Two Lady Student/Athletes Honored by ASC

Posted by Tiger Pride in Athletics, Honors

Two East Texas Baptist University women student/athletes were honored by the American Southwest Conference as outstanding players in their respective sports for games played April 6-13th.   Softball player Shelby Parker was named Pitcher of the Week and Elizabeth Morton  Women’s Player of the week.

parker asc pitch

ETBU starting pitcher Shelby Parker won three games to improve to 13-0 on the season and win the American Southwest Conference Pitcher of the Week Award.

Two games she pitches were shutouts, including her 3-0 shutout of Division II Ouachita Baptist. In that game she struck out four batters and only allowed one walk. In her first of two starts against Ozarks, she struck out the first six batters faced and allowed her only run in the fifth on an RBI single. In her second start of the series against Ozarks she allowed just two hits and struck out six in four innings of a five inning game.

It is the fourth time in her career she has won Pitcher of the Week in the ASC.

morton tennis pow

Following teammates Sierra Pizarro and Kate Bramlett earlier this season, Elizabeth Morton has now been named Women’s Tennis Player of the Week in the American Southwest Conference.

She won third flight singles against Ozarks’ Andrea Munoz (6-0, 6-0) in her first time playing in the third flight this season. She also won top flight doubles with Karah Hedquist 8-2 over Mollie Wilkinson and Megan Wallace. She helped move ETBU to 2-0 in ASC play this season. This is the first time Morton has won the award.

The Lady Tiger women’s tennis team has qualified as the #2 seed for the ASC Tournament which is the first-time ever for the program. ETBU will be the #2 seed from the ASC East in the ASC Tournament and will face Mary Hardin-Baylor on April 23rd in Tyler, Texas.


“I Love It When A Plan Comes Together!”

Posted by Tiger Pride in Student Life

symphony tiger pride

Do you remember the television series The A-Team?  The show was an action-adventure series starring George Peppard as John “Hannibal” Smith. This is the show that also boosted the fame of “Mr T” during the 1980’s.

There was a line that Hannibal used often in the series, do you remember it? “I love it when a plan comes together.”  That line is so appropriate for what I experienced this past Saturday night at the S.E. Belcher Jr. Chapel and Performance Center at LeTourneau University in Longview.

The event was the Longview Symphony Orchestra Concert Series presenting “Freedom Rings A Celebration of America.”  The concert also featured the choirs of East Texas Baptist University and Wiley College.

The guest conductor was ETBU’s Dean of the School of Fine Arts Dr. Thomas R. Webster with special guests Dr. Justin Hodges, ETBU Director of Choral Activities and Wiley College Choir Director Professor Stephen L. Hayes.

The first part of the program featured the symphony as they played American Salute, Hymn to the Fallen, Fanfare for the Common Man, Variations on America and Stars and Stripes Forever. Following an intermission, the choirs joined the performance. The second half of the program included Overture to Candide, Dry Your Tears, A`frika, Shout for Joy and America the Beautiful.

The ETBU choir program invited all alumni to sing in the performance as well as they held a reunion event before the performance. I saw and said hello to former Miss ETBU Kelly Mills (2007), Rachel “Farley” Massey, Amanda “Bean” Thompson and Ashley “Bean” Sterrett, all past members of the ETBU Choir.


The evening of music and song was wonderful. I personally enjoyed before the concert the acappella performances of both choirs in the foyer of The Belcher Center. The choirs were up on the walkways of the second and third floors singing to those below in the foyer.  The voices were sweetness to the ears below.

After the performance I was on stage and witnessed Dr. Webster, Dr. Hodges and Professor Hayes celebrate together. Dr. Webster told his two colleagues, “Thank you for your hard work, I could not have done this without you.”

What a great showing of team work between the Longview Symphony League and Orchestra, East Texas Baptist University, Wiley College and the staff of The Belcher Center to provide the East Texas community with an event that was encouraging and inspiring.

“I love it when a plan comes together.”

