Sports

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Outside expectations for the Boise State men’s basketball team will be high once again—the question is, will the Broncos be able to meet those expectations.

 

For the second consecutive season, Boise State was picked to finish second in the MW in a preseason media poll.

 

Despite the predictions, the Broncos finished tied for fifth in the conference last season.

 

For head coach Leon Rice, the goal is to ignore the rankings and instead strive to finish better than the Broncos did last season.

 

“We’re striving for excellence, not rankings,” Rice said in a press release. “I don’t want to get caught up in predictions. We’re in the gym working hard to get where we want to be and that is what’s important.”

 

The Broncos will have plenty of help in striving for excellence this season. Boise State brings back three starters, including preseason All-MWC selection Anthony Drmic, as well as eight letterwinners from last years team.

 

Rice and his staff also stocked up on size for this season, a major weakness for the Broncos in 2013.

 

During the offseason, Boise State added four players that were 6-7 or taller.

Boise State opens their season against La Verne in an exhibition game at Taco Bell Arena on Nov. 1.

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There is still left time in the season for student and faculty alike to go camping before winter sets in.

Winter is coming, and the ideal days for camping are growing thin.

Idaho houses some of the most coveted areas of outdoor recreation. For those interested in spending time in the state’s prime camping sites only have a few weeks left to makes plans before the starry nights turn into evenings devoted to maintaining body heat.

Whether one is an extreme outdoorsman with endless experience and a thirst for exhilaration or a convenience-focused camper looking for a fun time, Boise’s surrounding camping areas have something to offer to everyone.

Ponderosa State Park provides comforts and convenience
For those looking for a quick and simple escape into Idaho’s wilderness, Ponderosa, by McCall, is the place to go.

The park is open year-round, but sports warm weather attractions with its placement near the tourist-heavy town.

It is the ideal place for a more lax camping experience accented by homebody amenities.

The park offers regular campsites for those with tents in tow and specialized cabin sites for new campers or those less inclined toward sleeping on the ground with canvas walls.

Each site is within easy walking distance to bathrooms, showers and an amphitheater with periodic shows.

The sites are also in a series of bike paths for cycling enthusiasts.

The most convenient side of Ponderosa is its easy access to McCall.

Less prepared campers or those setting out for a more leisurely and family-or-friend-centered approach can run into town for groceries, Gem State souvenirs or ice cream.

Oreana sports stone structures and adventure
On the other side of the spectrum, those looking for a more intensive escape into nature with a detachment from society can make their way to Oreana, just south of Murphy.

Those who follow the rundown roads and dirt paths southeast will find a collection of cliffs, sandstone structures and worn caves.

The Oreana desert area is very much the opposite of Ponderosa.

There are no groomed campsites, public bathrooms or convenience stores just down the road.

Campers have to four-wheel drive in with all the necessary items for their trip, pitch their tents and cook in the middle of nowhere.

Without comforts, Oreana is an adventure.

There are endless rock formations and caves to explore, outcrops to climb under and hidden rooms with sand to throw at friends.

It’s a complete lockout from society with nothing but cliff expanses and blue skies to look at.

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Deayon #5 is one of the leaders on defensive for the Boise State defense which has played very well this season.

Boise State junior cornerback Donte Deayon has had quite the season thus far.

The second-team All Mountain West player is tied with fellow junior safety Darian Thompson for the most interceptions on the team this season.

“Donte is a guy when you talk football, he just gets it,” head coach Bryan Harsin said. “He is very smart and has a gift for understanding football.”

What’s even more impressive is Deayon has been the leader of the secondary, despite only finishing two
full games.

While Deayon has been hampered with injuries this season, he hasn’t let it affect his play and has come back each and every time for the Broncos.

“It’s nice to be healthy the whole game and be out there with them,” Deayon said.

Friday night’s game against Fresno State was no exception.

In the contest, Deayon registered his first sack of the season.

“That was nice,” Deayon said. “It felt good coming up there and making the stop.”

But that wasn’t all, Deayon got his fourth pick of the season in the Bronco’s 37-27 victory over Fresno State.

“It was fitting that Donte gets a turnover at the end of the game to seal it for us,” Harsin said.

With the win the Broncos were able to reclaim the Milk Jug, the annual trophy given to the winner of this annual rivalry game.

“We didn’t have the Milk Jug for a while and we let it slip last year,” Deayon said. “So we wanted to bounce back the right way and we felt like we owed it to everyone that came before us.”

With Deayon’s help this season, the Boise State defense has been one of the best highlights of the season so far and a big reason why the Broncos are 5-2.

Despite all the individual accolades he has received over the past few seasons, Deayon is just focused on the team and is doing everything he can to continue the success they have had this season.

“We feed off of the energy of each other,” Deayon said. “We want to be a dominant defense from start to finish.”

Deayon will look to continue his tremendous season when the Broncos host BYU on Friday Oct. 24 at 7 p.m.

“He knows everyone’s position and what they are doing,” sophomore linebacker Tanner Vallejo said. “You can see he is just a play maker.”

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Since leaving Boise State Andy Bettles has gone pro and is currently competing overseas in the International Tennis Federation.

Andy Bettles is arguably one of the best tennis players to ever come through Boise State.

“He has a legacy that is going to last a long time here,” head coach Greg Patton said. “He established a standard of excellence and an unbelievable ambassador for Boise State. “He is class all the way through.”

