Head Coach Jason Gonzales argues a call in the third-inning. Photo by Fares Sabawi

With dominating pitching and the offense scoring a combined 18 runs in the first inning in each game of their three game series, the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Javelina baseball team crushed Texas College 15-4, 12-5 and 9-2 to complete the three game sweep.
In game one with the offense clicking early, TAMUK was in control from the start behind short stop Wesley Aguilar leading the way.

“I felt good since the beginning of the game,” said Aguilar. “I just wanted to keep the ball to the right center gap and connect on line drives. It’s a long season but we just need to keep playing our Javelina baseball with pitching and defense.” Aguilar finished the night 3-for-4 with two runs scored.

For starting pitcher Ryan Benitez, it was a bounce back performance from a week ago as he finished the night with 6 strikeouts giving up only 6 hits.

“I just wanted to come out and throw strikes,” said Benitez. “We have a lot of new players but we are starting to come together as a team. We just need to continue what we did tonight and continue to hit the ball.”

Every Javelina touched base against the Steers with a season-high 15 hits in the blowout.

“It’s huge to come out and get runs early,” said head coach Jason Gonzales. “It allows our pitcher to charge and get hitters and throw strikes. When you have a lead like we did, you have to keep putting the weight on the other team and we are learning to do that. Hopefully that momentum can carry us into tomorrow’s game.”

For the Steers, their top of the lineup seemed to be the only offense for them as first baseman and number two hitter Anthony Lehman finished the night 2-4 with 2 RBI in the loss.

Second baseman Ryan Fickel for the Javelinas and Aguilar combined for 5 hits, while Hayden Vesely and Clint Wallace combined for 5 RBI.
“We just need to keep playing and keep hitting, so the bullpen can rest so we can be ready for conference,” said Aguilar.

“Our priority is to win the first game like we did and once we have done that our goal is to win the second game,” said Gonzales. “If we can do that, then we can go for the sweep having won the series. We will work hard to come out tomorrow to get the series win and hopefully have the opportunity to adjust our goals.”

The Javelinas would continue to soar in game 2 as they came out swinging early once again, this time led by Cline Andrews, who finished the night going 3-5 with 3 RBI.

After putting up 6 runs in the first, Matt Terones did the rest as he picked up his first victory of the season after striking out 5 Steers in 5.0 innings pitched. “Our starting pitcher is getting better,” said Gonzales. “Anytime those guys and go out there and give us a comfortable lead, I expect us to keep getting hits and the plate and go in with a mindset where we can finish a game.”

In the final game, starting pitcher Hayden James allowed just three hits in 5.0 innings and another big first and fourth-inning gave the Javelinas breathing room as they scored big early once again. Andrews finished off his weekend going  3-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBI.

“I’m proud of these guys that were able to come and win three games this weekend,” Gonzales said. “We still have a lot of work to do and teams are only going to get better here on out.”

With the three game sweep, the Javelinas find themselves at 6-4 before they begin Lone Star Conference play against West Texas A&M University this Friday for a four game series with the Buffs at Nolan Ryan Field.

“We will need to continue to work hard and get ready for those guys,” said Gonzales. They are a good team and we will need to be ready because from here on out it only gets harder but I know our guys are ready for the challenge.”

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Life is one of the most complicated things to figure out. The thing is, we all have to experience it, whether we like it or not.

I was once the “I don’t know how he does it” guy, and I single handedly burned myself to the ground in a matter of two years.

I went from being a triple-major honor student, to a guy who has had to repeat a class four times already.

I went from getting promoted at work, and demoted the following semester.

I went from being one of the best in my French horn studio, to giving a humiliating performance in front of my peers and professors on a night that was suppose to be one of the best nights of my college career.

And, I wish I could blame drugs for whatever went wrong in my life, but I am ashamed to admit I am drug-free.

There was no outside source that I could blame for my actions and results, just myself.

After everything that has happened in my life, I only have one request for the people in my life.

Do not feel sorry for me.

I am quite happy with how my life is going.

In fact, I welcome misfortune into my life because I believe those ugly moments are the things that make a person stronger.

Those moments are mine, and belong to no one else.

Of course, I am not saying you should do nothing after unwanted events happen.

The most important thing you should do is learn and reflect on them.

Learn what NOT to do. And, when you are having an average day, reflect and be thankful that you are not in an ugly place.

If your life looks the same as it looked two years ago, you are not living. Life is about growth, not comfort.

If you have failed in life, school or love, pick yourself back up and keep on trying.

As for me, I am doing okay. I may not be as close to perfection as I was two years ago, but I am sure stronger than I was before.

“A flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.”

They say you should use your time wisely. Who are ‘they’ anyway? They advise this and that.

Were ‘they’ really college students like us? Doubtful. After this semester has progressed I think I may have underestimated how much time I really have.

