By Bonita Harden
Tennis is more than hitting the ball across the net so that the opponent can hit it back to you. The confrontational nature of the game makes it one of the hardest player sports.
According to UAM tennis coach, Fred Cooper, players are physically, mentally, and emotionally trained. “You have to know how, where and when to hit the ball with a speed of 60 miles or more. Therefore, good eye, hand and feet coordination are required of a tennis player. Some people might think it’s boring, but once they watch a few matches and understand the game, it can be exciting to watch,” Cooper states.
Cooper inspires his team to work hard to be winners. “I have only three players who played last year and three new players,” said Cooper. He went on to say, “The team is small but they really enjoy the challenge from other teams. The three returning players are Amber Cooper, a junior from Drew Central: Lori Baggett, a senior from Sheridan; and Amy Baggett, a junior from Sheridan. The new players this year are Stephanie Priest, a freshman from Fountain Lake; Tamara Whitlock, a freshman from Hampton; and April Watson, a sophomore from Star City.
“The difference between last year and this year’s players is that I am spending more time working and teaching each one individually,” Cooper stated.
“We are a small group and we are getting better as we continue to play,” added Cooper. The UAM tennis team needs people to support them just as much as basketball, football, baseball, and softball. A winning point or a match is exciting to tennis players, so come out and share the excitement with them. Cooper said he is always interested in more players if anyone would like to join the team.
FORESTRY CLUB BRINGS HOME THE CUP AT 47TH ANNUAL CONCLAVE
By Brooke Bowles
This year was the 47th consecutive year for Conclave and the UAM Forestry Club came home the winner, again. They have won 27 times since the Conclave was established by the Association of Southern Forestry Clubs (ASFC). This year’s conclave was held on the campus of Mississippi State University March 25 - 27.
The members of the ASFC are UAM, Texas A&M, Stephen F. Austin State University, Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State University, Auburn University, University of Tennessee, University of Florida, University of Georgia, Clemson University, North Carolina State University, and Virginia Tech University. Conclave is hosted by a member of the ASFC and the host is rotated between the schools.
At Conclave, the ASFC schools compete in technical events along with physical events. Technical events are given to students to test their knowledge of wood technology, dendrology, wildlife identification, timber estimation, pole classification, DBH estimation, compass and pacing, and photogrammetry.
The physical events include archery, log rolling, log chop, log burling, cross-cut sawing (women’s, men’s, and jack-and-jill), bow-sawing (women’s and men’s), pole climb, chain throw, knife and axe throw, and pole felling. Each school puts their best competitor in each event to score points. Points are determined on what place you fall at the end of each competition.
Technical events are worth more in points than the physical events. At the end of the weekend, the points are tallied and the winner receives the coveted Conclave cup to display at their school for the next year.
On the cup are ten plaques, recording the winning schools for a ten years. The school with the most wins keeps the cup permanently. UAM has brought home three of these cups to keep. The only other school to come close to winning conclave as many times as UAM is Stephen F. Austin with six wins.
This year UAM brought home the cup once again by beating Stephen F. Austin by 4 ½ points. This year ASFC Conclave was sponsored by Stihl. The company donated a top-of-the-line chain saw to the top three places, and as the first place winner, UAM also received a brand new crosscut saw blade, and two new speed chop axes. All the prizes added up to be over $3,000.
While most of the schools in the ASFC receive financial support from their university, the UAM Forestry Club raised all of the money they needed to attend Conclave. They also had to purchase all their equipment to use in the competition. Dr. Lynn Thompson is the club’s advisor and is a great asset for the support and advice he gives to the club.
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