Sports

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Jay Ajayi has been named a semifinalist for two national awards this season (Doak Walker and Earl Campbell).

Redshirt junior running back Jay Ajayi was named a semifinalist for the Earl Campbell Award on Tuesday morning.

The Earl Campbell Award is given to the best offensive player in the nation with ties to the state of Texas that also exemplify the characteristics of former Texas Heisman Award winner Earl Campbell.

Ajayi is joined by Colorado State wide receiver Rashard Higgins as semifinalist from the MW.

The Plano, Texas native ranks third nationally in total yards (1,925), all-purpose yards per game (175) and total touchdowns (23).

Fellow semifinalists include: J.T. Barrett (quarterback, Ohio State), Trevone Boykin (quarterback TCU), Shane Carden (quarterback, East Carolina), David Cobb (running back, Minnesota), Corey Coleman (wide receiver, Baylor), Josh Doctson (wide receiver, TCU), Aaron Jones (running back, UTEP), Cayleb Jones (wide receiver, Arizona), Shock Linwood (running back, Baylor), Keevan Lucas (wide receiver, Tulsa), Samaje Perine (running back, Oklahoma), Bryce Petty (quarterback, Baylor), Josh Reynolds (wide receiver, Texas A&M) and Jonathan Williams (running back, Arkansas).

Finalists will be selected from this group and announced on Dec. 10. The winner of the Earl Campbell Award will be announced in Tyler, Texas on Jan. 14.

Ajayi is also a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award given to the nation’s most outstanding running back.

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Derrick Marks Devin Ferrell
Derrick Marks was the only bright spot in the 78-54 loss to Wisconsin.

The Boise State men’s basketball team couldn’t play the role of David as they were routed by No. 3 Wisconsin 78-54 giving them their first loss of the season.

The Broncos were able to hang with the Badgers in the early minutes  when the game was tied at 9-9. That’s as close as Boise State got as the Badgers went on a 13-2 run and never looked back.

The main reason why the Badgers were able to run roughshod over the Broncos was the play of senior forward Frank Kaminsky.

The seven footer is arguably the best player in the entire country and it showed. Kaminsky scored 26 on 11-13 shooting. Even more impressive was he went 4 of 5 from behind the arc.

The Broncos were led by senior guard Derrick Marks who had a team high 16 points along with two rebounds.

Boise State is now 0-8 against Big Ten Schools.

The Broncos will look to rebound when they face Idaho tonight at 7 p.m. at Century Link Arena.

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With the Broncos latest 63-14 victory over Wyoming Boise State burst into the top 25 for the first time in over a year. Here were the top five biggest takeaways from Saturday night’s win.

The Jay Train chugs alongs.  How else would you expect this list to start? Junior running back Jay Ajayi continues to show why he is one of the nation’s most elite running backs. Ajayi accounted for over 200 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Wyoming. With his 110 yards on the ground, Ajayi now has run for over 100 yards–and multiple touchdowns–in six straight games. Combine that with 92 receiving yards and a recieving touchdown and Ajayi shoud be a shoe in for MW player of the year.

Jeremy McNichols has biggest game yet. While the emergence of true freshman running back Jeremy McNichols is nothing new for the team or Bronco fans this season, McNichols made everyone take notice Saturday night. McNichols had his best game all season with 61 combined yards and two touchdowns. While this may not sound like a lot keep in mind McNichols only touched the ball five times. With these results don’t be surprised if you see significantly more play from McNichols in the home finale against Utah State. The Broncos have needed a good complimentary back to Ajayi this season and have now found one. Whatever the case may be this season McNichols’s future with the Broncos looks bright.

Defense returns to form.  After back to back weeks of mediocrity on the defensive side of the ball the Boise State defense finally returned in a big way. The Broncos stuffed the Wyoming defense. The Broncos only gave up a total of 227 yards and only 80 yards on the ground. To top that off Boise State forced three turnovers that included a pick six from junior safety Darian Thompson.

Kamalei Correa shines for the Broncos.  A big reason why the defense returned to form was the play of sophomore defensive lineman Kamalei Correa. Correa led the defense with three sacks–the most the Broncos have had since Demarcus Lawrence had 3.5 last season. Correa also had four solo tackles proving himself to be a staple on the defensive line.

Special teams made some noise. For the first time in over four years the Boise State Broncos returned a punt for a touchdown. Junior cornerback Donte Deayon took a 75-yard punt to the house in the win. This was the first career punt return for a touchdown for Deayon. He became the first Bronco this season to score touchdowns for Boise State both defensively and on special teams.

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The Boise State volleyball team celebrates their win on senior night.

The Boise State women’s volleyball team is on fire with just one game to go in the season.

The Broncos defeated San Diego State at home and UNLV on the road to win their season-best sixth straight game.

“I am hoping we can continue our winning streak as we have a lot of confidence,” freshman outside hitter Sierra Nobley said. “We are playing well as a team.”