(The column was published in the Marshall News Messenger. Mike Midkiff is the Director of Public Relations at ETBU)


ETBU Grad Helping Disaster Victims

Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni

alicia ethridgeA 2012 graduate of East Texas Baptist University, Alicia Ethridge, was featured in a story on Mesquite’s Online News and Information Destitution ionmesquite.com. Ethridge is participating in FEMA Corps- An AmeriCorps National Civilian Corps program.

The program enlists young adults to assist disaster victims across the country while expanding career opportunities. The Mesquite native will spend 10 months serving with FEMA Corps. This time of service will allow her to be eligible for almost $6,000 to pay for college loans she inquired while earning her bachelor’s degree in psychology and speech communication from ETBU.

Volunteer service is not new for Ethridge.  In June of 2009,  she participated in an effort with other ETBU students working alongside Faith Baptist Church delivering blessing bags to the citizens of Deport, Texas. Deport is a small town of 700 in Northeast Texas, just south of Paris.

While at ETBU, Ethridge was a contestant in the 55th Miss ETBU Pageant and won second place in the annual Bennett Speech Contest in 2011 sponsored by the ETBU Department of Communication.

To read the complete story about Ethridge by Kent Miller at ionmesquite.com, click here.


My Tigers Will Win!

Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni, Just for Fun, Memories on the Hill

Jason, Addie and Julia Pfingsten courtside at the ETBU NCAA Division III Sweet 16 game played in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.  Photo by Mike Midkiff

Jason, Addie and Julia Pfingsten courtside at the ETBU NCAA Division III Sweet 16 game played in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Photo by Mike Midkiff

When the Pfingsten’s of Centerville, Minnesota heard that the East Texas Baptist University Tiger basketball team would be playing their NCAA Division III Sweet 16 game against Northwestern-St. Paul in Stevens Point, Wisconsin they were excited.  The reason being is that Addie, a 2002 ETBU grad, is married to Jason, an alumnus of Northwestern-St. Paul.  Since Stevens Point was close by, plans were made to be courtside when the Tigers and Eagles tipped off this past March 13.

Addie admits that the trash talking about who would win the match-up began with her. “I have been the one doing the most trash talking. Living here in Minnesota and being married to a man passionate about most sports, I have always helped cheer on ‘his’ teams.  Now that ‘my’ team is the one playing against one of ‘his,’ I have done my fair share of trash talking,” said Addie.

Addie and Jason made the three hour drive to be in the stands, bringing one of their three daughters to watch whose alma mater would be victorious.

Addie shared, “As soon as I found out about the matchup, I went online and ordered some gear for my youngest and I to wear at the game, and we made a pact to cheer on whichever team made it to the game on Saturday.”

“It was definitely a kind hearted trash talking, but don’t get me wrong, every morning I would pull out an old ETBU t-shirt and wear it. Thanks to my fond memories of my ETBU days, I haven’t let go of too much of my ETBU gear,” said Addie.

After teaching in elementary schools for nine years, Addie made the decision to be a stay-at-home mom to Mallory (10 years-old), Marissa (6 years-old) and Julia (3 years-old).  She also assists Jason in the family business called Thirst Missions (www.thirstmissions.org).

“Our organization brings groups from all over North America to minister to the Belizeans.  We bring college and youth groups, medical teams, family groups, as well as many more, down to Belize and help facilitate their ministry experience,” said the true blooded Tiger grad originally from Bay City, Texas. “We organize their housing, transportation, and food, to providing ministry opportunities such as construction, Bible schools, medical work, and orphanages for the teams. Our goal is to partner up teams with churches and schools in Belize and to build a partnership they can continue for years to come.”

Addie has a deep fondness for her time on the Hill. “I have so many great memories from ETBU that it might be hard to pick just one,” she said.

“My friendships that I made with my Merle Bruce third floor hall mates have to be the basis for all my great memories. From having amazing dorm parents, Dave and Christy Collins, to professors such as Dr. John Harris and Dr. Bruce Tankersley, who led a class trip, I was on to Greece to learn about Paul’s Missionary Journey.”

