Sports

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Jay Ajayi runs for a touchdown in a game earlier this season against Louisiana-Lafayette.

Former Boise State running back Jay Ajayi solidified himself as one of the top running backs in the nation after ranking second nationally in all-purpose yards.

Now, he is solidifying himself as a high NFL draft pick with a strong performance at the NFL Combine.

Ajayi, along with the other running backs at the Combine, went through drills on Saturday and posted top five performances in four events.

He is one of two running backs to post top five performances in five events.

Ajayi posted times of 4.10 and 11.10 seconds in the 20 and 60 yard shuttle runs respectively. Those times ranked third and second among all running backs.

His jumps of 10-feet-1-inch and 39-feet in the broad and vertical jumps were fifth among running backs.

His best time of 4.57 seconds in the 40-yard dash tied him for 10th out of 31 participants.

When speaking to members of the media, Ajayi compared himself to current NFL running backs Matt Forte, Marshawn Lynch, Demarco Murray and Arian Foster.

“Those are four guys I really pattern my game around,” Ajayi said. “The style of play they have, being complete backs and being able to be on the field all three downs.”

Despite his impressive showing in the 20-yard and 60-yard shuttle runs, Ajayi put up average measurables in the bench press and 3-cone drill.

He completed 19 repetitions of 225-lbs. on the bench press which tied for 15th out of 31 participants. His 3-cone drill time of 7.10 seconds was good for 12th of 25.

Ajayi will now wait until Boise State’s Pro Day for one last workout in front of scouts before the NFL Draft.

A date for Boise State’s Pro Day has yet to be announced.

The NFL Draft will run April 30 through May 2 at Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.

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Robert Milo
Boise State head men's tennis coach Greg Patton huddles together with the team. Greg has coached his son Garrett for the past four years.

Brittney Liggins- Staff Writer

Greg Patton, father and head tennis coach, has the privilege of coaching his son, Garret Patton. Garrett is the only senior on the team.

As a child, Greg joked that he would be put up for adoption by his parents if he didn’t play sports.

As a father, he instilled a love for sports in Garrett and his daughter Chelsea, currently an assistant women’s tennis coach at Whitman
College.

“I was involved so much in coaching junior tennis that I think I figured it out being a parent and a coach,” Greg said. “Being a parent, the most important thing was to have them fall in love with the game
like I did.”

Garrett started playing tennis at the age of two, right at the Boise State Appleton Tennis Center. He learned the alphabet playing a game where his father tossed him tennis balls for every letter he got.

Growing up, Garrett watched the Boise State tennis team when current assistant coach Luke Shields—a role model for Garrett—was playing for the Broncos.

Being around his father as he coached collegiate athletes made Garrett realize early on that he could use tennis as a way to get scholarships into schools.

“He pushed me into (tennis) but then I fell in love with it the better I got and the more I played,” Garrett said.

As a two-time Idaho State High School Singles champion and one of the top 20 high school players in the nation, Garrett considered Boise State, Cal, UC Santa Barbara, San Francisco and Montana State.

Despite wanting to coach his son at the collegiate level, Greg only recruited Garrett once—a meeting in Greg’s office where he told his son he wanted to coach him at the collegiate level.

When decision time came, Garrett informed his father would be playing at Boise State.

“He told me, ‘Dad, I think I made my mind up. I really like the guys on the team. I really like the school. I really like the location, but the coach is so-so,’” Greg said.

Despite being the coach’s son, Garrett received no special treatment. At the start of his freshman year he had to earn his way and show the team he belonged.

“I think his freshman year the guys brutalized him for being the coach’s son,” Greg said.

Garrett distanced himself from his dad by not going in the same van to competitions. When the team sat down for meals, Garrett would eat as far away as possible from his father. At home, the two had a deal that they would not talk about tennis unless Garrett had a question.

Garrett,  now  in the midst of the final stretch of his collegiate career, has grown to become a team leader.

“He is the captain and the leader. We look up to him kind of as a role model,” junior Brian Foley said.

With only two months left in his collegiate career, Garrett believes he made the right choice in attending Boise State.

“Looking back I wouldn’t have done it any other way,” Garrett said. “I think it’s made me a better person and in the long run, it has strengthened my relationship with my father.”

For Greg, the opportunity has been one of the greatest experiences of his almost 40-year coaching career.

“I love watching him play,” Greg said. “We both wear different hats. I really don’t want it to end. I like the man he is becoming.”

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Tyler Paget
Freshman forward Chandler Hutchison (No. 15) would not be able to play this season if a proposed NCAA amendment making freshman ineligible for varsity sports passes.
Blair Kerkhoff
The Kansas City Star
Tribune News Service

Lon Kruger arrived at Kansas State from Silver Lake High in 1970 as a three-sport star. He had turned down a baseball contract and was targeted by some colleges as a quarterback.

