NFL Free Agency

Ryne Oshiro, Staff Writer

What brings more excitement to football fans than Fantasy Football? Well, one answer could be the signing of NFL free agents. A free agent is someone who is no longer tied within a specific team and can choose from numerous options and offerings from teams who desire that certain individual. For example, if the Seattle Seahawks had a contract with a player that expires next year, they would have to rearrange a deal to the likings of that specific player or else they may look for more money elsewhere. With the free agent signing, there also comes a time where teams will release certain players to save up cap space in order to have the money to sign those desired players. 

To kick off the madness of free agency, former Houston Texans pass-rusher J.J. Watt agreed to sign a two-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals on a $31 million deal. This was a bad sign for Seahawks fans, but a good one for Cardinals fans. Among popular names, Dallas Cowboys star quarterback Dak Prescott resigned and agreed to a four-year $160 million deal. This signing proves that Prescott will be looked at as the quarterback for years to come as he has giant shoes to fill with a team that features arguably the best offensive weapons that include running back Ezekiel Elliot and wide receivers CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, and Amari Cooper. The Seahawks were among the many teams to release players, letting defensive end Carlos Dunlap go, clearing about $14.1 million of cap space. Yet, even though they released him, the Seahawks have re-signed him to a deal that both sides benefit from. 

One team that looked to gain their mojo back is the New England Patriots who failed to make the playoffs after seeing their future hall of fame quarterback Tom Brady head to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season. Following the departure, Brady ended up winning his seventh Super Bowl and the Patriots were stuck watching him succeed from home. In the 2021 free agency, the Patriots have made moves to become the dominant team they once were. The Patriots added the top two tight ends in free agency by signing former Los Angeles Charger Hunter Henry and former Tennesee Titan Jonnu Smith to multiple-year deals. To add depth to their defensive side, they added linebacker Matthew Judon from the Baltimore Ravens, re-signed defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr, former Philadelphia Eagles safety Jalen Mills, and former Miami Dolphin Kyle Van Noy. All players signed deals for multiple years as the Patriots look to build towards their future. 

For the home-state Seahawks, the release and resigning of Dunlap wasn’t the only move made in March. After blowing up the NFL world with trade talks of star quarterback Russell Wilson, the Seahawks looked to beef up positions of need. After releasing cornerback Shaquill Griffin, the Hawks went out and signed former San Francisco 49er cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon to a one-year deal. In typical Seattle fashion, they also signed former Los Angeles Ram tight end Gerald Everett to a one-year deal to fill the gap of Greg Olsen retiring. One of the biggest needs was signing Chris Carson back and the Seahawks did so by giving him a three-year contract that guarantees him $5.5 million in 2021. 

Free agency will begin to ramp up as the 2021 NFL draft will soon take place on April 29th and run through May 1st. The excitement of the new football season is officially around the corner and fans will begin to find either disappointment in their team or optimism in the upcoming year. 

SMU Athlete Spotlight: Kylee Vanderbout of SMU Softball

Ryne Oshiro, Staff Writer

Despite the season’s abrupt end in March of 2020, Saint Martin’s University Softball looks to keep their eyes on their collective goal of making and capturing a Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship. The Saints began conference play on March 19, 2021, nearly 365 days since the last season was canceled. Unfortunately, the Saints were swept by Northwest Nazarene after seeing injuries plague the team. A key to success for any sports team is how they handle adversity when challenges arise, especially when those challenges are ones that are out of the team’s control. 

For Kylee Vanderbout and the Saints this ability to overcome the challenges will prove just how far this team is willing to go to win. Vanderbout was tabbed with GNAC Player of the Week Honors back in the last week of February after providing the Saints with two key hits in crunch time. In their first game back since the pandemic, Vanderbout delivered a three-run bases-clearing double that helped widen the Saints’ lead against their Division III opponent Pacific University. Then, in the second game she connected on a two-run home run that powered the Saints to another win. The win also came at the hands of her teammate Tia Ridings who pitched a complete game shutout as the Saints eventually went on to win the game 3-0. 

Vanderbout came to Saint Martin’s from Happy Valley, Oregon and earned first team all-league selections in her freshman, sophomore, and junior years of high school. The one thing that Vanderbout stated after being asked about the current season, is that she was very optimistic and grateful to be having the opportunity to play once again. 