“The guidance and counseling of Dr. Donna Dooley, who encouraged me on my first teaching job overseas in Russia, to being a part of Student Foundation, led by Dr. Catherine Crawford. I loved ETBU, and all the experiences and friendships that continue from being a part of it.  Those third floor hall mates are still my closest friendships to this day.”

etbu stevens point 1



A Tiger Pride “high five” to Addie for her dedication and enthusiasm for her alma mater who beat her husband’s alma mater, 70-46, to advance to the “Elite 8” of the NCAA Division III National Basketball Championship Tournament.

(Note: ETBU alumnae Amanda Zagrzewbki was also at the games played in Stevens Point. Amanda, who graduated in 2001, is from Stevens Point and lives there today working in a family business. The Stevens Point Journal did a story on her while the Tigers were in Wisconsin. Click here to read. )


Shelby Parker NFCA National/ASC Pitcher of the Week

Posted by Tiger Pride in Athletics, Honors

parker national pitcher of the weekAdding to already stellar career at East Texas Baptist University, graduate student pitcher Shelby Parker (Brazoria, Texas) has been named the NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) National and American Southwest Conference Pitcher of the Week. This is the second time in her career she has been named the national pitcher of the week.

“We are really excited for Shelby as she has done a great job for our program over the past few years and she is really throwing the ball well now and we are excited for her and the honor,” says head coach Janae Shirley.

Parker went 3-0 last week with a 0.88 ERA and 22 strikeouts not walking a batter. She earned her first win in a 5-2 dual with then #4 Texas-Tyler handing them their first loss of the season. In the last three innings vs. Texas-Tyler, she retired the side to ensure the win, too. She followed that with 10 strikeouts each in shutout wins over Concordia-Texas in games one and three of the series.

She was also the ASC Pitcher of the Week on March 23rd.  Last year, she was the NFCA National Pitcher of the Week on March 5th.

This year she is 10-0 with 98 strikeouts and only 11 walks in 67.2 innings pitched. She also has three saves and a 1.76 overall ERA.

ETBU is currently 17-2 and ranked third in the latest NFCA National Poll.


Two ETBU Staff Members Win TAPME State Awards

Posted by Tiger Pride in Faculty/Staff, Honors

blogs photo

Two East Texas Baptist University staff members have won state awards for the blogs they write for the Marshall News Messenger website.

At the annual Texas Associated Press Managing Editors Conference held in Waco (3/29/15), in the Best Blog category for  similar size papers in the state,  Ryan Lueders, Schedule/Records Assistant in the Registrar office,  received the second place award. Mike Midkiff, Director of Public Relations in Enrollment Management and Marketing, received the third place award.

Lueder’s “Reel Ryan’s Movie Reviews” blog, brings a unique look at movies through the perspective of an actor who watches a ton of films, and also has a local Marshall perspective.

Midkiff’s  “From the Hilltop” blog, is about the good that happens at ETBU through the lives of students, faculty, and staff.

To read blogs by Lueder click here.

To read blogs by Midkiff click here.

The editorial staff of the Marshall News Messenger entered the blogs in the statewide completion. Each year, the TAPME joins the headliners Foundation of Texas to recognize outstanding journalism as practiced by the state’s daily newspapers.

The staff of the Marshall News Messenger also did well at the annual convention winning many awards.  Among the honors were first place in the Freedom of Information category and Star Online Package of the year.  Click here to read “Marshall News Messenger wins at Texas APME.”

To see the complete list TAPME winners click here.


Bramlett Named ASC East Player of the Week

Posted by Tiger Pride in Athletics, Honors

bramlett pow

For the second time this season the East Texas Baptist University women’s tennis team has an American Southwest Conference East Division player of the week. Kate Bramlett earned the award this week for her play over two matches. Sierra Pizarrio has also earned the award this spring.

Bramlett had her best weekend of the year posting a 2-0 singles and doubles mark. In a 6-3 loss to Southwestern, she scored a point at #1 singles and #1 doubles. Then, in the 9-0 shutout win over Howard Payne, she also scored two points.

Against Southwestern, she won 6-1, 6-3, and then teamed with Elizabeth Morton to win #1 doubles, 8-1. She then took a 6-2, 6-0 win vs. Howard Payne at #1 singles and won #1 doubles, 8-2.

