Sports

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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
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
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.

 

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Devin Ferrell / The Arbiter

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.

After a 23-point performance Tuesday night, Derrick Marks has been selected as The Arbiter Student-Athlete of the Week.

With Boise State holding only a five-point lead over Utah State at halftime, Marks took control in the second half to help lead the Broncos over the Aggies 68-63.

Marks scored 17 points in the second half, including a 35-foot shot as the shot clock expired.

The win broke Boise State’s winless record at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in Logan, Utah and continued the Broncos six-game win streak in MW play.

Since Anthony Drmic was ruled out for the remainder of the season with an ankle injury on Dec. 30, Marks has averaged 23.5 points per game and has proven to be the Broncos’ most critical player.

“Thank God for Derrick Marks,” head coach Leon Rice said, following Boise State’s 82-78 win over Colorado State on Jan. 27. “It’s amazing what we’re getting to see, this senior year that he’s been having.”

Praise for Marks is not limited to his coaches.  Marks has been named the men’s basketball Player of the Week by the MW three times thus far this season.

Colorado State head coach Larry Eustachy thinks there is no question who the best player in the   MW is. Eustachy had a front row seat to Marks’ dominating performance over the Rams.

“He’s the best player in the league,” Eustachy said. “He just went about his business and totally dominated our game in the second half.”

Marks is tied for 17th in the nation in scoring and currently leads the MW.

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Kyle Moeller- Staff Writer

It was a historic day for the Boise State track and field team in Seattle, Washington Jan. 30-31.

Four Broncos set new personal records.

Freshman Sadi Henderson set her personal best in the 800m. She finished in second in the third heat with a time of 2:15.68.  Two other women set new personal records. Ali Deitsch recorded a personal best in the 800m with a time of 2:16.90, and Rici Morrill ran the women’s mile with her new best at 4:55.50.

Senior David Elliott shattered his old personal record and recorded the second fastest time in school history in the 3,000m with a time of  8:05.55.

“8:25 from my freshman year was my previous personal record,” Elliott said. “I have only done three of four (3,000m races) in college, but it is a fun event and I love to get after it.”

While Elliott may have ran his fastest time,  head coach Corey Ihmels also knows there is room for
improvement.

“I think there is more there,” Ihmels said. “He hesitated a little bit when the move was made. We can improve upon that and take a few more risks. But first time out really, going all in, it was a good place to start.”

While Elliott may have shaved 20 seconds off his previous best time, he also believes that he could of had a better time.

Elliott will not race again for another two weeks, but when he does, he will be competing in his usual event the 5,000m. He is looking to qualify for the NCAA indoor championships as he improves upon his race this past weekend.

“Same thing is going to happen. Where I am hurting really bad at the end of the race, where the group is going to go and I am going to have to decide to go with it,” Elliott said. “Hopefully I will make the decision to not be afraid and go with the front group.”

Ihmels was pleased overall with his team’s performance,  but he knows the season is just beginning.

“A bunch of kids ran personal records and did a nice job.  It was a good place to start and we will continue to build on that,” Ihmels said.

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Although the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter, spring is right around the corner. For Boise State, that means a new wave of intramural sports.

Boise State offers nine intramural sports for students to play during the spring, but only three have started
playing.

However, the registration dates for the others are approaching. A ping-pong tournament is coming up, with a registration period of Feb. 16 through March 3. Ultimate frisbee, flag football and soccer are next with registration periods from March 2-10.

“Intramurals are an important part of (campus) recreation because it gives (students) the opportunity to play either competitively or recreationally in an organized sport,” said Sophie Rattray, graduate assistant for intramural sports.

The leagues have four weeks of regular season play, followed by two weeks of playoffs. The intramural games occur once a week and are about an hour
per game.

According to senior Alex Jordan, a common misconception is that students think they have to be good at a sport to play it.

“While you may not win the championship, you can still play and have a lot of fun doing it,  even if you have never played the sport before,” Jordan said.

