games.

To listen on a mobile device, click here.

 

MyAggieNation_1130.mp3

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Mills helps Spurs rally to beat Mavericks 94-87

DALLAS (AP) _ Patty Mills scored 15 of his team-high 23 points in the fourth quarter and Kawhi Leonard added 21 points, helping the San Antonio Spurs rally for a 94-87 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.

San Antonio became just the third team to start the season 11-0 on the road, following last year’s Warriors (14-0) and the 1969-70 Knicks (12-0).

Wesley Matthews had a season-high 26 points for the Mavericks, and Harrison Barnes added 17.

Dallas had a 60-47 lead in the third quarter after a 13-0 run in which the Spurs went 13 consecutive possessions and nearly seven minutes without a point.

The Mavericks still led by eight with seven minutes to play, but Mills hit his first of three huge 3s in the quarter to start an 11-2 run. Leonard scored seven points in the run, and his 3 with 4:23 to play gave the Spurs their first lead since early in the third quarter at 80-79. Leonard had 18 points in the second half.

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Aggies Knight, Babers Named to SEC Community Service Teams

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight was named to the Southeastern Conference Community Service Team for football, which highlights an athlete who gives back to his community through superior service efforts.

Knight, a graduate transfer from San Antonio, Texas, is also a finalist for the Wuerffel Trophy, which is known as “College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service.” The winner of the 2016 Wuerffel Trophy will be announced at the National Football Foundation’s 59th Annual Award Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City on Monday, Dec. 6.

Knight was instrumental in the organization of a diverse group of Texas A&M student-athletes that went on a humanitarian trip to Haiti last summer and Knight has been a part of four excursions at Texas A&M and OU to the impoverished island nation. He’s also been extremely active with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at both schools.

The 2016 SEC Football Community Service Team is as follows:

O.J. Howard, Alabama
Has spent extensive time working with the elderly and youth organizations across Alabama … Regularly visits children’s hospitals in Birmingham … Spent time at the children’s hospital in New Orleans during the team’s two trips to New Orleans and also spent time at the Dallas children’s hospital during the trip to the 2015 Goodyear Cotton Bowl … Volunteered numerous hours at retirement homes across Tuscaloosa … Made visits to the Tuscaloosa VA hospital in each of the last three years … Most recently, spent a day this summer doing a Habitat for Humanity build with his teammates … Also helped in packing up football equipment for schools in West Virginia affected by the significant floods that affected the state over this past summer.

Brooks Ellis, Arkansas
2016 William V. Campbell Trophy Finalist … 2016 Wuerffel Trophy Semifinalist … Leverett Elementary School and Lifestyles group (people with disabilities) …  Participated in “Book Hogs Read to Win” and “Book Hogs Pizza Party” with local elementary school students … Reading with Razorbacks initiative … Spent time with kids at Special Olympics Arkansas and MLK Youth Day … Signed autographs in conjunction with the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation as well as Big Brothers and Big Sisters or Northwest Arkansas … Volunteered with Mayflower Tornado Relief … Assisted Coach Bielema at the Susan G. Komen Ozark Affiliate “Football 101” benefit … “Be with Becca” fundraiser; Participated in Boys & Girls Club food giveaway and on-campus trash pickup.

Daniel Carlson, Auburn
Has participated at Champions of Chemo Lake Party for children fighting cancer and is a regular visitor at Birmingham Children’s Hospital … Active in Fellowship of Christian Athletes … Involved in the SAAC holiday toy and clothing collections and the Beat Bama Food Drive.

Jarrad Davis, Florida
Has spent more than 25 hours volunteering at Shands Hospital, Boys & Girls Club, Williams Elementary School, Habitat for Humanity and the Newberry Library … Named as one of 19 finalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, one of five finalists for the 2016 Pop Warner College Football Award and Butkus Award, and a semi-finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, has been one of Florida’s leaders on and off the field this season … Advertising major at the University of Florida and was named to the SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll in 2013 … Has spoken to a Little League team, among other activities.

Jeb Blazevich, Georgia
One of 12 players nationwide named to AFCA Allstate Good Works Team … Included as a 2016 Wuerffel Trophy semifinalist … Worked with “Learn, Play, Excel” to educate and provide leadership for elementary and middle school students … Visited Camp Sunshine and spent time with children who have cancer … Volunteered for Countdown to Kickoff, a benefit for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the Georgia Transplant Foundation and the UGA College of Education … Worked with Extra Special People, an organization assisting individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, among other charities.

