News for October 23, 2012

                Fourteencandidates – seven women and seven men – are candidates for the 2012 Sul Ross State University Homecoming Queen and King.
                The new royalty will be crowned at halftime of the Saturday, Nov. 3 football game between the Lobos and Howard Payne University at Jackson Field. Maritza Garcia, Abilene, and Johnathon Cruz, San Antonio, are the reigning Queen and King.
                Preliminary elections will be held Oct. 25-26. The five Queen and five King finalists will be introduced during a performance by comedian Bill Santiago on Monday, Oct. 29 in Marshall Auditorium. Final voting will be held Wednesday-Friday, Oct. 31-Nov. 2.
                Queen candidates, their hometowns and sponsors are: Fernanda Arroyo, Presidio, Newman Club; Becca Blomquist, Granger, Student Support Services; Marinna Hernandez, El Paso, Sully Productions; Lessli Ruiz, San Antonio, Lobo Legacy; Monica Traylor, Sonora, Cheer Squad; Samantha Vela, Fort Stockton, Student Government Association; Kaitlyn Wood, San Antonio, Honors Program.
                King candidates are: Tony Castro, El Paso, Student Government Association; Ryan Hoffer, El Paso,Honors Program; Calvin Landrum, Waco, Student Support Services; Cody LeCroy, Needville, Cheer Squad; Michael Lopez, El Paso, Sully Productions; Glenn Losoya, Alpine, Newman Club; Joshua Perales, Castroville, Lobo Legacy.
                With the theme of “Vamos Rojo” (Go Red), Sul Ross State University students, staff, faculty and friends will celebrate Homecoming 2012, Oct. 29-Nov. 4.
                A full week of activities are planned, including daily student events, an American Southwest Conference football game, crowning the new Queen and King and honoring Distinguished Alumni and Hall of Honor inductees. Detailed schedules of Homecoming and related Alumni Association events, as well as registration information may be found online at
                As of Monday, Oct. 15, 11 candidates – six women and five men – seek the 2012 Homecoming Queen and King crowns. Candidate applications were open through Wednesday, Oct. 17. Coronation will be held at halftime of the Lobo-Howard Payne football game on Saturday, Nov. 3. Crowns, scepter and watches will be furnished by Anju’s Jewelry, Alpine. Maritza Garcia, Abilene, and Johnathon Cruz, San Antonio, are the reigning Queen and King.
                Preliminary elections will be held Oct. 25-26. The five Queen and five King finalists will be introduced during a performance by comedian Bill Santiago on Monday, Oct. 29 in Marshall Auditorium. Final voting will be held Wednesday-Friday, Oct. 31-Nov. 2.
                Former U.S. Congressman J.T. “Slick” Rutherford; former Del Rio Mayor and Regent Dora G. Alcala; and Trappings of Texas founder Gary Dunshee, Alpine, will be honored as Sul Ross State University Distinguished Alumni. Peggy and Dan Allen Hughes, Jr., Beeville, will receive the Slingin’ Sammy Baugh Award for Outstanding Service.
                Five new members will be inducted into the Hall of Honor, the late Victor Villarreal and the late Don Bandy; Natalie Whitewood Johns, Center Point; and Outstanding Boosters Metha Sprinkle, Alpine, and her late husband, Bill.
                All will be honored during ceremonies Saturday, Nov. 3 at the annual Athletic Hall of Honor/Distinguished Alumni banquet. The event will begin with a 6:30 p.m. reception, followed by a 7:15 banquet in the Espino Conference Center, Morgan University Center. Tickets are $30 per person and may be purchased by contacting the Office of Alumni Affairs, (432) 837-8697 or the Office of Physical Education and Athletics, 837-8226.
                Other Homecoming Week events include:
                Monday, Oct. 29: Twin Day; Decorate the Mall, 4-6 p.m.; Float supplies and banners drawing, 5 p.m.,Student Life Office, Morgan University Center; King and Queen introductions, 8 p.m., Marshall Auditorium, with comedian Bill Santiago.
                Tuesday, Oct. 30: Hat Day; Homecoming Derby, 6 p.m., the Mall
                Wednesday, Oct. 31: Halloween Costumes; Voting begins for Homecoming Queen and King, noon; Whitewashing of the Bar-SR-Bar, 5:30 p.m., Hancock Hill, followed by pizza party, Physical Plant parking lot                Thursday, Nov. 1: Jersey Day; Queen and King elections continue. Homecoming Decoration contest, Residential Living and departmental offices, judging begins at 2 p.m.; Cupcake Challenge, 5:30 p.m., the Mall; Powder Puff football, 7 p.m., upperclassmen vs. underclassmen, Jackson Field; Lighting of the Bar-SR-Bar, after dark, Hancock Hill
                Friday, Nov. 2: Red Out; Queen and King elections close at noon; Decorate Jackson Field for pep rally and game, 4-6 p.m.; Pep rally, 7 p.m., Jackson Field
                Saturday, Nov. 3: Parade, 10 a.m., starting on Holland Ave. at Alpine Civic Center; Football, Lobos vs. Howard Payne, 1 p.m., Jackson Field; Coronation, halftime, Jackson Field