Jordan plays soccer, basketball, volleyball and golf at the intramural level.

Boise State’s recreational sports are designed for everyone. The program offers a blue league for competitive play, and an orange league for players looking to play for fun.

Junior Tori Baker, who plays intramural basketball and soccer, began playing intramural sports as a freshman. Her and her friends decided they wanted to play for fun but with a more competitive feel than their usual pick-up games.

“(Intramural sports) are a blast and a great way to meet new people,” Baker said. “So that is enough for me to keep coming back and playing.”

Students often think they have to get a full team together in order to get involved with an intramural sport, but you can also register to be a free agent and get put on a team.

Rattray advises interested students to register on the IMLeagues website. There, students can register to play, find the intramural sport schedule each semester, or create their own team.

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 Holly Hovis
Edited by Holly Hovis
© Boise State Student Media 2015

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Senior Derrick Marks has averaged 19.5 points a game over the last two for the Broncos.

For the third time this season Derrick Marks has been named the MW Player of the Week.

Marks, a senior for the Boise State men’s basketball team, has won a total of seven player of the week awards in his career at Boise State.

Following a 28 point scoring effort—26 of which were scored in the second half—that propelled the Broncos to a 82-78 comeback win over Colorado State on Jan. 27, Marks is tied for 20th nationally in points per game with a 19.6 average.

Marks led the nation in scoring for the month of January. His lowest scoring total since the calendar turned to 2015 was a 16 point effort in a loss to Wyoming on Jan. 10. He has topped the 20 point barrier five times, including two 30 point games.

Marks played all 20 minutes of the second half against Colorado State, despite suffering from back spasms in the first half.

The win continued a five game winning streak for the Broncos.

Boise State (15-6, 5-3 MW) will travel to Logan, Utah for their ninth conference game of the year against Utah State (12-9, 5-4 MW).

The Broncos have never won in Logan, and lost a last second meeting against the Aggies earlier this season.

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An estimated 1.1 million high schoolers across the nation compete in football. Of that million, only 6.5 percent will go on to play football at the NCAA level according to 2013 data from the NCAA.

National Signing Day provides the spring board for high school football players across the nation to fulfill their dreams of playing at the collegiate level.

On Wednesday, the Boise State football team welcomed their own group from that 6.5 percent. Of these, five signings stood out.

Brett Rypien: QB

Brett Rypien, a passer from Spokane, Washington, signed with the Broncos back in fall and is already on campus taking classes.

The coaching staff announced that Rypien will have an equal opportunity to compete for the starting quarterback position vacated by Grant Hedrick.

The competition between Rypien, redshirt sophomore Ryan Finley, redshirt sophomore Thomas Stuart and redshirt sophomore Alex Ogle will begin later this spring. Coaches don’t  expect to name a starter until the season opener against Washington on Sept. 5.

Moore started as a redshirt freshman for the Broncos in 2008 and went on to go 50-3 as the starter.

Kameron Miles: S

Kameron Miles, the high school teammate of current Bronco safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner, originally signed with Texas A&M in 2013 but never played a game for the Aggies.

Current Bronco’s defensive coordinator Marcel Yates also recruited Miles to Texas A&M.

A former four-star recruit, Miles, left Texas A&M after a redshirt season and attended Butler Community College before signing with the Broncos last fall.

Like Rypien, Miles is already on campus taking classes and is expected to compete for a starting position in the secondary.

Drew Berger: LB

Drew Berger, a stand-out from Coeur d’Alene, will reunite with current Broncos tight end Chase Blakely.

Blakely lived with Berger’s family for two years and the two consider each other
brothers.

Berger flew under the radar during the recruiting process and could be a major steal for the Broncos. During the national all-star games for high school prospects, Berger received plenty of praise from recruiting analysts.

Donzale Rodale: CB

Boise State has created a reputation for getting defensive backs to the NFL and Donzale Rodale could be the next of kin.