First up for the Broncos was San Diego State.

Despite struggling at the beginning and being down most of the matches the Broncos were able to grind out a four set victory over the Aztecs 27-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-22

“I was proud that they were able to come from behind and get the win,” head coach Shawn Garus said.

What made the victory extra special for Boise State was that it came on senior night.

“It felt good to go out with a bang,” senior outside hitter Alyssa Gammel said

Gammel made the most of her last home game as she recorded a double double with 12 kills and 10 digs.

“It was really exciting and I just wanted to go all out and leave nothing behind,” she said. “I think I did that.”

The Broncos also got a great performance from Nobley who with 17 kills set the school record for the most ever by a Boise State freshman. The record-setting feat, however, was the furthest thing from her mind.

“It’s cool I guess,” Nobley said. “It’s secondary to me because it’s a team sport and not the most important thing to me right now.”

With the win the Broncos now have their first winning conference record in almost two decades.

“I think this is the first winning conference record in 18 years,” Garus said.

The Broncos didn’t have much time to celebrate however as next up was the second best team in the conference, UNLV.

Boise State got off to a hot start and never looked backed as they stunned the Rebels  in four sets 25-20, 25-18, 22-25, 25-22.

“It’s a credit to a talented group and they have been able to play their best ball late,” Garus said

The Broncos were led by Nobley who had a career-high 30 kills in the victory but the Broncos got great performances by everyone on the night. Gammel, freshman middle blocker Kaitlyn Oliver, sophomore libero Hannah Hubbard, and junior setter Sarah Baugh all contributed heavily in the win.

“Even the kids that don’t get on the court are preparing us really well,” Garus said.  “I feel we could put anyone in there and they could contribute right now.”

The Broncos will close their season tomorrow night on the road against Utah State at 7 p.m. MT.

A win and Boise State will finish the season in third place making it not only the best conference finish the Broncos have had but the best season they have had in years.

“I think we have wonderful chemistry and I am excited to see how we finish it out,” Nobley said.

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Redshirt sophomore Chris Santini (No. 25) runs out onto the field before a 55-30 win over BYU.

The Boise State football team has added a new series to its future schedule.

The Broncos will now face Oregon State in 2022 and 2023. Boise State will travel to Corvallis  in 2022 with the Beavers coming to Albertson’s Stadium in 2023.

The Broncos were already scheduled to go to Corvallis in 2016.

With this series the Broncos will now have quite the non-conference in future years with Boise State scheduled to face teams like Washington, Washington State, Oregon State, BYU, Virginia, Michigan State, Oklahoma State, and Florida State.

“Strength of schedule is obviously something that is extremely important under the new postseason structure of college football,” Boise State athletic director Mark Coyle said. “Boise State has always made an attempt to schedule high-quality nonconference opponents, and we will continue that trend going forward.

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Boise State’s swimming and diving teams have charged into the season head on with successful meets against Utah, Idaho and Oregon State.

Leading the Broncos is sophomore Brittany Aoyama who competes in seven different events for the team.

“She is someone who is always really focused,” head coach Kristin Hill said. “Whether it’s in school or the pool, her focus has set her apart.”

Aoyama had perhaps the greatest season for a true freshman in school history last season. She earned All-Mountain West honors in a staggering seven events, set a plethora of records for the team and qualified for the NCAA Championships.

“I was really surprised with how I did,” Aoyama said.  “I was really happy with how I performed last year.”

Coming out of high school, Aoyama was the 30th ranked recruit in the entire nation. With all that talent, she could have gone anywhere she wanted but because of Hill, she now represents the blue and orange.

“I was really glad to get her here,” Hill said. “She and I made a really good personal connection and we knew we would have a good partnership and that has really paid off.”

Aoyama also made immediate connections with her fellow teammates as well.

“She is my best friend,” junior Sam Wicks said. “We are always biting at each other’s heels and it’s awesome to have someone that’s with you to push you. She is a great asset to our team and always gives it her all.”

This past summer, Aoyama competed at the Phillips 66 National Championships.

“That was such an amazing experience and I had to get use to swimming at such a high-caliber level,” Aoyama said.

While Aoyama has already had so much success early in her Bronco career, she knows she couldn’t have done it without her coaches.

“Kristin and (assistant coach Eddie Larios) have really helped me and really care about me,” Aoyama said. “They have made my practices more personalized towards me and are helping me reach my goals.”

With still two and half years of swimming to go at Boise State, Aoyama will be one to keep an eye out for.

“She is one of the best swimmers that we have had here and there is plenty left to accomplish for her,” Hill said.

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Devin Ferrell
Devin Ferrell

It wasn’t pretty, but the Boise State men’s basketball team found a way to win their regular season opener. The team won a thrilling 72-67 double overtime win over Montana.

