SAGU Athletic Banquet honors Lions
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The annual end of year Athletic Banquet will be held this evening in the Sheaffer Center. The event will recognize the accomplishments and honors of teams and players during the 2011-12 calendar season at Southwestern Assemblies of God University.
First year Athletic Director Jesse Godding will preside over the evening, which begins with a 7:00pm dinner.
Coaches will make announcements and present awards for each of the Lions teams, including men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball and football for the fall, men’s and women’s basketball during the winter season, and baseball and softball from this spring. Cheerleading, which covers various sports throughout the year, will also participate.
Southwestern athletic teams are dual members in both the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) – Division I in each. There are almost 300 schools in the NAIA and just over 105 in the NCCAA.
The football Lions compete in the Central States Football League (CSFL), while all other sports are members in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC), which has 15 schools from four regional states.
Southwestern has seen several teams enjoy outstanding seasons this year.
The Lions soccer team had their first-ever winning season, producing a 10-9-5 (won-lost-tied) mark, swept the Central Regional with a 3-0 mark, and traveled to the NCCAA Nationals in Orlando.
The Lady Lions soccer team showed solid signs of improvement, bettering their win total the previous season (one), and earned their first post-season triumph, a double-overtime (shootout) triumph at the NCCAA's Central Regional.
SAGU's volleyball squad (23-18) has produced winning campaigns in seven of the past eight years, and advanced to the NCCAA Nationals again. The Purple Pride finished in fourth place in the RRAC.
In football, the Lions equalled their best win total yet, with four, and the best could be this fall. SAGU got off to a 3-1 start that saw them appear in the NAIA Coaches Poll nationally for the first time.
Women's basketball has become frequent winner of late. They went through a rebuilding season this winter (10-21) and still qualified for a berth in the RRAC tourney (the top eight teams receive a bid).
They averaged 24 wins per year over the past three campaigns, taking 3rd in the NCCAA's Nationals a year ago after appearing in the NAIA's national 32-team tournament the year before.
In men's hoops, the Lions soared to finish fourth in the RRAC while beating the top two teams, each ranked in the NAIA's Top 10. Their 27-11 ledger tied the school mark for most wins. Following the RRAC tourney, they advanced to the NCCAA Nationals in Indiana, where they finished 3rd.
The upgraded Baseball Lions easily passed last spring's 10-win total, and they could be playing in the NCCAA Denver Regional if they finish strong in the final week of the season. Their young nucleas has a promising future.
Much excitement has welcomed the newest sport, women's fast-pitch softball. The expected growing pains have been there, though the squad has been plenty competitive. The Lady Lions have recently opened play at their new on-campus ballpark, and anticipation for next season already abounds.
Awards will represent the NAIA, NCCAA, CSFL, RRAC as well as accolades for performance and leadership from within SAGU. Two years ago the speaker at the banquet was WFAA - Channel 8 and Texas Broadcaster of the Year, Dale Hansen, a Waxahachie resident.
Current head coaches for each group include:
Men’s Soccer (10-9-5) – Clementin Oancea
Women’s Soccer (3-14-1) – Mandy Fortner
Volleyball (23-18) – Hansford Moore
Football (4-6) – Jesse Godding
Women’s Basketball (10-21) – Arlon Beadles
Men’s Basketball (27-11) – Donnie Bostwick
Baseball (15-25) – Jonathan Shockley
Softball (2-24) – Tim Grant
Cheer – Alicia Rogers