“I think we’re all grateful to be able to play even with the adjustments with all the COVID guidelines, but it is better than having no season,” she said. “I am also grateful for the coaching staff and my teammates; the coaches go above and beyond for each and every one of us and I’ve never had a more dedicated and caring coaching staff. The girls are like family to me and there’s no other team I’d want to spend every day on the field with.” 

Last season, Vanderbout played in sixteen games and had 51 at-bats. In those 51 at-bats she hit .373 which was ranked sixth in the GNAC. She also held a .588 slugging percentage prior to the cancelation of the season, which also ranked sixth in the GNAC. Her eight stolen bases were ranked second in the GNAC only behind teammate Emery Norwood. The Saints will look to bounce back quickly with the closure of Concordia University and the current pandemic, and their schedule has now been shortened to 20 total GNAC games. This means there will only be 16 conference games left for the Saints to make a bid for the GNAC tournament. Just like the team, Vanderbout also looks to bounce back to her player-of-the-week form as she has seen her batting average decrease during the most recent series. 

The Saints’ next game will be held in Ellensburg as they head to Central Washington University to take on the Wildcats for another four-game series. As for Vanderbout, she says that her goal for the year is to make every day a better day than the one before, and remember to have fun and remind herself why she is playing the game she loves. 

Baseball and Softball: The Scoreboard So Far

Brody Sodon, Staff Writer

The Saint Martin’s University Men’s Baseball team sits at a 3-3 record as of March 10, 2021. The Saints’ season started on February 26, with a doubleheader at home against Central Washington University. The Saints lost 8-10 but came back to win their second game 6-4. The very next day the Saints traveled east to take on Central Washington for two more games, winning the first one 13-11 but losing the next 3-4.

The next week the Saints traveled to Western Oregon University and won their first game 7-6 but were blown out later in the day by a score of 2-18. The Saints will have a four-game series against Montana State University-Billings, taking place from March 19 through March 20. The Montana State Hornets currently sit at an 0-8 record but play a four-game series against Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) this week. That means there is a chance that NNU could get hot on a winning streak and should not be overlooked.

Statistically, Dakota Hill leads the Saints in batting average (AVG), with an AVG of .600, earning three runs on three hits in five at bats. The next best batter on the team statistically is Reid Little, with an AVG of .500, earning himself two runs on three hits in six at bats. Some other notable names at bat are Braeden McNally, Cody Chavis, Aaron Renaud, Cody Isa, and Chayson Dulatre, who have all posted a batting average of .300 or better.

Finnley Butler pitched one inning and allowed two hits, but no runs and currently holds the lowest ERA for the Saints at just .000. It is important to note that Butler’s ERA is likely to change as he pitches more innings. The best pitcher out of anyone who has pitched for five or more innings is Justice Yamashita, who has earned an incredible 1.50 ERA through six innings.

The SMU Softball team is a different story, however. Softball holds a 7-1 record on a five-game winning streak. They kicked off their season on February 20, with a doubleheader against Pacific University. On February 27, the Saints hosted Whitworth University and lost their first game of the series but won the next three games in convincing fashion. Most recently, the Saints defeated Montana State-Billings twice on March 6th before having the next two games rained out the following day.

Softball has scored an incredible 50 points while only giving up 22. The Saints play their next two games at Western Washington University on March 12. This should be a close matchup, as Western holds an impressive 6-2 record of their own while on a three-game win streak. Interestingly enough, the Vikings have scored 70 points, while giving up only 27. With two close games to Central Washington being the outlier, the Vikings have so far either won in a landslide or lost in an embarrassing fashion. Expect the four-game series between the Saints and the Vikings to be split, with each game being a blowout.

The Saints have been excellent at bat this season, Megan Convery leading the way with a .615 AVG earning herself seven runs on eight hits in only 13 at bats. Olivia Schmidt has been excellent as well, with a .438 AVG, although she has only earned one run on seven hits with sixteen at bats. Britney Patrick leads the team in runs with 10 while also posting an AVG of .393. Destiny Conerly, Kylee Vanderbout and Julia Lucas round out the over-.300 club.