Bettles finished his career with an astounding record of 106-42 in singles and 83-36 in doubles.
In addition Bettles lead the Broncos to three straight Mountain West Championships and helped get the Broncos as high as #15 in the country for men’s tennis.
The former Bronco is now spending his time trying to take his career to the next level as he is currently competing in the International Tennis Federation which is the stepping stone for getting into the pro circuit with guys such as Roger Federer or Andy Murray.

“The tour is going well for me I am enjoying traveling around Europe playing tournaments, taking in new ultures and playing some tennis as well,” Bettles said.

In the ITF Bettles has a 3-10 record in singles and a 6-7 record in double.
While not the record he was hoping for Patton knows that Bettles has time on his side.

“The thing that he has on his side is youth,” Patton said. “He has got incredible drive and wants to be a pro.:

Bettles came to Boise State from Somerset, England when he was just 16.

“The way that we got him was he was a really good friend of another player we had in Scott Shields,” Patton said.  “When he was hear he was telling me about his best friend Andy who was one of the best players in the UK.”

After his freshman year Patton knew he had a star in the making and as they say the rest is history.

“It was a relationship made in heaven,” Patton said.

Patton definitely misses his star players and knows he was a once in a lifetime type of players.

“I have to clone him,” Patton said. “Or shave his head and put a mustache on him and bring him back.”

Bettles will continue playing for the ITF for the rest of the year and is hoping by doing so it will pay off in a big way.

“My ultimate goals in the sport are to play Wimbledon and represent Great Britain in the Davis cup,” Bettles said.

Even though Bettles is gone from Boise State he will never for hist time as a Bronco anytime soon.

“My time at Boise state was an amazing journey with so many memorable moments spread across my fours years,” Bettles said. “Playing for Boise was a special experience, we had an incredible bond and work ethic as a team that enabled us to be so successful and reach as high as #15 in the country last year.”

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Sophomore wide receiver Thomas Sperbeck broke out with a touchdown pass to quarterback Grant Hedrick that ultimately won the game.

During his recruitment, current wide receiver Thomas Sperbeck was listed by most recruiting services as an athlete, a player that could play multiple positions at the collegiate level.

Sperbeck proved that athleticism in a 37-27 win over Fresno State Saturday night at Albertsons Stadium.

“We have seen some really good things and we see a guy emerging,” head coach Bryan Harsin said.

A quarterback, safety and kick returner during his days at Jesuit High School in Carmichael, California,

Sperbeck, the son of former Sacramento State head coach Marshall Sperbeck, arrived at Boise State the summer of 2013 listed as a safety.

As practices started, however, Sperbeck was quickly moved to wide receiver by Chris Petersen and his staff, much to the delight of Sperbeck.

“I like offense a lot more,” Sperbeck said. “I would have played either or but I’m happy they put me in at receiver.”

Against the Bulldogs Sperbeck was able to show his versatility and return to his roots as a quarterback.

“Sperbeck was our backup quarterback essentially,” Harsin said.

Sperbeck saw three looks during the game as an eligible passer on trick plays—completing two passes for 38 yards and a touchdown and breaking off a 6-yard run.

His touchdown pass to quarterback Grant Hedrick put Boise State up 34-27 with 9:11 remaining in the game, and capped a 17 play, 75-yard drive that chewed up 7:46.

“We’ve been practicing that (play) all week,” Sperbeck said. “It felt like that whole side of defense came after me so I just dumped it off to Grant.”

Hedrick was equally impressed with Sperbeck’s passing ability.

“I’m going to have to go ask Thomas for some tips,” Hedrick said. “That was a perfect throw. He made it easy for me.”

Sperbeck’s role has increased in the absence of Matt Miller who will miss the remainder of the season with a left leg injury.

Sperbeck, however, is not out to fill Miller’s shoes.

“I’m just trying to help the team as best as I can,” Sperbeck said. “That’s what coach Harsin kind of harped on. Me stepping up but other players as well. (Miller) said do the best (I) can and step up as a leader.”

Sperbeck will have a chance to prove he’s more than a one-hit wonder this coming week when the Broncos take on rival BYU at Albertsons Stadium.

Boise State students Ty Hawkins and Brandon Walton discuss the upcoming Boise State and BYU.

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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Bryan Talbot / The Arbiter

The stereotype of rugby being a predominantly male sport is being shattered by the Boise State women’s rugby club.

“(Rugby is) probably one of the few sports out there where there are no differences — same size field, same size ball,” nursing major and club member Mackenzie Talbutt said. “We go for 80 minutes, and it’s a nonstop 80 minutes.”

The physical demand is not to be scoffed at, either. The game requires high amounts of endurance and the ability to bounce back after taking a hit.

“You have to be really tough because you’re tackling each other without pads and without helmets. You’re constantly running,” athletic training major and club member Alex Howard said. “There are no breaks so you have to be in really good shape and really tough. You just have to get up and keep playing if you fall down.”

Rugby gear in itself is fairly simple; including only modest padding—based on player choice—and cleats.

The women have just hit the field this season and have been practicing since Sept. 15. They will be open their season on Nov. 8 against Idaho.

The game will be played in the sevens format, which is the same format used in the Olympics. Both teams have seven players instead of a full 15 on the field. This makes for a quicker-paced game.

Head coach Bret Johnson—a Boise State alumnus—believes that the team can grow to become a strong program that will become an established part of Boise State’s club sports program.