Instead, Kruger became the first recruit of new Wildcats men’s basketball coach Jack Hartman and spent his first college year in the same place as everybody in his class, on the freshman team.

First-year students in men’s basketball and football didn’t become eligible to complete until 1972, and Kruger recalls those days fondly.

“It was great for us,” said Kruger, who’s now the basketball coach at Oklahoma. “None of us were good enough to play. As I think back on it, it really was a great bonus.”

That’s what supporters of the idea of freshman ineligibility, which has collected steam as a topic over the past few weeks at the power conference commissioner level, love to hear.

Sitting out of varsity competition to become acclimated to the rigors of college life undoubtedly has its advantages. But many basketball coaches are not the same page as commissioners. They don’t want it.

“I think it would be awful,” Kansas coach Bill Self said.

Other coaches asked about this possibility recently have struck a similar chord. If this is about helping incoming students prepare for college, they say that’s already happening.

“One luxury we have with freshmen coming in, we get most coming in a summer and getting them acclimated on campus,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said. “They’re in a couple of classes and figuring things out.

“I understand the argument about getting a year under your belt, but with the resources we have … kids can adapt quickly.”

Many interpret freshmen ineligibility as a college response to the NBA’s 19-year-old rule, the NBA Draft age limit that has become popularly known as “one-and-done”—one year in college and off to the NBA.

The current system is seen by college coaches and commissioners as an unhealthy relationship with the NBA. In essence, colleges become a feeder system for the pros at the expense of the college game and the athlete’s academic career.

One-and-done players are a miniscule percentage of freshman athletes across the college landscape, but they can make a huge impact. Kentucky won the 2012 national championship with three freshmen, led by Anthony Davis, who were drafted.

The Wildcats have had 14 freshmen drafted since the age-limit rule was adopted by the NBA in time for the 2006 Draft.

Last week, Kentucky coach John Calipari wondered if the idea of freshman ineligibility was intended to help students “or are we worried about individual programs?”

The NBA and new commissioner Adam Silver have talked about a new age limit—20. That would mean athletes spending at least two years in college, and colleges would love to see this change.

Self went through a list of questions that would have to be addressed if freshmen were ineligible. He thinks more prospects would choose to play internationally rather than come to college and sit out
a year.

Would freshmen teams be revived? Is this for all sports? Would scholarships have to be added?

“I know that it worked for a period of time back in the ’60s, early 1970s,” Self said. “I don’t see how in today’s climate that it would be good for our games and overall betterment of student athletes.”

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 Ty Hawkins
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Farzan Faramarzi
© Boise State Student Media 2015

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For Kody Dudley, cheerleading in high school was a struggle.

As one of the few male cheerleaders in his region, he was constantly ridiculed by his peers, being called gay or  a girl for doing a sport he loved.

“I played it off like it didn’t bother me, but it affected me to the point that I didn’t want to do it anymore,” Dudley said. “I was like, ‘I’m done. Cheerleading’s not worth it to me.’”

He quit his sophomore year of high school to avoid the harsh words from his peers.

Although more teams are becoming co-ed, male cheerleaders still have to fight against stereotypes and teasing from peers.

Overcoming adversity

Despite hesitation Dudley decided to give cheer one more try during his junior year of high school.

“People stopped making so much fun of us and started saying, ‘Hey man, could you teach me how to do backflip? Could you teach me how to throw that girl?’” Dudley said.

He continued his cheer career into All-Stars, a competitive cheerleading organization, and joined the Broncos in 2014.

At Boise State Dudley met senior Malachi Burt, who has been cheering for Boise State for all four years of his college career.

Burt was no stranger to the male cheerleading stereotype.

In high school, he received athletic scholarship offers for football, track and field, and cheerleading. Although he excelled at each, people were still surprised when he announced his final decision.

“When I chose cheerleading, a lot of people said, ‘Why did you do that? … Why would you choose to be on the sidelines?’”
Burt said.

Burt believes that the stereotypes that male cheerleaders face comes from lack of understanding the athleticism of cheerleading.

“It’s just people not knowing, people not really seeing what we do is something cool until they see something cool,” Burt said. “(When people see something cool), then they’re like, ‘Oh, I don’t really care if that guy is gay or straight. He can throw a girl with one hand.’”

Being a male cheerleader at Boise State.

Since joining the cheer squad at Boise State, Dudley and Burt have been highly respected and recognized by fellow athletes, students and administration. According to Burt, President Kustra knows members of the cheer squad on a first name basis.

Their hard work and dedication are highly appreciated on the team as well. Head coach Tobruk Blaine values the physicality that Dudley and Burt bring.

“It takes four females to do what one guy and one girl can do,” Blaine said.

Males are expected to perform the fight song, do motions, keep rhythm, perform tumbling and stunts, and be able to use a megaphone during tryouts.

