UT Tyler

Patriot Athletics

Season Highlights

UT Tyler student-athletes continued their tradition of excellence during the 2012 spring season, winning championships, making national sports rankings and earning top awards in both athletics and academics.

Highlights of the season included:


Seventy-four UT Tyler students in athletics, athletic training and sports information received American Southwest Conference All-Academic honors for the 2011-12 winter and spring seasons.

To be eligible, one 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 at their institution. He or she must also have a 3.0 cumulative GPA as certified at the conclusion of the academic semester in which the ASC sport championship is held.

UT Tyler honorees were:

Men's Basketball – Dallas Bean of Orange, senior, kinesiology; and Erik DeRoo of Tyler, sophomore, kinesiology.

Women's Basketball – Emily Bechdol of Cedar Hill, senior, kinesiology; Melissa Thomas of Lake Travis, graduate student, business administration; Lindsey Hausmann of Lake Travis, senior, math; Shamiya Domino of Longview, senior, kinesiology; Lauren Glasco of Spring, junior, human resources; Nicole Tucker of Tyler, junior, kinesiology.

Baseball – Will Allen of Arp, junior, management; E.H. Almand of Tyler, junior, health studies; Jack Barkley of Athens, sophomore, accounting; Jake Beam of Bullard, sophomore, English; Billy Lirely of Tyler, sophomore, accounting; Cody Jones of Waskom, junior, kinesiology.

Also, Aaron McCain of Royse City, senior, nursing; Derek Miller of Flint, junior, civil engineering; Steven Paramore of Mansfield, sophomore, management; David Ring of San Diego, Calif., senior, management; Matt Sheppard of Humble, junior, marketing; Brian Shore of Longview, senior, management; Jacob Yanker of Tyler, junior, civil engineering.

Men's Golf -- Austin Quinten of Sand Springs, Okla., senior, political Science; Nick Holditch of Frisco, sophomore, business.

Women's Golf -- Callie Rice of Nome, senior, education.

Softball -- Brittney Batten of Huntington, junior, kinesiology; Joey Cronin of Celina, junior, kinesiology; Ashley Endsley of Paris, junior, interdisciplinary studies; Rachel Howell of Bossier City, La., junior, kinesiology; Taylor Petrick of Argyle, junior, kinesiology; Lauren Robenalt of San Antonio, sophomore, psychology; Taylor Sells of Lake Dallas, junior, interdisciplinary studies; Carli Wheeler of Baton Rouge, La., junior, psychology.

Men's Tennis – Kevin Singer of Dallas, junior, electrical engineering; Edward Timponi of Rio de Janiero, Brazil, sophomore, business; Matthew Vechione of El Paso, junior, civil engineering; Ethan LaPlante of Barrie, Ontario, junior, math; Morgan Graham of Ennis, sophomore, business; Kevin Wright of College Station, senior, finance.

Women's Tennis – Sydni Hermsdorf of Spring, senior, kinesiology; Morgan Wilkins of Wimberley, senior, kinesiology; Brittany Trich of Longview, senior, kinesiology; Ashley Albro of League City, senior, psychology.

Women's Track & Field – Corrie Trotter of Tyler, junior, psychology; Jennifer Cooke of Longview, sophomore, kinesiology; Taylin Eckols of San Antonio, junior, kinesiology; Kealey Gaggney of Wolfe City, sophomore, kinesiology; Ginny Murphy of Ovilla, junior, psychology; Sarah Hankla of Tyler, graduate student, psychology; Missy Heber of Hudson, sophomore, kinesiology; Baylee Talaska of San Antonio, junior, kinesiology.

Men's Track & Field – Derek Blain of Lumberton, sophomore, political science; Jacob Bremmer of Tyler, sophomore, kinesiology; Kyle Clawson of Tyler, sophomore, engineering; Tanner Conkel of Dallas, junior, kinesiology; Travis Crafton of Houston, sophomore, kinesiology; Ryan Davis of Houston, freshman, engineering; Monta Jeffley of Jefferson, junior, kinesiology; Christian Kearney of Dallas, sophomore, kinesiology.

Also, Carl Kornman of Tyler, freshman, engineering; Ed Palencia of Longview, senior, kinesiology; Ross Renfroe of Tyler, graduate student, psychology; Cesar Rodriguez of San Antonio, sophomore, kinesiology; Anthony Serino of Tyler, freshman, engineering; Chris Stonestreet of Hurst, senior, kinesiology; Jake Waddingham of Macksburg, Iowa, junior, journalism; Cody White of Troup, senior, business; Alex Wilson of McKinney, sophomore, engineering.