Having more than forty hours of schoolwork, job duties, organization planning and just making time to have a social life, I’ve realized I don’t make time to sleep.

I’m on my last semester of TAMUK and ready to graduate and instead of planning for post graduation, I’m planning for tomorrow’s full schedule.

I’m constantly stressing over time. A friend of mine always says, “If only we could function without sleep.” Thinking of that would be great, you could get so much more done, but that’s probably just me being a nerd.

It gets you thinking, how do adults do it? Not that we aren’t adults but we pretty much are still children.

I see my mom stress out working 60-plus hours a week, which is physically impossible sometimes, and at the end of the day she talks about how much more she needs to do.

I don’t know if life will get easier or worse in the real world. Is it just as bad? I hate to be a negative Nancy but I’ve really come to realize how precious time is.

This is why ‘they’ advise you time manage…schedules, to do list, etc. College is supposed to be your stepping-stones to the real world. The more you take, the more you learn.

The moral of the story is, we are only college students, young professionals and time is precious.

You should be professional about school but also remember that it’s college. Have fun and take time for yourself because in the end this could be the best four years of your life, or the worst.

It really just depends on how you use your time. Just keep it light, get stuff done, and breathe in and out. That’s what ‘they’ said we should do.

The men and women’s basketball teams are both coming off losses to West Texas A&M University on Saturday, with just one month until the Lone Star Conference basketball tournament in Allen, Texas. 

For the lady Javelinas, an 81-57 loss to the number one team in the LSC, proved to be one of their toughest losses of the season. The Javelina women’s basketball team has struggled overall this season under first year head coach Wade Scott, however the potential to win is there.

Although the team is off to a school worse 0-20 record this season, six of the games have been decided in the final two minutes, where TAMUK has lost by 10 or less. The ability to finish games and come out on top has been the issue for the Javelinas.

Although this season has been rough, the talent on the roster makes the future bright and coach Scott is just getting started. With players like Lauren Jay, Ruby Robertson, who comes off the bench and brings a spark to the offense and sophomore Micah Weaver who leads the team in scoring at 11.3 points per game, the Javelinas are well on their way to finish the season with more than a few wins.

Lets face the facts; the Lone Star Conference is not a push over conference. It is loaded with talent and every team that comes to play is ready, including TAMUK. For the women’s team, whether it is making free throws to close out a game or making better decisions in the final minutes, a team win takes time and a young team takes time to gel.

That time may not be now, but the time is close. As for the men’s basketball team who is playing under another first year coach in Johnny Estelle, playing with the best in the LSC has been something these Javelinas have done all season long, despite their 7-14 record. Looking back at an 85-67 loss to the No. 8 ranked team in the nation Angelo State University, the Javelinas went to the locker room at half-time trailing by 4-points.

The Rams were carrying a 10-game winning streak and had come into the matchup with only one loss. The ball movement and the chemistry that the Javelinas showed in that game was on par with the best team in the LSC.

Team chemistry has shined all season long  for these guys and despite the record, every game has been competitive in the first-half. Sometimes you just have to give credit to the LSC and its competition. Like the women’s team, it is just a matter of time before this team breaks out.

The talent is there and these players know that. Four of the Javelinas  seven wins have come at home and coach Estelle knows what a home court advantage can do for a team. “Javelina Nation needs to pack the house and support us,” Estelle said. “We need their energy and I guarantee if we can pack the house and get loud, we will compete and come out with a win.”

Well you heard it there hog nation, these guys need your support and the girls do as well. Your chants of defense and your explosiveness after a Duan Wright dunk really do fire up your Javelinas.

Whether its body paint with your teams colors or just holding a sign, it truly does make a difference

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I’ve never been the type of person to do anything crazy.

If I were to describe myself to you, I’d be the first to admit how dull I am. I’ve never liked standing out from the crowd, and I’ve always been the person to follow rather than lead.

The great thing about life, though, is that we’re always due for a paradigm shift, even in the most ridiculous of places.

As editor, I like to check in with my coworkers from time to time, make sure everything’s okay, ask if they need help…you know, the thing a boss is supposed to do and all.

It was never my intention to get into that snow pit during Fun in the Snow –  you’d know that because I was wearing gym shorts –  but my friend and coworker, Dante, insisted on it.

So reluctantly, I enter the snowball arena with him, and at first, we’re just messing around, throwing a few at each other, and then we see this guy, covered from head to toe in black, with a small camera protected by a cover attached to his chest. We’ll call him the Phantom Snowman.

We continue minding our own business, eventually noticing that the phantom is riling everyone up, throwing snowballs at random people. We quickly pick a side and start throwing snowballs in defense.

At some point, this phantom decides to stand in the center of the area and proclaim, “Who wants to build a snowman?” at the top of his lungs.