Burt wants to perfect every stunt and routine. He believes that by setting a high standard for his performances, people will see him as an athlete.

“I don’t allow people to see me cheer and think anything else but, ‘Wow, that was athletic,’” Burt said. “Whether you’re gay, straight, feminine, a male, a female, a freaking bear or whatever you are, if you’re an athlete, you want to be known as an athlete.”

Not only have Dudley and Burt added a new element of stunting to the team, they unite the team.

“I think they unify us because being around girls all the time can be really exhausting, so they’re there to break that up,” senior flyer Kelsey Messer said. “Having a true co-ed team will set the program apart from other schools.”

Looking to the future

Male cheerleading is on the rise across the nation. According to an article from KTVB, male cheerleading is growing in Treasure Valley high schools. Blaine wants to continue to grow Boise State’s program by adding more men to the team.

Blaine is hoping to recruit and maintain more male cheerleaders from surrounding areas. Blaine wants to travel to competitions to promote the program. She hopes to have at least six men on the cheer squad every season. Currently, Dudley is the only male cheerleader hoping to return next year.

“No one has done male recruiting in this job, so it’s going to take me going out and reaching to those males who are involved with cheerleading …” Blaine said.

Dudley has seen male cheerleading grow and become more accepted in Idaho. He hopes the growth will continue and more people will start to respect cheerleading as a sport.

“People know football, basketball, baseball and stuff like that,” Dudley said. “I want them to recognize cheerleading as one of the top sports, something that you just can’t do because you have nothing else better to do with your time. You have to be a good athlete to do it.”

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Youth is running rampant among the Boise State lacrosse team this season.

The Broncos have quite the young team with a majority of them being freshman.

For head coach Jon Mundy, five freshmen have separated themselves from the rest of the team.

Defenseman David Manning and midfielders Austin Lickley, James Murphy, Alex Wilson and Ryan Price are proving to be a valuable commodity to the team’s success.

“They’re a testament that you can come in as a freshman and play right away,” Mundey said. “Sometimes you would think that returners would have a little bit of jealousy or a chip on their shoulder because young guys come and take their job. But the proof is in the pudding, and everybody’s behind them 100 percent.”

Mundy started to realize the important role that the five brought a few weeks into practice. Their roles solidified following the trip to UC Davis in November.

The freshmen have had no issues fitting in with the team this season and were welcomed in with open arms.

“At the end of the day, they treat us the same, especially since a lot of our freshman class are going to be the ones who are playing this year,” Manning said.

The upperclassmen have developed respect for the youngest players on the roster.

“They’re honestly some of the better guys on our team,” senior defenseman Nick Cherbero said.

The freshmen are already taking strides this season. In their first match against Utah State, Manning, Lickley and Murphy started while Wilson and Price had lots of playing time.

According to his coach, Manning had a stellar defensive performance in the team’s most recent 18-9 victory over Utah State.

The four midfielders were   also vital in the victory. While none scored a goal or made an assist, they moved the ball  well and provided others with opportunities to capitalize upon.

“They’re kind of the unsung heroes in that they continue to make plays that make the entire offense flow and the entire team better,” Mundy said.

Mundy has high hopes for the five. He anticipates that they will receive All-American titles and be first team All-Conference players.

While Lickley feels an added pressure of being  a recognized key player, he hopes to contribute to the team’s success this season and in future years as well.

“We have five guys that if they all stay … we’re going to be good the next couple of years,” Lickley said.

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Every week, The Arbiter sports staff will be selecting a Bronco student-athlete for their athletic performances over the week. Selections will be run on Monday and be based off of the previous week, running from Sunday to Saturday.

The Boise State women’s gymnastics team is off to a flying start to their season and much of that has to do with their two senior captains Ciera Perkins and Kelsey Morris.

Perkins and Morris’ performance this season have vaulted the Broncos to the No. 15 ranking in the
country.

The senior duo most recently led the Broncos to a big win over No. 23 Ohio State this past weekend.

Morris won three individual titles in the victory, including the all-around.

Perkins posted a 9.80 on the uneven bars and a 9.85 on the vault.

Both are having outstanding final seasons for the team.

Combined, they have won Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference Specialists of the Week five times this season.

While Morris is busy collecting individual titles, Perkins posted a perfect 10 score on vault earlier in the season. She is only one of five gymnasts to achieve that feat this season.

While both enjoy the success  they are having, their focus is on the team with hopes of leading the Broncos to their first ever team appearance at the NCAA championships.

“It would be the best feeling knowing we made history in our last year,” Perkins said. “We have been trying to get there for three years.”

Perkins and Morris will be back in action Feb. 27 at Taco Bell Arena.

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Kyle Moeller

After two tough back-to-back games on the road, the Boise State men’s basketball team returned home to take the bark out of the Nevada Wolfpack in a 78-46 rout.

The Broncos took the early lead and never looked back.