In pitching, Tia Ridings has been dominant, giving up an insane 1.05 ERA while playing 20 innings. Abby Runyon has been excellent as well giving up a 2.25 ERA while playing 28 innings.

March Madness

Ryne Oshiro, Staff Writer

With Winter quickly turning into Spring and February turning to March, the time for madness has come. March Madness will not be restricted because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with all of the craziness happening in the country, why not add sports chaos? March Madness is the time of the year where the number 15-seed team has the opportunity to take down the number two-seed team. Simply put, winners and losers are born in March. The competition is an annual basketball tournament held specifically for NCAA Division I programs. As they say after punching your ticket to the tournament, “let’s go dancing.”

The selection for the final 67 teams that will be participating in the tournament was finalized on Sunday, March 14. Following the selection ceremony, teams are placed into brackets. After the brackets have been made, the start of the “First Four” begins. The “First Four” represents the initial games to be played prior to the tournament to see the last four teams that will make the NCAA tournament. Those games will take place on Thursday, Mar. 18 and the first round of the NCAA tournament will take place on Friday, March  19 and Saturday, March 20 starting at 12 P.M  ET. The next two days, March 21-22 will then be the second round, followed by the Sweet 16 starting on Mar. 27 and running through Mar. 28. The Elite 8 will then be played the following two days, Mar. 29-30,with the Final four being held a few days later on April 3, starting at 5 P.M. Finally, the NCAA championship game will take place on Saturday, April  5 at 9 P.M. 

The one major change to this year’s tournament is the place in which it is being held. The NCAA tournament is normally hosted by the number one seeds in the first two rounds, but due to COVID-19 restrictions the entire tournament will be held in different parts of Indiana. The bulk of games will take place in the capital city of Indianapolis. The one good thing to come out of the tournament taking place in one state is that all the games will be televised. The selection show will be held on CBS, with the “First Four,” first and second round games being held on either TBS or CBS, and the Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final Four, and championship game taking place on CBS. 

Normally, to determine the seeding, 32 conference tournaments would be held, but with the Ivy League opting to not participate this year, only 31 conference tournaments will be held. Most of the tournaments will be held the week prior to the selection ceremony, and from there, teams will know if they are a high seed team or a team fighting to make the tournament. The Atlantic Sun (ASUN) conference has already held their tournament with Liberty, punching their ticket into the March Madness bracket. The Big South was won by Winthrop, and the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) was won by Drexel. The Horizon League has been won by Cleveland State, while the Missouri Valley Conference was won by Loyola Chicago. Mount St. Mary’s and Morehead State will represent the Northeast and Ohio Valley conference, respectively. Meanwhile, the Southern and Summit League has been won by UNC Greensboro and Oral Roberts. Rounding out the finished conference tournaments is Appalachian State and Gonzaga. App State took the Sun Belt crown, while the nation’s number-one ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs escaped to win the West Coast Conference (WCC).

For all the sports bettors of the world, Gonzaga is sitting as the favorite to win the entire tournament with +275 odds, while Baylor sits at +300 and Michigan at +400 per the BetMGM Sportsbook. For the sports fanatics, don’t forget to fill out the March Madness brackets and let the madness begin!

Soccer Looks to Kick-off on the Right Foot

Ryne Oshiro, Staff Writer

The Saint Martin’s Men’s Soccer season began its 2021 campaign last week as they played a two-game set against the Northwest Nazarene University Nighthawks. Sophomore Jason Aragon  scored the Saints’ first goal of 2021. Two minutes into the second half, Aragon put the Saints in the lead 1-0, one that would not prevail. Later in the half, the Nighthawks scored in the 62nd minute to make it a 1-1 tie. The score would remain static through two overtimes after both teams failed to net a goal. The Saints’ defense looked strong as it held the Nighthawks to only two shots on goal in both overtimes. 

Two days later, the Saints hosted the Nighthawks once again for another matchup. This one resulted in the Nighthawks’ favor as they outlasted the Saints 2-0. The Nighthawks had 14 shots while the Saints had seven. Goalie Hunter Askland for the Saints held the Nighthawks to only two recorded goals scored against him in the two games, while saving five shots. Askland started and logged 110 minutes in the first matchup on Thursday, and then on Saturday he played 45 minutes after giving way to Bryce Porter to finish the final 45 minutes. 