“A weaker team and a team that didn’t have some championship contenders would have folded up and lost that game,” head coach Leon Rice said.  “My team didn’t do that. They just came together, battled through it and found a way.”

The Broncos got off to a terrible start falling down by 15 midway through the first half and trailed by 10 heading into the locker room.

“I was disgusted with the way we came out in that first half,” Rice said. “That was probably the worst we have ever started a game in my five years here.”

Early in the second half the Broncos received some questionable fouls culminating in Rice getting a technical and the Broncos falling back
down eight.

“I think everybody in the crowd wanted to get a technical,” Rice said.  “I just got it for them.”

Despite everything that had gone wrong on the night, the team still found a way to rally back and win the game.

“We’ve done so much and we can fall back on what we’ve done,” sophomore forward Nick Duncan said. “I think we need to focus on that more and be more of a team.”

The Broncos were led by senior forward Anthony Drmic who took control of the game when it mattered most.

Drmic finished with 29 points.

“I want to do whatever I have to do to win games,” Drmic said.  “I don’t want to go out like we did last year. I want to do whatever it takes to win those games, whether it’s scoring, passing, rebounding.”

With his performance, Drmic moved into a tie for sixth place on Boise State’s all time scoring list. However, Drmic’s only concern though was getting the win.

Boise State now looks ahead to traveling to Madison, Wisconsin to take on the No. 3 ranked Badgers.

“They are a tough ball club and have no weaknesses,” Rice said.

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Marisa Howard (center) will make her first trip to the NCAA Championships this Saturday.

Thanksgiving break will be all the sweeter for the Boise State cross country teams. The women’s cross country team and freshman Andrew Rafla will be flying out to Terra Haute, Indiana this weekend to represent the Broncos at the NCAA Championships.

This will be the first time the Boise State women’s team will compete at the national level as a team.

Rafla is only the fifth male  in program history to represent the Broncos at the NCAA Championships.

The women earned one of the two automatic qualifying spots at the Western Region Championships. The women originally tied with Stanford, but won the tiebreaker based off of Emma Bates and Marisa Howard’s second and fifth place showings besting the Cardinal’s third and 10th place showings.

The women winning the tiebreaker was a redeeming factor for Boise State after the men finished just outside of an at-large bid to the national meet last season.

The Broncos’ showing also earned head coach Corey Ihmels West Region Women’s Coach of the Year honors.

“It was nice for those young ladies to run well when it counted,” Ihmels said. “Anytime you automatically qualify is exciting, especially with the group that has never been there before. It’s great progression.”

Rafla earned an at-large bid by virtue of his 11th place finish. He was the only freshman to place in the top 15.

Rafla’s showing bested teammate and current MW Champion David Elliott who barely missed an at-large bid after finishing 19th.

“(David) congratulated me,” Rafla said following his surprising performance. “I felt bad for him because he just had one bad race this season.”

Despite Bates being unable to repeat as the Western Region Champion, Ihmels feels she and Howard can drive the women to a top-10 finish.

Currently, the women are ranked 11th in the nation.

Howard is also hoping to continue her rise to the upper echelon of the NCAA rankings despite flying under the radar.

“I feel like I haven’t been quite recognized as I should this year,” Howard said. “(That) is great because I always like being the dark horse. I’m excited to get to work on Saturday and see what I can do.”

The NCAA Championships will begin Saturday at La Vern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course.

The course conditions for the national meet at La Vern Gibson have been historically awful.

“The worse the weather is, the better it is for us,” Ihmels said. “The weather this week doesn’t hurt either.”

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Big things are coming at Taco Bell Arena.

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament will be returning to Boise State in 2018 and it will bring about new upgrades to the 22-year-old facility.

On Monday, the NCAA announced Taco Bell Arena was selected as a host site for the first and second rounds of the tournament between Mar. 15 and 18, 2018.

This will be the first time Boise will serve as the host city since 2009 and the ninth time overall, dating back to 1983.

“We have a great history with the NCAA Tournament,” athletic director Mark Coyle said. “One thing I hear from fans a lot is ‘When are we having the NCAA Tournament back?’ We are excited to bring it back to Boise.”

Coyle said Boise State’s first bid upon his arrival in 2011 was unsuccessful, but he credited associate athletic director of facilities and operations Bob Carney, executive director of Taco Bell Arena Lisa Cochran and vice president for Finance and Administration Stacy Pearson for the successful bid for 2018.

Part of Boise State’s bid to the NCAA tournament was replacing the video board in Taco Bell Arena. A big reason for the delay in Boise State’s second bid, according to Coyle, was restructuring the program’s contract with Learfield Sports in order to gain funds for a new video board.

The contract was restructured this past August.

As part of the amended contract, Learfield will provide a capital subsidy payment of $100,000 on July 1 of the 2014-15 athletic year for “. . . such items as the purchase and installation of a center-hung video board in the Taco Bell Arena.”

