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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Bobcat sports: A 2021-2022 year in review

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Texas State senior infielder Dalton Shuffield (8) slides back into first base on a pick-off attempt during the Bobcat’s first game of the NCAA Baseball Stanford Regional against UC Santa Barbara, Friday, June 3, 2022, at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond in Palo Alto, California. The Bobcats defeated the Gauchos 7-3.

The Texas State athletic department exceeded expectations during the 2021-2022 school year, with an end result of the school’s second-ever Vic Bubas Cup, an award given to the top athletic department in the Sun Belt Conference. 
Under the helm of Athletic Director Don Coryell in his first year leading the department, the Bobcats beat out South Alabama for the award and won two regular season Sun Belt Championships in baseball and men’s basketball. Texas State also had eight different teams place in the top four of the Sun Belt Conference in their respective sport. 
As President Kelly Damphousse begins his first year at Texas State, he recognizes the accomplishment the Vic Bubas Cup represents. Named the tenth president in April, Damphousse understands the importance of the athletic department on a college campus.
“Athletics is so important to the modern American university,” Damphousse said. “For many people, the only thing they know about the school is the athletics program.”
For the athletics department, the praise from Damphousse is more than deserved. Academically, more than half of the teams had a team GPA higher than 3.0 with 126 student-athletes achieving a 3.5 GPA or higher, and 50 student-athletes earning a 4.0 GPA. 
The athletic performance of the Bobcats mirrored their academic success. 
Bobcat football finished its 2021 campaign with a 4-8 record. The season consisted of three one-score losses that built on the frustrations of Bobcat fans, but the team had solid individual performances despite its overall finish. 
Junior runningback Jahyml Jeter played in all 12 games while leading the team in rushing touchdowns with eight. His teammate in the backfield, sophomore running back Calvin Hill, started all 12 games, led the team in rushing yards (714), and finished top-10 in the Sun Belt Conference in rushing. 
Overall, however, head coach Jake Spavital said the team has not been playing up to their expectations and standards.
“I think we’ve done a great job over the last three years of developing a culture,” Spavital said. “We’ve gotta make huge strides as a team from an efficiency standpoint… we have not been playing up to standards and expectations that we have.”
Soccer will start its 2022 season with a new head coach, Steve Holeman. Under long-time head coach Kat Conner’s last season as a Bobcat, the team finished with a record of 7-8-2. 
Kiara Gonzales led the team with five goals and 13 points on her way to her second Texas State Offensive Player of the Year award. The 2022 team captain, Kamaria Williams, was one of two players to start all 17 games in the 2021 season.
Women’s basketball finished its season 15-14, and due to a second-half surge that propelled them to the Sun Belt Conference Championship, the team came away with a win in the playoffs. Ultimately, a 53-70 loss to Little Rock ended the season, but key players like graduate students Da’Nasia Hood and Kennedy Taylor served key roles in the playoff run. 
Hood led the team in points-per-game (PPG) with 16.9, winning Sun Belt Conference player of the week once while also being named to the All-Conference First-Team. Hood was named to the All-Conference Second-Team and earned her second Star of Excellence award for her academic success.
Following two eight-plus game win streaks, men’s basketball also took home a Sun Belt Conference championship with an overall record of 21-8. The Bobcats were the first Sun Belt team in nine years to have a .800 winning percentage in back-to-back seasons.
Their season ended against North Texas in overtime of the Sun Belt Conference Quarterfinals, but the regular season performance by the Bobcats was enough for the athletics department to sign head coach Terrence Johnson to an extension through the 2026-2027 season.
Texas State’s track and field program was etched in history because of thrower Alyssa Wilson. As a redshirt senior last year, the 14-time All-American set the school record with a 22.84-meter weight throw. Wilson also broke the collegiate record with a 74.78-meter hammer throw, which was the seventh-best hammer throw in the world at the time.
Senior sprinter Dominick Yancy brought home four Sun Belt individual championships en route to a Sun Belt Conference Outdoor Men’s Newcomer of the Year award. In his first year in the Sun Belt, Yancy was the indoor and outdoor 400-meter champion and was named to the All-Conference First-Team for both indoor and outdoor track. 
Softball ranked top 50 in the country in attendance due to a record number of season tickets sold. The Bobcats finished second in the Sun Belt Conference with an overall record of 38-19. The team won three games in the Sun Belt Conference tournament but ultimately fell short in the conference championship game against Louisiana.
Jessica Mullins was one of many bright spots on the softball squad. The three-time Sun Belt Conference pitcher of the week won her first Sun Belt Conference pitcher of the year award while being named to her second All-Conference First-Team in as many years. 
Across the complex, the baseball team had the most successful year in program history. A record of 47-14 overall carried them to a Sun Belt Conference championship in Alabama and to the NCAA Stanford regional championship game. The Bobcats ultimately made it to the regional final for the first time ever in program history. Despite heroic efforts from recent Chicago White Sox draftee Tristan Stivors, the Bobcats fell short in the sixth and final game of the championship to a walk-off hit.
Stivors, who was selected in the 16th round of the 2022 MLB Draft, said the closeness of the baseball team largely contributed to their success.
“We had an incredible season,” Stivors said. “The group of guys I had was just awesome. I’m gonna remember those guys for the rest of my life.”
Stivors, the nation’s save leader, was not the only Bobcat to get drafted by an MLB organization. Sun Belt Conference player of the year Dalton Shuffield was selected to the Minnesota Twins in the eighth round. 
Baseball also broke attendance records, with the highest attended game in school history resulting in a loss against the University of Texas in March.
Football symbolizes the start of a year of collegiate sports, and with football fall practices underway and the season approaching, the Bobcats have begun preparing for their upcoming season and will look to improve upon their overall 2021 record.
Entering his fourth year as head coach, Jake Spavital relates the frustrations of the fans with his own, acknowledging the athletic department’s goals for the upcoming year.
“We’ve built a lot on our culture and these kids know how to work,” Spavital said. “Now it’s how we gotta translate it to the field.”

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