The win over Howard Payne was also the first for ETBU this year.


Pizarro Named ASC Player of the Week

Posted by Tiger Pride in Athletics, Honors

tennis player of the week.Earning East Texas Baptist University’s first American Southwest Conference award of the year is junior Sierra Pizarro. She has been named the ASC East tennis player of the week.

She scored two of ETBU’s four points in a 5-4 loss to Mary Hardin-Baylor. She won the #3 singles match, 6-1, 6-2, over Hayley Hicks. She then teamed with Jabree McClain for an 8-6 win at #2 doubles.

ETBU will host Southwestern and Howard Payne this weekend at the Veterans Memorial Tennis Courts.


Bert West Named Coach of the Year

Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni, Athletics, Honors

west coach of the year south

Adding more accolades to the historic season, head coach Bert West has been named the D3Hoops.com South Region “Coach of the Year.” It is his second coach of the year award this season as he was also the American Southwest Conference coach of the year.

West took a team that was voted to finish seventh in the American Southwest Conference and had a Bennett Ranking of 171 to the NCAA Division III Elite Eight.  He also guided his team to their first-ever American Southwest Conference regular season and tournament championships and a 3-1 record in the NCAA Tournament.

West, a native of Arkansas, is a graduate of ETBU as well as a former Tiger basketball play.

Other accomplishments the team had this year were 26 wins which are the second most in program history, an 8-0 start (program best), a 10-game winning streak (program best), first-ever NCAA Division III national ranking at 25th, and the second longest home winning streak in NCAA Division III at 22 games. ETBU also had one of the top defensive shooting percentages in the nation, too.

ETBU defeated Hendrix College, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, and Northwestern-St. Paul in the NCAA Tournament before falling in the Elite Eight. ETBU also defeated conference champions Texas Lutheran (SCAC), Centenary (SCAC regular season), Hendrix (UAA), Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (SCIAC), and Northwestern-St. Paul (UMAC).

Click here to watch Coach West on the ETBU Extra Show.



Classroom Interruptions Can Be Good

Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni, Honors

ETBU Alum Bethany Bradley was recently named Teacher of the Year for Bonnette Junior High (Dear Park ISD). Photo: Facebook

ETBU Alum Bethany Bradley was recently named Teacher of the Year for Bonnette Junior High (Dear Park ISD). Photo: Facebook

School teachers do not like interruptions in their classrooms when they are teaching. Some distractions are good. East Texas Baptist University alum Bethany Bradley was involved in teaching her seventh grade reading class when she heard the Bonnette Junior High (Deer Park ISD) fight song being played in the hallway.

Bradley shared, “The symphonic band came marching down the hall to our fight song and interrupted class.  My principal had a bouquet of flowers for me.”

Why the interruption? Bradley, who graduated from ETBU in 2009 with a degree in Elementary Education with an Emphasis in Reading, was being presented the Teacher of the Year Award for Bonnettee Junior High.  The Pullman, Washington native will now be nominated for the Deer Park ISD Teacher of the Year Award.

This is her third year teaching at Bonnette and she taught three years prior in the Cy-Fair ISD. Bradley enjoys the relationships she creates with her students and the celebration of growth as they learn.

Her fondest memory of her days on the Hilltop, “ETBU’s education program offered so many different opportunities to be in so many different classrooms. Without that, I wouldn’t be teaching middle school, I would be in lower elementary having no idea I would have missed out on the fun age of middle school. One of my professors, Dr. Paul Vickers actually forced me to try middle school, knowing I would fall in love, and he was exactly right.”

In the essay Bradley wrote as part of the Teacher of the Year process she writes:

“Teaching is about making a difference, building confidence that never even existed before, and finding ways to make each other better no matter what we are doing. My heart beats for students who have had a rough life, who have to work harder than the average Joe to keep up, who think they hate to read and write, for it is with these students that the planted seeds sprout and blossom to the surprised delight of a cynical world. When my year is done with each of these loves, I will send them on with the hope that each will continue to bear fruit, to their own satisfaction and the benefit of their families, friends, and associates.”