In Memoriam: Aubrey Butts and Devin Oliver

June 5, 2014

First, I have abandoned my post here at PLN due to being totally smashed busy because of work, but with what happened, I must give a fitting tribute to these Ladies. Some things are just that important.

Pray for the families of these two departed Lions.

Pray for the families of these two departed Lions.










In the Bible, there is a scripture that says that none of us know the day nor the hour. Although, it is speaking about something other than the end of our lives, it is a very appropriate thing to say. Earlier this week, 4 young women were driving home after coaching a Basketball camp. They were in the prime of their lives, doing what they loved. They were teaching a game that they loved, and getting a chance to play for a revived program in the coming months. Aside from all of that, they were living and loving this precious life and making the most of it. Tuesday night, two of those lives went out like a candle in the wind.

Nobody knows what the exact circumstances are, other than a car pulled out in front of a bigger, and much more powerful truck and ended two lives. At the end of the carnage is two dead young women, two families stricken with grief, two others that lay in the hospital grieving for their friends and reliving that awful moment in their head, and their families anxious about their current and future, and a truck driver from just across the border tried his best to signal for help and will go on with his life approaching every intersection remembering that he was involved in an accident that took young lives. He will probably never drive another mile again without thinking about that.

Why does it take a tragedy like this to get us to reevaluate our lives? I was stressed out at work and having to deal with a lot of basic things of life, but this Sunday, I will probably either be at Church or watching Law and Order Re-Runs. Two families, one in Lewisville, and the other in Rowlett, will be burying their young children. I will take my Sunday 10 of 10 times.

Do not take one second of this God-given life for granted. Live it. He gave it to you to live it. At the end of that day, will those who live to see you buried remember you the way that the town of Commerce and the University will remember these two young Women, as leaders, athletes, scholars, and Godly women? Remember these two when you live your life and remember every day is a gift from God, and that same God gives the same love that you need to get through the trivial stuff and focus on the big things, like loving your life, and those in it. At the end of the day, that is all that matters.

Latisha and Zenobia: May God be with you and heal you quickly and our prayers to your family.

Devin and Aubree: May Angels lead you in, it is my prayer that when you left this world that you were embraced by your eternal Father who said: “Well done, my good and faithful servants.” John 11:25

Pray for Latisha and Zenobia as they recover physically and spiritually.

Pray for Latisha and Zenobia as they recover physically and spiritually.











The best way to honor these women and their lives is to let your light shine from your life, so that it may bring joy to others and the world around you.

The best way to honor these women and their lives is to let your light shine from your life, so that it may bring joy to others and the world around you.

State of The Program-Texas A&M-Commerce Lion Basketball

May 19, 2014
A Look at the TAMUC Men's Basketball Program.

A Look at the TAMUC Men’s Basketball Program.










Texas A&M-Commerce Lion Basketball

First Season-1916-1917

Overall Record-1,281-1,033

Complex: Texas A&M-Commerce University Fieldhouse

Capacity: 5,000

Coach: Sam Walker

Alma Mater: Sam Houston State, 1991

Winningest Coach: Sam Walker, 225-172

Most Successful Team: 1954-1955 Conference, Regional, and National Champions

Last Conference Championship:2004-2005

Conference/Division Championships: 22

Post Season Appearances: 35

National Tournament Appearances: 17

Last Season Results-19-9, 3rd in LSC overall, LSC Semi-Finalists

Overall Opining: Texas A&M-Commerce Basketball owns a rich tradition of winning. For over 55 years, TAMUC has been a consistent contender for a conference championship and birth in the National Tournament. Every season, fans expect TAMUC to win in Men’s Basketball. Norman Pilgrim and Bob Rogers are the men responsible for most of the success of the days gone by, but HC Sam Walker is doing a good job and keeping us as a program that is good, but could be great. Walker has a conference title, but I know that he wants more than a couple. One thing that AD Ryan Ivey said about all sports is winning a conference title once every four years. That is a lot to live up to, but one thing I have observed about Sam Walker is how close he keeps his program to the chest. He is a passionate and fiery guy, but he does not take himself too seriously, but takes his team very seriously. Recruiting for Basketball players is a hard thing to do. Most Basketball players can play at a lot of different places, so to find players that fit your system and philosophy is pretty important. That said, a lot of your success will depend upon those players and how they adjust. The one good thing about being a Division II program is that you almost never have a problem of a guy or a group of guys going pro. It is not like Kentucky or Kansas, where you have a entire set of Freshman or Sophomores that might go pro after a year or two. One thing that I have noticed looking at former rosters is that most guys who come straight from high school rather than JUCO’s tend to do better after a year or two. The thing is, you have to have players that WANT to be in Commerce, TX, not guys who are here for lack of better option. It will reflect on the court. Walker runs a fantastic program that is good enough to call a down year a time when they go 14-14. A pretty good season is what we had this year, around 20 wins. I do feel that going forward, HC Walker and Ivey want 20 wins to a norm and be able to get that extra push to make the program what it could be. DFW is filthy loaded with Basketball talent, as is East Texas. Just like we recruit in Football from both areas, we should be doing the same in Basketball and there is plenty of talent to go around. Facilities wise, with the Fieldhouse getting a new surface and a new Events Center breaking ground soon, this attracts recruits and keeps the talent coming to Commerce. A solid program with a good coach, a ton of tradition and a bright future ahead of it that is good now, but is working for great.

