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ARKADELPHIA -- The Ouachita Baptist football team began fall practice on Monday with a record 115 football players reporting last weekend.

The Tigers are looking to defend their 2017 Great American Conference Championship. Ouachita returns 10 starters on the offensive side of the ball, including playmakers Drew Harris, from Benton; Allie Freeman, Little Rock; and Kris Oliver, Arkadelphia. On the defensive side of the ball, the Tigers return six starters, including the team's third- and fourth-leading tacklers in Tevin Jones, from Jonesboro, and Keandre Evans, Junction City.

Ouachita will open up the 2018 campaign on the road in Alva, Okla., against Northwestern Oklahoma State. The Tigers have won all six meetings against the Rangers since the GAC was founded in 2011. Since the start of the 2010 season, the Tigers are a perfect 7-0 in Week 1 matchups.

O'Banion joins volleyball staff

ARKADELPHIA -- Ouachita Baptist announced the hiring of assistant coach Alli O'Banion this week, just three weeks before the team's first match of the 2018 season.

O'Banion, a three-time All-Great American Conference selection for Southern Arkansas, joins first-year head coach Allison Frizzell-Kizer at the helm of the Tigers volleyball team.

"I am excited to have Alli stay in the GAC and continue to be a part of the college volleyball world," Frizzell-Kizer said. "Alli had a great career at Southern Arkansas, and I believe her work ethic will challenge our girls to stay at the top of their game. With her being offensively-minded and I defensively-minded, we will be able to work together cohesively and be a well-rounded coaching staff."

Completing her collegiate career just last season, the senior Mulerider had 84 digs and 110 blocks, including 17 solo blocks. The Dos Palos, Calif., native played in all but nine sets in her career with 107 starts and 470 sets played in four years at SAU. She also had 34 matches with 10 or more kills and 56 with at least three blocks.

O'Banion became only the seventh player in GAC history with over 300 career blocks and the eighth with over 1,000 career kills. She was also the third Mulerider to tally over 300 blocks, the fourth with over 1,000 kills and was the second player with both achievements.

O'Banion finished with 85 career kills against the Tigers, and she was a three-sport athlete in high school, competing in both basketball and swimming. She was the first Dos Palos player to have her volleyball jersey retired, and she competed in the 2012 European Global Challenge.

Tigers receive national honor

ARKADELPHIA -- Ouachita Baptist baseball was recently honored by the American Baseball Coaches Association, receiving the Team Academic Excellence Award.

"We take great pride in our student athletes representing the department both on the field and in the classroom," said Ouachita Athletic Director David Sharp. "These young men epitomize what it means to be a student athlete, and they represent Ouachita well."

To recieve the award, the Tigers was required to have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale during the school year. The Tigers tallied a 3.38 team GPA in the classroom, led by senior Chandler Blake, of Frisco, Texas, and sophomore Sheldon McCown, Nacogdoches, Texas, who each earned a 4.0 in his respective field of study.

The GAC honored OBU's baseball team for its academic achievement last week with a sport-high 12 players named to the GAC All-Academic Team.

Harding was the only other GAC school to receive the award from the ABCA.

Sports on 08/10/2018

Print Headline: OBU opens football camp with record number of attendees

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