“We’ve got to put in a lot of ground work right now which can always be kind of tough when you are starting a program,” Johnson said. “You have to start at the bottom and a lot of hard work has to go into it. We hope through the women we have and the women we recruit we will be able to take the program to a very high level.”

The team is currently recruiting for new members. No prior experience is needed to join. They can be contacted at boisestatewomensrugby@gmail.com.

 

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Courtesy MCT Campus
Jeremy McNichols (No. 13) will see a much larger role in the Broncos offense with Matt Miller lost for the season.

With senior wide receiver Matt Miller hampered by injury the last few games, the Boise State Broncos had to find a new weapon. That weapon appears to be true freshman running back Jeremy McNichols.

“It’s time to get him on the field,” Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin said.

Before the season started the Broncos were really high on McNichols’ performance in practice and were deciding whether or not to redshirt him for the season.

Initially, he was redshirted as the Broncos already had depth at the running back position.

But the coaching staff decided McNichols’ talent was just too much to pass up on and burned McNichols redshirt right before the Nevada game.

Despite his redshirt, McNichols traveled with the team to Atlanta for the team’s season opener against Ole Miss.

“He was on the scout team and made a jump cut that made three guys fall down,” Harsin said. “We were like, we should probably play him.

“It was his decision and his family’s decisions.”

In the Nevada game, McNichols had quite the debut for the Bronco with four receptions for 54 yards and an impressive run for 28 yards in Boise State’s 51-46 win over the Wolf Pack.

His 82 yards from scrimmage were the most by a Bronco not named Ajayi or Miller this season.

“He is a good football player,” Harsin said. “We have felt like that all season long.”

Now that Miller is gone for the season, McNichols will be looked upon even more by the Broncos.

“With Matt out we need a guy that’s going to create some production and we think he can create that for us,” Harsin said.

McNichols will not only be a new receiving target for senior quarterback Grant Hedrick but is expected to take the load off of junior running back Jay Ajayi who has been getting the ball close to 30 times a game.

“We do want to get him more involved,” Harsin said. McNichols will get his next chance to shine when the Broncos host Fresno State on Friday at 6 p.m.

“He seems to be in a good rhythm and feeling good on where he is at,” Harsin said.

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Freshman Andrew Rafla (131) has already made an impact this season with a fourth place finish at the Utah Open and a 32nd finish at the Roy Griak Invitational.

The Boise State cross country teams will be traveling to Madison, Wisconsin this weekend to compete in the Wisconsin adidas Invitational.

Last season, head coach Corey Ihmels told The Arbiter that, in hindsight, he wished he had taken the teams to the Wisconsin Invitational as opposed to the Pre-Nationals meet that falls on the same weekend.

This time around, Ihmels made the change to go to Wisconsin. This is the first time that either team will compete at this tournament.

Despite roughly 20 ranked teams competing, associate coach Travis Hartke feels both teams are ready for the challenge.

“This tournament is a good step mentally for the team, as they are gaining confidence,” Hartke said.

Not much has changed training-wise for both teams. The only difference is both teams have been doing a little more training at race pace with the atmosphere being set to resemble the pace of a race.

Senior Tessa Murray feels the women’s team is excited to go to the tournament and feels this will give them a look at what they need to improve on and where they stand before Western Regionals and Nationals.

“The team has had a solid training block,” Murray said.

Freshman Andrew Rafla feels the men’s team is getting stronger and feels the training is building the team and making the team better.

Rafla is using the experience of the older members of the team to help him deal with the pre-race jitters that he feels leading up to big events.

“Working with the team has built confidence in me and the team,” Rafla said.

This will be the last event that the teams will compete in before the MW Championships on Oct. 31.

From there, the team will travel to Palo Alto, California for the Western Regionals on Nov. 14 and the qualifying meet for the NCAA Championships in Terra Haute, Indiana on Nov. 22.

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Genevieve Ling placed T-29 last week.

For the Boise State women’s golf team, the momentum continues to keep rolling.

The Broncos opened their season with a 13th place showing at the Ptarmigan Ram Classic on Sept. 8, and have since improved each tournament, culminating in a second place finish as a team at last week’s Price’s Give Em’ Five Invitational hosted by New Mexico State.

“I think right before our last tournament, it gives us a confidence boost that we can play well in the next one,” junior Samantha Martin said, following her share of the individual title.

Martin began the final round of the tournament tied for eighth but moved up to a three-way tie for first with a 9-under-63 in the final round. Her final score was 10-under-par.

Martin’s 9-under-par final round was enough to set the course record at the New Mexico State University Golf Course as well as the school record. Her win gave Martin her third career tournament victory, also a Boise State record.

During the final round, Martin did not know where she stood on the scoreboard, something she feels helped propel her to the win.

“If I knew where I was, I’d be thinking about it throughout the whole round and it would affect the way I played,” Martin said. “Towards the end of the round I found out I was tied for first. It was really exciting.”

Martin’s performances in New Mexico helped lead the Broncos to a school record of 3-under-285 in the second round of the tournament, as well as shooting under par in the third round.

Head coach Nicole Bird was surprised at the team’s ability to remain consistent throughout the tournament and go under-par as a team.

“I don’t know if anyone ever thought it was possible,” Bird said. “To do it and then to back it up with another under-par round and shoot under-par overall was a major breakthrough.”

The Broncos finished second to Idaho, but were able to score lower than schools such as New Mexico State, Washington State and BYU, as well as MW foes Nevada and Wyoming.