“We have been very open with our desire to improve the video board and some of the LED signage at Taco Bell Arena,” Coyle said. “Those are things we addressed in our bid. When we did our extension with Learfield, that was part of that process.

“We wanted to make sure we get our arms around everything and get the best (possible options).”

Head men’s basketball coach Leon Rice said the exposure the program will receive from the NCAA Tournament will be huge for the program.

“I gave a fist pump when I found out,” Rice said.

Because Taco Bell Arena will be the host for the 2018 tournament, the men’s basketball team will not be able to play in the same region if they earn a bid into the NCAA Tournament.

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Cold weather would not keep Boise State fans from crowding into Bronco Gym Friday night to watch the Boise State wrestling team take on Utah Valley and Iowa State in the first duals of the season.

The Broncos edged Utah Valley in a tight dual that came down to the final match.

Freshman Geordan Martinez and redshirt senior Steven Hernandez claimed pins at 141 and 157 pounds, respectively.

“It felt really good to win, but there is always room for improvement,” Martinez said. “A win is a win and they were tough kids. There is still a lot to do so back to the drawing board.”

Boise State managed to squeak out the win 19-18.

“We had some kids that were outmatched but still put up a hard fight,” head coach Greg Randall said.

There was little rest time for the Broncos, as they took on Iowa State next.

The Cyclones entered the dual ranked 13th in the nation and have five wrestlers ranked nationally as individuals.

Boise State managed only two wins in the dual. Martinez had a  9-5 decision over  John Meeks and Hernandez pulled out a pin over Luke Goettle. Iowa State won the match 36-8.

Hernandez said following the match that he is excited to start the year undefeated.

“It feels good to get back on my feet with a winning streak,” Hernandez said. “A win is a win. It’s nice to do it fashionably. We got some things to fix, a lot of spots to straighten out.”

Martinez caught the eyes of the coaches after going undefeated in his opening night as a Bronco.

“Geo, what a freshman, did a great job and was very strong,” Randall said. “Hernandez with the pin, and Xavier (Callejas) fought tooth and nail and just lost it in the third period.”

Randall said there are plenty of improvements to be made as the Broncos move forward, starting with the team’s mentality.

“We have a lot of guys who are young,” Randall said. “Sometimes they need to find the fight within them and beat better opponents and go down fighting. We have to pick the intensity up.”

Boise State will take two weeks off to rest and prepare for their next invitational in Las Vegas on
Dec. 5-6.

They will be back home on Dec. 13 as they take on Pac-12 rival Oregon State for the “Battle of the
Bor
der.”

Matches will begin 7 p.m. MT at the
Bronco Gym.

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Redshirt sophomore Chris Santini (No. 25) runs out onto the field before a 55-30 win over BYU.

For the second straight week, a Boise State football player was named the MW Special Teams Player of the Week.

Redshirt sophomore linebacker Chris Santini was claimed the honor following two game changing plays Saturday night in a 38-29 win over San Diego State.

Down 23-10 on the opening drive of the second half, the Broncos faced a fourth-and-four from their own 32-yard line.

Santini took the direct snap on the punt and ran the ball 24 yards upfield to move the chains for the Broncos.

The first down would set up a five-yard touchdown run from Jay Ajayi to make it a one score game.

Santini has been waiting for Boise State to run that play in a game since fall camp.

“I’ve been waiting every single game (to do that play),” Santini said. “I almost didn’t believe it was finally time when coach Riddle called it.”

Redshirt senior Dan Goodale won the MW Special Teams Player of the Week last week following Boise State’s 60-49 win over New Mexico.

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True Freshman Sierra Nobley has been of the biggest reasons for the Broncos success this season.

Despite a rough stretch on the road, Boise State women’s volleyball feels they have momentum on their side to finish up the season.

The Broncos dropped five road games before getting three straight road wins against San Jose State, Nevada and Fresno State.

“The first part of the season was quite challenging,” head coach Shawn Garus said. “We had some young players who were rattled and lacking confidence.”

One of the biggest struggles was that there were some extremely tough teams in the first part of the season and the team as a whole lacked rhythm.

“The team is now pumped to travel and all of the puzzle pieces are finally falling into place,” redshirt junior outside hitter Katelyn Kinghorn said.

With the wins the Broncos have now won four straight games which ties their season high and moves them into fifth place in the conference.

“We need to keep the wins going,” Garus said.

The team will now look to close their season out on a high note with their mentality of always getting better.

“We are just continuing to improve,” freshman outside hitter Sierra Nobley said. “We had one or two girls that were struggling and the others who were good. Now we are playing well with everyone on the same page.”

One of the biggest assets the team has had this season is the talent of their freshmen and sophomores who have been their biggest players this season. Garus felt that at the beginning of the season, the younger athletes struggled with confidence but now the players have found their groove.

“I am very encouraged by the young players,” Garus said. “Most of the leaders are our younger
players.”

