Men's Hoops, Soccer were big stories
Review of Sports Coverage detailed
Fans follow off-season news closely
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Write about it and upload it and they will come!
Evidently! The growing athletic scene at Southwestern Assemblies of God University is drawing a greater fan base as new teams have been added and success is becoming more common.
During the past school year the SAGU website uploaded nearly 450 articles, more than one per day. They covered football, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball in the fall, men’s and women’s basketball in the winter, baseball and softball in the spring, as well as cheerleading.
Excluding articles (like this one) under the General Athletics heading, which dealt with multiple teams, there were 223,185 hits on team stories, drawing an average of nearly 600 hits per.
Which sport drew the most readers per article?
Which attracted the most articles and total hits?
What stories had the most appeal in terms of drawing fans?
The Sports Information office produced a bevy of articles which were bolstered if not outshone by outstanding photographs! Elizabeth Monsivais, a senior student supplied many of the pictures.
Red Oak freelancer Steve Patterson, of Moving Pictures, contributed a large stream of images. Athletes, fans and families can view or purchase them at http://www.movingpictures.photoreflect.com.
The top athletic story during the 2011-12 school year was a surprise as it did not involve a review of a game. It was also not from the sport, football, which annually appeals to the most readers.
When new men’s basketball head coach Donnie Bostwick signed 6-foot-5 Caleb Feemster (Trinity Christian Academy / Addison, Tx), the account appealed to 1,623 hits. It was the single biggest news piece of the school year in athletics!
The second most read post (1,550 hits) was also about the Lions recruiting, a story about multiple hoopsters committing to enroll and don the purple and gold.
The hiring of assistant coach Allison Gudmundson on the Lady Lions soccer team enticed 1,454 people to log on and peruse.
Football was again the strongest in terms of the highest number of devoted readers, averaging almost 900 hits per story. Plus, they had the most stories with over 1,000 hits. Twenty-three of their articles had 900+ hits.
The team got off to a 3-1 start and was ranked nationally in the NAIA Coaches Poll.
The Lions averaged over 30 points per game in an exciting season that finished with a misleading 4-6 ledger.
They have their entire home schedule broadcast by SAGUtv, and are the only NAIA school to have their livestream produced in legitimate high definition. The product on the field is climbing and expectations are mounting.
Followers of head coach Mandy Fortner’s team and the men’s soccer team, who are now under the leadership of Clem Oancea, rose dramatically last year to finish #2 and #3 in the standings with an average of 790 and 765 hits per article.
The men's team experienced their first-ever winning season at 10-9-5 under then head coach Gerald Nichols.
SAGU won the Central Regional by sweeping three games, which advanced them to the NCCAA Nationals. The Lions went 0-2-1 in Orlando, leaving them hungry for an encore!
Volleyball, who has had winning seasons in seven of the past eight years, remains a steady fan favorite in terms of actual attendance and on-line enthusiasts.
The Lady Lions, who have had the most articles in previous years, were fourth with 700 readers for each article uploaded.
Men’s basketball, which had the largest turnaround in the nation, going from 12-21 to 27-11, understandably earned their lion share of the athletic headlines.
They finished fourth in the Red River Athletic Conference in a year that saw home crowds often packing the Sheaffer Center. The Purple Pride won 12-of-15 home contests.
SAGU advanced the NCCAA Nationals in Indiana, where they took 3rd. Their only setback was to NCAA Division II Cedarville University (Ohio) in the semi-finals. The Lions knocked a pair of California teams; The Master's College and Hope International University in the process.
By tying the school record of 27 wins and appearing in the national rankings, they led all SAGU teams with 98 articles and over 46,000 total hits.
Women’s hoops, which has also appeared in the NAIA rankings and took third at the NCCAA nationals two years ago, had just 48 articles in their first non-winning season in four years. However, they averaged more hits per story than the men’s bucketeers.
The baseball club has played each of their eight seasons off-campus, and has worked to build a following. Still, they were second in regards to the number of stories (53), though their 42 games were more than any other sport.
The softball team averaged almost the same number of readers per story as baseball, as their admirers showed their support in the Lady Lions’ inaugural campaign.
Both baseball and softball will play all of their home games on their new, separate campus ballparks this coming season.
An interesting result was the backers of the SAGU Cheer Team. There were two articles on their squad and both had over 1,300 hits to rank #7 and #8 in the Top 20 articles. Surely they will garner more attention this year.
SAGU Athletics Coverage
Articles About: Men’s Basketball 98, Baseball 53, Volleyball 51, Women’s Basketball 48, Football 41, Men’s Soccer 37, Softball 34, Women’s Soccer 24, Cheer Team 2. General Athletics 45.
Average Number of Hits Per Article: Cheer Team 1,360, Football 871, Women’s Soccer 790, Men’s Soccer 765, Volleyball 692, Women’s Basketball 548, Men’s Basketball 472, Baseball 344, Softball 334.
Top 20 Individual Articles / Hits
1. MBB Signing Celeb Feemster 1,623
2. MBB Recruiting Multiple Players 1,550
3. WS Secure Allison Gudmundson as Asst. Coach 1,454
4. MBB Schedule Announced 1,444
5. MBB Land Garrett Jones as Asst. Coach 1,435
6. SOFT Ink Kyla Burke 1,417
7. CHEER Names Alicia Rogers new Head Coach 1,384
8. CHEER PeeWee Cheer Camp 1,337
9. WS Pre-Season Team Builds Depth 1,307
10. WS Multiple Recruits Pen Letters of Intent 1,295
11. MS Clem Oancea Named Asst. Coach 1,246
12. MS Lions Win Opener 1,246
13. FB CSFL Season Team Preview 1,232
14. WBB Ryan Russell Named Asst. Coach 1,176
15. WBB Schedule Announced 1,158
16. FB Lions Drop Opener, 29-21 1,145
17. WBB SAGU Signs Nia Winston 1,129
18. WS Lady Lions Fall in Opener 1,122
19. FB Lions Rout Haskell 1,063
20. FB Lions Crack NAIA Poll 1,046
Totals were from June 2011 through June 2012.