A Year in Review

On May 1, 2014

It’s been an amazing season for Red Wolves athletics, perhaps the most successful one in history.

Many sports set records in 2013-2014 and the year was full of excitement for Red Wolves fans.

A-State Football continues their historic run

It was a vital season for Red Wolves football. Many mid-major programs have risen to prominence in the last 10 years, teams like Southern Miss, Houston, or Louisville, only to sputter out whenever their superstar player or coach left the program.

The Red Wolves got a double whammy in the off season with the loss of Ryan Aplin, who was arguably the greatest QB in the history of Arkansas State football, and Gus Malzahn, one of the sharpest offensive minds in the nation.

By all accounts, this should have been the end of what had been a historically successful two seasons, and most experts figured A-State only had an outside chance at a third consecutive Sun Belt Conference title.

This team has never been one to follow the script, however, and the season exceeded many fans’ expectations by going 8-5 overall.

Game of the season: Ball State 20 Arkansas State 23

Would any A-State fan disagree with this decision? How many of us can still remember where we were when Ryan Carrethers and about 600 A-State defenders poured through the Cardinals’ line and blocked the field goal to win the game?

Or when the infamous “hide the midget” play tricked every single person in the universe?

This game had all the makings of one of the best games in A-State history: a come from behind win at the last minute, with A-State as a heavy underdog, and a freshman QB leading the team to glory.

Many fans may have complained going to Mobile again would make for a boring game, but they weren’t saying that as they rushed the field after the win.

Player of the season: Ryan Carrethers

If you didn’t know who this man-imal was before the season started, you quickly learned his name.

Recording a whopping 93 tackles on the season, including 34 all by himself, as a defensive tackle is incredible.

Carrethers swallowed up double teams all season and wrecked havoc in the backfield of nearly every team we faced.

Don’t be surprised if we see Carrethers playing on Sundays with the rest of A-State’s greats.

Overall impression:

This Red Wolves team clawed and scratched their way to a decent record, certainly better than most expected.

The motto of the season was brick-by-brick and though this wasn’t the most star-studded season we’ve had, the fact we were able to stay consistent in the face of adversity says something about the future of this program.

Many schools can have a breakout season or two but the ability to keep that momentum going when things get tough is a much more rare quality.

Our next 10 or more wins season could still be a year or two away but these Red Wolves, who had four coaches in four years, have laid the foundation for what could be a perennial contender in football.

A-State Soccer completes one of the most successful seasons in their history

Though their 10-7-3 record was a little off last season’s 11-8-1 mark, the Red Wolves made an unprecedented run through the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.

It took a shootout for eventual Conference Champ South Alabama to beat the Red Wolves 1-1 (6-5 shootout) in the conference Semifinal.

Last year, Western Kentucky ousted the Red Wolves in the first round by a score of 1-0, and it was clear the hunger for a championship was on their minds all season.

Game of the year: UALR 1 A-State 2

Significance takes a backseat to emotion in this one, as nothing in the sports world beats the thrill of stealing a win at the last second against a rival. UALR scored in the fourth minute with a beautiful passing display and managed to hold that lead for 81 minutes.

Just as it seemed the Trojans would ride that goal to victory, senior Madison Joyce, junior Samhia Simao and sophomore Loren Mitchell worked a bit of magic and snuck the ball under and past the keeper to tie the game at 1-1.

Simao completed the comeback by taking a beautiful shot from the center of the box in the 88th minute to push the Red Wolves to a 2-1 victory.

There wasn’t a fan that left early from that game and the Red Wolves fans in attendance were not disappointed.

Player of the year: Loren Mitchell

She was the golden boot for the Red Wolves, scoring 12 goals and four assists throughout the season. She also led the team in total shots (48) and shots on goal (26) and was just an offensive juggernaut for A-State all year. What’s even scarier for our opposition is that this is only her sophomore season.

Overall Impression:

If you weren’t at any of the soccer games this year, make it a point to be there next year. This team is fast and fun to watch with a chemistry that gave opponents fits all season long. This team has a strong core of young players coming through the ranks and next season could prove to be yet another successful one for Red Wolves soccer.

With teams like Memphis, UCA, Mississippi State, and UAPB all coming to play in Jonesboro, there has never been a better time to come and support the Red Wolves soccer team.

Women’s Basketball ends strong season on a heartbreaker

This was one of the best seasons the women’s team has had in a while, with its fair share of spectacular games.12

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