Posted by : August 7, 2014| On :
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
CEDAR CREEK LAKE—Nine young people between the ages of 7 and 17 came back as champions from an international competition in Grapevine – The Legends of Kung Fu Tournament July 19-21. Each one trains at the Five Tigers Kung Fu School in Mabank.
Each Five Tigers competitor came back with a gold medal in her/his fighting division. Their sensei, Ellis Beam, said there were 225 competitors, both boys and girls, in beginner, intermediate and advance divisions.
“All our students returned with gold medals in their fighting division,” he said. “It’s rewarding to know the training these students are getting here and the effort they are making is recognized within the larger martial arts community.” The school has about 30 students in all, he said.
For some, it was their first competition in the Chinese martial art form. Zachary Kong, 7, has been training for two years. He said, “I feel good about winning.” He won gold in the beginner sparring division. He was also excited to receive a red pair of nunchucks, his parents purchased at the competition for him. He also won a silver medal in forms.
Forms are a string of movements done in succession which are judged on the timing of the movements, speed, agility, technique and stance – which demonstrates the competitor’s strength. Each form has a name, such as Plum Flower, Ung Long Choy and Plum Flower Staff.
Sparring is free-style fighting while wearing protective gear.
Seven-year-old Maggie Williams came back with two gold medals – one in sparring and a second in forms. She’s been with the school for nearly a year. She really liked looking over the weapons on display at the competition.
Sarah Beam, 8, competed at the intermediate level winning gold medals in sparring and forms and a silver in weapons, using a saber. She said practice made the difference in her performance. “I practice my forms every day,” she said.
Logan Atkinson, 10, competed at the advanced level taking gold in forms and bronze in weapons – spear.
Eleven-year-old Lee Anne Kong has been training with Five Tigers Kung Fu School for two years and this was her first competition. She said she really had a lot of fun being with her friends. She brought back a gold, silver and bronze medal in sparring, forms and weapons, saber.
Hunter Stipe, 12, just started on his second year of training. He’s involved in lots of different sports all year long, but is really excited about his martial arts training. He feels the training makes him stronger and work harder than he would otherwise. He expects the training to give him an edge in his other sports activities, and even in his scouting. He described the competition as an “awesome opportunity.” He also earned two gold medals in the beginner division for sparring and forms. “I feel proud of myself.”
Twelve-year-old Natalie Smith trains at the dojo four times a week and has been with the school for four years. Sparring is her favorite because “You have this feeling of pushing yourself to the limit so you can win,” she said. “Sparring is a lot of fun.” She competed at the advanced level and won a gold medal in sparring and silver in hand forms.
Addison Tregre, 15, is a first-degree black belt and also serves as an instructor at the school. She took gold medals in forms and sparring at the advanced level and a bronze medal in weapons – spear. She’s been practicing kung fu for eight years and trains three times a week. Since she’s been to a couple of these competitions in the past, she wasn’t as nervous as she has been in the past, so she enjoyed watching the other competitors. She feels that her practice of the martial arts has given her a sense of confidence and self respect.
Ariel Ashton, 17, just started martial arts last year and has really seen a difference in herself. “I didn’t have a lot of self-confidence before and I didn’t have many friends,” she said. All that’s different now. “I used to never talk to people, now I talk a lot more.” She’s an honor student at Eustace High School. She competed as a beginner and earned gold medals in sparring and forms.
Two adult Tai Chi students also competed. Ben Edens won gold in straight sword and second in hand forms. His wife, Isabelle, gained a bronze medal in hand forms.
Posted by : August 3, 2014| On :
Budke to be inducted into 2015 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame
Special to The Monitor
ATHENS–Trinity Valley Community College (TVCC) 1993-2000 head Lady Cardinals women’s basketball coach Kurt Budke will be inducted into the Class of 2015 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame June 13, 2015, in Knoxville, Tenn.
Budke died in a plane crash in 2011.
During his coaching years, the team appeared in the national tournament six times, winning four national championship titles.
In Budke’s career at TVCC, the Lady Cardinals lost at home only twice.
He led the team to some of their best season records ever, including an undefeated 36-0 season in 1999.
At the junior college level, Budke has a combined record of 273-31 (.898), resulting in the highest winning percentage in National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) history.
He was the NJCAA National Coach of the Year in both 1995 and 1998 and was the Texas Coaches Association Coach of the Year for each of the four years the Lady Cardinals took the national title.
In addition, he is the youngest coach to ever be inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Association Hall of Fame.
From 2002-05 at Louisiana Tech, he compiled a record of 80-16 leading Louisiana Tech to three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances.
At Oklahoma State, his teams went 112-83 highlighted by a Sweet 16 appearance in 2008.
That same year, he became a member of the inaugural class of the TVCC Cardinal Hall of Fame.
Budke is one of six inductees, joining players Janeth Arcain, Janet Harris, Lisa Leslie, and coaches Gail Goestenkors and Brad Smith.
Posted by : July 31, 2014| On :
Defensive specialist wears unique jersey and sub freely
By Erik Walsh
Monitor Staff Writer
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–While at a volleyball game, the casual volleyball fan may look on the floor and notice one player for each team does not look like the others – she wears a different jersey and makes frequent substitutions in and out of the game. This unique positional player is called the libero, (luh-bare-oh) and, for some, the pronunciation of the position may be as tough as understanding what exactly her role is on the court.
The libero is a relatively new position in volleyball. It was first introduced to international and club volleyball in 2002 and made its way to the high school scene in 2006. The libero is a back-row passing and defensive specialist that may enter and leave the game without counting as one of a high school team’s 18 substitutions per game. When substituting, the libero may only replace a player in the back-row position and can only be replaced by a player that she enters the game for.
This substitution freedom allows coaches to keep the shorter, more agile players in the back row (they are generally better at quickly getting to the floor to dig up a ball), while keeping taller players up front by the net to take advantage of their strong vertical game and block shots.
The libero must be designated on the lineup sheet, cannot serve, block, attack from anywhere or make contact with the ball while it is above the net – she is a defensive player relegated to the back row, specializing in setting up her teammates and making digs on low balls.
The libero must wear a uniform that is different than the others on the team to clearly identify the player. Even with the current uniform, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), which is the governing body that writes the rules of competition for most high school sports and activities in the United States, deemed that the libero uniforms need more clarity to further differentiate the player from their teammates.
According to NFHS Director of Sports and Liaison to the Volleyball Rules Committee Becky Oakes, some uniforms were affecting the officials’ ability to identify the libero and determine legal playing action.
“The tradition is that volleyball is a sport with colorful uniforms. Because there has been increasing difficulty identifying the libero because of uniform design, the rules needed to make sure the libero was easily identified,” Oakes said in a news release.
The revised rule, going into effect in 2016, will require the libero to wear a uniform top that is immediately recognized from all angles as being in clear contrast to and distinct from the other members of the team with a solid-colored uniform top.