Courtney Love, Kentucky
Participated in a service/educational trip to Ethiopia … Serves in a mentoring program with high school students … Participated in an event at the Indian Summer Camp for children who are cancer survivors or currently have cancer … Has taken part in events with the UK Children’s Hospital, Read Across America, Special Olympics and “Champ’s Camp” youth football camp, along with other service activities … Nominee for the Danny Wuerffel Trophy for academic, football and community service excellence … A transfer from Nebraska, he was active there as well, earning a Student-Athlete Hero Leadership Award and being named to the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team.

Danny Etling, LSU
Member of the Boys Scouts and achieved Eagle Scout status … Routinely spends free time in community giving back and using his LSU accomplishments to help inspire others … Active participant in LSU’s CHAMPS program.

Evan Engram, Ole Miss
Has been very active in the community during his time at Ole Miss, while showing a special passion for physically and mentally handicapped people … Volunteered his time with the Special Olympics, including the 2014 and 2015 Unified Egg Bowl events, which pit Special Olympics athletes from Ole Miss and Mississippi State against each other for a flag football game to raise funds for those programs at both schools … Has spent time with adults at the North Mississippi Regional Center and children at the C.M. Scott Center in Oxford … Participated in Reading with the Rebels and made several appearances at local schools, stressing to students the importance of good health and education … Camp counselor for an FCA football camp, has helped needy families at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and has visited patience at children’s hospitals in Jackson, Mississippi, and New Orleans.

Brandon Holloway, Mississippi State
Since the summer of 2015 has volunteered at 15 different community event … This fall, participated at the Henderson Walk to School Day with elementary kids and the TK Martin Super Fun Run … Spent three hours working the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign and at Camp Rising Sun … Visited with patients at Levine Children’s Hospital and Mississippi State Dance Marathon (a movement of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a non-profit organization that raises funds and awareness for more than 170 pediatric hospitals) … MSU’s representative for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team and Wuerffel Trophy.

Michael Scherer, Missouri
Serves on team’s discipline council … Works with “Moving Ahead Program” where he interacts with underprivileged children (9-11 ages) in after school program, tutoring and encouraging/mentoring them … Caleb’s Pitch charity – helping children battling cancer to fun artwork projects in hospital … Mid-Missouri Food Bank – worked in warehouse packaging food for distribution to needy families in the Columbia community … Big Brother/Big Sisters – worked at kids football clinic … Granny’s House – mentored young children after school … Special Olympics – served as athlete buddy and coach … Coyote Hill Children’s Home – mentored children displaced from their homes due to various reason.

Elliott Fry, South Carolina
Nominated for AFCA Good Works Team … Two-time member of SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll; School’s all-time leading scorer … Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as a seven-year old, now is active with Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) … 2016 Wuerffel Trophy nominee.

LaTroy Lewis, Tennessee
Started his own charitable organization – Project Elevate – which is a non-profit organization that focuses on mentoring local children and helping them with goal setting and goal achievement … Organized and ran “Hero Day” on Oct. 22 at Lonsdale Park where he and fellow student-athletes ran a special community service event in honor of the late local hero Zaevion Dobson, who died last December while shielding friends from gunfire … Spoke about the importance of helping others and created activities at “Hero Day” like washing cars and picking up trash around the neighborhood for local children to participate in so they could understand the value of giving back to the community; charitable donations from the event went directly to Lonsdale Elementary School … Spends every Wednesday as a mentor for a group of fourth graders at Lonsdale Elementary to discuss their dreams and goals and what they can do to achieve them.

Trevor Knight, Texas A&M
Finalist for the Wuerffel Trophy … Helped organize mission trip to Haiti for Aggie student-athletes, has spoken to many FCA and other community groups and assisted with Aggie Athletes Involved.

Oren Burks, Vanderbilt
2016 Allstate-AFCA National Good Works Team recipient (FBS) … 2016 Wuerffel Trophy nominee … Co-founder and program director for REVAMP (Revitalizing & Empowering Vanderbilt’s African-American Male Population); it was voted top new organization on campus for 2015-16 school year …  Current President, Vanderbilt Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) … Helped organize shoe drive in association with Soles4Souls national organization for 2016 season opener vs. South Carolina.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Texas A&M senior middle blocker Jazzmin Babers has been named to the SEC Volleyball Community Service Team, the Southeastern Conference announced today.