Athletic Training – Adam Greer of Lindale, junior, kinesiology; Raul Ramos of Longview, senior, kinesiology.

Sports Information – Jake Waddingham of Macksburg, Iowa, junior, journalism; Meagan Hardy of Lindale, senior, kinesiology; Jeff Clark of Quitman, junior, business; Jeff Williford of Lindale, senior, communication.


Patriots Victor Almendariz of men's soccer and Melissa Thomas of women's basketball joined graduating student-athletes from each of the 16 ASC member institutions in receiving the 2011-12 ASC Scholar-Athlete Medal of Honor Award on their respective campuses.

The award is presented to one male and one female graduating student with the most outstanding record in academics, athletics and leadership over their collegiate career.

Almendariz concluded his career as a Patriot by helping lead the UT Tyler men's soccer team to the national quarterfinals. A two-time First Team All-American Southwest Conference honoree, Almendariz also was named to the All-West Region Team. He received First Team All-America honors for the 2012 season.

Thomas twice overcame serious injuries and surgery during her career to grab the UT Tyler records for most points, three-pointers made and games started. She served as team captain her junior and senior years. As a graduate student, Thomas continued playing for the Patriots while working full-time as an accountant.


Amendariz and Thomas were named Male and Female Athletes of the Year, respectively, during UT Tyler's 2012 athletic awards banquet. The event also included induction of Amendariz and 11 other student-athletes into the Chi Alpha Sigma National College Athlete Honor Society.

Chi Alpha Sigma recognizes collegiate students who receive a varsity letter in their sport while maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.4 throughout their junior and senior years.

The 11 other honorees were:

Baseball – David Ring.

Men's Basketball – Dallas Bean.

Men's Cross Country – Jake Waddingham.

Men's Golf – Austin Quinten.

Men's Soccer – Jesus Morteo and Justin NeSmith.

Men's Tennis – Kevin Wright.

Men's Track & Field – Ed Palencia.

Softball – Brittney Batten.

Volleyball – Danika Waldrep.

Women's Golf – Callie Rice.



The Patriots finished the season with a 33-12 overall record, including a share of the ASC East Division crown – their sixth straight division title and seventh in the last eight seasons.

ABCA All-Region – Three players were named to the American Baseball Coaches Association All-Region team, including a nod to the ABCA Gold Glove Team. T.J. Martin and Hayden Chick were named to the First Team, while teammate Aaron McCain was named to the Second Team.

ASC All-Conference – Martin, Chick, McCain, Issac Tijerina, Jack Barkley and David Ring made the ASC East First Team, while Derek Miller and Michael Blevins were named Newcomer and Freshman of the Year, respectively.

ASC Players of the Week – Pitchers of the Week were Blevins and Parker Sheets. Hitters of the Week were Chick, McCain and Billy Lirely.


The UT Tyler men's team ended the year ranked sixth in the nation after winning the ASC Championship and placing sixth at the NCAA Championships. The Patriots won six tournaments, tying for the most in the nation, and ranked in the top three in the nation for adjusted scoring average.

The women's team finished second at the ASC tournament with senior Danica Weddle receiving a bid to the national tournament as an individual. The women won three tournaments and finished the year ranked 17th in the nation.

Coach the Year – Coach King Campbell was named the Golf Coaches Association of America-Eaton Golf Pride West Region Coach of the Year for the second time in his career at UT Tyler.

All-America, All-West – Weddle was named to the National Golf Coaches Association's Division III All-America team as an honorable mention selection. She also was named to the All-West Region First Team.

PING All-Region – Trent Boudoin, John Dukes and Jacob Walsh were named to the NCAA Division III PING All-West Region Team.

ASC All-Conference – Patriot men honored were Walsh, Dukes and Boudoin, First Team; and Matt Stephens and Joey Rippel, Second Team. Patriot women honorees were Weddle, First Team; and Katie Crawford, Second Team.

ASC Golfers of the Week – Spring season honorees were Patriot men Matt Stephens (three times) and Joey Rippel and Patriot women Weddle (three times), Crawford and Jordan Sloan.


UT Tyler concluded the season 39-9 (20-4 ASC East) and was ranked sixth by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. The Patriots were NCAA Regional Runners-Up, ASC Champions and ASC East Division Champions.

All-Americans – Katelyn Thomason was named to the NFCA All-America Second Team and Joey Cronin was voted to the Capital One Academic All-America Second Team.

To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings and be nominated by his/her sports information director.

