In the News

"In the News" highlights outstanding achievements, significant contributions and awards by and for Sul Ross State University students, faculty, staff and alumni.

December 2012


Sul Ross State University senior quarterback A.J. Springer (Los Angeles, CA/ A.B. Miller HS) was named Most Valuable Player of the 40th annual Aztec Bowl that was played on Dec. 14 in Monterrey, Mexico.
The two teams consisted of the All-American Eagles, who were composed of top players from the United States, and the ONEFA Mexican National All-Stars.
Springer threw three touchdowns in the game to propel the Eagles to 49-26 victory. He connected with Brent Baune (Concordia College-Moorhead) twice in the first half for scores of four and five yards. Then, in the third quarter, Springer found a familiar target in Lobo teammate Dominique Carson (Waxahachie/WHS) for 27-yard strike.

AJ Springer

Springer shattered a number of single-season passing records during the 2012 campaign, as the Lobos finished 5-5. Springer ranked second in NCAA Division III ranks in total offense, averaging 380.8 yards per game, behind Hardin-Simmons’ Logan Turner (404.5). His 3,808 yards of total offense, 3,192 passing yards and 34 touchdown passes set new single-season records, as well as his .684 completion percentage (247 completions in 361 attempts).
He twice tied the single-game touchdown pass mark of six, against Trinity University and later against Mississippi College. His 569 yards in total offense (444 passing, 125 rushing) at Hardin-Simmons is also a new single-game record. –0o0–
A $10,000 gift from the Judd Foundation will provide Marfa ISD juniors and seniors with post-high school scholarships to Sul Ross State University.
The gift, to be matched through Sul Ross foundations, will offer scholarship opportunities for graduating Marfa High School seniors who have completed their first year of college through the dual credit program at Sul Ross.
“The Marfa ISD-Sul Ross partnership will give Marfa ISD students the opportunity to take 24 credit hours over the course of their 11th and 12th grade years.,” said Marfa ISD Superintendent Andy Peters. “The high school students will graduate from high school and be ready to enter their second year of college. Students who successfully complete these 24 hours will be eligible to apply for these Judd scholarships which will provide funding for students to attend the next year of college.
“We are elated at the receipt of this generous gift from the Judd Foundation because it enables Marfa ISD to complete the transition from a dual-credit arrangement to a full-fledged Early College program.”
Dr. Quint Thurman, Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, said the gift and match will help solidify the Sul Ross -Marfa ISD partnership.
“Not only will Marfa ISD students earn college credits at Sul Ross while still attending high school, but scholarship opportunities will be in place to pay for the second year of study,” said Thurman. “Sul Ross will gain students who have been introduced to the university experience and will have a vested interest in continuing toward a degree.”
The Early College program offers several major benefits, Peters said, including cost and time savings.
“These first two years of college are worth a minimum of $22,000,” he said. “The Marfa Early College program covers these costs through reduced fees for tuition, state funding, and gifts such as the one announced this week by the Judd Foundation. By taking 24 hours of college at high school, students will graduate from college one year earlier.”
The Early College program also encourages students who traditionally do not attend college to “test the waters” while they are still in school. In addition, Peters said studies have shown that high school students who complete at least one college course while in high school are more likely to complete their college degrees than students who do not.
Peters noted that 74 percent of the student in Marfa are economically disadvantaged. Sul Ross provides the college courses at a reduced to rate to the high school students. Students take courses online, through distance learning and plans are in place for a teacher onsite at Marfa High School to provide the college course in a traditional setting.
Presently, about 20 percent of the Marfa High School juniors and seniors are enrolled in college classes. According to school counselor Karla Moerbe, the goal for next year is to enroll 50 percent of the students in at least one college course.
By Steve Lang, News and Publications
Sul Ross State University student Alouy Martinez believes he possesses sufficient imagination – and collected background information – to write more than 20 novels.
He has at least 19 to go, including a goal of finishing three more in the coming year.
Martinez, Presidio, recently published “The Shadows: The Return Has Begun,” a young adult novel that explores the supernatural. The book debuted Oct. 27 and is published by CreateSpace, the publishing engine of global online retailer and publisher Amazon. _Createspace offers on-demand manufacturing of books, DVD’s and music formats for independent artists and businesses.
Martinez’ book is described online as “a tale of mystery, suspense, action, and romance that charts the perilous course of six young characters as their fates unfold, and their true identities are revealed as the formidable entities known as The Shadows.”
Sul Ross Student Publishes Novel
Sul Ross student Alouy Martinez, Presidio (right), presents copy of his novel, "The Shadows: The Return Has Begun," to President Ricardo Maestas. Martinez' novel was released in October by CreateSpace, the publishing arm of Amazon. (Photo by Steve Lang)
The Shadows, beings created more than 2,000 years ago, seek “to restore order to the unbroken rules of the Heavenly Laws,” the summary continues. The book shares the points of view of six primary characters and describes an on-going battle of good and evil between angels and demons.
For Martinez, a Sul Ross freshman majoring in English with a creative writing emphasis, the novel culminates seven years’ work, begun at the age of 13. In the interim, he shifted from third person to first person narrative and at one point, re-started the project when his computer crashed, erasing his first draft.
“It was a difficult time, especially since my first language is Spanish,” he said, “but it was fun. The book went through a lot of changes and revisions, but I also got to know a lot about the publishing world.”
Martinez did not originally intend to seek publication of his work, but later changed his mind. He wrote numerous query letters to publishing houses, contacted agents and authors, endured numerous rejection letters and gathered useful information.
“When I decided to look into publishing, I was not aware of how the publishing world works,” he said. He did learn that some publishers were reluctant to consider “The Shadows” when Martinez said that the book would be the first in a series of seven novels.
“Of 16 agents I contacted, just one got back to me,” he added, but said he gained some valuable knowledge from some authors who responded to his questions, particularly those who self-published. Eventually, he contacted CreateSpace and found a willing publisher.
In working with CreateSpace, Martinez edited his manuscript to 82,000 words and 283 pages. In addition, with the encouragement of his Presidio High School art teacher, he included his own illustrations for each chapter. He has also sketched the characters he has created.
“I have all these characters in my head,” he said. “When I’m walking around, I am thinking of what they do. I wonder what they look like and how they behave. (Sketching profiles) helps me understand them,” he said.
His inspiration for his book stems from an interest in the supernatural and a study of Greek mythology. In addition, Martinez has studied political science, government, religion and history to provide authenticity to time periods addressed in his writing. He has developed a flowchart of time lines and details for future subject matter.
Martinez averages about 2,000 words of fiction per day, in addition to maintaining a full academic schedule that includes online courses in creative and technical writing, history, botany and a botany lab.
“I have to write every day,” he said, adding that he draws inspiration from his classes as well.
“Creative writing has also helped me to step away (from “The Shadows”) and to work on other genres, such as historical fiction and contemporary subjects.”
At present, though, he is working on three more novels, a second in “The Shadows” series and two “spin-offs,” which feature minor characters from “The Shadows.” His goal is to publish all three in 2013.
“I am working on all three,” he said. “I jump from one book to the other.” He added that he has not experienced difficulty in writing his second book of “The Shadows” series.
“Many writers have said it’s hard to write a second book. I find it easy...maybe because I spent so many years on the first book that I know now how the story is going to go.”
For future books, Martinez plans to title, outline and sketch an illustration for each chapter. “I want to incorporate my love of art and writing,” he said.
Meanwhile, “The Shadows” is being marketed through Amazon, both in the U.S. and Europe. Martinez has his own website,, and has also sent copies of his book to bloggers for reviews.
“It has been a fun experience,” Martinez said, adding that the end of the month will be even more enjoyable.
That’s when his first royalty checks are scheduled to arrive.