Rodale, who didn’t announce his commitment to Boise State until signing with the Broncos on Wednesday, adds more depth to a Bronco secondary that struggled to stay healthy in 2014.

With Donte Deayon and Jonathan Moxey set to graduation after next season, Boise State filled a huge need by getting the three-star prospect Rodale.

Akillian Butler: WR

In 2007, Boise State was able to sign future NFL players Austin Pettis and Titus Young to letter of intents.

This year, the Broncos signed Akillian Butler and fellow receiver Bryan Jefferson.

This duo, led by Butler, could be the next in line of great Bronco receivers.

Just as Rodale filled a hole with the upcoming graduations of Deayon and Moxey, Butler fills a hole with Shane Williams-Rhodes graduation on the horizon.

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Last season, Devon Bridges was beginning to see her senior year slip away. Struggling with a back injury and in constant pain, Bridges made a difficult choice to end her season prematurely in hopes of being able to come back to have the senior season she always wanted.

The decision paid off for Bridges as she is back for a fifth year as a result of obtaining a medical redshirt and is looking to make the most out of her second chance.

At the start of last season, Bridges collapsed in the weight room after severely injuring her back.

Despite the injury, Bridges kept pushing on because she wanted to be on the field helping her team.

“I didn’t think anything of it at first and just kept playing through it,” Bridges. “Everyone was telling me to rest but at first that was just not really an option for me. In the end I ended up making it worse.”

Finally after playing in 13 games, Bridges  made the difficult decision to sit out the rest of the year in order to have a chance to play again next season.

“I was thinking what was going to be best for the team and myself,” Bridges said. “I didn’t want my senior year to finish like that.”

The return of Bridges was welcomed by the Broncos who are in the midst of a coaching transition. She is a three-time first team all conference player with a .373 batting average.

Bridges is the school record holder in career home runs with 43.

“What is so awesome about Devon is that she is by far the face of our program and she doesn’t let anybody know that,” head coach Cindy Ball said.  “She’s so humble and is somebody that can compete with everyone on her team. She challenges them and makes our program better as a whole.”

Bridges is also praised by her teammates for her off-the-field contributions.

“She is a very good person and just always there for everyone,” senior infielder Jordan Kreiger said. “It really makes it comfortable to play with her on the field and off the field, being able to talk to her about pretty much anything.”

Despite all the trials and tribulations from last season Bridges is just happy to be back on the diamond to help her team win try and win the coveted MW championship.

“It is going to be great I just absolutely can not wait for it,” Bridges said. “I just want to enjoy my last season and enjoy every little
bit of it.”

 

 

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Seven years ago, six Boise State football players took the plunge in the very first Big Splash Meet to help bring attention to the, then new, swimming program.

The first year the six participants were judged by members of the swimming and diving team on the creativity and execution of the dives performed. The format stuck and from then on, excluding a one-year hiatus.

Since then, the event has grown to include a 4×25 yard relay and a much larger turnout from the offensive and defensive linemen from the team from the six participant of the first year to the nearly 15 of the 2015 event.

The victor of the diving event was redshirt freshman offensive lineman Jake Templeton who closed out the event with a fearless belly flop earning cheers and cringes from the crowd and judges alike.

Templeton afterwards compared the win to the same feeling of winning the Fiesta Bowl.

“They are almost the same,” Templeton said. “The Fiesta Bowl was a pretty big win but this is a big accomplishment so I just have to say thanks to the fans for coming out.”

The girls meet continued on with the Broncos destroying the Nevada Wolf Pack in their last dual meet 166-95, before heading to San Antonio Texas to defend their title as MW champions.

The meet  wound down with the offensive and defensive lines squaring off head to head in the 4×25 yard relay.

The players all took their turns making a mad dash across the pool with the offense winning with a time of 59 seconds.

When asked what it was like going from the turf to the pool Armand Nance stated.

“It’s all blue so it’s all good.”

