It’s a new year, and that calls for some new year’s resolutions. Sam Houston State sports saw a successful 2014 year in sports, but there is always room for improvements.
Here are just a few resolutions SHSU should strive for this year in programs that saw major success in its previous season.
Men’s basketball – Dance in March
The Bearkats are playing lights out this season. The men are currently riding a seven-game winning streak and hold a 12-4 overall record. The men are also first in the Southland Conference with an undefeated 4-0 record against conference teams. The team ranks third in the nation in total rebounds per game with 44.1 and is ranked 26th in the nation in points per game, scoring an average of 77.1. The Bearkats may have lost four games so far this season, but they were losses to quality teams in Nevada – Las Vegas (10-6), Texas A&M (9-5), Louisiana State (12-3) and Wofford College (13-4). With the way the season is playing out, it would not be a surprise if the SHSU men win the Southland Conference title and actually make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.
Football – Kats return, now go to Frisco
The “K.C. Keeler Era” began last season and it started with a bang. Sure the Kats began 1-3, but the team turned things around quickly. Some of SHSU’s players did not see spring practice, so some were unfamiliar with Keeler’s style and playbooks. Despite the lack of spring practice and the abysmal loss to eventual Division II National Champs Colorado State-Pueblo, the SHSU Football Program brought things together and finished the season 11-5, winning a share of the Southland Conference title and getting the automatic bid to the NCAA FCS Playoffs. The team would eventually fall short of Frisco losing in the semifinals to the eventual FCS National Champs North Dakota State. This next season will be different though. Keeler and his staff are actually able to really recruit, unlike last season due to his late hire, and the program will have strong spring practices. The most important factor is that the team is young and most of the starters will be returning to the team. With almost the same exact players and more practice, the only direction this team can go is up. The Bearkats should reach Frisco this year for the first time since 2012 and possibly winning the National Championship for the first time in school history.
Probably one of the most successful SHSU Athletic programs that get the least recognition is the Bearkat women’s bowling team. Last season, the women brought home the NCAA National Championship. History tends to repeat itself, and that may just happen with this team. The Bearkat bowling team ranked fifth in the December National Tenpin Coaches Association after finishing 51-20 in their five tournaments during the fall semester. Included in the 51 wins was a team championship at the Tulane Invitational, a runner-up finish at the FDU Jersey Jamboree and the Crusader Classic and third place at the UMES Hawk Classic. Even with new faces to the roster, there’s no reason the Kats should not bring a second straight National Championship to Huntsville.