The rain poured down, but spirits were high during SMU’s 2012 Family Weekend celebration Sept. 28-30. Relive “Boardwalk on the Boulevard” from the picnic to the Talent Show to the SMU-TCU game with a video courtesy of SMU News.
Cooking with Iron: The Mustang football team won more than the 2011 Battle for the Iron Skillet in its 40-33 overtime victory against the 20th-ranked TCU Horned Frogs Saturday, Oct. 1. Junior wide receiver Darius Johnson (top left) was named the Conference USA and ESPN.com Offensive Player of the Week on Tuesday, Oct. 3, recognizing his career-high-tying two receiving touchdowns, along with 12 catches and 152 yards. It was Johnson’s third straight 100-yard game and his third career game with 10 or more catches, tying him for third all-time at SMU.
At 4-1 and off to its best start since 1986, SMU received votes in both the USA Today Coaches’ and Associated Press Polls – ranking 34th in the Coaches’ Poll and 35th in the AP Poll. The Iron Skillet victory marked SMU’s first win over a ranked team since defeating a 22nd-ranked TCU squad 21-10 in Dallas on Sept. 10, 2005. It was also the team’s first road victory over a ranked opponent since topping No. 13 Baylor on Oct. 11, 1986, in Waco.
To commemorate the occasion, SMU Athletics has announced a special ticket plan at a rate that highlights the Mustangs’ margin of victory. For $40.33, the “Iron Skillet Special” allows fans to buy tickets for SMU’s four remaining home games, including a 2010 C-USA championship rematch with UCF Oct. 15, Tulane Nov. 5, Navy Nov. 12 for the 2011 Gansz Trophy, and Rice Nov. 26. Purchase the plan online at Ticketmaster.com.
Dig Pink®, fight cancer: The Mustang volleyball squad hosts Dig Pink® 2011 during its Saturday, Oct. 8 match against Tulane. The team handed Tulsa its first conference loss of the season with a 3-1 win on the road Wednesday, Oct. 5. The Mustangs recorded 15.0 blocks, and senior outside hitter Dana Powell (right) earned her 10th double-double of the season with 12 kills and 18 digs in the win.
Dig Pink® events, which attract participants from across the country and are sponsored by the Side-Out Foundation, raise money and awareness for the fight against breast cancer. SMU is participating in the program for the 4th year and has raised nearly $2,000 over the past three seasons. This year’s goal is $1,000.
The Mustangs will wear special pink jerseys during the match and encourage their fans to wear pink as well. The SMU Athletics Department will hold a silent auction at the match, in addition to selling bracelets and T-shirts. Items available for bid will include autographed items from Head Football Coach June Jones, basketball coaches and the SMU volleyball team. All proceeds will go directly to breast cancer research.
The match begins at 2 p.m. in Moody Coliseum. Make a gift at the game, or donate online or by U.S. Mail through SMU Volleyball’s Side-Out Foundation page.
Class of the field: Defender Adam Still (bottom left) is one of 10 men’s soccer finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, a national honor based on excellence in community, classroom, character and competition. Fans may vote online for Still once each day through Nov. 14, 2011. The fan vote will be combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to determine the winner.
Still is captain of the 2011 Mustangs and helped lead the team to a 16-2-2 record and an NCAA Elite Eight appearance in 2010. He started all 20 games for the Mustangs and played 1808 of a possible 1880 minutes last season. He also scored his first career goal on a 75-yard shot against No. 17 Tulsa on Oct. 20, 2010, helping SMU to a 3-2 win.
Currently, Still holds a 3.907 G.P.A. and will graduate in May 2012 with a degree in accounting. In 2010, Still was named to the CoSIDA ESPN Academic All-America Third Team. A two-time Academic All-America District VI Team award recipient, he has also been named to the Conference USA All-Academic Team and is a three-time C-USA Academic Medalist and three-time C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll member.
No skillet this year: Taking advantage of a No. 4-ranked team’s mistakes wasn’t enough to help SMU overcome TCU in this year’s 41-24 Iron Skillet loss. Despite only completing 14 of 26 passing attempts and throwing two interceptions, TCU quarterback Andy Dalton was able to find ways to break through SMU’s defenses in the waning minutes of the second half, when SMU held a brief 17-14 lead. SMU sophomore QB Kyle Padron fared worse statistically (14-for-35, 1 INT) but threw for 2 touchdowns. Sophomore RB Zach Line continues to make an impression on the team as he scored a 29-yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter. SMU travels to Rice on Oct. 2 with a solid chance to add another win against the 1-3 Owls at 7 p.m.
Lesniak shines: No. 22-ranked junior Marta Lesniak (right) scored another hit for women’s tennis as she won the Singles A competition in last weekend’s Sooner Fall Tennis Invitational. The Polish native’s career singles record is now at 43-8 and she will be looking to capitalize on that at the 2010 Riviera/ITA All-American tournament, which begins Saturday, Oct. 2 and will continue through Oct. 10. Lesniak is already in the ‘Qualifying Singles’ bracket and the ‘Qualifying Doubles’ bracket with teammate junior Heather Steinbauer. Junior Aleksandra Malyarchikova and sophomore Edyta Cieplucha are in the ‘Prequalifying Singles’ bracket, who will begin play first to determine qualifying seeding, and sophomore Shahzoda Hatamova is an alternate for the tournament. This will be the first time in school history that five players from SMU will be participating in the Riviera tournament.