                Sunday, Nov. 4:   Four-person Golf Scramble, 8:30 a.m., Alpine Country Club. Registration and breakfast begins at 7:30 p.m. Advance registration required, Oct. 30 deadline. For more information, contact Karen Brown, 837-8697 or 837-8443, or
                by Steve Lang, News and Publications

A year ago, Scotty Walden passed for 1977 yards, 14 TDs as Lobo quarterback. (Photo by Jason Hennington)

A year ago, Scotty Walden passed
for 1977 yards, 14 TDs as Lobo quarterback. (Photo by Jason Hennington)

Last year, Scotty Walden was completing his collegiate eligibility as Sul Ross State University’s starting quarterback.This year, he is on the sidelines, orchestrating an attack that leads all NCAA Division III teams in total offense.At 22 years of age, Walden may be the youngest offensive coordinator in the collegiate football ranks, but youth can be deceiving, according to his head coach.“Scotty is mature well past his years of age,” said Wayne Schroeder. “He is very knowledgeable, has high energy and is intense. He is one of those guys who can push, push, push the players, but he knows when it’s time to praise and give credit.”


And credit is deserved for players and coaches alike. Through seven games, Sul Ross (3-4, 2-2 American Southwest Conference) averaged 544 yards (328 passing, 216 rushing) per game to lead all DIII teams. The Lobos scored 48.3 points per contest, third overall, reaching the 70-point plateau in back-to-back road wins at Mississippi College and Texas Lutheran University.


 In roughly a year and a half, Walden made a transition from a backup quarterback at Hardin-Simmons University to designing an explosive offense at Sul Ross that averages nearly seven touchdowns per contest. In between, he won the starting quarterback job for the 2011 Lobos, passing for a respectable 1977 yards and 14 touchdowns during a 2-8 season.             “Scotty has great leadership skills,” Schroeder said. “For someone who transferred in the summer before his senior year and was told the quarterback job is yours to lose, you’ ve got to establish yourself quickly.”

