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What to expect from SAU Athletics this Spring

College sports is arguably the most exciting brand of sports to watch. College athletes aren’t professionals and mistakes are made often, which can create a lot of drama. In professional leagues, consistency and perfection are expected; fundamentals are solidified and expert level plays become routine because there is no room for error. A single mistake can be the difference between winning and losing: one interception on the last drive of the game, an error on a routine ground ball, but these mistakes come far and few between in the pros.

College sports are a different breed. Mistakes are common, making for a much more exciting game. A high scoring college football game stems from both team’s defenses being unable to defend properly. Deep passes and open baskets aren’t always necessarily a result of a good offense but more often, a mistake on the defense.

Image via Brenna Johnson

With this in mind, there is a lot to be excited about pertaining to SAU’s athletics. This spring is my fourth semester at Southern Arkansas University and as an avid sports fan, things are looking very promising for the Spring.

The baseball and softball teams were both voted the number one team in the Great American Conference in the preseason coaches poll. The baseball squad received seven of twelve first-place votes while the softball team received eleven of twelve first-place votes. The teams will begin Spring play on February 1st.

The SAU men’s basketball team is also showing a lot of promise. Standing with a record of 14-3 (9-2 GAC), the Muleriders entered the top-25 National Rankings for the first time since the school entered Division II during the 1995-1996 season. The future looks promising. The Muleriders will take on #19 Southern Nazarene on January 26th in Bethany, Oklahoma.

Image via Brenna Johnson

SAU seemingly has found a model for consistency concerning sports. Last Fall, Southern Arkansas finished in 4th place in the GAC All-Sports rankings, the third consecutive year the school has finished in the top four.

If you are around campus when any sporting event is taking place, I highly recommend taking some time out of your day and supporting the Muleriders. The energy each team exerts reflects back into the fans, creating an environment like none other! I’ll never forget my first SAU football game, how loud the crowd became after a touchdown. The stadium was half empty (but only because the opposing team didn’t have a full fan section. Every seat on the home side was occupied) but the noise compared to that of a rock concert.

I didn’t get a chance to watch the baseball or softball team last year, but I’ll for sure be making time to watch a game. With the expectations set high based on the preseason rankings, our team is going to need a lot of support! The basketball team also will need a hand with the season now in full swing. It looks like a promising Spring for SAU athletics, so show your support for the blue and gold!

 

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