Program Status: 4, good or solid program.

Lion Football: 2014 Week 3 Opponent Capsule: Texas A&M University-Kingsville Javelinas

May 16, 2014
Lions to take on longtime rival TAMUK in week 3 at Cowboys Stadium.

Lions to take on longtime rival TAMUK in week 3 at AT&T Stadium.









Opponent: Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Date: Saturday, September 20, 10 A.M.

Location: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

Mascot: Javelines (Or Hoggies)

Location:  Kingsville, Texas

Enrollment: 8,067 (Total)

Conference: Lone Star

Head Coach: David Calloway

Offensive Scheme: Pro-Set

Defensive Scheme: Multiple

2013 Record: 2-8 Overall

2013 Result: A&M-Commerce-41, TAMUK-28

Overall Opining: TAMUK is a blood rival and has been for a long time. Moving this game to a neutral site was a good decision and I think the atmosphere will be great. Having a Saturday game will be advantageous and I think that we really have a shot to send a message three games into the season. Last year, this group totally trashed the Hoggies down in Kingsville and could have really made it worse than it really was. At some point in the game, we were up 41-7 and had pulled our starters. We had also lost Tyrik Rollison for the season, so having them at Cowboys Stadium will have a totally different dynamic and I am really anxious to see what we will do against these guys next year. It is also the Chennault Cup game, so this is a hardware game. A win would mean a win against a conference foe at the world’s premier sporting event, oh and also a trophy to go with it, which would mean 3 straight Chennault Cup Championships.

Storylines: In all honesty, TAMUK plays a very basic style of Football and they pretty much always have. They have a balanced offense and a simple defense that emphasizes fundamentals rather than complicated schemes. Last year I watched the game on TV and one thing I noticed is that Carthel seemed to be two steps ahead of what the Hoggies were doing. On offense, TAMUK looked completely impotent even when they got to moving the ball, they sputtered and Carthel and Co. were mixing up coverages and forcing TAMUK’s QB Dean Brantly into some bad decisions throwing and running. On defense, TAMUK tried to play off our receivers and then get into press coverage at some points, all of the attempts results in disaster. When they pressed, we gashed them with a run, when they played off, Rollison and Harrison Stewart ate them alive. The one story line will be can we just walk into a huge stage and take down a rival that will have a lot of people coming to root them on? We basically sacrificed a home game for this game, but I have a feeling this is what this group needs. They could handle it last year, and the team is a year older and more mature. This is a rivalry game however, and I do not expect the folks from South Texas to go quietly into the night. This is a game that I will be looking forward to out of all the games in the early part of the year. Should be exciting.

PLN’s The Daily Roar

May 15, 2014

I usually don’t care to opine on stuff that Lion Athletics puts up, but I wanted to post the link to this story. As many of you know, North Texas got nailed with some pretty bad storms in the early part of last month. During drills, HC Carthel told his players that there would be some helping out on there part. “One day after practice Coach Carthel told us that there were places around town that the storm had really hit ha rd, and that we were going to do our part,” All-American senior defensive lineman Charlie Tuaau said.

The players learned a lot about Hunt County and also had fun in the process of putting some of that good work to good use. Just days after that series of storms passed through the area, more than 15 members of the Lion football team took an afternoon to go to McWright Cemetery and repair dozens headstones and cemetery grounds that were effected by the tornadoes.

“Coach (Carthel) told us some of these stones were really heavy, and he was right,” offensive lineman Jordan DeCorte said. “There were some of those marble and granite stones that had to be 400-600 pounds and even though we are pretty big and strong guys, it still took us 4-6 people apiece to move some of them.

I think that this is something that is wonderful, and not just the fact that Carthel had them do it, but the fact that these players took joy in helping do some heavy lifting for the  community. This is a real feel good story.