The SEC sponsors Community Service Teams for all 21 league sponsored sports. The Community Service Team looks to highlight an athlete from each school who gives back to their community in superior service efforts. The 14th annual women’s volleyball Community Service Team follows:

Brittany Thomas, Senior, Outside Hitter, Alabama
Thomas led the team in volunteer hours over the calendar year, giving her time to a number of worthy causes. In the spring, she volunteered with the East Tuscaloosa Community Soup Bowl, which serves hot meals twice a week and sack lunches on Sundays, a tradition that has continued ever since the devastating tornado that hit Tuscaloosa in April of 2011. Thomas also volunteered along with numerous other student-athletes at gymnastics’ annual Power of Pink meet, helping light luminaries along the front steps of the coliseum in honor of those who lost their lives in the fight against breast cancer. Even during the volleyball season, Thomas managed to find time to help with the annual Halloween Extravaganza event, joining more than 250 other student-athletes who wore costumes and played games with area youth.

Breana Jones, Senior, Middle Blocker, Arkansas
As part of Arkansas’ Family Fun Day initiative, Jones and other Razorback student-athletes distributed backpacks and school supplies to elementary students prior to the 2016-17 academic year. She has also continued her role in the Book Hogs program with visits throughout the semester to local elementary schools to read to children. In pursuing her degree and goal of becoming a teacher, Jones currently spends 3-4 days a week as a student teacher at Sonora Elementary School in nearby Springdale, Ark. She is a member of Arkansas’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and carries a 3.628 cumulative grade-point average as an elementary education major. Jones is a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll. During her playing career at Arkansas, she has amassed more than 500 kills, 200 blocks and is on pace to record a top-five hitting percentage in program history.

Stephanie Campbell, Senior, Middle Blocker, Auburn
Campbell serves as the Co-Community Service Coordinator for Student-Athlete Advisory Community (SAAC), planning community service events for all Auburn student-athletes. She volunteers with canine performance sciences, working with bomb detection dogs. Campbell has worked with Bravehearts, an organization that gives teenagers with disabilities the opportunity to participate in art, music, and dance. She also volunteers at the BIG event on a yearly basis, going out into the Auburn community and fixing up parks, picking up trash, and doing painting projects for the city. Campbell helps coordinate the annual Toys for Tots toy drive and participates in Holiday visits to the local hospital and nursing homes. She was named to the 2013, 2014 and 2015 SEC Academic Honor Roll, and has earned spots on the 2014 and 2015 CoSIDA Academic All-District Teams.

Shainah Joseph, Redshirt Junior, Outside Hitter, Florida
Joseph has totaled 53 service hours since April 2014. Her projects include: Girls Place Clinic, mentoring at Duval Elementary, Hidden Oak Elementary, Lincoln Middle School, Williams Elementary, J.J. Finley Elementary. Joseph has also participated in a Special Needs Prom, Climb For Cancer (2015 and 2016), Dreamer’s Foundation Prom and Baby Gators Field Day. She has made multiple visits to UF Health Shands Hospital. Joseph currently serves as Vice President of SAAC.

Elle McCord, Senior, Defensive Specialist, Georgia
McCord has worked with Athens Stomp Poverty, a program designed to help impoverished families in the Athens-Clarke County area with groceries, housing maintenance and social time. She has also worked with Jam Quest Hoops, a program that helps with children in Kenya by raising money and awareness through basketball. The Georgia native also helped organize the Relay for Life Date Auction and serves on the Relay for Life Athletic Recruitment Board Committee. She attends the annual Special Olympics prom and spends times with the children at the Special Olympics Home Runs for Hometown Rivals Baseball Game. She is also actively involved in the “End It” and “No More” campaigns. McCord has served as a volleyball representative on SAAC since 2013 and served as the committee’s marketing chair. She is a part of the LEAD Society, UGA’s Honor Society and an inductee to the Delta Epsilon Iota Honor Society, Golden Key Honor Society and Sigma Alpha Lambda Honor Society. McCord has been named to the Athletic Department’s Honor Roll five times and to the SEC Fall Honor Roll. McCord has also studied abroad in Australia/New Zealand to learn about business and different cultures at the global scale.

Darian Mack, Junior, Outside Hitter, Kentucky
Mack is involved in several different community service initiatives. She has served as a walk-a-child to school volunteer and worked at the Ronald McDonald house. Mack has also spent many different days at the elementary schools in the area, talking to you kids about the importance of eating healthy, helping kids make snacks and give volleyball lessons. She spent time Bell ringing for the Salvation Army, and made blankets for Kentucky Children’s Hospital patients.

Kelly Quinn, Junior, Libero/Defensive Specialist, LSU
Quinn joined the LSU volleyball team in more than 15 hours of volunteering after the Baton Rouge Flood in August. She helped multiple LSU volleyball fans clean out their homes, which had been destroyed from the flood. Once a month, Quinn attends a local middle school and assists in teaching a physical education class. She also attends lunch with the Tigers once a month at a local elementary school where she eats lunch and plays with kids during recess. Quinn joined student-athletes from every sport in moving in LSU freshmen in August. She serves as Secretary of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the Volleyball representative to SAAC.