The team had a strong showing on offense; shooting 56 percent from field. In addition, the Broncos accumulated 17 assists on 30 field goals.

“Our offense had a nice day today and moved the ball efficiently,” head coach Leon Rice said.  “It was a great effort by our guys. I liked the fact we had 17 assists today.”

But it was their defense that stole the show.

Boise State created 16 turnovers and held Nevada to 36 percent shooting from the field.

“Our defense was really solid through 40 minutes,” Rice said.  “Nevada is an athletic team and that can be scary if you let them do what they want.  You have to give credit to our guys.”

James Webb III led the effort for the Broncos, filling up the stat sheet. He finished the day with 22 points, seven rebounds, two blocks, a steal and a few electrifying dunks that put the arena in a frenzy.

“I had no idea I would shoot this well today,” Webb III said.  “I have been working on my shot and today it just paid off.”

Webb III was able to score from the inside and the outside. He finished the day shooting nine of 11 from the field and four for four from three-point land.

Webb credits his success to the chemistry between him and his teammates.

“We all work together as a team,” Webb III said. “We have a great offense and everyone knows their position. We like to share the ball and find open guys we know will knock it down.”

Many teams this season have been trying to figure out the rubik’s cube that is James Webb III. Like many have before, Nevada tried and failed.

“I have noticed teams getting more physical with me,” Webb III said.  “I am still going to continue to crash the boards, but they are just going to have to knock me down.”

Senior Derrick Marks, who has been the other vital piece of the puzzle for the Broncos success this season,  couldn’t be happier with Webb’s emergence.

“I always knew what he could do,” Marks said.  “When he got his chance, I wasn’t surprised. Ever since he got his chance, he has taken full advantage of it.”

Marks finished the game with 18 points of his own.

The win gave the Broncos their 20th victory of the season, marking three straight seasons in a row the team has been able to accomplish that feat. The last time the team was able to accomplish that was over 20 years ago during the 1986-1989 seasons.

The Broncos will be back Feb. 24. when they host New Mexico.

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
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Farzan Faramarzi
© Boise State Student Media 2015

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Farzan Farmazzi
Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin knows the Broncos are going to have to play better in the 4th quarter to be successful this season.

Boise State wide receiver Rick Smith is rumored to be suffering from a head injury after an alleged altercation with a teammate.

The teammate has yet to be named at this point.

A gofundme drive has been set up in Smith’s name by Kimberly Johnson, a family friend. Johnson did not immediately respond to The Arbiter’s request for comment.

The gofundme drive is listed in Long Beach, California, and describes that Smith, a redshirt junior transfer from Arizona State, is suffering from “a skull fracture, brain hemorrhage and his entire brain is swollen” after Smith was assaulted by a teammate.

According to a report from the Long Beach Press Telegram, Smith and a teammate were “slap boxing” in the team locker room in Boise. When Smith turned around, he was struck in the head by the teammate and hit a locker.

Smith was taken to the emergency room of a Boise hospital but was discharged. After his parents noticed he was still in a considerable amount of pain, his father drove him from Boise to the Ronald Reagan Medical Center in Southern California.

Ryan Larrondo, a public information specialist for the Boise Police Department confirmed an investigation into the incident is under way.

Smith’s family plans to file charges against the teammate.

Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin would not confirm Smith’s admittance into the ICU at his Tuesday press conference.

“Rick is currently a student-athlete on our team. That’s where we are,” Harsin said. “That’s really all I’m going to say about that right now.”

Smith attended high school in Long Beach.

Former Arizona State wide receiver Jaelen Strong, Smith’s former teammate,  tweeted out asking for prayers for Smith.

29 people have donated $1,635 to the gofundme drive in the three days it has been up. The goal listed on the drive is $2,500.

The Boise State athletic department would not confirm any involvement in the gofundme drive.

 

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The odds of having identical twins is about 1 in 400 according to the National Health Services.

The odds of having identical twins on the same team in college, well, much slimmer.

Brittney and Brooke Pahukoa of the Boise State women’s basketball team are the only set of twin basketball players currently in women’s Division I basketball.

“They are just absolutely fabulous people and really good players,” said head coach Gordy Presnell. “You can just predict success for them. They know they have the ability both physically and mentally to accomplish whatever they want to do.”

An integral part of their success has been their father Jeff, a six-year veteran of
the NFL.

“We always get a lot of wisdom from him,” Brooke said. “He taught us the true meaning of sports and why you do it.”

Growing up in Lake Stevens, Washington, Brittney and Brooke did everything together, including playing sports. From soccer and track to basketball, they both became standout players for their high school team.

Despite the almost never ending list of similarities, there is one key difference between the two—whereas Brooke is an adventurous spirit, Brittney is more reserved and calm.

“She is the outgoing one,” Brittney said. “She is always telling me, ‘Let’s go do this,’ and I just would rather stay in all day.”