Nobley is one of those players and feels that as the season has continued, the experience of college play and working with the older girls has positively impacted her game.

“I no longer feel like a freshman,” Nobley said.

The team does not feel that there is a difference between players and there is no need to discriminate on the class statuses of the players.

“It feels good playing with them, it doesn’t matter their grade, they are my teammates,”
Kinghorn said.

The volleyball team returns home for senior night against San Diego State this Wednesday Nov. 19, 2014.

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Even when their own fans had given up on them, the Boise State Broncos battled back from a 20-0 deficit to defeat San Diego State 38-29 and ended their two year drought to the Aztecs.

It was a great win for our team and we were able to fight back,” junior safety Darian Thompson said. “We didn’t start as fast as we would have liked but we made our adjustments and we brought the fire back.”

This marked the second week in a row and the third time this season that the Broncos have battled back from big deficits to win the game. The other two were against Nevada and New Mexico last week.

This one though was particularly special as the Broncos were finally able to defeat the Aztecs a team the Broncos have struggled with in the past.

“This game was really personal to us,” junior running back Jay Ajayi said. “San Diego State had beat us twice in a row and we were really determined to not make that a third time.”

The Broncos went down 20-0 with 7:33 left to play in the first half and at which point nearly half of the fans decided they had seen enough and promptly left.

“I’d leave too it was cold out there,” senior quarterback Grant Hedrick said. “I don’t know if that was the reason why they left but I don’t blame them it was pretty chilly.”

Weather may have also played a part for the Broncos early struggles as it was nine degrees at kickoff, the coldest since 2001.

“It was cold, but the field was great and the conditions were perfect,” head coach Bryon Harsin said. “I do think the conditions had some effect on both teams.”

After battling back within three at 20-17 the turning point of the game came in the third quarter when sophomore cornerback Cleshawn Page got his first career interception that set up the go ahead score and the Broncos never looked back.

“It was exciting, I felt like I was long overdue for one,” Page said. “I’m the only guy in the DB room without an interception and so every week I keep hearing “it’s your day, it’s your day” and I’m happy it finally came.”

The Broncos were led by Ajayi who after a slow first half exploded in the second and finished with 134 yards and three touchdowns.

“He has done it all year,” offensive coordinator Mike Sanford said. “The guy gets better with every touch he gets.”

The Broncos control their own destiny as two more wins puts them in the MW championship game.

“We put ourselves in the position to have a chance to play for a championship,” Harsin said.

 

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Standing vigilant on the sidelines of all intramural sports at Boise State, student referees participate in an interesting on-campus job that is more than meets the eye.

Student intramural referees work for the Recreation Center and have to maintain a balance between work and school.

This task is ongoing as the fall season finishes up and the winter season begins.

The sports that these students officiate include flag football, sand volleyball, tennis, indoor soccer, volleyball, basketball and even table
tennis.

“It’s a lot of time management,” health education and promotion and student referee Jade Willey said. “On nights that I work, I know that I have to go to my classes and whenever I have time in between work on homework. I normally work about 12 hours a week which isn’t unmanageable, I just have to make sure that I schedule my days and know what’s going on when.”

The referees spend all of their officiating time on campus so they are able to get to know student athletes and their fellow co-workers very well.

“I’ve always liked sports a lot and I’ve reffed in the past and I think it’s a fun job to be around people and to hang out with friends,” senior supply chain management major Tanner Wollan,” said. “You see the same faces in every single sport. You get to know a lot of people.”

The referees are not like the ones that MW provides for the collegiate sports teams who travel. The intramural student officials remain here on campus for the entirety of seasons.

Any student, no matter their major, can enroll and become an intramural referee.

“I think one of the nice things about the position as well is that we have such a wide variety of majors,” master’s kinesiology student Sophie Rattray said. “We have people that are other majors like criminal justice or business so it’s nice that different majors come together.”

Boise State students Ty Hawkins and Brandon Walton recap the Boise State San Diego State game.

Stay up to date on campus news at arbiteronline.com.
Catch Arbiter Minute broadcasts in the Student Union Building throughout the semester and online. New videos are released every Monday and Thursday throughout the semester.
Featuring Brandon Walton, Ty Hawkins
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Farzan Faramarzi
© Boise State Student Media 2014

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Grant Hedrick The Arbiter
Grant Hedrick is on The Davey O'Brien watch list given to the nations best quarterback. Devin Ferrell/The Arbiter

Jesse Quarton- Staff Writer

It has been a season of disparity and conquering adversity for the Boise State football team. At the center of all of that disparity is redshirt senior quarterback Grant Hedrick.

After an early loss to Ole Miss in late August—in which Hedrick threw four interceptions—the Broncos rattled off three straight wins against Colorado State, Connecticut and Louisiana Lafayette.

Hedrick again threw four interceptions against Air Force and was benched in the second half in favor of redshirt freshman Ryan Finley.