NFCA All-Region Team – Named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association's All Region First Team were Thomason, Cronin and Heather Abshire. Second Team honorees were Ashley Endsley and Taylor Petrick.

All-ASC Honors – Thomason was voted the ASC East Division Player of the Year and Endsley was named Newcomer of the Year.

In addition to Thomason and Endsley, Cronin and Abshire were selected to the First Team. Rachel Howell and Taylor Petrick were Second Team All-Division selections. Lauren Robenalt received honorable mention.

Coaching Staff of the Year – Head coach Mike Reed and assistants Megan Dobrinski, Christy Shipley-Gipson, Coby Gipson and Whitney Wyly received the East Division Coaching Staff of the Year Award.

Sportsmanship Team of the Year – The Patriots were among winners of the ASC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Team Sportsmanship Award for 2011-12 winter and spring sports. The award honors the member institution in each ASC championship sport that best displays positive qualities of sportsmanship and fair play from its student-athletes, coaches and fans throughout the season.

ASC Players of the Week – Thomason and Abshire both received Hitter and Pitcher of the Week honors during the season.


Both UT Tyler teams won ASC Championships and made their fifth-straight appearance in the NCAA Championships. The women finished the season with a record of 18-4 (6-0 ASC East). The men's record for the season was 17-5 (6-0 ASC).

NCAA Scholarship, Distinguished Scholar-Athlete – Kevin Wright was awarded an elite NCAA spring sports postgraduate scholarship for $7,500. To qualify, student-athletes must excel academically and athletically, maintaining a 3.2 GPA. They also must be in their final year of eligibility and plan to pursue graduate study.

Wright also earned the Distinguished Scholar-Athlete title in men's tennis for academic and athletic achievement.

Women's All-ASC – The women's team swept the East Division's superlative honors. Amy Friesenhahn was named the Most Valuable Player and Freshman of the Year. Jennifer Payne was Newcomer of the Year and Sydni Hermsdorf was Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year.

Head coach Chris Bizot was named Coach of the Year for both men's and women's teams.

Friesenhahn, Payne, Brittany Trich and Morgan Wilkins were named to the All-Conference Team and joined Ashley Albro on the All-East Division First Team.

The Patriots swept both All-Conference and First Team All-Division doubles honors with Friesenhahn/Hermsdorf, Jessica Blundell/Payne and Albro/Wilkins all being honored. Blundell was voted Second Team All-Division in singles.

Men's All-ASC – Individual players Wright, Kevin Singer, Edward Timponi, Rob Hodous, Doug Kierstead and Joey Hendrie and the doubles pair of Ryan Spencer and Singer were selected to the All-Conference Team.

In separate honors for the East Division, Singer, Timponi and Hodous were named to the singles First Team, while the duos of Spencer/Singer and Wright/Houdous were voted to the doubles First Team.

In superlative honors, Hodous was the East Division's Tri-Freshman of the Year and Wright was the Co-Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year.

Earning Second Team honors were Spencer, Wright and Kierstead. Hendrie and Kierstead were also Second Team All-East Division in doubles.

Intercollegiate Tennis Association Awards – Bizot was named the Wilson/ITA West Region Women's Tennis Coach of the Year, while Wright was selected as the region's Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship honoree.

ASC Players of the Week – Patriot men honored during the season were Singer, Hodous, Spencer, Timponi, Wright and Kierstad. Patriot women honored were Friesenhahn (twice), Trich, Hermsdorf, Albro, Payne and Wilkins.


The UT Tyler men and women finished second and fifth, respectively, at the 2012 ASC Track and Field Championships. Both teams set new school records during the season.

All America – Buck Thompson was the Patriot men's first-ever multi-event qualifier to the NCAA Track & Field Championships. Thompson earned All-America honors by finishing fifth in the men's discus with a 52.64-meter throw. He also qualified for the NCAAs in shot put, where he came in 16th with a 15.65-meter mark.

Setting Records – Patriot women Kelly McQuaid and Andrea Barnes set new school records at the UT Tyler Marc Randle Classic. McQuaid finished first in the 800 meter run, with a time 2:22.53, while Barnes finished fifth in the 400 meter with a time of 1:01.16.

At the UTA Bobby Layne Invitational, men's team member Christian Kearney set a record with an impressive triple jump of 14.35 m (47 feet), which put him in fifth place.

Athlete of the Week – Thompson was honored as ASC Track and Field Male Athlete of the Week after winning the shot put title at the Texas A&M-Kingsville Invitational with a program record toss of 11.75.

UT Tyler