The twins are so competitive that they aren’t even allowed to play against one another.

“We have played four times against each other and every time one of us has gotten hurt,” Brittney said.

The twins were not planning on going to the same school together.  As fate would have it though,
they did.

“When we were deciding on what school to go to, we decided we would choose separately,” Brittney said. “We ended up both choosing Boise State.”

Brooke is having a breakout season for the Broncos. She is third on the team in scoring with 9.6 points per game, second in steals, second in three-point percentage and leads the team in free throw percentage with an outstanding 93.8 percent from the charity stripe.

She credits much of her success this season to Brittney.

“She calms me down and I need that,” Brooke said. “Sometimes I am going a mile a minute or I am stressed because I am not making my shots or whatever else is going wrong, and all I have to do is look over at her and I am instantly alright.”

Brittney, on the other hand, has been plagued with injuries this season.

“It has been difficult, but I will take every little chance and the role I have now to help the team,” Brittney said. “Hopefully next year I can go more than two weeks without getting injured so I can really make a difference.”

For Brooke, it has been hard seeing her sister go through so much pain and it has affected her play.

“This season, it has really motivated me to play with more passion,” Brooke said. “The fact that this season she really hasn’t gotten the opportunity to play makes me play for her. I take every opportunity I can on the floor to play for the both of us.”

Last season, it was Brooke that was the one who was battling injury with walking pneumonia.

The twins envision a future where both of them are healthy and provide a one-two punch for the team.

“We love playing together so it would be wonderful to play alongside her,”
Brooke said.

 

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The hockey club celebrating a goal in a win over Utah.

Kyle Moeller- Staff Writer

For the final time this season, the Boise State hockey club played in front of their home crowd at the CenturyLink Arena.

While underclassmen in the program will still have a chance to play hockey in the sanctity of Boise, Idaho next season, this was the seniors final game at home.

Boise State secured the win in overtime with a thrilling 2-0 shootout advantage.

“It was awesome playing in front of that many people,” senior and captain Rusty Costello said. “It was a really good crowd and we enjoyed playing in front of that many people.”

The rest of the team wanted to send the seniors off right, and they knew the only way to do that was to be victorious.

“It was a little bit emotional. We will definitely miss (the seniors) next year,” junior forward Justin Videen said. “Hopefully next year we can get some guys in here to fill that void, but the seniors will definitely be missed.”

The team knows they still have more work to do as they look ahead towards regionals with one game left on their slate. As they practice this week, they look to improve their defense before their game in Utah this week.

“We had some struggles with our defensive zone against Utah this (season),” Costello said. “Luckily, we scored five goals as well but our defense is something we need to tighten up in practice this week.”

As the more-than-five month season nears its end, Boise State not only worries about their physical health, but their mindset as well.

“Staying healthy and staying rested is very important,” Videen said. “It is a long season and we are all tired and school is adding to that so we need to make sure we are ready every game and at 100 percent because with one loss, the season is over.”

With one game left, the team waits for the announcement of the final rankings and their opponent at regionals.

Regionals is only one piece to the puzzle, however. The team has their eyes set on a much loftier goal of making it to the nationals.

“We want to make it to nationals. We have to win two games at regionals in order to do so,” Costello said. “I think we are in a good enough place to get that done.”

The team travels this weekend to the Utah to play its final regular season game before they travel to Tempe, Arizona, to play their first regional game on Feb. 28.

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 Ty Hawkins
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Farzan Faramarzi
© Boise State Student Media 2015

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Every week The Arbiter sports staff will be selecting a Bronco student-athlete for their athletic performances over the week. Selections will be run on Monday and be based off of the previous week, running from Sunday to Saturday.

In a nail-biting game against Fresno State, Miquelle Askew rose to the challenge to lead the Broncos to victory in overtime.

The junior center secured 23 points in Taco Bell Arena on Feb. 14, bringing Boise State 8-4 in conference play and holding the Bulldogs to 9-3.

Since Fresno State’s defense held the Broncos’ three-point shooting to 3-of-11, Boise State had to heavily rely on the post to rally points onto the board.

Askew sprung into action the first half, scoring the Broncos’ first eight points in the first four minutes. She also managed back-to-back layups with 16 seconds left in regulation to bring the score to 57-56. After Fresno State got a free throw with four seconds left, Askew’s points forced the game into overtime.

Unphased, Askew charged onto the court and scored with a layup and converted a free throw within the first 11 seconds.

Overall, the junior managed 9-of-9 on field goal attempts, 5-for-8 on free shots, six rebounds and two steals.

With critical plays from Askew, the Broncos were victorious 75-66, ending the 11-game losing streak to Fresno State. The Broncos now have back-to-back wins in conference play after defeating Air Force on the road on Jan. 11.

Askew is currently ranked 18th in the MW in scoring as well.

With her amazing stats from Saturday afternoon, Askew has proven that she is the Arbiter Athlete of the Week.

