Tag: Michigan State

Going Greek: questions, answers, myths and horror stories

First things first, let me say I really dislike the word “frat.”

I am part of a fraternity and a proud member of the fraternity and sorority community here at Jacksonville State University. There are some really great organizations that make up the Greek community at JSU. It is an incredible experience to be a part of a community that really seems to “get it.”

This being said, things have not always been perfect for any of JSU’s Greek organizations.

In light of recent events in Michigan, where members of six fraternities and sororities caused almost $75,000.00 in damages at a hotel resort, one may wonder if all fraternities and sororities do is drink, party, fight and distroy things.

Besides, if you are a member of a fraternity or sorority all we really joined for was to pay for our friends, right?

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Just because some fraternities and sororities mess up and land in the national news doesn’t mean we’re all that way. In fact, the many great things we do never seem to make the front page or get mentioned in the media world.

To the outsider, it seems that the money paid just allows someone to have friends that all wear boots, Wranglers and Polo shirts. To the insider, I know that I have over 200,000 living members in just my fraternity that I can call on no matter where I am in the world and they will help me. They will help me if I had a flat tire, or will even help me if I need to find a job after graduation. In fact, I have had two brothers to recently graduate and are gainfully employed because of the connections they made while being an active member of Sigma Nu here at JSU.

Each of the following Greek organizations is part of the IFC (Interfraternity Council) here at Jacksonville State University, each with their own philanthropic initiatives. Each Greek organization here on campus stands for a prominent cause and does not only to better the community, but also the brother in the organization.

Delta Chi- “The V Foundation”

Kappa Alpha Order- “MDA”

Kappa Sigma- “A Greater Cause”

Pi Kappa Phi – “The Ability Experience” formerly known as “PUSH America”

Sigma Nu – “Helping Hands Initiative”

Sigma Phi Epsilon- “YouthAids,” and

“T.A.K.E. Defense”

Tau Delta Phi (Colony)- “Active Minds”

If research is done, one will find that being a member of a Greek organization is much deeper than just partying.

For the past two years that I have been an active member of my organization, the fraternities and sororities have been a part of a Greek unity clean-up day here in Jacksonville. This has made a huge impact on the community. The mayor, city council, members of the community and university leaders have all taken note that we can all come together to enrich the community and make sure that we are doing our part to leave it better than we found it. If you are interested in learning more about the Greek community here at JSU, you are able to visit http://www.jsu.edu/studentlife/greek/. Here one can find a lot of information about our Greek community and all of the organizations that make it what it is today.

It is my hope that whoever reads this realizes that being a member of a Greek organization enriches ones life so much. It is hard to fully grasp unless one is a member, but know that we really do try to live above the standard and set our members up for a much more successful life once leaving college. The connections made are invaluable and experiences will be made that last a lifetime. I would ask that if you truly want to know more about fraternity and sorority life, that you take time to speak with a member of the community or go to the Office of Student Life and speak with Kristen Smith, Assistant Director for Fraternity and Sorority Life.

Kenneth Smith
Staff Writer

Tough debut for Grass ends with a loss

~ JSU Sportswire
                                                          ~ JSU Sportswire

The Gamecocks lost 45-7 to the Spartans in the debut of new head coach John Grass. 

It was clear to see that the Jacksonville State Gamecocks were outmatched by the Spartans of Michigan State. Michigan State is the defending Big Ten champion and a serious contender to be in the inaugural College Football Playoff.

JSU came out strong with the first play of the game. It was a 32-yard pass from quarterback Eli Jenkins to wide receiver Josh Barge. That play turned out to be the Gamecocks longest play of the game. However, they did not score on that drive.

The Gamecocks scored their only touchdown in the third quarter when Max Shortell completed a 9-yard pass to Markis Merrill. Freshman placekicker Conner Rouleau scored his first point as a Gamecock with the extra point. The drive consisted of 9 plays and 54 yards.

Michigan State scored 38 of their 45 points in the first half. Connor Cook completed 2 passing touchdowns to Tony Lippett and a third one to AJ Troup. The three passing touchdowns consisted of 64, 71 and 17 yards. Nick Hill scored twice on a 17-yard run and an 8-yard run. Michael Geiger ended the half with a 35-yard field goal. Michigan State last touchdown came in the third quarter when Tyler O’Connor ran it in for three yards.