The Saints will look to move toward the future after seeing seven seniors graduate in 2019. This season they have returned 17 players with seven freshmen joining the squad. The 2020-2021 season will now be Rob Walker’s 15th year as the men’s head coach. On March 18, the Saints will host the Division III Pacific Lutheran Lutes from Tacoma where they will be playing for their first win of the season. 

On the Saints Women’s side, games will begin Thursday. March 11 as they head to Nampa, ID to play against Northwest Nazarene University. Goalie Ali Campigotto looks to protect the Saint’s goal after receiving second-team all-conference honors last season. Campigotto is coming off of a freshman season that saw her 5.82 saves per match, which ranked her third in the conference. Ali Campigotto also recorded 10 or more saves in three matches last year including eleven saves against nationally ranked Western Washington. Lexi Caceres looks to control the midfield after also receiving an all-conference honorable mention honors in the year before. Caceres came to the Saints after transferring from San Bernardino Valley College. Sophomore Maddie Wolf also looks toward another solid season after leading the Saints in scoring with three goals and one assist last year. Senior Daeh Lindquist also returns after logging over 1400+ minutes and appearing in 19 games. 

After seeing nine seniors graduate in 2019, the 2020-2021 Saints will now look to the future of their underclassmen. The Saints are stacked with new faces with ten freshmen listed on the 2021 roster. The Saints will look to rely heavily on underclassmen this year as only three seniors are listed and three juniors as well. With 25 players listed, that means over 19 of those players are underclassmen. This will also be Heather Cato’s fourth year as the Saints head coach as she looks to coach the team to a successful season. 

Australian Open

Brody Sodon, Staff Writer

Barbora Krejcikova and Rajeev Ram after winning the mixed doubles finals

Earlier this month, Melbourne hosted the Annual Australian Open. Due to complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the attendance for the event was just over 130,000 – about one-eighth of the typical turnout for the tournament. While the event has traditionally been held in January, it was postponed until February this year due to changes in qualification.

For the first time in the history of the tournament, qualifying events were held outside of Australia due to international COVID-19 restrictions. As such, the qualifying event was split into two tournaments taking place in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Another first for the tournament, the Australian Open used electronic line calls instead of line judges. Electronic line calls will likely be used throughout the rest of the Majors.

In the Men’s singles bracket, Serbian favorite Novak Djokovic proved victorious over the #4 seeded Russian, Daniil Medvedev. Djokovic seemed to have met his equal against the #8 seeded German, Alexander Zverev, in the quarterfinals, as Zverev won the first set 7-6 and played well against Djokovic in the next three sets. In the end, Djokovic rallied to win all three sets. He then went on to win out through the semifinals, and ultimately won in the finals. While he lost some games, Djokovic won every set he played except his first one against Zverev.

The Women’s singles saw #22 seeded American, Jennifer Brady, defeated by Naomi Osaka of Japan, who was seeded at #3. Osaka and Brady had very different paths to the finals. As Osaka went undefeated, Brady dropped a set to both fellow American Jessica Pegula in the quarterfinals and the Czechian Karolína Muchová in the semifinals, while losing both games to Osaka in the finals.

The winners of the Men’s doubles were Croatian Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek of Slovakia who bested American Rajeev Ram and British Joe Salisbury. Salisbury and Ram posted the #5 seed in the tournament and won every set leading into the finals while losing both sets in their finals match against Dodig and Polasek, who dropped a set in each of their last two matches leading into their match with Salisbury and Ram.

The women’s doubles saw the Czechian duo of Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková bested by Elise Mertens of Germany and Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus. Easily the most top-loaded finals in the tournament, #3 seeded Krejčíková and Siniaková fell to the #2 seeded duo of Mertens and Sabalenka by a score of 6-2 in their first set and 6-3 in their second.

The mixed doubles final match saw Rajeev Ram and Barbora Krejčíková (losers of the men’s and women’s doubles tournaments, respectively) earn a finals win as they defeated Australians Samantha Stosur and Matthew Ebden. The only seeded team to qualify for the finals bracket, Ram and Krejčíková won the tournament outright, with Krejčíková having successfully defended her title, albeit with a new partner.