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Brittney Liggins- Staff Writier

As thermoters begin to rise and the winter thaw begins to melt, the Boise State men’s golf team is preparing for their spring season opener.

The Broncos will travel down south to St. George, Utah for the Pat Hicks Thunderbird Invitational hosted by Southern Utah on Feb. 9-10.

The Broncos have been in off-season since the beginning of November but have still managed to practice at every opportunity despite the weather according to head coach Dan Potter.

“A lot of the guys went down to the Fiesta Bowl and took their clubs and played some golf,”
Potter said.

Boise has indoor facilities to train in, which include nets to hit short and mid-range shots and drive. However, the team has benefitted from being able to get outside and watch the ball fly. “We’ve had a good couple weeks here in Boise,” Potter said. “The weather has been awesome and we have been able to get a good four rounds of qualifying in. All I ask is that they compete hard and they control the things that they can control.”

Potter believes the team can improve upon their fourth place showing at their last tournament in Utah in October.

The players have bought into Potter’s mentality for the season opener.

“If we are not contending by the last round, it would be a disappointment for us,” junior Logan Francis said. “I expect Ty (Travis) and myself to go out and win. Anything less will be a disappointing ride home.”

Several of the Broncos have experience competiting on the Sunbrook Golf Course before and have a good idea of what to expect. Knowing the landscape gives them an advantage over those who have never played there before.

The Broncos competed on the 27 hole course last season and finished third as a team. Francis and Travis tied for third place as individuals.

“If we play to our ability, we have a good chance to win,” Potter said.

Francis explained the bar has been set high for everyone on the team as well as themselves with the highest expectation of winning.

“This is a tournament that we can definitely bring home the hardware,” Francis said.

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Sophomore basketball player Kenna McDavis is rising among the ranks for the Boise State women’s basketball team.

Her play this season has played an integral part to the success of the team this season.

In the Broncos 94-55 victory over Utah State Wednesday Feb. 4 she caught fire in the win.

She finished with 11 points, including going 3-5 from three point range.

McDavis has been one of the go to people coming off the bench this season. She has played in all 20 games this season and is averaging a respectable five points a game.

She is also second in the team in free throw percentage with an outstanding 90.9 percent.

“It is the ones that come off of the bench like Kenna that impact the game and win the game for you,” head coach Gordy Presnell said.

Her success is nothing new. As a true freshman McDavis had a solid season for the Broncos playing in all 32 games, tied for third in blocks, fifth in rebounding and fifth in field goal percentage.

“I really didn’t know what to expect,” McDavis said. “I knew coming here I would be given a chance. I just had to play at the level I knew I was capable of playing at.”

McDavis credits her teammates for all of the early success she has had.

“It’s because of their great play why I am able to have success out there,” McDavis said. “I wouldn’t be able to do it without them.”

Despite all the success she is having her only priority is only on the team.

“I just want to play the best I can for my teammates,” McDavis said. “I am especially doing it this season for our seniors because they are huge for us. I want them to go out with a bang and if I can help I am going too.”

The Broncos face a tough stretch with back to back games on the road before a showdown at home against MW leader Fresno State on Valentines Day.

“They are all important and we have all the games left lined up in the locker room,” McDavis said. “We want to win them all.”

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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A man runs across the field, a lone sock hanging from the back of his pants, flipping and flying as he dodges the grabbing motions of seekers from each team.

The use of a human snitch in Quidditch has created an unfair advantage in the majority of games that the Boise State Quidditch team has participated in. The catching of the snitch ends the game and adds  a significant amount of points to the seeker’s team’s score.

“When the snitch is caught, it is 30 points, so it’s not the game-changer, it is in the books,” said Stew Driflot, beater captain on the Boise State Abraxans Quidditch team. “But it still plays a decisive role in the game.”

According to Driflot, the  conference the team plays in, the Northwest region, is relatively new, created in the summer of 2014. The oldest team in the United States is 10 years old. Boise State is the oldest program with three years under its belt.