                Walden’s leadership continued through his senior season.
                “Even though the wins didn’t reflect it, we were an improving football team...and Scotty is a big part of that,” Schroeder said. He added that Walden, who graduated magna cum laude in August with a Bachelor’s degree in History, was encouraged to pursue a Master’s degree at Sul Ross and be a graduate assistant coach.
                Beginning last spring, Walden worked with his former teammates in a coaching capacity and soon after was offered the offensive coordinator position.
                “Going into spring ball we hadn’t defined all his duties, but it became obvious he was the real deal,” Schroeder said. “We talked to him about the offensive coordinator duties...and turned him loose to define the offensive scheme. What you see on the field is the result of that. He gets the ball in the hands of multiple playmakers and that balance has led to the success of the offense.”
                After graduating from Cleburne High School, Walden enrolled at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa,and was the starting quarterback on the institution’s first football team. Seeking to get closer to home, he transferred to Hardin-Simmons, where he saw little action over two seasons.
                “The main thing that got me to Sul Ross was an opportunity to play,” Walden said. He said that his high school coach’s father, Bill Young, played football at Sul Ross and encouraged him to investigate the campus.   “I loved the ‘at home’ atmosphere. The coaches were more down to earth,” Walden said. “I felt I could contribute and be part of the team.” 
Lobo offensive coordinator Scotty Walden outlines strategy against Western New Mexico. (Photo by Peter Dindinger)
Lobo offensive coordinator Scotty Walden outlines strategy against Western New Mexico. (Photo by Peter Dindinger)
                After completing his eligibility, Walden told Schroeder of his goal to coach, “and in the spring, he put me to work.” He quickly moved from quarterback/wide receivers coach to coordinating the passing game.
                “In between, I was weighing some high school positions, but this was a really good opportunity; something felt right about it,” he said.
                His instincts paid off, and Walden was soon offered the offensive coordinator position. “When I was told it would be my thing to run, I was a little shocked, but I immediately said, ‘yes.’”
    In the meantime, he is pursuing his Master’s degree in Educational Administration.
                Moving from teammate and friend to boss has been the biggest transition, Walden said. He added that he worked to establish that degree of separation during spring workouts, “and they (team) have done a tremendous job in buying into that. They have responded really well and handled it very maturely.”
                Senior wide receiver Lee Carothers (Austin/Travis High School), Walden’s principal target a year ago said the feeling has gone from friendship to respect.
                “It was awkward at first, but he is turning into a good coach,” Carothers said. “He brings a lot of energy and we feed off him.” 
Walden in turn praises the players and his fellow coaches for their work ethic.
                “I knew we had some very explosive talent at the skill positions. We also had a solid offensive line, so I really felt we had a chance to do some good things,” he said.
                “The success we have had is all because of them. It has been a great season for us thus far,” he said. “We have tried to establish a mentality of hard work. We try to outwork everybody in the nation, in the weight room, watching film and in practice, players and coaches, too.”
                Walden said the progress of the offensive line was “the biggest development.”
                “Our offensive line has come miles and miles from where they were last year. The guys have all done a tremendous job in opening holes and protecting the quarterback....They are a huge reason for why we’re doing what we’re doing.”
                Schroeder commended the entire offensive coaching staff, including Christian Cruz (receivers); Donald Williams and Dan Dunagan (offensive line); and Ken Jernigan (running backs) for their efforts.  Since many of the Lobo coaches are student or graduate assistants, Schroeder also serves as a mentor.
                “We want an atmosphere that’s productive…We turn them loose with responsibility and working whatever piece of the piece (they are assigned) to make it as successful as it can be,” he said.
                “All these guys work extremely well together, but Scotty is definitely the guy who leads that crew,” Schroeder added. “One thing he does so well is that he sees the field…he recognizes defenses and makes adjustments.
                 “It will be fun to watch him through his career and see where that might take him.”
                And Walden has no doubts of his early career choice.
                “I’m having a blast. There is no doubt in my mind what I want to do with my life. I can’t see myself doing anything else.”
                Sul Ross State University student Matthew Short, San Antonio, will present a composition recital Friday, Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m. in Marshall Auditorium. There is no admission charge and a reception will follow.
                Shortwas one of the winners in the first Sul Ross Wind Ensemble Composition Contest, held this past summer. His composition, “Ocean: The Maiden Voyage,” had a world premiere performance by the Sul Ross Wind Ensemble on Oct. 11, along with three other compositions.
                A total of 33 composers from 18 states and five countries submitted new pieces for wind ensemble in the competition..
Sul Ross presence in China

Former Sul Ross biology professor, Steve Platt, displays the Sul Ross colors atop Hiangshan Mountain, in China. At 6114 feet, it is the tallest mountain in eastern China.  Dr. Platt is currently conducting studies on reptiles in Southeast Asia, and he is involved in joint research with Sul Ross faculty. (Photo Courtesy David Rohr)