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While guys like senior Derrick Marks and redshirt sophomore James Webb III are getting all the headlines for the Boise State men’s basketball team, redshirt senior Rob Heyer is quietly making an impact.

“He is just so comfortable in his role,” head coach Leon Rice said. “He makes everyone’s jobs so much easier and compliments the team so well.”

While Heyer has not been blowing up the stat sheet this season, he has been one of the most reliable members on the team.

He is the only player who  has played in every game this season and is third on the team in field goal percentage with at least 50 shots taken.

“He has become our glue guy,” Rice said. “He makes those ‘Rob Heyer plays.’ It’s kind of neat when guys get their own signature plays like, ‘Oh, he just made a Rob Heyer play.’ Like those late rebounds in the game when the other team is trying to come back, he goes and gets and offense board and gets us a new clock. Those are back-breaking plays and those use to be the Ryan Watkins plays.”

Heyer is coming off a career game against Air Force where he scored a season high 12 points.

“The scoring, great, that’s excellent but he does so many things for this team that are unseen,” Rice said.

Due in part to Heyer’s play  the Broncos are the hottest team in the MW right now. They are the winners of eight of their last nine games and are just a game back in the MW.

“We are on this winning streak, and we are doing everything we can to keep it rolling,” Heyer said.  “We have tough opponents every week, and we really have had to focus.  We are really proud of ourselves.”

Heyer feels the team can keep the momentum going by doing a few simple things.

“We just have to be mature,” Heyer said. “At the end of the day, there are five of us on the court. The rest of the team is on the bench and the coaches are coaching. That is all we need.”

With injuries starting to mount up and the recent suspensions of redshirt junior guards Montigo Alford and Mikey Thompson, Heyer’s role is going to become vital as the end of season nears.

“I know I’m going to play more,” Heyer said. “We have all had to move positions around a little bit and learn new plays, but I’m not necessarily trying to do more. I’m just doing what is
needed.”

His teammates have faith that the Broncos can reach new heights because of what Heyer brings.

“He is always stepping up,” Webb III said. “I know what he can do and what he brings to the table.  When his number is called and he needs to produce, he will.”

The Broncos will be back in action on Feb. 18 when they travel to UNLV.

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“Crouch … bind … set!”  Cleats dig into the plastic turf as the referee calls to begin the scrum.

The Boise State men’s rugby team spring season is officially under away and the team is off to a strong start.

The Broncos faced down the Eastern Washington Eagles on Feb. 14. With a home field advantage, the Broncos gained their second win of the season with a score of 25-18.

Practices have been paying off for Boise State.  The team is seeing  a high level of play from newer members on the team due to the effort they have been putting in.

“We work for it every day; we work in the gym all week. It just all comes together at the end of the day,” team captain Ryan Mende said. “You work out in practice and it’s what we hope for every day.”

The rugby team plays in a full, 15-player format, opposed to the seven-man format used in the Olympics.

Rubgy was re-established at Boise State back in 2006.  The club competes with several other teams from around the Northwest in the Northwest Collegiate Rugby Conference.

Rugby is a sport unlike any other and it’s one its players are glad to be a part of.

“The most awesome thing about rugby is it’s the ultimate team sport. You don’t really have positions, just everybody is playing rugby,” Mende said. “It’s a bond between you and your teammates and when you are in that mesh, there is nothing that can stop you. It’s the best high on earth.”

The Broncos will travel to the University of Oregon on Feb. 28 to face the Ducks.

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
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Holly Hovis
© Boise State Student Media 2015

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The Boise State men’s basketball team could be looking at a thin roster at the worst possible time.

With only seven games remaining before the MW tournament, the Broncos are down to 11 available players.

Senior guard/forward Anthony Drmic will miss the rest of the season with after undergoing ankle surgery last month, freshman forward Zach Haney is redshirting and sophomore guard Dezmyn Trent and senior forward Jake Ness are out with injuries.

Redshirt junior guards Mikey Thompson and Montigo Alford are also out indefinitely after being suspended for violating team rules.

Thompson and Alford were originally ruled out for Wednesday’s 67-42 win over Air Force, but head coach Leon Rice announced the two could miss additional time.

“We have standards. My job first and foremost is to be an educator and then I am a coach after that,” Rice said. “You never want to do it, you never want to have something like this happen, but it is also why we’re are where we are: my coaches hold our players to a standard and when you deviate from that standard you are going to be held accountable for it.”

With the team being short handed, reserves Rob Heyer and David Wacker have seen a much larger role in the team.

Heyer, a senior forward, scored a career high 12 points off of 28 minutes of action.

“I know I’m going to play more since those are two guards that we lose, and with everyone being injured. We are just a little short on that position,” Heyer said. “We have all had to move positions around a little bit and learn new plays, but I’m not necessarily trying to do more. I’m just doing what comes.”