The reign continues: The men’s soccer team shows no signs of stopping their winning streak as last week’s 3-2 and 2-1 victories against UAB and Jacksonville, respectively, put the Mustangs at a 9-0-0 record for the year. They are now ranked 5th in the NSCAA/HendrickCars.com National Rankings, despite having three victories more than any of the four teams placed above them. The Mustangs get something of a breather this weekend as they have only conference rival, UCF, to face at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2. They will also host South Carolina at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6.
Awarding our role models: Senior linebacker Pete Fleps (right) was named a semifinalist for the 2010 William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth. The National Football Foundation announced on Thursday, Sept. 30, that Fleps was being considered for the award due to his leadership on the field and his stellar academic achievements. (Fleps has made the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll since 2006 and was named honorable mention All-C-USA by the league’s coaches in 2009.) Fleps, who leads the team with 34 tackles through four games, will find out if he makes the 15-finalist cut on Oct. 28 in a nationally televised press conference. Each finalist will be recognized as part of the 2010 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, receiving an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. The Campbell Trophy winner, who will have his scholarship increased to $25,000 and receive a 25-pound bronze trophy, will be announced live at the NFF’s annual awards dinner on Dec. 7 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.
Beginning of the end? In what some Mustang fans no doubt hope is a prologue to victory against TCU football this weekend, the volleyball team gave a sound 3-1 thrashing to TCU on Sept 21. TCU struck first with a 25-18 victory in the opening game, which prompted Mustang stars like Dana Powell (double-double, 20 kills, 18 digs), Kathryn Wilkerson (right, double-double, 15 digs, 14 kills), and Sidney Stewart (16 digs) to win the next three straight games and finish off the Horned Frogs. The Mustangs will resume conference play with two matches against UAB on Sept. 24-25.
Get your red on: SMU is calling for a “RED OUT” for Friday’s much-awaited SMU-TCU game, which will be broadcast nationally on ESPN. Mustang QB Kyle Padron, who threw 280 yards for four touchdowns (and added a rushing TD himself) in last week’s 35-21 shootout victory against Washington State, will be taking on the No. 4-ranked Horned Frogs in this year’s Battle for the Iron Skillet. SMU has earned the prized cooking utensil only once in the past ten years in a 21-10 victory on Sept. 10, 2005. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. For ticket and parking information, call the SMU Ticket Office at 214-SMU-GAME.
By the way, where did the Iron Skillet come from? Chris Dell of SMU News has the story.
Lucky number seven: After another weekend sweep, the men’s soccer team continues its perfect season with a 7-0-0 record and is now ranked ninth in the NSCAA/HendrickCars.com national poll. At last weekend’s Bradley Invitational, SMU came from behind to defeat Creighton 3-2 in double overtime on Sept. 17. A victory over host Bradley followed on Sept. 18 as the Mustangs posted a second straight comeback win of 3-1. Reigning C-USA Player of the Week Juan Castillo got both comebacks started by scoring the first SMU goal in both games. Junior Arthur Ivo converted two penalty kicks to seal the Creighton match, and freshman Robbie Derschang added two late goals in the 84th and 87th minutes of the Bradley match.
Running up the rankings: The cross country team has placed in the rankings for its third consecutive United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) poll, with a No. 1 placing in the South Central region and a move up to No. 21 nationally. Sophomore Mary Alenbratt (right), winner of the C-USA Cross Country Athlete of the Week earlier this month, finished second in the UT-Arlington Season Opener. SMU returns to the track on Oct. 2 at the Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Indiana.
SMU families will celebrate longstanding traditions and launch new ones September 24-26 during Family Weekend. This year’s theme, “Let the Good Times Roll,” pays tribute to the 1950s and ’60s and music that unites generations, says Elisabeth Knutzen, chair of the Student Foundation committee that coordinates the events.
“Family Weekend gives families the opportunity to see what their students do every day and to experience great traditions like the Boulevard,” says Knutzen, a junior accounting major in Cox School of Business. “For families who aren’t able to visit campus, we encourage students to bring friends and join in the events.”
Parents are invited to attend classes with their students and meet faculty members; visit the Hegi Family Career Development Center and an SMU Abroad discussion at Hughes-Trigg Student Center; and attend an exciting presentation for all ages by SMU physics professors.
Before the big game against TCU at 7 p.m., families can join the SMU Dads’ Club and Student Foundation for barbecue and tailgating on the Boulevard, starting at 4:30 p.m.
Tickets to the barbecue and Saturday’s talent show will be available at the Mane Desk in Hughes-Trigg Student Center beginning Friday, September 17, until they’re sold out (pay with Pony cards or cash). For football tickets, call 214-768-GAME (4263).
> Find a schedule (pdf) of the weekend’s events
> Watch President Turner’s video greeting to SMU families
> Guidelines for the Boulevard on SMU’s Live Responsibly site.
> Also on Friday: Gilbert Lecture Series presents scholar and author Seth Lerer on children writing in books
Activities Saturday, Sept. 25, include a morning fun run, a fish fry with the Association of Black Students and National Pan-Hellenic Council, Meadows Museum tours, “Taste of Dallas” dinner and the annual talent show at McFarlin Auditorium. New this year are afternoon tours at the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.
In addition, Ambassador James K. Glassman, executive director of the George W. Bush Institute, will discuss the institute’s partnership with SMU and opportunities for students at 4:30 p.m. at Hughes-Trigg Student Center.
The weekend wraps up Sunday, Sept. 26, with All-Campus Worship at Perkins Chapel at 11 a.m., the College Hispanic American Students’ luncheon, Meadows Museum visits and Asian Council dinner.