Other News-

Tragic news for  Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Football program. A football player on the team went out with some friends after finals were finished in the North Carolina lake trails area and drowned while swimming, apparently caused by an injury. Vince Njoku, a 19 year old Computer Science major was found dead in the lake and it looks to be a tragic drowning accident. Lion Nation sends our condolences to Vince’s family and teammates. 

Hat Tip

Blacklands Cafe-

John Mark Dempsey has a cup of Coffee with Dr. Dale Funderburk, a professor of Economics and discusses Toyota’s recent decision to move operations to Plano, and the impact that it will have on the local economy and why it did. I am posting this for a reason. With as tough as the economy is now for graduates and future graduates, it is very important to the local area. In Commerce there is the University and Hydro Aluminum, then with there being L3 and Raytheon in Greenville, having another huge employer in the area is huge, and having two major universities right by it will help. Dr. Funderburk is also a very smart man as well and well respected in the Business school.

Track and Field-

TAMUC Lion Track and Field

TAMUC Lion Track and Field

The accolades keep coming up for the Lions. 14 Lion Track athletes earned USTFCCCA All Region Honors. Story per

PLN Notebook

May 13, 2014

As promised, here are all of the Lion Athletes that graduated this past weekend.

Krystal Esparza-Athletic Trainer

Jessica Johnson-Athletic Trainer

Quincy Roberts-Athletic Trainer

Jennifer Justice-Athletic Trainer

Britni Oswalt-Athletic Trainer

Mina Flores-Athletic Trainer

Melissa Sann-Athletic Trainer

Hilary Parker-Athletic Trainer

Chase Stoltenberg-Athletic Trainer

Dustin Green-Athletic Trainer

Taylor Phelps-Basketball

Devondrick Walker-Basketball

Preston Whitley-Basketball

Symone Brown-Basketball

Breanna Harris-Basketball

Deric Davis-Football

Stephen Ford-Football

Cameron Frosh-Football

Tevin Moore-Football

Aaron Wingfield-Football

 CJ Clem-Golf

Haley Green-Golf

Holly Jenkins-Golf

Catie Hyde-Soccer

Brittni Ong-Soccer

EJ Skinner-Track

Everett Wilder-Track

Tyler Hemmenway-Track

Kayla Bond-Volleyball

Dakota Crockett-Volleyball

Jordan Neal-Volleyball

Congrats to all of the graduates on their fantastic achievement and thank you all for what you have done for our University!


Soccer Releases 2014 Schedule-

The Most popular place to be on week nights in the fall has released it’s schedule for 2014.

7:30 P.M.
4 P.M.
2:30 P.M.
12:30 P.M.
7 P.M.
7 P.M.
7 P.M.
4 P.M.
2 P.M.
7 P.M.
4 P.M.
7 P.M.
1 P.M.
7 P.M.
7 P.M.
Blacklands Cafe
John Mark Dempsey talks to AD Ryan Ivey about the new floor at University Fieldhouse and the possibility of TAMUC going Division I in the not too distant future.

PLN’s The Daily Roar

May 12, 2014

As promised, I am back in the saddle. I took and passed my Limited Broker’s Variable Contracts Exam, also known as the Series 6. I found it hard to study for that exam and also blog, but since I have taken care of that, I am back to blogging for PLN. The school year has come to a close as most know and we had a lot of Lions graduate, among them Deric Davis, who graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice, and former punter Cameron Frosch who graduated with a degree in Finance. There is a list somewhere of all of the athletes who graduated and I will post it when it is made available. Speaking of that….

Congratulations to the Texas A&M University-Commerce Class of 2014.

Congratulations to the Texas A&M University-Commerce Class of 2014.










Congratulations to the hundreds of Lion Graduates who received Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate degrees from our institution. I congratulate all of you and am proud to call all of you fellow Lions. From all of us at PLN, congratulations and God Bless you all.

Frosch Watch-

Cameron Frosch continues to garner interest from pro teams, but did not receive a phone call from any teams during the draft this weekend. In an interview, Frosch said that if he is picked up he would expect it to be after the draft where many players get picked up, especially special teams guys. Even the best punters and kickers usually do not get drafted and sign as undrafted free agents. Personally, I expect him to get a call so send good thoughts his way and congratulate him also for graduating a degree in finance this past weekend!

Tracksters garner all conference honors-

Congrats to Brikel Bailey, Anthony Harris, Hendrick Nungess, and Matt Rich for notching all conference honors for their performance at the LSC Championships. To be all Conference, an athlete must score 14 points by themselves, which in Track is very hard to do on any level. Congrats to these athletes for keeping our proud track tradition alive and well.