This regional youth has created a logistical problem for older teams like Boise State playing newer teams. Other than Driflot,  there are no ranked snitches in the Northwest area.

“Within snitches, there’s a ranking system. You can get trained with the United States Quidditch Association,” Driflot said. “There’s a training academy. It’s jokingly intense, and people can train specifically for their play style and body type.”

Under this ranking system,  snitches can be gold, silver or bronze, depending on their ability level. According to head coach Kim Couch, training academies are dying out and being replaced with a more plausible method of ranking.

“This year, (to get ranked a snitch) needs to take three separate videos with different teams that play in differing styles so they can see (the snitch) playing against different seekers,” Couch said. “(It is also) so snitches can show their ability and then they can judge the snitch on that.”

Training academies are still held, but snitches are no longer ranked, despite the lack of video submissions that have been sent in for ranking thus far.

“Snitches have never needed certification for regular tournaments, because that would be a logistical nightmare. You’re more likely to get a spot at a tournament if you’re certified,” Couch said. “When it comes to regionals and World Cup, it makes a big difference.”

The difference in quality of snitch can make a big difference in a game because   increasingly more games can be determined by the 30-point grab.

“Within snitch range means that if the snitch was pulled by either team it would end the game, and (cause the puller’s team to) win,” Couch said. “Even if a team is 20 down, if the snitch is pulled that game is won by them.”

According to Driflot, a fair game can be hard for a snitch to provide because of the amount of bias while snitching.

“There’s a lot of unfavorable bias when snitching,” Couch said. “If you hover towards the hoops longer or stay towards one side of the field (it can help decide who wins the game).”

This unfavorable bias can often help indicate who won a game, creating a system that focuses on snitch ability instead of player ability.

“It’s important to have good snitches because, if a snitch is caught within a minute then that’s it,” Couch said. “Sometimes, a snitch is caught and it’s pretty much which team got there first.  That snitch is probably not going to snitch again, at least, not without more practice. That can make a big difference in a team’s ranking.”

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When the Boise State softball team lost their head coach over the summer, there was a lot of uncertainty with the team.

In the wake of adversity the seniors had to become the coaches until Cindy Ball and the rest of the coaching staff were hired.

“It was a challenge. (The seniors) had to step up as leaders, but that has helped us a lot now because we are ready to go,” infielder Jordan Kreiger said. “We had to start our practices on our own without coaches, so that was a big change. We got out here on the field the first day of class and it helped us with our leadership skills.”

The leadership of the older members of the team didn’t go unnoticed by  Ball, who was  officially hired just two weeks into the school year.

“I actually spoke to them as soon as I was announced,” Ball said. “I called each of the seniors and talked to them and they mentioned they were practicing. It just speaks volumes of what types of leaders they are.”

Ball  spent the 2013-14 season at Cal State Northridge, plus eight additional years as a DI coach. Assistant coach Taylor Smith was a championship player with the Washington Huskies, and assistant coach Nate Miller  helped lead Dixie State to a third place finish last season.

“(We) came out (to Boise) for a fall tournament and I fell in love with the place right away,” Ball said.  “The atmosphere and the culture and community, I mean there is nothing like it. No one else has this.”

With the new coaching staff in place, the Broncos will open their season Feb. 6 at the North Texas Tournament. While the season is just starting the team has already set their sights on the MW Championships.

“The program that we have and what they’ve done in the past and have just been one series away from winning the MW,” Ball said. “I think with the experience we have from last year, and the new depth we have this year along with the dynamic pitching staff, we’re going to do some great things.”

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The Cavin-Willaims Center was alive with energy on Jan. 29 at 10 p.m., filled with hoots and hollers as the Boise State men’s lacrosse team warmed up for practice.

A new era has emerged for the Broncos with a new head coach and a team of 40 players ready for the challenges ahead.

“It’s almost a new breath of fresh air for the team, especially from … the past couple years I’ve been here,” senior defenseman Nick Cherbero said.