Rice added that Heyer has begun to become the glue-guy that the team is going to rely on in crucial situations.

Wacker made his largest contribution thus far this season. His 18 minutes and six points were career highs for the freshman center.

His three field goals against Air Force tied his three field goals in the first 10 conference games combined.

The Broncos are currently .5 a game behind San Diego State in the MW standings. The Broncos easily handled the Aztecs on Sunday, but have played one less game.

The team is currently listed as one of the “first four out” teams in Joe Lunardi’s latest Bracketology report.

There is still plenty of time for the Broncos to earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament, but with the current lack of depth on the roster, Boise State will face an uphill climb.

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

Less than two years into his tenure at Boise State, director of cross country and track and field Corey Ihmels has taken the Boise State cross country program to new heights on the course.

Now, the teams are being honored for their performance in the classroom.

Both the men’s and women’s teams earned United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic Honors.

To earn this honor, the team must have at least five runners compete at an NCAA regional event while also earning at least a 3.0 GPA the previous semester.

The men earned a combined team average of 3.19 while the women finished with a 3.49.

This is the first time in program history that both programs have earned this honor in the same season.

Individually, senior Marisa Howard (Nursing), senior David Elliott (Finance) and freshman Andrew Rafla (Computer Science) took home honors.

To earn this honor, the individual must be in the top 10 percent at a regional event and have at least a 3.25 cumulative GPA.

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A disappointing season has not affected the mentality of the Boise State wrestling team.

Despite a 3-8 overall record—1-5 in Pac-12 matches—being far below the expectations of a once highly-ranked program, the team knows there are still opportunities to redeem this season.

“It has been a tough season for us,” senior Steven Hernandez said. “There’s still time and we need to come back and be ready for the Pac-12 tournament so our key goal for this season is just to finish strong.”

The primary lineup used by the Broncos this year is comprised of mostly freshmen that haven’t wrestled in these types of situations before.

“I think these guys just need to figure it out,” Hernandez said. “I think a lot of it is mental. Everybody needs to focus on their ability and what they are good at.”

“That’s one of the things that helped me out was my head game. Getting mentally tough, mentally strong, it was one of my big problems in my college career and I’m starting to get it. Once these guys get if figured, out they will be okay.”

Despite the team’s youth, head coach Greg Randall believes the team needs to better understand wrestling at the collegiate level.

“We got guys that just don’t know how to wrestle seven minutes. I know we are young but they have to learn one way or another that you’ve got to keep the pressure on your opponent,” Randall said.

The team currently has an overall record of 3-8 since losing to Oregon State 29-6 in Corvallis on Feb. 8.

Boise State also lost to the Beavers at home on Dec. 13, 31-3.

With only one more dual meet remaining—at trip to Laramie, Wyoming on Feb. 15 to take on Wyoming—Randall has begun to shift the team’s focus to the Pac-12 Championships.

Oregon State will host the Pac-12 Championships on Mar. 1.

“I think I might just throw all the goals out and get back to just hard work,” Randall said. “I mean that’s the only thing we know how (to do). I mean you’re losing you’re struggling and you got to get back into the wrestling room and the weight room and bust your butt and wrestle harder if you want to get better.”

 

 

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Suffering from a severe back injury and muscle atrophy at age 42, SuChen Gee felt hopeless. She struggled to find a form of fitness that didn’t aggregate her injuries, including a senior swimming class.

In March of 2012, she noticed that her hairdresser looked slimmer and happier. After learning that the results came from pole dancing, Gee decided to give it a shot.

“I couldn’t do a lot, but I was so elated that it didn’t hurt my back and neck,” Gee said. “I was just so excited that I could do anything.”

Gee fell in love with the sport, losing 45 pounds and gaining large amounts of muscle mass. Soon she was the owner of Ophidia Studio in Boise.

“Pole literally changed and saved my life,” Gee said.

Pole dancing has grown as a form of fitness across the world. According to the International Pole Dance Fitness Association, Fawnia Dietrich began the revolution in 1994, holding the first pole dancing class for non-performers and founded the first pole dancing school.

This has resulted in schools and classes popping up across the nation, including some YMCA’s teaching pole dancing classes. Major performing groups, such as Cirque du Soleil, now include pole dancing as a part of their act. Dancers can also compete in national competitions.

Pole dancing is a fast growing form of exercise in the Boise area as well. Ophidia had 132 new students in January, with the majority signed up for pole.

People have also found coupons on the website Groupon and decided to try pole, including junior health science major Sarah Bird and Boise State graduate Jen Call.

“My neighbor used to do pole dancing, and she was like, ‘It’s a really good workout,’” Bird said. “I know from the class I took yesterday and today—my whole upper body is incredibly sore.”

While Call had only taken one class, she enjoyed her experience and felt the physical demand required to pole dance.