“It came down to everybody working really hard,” Bird said. “We had 42 birdies and three eagles. We had our share of bogeys. (The team) stayed true to our focus of making birdies.”

Boise State has only one tournament remaining in their fall season before taking a four-month break. The Broncos will travel to Honolulu for the Rainbow Wahine Invitational starting Oct. 21.

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The Boise State football team will be without the services and leadership of one of their best players for the remainder of the season.

Senior wide receiver Matt Miller underwent surgery on Monday to repair ligament damage in his left leg  ,head coach Bryan Harsin announced on Sunday.

“(It was a) very tough decision on him because he wants to play,” Harsin said. “If it was up to him, he would do everything he could do to play. It’s not the best decision, however. We want to get him healed up.”

Miller originally sustained the injury against Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 20 and was unable to finish the game in a 28-14 loss to Air Force on Sept. 27.

Miller also sat out Boise State’s 51-46 win over Nevada.

Miller is the team’s leader in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns with 461 yards and three touchdowns. He is the career leader in receptions at Boise State with 244. His 3,049 career receiving yards is just 15 yards shy of Titus Young’s school record of 3,063.

Ever humble, Miller’s focus was never on breaking records. The only record that mattered to him were wins and losses.

“Nothing has changed for me,” Miller said after grabbing the career receptions mark in a win over Colorado State. “I am just glad that we were able to get out of here with a win tonight.”

“We probably care about (the record),” Harsin added. “He probably doesn’t.”

Offensive coordinator Mike Sanford was quick to speak on Miller’s toughness and humility.

“Matt Miller is one of the toughest human beings I’ve ever been around in this game,” Sanford said. “I’ve been very impressed with him in every way—just his leadership, his toughness. He’s what you want in terms of a blue-collar leader.”

Replacing Miller’s on-field production and leadership — he is a team captain, after all — is impossible. However, Boise State has several players they can turn to for support.

Wide receivers Chaz Anderson and Thomas Sperbeck have combined for 15 receptions and 247 yards—a large majority of which was accomplished with Miller on the sideline. Tight end Jake Roh has also become more involved in the offensive game plan with each week. True freshman Jeremy McNichols hauled in four receptions for 54 yards against Nevada.

“Everybody’s elevated their game,” Harsin said. “The one thing I told the team, it’s not like Thomas Sperbeck has to come in and be Matt Miller.”

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The Boise State swimming and diving team got off to a great start with wins over Utah and Idaho.

The Boise State swimming and diving team made a big splash when they defeated both Utah and U of I in their first meets of the season.

“We were really excited to kick off the season,” head coach Kristin Hill said. “We put six weeks of training in and we were excited to see how it could pay off.”

The Broncos defeated the Utes 156 to 143. This marks the first time Boise State has defeated the Utes in school history.

“To start the season off with a win over a high caliber team like them means a lot for us,” senior Jessica Bottelberghe said. “It will be good to carry this win forward into the season.”

Boise State closed it out with a win in the night’s final event, the 200-yard freestyle relay. Bottelberghe was the one that brought it home for the Broncos.

“She is definitely a huge asset to this team and I am definitely thankful that I have had her the last few years,” senior Heather Harper said.

The win continued the Broncos’ streak of 16 straight victories at home.

“It’s pretty cool,” Harper said. “Especially it being my fourth year and having that tradition continue, it’s great.”

Following the win over Utah, the team wasted little time as they had to hit the road to take on in-state rival U of I.

“Idaho’s a great team and they are well coached,” Hill said. “They’re better than last year.”

The Broncos lapped the Vandals in the meet with a 211-89 win.

The Broncos got a great performance from Harper who won both the 100 and 200 breast strokes.

Boise State comes into this season with high expectations as the Broncos are fresh off a Mountain West championship from last season.

“The most thrilling thing is seeing how much improvement we made from where we left off last season,” Bottelberghe said.

The Broncos return a ton of talent from last year’s championship team including six swimmers that made it to nationals. A strong senior class will be the anchor of this year’s team.

“We have a really great senior class and have been together through a lot,” Harper said. “We are really excited about finishing this year strong.”

The program has really risen to prominence over the last few years as the team has won four conference championships including winning two of the last three.

“It is really cool to see what Kristin has done in such a short amount of time here,” Harper said.

The Broncos will look to continue their goal of being a top 15 program when they next go on the road to face Oregon State on Halloween.

“I am really excited to see where this year will take us,” Harper said. “The team is definitely going in a really strong positive direction.”

 

 

 

Boise State students Ty Hawkins and Brandon Walton discuss the upcoming Boise State and Fresno State.

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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As a true freshman Sierra Nobley is already one of the stars of the Boise State volleyball team.

A star has been born.

Boise State volleyball player Sierra Nobley is having a fantastic season for the Broncos: The six-rotation star is not only leading the team in kills but is also sitting in fifth place within the conference in kills with 218.

What’s even more impressive is Nobley is doing all of this as a true freshman.

“Sierra is one of the most highly touted recruits that we have had at Boise State,” head coach Shawn Garus said. “I think that shows in her ability to play right away as a true freshman.”

Nobley came to Boise State from Scottdale, Arizona and has been playing volleyball for almost 10 years.

In addition to being part of the Revolution Volleyball Academy club before coming to Boise State Nobley was part of the USA junior national team.

Nobley was one of the top recruits in the country and chose Boise State as the place where she would take her game to the next level.