NBA All-Star Break News

Ryne Oshiro, Staff Writer

The NB All-Star Game will be held on Mar. 7 with LeBron James and Kevin Durant headlining their respective teams. Retrieved from Twitter.

The 2021 National Basketball Association (NBA) season is quickly approaching the halfway point and that means the annual all-star break is set. The all-star game starters were announced in the middle of February with Kevin Durant and LeBron James leading the fan votes for their respective squads. Durant, who came off a complete season in 2020 where he sat out due to an Achilles tear, looks like the Most Valuable Player NBA fans saw back in 2014. The game will take place on March 7 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. 

There are ten starters from the West and East, but the tricky part is that the teams have not been chosen yet. With Durant and James leading the fan vote, they now are both captains of a team they get to select. The other eight starters are comprised of Western and Eastern conference players: alongside James in the West are Golden State Warriors’ point guard Steph Curry, Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Dončić, the Denver Nuggets Nikola Jokić, and the Los Angeles Clippers Kawhi Leonard. As for the East, joining Durant is Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal, the Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid, and Durant’s teammate on the Brooklyn Nets, Kyrie Irving. The all-star draft will take place three days before the game on Mar. 4 and will be broadcasted on TNT at 8 p.m ET. The reserves for the NBA all-star game will be announced on Feb. 23 and will also be a part of the captain’s choices for the two teams. The two coaches on each side will be Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder and his staff for Team James, while the Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers and his staff will coach Team Durant. For James, this is his 17th straight all-star selection, which is now an NBA record. 

Lebron is currently averaging 25.6 points per game, 7.9 assists, and 8.2 rebounds according to the NBA. Durant is also having a great comeback season with 29.0 points per game, 5.3 assists, and 7.3 rebounds which are all similar stats to his 2014 MVP season. As for the guards, Curry is averaging 29.9 points per game, Dončić is nearly averaging a triple-double with 29.1 points, 9.4 assists, and 8.6 rebounds as his averages. On the other side, Irving is averaging 27.7 points per game and 5.7 and 4.7 assists and rebounds respectively. The last guard, Beal, leads the NBA in points with a whopping 32.9 points per game. As for the forwards and centers, Jokić, Antetokounmpo, and Embiid are all averaging double-double numbers with marks of 26.6, 28.4, and 30.3 points to go along with 11.1, 11.9, and 11.3 rebounds per game. Rounding out the group is Leonard who is averaging 26.9 points per game, 4.9 assists, and 6.1 rebounds. 

As the mid-way point approaches, the Philadelphia 76ers are leading the Eastern Conference with a 20-11 record, and the Brooklyn Nets are right on their tail with a 20-12 record. Although the midway point isn’t where these teams will end, it is a great indication for teams to improve and make adjustments. For the Western Conference, the Utah Jazz has a 25-6 record which is  enough to be the league’s current best. Trailing behind them are the LA Lakers and Clippers who are both 22-10. Six teams from each conference are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs while the remaining 7-10 place teams will have a play-in tournament to help determine who will get a shot to compete for the title.

Russell Wilson is Not Going Anywhere… For Now

Brody Sodon, Staff Writer

Frustration seems to be a growing theme for the Seattle Seahawks. Since 2017, the Seahawks have gone 9-7, 10-6, 11-5, and most recently, 12-4 to finish the 2020 season. Surely, the Seahawks should be an elite team and are the closest team in the NFC to rivaling the New England Patriots in wins per season, but for some reason have translated this success into the postseason. In the last three years, the Seahawks have managed just one postseason win.

Despite room for optimism, every Seahawks fan’s worst nightmare appeared to come true just a few weeks ago. After an interview on The Dan Patrick Show, Russell Wilson expressed his dissatisfaction with the team, showing his desire for the Seattle Seahawks to give him more input on personnel decisions in both free-agent signings and the draft, such as how Tom Brady has been treated by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

I do not think there is much to worry about for Russell Wilson fans and Seahawks fans alike. Not only did the Seattle Seahawks issue a statement that they have no interest in trading Wilson away, but Wilson also has a no-trade clause in his contract, meaning that even if the Seahawks front office did decide to trade him away, Wilson would have the power to veto the decision. The final reason why Seahawks fans should not worry about a potential Wilson trade is that these rumors come up just about every year, yet he is still on the team. For example, there were rumors that the Seattle Seahawks would trade Russell Wilson to the Cleveland Browns before the 2018 NFL draft in exchange for multiple draft picks, allowing the Seahawks to draft Baker Mayfield first-overall as Wilson’s replacement. If the Seahawks would not make the trade then, it is highly unlikely they will now be given similar offers. 