Despite his struggles against Air Force costing the Broncos the victory, Hedrick did not allow that to damage his calm.

Hedrick is known by his teammates for maintaing a level of calmness regardless of what the scoreboard—a trait he inherited from his father and grandfather.

“I think I’ve always had it,” Hedrick said. “I learned it from my dad and grandfather. You admire those people that have gone through ups and downs.”

Since the Air Force game, the Broncos have turned around their offense, in large part because of Hedrick.

Hedrick spoke on his team’s turnaround and how this season has shifted for the better. Much of those improvements are due to a different mindset.

“Just more of an attacking mindset,” Hedrick said. “Sometimes I would take a step back and try and let other guys do their job and not really take initiative.”

Since wide receiver Matt Miller was lost for the season after undergoing ankle surgery, the Broncos’ offense become much more multi-dimensional.

This has forced Hedrick to become more confident in other players on the team, and, for him, is a major factor for his improved play.

Over the past four games without Miller in the lineup, Hedrick has tossed 11 touchdowns to only two interceptions.

This new found confidence has helped Hedrick trust the “next man up” mentality when one receiver struggles.

“A new guy is stepping up each week, and for the better,” Hedrick said. “It’s been great to see who that next guy is going to be.”

The Broncos take on the San Diego State Aztecs at Albertsons Stadium this Saturday. This will give Hedrick an opportunity to test his progressive confidence, as well as his trust in the players around him.

Kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m. MT. The Broncos need to win out to qualify for the MW Championship Game.

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The Boise State men’s tennis team finished their final tournament of the fall season this past weekend at the Pacific Northwest Intercollegiate and will now have a few months off before the start of their regular team season.

The fall season in collegiate tennis focuses on the individual side of tennis. Players compete in a series of different tournaments across the country in preparation for the regular season which starts in January.

“In those terms you get that self-knowledge, which is the heart of this team,” head coach Greg Patton said. “It’s what do we need to work on.”

The Broncos competed in six tournaments this year and had one of their best fall seasons in recent memory with several members of the team taking home singles and doubles titles, including titles from true freshman Lewis Roskilly and sophomore Abe Hewko.

“It’s like we have gone to eight different dances this year,” Patton said. “You usually only have a guy or two that does well but this year it was like each guy was passing a baton.”

While the team does enjoy competing in these tournaments, they do not have the same feel as the regular season tournaments.

“It’s nice to be done but I am looking forward to our regular season because it’s a completely different atmosphere than the fall,” sophomore Brendan McClain said.

The Broncos’ next match will not be until Jan. 15 when they travel to Hawaii to kick off their regular season in a Mountain West match-up. While the Hawaii match is a ways down the road, the team is already preparing for it.

Boise State has won the last three MW titles and will not only be looking for a fourth, also but a spot in the top 25 and in the NCAA tournament.

“We are a brand and we are recognized around the country as a great tennis school and I want people to embrace us for what we are,” Patton said. “They should expect only the best.”

 

 

 

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The Boise State hockey club (Devin Ferrell/The Arbiter)
The Boise State hockey club. (Devin Ferrell/The Arbiter)

The Boise State men’s hockey team is on a roll, and there’s no telling when they are going to stop.

On Sunday, the 13-1 Broncos added another win under their belt after a victory over Idaho in the annual Black and Blue Meals on Wheels charity game.

On Saturday, players from both teams volunteered through Elks Meals on Wheels to serve seniors lunch as well as raise money for the community. While the teams fell short of their $30,000 goal, they still managed to raise $24,500 for Meals on Wheels.

“It was definitely gratifying,” Boise State goalkeeper Josh Benton said. “It’s nice to give back to the community, especially for the elderly.”

After fighting hunger, the Broncos were more than ready for the battle in the rink.

Boise State came out with a bang with a quick goal by JT Smith within the first five minutes. By the end of the first period, Boise State led 4-0.

The second period was just as strong as the first, giving Greg Chapman, Rusty Costello and Justin Videen more opportunities for goals, making the score 7-0.

By the third period, tensions began to rise.

“With a big lead like that, tempers kind of flare, and (players) can get a little frustrated,” forward Taylor Crawford said.

As the Broncos climbed to 9-0, the bubble finally burst, sending Videen and the Vandals’ Devin Lewis to the penalty box. In total, the third period saw seven penalties, more than the first two periods combined.

The fluidity and connectivity from the first two periods slowed down for Boise State. The Vandals took advantage, managing to make a breakaway down the right and bury the puck.

While Benton would’ve preferred a shut-out, he remained focused.

“You know, it happens,” Benton said. “I try to have short-term memory with stuff like that and not dwell on it.”

Boise State wasn’t going to let their rivals have the last word; with three minutes left in the game, Bradley Reid took one more shot, making the final score 10-1.

“We were fortunate to come out with a big victory,” Crawford said.

