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True To The Cru’s Players of the Week presented by the Crusader Football Alumni Association

It is Wednesday, and time to announce True To The Cru’s Players of the Week presented by the Crusader Football Alumni Association. 

As a former Crusader football player, the benefits of becoming a member of the Cru FAA are endless, including family tickets to all Regular Season Home Games, Alumni Tailgates and Post Game celebrations. It also ensures that you will receive the Cru FAA’s Semi- Annual Newsletter and access to all social media communication! Learn more at

Offensive Player of the Week: UMHB Offensive Line

The Crusader offensive line, composed of Ethan Ruckman, Jeffery Sims, John Schnautz, Reuel Tandoh, and Jesse Hoke (starters), as well as Jacob Dailey, Lance Jones,Hayes Chizer, Joseph Montez, John Kazmierski, Wyatt Crawford, and Kyle Wente, performed exceptionally well against the Southwestern defensive front. In the 68-14 victory, the unit helped pave the way for 263 rushing yards, and three rushing touchdowns. Additionally, they gave quarterback Kyle King plenty of time in the pocket, as he threw for 298 yards, and was not sacked once in the contest. In fact, three quarterbacks played for the Cru, and for the second time this season, the offensive line did not allow a sack. 

Defensive Player of the Week: Johnny Smith-Rider

Linebacker Johnny Smith-Rider wins this weekly honor for the third straight time, barely earning the most votes, with 43 percent. He tied for the team lead in total tackles, with six, and led the Cru with 3.0 tackles for loss. Smith-Rider now has 6.5 tackles for loss through three games, which is the highest total in the ASC. He also contributed to a defense that held Southwestern to just 98 rushing yards. 

Special Teams Player of the Week: K.J. Miller

Entering the contest, KJ Miller’s longest punt return of the season was 10 yards. He more than tripled that with a 38-yard return early in the second quarter that set up a UMHB touchdown. His two punt returns went for 51 yards, in addition to a spectacular 46-yard kickoff return. With his punt return yardage, Miller became the program’s career leader in that stat category during the contest, with 1,520 total punt return yards. 

Women’s Soccer Player of the Week: Maria Rico

Rico scored her second goal of the season in the 3-1 victory over Belhaven, finding the back of the net in the 83rd minute of the match. She was also responsible for the assist of the lone goal of Friday’s match, a 1-0 victory over Hendrix. She recorded eight shots in those two matches, with four shots on goal. 

Volleyball Player of the Week: Katie Warden

Warden continues to be a superior offensive weapon for UMHB, as the outside hitter has tallied five straight double-digit kill performances, with a total of 36 kills in the last three matches. She had 10 in the win over LeTourneau on Friday night, and came back less than 24 hours later with 15 against UT-Dallas. She posted a team-best 13 in Tuesday’s contest at Hardin-Simmons, Additionally, Warden assisted on five blocks, and added eight digs. 

Golfer of the Week: Trey Archer

The sophomore from Cleburne, Texas led the Cru at the Rhodes Invitational this past week, shooting a team-best 226 in the three-round tournament. Archer finished 38th in the individual standings, while UMHB placed 13th in the team standings. 

Men’s Tennis Players of the Week: Joaquim Fernandes and Spencer Hornbeck

The duo performed especially well at this past weekend’s Crusader Invitational. Fernandes and Hornbeck were the only two UMHB players to go 3-0 in their singles matches, and each also contributed to their respective teams finishing 2-1 in doubles play. 

For both, with Fernandes being a transfer and Hornbeck being a true freshman, the Crusader Invitational marked their home debuts.

Women’s Tennis Players of the Week: Emily Higgs and Chloe Norris

Both Higgs and Norris recorded 3-0 records in singles play on UMHB’s home court at the Crusader Invitational. Additionally, Norris and doubles partner Lori Bryan went 3-0, and Higgs went 2-1 playing alongside Erin Kittredge.

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