Dallas, Texas?The American Southwest Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) held its annual meeting on Monday (Sept. 24) at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dallas Near the Galleria. Each of the Conference?s 14 member institutions was represented with student-athletes and advisors.
The group’s agenda covered topics ranging from sportsmanship to NCAA Convention legislative proposals. It was decided that the date for the seventh annual “Make a Change in 14 Days” charity campaign will be held from January 21-February 2 on the local campuses. The SAAC group also joined together to discuss multiple roundtable topics, including structures of meetings on campus and ideas to better celebrate the second annual NCAA Division III Week on April 8-14. The student-athletes chose a design created by Howard Payne freshman Public and Media Communications major Marshal McIntosh as the winner of the ASC Championship T-shirt Design Contest. The logo will make its debut on Oct. 27 at the ASC Cross Country Championships.
ASC/Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Division III National SAAC Representative Dalaine Whitlock, a senior soccer player at Concordia Texas, provided notes from the national level and also spoke about NCAA Division III’s partnership with Special Olympics.
“The SAAC meeting was both insightful and informational,” Mary Hardin-Baylor senior soccer player Jenna Womack, who served as one of the meeting chairs. “We discussed ways to improve the things we are doing to make a change in our communities and how we can impact national SAAC by discussing the views of student-athletes on our campuses. We were also better educated on how we can be positive messengers for our universities.”
The event was also filled with guest speakers. Fieldhouse Media founder Kevin DeShazo gave a presentation on social media and the student-athlete, focusing on how those should handle and approach it.
Special Olympics Texas also made an appearance. Dallas-area program associate Katy Williams, a former NCAA Division III student-athlete, spoke on the unique partnership with Division III, and 2012 Special Olympics Texas Female Athlete of the Year Leanne Owens gave a touching speech on what the partnership has meant to her.
“I thought the ASC SAAC meeting was very informative this year,”
Whitlock said. “In addition to many things happening on the national level within Division III, we had Fieldhouse Media come and talk on the issue of social media. Social media has grown to be an almost inherent part of today’s society, and I think it’s important that student-athletes are aware of the power it has and are proactive in the online brand they are creating for not only themselves personally, but also for their team, their institution, and all other student-athletes.
“We also heard from Special Olympics Texas on how we can further develop the Division III partnership. There are so many ways to get involved, and it really does make a huge impact on both the student-athlete and the Special Olympics athlete when they are involved in this unique partnership. It’s something that both groups can greatly benefit from, and it was great to hear more about all of the opportunities institutions have to cultivate this new relationship and tradition.”
Prior to Monday’s meeting, the student-athletes and advisors joined together on Sunday night at the hotel to participate in a T-shirt exchange game.
Along with Womack, Mary Hardin-Baylor freshman baseball player Garrett Webb served as chair at the meeting, while Texas-Tyler senior soccer player Chris Powell and sophomore soccer player Emerson Ornstein handled vice chair duties. ASC Assistant Commissioner Greg Weghorst and UMHB Faculty Representative Effel Harper shared the conference SAAC Advisor role.
Student-Athletes in Attendance
Dominique Liddell, Concordia Texas (Basketball) Dalaine Whitlock, Concordia Texas (Soccer) Cole Tanner, East Texas Baptist (Baseball) Miranda Westbrook, East Texas Baptist (Softball) Tyson Denton, Hardin-Simmons (Track and Field) Kelsey Farrington, Hardin-Simmons (Cheerleading) Jacob Carrillo, Howard Payne (Tennis) Katie Poerner, Howard Payne (Softball) Lauren Lanes, LeTourneau (Basketball) Deitrich Williams, LeTourneau (Basketball) Emily Douglas, Louisiana College (Softball) Brianna Hall, Louisiana College (Softball) Garrett Webb, Mary Hardin-Baylor (Baseball) Jenna Womack, Mary Hardin-Baylor (Soccer) Valeri Stewart, Mississippi College (Basketball) Jesse Taylor, Mississippi College (Basketball) Ian Bryan, Ozarks (Baseball) Tara Richards, Ozarks (Tennis) Alex Guzman, Schreiner (Cross Country) Roni Kloss, Schreiner (Soccer) Maile Hoyt, Sul Ross State (Softball) Nicole Murdock, Sul Ross State (Basketball) Brian Childs, Texas-Dallas (Soccer) Zack Hansen, Texas-Dallas (Soccer) Emerson Ornstein, Texas-Tyler (Soccer) Chris Powell, Texas-Tyler (Soccer) Kyle McNally, Texas Lutheran (Football)
Advisors in Attendance
Denise Lira, Concordia Texas (Softball Head Coach) Adam Ledyard, East Texas Baptist (Sports Information Director) Chad Grubbs, Hardin-Simmons (Sports Information Director) Abram Choate, Howard Payne (Sports Information Director) Terri Deike, LeTourneau (Athletic Director) Will Tubbs, Louisiana College (Assistant Athletic Director) Effel Harper, Mary Hardin-Baylor (Faculty Representative) Josh Brooks, Mississippi College (Men’s Basketball Assistant Coach) Shaun Wiseman, Ozarks (Tennis Head Coach) Jimmy K. Smith, Schreiner (Men’s Basketball Head Coach) Sandra Chambers, Sul Ross State (Softball Head Coach) Kelli Davis, Texas-Dallas (Administrative Assistant) Kenny Biizot, Texas-Tyler (Men’s Basketball Head Coach) Kaitlyn McCanna, Texas Lutheran (Women’s Basketball Assistant Coach)