Howdy 12th Man, First and foremost, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Angel Franco. For those of you who are new to Texas A&M, whether it’s enrolling early or transferring in, let me be the first to tell you that we at The Battalion are happy you have joined us in Aggieland.
To my fellow students, here we are again, welcoming in a new semester, year and the start of a new sports calendar. The spring provides various activities throughout the weekend and, if you have time, during the week as well.
As the icy start to this semester thaws out, there is a lot of excitement to look forward to in the coming months. January winding down can only mean one thing: The start of both baseball and softball.
Both teams are looking to surpass the end results of last season, which was reaching their respective College World Series. Although both programs were one of the last eight remaining, they quickly exited Oklahoma City and Omaha following back-to-back losses.
Over at Olsen Field, A&M head coach Rob Childress enters year 13 at the helm of a baseball program. He has consistently prepared players to instantly make an impact in the big leagues. Although A&M lost a few members of its pitching rotation, Kaylor Chafin and Cason Sherrod decided to come back for one more season, as the only seniors in the bullpen.
Across the street from Olsen at the Aggie Softball Complex awaits the promise of another successful season, but as the excitement builds for first pitch, so does the anticipation of a new home. Down Tom Chandler Drive lies the new $28.6 million state-of-the-art softball facility known as Davis Diamond, which is still is under construction. For A&M head coach Jo Evans, this transition from a facility filled with memories to a new stadium waiting for more is filled with a mix of nostalgia and excitement for the future.
As the final push for March begins, the men’s basketball team looks to get back into the groove of things. A&M head coach Billy Kennedy has remained calm and collected through the skid, maintaining confidence in his team.
Under the direction of head coach Gary Blair, the women’s basketball team has had a successful season thus far, but hopes to continue its ascension to the top of the national rankings. With standout players Danni Williams, Khaalia Hillsman and Chennedy Carter, the women have the pieces to make a run in the postseason.
In the pool at the Student Rec, A&M head coach Steve Bultman and his women’s swim team hope to defend their back-to-back SEC Championship titles. Bultman’s roster features various levels of domestic and international experience, including several Olympians.
Also awaiting a new home is the national-champion track and field team, which is getting a new outdoor facility. Regardless of the location, A&M head coach Pat Henry and his squad look to add more hardware to the trophy cases.
The beauty of living in a college town that is less than 11.8 miles across is that you are never too far from the action. From here until the end of the semester, there is a sporting event in Aggieland almost every weekend. Go out and support all the teams, enjoy what the spring sports have to offer and, once again, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Thanks and Gig ‘Em.
Angel Franco is a telecommunication media studies junior and sports editor for The Battalion.