“I liked the volleyball team but more importantly, I liked everything else besides volleyball,” Nobley said. “Boise has a great community, people and is just a great city.”

The team immediately fell in love with her and knew instantly that she was a perfect fit.

“She is very sociable and always puts a smile on our faces,” senior outside hitter Alyssa Gammel said. “It’s always great to have someone on the team that is very outgoing off the court.”

More importantly the team knew she would make a difference for them this season.

“I knew from the very first time I played with her that she was going to have a very impactful time at Boise State,” Gammel said. “I am sad I only get to play one year with her but I am really excited to see what she does for the program.”

Through her countless hours spent at the gym, Nobley earned a starting spot on the team, a spot she had coveted from the very start.

“I was really proud of myself for earning that spot,” Nobley said. “That’s what I wanted and was ready to take on that challenge.”

Despite all the accolades she is receiving this year, Nobley is putting all of that in the back of her mind.

“Stats come second,” Nobley said. “I am not focused on numbers, I am just focused on the team.”

Nobley credits her coaches and parents for all the success she has had and in fact she has turned her parents into Bronco fans.

“They absolutely love Boise State now,” Nobley said. “When they visited they went straight to the Bronco Shop and got a bunch of merchandise.”

The best could still be yet to come from this dynamic freshman star.

“There is no doubt that she could be one of the best players ever at Boise State,” Garus said.

Nobley would much rather be part of the best team ever.

“I want to see the program continue to grow and get better,” Nobley said. “I just want my team to succeed.”

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Beth Miller has been the Bronco girl for the last few years and would like to do it as long as she is here.

Thirty thousand spectators sit in Albertsons Stadium anxiously waiting for the players to emerge. The music gets louder as smoke appears at the team entrance. Suddenly, the players storm the field led by the iconic Bronco Girl.

Beth Miller, a sophomore psychology major, came to Boise State with a clear goal in mind— to be the Boise State Bronco Girl. Miller’s past rodeo experience has earned her and her horse Shyann the honor for two consecutive years.

“It’s cool seeing a live horse and somebody riding on it,” said Justin Boyd, political science major. “I think it adds to the atmosphere. I haven’t really seen any other colleges doing that.”

The crowded football games are not Miller’s first rodeo. Miller started riding horses at age three and has participated in drill teams and parades ever since.

Among her many titles as a rodeo royal, Miller was the Valley County Rodeo Jr. Queen in Cascade in 1998 and the Ehcapa Bareback Riders Queen in Nampa in 2002.

“I have used Shyann for almost every event I have done. We’ve had her since she was born so she is my number one horse,” Miller said.

Ironically, Shyann is not a bronco by breed but Miller assures fans she’s a bronco at heart.

“Shyann will be back in the trailer sleeping before the game, but then we go out onto the field and she starts prancing. I can feel her excitement,” Miller said.

When Miller is not under the stadium lights her days mirror that of many students. Miller carries a full load of classes and works at the Recreation Center on campus. Miller married her husband Dan during the summer of 2013. They currently reside in Boise.

Miller and Shyann are expected to appear at every home game and bowl games when the expense is feasible. They also appear in parades throughout the Treasure Valley.

Classified as a volunteer, the only financial compensation Miller receives is money for gas when she has to drive long distances. Loading and transporting Shyann and equipment is left up to Miller and her husband.

They use their own horse trailer and truck.

“The enjoyment I get out of it makes it so worth it,” Miller said. “It is so much fun.”

With plans to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Boise State, Miller is hoping to be here for another three to five years.

“I love doing it and will try out for as long as I can,” Miller said.

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The Boise State volleyball team got back on track with back-to-back wins over at home over Nevada and San Jose State.

The Boise State volleyball team got back to their winning ways when they went 2-0 at home this past week to defeat Nevada and San Jose State.

“It felt really good,” junior setter Sarah Baugh said. “We had played a couple of tough matches and it was nice to come back home to change our momentum and get those wins.”

The Broncos were coming off three straight losses and looking to rebound in a
big way.

Up first was a Thursday night match-up with Nevada. Boise State was able to end their three-game losing skid with a straight set win over the Wolf Pack: 25-22, 25-16 and 25-21.

The win also gave head coach Shawn Garus his 200th career win.

“I was completely unaware of that until after the match,” Garus said. “It makes me feel like I am really old and have had a lot of really good
players.”

Boise State had several great performances in that game but only one that went on the record books: Baugh had 41 assists in the game which moved her into fourth place all-time in assists at Boise State.

“It was well-deserved,” Garus said. “She leads by example with her work effort every single day and is our floor leader.”

Next was a Saturday showdown with San Jose State. In the contest, the Broncos defeated the Spartans in four sets: 25-14, 25-16, 24-26, and 25-16 for
back-to-back wins.

“We are really pumped after these wins,” redshirt freshman middle blocker Kaitlyn Oliver said. “We are going to have a lot of energy and momentum going
forward.”

Boise State was led by Oliver who had a career high 13 kills for the Broncos.

“When she is going, she is unstoppable,” Baugh said. “She is fantastic.”

The Broncos will look to make it three in a row when they host Utah State on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

“Everyone seems to be clicking and stepping up in their roles,” Oliver said. “If we keep doing that, we are going to do really well.”

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The Boise State Broncos were able to rebound from last’s week disappointing loss to Air Force in a 51-46 shootout win over Nevada. With the win, the Broncos move to 4-2 and 1-2 in conference. Here are five things that every football team needs to know going into the game against Fresno State.