Sul Ross State University football standout Dominique Carson (Waxahachie) was named a 2012 Beyond Sports Network first-team All-American for NCAA Division III.

Carson, a senior running back who set numerous single-season and career records in a Lobo uniform, was listed as Athlete on the 35-member first team, which includes offensive, defensive and special teams players. Carson, a first-team All-American Southwest Conference selection and the conference’s Offensive Player of the Year, topped the NCAA Division III charts in all-purpose yardage, averaging 263 per game. He led the ASC in rushing (1,321 yards), setting a new Lobo single-season record, and scored 28 touchdowns, including eight in one game, the latter a team and conference record.

He ended his Sul Ross career as the leader in career (47) and single-season (28) touchdowns and points scored (170, 284). He also set a single-game rushing mark with 319 yards against Texas Lutheran University.
The Beyond Sports Network honors student-athletes with its BSN Athletes of the Week and its BSN All-America teams at the NCAA Football Championship Series (FCS), Division II, Division III and NAIA levels. The Beyond Sports College Network is free for all college students, student-athletes, coaches and staff to join, and has been declared compliant by the NCAA since anyone associated with a college or university can join for free and student-athletes or award recipients do not receive any benefits.
Carson and teammate Lee Carothers (Austin/Travis H.S.), a senior wide receiver were earlier named to the 2012 D3 Sports All-South Region team.