The response was a few snowballs thrown at him. Undeterred, he set to work on a snowman. Captivated by his recklessness, Dante and I stared for a few minutes before he finally said, “Dude, let’s go help him build that snowman.”

I dismissed the notion immediately, saying that was crazy and certain death by snowball. The poor phantom kept getting hit, as if to illustrate my point.

Dante shrugged, then said, “A crazy leader needs crazy followers.”

I had no response to that, so I agreed. We strode into the center, and I was certain people were looking at us like we were insane. “We’re here to help,” we said.

I don’t want to claim that what we did started something, but at the time, it seemed like it. Not too long after we got down to help, others came too.  Eventually, after multiple snowballs to the back and neck, the snowman was complete, small carrot and all.

I was left with a wonderful memory of the event, but more importantly, it got me thinking about how this reflected reality.

If nobody is brave enough to take a step forward, can change truly happen? We talk all the time about how things should be better, but what do we ourselves do about it?

Our generation is faced with many problems, globally and internally. Society needs its leaders, those “crazy followers.” It needs people that are brave enough to be apathetic to what others think.

Will you be that one person standing in the crowd, content to watch from afar? Or will you take that crazy step forward, willing to sacrifice what it takes?

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It’s really easy to get caught up while you’re telling a story.

The first time you tell it, the events are the freshest in your memory, so you recall the story accurately. The second time you tell it, you decide to add a little more color, embellishing parts of the story to make it more memorable. Over time, the story takes on a life of its own and bears little to no resemblance of the events that actually took place.

This common occurrence happens to most of us without any consequence, but NBC Nightly News Anchor Brian Williams is finding out the hard way that these lies can come back to haunt you.

The award-winning journalist claimed that while covering the Iraq War in 2003, the helicopter he was in was shot at with an RPG missile before the pilot was able to safely land the aircraft.

Williams has retold the story several times since the original report broke 12 years ago, each time with a few different details, making the story something of legend.

As more and more people began to see the inconsistencies, Williams apologized to the American public for what he described as a “terrible mistake.”

Williams admitted it was not the helicopter he was traveling in, but the one in front of him that suffered damage from an RPG.

It turns out the only fire Williams came under is the metaphorical type from the public since he issued the apology.

In retrospect, it’s a small lie. The events he recounted happened in his proximity, even if they didn’t happen to him. When put in context, it pales in comparison to the inaccuracies spread by our own government to get the United States involved in Iraq in the first place.

But was the embellishment really worth it?

Since Williams’ apology, his reporting on every other topic has been called into question, especially during Hurricane Katrina. A shadow of doubt has been cast over Williams so strong that he is now taking a hiatus from his desk at Nightly News.

Whether his lie is a by-product of an environment that prefers ratings over truth or just an example of a story that got out of hand, one thing is certain: maybe it’s best if journalists stick to the facts, even when they aren’t as sensational as we’d like them to be.

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With December approaching, I was purchasing my cap and gown and mailing announcements to my family members, not realizing what I was preparing for–graduation. School had become a routine for me. Now, it’s coming to an end.

Since I was 5, I have attended school and was even enrolled in a summer academic program or summer school to get ahead.

Even though the graduation date is set, it didn’t feel like school would end until a few days ago.

During my five years at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, I have been in several organizations including my professional music fraternity, Sigma Alpha Iota.

Spending the last few days of this semester with my sisters made me realize that I will no longer be a colligiate member to and will soon be an alumna.

While being a member, I have witnessed other sisters crying out of excitement or sadness of leaving.

I remember not understanding their reaction and decided I would never cry because of something like graduation and moving on to better things.

So my day of farewell to my sisters came and, sure enough, flashbacks were clear in my mind as they all gathered to remind me of what the organization meant to me since I joined.

To celebrate my dedication to the fraternity, we shared memories of my journey with the organization.

It took me back to my first years of college when I first joined and earned many sisters and life-long friends.

As we laughed and sang, In the middle of my college experience, I remember struggling and leaning on my sisters to get through the tough times and changes I had to endure.

Some sisters had heart-warming goodbye and congratulation messages that made me wish I could stay longer or replay the years and cherish the moments more than I already had.

I closed my eyes to listen as tears rolled down my face. I was finally absorbing the feeling of accomplishment, love and the fact that all that I had made at the university with my chapter, was coming to an end.

I hadn’t fathomed that I would ever leave, at least not so soon. Time had crept up on me and I was glad that I had spent my time with an organization full of supporting women.

Many people are skeptical of fraternities and sororities but from my experience, they teach values and help with maturity.

Greek organizations are with you for the rest of your life. They provide memories that will live on for decades.

College life is for a limited time. I’m glad I made the best of it by choosing an organization that will always be a part of me.

Fall 2014 is coming to an end, and many of us are ready for a break from all the homework that the teachers give us without compassion, like if we didn’t have any other classes.

