Tigers Win First Ever ASC Basketball Championship

Posted by Tiger Pride in Athletics

The 2015 American Southwest Conference Tournament Champions. (Photo by Mike Midkiff)

The 2015 American Southwest Conference Tournament Champions. (Photo by Mike Midkiff)

History happened on Saturday night, Feb. 28, as East Texas Baptist University won their 20th straight game in Ornelas Gym clinching their first-ever American Southwest Conference Tournament Championship, 82-71, over Concordia University-Texas. ETBU now receives their first-ever automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Tournament and has won 13 of their last 14 games with 23 wins overall.

“This place is a special place as East Texas Baptist University is dear to my heart,” says head coach Bert West. “The fans, the students, all the athletic teams support each other and that was wonderful. I’ve coached a lot of teams and have to be careful how I say this but it’s fair to say that I have never had a team that has played more as a team than this team. They are absolutely selfless and that is one of the biggest reasons why we are where we are.”

To read the game story, click here.

Watch highlights of the Tiger win over Concordia Texas, click here.


Three ETBU Student-Athletes Recognized By ASC

Posted by Tiger Pride in Athletics, Honors

baseball wilkerson pow 2015Jordan Wilkerson’s (Irving, Texas/homeschool) gem on Friday at Texas Dallas notched him his first career award, winning pitcher of the week.

The sophomore threw eight shutout innings in a 1-0 win over Texas Dallas. He struck out five batters and retired the side three times. He pitched out of a jam in the seventh with two men on base and two outs he got a much needed strikeout to end the threat.

ETBU has gotten off to a hot start this season at 6-3, 2-1 in conference. Wilkerson has made three starts with a 1-1 record and nine strikeouts this season.

track and field pow 2015After competing in their first meet last weekend, the East Texas Baptist University track teams swept the player of the week honors as Cody Blankenship took the honor for the men and Shelby Sparks took if for the women.

Blankenship, a freshman from Hallsville (Hallsville HS), won the high jump with a jump of 6’2” and Sparks (Richardson, TX/Plano East Senior HS) placed fifth in the two mile run with a time of 13:17. She also competed in the 1500 meter run, taking 10th, the distance medley relay and the 4×400 relay.

The track and field teams compete next at UT-Tyler on March 6th.


Assistant Principal Saves 6th Grader from Choking

Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni

ETBU alum Blake Coleman and Athony Middle School sixth grader Grayson Barger being interviewed by KRIV-FOX 26 Houston. (Screen

ETBU alum Blake Coleman and Athony Middle School sixth grader Grayson Barger being interviewed by KRIV-FOX 26 Houston. (Screen

If you have ever been in a middle school cafeteria during lunch you have witnessed all the activity that occurs while students eat.  There is visiting among students, school personnel walking around the cafeteria to maintain order and on occasion a small food fight might break out.

At first Anthony Middle School Assistant Principal Blake Coleman thought he was being summoned to break up “horse-playing” among students. He quickly assessed that students gathered around sixth grader Grayson Barger was trying to help him because he was choking.

Coleman, who graduated from East Texas Baptist University in 2004 with a Business Administration degree, reacted quickly to perform the Heimlich maneuver to save Barger’s life.

Coleman said in an article published on the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD website, “When I first turned around I saw one male student with two other male students around his back and my first thought was they were horse playing or fighting. I quickly realized what was happening and asked Grayson if he was in fact choking. He was bright red but was able to nod.”

The website article reports that Coleman had never performed the Heimlich maneuver, but—visualizing an instructional poster he had seen—stood behind Barger and joined his hands around his abdomen, making three forceful compressions under the diaphragm. The food lodged in the sixth graders throat popped out and he was no longer at risk.

Tiger Pride commends alum Coleman for his action that saved Barger’s life.

To watch an interview by KRIV FOX 26 with Coleman, Barger and his mother, click here.

To read the story on the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD website, click here.


Two ETBU Student-Athletes Named Players of the Week by ASC

Posted by Tiger Pride in Athletics, Honors


Two East Texas Baptist University student-athletes were recognized by the American Southwest Conference in the same week as Player of the Week in their respective sports.

Sophomore  basketball player Dylan Augustine was named Player of the Week for games played February 9-15. During that stretch the Tigers gained the first place spot in the conference standings led by Augustine’s performance on the court.

Softball pitcher Kelly Jo McLendon was named Pitcher of the Week for games played February 10-16. The Lady Tigers, ranked third in the preseason NFCA Division III poll swept Hardin-Simmons over the weekend in a three game series at Taylor Field.


