Archives for August 2017

Wonder Boys Topple GAC Favorites 28-21

Ty Reasnor’s 10-yard touchdown run with 2:54 remaining and Cua’ Rose’s interception on the next play from scrimmage propelled Arkansas Tech University to a 28-21 season-opening win over nationally 22nd-ranked Southern Arkansas University at Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field in Russellville on Thursday night.

The Muleriders, preseason favorites to win the 2017 Great American Conference title, had not trailed all night until Reasnor faked a hand-off, ran left and leaped into the end zone to cap an 11-play, 73-yard drive with the go-ahead touchdown.

After Rose intercepted SAU quarterback Barrett Renner’s pass moments later, the Wonder Boys were able to possess the football down to the final two seconds.

The Muleriders got one last try from their own 10-yard line, but Renner’s pass fell incomplete, time expired and Tech extended a streak that has seen the home team win each of the last 10 meetings between the two programs.

Reasnor completed 13-of-23 passes for 220 yards and three touchdowns, including a 59-yard strike to Drew Wade that tied the score at 21-21 with 9:46 left in the fourth quarter. He also tossed touchdown passes of 23 yards to Jackob Dean and 35 yards to Justin Bailey.

Seth Culp had 14 tackles to lead the Arkansas Tech defense.

Renner completed 33-of-44 passes for 343 yards and three touchdowns.

The Wonder Boys (1-0) will face Henderson State University (1-0) for a 6 p.m. GAC contest at Carpenter-Haygood Stadium in Arkadelphia on Saturday, Sept. 9. Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and will have live play-by-play coverage.

2017 Football: Wonder Boys vs SAU | 8/31/17

ATU DPS Takes Part in Labor Day Campaign

State and local law enforcement agencies will work overtime during the holiday weekend to identify and arrest drunk drivers on Arkansas streets and highways.

The heightened enforcement campaign “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” goes through Sept. 3.

Increased saturation patrols will be part of the initiative designed to keep Arkansas roadways safe during the Labor Day weekend. The intensified enforcement effort directed toward drunk drivers underscores the severity of the problem, both locally and across the nation.

During the calendar year 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded 9,967 deaths in motor vehicle crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Arkansas recorded 135 deaths as a result of alcohol-related crashes during the same reporting period.

Arkansas law enforcement agencies are teamed-up with police officers nationally to establish zero tolerance for drunk drivers and encourage all drivers to be safe and sober.

ATU Department of Public Safety would like to remind individuals to follow these tips:

  • If you plan on drinking, do not drive. Plan ahead and designate a sober driver before you get in the vehicle. Even one drink can impair your judgment and increase the risk of getting arrested for driving while intoxicated, or worse, risk injury or death to someone in a crash.
  • If you’re impaired, use a taxi, or call a sober friend or family member.
  • Promptly report drunk drivers to law enforcement.
  • Always wear your seat belt or use protective equipment while on a motorcycle. These items are your best defense against an impaired driver.

Learn more about Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

ATU Student Among Those Helping in Texas

Most people’s first instinct during times of disaster is to run in the other direction.

For Grant McMurry, a sophomore emergency management student at Arkansas Tech University, the instinct is the exact opposite.

That’s why on Wednesday afternoon he was part of a caravan of Arkansans driving to College Station, Texas, to receive further instructions on how they could assist in Hurricane Harvey rescue and recovery efforts.

“My hometown is Clinton, and we’ve had our share of natural disasters,” said McMurry. “Our neighbors, both from inside and outside the state, are always the first ones there to help.”

McMurry is a member of the Van Buren County Rescue Squad. Trained in water rescue, McMurry’s squad connected with similar groups from around Arkansas in Texarkana and began the trek to the path of the historic hurricane. He said the super task force of Arkansas rescue groups was taking 30 boats to the scene.

“A lot of the classes I have taken at Arkansas Tech, especially the emergency management ones, have been really helpful in preparing me to assist at times like these,” said McMurry, who already owns a paramedic/emergency medical services academic credential from ATU and is now stacking a Bachelor of Science degree in emergency management on top of it. “We learn about mitigation, response and recovery and the composition of natural disasters so we can understand typical outcomes. The emergency management program encourages students to reach out at times like this, and the faculty have been very helpful in ensuring I can make up my course work.”

Back on campus, multiple student organizations and departments at ATU have combined their resources for a philanthropic effort entitled “Tech Unite: Helping Hurricane Harvey Victims.”

Donations will be accepted and forwarded to the Texas Diaper Bank, a non-profit organization that provides children and the elderly with personal care items in times of need.

The project is being organized by the ATU International and Multicultural Student Services Office (IMSSO) and co-sponsored by the following campus entities: College of Arts and Humanities, Because We Can, Department of Diversity and Inclusion, Red Cross Student Association and Student Government Association.

Cash and check donations will be accepted in the Dr. Robert Charles Brown and Jill Lestage Brown Hall lobby and at Hindsman Tower from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 6, Thursday, Sept. 7 and Friday, Sept. 8.

Cash only donations will be accepted at the Walmart SuperCenter at 2409 E. Main St. in Russellville and Kroger at 1009 W. Main St. in Russellville from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9, and Sunday, Sept. 10.

Those wishing to make a contribution can also do so at the IMSSO in Tomlinson Hall room 29 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through Friday, Sept. 8.

For more information about Tech Unite, call (479) 964-0832.

