Angelo State’s club sports teams compete in that gray area between intramurals and intercollegiate athletics.
Like intramurals, club sports provide an outlet for students to continue participating in competitive sports after high school. Players compete for the love of the game, not for athletic scholarships or other special considerations, and many compete in sports that are outside the mainstream of intercollegiate athletics.
However, like intercollegiate athletics, club sports teams dedicate many hours to perfecting their craft so they can compete against teams representing other colleges and universities, often traveling to other states for games, meets and tournaments.
Intramurals has long been one of the most popular student activities on the ASU campus, but if the 2016-17 academic year is any indication, club sports are gaining their own popularity. And just like ASU’s intercollegiate athletics teams, our club teams are a force to be reckoned with.
Rams Clay Target Team: In October 2016, Colten Hughes of Big Spring won the Men’s International Trap competition at the Association of College Unions International’s Lower Midwest International Championships in San Antonio. Brady Burks of Iraan placed seventh for ASU, and Hughes also placed ninth in the Men’s International Skeet Competition.
(While the team is technically a student organization and not a club team, we thought a mention was deserved.)
Ram Powerlifting Club: In November 2016, club members brought home nine first-place medals and four second-place medals in various men’s and women’s lifting categories and weight classes from USA Powerlifting’s Longhorn Open in Austin. ASU’s Alyssa Gaitan of Kyle was named Best Female Lightweight Raw Lifter, and Brittany Barksdale of Burnet was named Best Female Heavyweight Raw Lifter. (See the team photo in the included gallery.)
Bass Anglers Club: In February, two teams representing the ASU club finished in the top four and claimed prize money at the Yeti FLW College Fishing Southern Conference Tournament at Lake Sam Rayburn near Beaumont. Will Curlee of Round Rock and Ty Johnson of Bernet, Ill., placed second out of 132 two-person teams from more than 30 other universities and won $1,000. ASU’s Nathan Ahle of Plano and Nolan Osmanski of San Angelo finished in fourth place and won $500.
By finishing in the top 10, both ASU teams qualified for the 2018 FLW College Fishing National Championship Tournament next summer at a date and place to be determined.
(Side Note: Osmanski was also featured as a “Big Catch Winner of the Week” on Fox Sports Outdoors in December 2016. His photo with the bass he caught while competing for ASU is in the included photo gallery.)
Handball Club: In February, the club women’s team finished as national runner-up in the Division II Women’s Category at the United States Handball Association’s 2017 National Collegiate Handball Championships in Tempe, Ariz. The ASU women’s team included Angela Snow (captain), Selena Cardenas, Bianca Martinez and Corinna Mendez. Mendez also finished in the top eight in the individual standings to become ASU’s first-ever All-American in handball.
An ASU men’s team also competed at the national tournament. It included ASU’s first four-year player, Logan Benson, as well as Michael Garcia, Phillip Mendoza and Nathan Swiger.
Ram Powerlifting Club: Also in February, club members earned seven first-place medals and two second-place medals in various men’s and women’s lifting categories and weight classes at USA Powerlifting’s 2017 Aggie Showdown in College Station. Caitlyn Buck was also named the meet’s Best Female Equipped Lifter.
Then in March, three club members brought home medals, including a national championship, from the USA Powerlifting Collegiate National Meet in San Antonio. Brittany Barksdale of Burnet won first place in the Women’s Collegiate Raw 185-pound weight class to claim the national title. Alyssa Gaitan of Kyle and Caitlyn Buck of San Angelo placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Women’s Collegiate Equipped 138-pound weight class.
In all, 12 members of the Ram Powerlifting Club competed at the national meet. (See the team photo in the included gallery.)
Ram Rugby Football Club: In March, the club claimed its second straight Texas State Champion title by going undefeated to win the Lonestar Conference Championship. That earned the club a trip to the National Small College Rugby Organization’s Cowboy Cup Championship in Irving, where Ram Rugby defeated the University of Dallas Rugby Football Club to win the Cowboy Cup. (See 2016 and 2017 Ram Rugby team photos in the included gallery.)
By winning the Cowboy Cup, Ram Rugby advanced to the NSCRO PacWest Region Championship in Claremont, Calif., in early April, finishing in third place.
One team tired of seeing ASU is the University of Dallas. Ram Rugby defeated the University of Dallas club in the Lonestar Conference final, the Cowboy Cup final and the third-place game of the PacWest Region Championship.
Find out more about ASU club sports teams at www.angelo.edu/club-sports.