Aubrey Edie, Senior, Setter, Ole Miss
Edie has participated in More than a Meal, Groovin at Move-in and Reading with the Rebels. She is a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Edie is a CoSIDA Academic All-American and a three-time member of the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team. She is the school record holder in career, single-season and single-match for assists. Edie is currently fourth in the NCAA in active career assists.

Khris Carr, Sophomore, Outside Hitter, Mississippi State
Carr has participated in Camp Rising Sun, which is a camp for children living in Mississippi, Alabama and southwestern Tennessee who have been or are currently being treated for cancer. She served breakfast to local Starkville elementary school children during the annual Breakfast of Champions event. Carr Joined fellow MSU student-athletes in Walk To School Day, walking with local Starkville school children to school. She teamed up with other MSU students and the Starkville Police Department to collect water for residents of Flint, Mich. Several times throughout the year, Carr has participated in Gameday Carpool, meeting and greeting children as they arrive to school. She participated in Chick-Fil-A Family Night and took part in the Student-Athlete Panel at Mississippi State, volunteering to speak to a group of freshmen student-athletes this summer to prepare them for their new lives in college, addressing issues like academics-athletics balance, service opportunities, time management, and general student-athlete preparedness concerns. Carr took part in Project Linus, which collects blankets and distributes them to children in hospitals, shelters, social service agencies, or anywhere that a child might be in need. She is a second-generation Bulldog, as her mother lettered in basketball from 1987-90 and her father lettered in football from 1990-92. Her mother, Ann Carr, is a senior associate athletic director and the senior women’s administrator at Mississippi State, while also overseeing student-athlete services. Carr is majoring in communication with an emphasis in broadcasting.

Emily Thater, Senior, Middle Blocker, Missouri
Thater has volunteered for numerous events during her college career, accumulating 66 hours of community service. She served as a NSAD Special Olympic Buddy, and was a volunteer at the Children’s Hospital Street Party, the Benton Elementary Summer School and Going Bonkers Volunteer. Thater has participated in the Girl Scout Volleyball Clinic, the Black & Gold Youth Clinic and the Mizzou Volleyball Youth League Open House. She visited a young Tiger fans’ birthday party with other team members, and was a part of a visit to the American Legion and a Meet and Greet Autograph Signing at Columbia Ball. Thater worked the Mizzou Athletics’ Back to School BBQ, the Tiger Scholarship Fund Thank-A-Thon and the Mizzou Athletics’ Women 4 Women. She is regularly recognized as one of the Tigers’ top community service participants and leaders. Thater owns a 3.2 cumulative GPA in the nationally regarded University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Megan Kirkland, Senior, Defensive Specialist/Libero, South Carolina
Kirkland Has totaled over 200 hours of community service through the first three seasons at South Carolina, including 126 hours alone as a junior in 2015-16. Her service projects include work at the Harvest Hope food bank, the Christopher Towers senior living home, the local homeless shelter, Transitions, and the local Meals on Wheels program. She has also gone out to local elementary schools representing the team, delivering books and reading to the children. Through her work with the school’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and with the team, Kirkland has also helped to organize numerous other fundraisers and events on campus. She has been an active member of South Carolina’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee throughout her career. Kirkland carries a 4.0 cumulative grade point average and made the CoSIDA Academic All-District team this season. She is a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll for each of her first three seasons and represented South Carolina on the 2014 SEC Community Service team.

Claudia Coco, Junior, Defensive Specialist, Tennessee
Coco has logged more than 30 hours of service this year. She helped with the reintroduction of mussels into the wild and composted at a local Knoxville Select Sport Horses farm. Coco taught Pond Gap Elementary School students about endangered species. She also organized the volleyball’s toiletry item drive for the Tennessee Holiday Meal and assisted with Vol-oween, Tennessee’s Halloween event for children of university faculty and staff. A member of the 2015 SEC Academic Honor Roll, Coco serves as the team representative on Tennessee’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee.