In the week after the Superbowl Nick Wright on Fox Sports One (FS1) proposed a hypothetical trade between the Seattle Seahawks, New York Jets, Houston Texans, and San Francisco 49ers (attached image). While on paper all teams would get better from this proposed trade, it is unlikely that New York or Seattle would accept it. 

Even though New York would receive a huge upgrade at quarterback, they would be sacrificing three first-round picks and a second-round pick. The Jets already dealt Jamal Adams to the Seahawks in the 2020 offseason in return for what some Seahawks fans described as, “all of the draft picks in the world.” The Jets are in a position to draft a generational talent at quarterback in either Justin Fields or Trevor Lawrence, and have too many glaring holes in their roster to trade away so many high-value draft picks for an upgrade at quarterback that they would be getting regardless.

In addition to that, the Seattle Seahawks likely would not accept the trade either as they have significant cap space problems that will only be worse if they trade away Wilson. Some of the most important players on the Seahawks in K.J. Wright, Chris Carson, Shaquille Griffin and Tyler Lockett are all free agents heading into the offseason. The Seahawks already enter the offseason with a mere $6 million in cap space and are more than likely to not re-sign Chris Carson, so it would be unwise to invest in an expensive defensive end with the lack of depth in the Seattle backfield. 

The Seattle Seahawks may be intrigued by the offers they received in trade deals for Russell Wilson, but with the difficult cap space situation coming up the Seattle Seahawks have seemingly decided to keep Russell Wilson for the 2021-2022 season.

SMU Saints Vs. CWU Wildcats, Feb. 27, 2021

Brody Sodon, Staff Writer

The last Saint Martin’s men’s basketball home game of the season was certainly entertaining. Because this is Saint Martin’s second game in as many days, the Saints had a tough order to complete on Saturday. Matched up against their GNAC rivals, the Central Washington Wildcats, many believed that they were in for a high scoring affair, but instead we got to see a tale of two games.

The first half was close, with no team leading by any more than five points, but the final score of the half was very low, at a mere 25-25. The rather uneventful first half was capped off by an absolute bomb directly into the net for three by Ty Velasquez, and a foul set up a free throw for the Saints to snag one more before the half to tie the game. In the first half, Alex Schumacher and Ty Velasquez combed for an incredible 16 of the Saints’ 25 points in the first half.

During half time, analysts reported that the Saints averaged just 32% of their shots while the Wildcats averaged just 33% in the back and forth first half. These low numbers were not due to ineptitude on offense by any means, but by a surprisingly staunch defense for both teams.

To open up the second half the Saints played well, forcing a shot clock violation on the Wildcats, but let the Wildcats score on their next possession on a long three-point shot. Schumacher reached double digit points on the night following an incredible spin move setting him up for a two point shot, bringing his subtotal up to 11 points on the night, but before I could finish typing the sentence he got another two points, but had to go back to the bench after he committed his third foul on the night. This would go on to set the tone for the second half, which saw significantly more offense while being much more physical than the first half.

Valasquez earned his second three pointer of the night with about 16 minutes to go in the second half, putting the Saints back in the lead. He then scored again just two minutes later, setting the Saints up for the largest lead of the night up to that point at six points. The lead was increased even more when Tyke Thompson drilled a three pointer, extending the Saints lead to seven points after giving up two to Central. The Saints lead 43-37 with twelve minutes to go, and momentum strongly in their favor.

The Saints found much more success early in the second half, especially with their three-point shots which seemed to work in their favor in their double header weekend. Rather suddenly, however, the Saints lead was abruptly diminished as Central rallied for nine points in just one minute, three quarters of the way through the game, eventually taking the lead by one point at 50-49, making the score look more like a basketball game and less like a football game. Central ended up rallying for thirteen unanswered points, keeping Saint Martin’s off of the scoreboard for over four minutes until Seth Coddington earned two points on a lay-up shot with 6:45 to go. 