The Gamecocks had a low total of 22 rushing yards to Michigan State’s 211 rushing yards. DaMarcus James of the Gamecocks had no touchdowns, snapping a streak of 12-straight games with at least one rushing touchdown.

There were 11 Gamecocks that made their first career start on Friday’s game vs. Michigan State. The four on offense were Ruben Gonzalez, Justin Lea, Casey Dunn and Bo Brummel. The seven on defense were LaMichael Fanning, Devaunte Sigler, Tre Garland, Michael Carlisle, Folo Johnson, DeBarriaus Miller and Jaylen Hill.

Bo Brummel caught a 6-yard pass from Jenkins to give him his first career catch in a JSU uniform. Ruben Gonzalez also made his first career catch as a JSU player with a 23-yard pass from Shortell.

JSU senior linebacker Ben Endress recorded 10 tackles which led all defenders.  This marked his third-career double-digit tackle game.

John Grass became the first coach in Jacksonville State history to face an FBS opponent in his debut with the Gamecocks.

There were 75,127 in attendance at the game. This marks the second-largest crowd to ever watch the Gamecocks play behind 82,691 at Florida on Nov. 17, 2012.

Next up for Coach Grass and the Gamecocks is Chattanooga. The game will take place Saturday at 5 p.m. in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Marvel Robinson 
Sports Editor


Gamecock Volleyball off to slow start

~ JSU Sportswire
~ JSU Sportswire

The JSU volleyball team suffered a pair of hard losses to the No. 16 ranked Michigan State Spartans and the Southeastern Louisiana Lions last Saturday.

The losses came on the last day of the UAB/Samford Volleyball Challenge that took place at Samford University.

The Gamecocks lost to Georgia State and Samford on the first day of the challenge.

Last Friday was the debut of the Gamecocks new head coach Terry Gamble. JSU lost 3-1 to Georgia State with final match scores of 25-21, 25-19, 20-25, and 25-23. Then, the Gamecocks came back and lost to Samford 3-0 with final match scores of 25-22,25-7, and 25-22 again.

The Gamecocks began the last day of the challenge against the Spartans. The Spartans showed their strength, and the reason for their national ranking, as they hit .364 during the match. They also had 10 kills from Allyssah Fitterer, eight from Holly Toliver and were led in digs by Rachel Minarick who had 12 on her own.

Despite the low .024 offensive percentage of the Gamecocks, the team produced 4 kills apiece from Allyson Zuhlke and Nicole Merget. While on defense Hannah Kirk produced nine digs, and seven each came from Jennifer Hart and Samantha Bohne.

The final scores from the first match were 25-15, 25-14, and 25-10.

The second match was against the SLU Lions and nearly gave the Gamecocks a victory. Although the first set was well in SLU’s favor, the second was harder for them to win. Set two saw six lead changes and 15 ties that paved the way to SLU’s eventual 31-29 victory. The final set saw JSU come within one at 11-10, but it didn’t take long for SLU to regain control and grab the last victory.

They finished the match with scores of 25-13, 31-29, and 25-16.

SLU was led in kills by Parrie Hartley who had 15. Morgan Todd had the defense with 16 digs, while Elizabeth Ramee was directly behind her with 15.

The Gamecocks had a .333 attack percentage and were led in kills by Emily Rutherford with 14. She also had 11 digs but it was Samantha Bohne who led the defense with 20 digs on the day.

The JSU volleyball team will head to the Troy Invitational on Thursday. They will face Alabama A&M first. They will follow it with matches against Mercer and the Trojans of Troy on Saturday.

Rebekah Hawkins
Staff Writer

Gamble in for new volleyball season

~ Steve Lathan/JSU
                                   ~ Steve Lathan/JSU

Terry Gamble is the new volleyball coach for the Jacksonville State Gamecocks.