In addition, the ATU Department of Emergency Management is receiving reports of additional students and alumni from the program who have reported to the Houston area to assist.

Learn more about the ATU Department of Emergency Management.

Photographed: Members of the Van Buren County Rescue Squad preparing for their trip to assist in Hurricane Harvey rescue and recovery efforts. 

ATU Begins 103rd Football Season Thursday

It’s a mantra that’s been a part of the game since the helmets were made from the same material as the football: the team that makes the fewest mistakes wins.

Arkansas Tech University head coach Raymond Monica has emphasized that point with his team for months in advance of the Wonder Boys’ season opener against nationally 22nd-ranked Southern Arkansas University on Thursday night.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field in Russellville. Party at the Plaza begins at 5 p.m. Tickets ($10 adults, $5 students and senior citizens) will be available at the stadium ticket office. Those with a valid ATU identification card will be admitted for free.

“The number one thing when I looked at the whole (2016) season was we committed way too many penalties,” said Monica, who is beginning his fifth year as the Wonder Boys’ leader. “We addressed that in the off-season and in fall camp. We had three opportunities with a full crew of officials and two more days with one official out there, so we’ve tried to do a better job with that because those little things make the difference in a game.”

Arkansas Tech averaged 85.9 penalty yards per game in 2016. Among the 12 teams in the Great American Conference, only Northwestern Oklahoma State University (88.8 penalty yards per game) did more to hurt its own cause.

Despite that fact, the Wonder Boys assembled their second consecutive winning season with a 6-5 overall record a year ago. It marked the first back-to-back winning seasons for ATU since it put together three consecutive winning overall records from 2004-06.

One of the factors in making that winning season possible in 2016 was a group that calls itself “The Stable,” known individually as running backs Bryan Allen, a junior from Forrest City; Justin Bailey, a sophomore from Mayflower; Braden Stringer, a senior from Blanchard, Okla., and Kristian Thompson, a junior from Dardanelle.

That foursome has accumulated 4,373 career rushing yards and 33 career rushing touchdowns.

“We have added a couple of things here and there, but it’s the same verbiage we’ve used for the last two years,” said Monica when asked about his offense, which is directed by third-year coordinator Brent Dearmon. “That helps the kids learn better. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the offensive line plays. We have the same four running backs as last year, and how the quarterback goes is usually how your offense goes, so we’re looking forward to see how Ty Reasnor does.”

ATU’s defense regained one of its co-coordinators when Raleigh Jackson returned to the Wonder Boys during the off-season to once again work alongside Kurt Corbin. Jackson spent the 2016 season on the coaching staff at Delta State University.

The bad news for Jackson, Corbin and the rest of the green and gold defense is that linemen Bruce Livingston, Demetris Ford and Lovis Hall all completed their eligibility at the conclusion of last year. They were Tech’s top three tacklers on the defensive front in 2016.

“There are a lot of unknowns on the defensive line,” said Monica. “You’ve got three guys who played a lot of football. Two of them (Livingston and Ford) were all-conference for two years, and the other one (Hall) I thought deserved something. I’m not saying these guys coming up aren’t as good as them. It’s just that we don’t know until we get out there and play some games.”

Returnees Seth Culp and K.J. Reid are penciled in as the starting linebackers, while a revamped secondary includes 2016 All-GAC selection Cua’ Rose as the top returning performer and Auburn University transfer Mike Sherwood among the newcomers.

“I know right now we are better in the secondary than we were at the end of last year,” said Monica. “I know that. Now, will we play like that? Only a matter of time will tell. But we’ve created some depth there and I like what I see. We’ll be challenged on Thursday night with the ball in the air.”

SAU is led by junior quarterback Barrett Renner. The 2015 GAC freshman of the year, a 2016 All-GAC selection and a 2017 preseason All-American, Renner passed for 3,371 yards and 27 touchdowns during his sophomore campaign.

The Muleriders were picked in a preseason poll of league head coaches as the favorite to win the 2017 GAC title. Since the conference was created in 2011, only Ouachita Baptist University (2011 and 2014) Henderson State University (2012, 2013 and 2015) and Harding University (2016) have captured the GAC football championship.

Live coverage of Thursday’s ATU-SAU season opener will be available on radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and

DDI Partners With RSOs for Series on Faith

The Arkansas Tech University Department of Diversity and Inclusion has partnered with faith-based registered student organizations to develop an interfaith series of one-hour sessions collectively entitled Diversified Faith.

Events will take place Tuesdays at noon during the fall 2017 semester in Baswell Techionery room 204. The sessions are open to all students, faculty and staff.

All of the sessions are part of the On Track program in the Global Focus track.

Below is a list of the Diversified Faith events at ATU for fall 2017:

  • V Campus Ministry, Aug. 29
  • Baptist Collegiate Ministry, Sept. 5
  • Bridge at the Journey, Sept. 12
  • Catholic Campus Ministry, Sept. 19
  • Chi Alpha, Sept. 26
  • Church of Christ Student Center, Oct. 3
  • CRU, Oct. 10
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Oct. 17
  • Missionary Baptist Student Fellowship, Oct. 24
  • Muslim Student Association, Oct. 31
  • NLC College, Nov. 7
  • The Verge Collegiate Ministries, Nov. 14
  • United Voices of Praise Gospel Choir, Nov. 21
  • Wesley Foundation, Nov. 28