Beyond the Game

Beyond the Game: Ali Myers

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Ali Myers, senior midfielder, patrols the middle of the soccer field, maintaining her defensive line and creating chances for her teammates.

It’s a seamless transition—offense to defense, defense to offense—that she must make every game.

Myers’ ability to scan the field comes from, in large part, her photography background. Myers, a communication studies major with a minor in business, plans on traveling for six months to build her portfolio.

Beyond the Game: Lauren Kirch

Incoming freshman blocker Lauren Kirch’s decision process to play at Texas State was unlike most student athletes. Kirch placed her education at an equal, if not higher, priority than her collegiate sports career, and that landed her in San Marcos.

Growing up, Kirch was always the “gentle giant” of the family as her mother, Susan, refers to her. Always being among the tallest students in her class was something Kirch had to adjust to right away. Kirch is 6 feet 2 inches, tied for the third-tallest on the volleyball team. 

“She never really liked being tall,” Susan Kirch said. “From the time she was born she was always taller than everybody else.”

Beyond the Game: Taylor Black

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When pitcher Taylor Black’s family first heard from Bud Selig, Major League Baseball commissioner, his father, Harold, was texting Colorado Rockies executives. They were waiting on the final call. 

“We listened to the draft from about 11 a.m. until he was drafted at around 3 in the afternoon,” Harold said. “He had been getting text messages back and forth leading up, and of course there are some emotional highs and lows and getting caught up in the rush when Taylor’s name is finally called.” 

The Rockies selected Taylor with their 26th round selection (773rd overall), making him the fourth Bobcat drafted this year. 

Beyond the Game: Sara Rupp

“Mentally disciplined” is how Sara Rupp, Texas State softball signee, is described by her junior softball coach, Mark Tucker. Rupp, a catcher, has played with her twin sister, Randi, her entire life, but she has developed her own identity on the field.

Sara had to make an early decision in high school at Barbers Hill. She played both softball and volleyball until her sophomore year, when she realized softball was more of a year-long commitment.

“The volleyball coach was not too happy about it,” Sara said. “It was mid-season and he wanted me to be committed to that sport. But I thought about it and said, ‘I’m not going to play volleyball in the future,’ so I just focused on softball since that was my future.”

Beyond the Game: Cody Perkins, senior utility player

Cody Perkins, utility senior, always wanted to go to Baylor University. Cody’s father, Chris, graduated from Baylor’s dental school. His uncle was employed in health administration at the university, and his older sister, Christie, is an alumna.

Baylor was Cody’s “dream school” while he was growing up. Texas State and Baylor tried to recruit him following high school. The decision seemed like a given.

Then Cody visited Texas State. He spoke to baseball head coach Ty Harrington and the team. He visited Baylor, too, but it felt different.

It did not feel like home, Cody said. Cody, with an offer from his dream school to play baseball, chose Texas State instead.

Beyond the game: Ashley Ezeh

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Although senior forward Ashley Ezeh has become an accomplished collegiate basketball player today, she did not set foot on the court until she was in middle school.

“I didn’t play any little league or anything,” Ezeh said. “Until my oldest brother Brian started playing for Prairie View A&M, and he was the star there, he got me interested.”

Ezeh’s brother was a guard at Prairie View and averaged 12 points, just under six rebounds and two assists in each game during his time there.

“I wouldn’t say he pushed me into the sport,” Ezeh said. “I just looked at him and wanted to fill his shoes, and it took off for me when I was in seventh grade and started playing AAU (Amateur Athletic Union).”

Beyond the Game: Coralee Ramirez

Senior outfielder Coralee Ramirez is a first generation college student who finds inspiration through her family’s support and life lessons of hard work.

Ramirez discovered her love of softball at five years old growing up in suburban Round Rock. Throughout her life she preferred to be outside playing sports, mostly with the boys, though that never fazed her.

“I would always get scraped up, and my mom would be crying ‘Oh you’re hurt,’” Ramirez said. “I just told her to slap a Band-Aid on it, and we’re good.”

Ramirez was a fairly quiet student during her freshman year at Vista Ridge High School.  She found athletics, specifically softball, as a way to help her branch out.  

Beyond the Game: Meghan Braeuer

Junior guard Meghan Braeuer averaged 9 points per game in her freshman season with Lon Morris College. The school, after facing a $20 million lawsuit, terminated the athletic department a year later, leaving Braeuer without a basketball team.

Braeuer transferred to Midland College the following year. The team finished 27-8, earned a conference championship and a berth in the Junior College National Championship Tournament. Braeuer, a Women’s Junior College Athletic Association All-Conference team selection, finished the season averaging 10.6 points and 3.1 assists.

Braeuer, now a junior, transferred to Texas State this year, her third school in three years. She was also considering South Dakota, Maine, Arkansas Tech, Long Island and Oklahoma.

Beyond the Game: Brianna Sharp

Junior runner Briana Sharp and her three siblings grew up playing sports in Beaumont, but finding the right one to stick with did not come easily.

“I’m terrible (at other sports),” Sharp said. “I have no hand-eye coordination. I tried out for the volleyball team and didn’t make it. I tried out for basketball and didn’t make it.”

It did not take long, though, for Sharp to find her path. Running became her prominent passion in sports. Coaches took note of Sharp’s speed and urged her to try out for the track team in middle school. It was a decision she has stuck with since.

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