Games played Feb. 9-15

PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Dylan Augustine, G, So., East Texas Baptist
Sophomore guard Dylan Augustine (Jennings, La./Hathaway HS) averaged 15.5 points and shot .667 overall in the two biggest games of the year for ETBU. He shot .778 from three-point range (7-of-9) and was a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line against HSU. Augustine scored a career-high 25 points and only missed one shot from the floor making all five three-point attempts against the Cowboys in the game for first place in the conference standings. In the final 31 seconds against HSU went 6-of-6 from the foul line to put the game away. With ETBU up by four with 10 seconds left, Augustine stole the ball, got fouled and made two more free throws to seal the win. Against Texas Dallas he scored six points hitting two three-pointers with his second one being made with 46 seconds left in the game to put ETBU up by one (59-58) as they went on for the 63-58 win.

mcclendon pitcher of the week

Games played Feb. 10-16

PITCHER OF THE WEEKKelly Jo McLendon, RHP, Jr., East Texas Baptist
Junior pitcher Kelly Jo McLendon (Livingston, Texas/Livingston HS) pitched a no-hitter in game three on Saturday and allowed just one walk in 17 batters faced. She went 2-0 with no earned runs in both outings as each game was a run-rule victory. In her first outing last Friday McClendon gave up just three hits and no earned runs in an 11-1 win. The next day she recorded six strikeouts with one walk in the no-hitter winning 8-0. McClendon retired the sides in the first, second, fourth, and fifth innings in the no-hitter win.

(Copy from the American Southwest Conference website.)


A Story of Love from KTBS Channel 3 Shreveport

Posted by Tiger Pride in Faculty/Staff


Screen shot: KTBS.COM

Screen shot: KTBS.COM

One of the professors teaching in the East Texas Baptist University School of Education, Dr. John Sargent, was featured in a story aired by KTBS-TV Shreveport. Dr. Sargent has been at ETBU since 2003 and over the weekend, Gerry May, evening anchor for KTBS-TV Shreveport, did a feature on Dr. Sargent and his wife, Kathleen.

Since Valentine’s Day was this past Saturday, the story for the Hometown Patriot segment, dealt with love. The Sergeants met in 1991 while serving our country in the U.S. Air Force at Dyess Air Force base located in Abilene, Texas.

To watch the story that aired on KTBS, click here.

Congratulations to the Sargent’s who will celebrate 23 years of marriage next month.

To find out more about the ETBU School of Education and its programs, click here


Tiger Softball Ranked High By NFCA

Posted by Tiger Pride in Athletics

preseason nat ranking softball

Starting off the season as one of the best NCAA Division III teams in the nation, the East Texas Baptist University softball team has been voted third in nation by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. ETBU received 186 points and was just three points off of being the second ranked team in the nation.

ETBU returns 15 players from last year’s team that went 45-10 and finished fifth at the NCAA Division III World Series.  With their program best 45 wins, the NFCA gave them a fourth place finish in the national poll. The 45 wins were the second most in the nation behind national champion Tufts University’s 47 wins.  ETBU is also three spots ahead of fellow ASC member Texas-Tyler who is tied for sixth place.

ETBU opens up their 2015 season on Friday, February 13th with a double-header against Hardin-Simmons at Taylor Field at 4:00 p.m.


ETBC Grad Retiring After 38 years in Ministry

Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni


Tiger Pride has learned from the latest digital edition of the Baptist Standard that East Texas Baptist College graduate Troy Richardson is retiring after 38 years in ministry.

Here is what was posted by the Baptist Standard:


Troy Richardson, Jan. 15, after seven years as pastor of First Baptist Church in Warren and 38 years in ministry. A graduate of East Texas Baptist College and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, he spent his first eight years as a pastor in Utah. Since 1985, he has served Texas churches in San Augustine, Bon Weir, Woodville, Amarillo and Warren. He and his wife, Bonnie, have four children.


Tiger Landon Price Votes As ASC’s Distinguished Scholar

Posted by Tiger Pride in Athletics, Honors

price landon asc award

East Texas Baptist University men’s cross country runner Landon Price has been awarded a prestigious academic award from the American Southwest Conference as the distinguished scholar athlete for his sport. He is the first for ETBU to receive this award under Natalie Bach-Prather.

Each school nominated an athlete for the award which was voted on by the sports information directors. Price was chosen out of seven nominees for the elite award.

The Distinguished Scholar-Athlete Teams recognizes student-athletes who achieve a high level of academic achievement (a 3.20 grade-point average or better) while competing as a starter or important reserve on their team. From that list – limited to one nominee per school in each ASC championship sport – the sports information directors from the 12 ASC member institutions select a Distinguished Scholar-Athlete in each sport. Below is Price’s bio for the award.

Landon Price (Mount Vernon, Texas / Mount Vernon HS) is a religion and missions major with a 3.89 grade point average. An Academic All-Conference selection, Price graduated in December with Dean’s List honors and is currently enrolled at East Texas Baptist as a graduate student. One of the best runners in program history, Price finished fourth at the ASC Championship and later competed in his second consecutive NCAA Division III South / Southeast Regional Meet. A two-time first team all-conference selection, Price broke the ETBU 8K record and recorded three top-five finishes last fall.


He is not a famous pastor but probably should be.

Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni

Retiring pastor Dr. Wallace Watkins, left, presents a Bible to Central Baptist Church's new pastor, Patrick Adair. Both Watkins & Adair are alumni of ETBU. (Courtesy photo)

Retiring pastor Dr. Wallace Watkins, left, presents a Bible to Central Baptist Church’s new pastor, Patrick Adair. Both Watkins & Adair are alumni of ETBU. (Courtesy photo)

Over the weekend, the Marshall News Messenger published a story written by Cait Shields about Dr. Wallace Watkins.  Bro. Wallace has retired as pastor of Central Baptist Church of Marshall. He joined Central almost 38 years ago.