At the end of the game, the Broncos gladly reclaimed the Pulaski Trophy, awarded to the winning team of the rivalry game.

With the team currently ranked fourth in DII West and Videen as the top scoring leader in all of DII with 41 points, Boise State is looking forward to its next game against Oregon.

The Broncos will face the Ducks Nov. 14 and 15 at Idaho Ice World.

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Shannon Schueren leaves Boise State as one of the best players in school history.

Following a 2-1 loss to New Mexico in the opening round of the MW Championship , the Boise State soccer program bid farwell to midfielder Shannon Schueren.

The four-year letter winner and three-year starter leaves Boise State with her named etched into the school record books where she ranks third in both goals scored and points earned.

“Shannon is a player with technique and tactic way beyond her years,” head coach Jim Thomas said. “She has helped implement a lot of things that we have put in place.”

Schueren contributed more to the program than her play on the field.

“From a character standpoint Shannon is second to none,” Thomas said. “She has handled adversity, injury, drama, tragedy within the program and coaching changes with such great grace. You are always thankful to have a person like Shannon to tie your program together.”

Shannon got involved with soccer at a very young age and has loved the sport ever since.

“I had a lot of pent-up energy,” Schueren said. “So my parents decided to put me in a sport that would get some extra energy out.”

After looking at several universities, Schueren and her family decided that Boise State was the place for her.

“One day, I was just sitting at a table with my mom looking at some college stuff and she said, ‘what about Boise?’” Schueren said. “I started looking at it and talking to the coaches. One thing led to another and here I am.”

Schueren’s genuineness is apparent both on and off the field.

“I love seeing my teammates succeed,” Schueren said. “For it to work out for them when it really matters was my favorite part.”

With her career at an end, Schueren will miss the team camaraderie and the friendships she gaine during her playing days.

“The thing I will miss the most is having a huge group of friends to hang out with and having fun with them,” Schueren said. “You really can’t beat it.”

While there are many many people that have helped her along the way, including Thomas, no one has been there more than her parents.

“My parents have been my biggest supporters since day one,” Schueren said.  “They have been to almost every game this year and I can always call them and ask them for advice.”

Schueren is ending her 16-year soccer career. She will now go to graduate school where she will pursue a career as a chiropractor.

“It will be interesting and I am sure it will be quite the adjustment period,” Schueren said. “I am looking forward to trying new things that you really don’t have time for when you’re fully committed to a sport.”

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Despite attendance ratings being higher this season, Albertsons Stadium quickly empties at halftime.

When San Diego State head football coach Rocky Long had harsh comments about Boise State  leading up to the Aztecs game Saturday at Albertsons Stadium, many Broncos fans called blasphemy.

Sorry to break anyone’s heart, but Long has a point.

When asked by the Mighty 1090 radio show if The Blue is an intimidating venue for opposing teams, Long responded: “It’s not. The stadium is not intimidating. The Blue Turf is a non-factor anymore.”

At his weekly press conference, Long had the same attitude to Albertsons Stadium.

“I think it was that way maybe three or four years ago. It’s not that way anymore,” Long said.

Boise State students need to throw away any preexisting opinions they might have about The Blue. The 85-4 home record since 2000 and the two Fiesta Bowl wins are irrelevant; those days are gone. The intimidation factor in Boise is non-existent.

I witness Bronco home games from the sixth floor of the Stueckle Sky Center—providing a bird’s-eye view of the field and student section.

What I have seen is not pretty: Boise State fans pile out of the stadium in droves before the game is even half over.

Against Fresno State on Oct. 17, halftime occurred at 7:30 p.m. with the Broncos up by 10. What happened next was a mass exodus of students that left the stadium who did not return.

Against BYU, Bronco fans abandoned the game well before it was over.

If Boise State fans wish to challenge Long’s statements, Saturday is your time to prove him wrong. Stand behind your team until the bitter end.

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Boise State quarterback Grant Hedrick and kicker Dan Goodale earned MW player of the week honors for their performances in the Broncos 60-49 win over New Mexico Saturday night at University Stadium.

Hedrick, a redshirt senior from Independence, Oregon, was named the MW Offensive Player of the Week after he passed for 498 yards and four touchdowns. He also showed his dual threat ability with 131 yards and two additional touchdowns on the ground.

Goodale earned MW Special Teams Player of the Week after he was 2-2 and 6-6 on field goal and extra point attempts respectively. The senior from Boise, Idaho as well saw seven of his 11 kickoffs go for touchbacks.

Goodale is the first Boise State player to earn MW Special Teams Player of the Week. The Broncos joined the MW in 2011.

Boise State has now earned six different MW player of the week honors this season.

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An athletic trainer helps the football team on the sideline.

Boise State athletic trainers dedicate hours upon hours to serve athletes on and off the field. While they may have fans of their own, they don’t need the spotlight to do their job.

Marc Paul, assistant athletic director and head athletic trainer at Boise State, reminds his family to focus on the game rather than his work.