Clem, McMahan finish link careers out strong.

Lion golfers CJ Clem and Chantry McMahan finished out their very strong Lion careers at the NCAA Regional Golf Championships. McMahan, a Kaufman native, finished 36 by shooting a 79 in her final round as a Lion. No doubt the program will miss her as she graduates and we are proud of how well she played in her 4 years in Commerce. Clem finished his career placing 80th at the Regional in Austin and went to the NCAA Regional Championships for a second straight season. CJ was an outstanding golfer and he caps of his career as one of the best golfers in program history. Congrats on fine seasons and careers to both!

We’re Number………………4?!

May 8, 2014

Like I said, I have been very busy with work and also getting re-certified to be a Broker which has taken up a ton of my time, but I found this a couple of days ago and wanted to post it. It is a guy who has attended just about every College Football program DII and up, and even some smaller schools. He has a list of what he calls the “10 worst Football Fanbases in Texas.” I guess they are all based on his experience with them. He seems to be a West Texas guy named “George Palmer”, but I have a feeling that is a pseudonym. He is a contributor to, but I have a feeling he is just a random guy who posts on there. Obviously he has problems with us, because he put us at the 4th worst fan base for Football games. He picked Texas Tech the worst, which does not surprise me, but some on his top 10 list is just kind of out there, but I found it entertaining. I am not saying any of it is not true as some might  be. Anyway, I just found it to be funny. BTW, I do not endorse these views, just posting them for kicks.


By: George Palmer

Football Folly: A look at the good and bad of Texas College Fanbases. 

“Growing up in Gainsville, Texas, I have been a fan of college football for years, and I might be one of the few people to have ever traveled to every single campus for a game in the State of Texas, Division II and up. I have been to a ton of great places, and some not so great places. As of last year, I have gone to many places sometimes 3 or 4 times, but I have compiled a list of 5 fanbases that I think represent Texas well, and 10 that I hate, or love to hate. Here’s to you all keepin’ it classy, as they say.”

The Good-

Texas A&M University-First off I am not an Aggie, but their fans at Kyle Field are hard to hate. Great school, great town, wonderful people and yes, weird traditions. However, Aggies are all about maintaining order and showing a good front to the world, and for that, they are to be commended. I really like attending games there. There is spirit, pride and tradition. The best part is that there is a sense of fraternity among the Old Army that makes them great. I also very much appreciate how they honor the military in some capacity during every home game. 

Baylor University-True, Baylor did not start winning until recently, but they have handled their success with grace and class. Will it last long? I have no idea, but they are a great group of fans and they represent their school well, and while the alums are not push overs, they never let it be taken too seriously. 

Midwestern State University-Wichita Falls is a great town, and MSU is a beautiful campus, but I have interacted with their fans 5 times and they are wonderfully gracious people. They do win in most of their sports, but they are well mannered and the students are also well mannered. The Men act like Men, and the Women like Women. The boosters are classy and the local fans travel well and have a contagious spirit. They handle their success well and I always enjoy going to watch MSU.

Texas Christian University-The Horned Frogs are just so hard to hate, because they are so nice. First, they have a high female to male ratio population at almost 3 to 1, so all that estrogen might water down the pumping testosterone, but I digress. Again, it is all about how gracious this group of fans act. I have never seen a large school handle both success and failure with the dignity and sportsmanship that they do. If you look the beautiful Ladies of TCU though, you would assume you would need to be a gentleman to land a date with these classy dames. Amon Carter Stadium has also become a big time stadium with great accommodations. 

Texas-San Antonio-UTSA has only had a Football team for 3 seasons, but when I went to the Alamodome to see them play McMurry, the fanship and devotion to their team alone was very emotional. San Antonio only has one major sports team, and if you have ever met any Spurs fans, you know what I am talking about. Roadrunner nation loves their team, and they are handling their up and coming program with class and smarts. Props to this good group. 


The Ten Worst

10. SMU-There are no Football games at SMU. There are just social gatherings where stuffed shirt preppy boys and prissy girls who have a lot of money and not a whole lot of smarts go to a sparsely populated Gerald J. Ford Stadium and just stay there to talk about uptown problems. The whole point of going to a damn game is to root on your team, not look cute or score a date with that blonde in the hopes that your trust fund will be enough for her. Also, Craig James Killed 5 Hookers at SMU. 