Gamble has taken the place of former JSU Volleyball coach Joseph Goodson. Last season, Goodson’s volleyball team went 13-18 and 6-10 in conference play. The Gamecocks lost 10 of their last 13 matches that season. However, the volleyball team did win in the classroom that season as they were honored the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s Team Academic Award. The Gamecocks boasted a 3.67 GPA over the 2013-14 year which was the highest of any JSU’s varsity team.  Jacksonville State saw 13 of its 15 players post a GPA of 3.6 or higher which was led by Molly Jo Aiken’s 4.0. Despite the excellence in the classroom, there was still an issue on the court with winning. To combat this, JSU Athletics Director Warren Koegel felt it was time to move in a different direction and hired Terry Gamble as the new Jacksonville State Volleyball coach.

Gamble has coached for 18 years at the collegiate level with a 799-236 overall record. Gamble was elected to the NJCAA Volleyball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2007. He has won three National Championships. Gamble spent the last four years as head coach at McNeese State. At McNeese State, Gamble led the Cowgirls to the Southland Conference Tournament in his first season. He also coached four McNeese players who were named to the All-Southland Conference team, including the 2012 SLC Newcomer of the Year.

Gamble has coached 14 All-Americans, 17 Academic All-Americans, three NJCAA National Players of the Year, 17 All-Tournament players, 19 Regional Players of the Year, 33 All-Region Tournament players, 12 conference Players of the Year, one conference Newcomer of the Year, 40 All-State/All-Region players, 46 All-Conference and 35 All-Conference honorable mention players.  Gamble, who spent most of his coaching career in the junior college ranks, had a Top 20 National Ranking in 14 of his 15 junior college seasons.

“We are very excited to have Coach Gamble lead our volleyball program,” Koegel said. “He is a proven winner with almost 800 career wins, and he has been successful throughout his coaching career.”

Gamble looks to continue his success at Jacksonville State with the help of first year assistant coach Ben Kaszeta.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity at Jacksonville State University,” Gamble said. “This program has been successful in the Ohio Valley Conference in the past, and I hope we can return back to the top of the league.”

The Gamecocks have seven letterwinners returning. Samantha Bohne, Victoria Cross, Nicole Merget, Trisha Mockapetris, Emily Rutherford, Laney Torkelson and Kaitlyn Zelhart are all returning for the 2014 season.

The Gamecocks open the 2014 season against Georgia State on Aug. 29 at 3 p.m. in the UAB/Samford Challenge in Birmingham. They will then play Samford at 7 p.m. the same day. The Gamecocks will face Michigan State and Southeastern Louisiana on Aug. 30. All of JSU’s games in the tournament will be played at Samford.

Marvel Robinson

Sports Editor

Gamecock Football has arrived

The Gamecocks are back for a new season of football with a new coach.

Now that the summer is over, Coach John Grass looks to lead the gamecocks to a successful season in his first year as head coach.

Last season, Coach Bill Clark led JSU to an overall 11-4 record. Jacksonville State lost in the FCS Quarterfinals to Eastern Washington with a final score 24-35. The Gamecocks finished 3rd in the Ohio Valley Conference. After an impressive first year as head coach with JSU, Coach Clark decided to move on to coach UAB while Coach Grass moved up to Head Coach.

This season, the Gamecocks return with a total of 18 starters from last season. Nine starters return from offense. Eli Jenkins returns to lead the offense at quarterback. DaMarcus James, who was named Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, is back for his senior year at running back. Josh Barge, Telvin Brown and Anthony Johnson all return at wide receiver. Max Holcombe returns as the center and is joined on the offensive line with Adam Wright, Blake Burks and Nick Johnson. Six starters return from defense. Sean Watson and Caleb Lawrence return to the defensive line with Chris Landrum at defensive end. The two starting linebackers returning are Dustin Gayton and Jermaine Hough. Rashod Byers is back in the secondary as one of the starting cornerbacks. There are three specialty starters returning. Hamish MacInnes returns as punter, Andrew Dean returns as long snapper, and Telvin Brown is back at kick returner. Alongside the 18 starters, the Gamecocks also have a total of 18 seniors this year.

The Gamecocks are ranked No. 6 in the 2014 Sports Network FCS Top 25 and No. 8 in the FCS Coaches Poll.  They are predicted to finish first in the OVC with a total of 10 first-place votes. 

The first game will take place in East Lansing, Mich. where the Gamecocks travel to play Michigan State for the first ever meeting between the two. Michigan State only lost one game last season. They are ranked No. 8 in the FBS standings. Kick-off is set for 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 29.

Marvel Robinson 

Sports Editor