STEPHENVILLE – Fall is in the air as the month of October is set to begin and the competing Tarleton Athletic programs are performing at elite levels in football, volleyball, and cross country. Texan Football and Tarleton Volleyball will be on full display this weekend with home games in Stephenville.
This is the second consecutive week that Tarleton’s football and volleyball programs are nationally-ranked at the same time. Monday, September 24 was the first day in Tarleton’s NCAA history that Tarleton was ranked in each of those sports at the same time. In addition to the national rankings, Tarleton’s men’s and women’s cross country team are each regionally-ranked by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Tarleton Volleyball continued to rise in the national poll after climbing to No. 17 in the latest AVCA rankings. The No. 17 TexAnns will welcome UT Permian Basin and Western New Mexico to town this weekend to close out the opening round of Lone Star Conference action. The TexAnns will host the Falcons Friday at 6 p.m. and the Mustangs Saturday at 2 p.m.
The TexAnns extended their winning streak to 13 last weekend with road wins over Cameron and MSU Texas, formerly Midwestern State. Tarleton improved to 16-2 on the season and 6-0 in league play. With those 16 wins, Tarleton is now 21 wins away from 700 all-time in program history while head coach Mary Schindler is 21 wins away from 300 in her career. Seniors Adrianna Knutson and Hannah McManus are currently in pursuit of career records. Knutson enters the weekend with 1,706 career digs, which has her 141 digs behind She McBrearty for the all-time lead. Meanwhile, McManus enters the weekend with 270 career assisted block, which has her 64 behind Marissa Galich for the all-time lead.
Texan Football continued its unbeaten start to the season with a road rout of Angelo State Saturday night. Ben Holmes enjoyed a career night throwing the ball as the Orchard Park, New York native tossed his first career 300-yard passing game. Holmes threw for 305 on 17-28 passing with three touchdowns. Manning was his primary target, going for 126 yards and two scores on five catches. Meanwhile, the ground game continued its dominance with 281 yards on the ground led by McCants’ 177. Turner (60), Hopkins (37), and Adam Berryman (15) also contributed key roles in the Tarleton ground game. Devin Hafford led the defense with two interceptions, including one for a touchdown, while the Texan defense held the Rams below 100 yards rushing. It’s the fourth straight game Tarleton has held its opponent below 100 yards on the ground, matching the most recent feat in 2009.
Head Coach Todd Whitten joined legendary coach, W.J. Wisdom as the only two leaders of Texan Football to reach 60 career wins. Whitten enters this weekend’s game at Angelo State with 60 career wins as the head coach of Tarleton and trails Wisdom’s all-time record of 71 victories. Tarleton Football is looking to bring its all-time program record back to an even .500. The Texans currently boast an all-time mark of 476-480-33.
Not to be outdone, the Tarleton Cross Country also made national headlines with the men’s performance at Texas A&M last month. Johen DeLeon received Lone Star Conference Male Runner of the Week for his effort at the Texas A&M Invitational. He was the top finisher for the Texans as he ran his personal best in the 8,000-meter, placing sixth out of 118 runners with a time of 34:43.2. DeLeon was the top finisher among all Division II runners and defeated all of the runners from Texas A&M University, the No. 3-ranked team in the Division I South Central Region. DeLeon also helped lead Tarleton to a second-place finish as a team out of 14 teams and first among all the Division II schools. The Texans finished second as a team behind only Texas A&M. Tarleton also defeated the No. 6-ranked NCAA Division I team in the South Central Region.
The dominant performance at Texas A&M earned the Texans national recognition by The Stride Report, which named Tarleton the ‘Standout Squad of the Week.’ To see the complete release, visit thestridereport.com.
Both the men and women will enter this weekend’s race in Clinton, Mississippi as the No. 10-ranked teams in the South Central Region by the USTFCCCA.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5
Volleyball vs UT Permian Basin in Wisdom Gym at 6 p.m.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29
Cross Country at Mississippi College in Clinton, MS at 8 a.m.
Volleyball vs Western New Mexico in Wisdom Gym at 2 p.m.
Football vs Eastern New Mexico in Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5
Tarleton Volleyball will host ‘Fiesta Friday’ and there will be 100 free tacos, courtesy of Taco Casa, available for fans while supplies last.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6
It’s the annual ‘Pink Out’ Day for football and volleyball. Fans are encouraged to fill the stadium pink in support of breast cancer awareness.