9. Hardin-Simmons-This group of self-righteous, holier than thou rubes makes the list despite being the only Division III school. I have connections to McMurry and I cannot stand this group of fans that wear that disgusting purple. HSU should have a motto that says, “Where little girls become bigger girls, and boys become girls.” This group is comprised of some of the most wimpy, sissified people I have ever seen. Oh but they just love them some religion. If HSU was a Church I would rename it first hypocrite church of the universe. The fact is, the students, especially the girls, just think they are a little bit better than you. In fact, some will just say it. Newsflash darling, you are in a private school few have heard of in some West Texas town where you are an afterthought. You are NOT that great.

8. Texas-First, Texas has the right to brag. They have done more than any Texas school over the past decade and they win. The alums are typically good people. It is the weird Austinites and fans who have no association with the school that mouth off that I have a huge bone to pick with. A degree at Texas costs about 60k, a Wal Mart shirt costs 10 dollars. You do the math and understand why they annoy the hell out of me, and a lot more people. 

7. Texas A&M Kingsville-Back in the day, TAMU Kingsville was known as Texas A&I University and damn, that was a hell of a football program. They were good. No, they were really good. However the past few years have not been great to the Hoggies but for some reason they still think they are the small school powerhouse of Texas. The crowd is not the group you want to run into if you beat them at home after a game. To the Hoggie fans: Sober up if you can, you are not that great anymore, and don’t schedule teams for Homecoming who you hope to beat who beat you senseless. Happy Homecoming. Not. 

6. Stephen F. Austin State-The team is awful and many of their fans, no I am sorry, students I should say, are drunks and lovers of debauchery. It is one thing to be like that in your apartment or 2 cent dorm room, but come on leave that stuff at home. I guess that is all you can do down in Nac-a-nothing, Texas though. Homer Bryce isn’t very loud because half the crowd shows up passed out and the other half is usually out like a light by the end of the first half. 

5. Angelo State University-If you lived in San Angelo, you would be a grumpy and classless group of Football fans, but they are just as bad on the road. Try going to an MSU game or a game when they bring 500 or so fans. Then again, if you had a chance to escape San Angelo and have some fun, maybe you would not know any better. Enough said.

4. Texas A&M-Commerce-Where to start? Well, I will be nice to start with. TAMUC, or ET as it once was called is a great academic institution. Want to be a teacher or get an MBA? Go there. From 1930-1995 they were a powerhouse program and won a lot, then slipped into mediocrity in the 2000’s, but that changed when they got a new coach last year. OK, pleasantries out of the way. Commerce is a town in the middle of a rural prairie that is more suitable for farming than housing a major university. That place is proof positive that big trouble happens in small towns. What you get when you mix a student body of mainly snotty white suburban kids, rural small town kids who know how to get into trouble, black kids who know how to scrap, and a bunch of international kids bringing their soccer hooligan culture to middle of nowhere Northeast Texas is the TAMUC fanbase. Despite mediocrity in the 2000’s the drunken frat boys and half naked sorority girls showed up en masse and it is getting worse now that they are winning again. Profrane and disrespectful chants, especially to out of state schools land the Lions on this list. One incident that stands out is when a group of TAMUC students coming back from Oklahoma after having beaten Southeastern Oklahoma State mooned the Oklahoma state sign at the border in front of an Oklahoma State trooper. Nice. 

3. West Texas A&M-Take A&M-Commerce and multiply it times two, then take Angelo State and take it to the third power. Viola, you have West Texas A&M. Throw in some Hardin Simmons while your at it, I mean Canyon is so great. Yeah, jumping off of one is. I won’t even start with NCAA violations. 

2. Texas State-The Football team sucks and they still mouth like they are just Boise State of Texas. Their fans are the type that are rowdy and would jump into a fight with a member of another team just to see if they can. Sure, San Marcos has the river and a Hill Country appeal, but Texas State students show that they cannot do ANYTHING without getting hammered and/or stoned out of their mind. The fans are there to start crap with the other team and their fans. Nothing more. 

1. Texas Tech-Oh. Gosh. All you need to do is go to a game to see what I am talking about, but since I must, lets just mention torn out bleachers, rushing the field 3 times, throwing batteries at Oklahoma State players, dumping cups of ice on A&M fans, telling the TCU marching band they are going to toss them from bleachers, a Quarterback that throws a touchdown pass and flips the bird to the opposing fans and is roared in approval by his fan base. Getting it now? There are good folks on the South Plains and really are some of the greatest people on earth. The students at Tech, ehh, not so much. I have said SMU is where rich kids go to party, Tech is where West Texas kids and middle class DFW kids go to create anarchy, all while dicing up their fight song with profanities and tearing goal posts and shoving them into opposing fans seats. When they yell “Wreck ‘Em”, they must mean their stadium. 


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