The Saints retook the lead with an Alex Schumacher steal, setting him up for a lay-up shot that brought his subtotal up to 20 points on the night, but the Saints almost immediately found themselves in a three point deficit after giving up back-to-back two pointers to the Wildcats, but Velasquez tied the game with another clutch three point shot.

Velasquez attempted a game saving shot as time expired, but was rejected as the ball bounced off of the top of the rim, ending all hopes of sending the game into overtime with the Saints losing by two. 

The second half was much more entertaining, as both teams brought up their shooting average to over 40% for both teams over the course of the game, much higher than their subtotals of just over 30% at the half.

The standout players of the night for the Saints were Alex Schumacher and Ty Velasquez. Velasquez finished the night going an incredible 3 for 6 on the night in three-point shots, totaling fifteen points on the night. The real star of the night though for the Saints was Alex Schumacher who was a stat sheet stuffer, earning himself a three-pointer, three rebounds, two assists, three turnovers, three steals, and twenty-two total points on the night.

SMU Sports Teams Updates

Ryne Oshiro, Staff Writer

SMU Saints Athletics is in full swing as 11 sports are officially in season

As the spring season approaches a new schedule is in place for fall, winter, and spring sports at Saint Martin’s University. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, athletes who participate in fall and winter sports had their schedules adjusted in the current 2020-2021 year. 

Sports like soccer, golf, and track and field all saw changes to their normal fall schedule. Golf will now begin their season on the eighth of March as both the men and women head to Northwest Nazarene University for the Nighthawk Invitational. Men’s Golf is led by GNAC all-conference selections Max Turnquist and Tyler Fitchett. Turnquist earned a first-team nod last season after shooting a 73.1 stroke average throughout six events and 18 rounds. Fitchett, a second-team selection, shot an average of 73.6. Last season marked the ninth straight time Men’s Golf had two or more selections to the all-conference team. As for the women’s side, Kathryn Crimp looks to take her second-team all-conference selection into her sophomore season. Crimp averaged a 79.7 scoring average over five events and 11 total rounds shot. 

Moving to the pitch, Women’s and Men’s soccer look to get their seasons going as well. The men will host Northwest Nazarene on Mar. 4, while the women host Corban and Western Oregon on Feb. 26 and Mar. 5. Following the departure of their program’s first All-American, Brandon Madsen, the men will look to continue their success after a winning season last year. As for the women, Ali Campigotto and Lexi Caceres are coming off all-conference selections after Campigotto was named to the second-team as a goalie. Caceres was an honorable mention midfielder after recording over 1,400 minutes of action. 

Volleyball also begins their season at a time that they are not accustomed to. On Mar. 2 the team will play host to Seattle Pacific for a doubleheader starting at 3:00 p.m.. Following the new hiring of coach Dan Behnke, the team looks to a successful 2021. In her final season at SMU, Mackenzie Carter looks to add to her resume. Carter, a GNAC all-conference honorable mention in 2019, looks to finish her senior season the way she ended her junior one as she led the Saints in kills and points. Although she missed 20 sets due to injury, Carter logged 273 kills and 298.5 points as the team’s outside hitter.

Unfortunately for the track and field team, there is currently no set schedule as the season soon approaches, yet there are meets in the works and they are optimistic that they will get to compete.

Of course, Men’s and Women’s basketball are in full swing as the end of their season approaches. The men look to finish strong in their final two games against Central Washington on Feb. 26 and Feb. 27. They are currently 1-8 overall as the season wraps up in one week. As for the women, their season end is also near with four games  remaining. They look to defeat Western Washington at home on Feb. 26 and then on the road the following day. After this, on Mar. 5 and Mar. 6 they look to complete their season against Central Washington. They currently sit at 5-4 overall and look to end the season with a winning record. 

To wrap things up on the diamond, coming off a GNAC player of the week nod, Kylee Vanderbout of Softball is off to a great start after a doubleheader sweep of Division III opponent Pacific University last week. Vanderbout had 5 runs batted in (RBI) and a two-run home run that helped propel the Saints to victory number two on Feb. 20. The Saints will play host on Feb.27 and Feb. 28 against another Division III opponent in Whitworth University.