“My grandma watches our games on TV because she hopes to see me on the field. I tell Grandma, ‘If you see me on the field, that’s not a good thing. So don’t be upset if you never see us’,” Paul said.

Most people may not  be too familiar with  the field of sports medicine but they serve a valuable community. Many times,  they are mistaken for strength and conditioning coaches , physical therapists, and even water boys.

Physical therapists focus on rehabilitation, and strength and conditioning coaches improve athlete fitness. Athletic trainers are highly involved with teams, from the rehab of an athlete and injury prevention to diagnosing injuries on and off the field.

“I think that the people who need to know what we do, know what we do and who we are,” said Seth Rede, a graduate assistant for the sports medicine program. “We don’t necessarily get the attention from the media, which is completely fine with us.”

The sports medicine program involves certified athletic trainers and student trainers who work alongside athletes every day during preseason, in-season and postseason. According to Rede, once a student is admitted into the program, he or she is expected to have at least 200 hours per semester in the clinical setting.

While there is a minimum hour requirement, senior Allison Rowe commits even more time.

“I want to be working with different athletes, working with different preceptors, getting the most that I can out of my classmates,” Rowe said. “It’s all about what you want to make your experience about.”

Students are assigned varying rotations each year to follow a certified athletic trainer and assist a sports team. This allows students to apply knowledge learned in the classroom in a variety of clinical settings.

“The fun you have in-season is just as much out of season with some of the injuries you get to potentially see,” senior Cody Hartz said.

While they avoid the media’s attention, athletic trainers still are proud of their work. For Rowe, every day is a new learning opportunity.

“I don’t know if I have one singular proudest moment because I feel like every day I have something like, ‘Yes, I did it right!’ because I’m still learning so much,” Rowe said.

Just as athletes focus on continuing improvement, so do athletic trainers.

“(Coach Harsin) says, ‘Let’s get 2 percent better every day.’ We have that mentality of being lifelong learners, and continuing to improve,” Rede said. Science is always changing. “New discoveries are coming out; new techniques are coming out. If we get stagnant then we’re not going to be as effective for the athletes as we should be.”

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The Boise State Broncos saw their season come to and end on a heartbreaking last minute goal.

The Boise State women’s soccer team’s season has come to an end after a loss to No. 3 New Mexico in the first round of the MW Championship on Tuesday.

Coming off of four wins in a row, the Broncos headed into the tournament with high hopes and the sixth seed.

“We were nervous because this could be one of our last times we play together, but we were ready for it. We were ready for the challenge,” said defender Hailey DeVries.

The Broncos started out strong, with two shots by KT Clayton and Shannon Schueren.

In the 23rd minute, the Lobos received a penalty kick. New Mexico’s Claire Lynch sunk the ball into the bottom left of the goal, bringing the Lobos up 1-0.

The Broncos didn’t leave the goal unanswered. Less than 10 minutes later, DeVries took the ball up the right sideline and crossed the ball. Dani Brown took the shot and tied the
score 1-1.

“It felt good, because usually in all of our games, the ones that we lose in is because they score first. With that, we go into a panic situation where our team freaks out and then we don’t play the same,” DeVries said. “I just wish it could have happened again.”

While the match was close in the first half, New Mexico began to pull ahead in the last half of the game, making more chances on goal than the Broncos.

In the 78th minute, freshman goalkeeper Janelle Flores made a critical save when the Lobos had a free kick on goal.

In the final two minutes of the game  the Lobos seized control of the ball deep in the Bronco’s defense. The  defense tried to clear the ball on the right sideline. The ball bounced off of a New Mexico forward into the left corner of the goal, leaving 2:17 on
the clock.

“I remember vividly turning around to my assistant coach Ed and just saying, ‘That’s it? That’s going to be the one?’”  head coach Jim Thomas said.

While the Broncos fought to make one more goal with a shot by Clayton, the game ended 2-1.

“These kids that are hanging on by their finger nails to whatever emotional strength they’ve got left. They fought very hard and they came back in a game that we were down a goal, and that was going to be the goal that ended it all,” Thomas said.

The team will now have to say goodbye to its two seniors, middle fielder  Schueren and defender Mikhaila Bowden. Schueren holds third place in school records for most goals scored (17) and most points scored (41). Bowden was named first-team All-Mountain West and holds school records for starts (83) and minutes played (7,694).

“I was (thankful) for those two specifically who have been unbelievable proponents of Boise State and the Athletic Department, as well as the soccer program here,” Thomas said.

The Broncos will move onto the off-season and look ahead to next year, with key players such as Flores and junior Brooke Heidemann, who was also named to the All-Mountain West
first-team.

“I would rank this (team) in the top one or two things that I’ve ever been a part of, and getting through (this season) and finding the success that we did in the end was a massive achievement for this program. I’m very proud of everyone here,” Thomas said.