1. Grant Hedrick has rebounded.  Following one of the worst games of his career in which he threw four interceptions and didn’t lead the Broncos to a single scoring drive, Hedrick bounced back with a good performance in the win over Nevada. He went 26-31 for 346 yards and 2 touchdowns. While he did have one interception, Hedricks decision making and throws were much better overall.

2. The Jay Train is rolling again. Following a dismal performance against Air Force in which he only had 63 rushing yards and two fumbles, Jay Ajayi got back on track with a 152-yard rushing performance against the Wolfpack. Ajayi also had three touchdowns, and more impressively, didn’t cough the ball over a single time.

3. The Broncos are getting more people involved in the offense. With the injury to Matt Miller, the Broncos had to rely on other players in the win against Nevada. Among those with good games were receivers Chaz Anderson and Dallas Burroughs. In addition, Shane Williams Rhodes had one of his best games on the season and backup running back Jeremy McNichols emerged with a terrific game as well.

4. The Defense was hit and miss. The Boise State defense has been the staple of the Broncos season. However against Air Force they were shaky at best. The defense gave up 462 yards in total defense. In addition, the Broncos gave up 156 yards on the ground, the first time they have given up over 100 yards on the ground all year. The 39 points was also the most the defense has allowed this season. Despite this, the Broncos forced four turnovers including an interception return for a touchdown, which was instrumental in the win.

5. The Broncos have momentum. The win over Nevada was crucial for the Broncos as they head into their bye week. Boise State could have put themselves in an inescapable hole had they lost to Nevada. Instead though the Broncos return home with momentum into their toughest slate of games on the season when they have to face Fresno State and BYU in back to back games.

 

 

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Photo Courtesy Boise State Media Relations
Martarano (No.7) blocking on special teams against Ole Miss.

For Boise State linebacker Joey Martarano, the transition from the baseball diamond to the gridiron is a simple one, and always has been.

“My dad had a football and a baseball in my hand before I could even walk,” Martarano said.

Martarano was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2013, but Boise State’s mandatory freshman bridge program in which all incoming freshman are required to start school that summer meant he had to decide between playing football or basketball. 

Martarano chose football and said goodbye to baseball for a time.

However, this summer Martarano got another chance; Martarano was drafted this past June by the Chicago Cubs in the 22nd round of the Major League Baseball draft.

With the bridge program no longer a factor, Martarano made the decision to sign a contract with the Cubs and give baseball another go.

“I love baseball, too,” Martarano said. “The coaches were cool with it, and I wanted to go do it and give it a try.”

With the full support of his coaches and teammates, Martarano left for Arizona in June to go play summer league baseball for the Arizona Cubs, which is a minor league organization of the Chicago Cubs.

“It’s been a busy summer,” Martarano said. “Going down and playing baseball was a good experience.”

This was the first time in over a year that Martarano had played baseball, so he had to dust off his baseball skills.

“They were good but a little rusty,” Martarano said. “When you’re not playing baseball for a year that’s going to happen, but I was happy with it for not playing for a while.”

While he was there to play baseball, Martarano didn’t stop focusing on football.

“While I was down there I tried to stay on doing football workouts and keep studying,” Martarano said. “I tried my best to stay dialed in to football while I was playing baseball down there.”

Due to his football schedule with Boise State, Martarano only appeared in four baseball games while in Arizona.

Even though he didn’t get to play a lot, Martarano was happy for the opportunity and is hoping to do it again next year.

For now though Martarano is back on The Blue and is looking forward to having a great season.

While Martarano mostly plays on the defensive side of the ball, he has also gotten some snaps at fullback and is not opposed to trying his hand on offense.

“Growing up I played a lot on the offensive side of the ball and if that’s what it takes to get on the field, then I will do it,” Martarano said.

While Martarano still has a long football career with the Broncos, he would still like to continue playing baseball as long as he can.

“I want to balance it through and keep both options open,” Matarano said. “Whatever my best chance is to make it to the pros is what I’ll do.”

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Boise State gave Air Force their first win in Mountain West Play in almost two years

The Boise State Broncos were stunned by Air Force Academy in a 28-14 loss Saturday night. The Broncos gave Air Force their first MW conference win in almost two years. With the loss, the Broncos fall to 3-2 and 1-1 in conference play and could be in for a long remainder of the season. Here are the main takeaways of the game.

1. Quarterback controversy.

After three games of solid performances, Grant Hedrick regressed back to his week one numbers when he struggled emphatically against Ole Miss. Hedrick threw four interceptions and was promptly benched for red-shirt freshman Ryan Finley. Finley provided a little spark to the Broncos offense, leading them on two touchdown drives, something Hedrick failed to do all game long.

2. The Jay Train got derailed.

Jay Ajayi coughed the ball over not once, but twice in the Broncos’ loss. Ajayi had issues holding onto the ball last season and it appears those issues have not gone way. In addition, Ajayi only had 63 yards on 17 carries as the Air Force defense stopped the Broncos’ potent running attack.

3. Defense is still steady.

On a positive note, the defense again had another good game. Despite what the score indicates, the Bronco defense played well and kept Boise State in the game even when the offense was floundering to find any rhythm. The defense even came up with numerous stops and turnovers in the fourth to give the Broncos a shot to win it at the end.