The membership of Central held a service on January 11 to say farewell to Bro. Wallace and hello to their new pastor Patrick Adair.   

Bro. Patrick, a 2001 graduate of East Texas Baptist University, was quoted in the article saying, “There’s a friend of mine who said, Wallace Watkins is not a famous pastor but probably should be.”

I agree. My first contact with Bro. Wallace came in 1997 as he was serving as the Interim Pastor of Friendship Baptist Church of Marshall and Vice President for Spiritual Development at ETBU. I called him because the pulpit search committee at Friendship was showing interest in me becoming there next pastor.

He was very gracious on the phone and encouraging as we talked “pastor things” concerning Friendship.  As we finished the conversation he said, “Mike, anyway I can be of help to you, call me.”  I served as pastor of Friendship for six years before coming to ETBU as the Director of Public Relations in 2003. During those six years, when I ran into him he always asked, not in a casual way but in a concerned, caring way, “How are you doing?” 

When I arrived at ETBU and went by to visit with Bro. Wallace. He once again offered his help and welcomed me to the Hill. Bro. Wallace has been a friend to me since that first phone call and I wonder just how many others he and wife, Susie, have offered help to in the name of Jesus Christ?  The number has to be large.  

After Bro. Wallace served the first time at Central as pastor for 18 years (1977-1995), he served at ETBU which is his alma mater, for 10 years. He has helped many churches in his role as an intentional interim pastor after leaving the university. He did this type of ministry, helping churches, for five years then was called back to Central as pastor for a second time.

Bro. Wallace reflected in the Marshall News Messenger story, “Central Baptist had been going through a difficult time in its life, and while I never expected to serve as pastor there again, I received as clear an impression from God as I have ever received about anything. I needed to make myself available to go back to Central and see if the Lord could not use me to help them move back to focusing on those things for which they were established in 1943.”

During the past five years he served as pastor of Central, I have witnessed, how God has used him to prepare a church for its next chapter of service in the Kingdom of God. 

Like was said earlier, he is not famous but should be because of his love for His Savior and the love he has for others

The Watkins will remain members at Central and is looking forward to a new perspective being out in the pew. He said to close the story in the paper, “It will be so nice to have a pastor.”   

Bro. Wallace, thank you for your service to ETBU, Central Baptist Church, and to the community of Marshall, Texas.

(Copy from Marshall News Messenger ‘From the Hilltop’ blog written by ETBU Director of Public Relations Mike Midkiff.)

To read the story published in Marshall News Messenger, click here.


Tigers On the ASC Fall All-Academic Teams

Posted by Tiger Pride in Academics, Athletics, Honors


The American Southwest Conference has announced its 2014 Fall All-Academic Teams with 34 East Texas Baptist University student/athletes on the list. More than 350 student-athletes from 12 member institutions are on the honor list and include the sports of men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball.

To be eligible for ASC All-Academic honors, student-athletes must be classified academically as a sophomore, junior, senior or graduate student during the competition season and have been in attendance and completed at least one academic year (two consecutive semesters) at their institution. They must also have a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) as certified at the conclusion of the academic semester in which the ASC sport championship is held.

Making the 2014 ASC Fall All-Academic Teams from ETBU are:

Men’s Cross Country

Aaron Durham – Liberty, Texas

Nicolas Larzabal – Bogota, Columbia

Jack Perkins -  Anna, Texas

Landon Price – Mount Vernon, Texas

Ian Spencer – Marshall, Texas


Women’s Cross Country

Madison Kauffman – Sugarland, Texas

Megan Merrill – Mount Pleasant, Texas

Shelby Sparks – Richardson, Texas

Shelby Taylor – Flint, Texas



Travis Danford – Fort Worth, Texas

Bryce Hale – Quinlan, Texas

Ricky Jenkins – Fort Worth, Texas

Jacob McClain – Teague, Texas

Onisokien Osuamkpe – Rosharon, Texas

Cody Pruitt –  Huffman, Texas

Evan Simpson -  Dew, Texas

Josh Warbington -  Hallsville, Texas


Men’s Soccer

Justin Adams – Kilgore, Texas

Brett Forbus – Kilgore, Texas


Women’s Soccer

Kayla Cradit – Houston, Texas

Whitney Justice – Tyler, Texas

Sasha Kotowych – Humble, Texas

Erin Miller – Lumberton, Texas

Amber Pless – Willis, Texas

Christina Salas – College Station, Texas

Nicole Salom – Rockwall, Texas

Natalie Torres – Mabank, Texas



Nicole Buzzard – Round Rock, Texas

Megan Elrod – Irving, Texas

Kayla Green – Keller, Texas

Morgan Rupp – Mansfield, Texas

Mallory Sanders –  Mansfield, Texas

Kolby Sharp – Pearland, Texas

Kayla Taylor – Arlington, Texas