“I didn’t feel a ton of cardio, like I don’t feel my heart rate was raised, but it definitely takes a lot of strength to hold yourself when you’re spinning,” Call said. “I could feel my muscles being fatigued.”

Gee has witnessed many students benefit from pole dancing. They have lost weight, increased muscle tone and improved their flexibility. Her favorite part however, is seeing people connect with their bodies.

“People don’t understand the physical exertion that it takes to pole dance,” Gee said. “It’s just different because you have to connect with yourself and it is just damn
empowering.”

Some want to see the sport reach the international competition level. K.T. Coates, president of International Pole Sports Federation, has been working to have pole in the Olympics in the near future. Coates has focused on creating rules, regulations and scoring guidelines to align with Olympic standards.

Gee hopes to continue to expand Ophidia and show people that pole dancing has many health benefits.

“It’s a great way to express yourself, get in shape and make that connection,”
Gee said.

The Boise State Broncos were able to continue their winning streak tonight when they defeated Air Force 67-42. With the win the Broncos have won eight in a row and are just a half game back in the MW Standings.
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
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Farzan Faramarzi
© Boise State Student Media 2015

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“Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi”

The chant rings out from The Corral every time Nick Duncan makes a play–which has been often this season.

“He’s been huge,” head coach Leon Rice said. “He makes the guys around him so much better. If you make a mistake on him he is going to make you pay. He is a great weapon for us to have.”

When the Broncos fell to 0-3 in conference, the Australian took charge and didn’t let his team lose sight of their mission.

“I actually said to someone, ‘we are going to win seven or eight games in a row,’” Duncan said.

Duncan was right. Due in part to his play, the Broncos are just a half game out of first place in the MW and are riding a seven game winning streak.

This season Duncan is averaging 9.4 points a game and is third on the team in total rebounds.

This isn’t the first time that Duncan has made an impact for the team. As a true freshman Duncan had a breakout season playing in every game for the team and shooting 41 percent from three point range.

The 6-foot 8-inch power forward is unlike most big men in the game today.

“It’s great. The floor just spreads out and their five men can’t guard him,” redshirt sophomore forward James Webb III said. “It helps us out so much. Our offense is just one circular motion so if it’s not here, it’s over there; if it’s not over there, you go to Nick down in the post or Nick out for the three.”

Duncan has been clutch this season for the Broncos and his teammates know they couldn’t do it without his play.

“I love him,” redshirt junior guard Montigo Alford said. “In transition I just tell him, as soon as you touch it just shoot it, I’m going to find you and I’m going to get the ball to you. I tell him to shoot it every time I give him the ball because I know he is going to make it.”

During the offseason Duncan put a lot of work into getting better so he could have a greater impact for the team this season.

“The coaches have been putting me on different workouts and we are looking at a lot of film from last year,” Duncan said. “They are pointing out where I need to get better and how we can progress as a team. I think all of the workouts I have done and all the teammates I have helping me get those shots are big.”

The team has been heavily reliant on Duncan this season especially when teammate Anthony Drmic went down earlier in the season.

“I think everyone is pretty sore, we are all playing pretty big minutes,” Duncan said. “I have been playing these minutes for a while now. You know 38 or 39 minutes is a little tough on the body but I need to just stick with it and look forward to the next game.”

Duncan and the Broncos will be back in action tonight Feb. 11 when the Broncos host Air Force at 7pm at Taco Bell Arena.

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 Ty Hawkins
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Edited by Farzan Faramarzi
© Boise State Student Media 2015

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Boise State offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Sanford Jr. is expected to take offensive coordinator position at Notre Dame according to multiple reports.

The hire is not expected to be made official for several days as Sanford Jr. goes through the Notre Dame vetting process.

Sanford Jr. had just finished his first season at Boise State, his alma mater.

There was mixed reactions to Sanford Jr.’s potential move from members of the Boise State football program.

Freshman quarterback Brett Rypien, who joined the program in January as one of the highest rated prospects to sign with Boise State offered up the following tweet in the wake of the rumors.

Tight ends coach Eliah Drinkwitz, head coach Bryan Harsin’s co-offensive coordinator at Arkansas State offered up his own take.

Sanford Jr. had already turned down offers from Vanderbilt and Ohio State earlier in the offseason.

Under Sanford Jr. the Broncos offense were ninth nationally in scoring offense and were top 35 in both passing and rushing offense.

Boise State running back Jay Ajayi set school records in total touchdowns and all-purpose yards and is likely to be selected in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft later this spring.

Before returning to Boise State, Sanford Jr. spent three seasons at Stanford where he coaches running backs, quarterbacks and wide receivers during his  tenure.

Sanford Jr. served as a ball boy for the Fighting Irish while his father, Mike Sanford Sr., served as the quarterbacks coach at Notre Dame from 1997-98.

Sanford Sr. is currently the head coach at Indiana State.