4. Penalties were killer.

The Broncos racked up nine penalties for 80 yards, mostly in the fourth quarter when Boise State was trying to rally back. The penalties stalled the Broncos’ comeback attempts and put them in a hole before Air Force put the final nail in the coffin with an interception.

5. No Mountain West championship?

With the loss to Air Force, Boise State no longer controls its fate in the MW Mountain division. The Broncos now fall behind Air Force and Wyoming in that division.

Their conference schedule only gets tougher as they still have to face Fresno State, San Diego State and Utah State who are all just as good as Air Force.

The Broncos will on the road again this week as they head to Reno to take on Nevada.

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Kylie Jenkins poses in front of her car.

Freshmen Kylie Jenkins and Leah Johnson will be starting a student drag racing club at Boise State this spring.

Throughout high school where they met and became best friends, they represented Mountain View High School at racetracks such as Firebird Raceway in Meridian.

Now, they aspire to bring their passion with them to Boise State by creating a club that anyone with a vehicle can join.

“I want to be able to show people that this is really fun, and you don’t have to have a massively expensive car,” Jenkins said. “You can just go out and do it for fun; you can even just go out and support people you know.”

Jenkins currently drives a ’62 Chevy Nova. Her biggest role model for racing is her dad, who got her into it in the first place.

“I’ve been involved with (racing) for 20 years,” said Jenkins’ father, Larry Jenkins. “So she’s been around the cars and everything like I had been. I just thought it would be something fun for her to do.”

Johnson’s biggest role model is her mother, who has been racing for nine years. Johnson’s parents tried to convince her to race since she got her driver’s license. She was pleasantly surprised in high school when she found out that Jenkins was a racer as well. After that, Johnson was fully committed.

She currently drives a 2000 Dodge Neon.

“Originally, (my parents) bought me a ’65 Plymouth Valiant and it’s really cool, but it wasn’t ready yet,” Johnson said. “So I just race my crappy little 2000 Dodge Neon. I go (about) 70 miles an hour but it’s still really fun. You can race whatever you want. That’s the best part.”

Racing is an important hobby for the pair. Sometimes there will be an hour break between races but Jenkins claims it’s worth it.

“The track motto for my family is ‘hurry up and wait’,” Jenkins said. “Because that one race is worth sitting there for an hour doing nothing.”

Jenkins and Johnson are very excited to start their club this spring. They claim that it will be a great way to make new friends and urge anyone interested to join. There’s no experience necessary.

“It’s a good way to get involved, and it’s something unique,” Johnson said.

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After starting the season 3-1-2, the Broncos have struggles in their past seven games. The team is currently 4-6-3.

After winning 13 games last season, the Boise State women’s soccer team had pretty high expectations coming into this year.

“We had a lot of confidence that we would be in strong position in the conference,” head coach Jim Thomas said.

Thus far, the season has been a disapointment. The Broncos are currently 4-6-3.

“I felt we would be at multiple games above .500,” Thomas said. “We have slipped up a lot.”

Boise State has gone 1-5-1 over their past seven games. Until their win over Colorado State this past Friday, the Broncos had not won since Sept. 7 against Idaho State.

The Broncos were looking to turn these results around this past weekend when they finally returned home after being on the road for nearly a month.

“We brought some emotion back,” senior midfielder Shannon Schueren said. “It was good to be home.”

Up first this past weekend was Colorado State. The Bronocos finally came to life, especially in the second half where they scored three goals, defeating the Rams 4-1.

“A win is always nice to have and it definitely got our spirits up,” junior midfielder Brooke Heidemann said. “It gave us some confidence knowing we can get some goals.”

The four goals tied the season high from Boise State’s win over Idaho State.

The offensive output against Colorado State ended the Broncos scoring woes —Boise State has been outscored 10-2 their previous five games.

“We struggled the past few weeks putting goals away,” Schueren said. “So putting four in there, especially in front of the home crowd was great.”

The Broncos were led by Schueren who scored two goals in the win.

“My teammates made some really nice plays that allowed me to put the ball away,” Schueren said.

With the goals, Schueren is now tied for third in scoring in school history with five goals.

“She is a great player,” Thomas said. “When we put her in the right position she can get the goal.”

The next game was against Wyoming and the results weren’t exactly the same.

“They disrupted us and got us off our game a little bit,” Heidemann said.

The Broncos offense failed to find any momentum and ultimately stalled.

“That’s how soccer goes sometimes,” Heidemann said. “Sometimes you are on and sometimes you are off with your shot.”

Despite the offensive shortcomings, the defense was able to keep the Broncos in the game until the very end.

“I have to give credit to our defense,” Schueren said. “They did an amazing job.”

Wyoming scored a goal in extra time to defeat the Broncos 1-0.

With the loss, the Broncos fall to 4-6-3 and 1-3 within the MW and now rank 9th in the conference.

“It’s important to continue to build this program where this is not an acceptable record,” Thomas said.

The Broncos will look to rebound and try and turn their season around when they host Fresno State on Friday and San Jose State on Sunday.

“It’s a lot more about us than it is about the other teams,” Thomas said. “Being able to better represent ourselves and our program in the way that we play.”

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The women's ultimate frisbee team practicing on the rec field.

This semester, Boise State gets a progressive twist on the previously male dominated college classic with the creation of the Boise State Women’s Club Ultimate. Club activities started at the beginning of the semester, but according to Kelly Saunders, senior kinesiology major, and treasurer for the club, there were a lot of women who had interest in forming an ultimate frisbee club before then.