Jazzmin Babers, Senior, Middle Blocker, Texas A&M
Babers is a member of the local Fellowship of Christian Athletes leadership team and is responsible for community outreach. She also serves as a speaker, sharing testimonies at local schools and churches. In May, Babers and several teammates went on a mission trip to Haiti to spread the gospel and do manual labor. Other charitable activities she has participated in include spending time at the Bryan Adult Learning Center, where she volunteered in an adult ESL class, taught lessons and helped with one-on-one work; Aggies Move, teaching elementary children how to live active lives and stay healthy while also teaching them basic volleyball skills; Science Olympiad, a science competition for middle school and high school students from throughout Texas in which she helped with set up and take down, monitored and distributed tests, graded tests and was an overseer and judge for certain science competitions; The Big Event in which she helped an elderly couple prepare their home for moving out, painting, cleaning windows and boxing up their items; Residence Hall Move-In Assistance Day, helping new and returning Aggies move into their dorms; Aggies CAN, a student-run food drive; and the Brazos Valley Food Bank, where she packed family food boxes. She also has volunteered at a local elementary school, working one-on-one or in small groups with students needing extra help or with advanced students needing more challenging work. A 2015 AVCA second-team All-American, Babers is one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award, which focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. She is a three-time member of both the All-SEC Team and the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll. Babers holds numerous Texas A&M records, including most recently shattering the all-time career record for total blocks.

Babers, from Syracuse, New York, and the Aggies return to the court on Friday as they open NCAA Championship first-round action against SMU. First serve is at 4 p.m. at Gregory Gym in Austin.

Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M volleyball. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M volleyball team on Facebook and on Twitter and Instagram by following @AggieVolleyball.

Stories courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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College Football Playoff Rankings

RANK TEAMRECORD
  • 1

    Alabama

    12-0

  • 2

    Ohio State

    11-1

  • 3

    Clemson

    11-1

  • 4

    Washington

    11-1

  • 5

    Michigan

    10-2

  • 6

    Wisconsin

    10-2

  • 7

    Penn State

    10-2

  • 8

    Colorado

    10-2

  • 9

    Oklahoma

    9-2

  • 10

    Oklahoma State

    9-2

  • 11

    Southern California

    9-3

  • 12

    Florida State

    9-3

  • 13

    Louisville

    9-3

  • 14

    Auburn

    8-4

  • 15

    Florida

    8-3

  • 16

    West Virginia

    9-2

  • 17

    Western Michigan

    12-0

  • 18

    Stanford

    9-3

  • 19

    Navy

    9-2

  • 20

    Utah

    8-4

  • 21

    Louisiana State

    7-4

  • 22

    Tennessee

    8-4

  • 23

    Virginia Tech

    9-3

  • 24

    Houston

    9-3

  • 25

    Pittsburgh

    8-4

The post College Football Playoff Rankings appeared first on WTAW.

Police checking claim of Manziel punch that led to lawsuit

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ Police say they are investigating an incident involving Johnny Manziel that led to a lawsuit from a man who claims the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback punched him and broke his nose in a bar in Austin, Texas.

The lawsuit was filed Monday, three days before the former Texas A&M star was due in court in Dallas for the potential dismissal of a domestic violence case against him. The alleged incident happened in September at a bar in the popular Sixth Street entertainment district in downtown Austin.

The plaintiff, Eric Newton, said Manziel was attending a private party when Newton turned down Manziel’s request to prepare some drinks. Newton said he was later discussing his opinion of Manziel with another customer and that somebody in Manziel’s group told the former Cleveland Browns quarterback about the conversation.

Newton claims that Manziel “came downstairs, ran behind the bar, cursed at Mr. Newton, and punched him in the face, breaking Mr. Newton’s nose.”

Austin police wouldn’t release details of an incident report, saying it had been marked “private” by an investigator.

A spokeswoman for Manziel said his representatives were aware of the lawsuit but didn’t comment further.

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Texas A&M and Miami (Fla.) Agree to Home-And-Home Football Series

“We are excited to announce this home-and-home series with the Hurricanes of Miami,” Texas A&M Director of Athletics Scott Woodward said. “Texas A&M and Miami are two of the premier, tradition-rich and storied football programs in the country.”

The Hurricanes will come to Aggieland on Sept. 17, 2022 and the Aggies will return to Miami on Sept. 9, 2023.

The two football programs played a home-and-home series in 2007 and 2008 with Miami taking both contests. In 2007, the Hurricanes defeated the Aggies, 34-17, in the Orange Bowl in Miami. The Hurricanes came to Kyle Field in 2008 and won 41-23.

The two schools had met once before on the gridiron in Florida with Texas A&M defeating Miami, 70-14, in 1944.

This continues the non-conference scheduling philosophy at Texas A&M. The Aggies will open the 2017 season in the Rose Bowl against UCLA on Sept 2 after opening the 2016 campaign at Kyle Field against the Bruins. A home-and-home series with Clemson is scheduled for 2018 and 2019. Colorado from the Pac 12 is slated for 2020 and 2021. Miami in 2022 and 2023 and Notre Dame is scheduled for 2024 and 2025.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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