The Broncos announced Jon Mundy as the new head coach in August 2014. Mundy cumulated three U.S. Lacrosse coaching awards over the course of his high school coaching career. The team has enjoyed the new aspect he has brought to the team.

“He’s brought a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of high-level knowledge,” junior attack Adam Smith said. “He really knows what he’s talking about.”

The team has also added 25 freshmen to their roster. While some teams might be nervous to have so many young players, Mundy is enthusiastic. He is expecting three to four of the freshmen will be starters.

“A lot of these freshmen are game-ready right now,” Mundy said. “They came into the environment, they’re completely ready for this level and they’re growing.”

The team is returning many key players, including Chebero, Smith and sophomore attack Brian Scott.

There have been many victories in the pre-season. The Broncos defeated Montana State and fellow conference team Utah State in the Gem State Tournament in October.

The team also traveled to California to compete in the UC Davis Tournament in November. The Broncos beat Santa Clara and Diablo Valley, tied to Dominican University and lost to University of Berkeley.

Since the fall, the Broncos have practiced to get back into shape. Coach Mundy has been preparing the team for any offense or defense they might face this season.

“We’ve gone out of our way to prepare for anything that they’re going to come up against,” Mundy said.

While Boise State ranked fourth in the Pacific Northwest Collegiate Lacrosse League last year, the team has set their sights on winning the conference this season.

“Honestly, what we’ve been doing at practice every single night is going to take us there,” Smith said. “It just feels like it’s our chance to do it this time and win our conference and make that trip down to nationals.”

The Broncos will open their season at Utah State on Feb. 14.

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When students think of Quidditch, images flying witches and wizards on brooms often form in their mind. However, this is not the modern Quidditch being played across the nation.

Teams have been separating themselves from the Harry Potter cited themes of Quidditch to put an emphasis on the  athletic aspect of the game. One of these teams is the Boise State Abraxans
Quidditch team.

“People try to pull away from Harry Potter references and mystical creature references. (Those references) often holds back the sport,” said Kim Couch, head coach of the Boise State Quidditch teams.  “People often ask us if we’re a LARPing group. When you’re on the team, you understand because you’ve heard the question, ‘How do you fly?’ 50,000 times.”

According to Stew Driflot, beater captain of the Abraxans, players who join the Quidditch team because of an interest in the sport are able to focus on the game instead of the franchise,  making them better players.

“I don’t want to create an unfair perspective,  but a lot of times,  those people who don’t watch Harry Potter or know what it’s about, end up coming from other sports and being the star players,” Driflot said. “When you look across the nation at strong teams, Texas for example, they don’t give a hoot about Harry Potter.”

According to Couch, the separation of Harry Potter and Quidditch becomes more noticeable when fans look at team names and mascots. Generally Couch  found the more experienced a team becomes the less they want to be associated with J.K. Rowling’s fantasy novels.

“When teams start off with someone who hasn’t been in the Quidditch community, (they want to have a magical creature mascot),” Couch said. “But if they start off with someone who is already part of the Quidditch team, they don’t want to do that because they want to get away from the magical Harry Potter stuff.”

The Abraxans take this into consideration when they recruit new players. According to Couch, if an emphasis is put on either Harry Potter or the sport , it will deter students who would otherwise want to play.

“You have to know who you’re talking to. If you talk to someone interested in Harry Potter about the sports aspect, it might be uninteresting,” Couch said. “In the same way, if you talk to someone who’s into sports about the Harry Potter aspect, they’ll probably be uninterested.”

Many of the Abraxans’ recruits are old friends or family members who played other sports in high school but weren’t skilled enough or serious enough to play at a collegiate level.

That being said, Couch feels it is really important to pander to both audiences when putting together a Quidditch team.

“You’ve got to ease (both sides) into the middle because we’re not a Harry Potter club (but we’re not completely disassociated with Harry Potter),”  Couch said.