Saunderspreviously would often practice with the men’s ultimate frisbee team or with the city league.

“Frisbee is just the kind of sport where you start to toss around a frisbee and you get to know someone just chatting,” Saunders said.

The Boise State Women’s Club Ultimate team is planning on continuing into the winter and next semester. However, Saunders is worried about the weather slowing down some of the practices and causing the team to possibly have to stop practicing completely.

“Guys are a little tougher so they’ll try to go as long as they can outside but I know for us it just might be hard to get the numbers,” Saunders said. “Since we’re a new club ,we don’t have access to the indoor facilities yet.”

According to Saunders, the facilities will come with time. She explainined that even if they can’t practice all the way through this winter, it’s just a matter of time before they can use the indoor facilities to do so.

The Boise State Women’s Club Ultimate team is ranked in Division II, and will have its first chance to see how it stacks up to other teams this weekend.

“This weekend is our first tournament. We’re playing Montana State, Montana, Utah, Western Washington, and University of Idaho… everybody in the Big Sky area,” Saunders said. “I just like having more girls come out and play. It’s really easy to make friends with the other teams.”

For many of the inexperienced members this past weekend was their first tournament; however, Saunders felt confident in the progress they have made over the past five weeks of practice.

“The majority of our team is freshmen and sophomores who have never played, but just in the first five weeks of practice you could see their throws improve a lot. Lots of solid backhand and forehand throw,” Saunders said.

Students who are interested in the Women’s Club Ultimate team can show up to any of their practices on the field next to the SUB Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 p.m. — 7 p.m.

“Anyone is welcome [to practice] any time,” Saunders said. “The more the merrier!”

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Boise State's partnership with Learfield Sports has brought in $10 million in revenue since 2010.

First and foremost, sports is a business. The focus of college athletics will always be on the athletes and the playbook, but make no mistake, athletic departments need revenue to keep the program running.

Advertisement sales are one of the primary ways the Boise State Athletic Department brings in revenue. In order to make sure the athletic department sells enough advertisements to keep the program running, the Broncos are aided by Bronco Sports Properties, LLC, a subsidiary of Learfield Sports.

What is Learfield Sports?

For years, the Broncos sold all of their advertisements in house. As the university and athletic department grew, Boise State needed to find an organization with the infrastructure to keep up with the growing demand for advertising sales.

In 2010, a seven year contract between Learfield Sports and Boise State was, with three one-year options that could extend the deal to 2020. In August of this year, Boise State and Learfield Sports reconstructed their contract to extend to 2025.

“We don’t have that infrastructure of hiring people and having a sales staff,” said Max Corbet, associate athletic director of communications “They(Learfield Sports) already have that built in.”

Essentially, Learfield Sports acts as a middle man between athletic departments and companies that may wish to advertise.Learfield Sports and all of their subsidiaries gain the exclusive media rights to the athletic department they work with in return for their advertisement expertise.

Bronco Sports Properties LLC operates with a staff of four under the direction of general manager Dan Hawley. They have their own office space in the Stueckle Sky Center and receive a commission for their advertisement sales.

Since Learfield Sports owns the media rights for the Broncos.  Radio announcer Bob Behler is an official employee of Learfield Sports.

Learfield Sports has partnerships with nearly 100 universities across the nation. According to Corbet, a larger school such as Louisiana State could employ a staff upwards of 10 due to the demand.

Learfield Sports originally was commissioned to solicit the naming rights for then Bronco Stadium. As it happened, Boise State played a much larger role in the deal with Albertsons due to the university’s past history with the company.

The $12.5 million deal to rename the football stadium to Albertsons Stadium generated $3,418,750 for Learfield Sports. The other $9,081,250 went to Boise State.

The New Contract

Boise State’s original contract with Learfield Sports was set to run from 2010-2017 for $10.408 million, with three one-year extensions that would bring the deal up to $19.263 million.

After four years, however, Boise State has become  a much more profitable athletic department. The new restructured deal between Learfield Sports and Boise State now totals $44.058 million from 2013-2025.

Corbet feels the Broncos’ history with Learfield Sports has been beneficial for both parties.

“We have guaranteed money with this deal,” Corbet said. “Whether they sell those ads or not, we get that revenue no matter what. It all goes back into the pot and then pay us back. They set up all the partnerships. From a budgetary standpoint, it’s a lot easier to budget.”

According to the revenue share hurdle clause in the contract between the two parties, Boise State gains any surplus revenue from advertisement sales.

Compensation for Learfield Sports

Boise State is not the only benefactor in this deal. Members of the Bronco Sports Properties, LLC team all receive commissions from their advertisement sales.

In return for their services, Learfield Sports also gains access to several club-level seating and luxury boxes.

According to Corbet, Learfield Sports uses these to solidify partnerships with current clients and as well as to entice new clients.

“They have x number of tickets,” Corbet said. “For the most part, they are definitely for taking care of clients. They are always looking at ways to increase their revenue. It’s advantageous for both. We want to help them so they can help us gain new partnerships.”

In the contract between the two parties, Boise State also receives $100,000 from Learfield Sports each year as a capital stipend. This stipend must be used by the Broncos to improve their marketability and advertisement carrying possibilities.

According to the contract, Boise State can use that stipend for “such items as the purchase and installation of a center-hung video board for Taco Bell Arena, or other mutually agreeable venue enhancements.”

Both parties must agree on what the capital stipend is spent on.