A great majority of us have spent whole nights working on stories, essays, or in the worst case scenario math (I don’t like math). I personally have not been able to sleep well because I’ve been trying to get all my homework done in time, but as soon as December comes around I am going to catch up on my sleep.

For some, this is just the end of another semester and for others, next semester will be the beginning of their college career.

But for some lucky ones, this is their final semester and the beginning of a new adventure as a college graduate.

Finally, some students will be achieving the final stage of their college career and fulfilling their dream of graduating from college.

It is a time to look back and see all the struggles that you have gone through to finally realize that all the efforts and dedication have indeed paid off. Believe it or not, the struggle in college is real.

I personally get very happy when I hear that someone is graduating, because if that person is there it’s because he or she has worked for it and deserves it.

Many students, including myself, are scared of graduation. I think we all get scared because we now are ready to face life and that is when we put into action all what we have learned and achieved during our long journey in college.

If we have been doing the work we have been asked to do by our teachers, then we are going to do great when we graduate.

Sometime it seems like teachers don’t understand that we have other classes, but all they are trying to do is prepare us all to face the real world.

And they do it by giving us work that will help us gain knowledge and skills that later on we will put to use.

Besides, no one said life was going to be easy; if you want something, it will have a price.

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There are two sides to every story, and then there’s the truth. For Israel, it always seems to be best if the truth doesn’t get out.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently condemned an attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem that led to murders of four Israeli rabbis and one police officer.

Even further than his condemnation, Netanyahu went on to blame the Palestinian Authority’s president, Mahmoud Abbas, for somehow inciting this violence, saying his condemnation was insufficient and “irresponsibly ignores” the violence.

Although Netanyahu is quick to publicize a story like this, he ignores finding the root of the problem.

This is no coincidence, as the roots lead right back to him.

Arab-Israeli violence hasn’t been the one-way street that Netanyahu has tried to convey. Violence is found on both sides of the conflict more often than Israel claims.

Just last week, for example, a Palestinian bus driver was found hung in his bus, bloodied and bruised, showing obvious signs of assault. Yet the Israeli police have ruled the hanging a suicide and labeled out “foul play” that was apparent in the photos taken at the scene.

Last summer, when Israel found itself in a full-scale conflict in Gaza, Israeli settlers kidnapped and burned a 16-year-old Palestinian boy to death.

Even with the violence taken out of the equation, Israel’s discrimination of Palestinians is apparent in their own laws, as Palestinians are treated like second-class citizens and are subject to searches at each check point they passed.

The majority of Palestinians are not eligible to vote in Israel to even attempt a change in the status quo Netanyahu has established.

If Netanyahu truly cared for peace, he would stop illegal settlements from advancing in Palestine and begin to change the culture that automatically degrades Palestinians to second-class citizens.

The point I’m taking is not to be misconstrued: I don’t support any violence on innocent civilians on either side of the conflict.

Rather, my point is that Israel’s attempt to exonerate themselves from any blame in the conflict that has spanned over several decades is not only grossly irresponsible, but dangerous too.

The conflict isn’t black-and-white. The sooner we rid ourselves of the presumption, the sooner peace can be achieved between Palestine and Israel.

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Another loss and another blowout for the 2014 Javelina football team.

This team has endured what has to be the worst two years in the history of this program.

Now, let’s not pile on like a lot of us have been doing this whole football season. Yes, this team has been the punch line of jokes. Yes, these guys have read the newspaper clippings and have heard the opinions of fans.

The question is what are these guys going to do in the offseason to rid this negative perception that has clouded the minds of Javelina Nation. How will they go into this offseason with so much uncertainty of a new coach coming in and possible clearing house, making way for his group of coaches that he wants to bring in?

That is the reality of the situation, and you know I like to keep it real with you. The fact is, with a new coaching staff coming in, a lot or most of these football coaches you saw on the sidelines this 2014 season will not make it to the 2015 season.

It’s a business that involves wins and losses, and to be honest those have come few and far between the past two seasons.

This team needs a coach that is going to be all business, not a player friendly coach who will casually hang out with the players. They need a coach that will put a stop to players going out and thinking they can do what they want when they want just because they play football.

Hey Javelina Athletics, I got an idea for you guys, get a coach who isn’t already on the staff. We desperately need somebody who can clean this program up and get rid of the dead weight that has been causing this team to sink faster than the Titanic.

When it is all said and done this will be remembered as the worst years in the history of the program. The only positive you can have is that there is literally no other place to go but up.

Hopefully this team can get it together; hopefully these guys can see that this is not what Javelina football is about. It’s time to shed the negative light and get into the winning ways that have made this a standout program in Division II NCAA Football.

That’s what it comes down to; I’ve got confidence that this team will climb from the basement of the LSC and ascend to the top of the mountain.

It’s going to take time, be patient Javelina Nation. The football team will be back before you know it.