The Sideline: New UCA tennis coach and Southland season opener

UCA tennis

gets new coach

Casey Wharton has been named the new head women’s tennis coach at the University of Central Arkansas, taking over for Jeff Borengasser, who resigned earlier this summer.

Wharton comes to UCA from Longwood University in Farmville, Va., where he served as head women’s tennis coach since 2013. Wharton, previously an assistant coach at Longwood, played his collegiate tennis at Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas, where he also served as an assistant coach, beginning in 2009.

Wharton has spent time each summer as a tennis camp instructor at Texas A&M University, where he logged up to 25 hours a week on the court training junior players.

Wharton is a Groesbeck, Texas, native who received his bachelor of arts degree in history from Mary Hardin-Baylor in 2009 and his master’s degree in history from Texas A&M-Central Texas in 2012. His wife of six years, Andrea, played collegiate tennis at the University of Texas-Tyler.

Sam Houston

opens SLC season

The Southland Conference will open up its 51st season of football Saturday as Sam Houston State travels to Eastern Washington for the inaugural FCS Kickoff. The Bearkats and Eagles, which kick off at 2:30 p.m. (Central), will be the only college football game of the day and will be televised nationally on ESPN. This will be the fourth meeting between the two programs with Sam Houston State winning the previous three.

Eastern Washington is ranked No. 1 and 2 in preseason polls. Sam Houston is ranked 14th and 17th.

Abilene Christian will begin its first football season in the Southland since 1972 during a nationally televised game. The Wildcats travel to Georgia State for an ESPNU game, Aug. 27 at 6 p.m.

Other Southland season openers:

Thursday., Aug. 28 – Missouri St. at Northwestern St., 6 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 30 – Nicholls at Air Force, 1 p.m. (ESPN3); Central Arkansas at Texas Tech, 6 p.m. (FSN); Sacramento St. at UIW, 6 p.m.; Stephen F. Austin at Kansas St., 6:10 p.m.; Grambling at Lamar, 7 p.m.; Jacksonville at Southeastern Louisiana, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 6 – McNeese St. at Nebraska, 11 a.m. (ESPNU); McMurry at Houston Baptist, 7 p.m.


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