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  • By Eric Drennan | FME News Service
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BELTON — Kris Brown missed the entire 2015 season with a knee injury. From fall camp all the way through the playoffs, the Mary Hardin-Baylor cornerback could only watch, with nothing to satisfy his hunger for football.

BELTON — Kris Brown missed the entire 2015 season with a knee injury. From fall camp all the way through the playoffs, the Mary Hardin-Baylor cornerback could only watch, with nothing to satisfy his hunger for football.

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BELTON — Byron Proctor spent three seasons looking for a football program in which he truly felt at home. There were two years at Abilene Christian, one at Kilgore College and now one last collegiate season at Mary Hardin-Baylor.

BELTON — Jalen Martin sat with family and friends last December and watched it all unfold on the television. Injured in the second game of the season and having spent the next 13 weeks supporting his teammates in every way he could, Martin was glued to the TV as Mary Hardin-Baylor won the NCAA Division III championship for the first time.

BELTON — Mary Hardin-Baylor and Hardin-Simmons have butted heads for conference supremacy for the almost two decades, and nothing will change in the next installment of their rivalry series.

Top-ranked UMHB (4-0, 3-0 American Southwest Conference) and No. 5 Hardin-Simmons (4-0, 3-0) collide at 1 p.m. Saturday at Shelton Stadium in Abilene, where the winner will grab sole possession of the league lead.

BELTON — The Mary Hardin-Baylor defense is in for a new experience this week as it prepares to face Southwestern for the first time.

The Pirates run a variation of the flex-bone from the pistol formation, and Crusaders coach Pete Fredenburg is eager to teach his players how to defend the attack that is rooted in old-school philosophies.

 Things haven’t always gone as planned for Jordan Millar during his college football career, though that’s tough to discern based on the Mary Hardin-Baylor senior’s easy-going personality.

Take for instance last season, when he was penciled in as a starting defensive end entering fall camp, injured his hamstring early in drills and never got a chance to compete for the job as the injury hampered him throughout the year.

He appeared in only five games.

“I didn’t think it was that bad of an injury at first,” he said. “I gave it about two weeks, and then I came back. When I did, the injury showed up again. I gave it another four weeks, and then it happened again. It was a prolonged injury.

“I never wanted to quit, though, because I knew I had another year here. The reason I came here was to play football, so I wasn’t going to quit.”

BELTON — Mary Hardin-Baylor paraded the national championship trophy and unveiled a monument to last year’s accomplishment. As for providing an early answer about whether or not they can defend their title, the Crusaders will have to wait another week.

BELTON — There will be plenty for Mary Hardin-Baylor supporters to celebrate when the defending NCAA Division III national champion opens the season Saturday night at home against American Southwest Conference foe Sul Ross State.

All the top-ranked Crusaders care about, though, is that there’s another victory to celebrate.

BELTON — For the 15th straight year, Mary Hardin-Baylor is the preseason pick to win the American Southwest Conference title. And this year’s selection might be the biggest no-brainer of them all.

BELTON — As Mary Hardin-Baylor prepared last week for the NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championships, two things were prevalent on the Crusaders’ minds: the bountiful breakfast buffet at Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida, and a Saturday jaunt to the Jacksonville area to watch the third round of The Players Championship.