Boise State women’s tennis sweeps in double header
BREAKING: Boise State distances themselves from chaplaincy after protests for separation between church and state
It was an emotional scene to start off Boise State’s swimming and diving team Senior Day. As the seniors were announced, they were met with cheers from fans and loved ones.
Before squaring off against Washington State on Saturday, Feb. 1, seniors Emmie Jennings (Free/Fly), Alyssa Schultz (Free), Jamie Nats (Free), Georgia Zacest (Free/Back) and Robin Pinger (IM/Breast) were honored for their hard work and dedication to the program during their time at Boise State.
“It’s bittersweet, and we were all really excited and we were ready to have one really good last home meet,” Pinger said.
The tight-knit, five-member class has achieved success both in and out of the pool. The group has combined for 24 All-Conference, 15 Academic All-Mountain West and 14 MW Scholar-Athlete honors.
For Nats, reflecting on her final season was more about remembering the experiences along the way than the accolades that came with it.
“It’s easy to get sad, but you try to make the most out of it,” Nats said. “You make a lot of memories in swimming and especially outside of the pool, in the locker room or behind the blocks.”
The meet, which took place at West Boise YMCA, saw Boise State begin with a hot 80-23 start in the first half dozen events. Washington State pulled within striking distance right before the exhibition break, but could not quite keep the pressure up late. As the meet was winding down, the Broncos pulled ahead 101-43 and could not be caught leading to a 192-60 Boise State victory.
This win brings Boise State to 5-2 in dual meets on the season. Second-year head coach Christine Mabile was elated with the women’s win and is looking forward to the competition that the Mountain West tournament will bring. This will be Mabile’s second chance at a Mountain West championship.
“I think we have a lot of momentum going in. We built a lot of confidence over the season and we are peaking right now,” Mabile said.“We have gotten a lot of season bests in the last two weeks and for us to be swimming at our fastest that we’ve been all year at the end of the season is really important.”
Boise State swimming and diving will be looking to add another trophy to their mantle after winning the Mountain West Tournament in 2017 and 2018, but falling short in 2019. The 2020 championship will be held from Wednesday, Feb. 19 to Saturday, Feb. 22 in Minneapolis, Min.
There were 10,651 attendees at the sold-out Feb. 16 men’s basketball game between the Boise State Broncos and the nationally ranked No. 4 San Diego State Aztecs.
ExtraMile Arena’s capacity of 12,644 had fans cheering with just enough elbow room to spare. The atmosphere was electric as the Boise State starting five was announced with a majority of the fans on their feet.
SDSU and Boise State traded shots early making it a close game and keeping fans engaged. By halftime, SDSU had a 40-25 lead.
By far the most electrifying stretch of basketball was when Boise State went on a 10-0 run with nine minutes left to play. Kicked off by a pair of threes from guards Justinian Jessup and Max Rice, Boise State was making up ground and fans were loving it.
Shortly after, SDSU went on an 18-5 run of their own with 7:33 remaining, quieting the Boise crowd and finding themselves on top at the final horn 72-55.
“The crowd showed out, you know,” said Justinian Jessup. “We really appreciate that and just didn’t get it done, straight up. They outplayed us in pretty much every facet so it’s disappointing for sure.”
Head basketball coach Leon Rice shared his thoughts after Boise State’s tough loss.
“That’s how it always is with these big ones, but they’re big ones for a reason,” Rice said. “A, because our guys have put themselves in this position, and B, because you are playing the No. 4 ranked team in the nation. We have done great, these guys have done great, in this type of environment, but tonight it just wasn’t meant to be.”
Getting fans to games can always be a challenge for colleges, especially if the school is not in one of the power five conferences. The Boise State Corral does its part in handling that problem.
The Corral is a club that attends a wide variety of Boise State athletics filling up the home student section. Their mission is to cheer on and support Boise State athletes from the stands.
Connor Martin, senior president of The Corral, expressed his excitement for the turnout.
“It gets the players going. Players have told us when we are loud it drives them to play better,” Martin said. “It was cool to see all of the people here tonight. I have no doubt that if we packed 12,000 fans in here every night then our home-court advantage would be better than it already is.”
Boxing has been added to Boise State’s roster as the school’s 24th club sports team. The coed team will be led by two Boise State graduate students from the history department: head coach Mark Martello and assistant coach Ian Morris.
The goal of the team is to offer Boise State students the chance to train and compete in the sport of boxing at the collegiate level. The Boise State Boxing Club is now recognized by the National Collegiate Boxing Association (NCBA)/USA Boxing.
“We are just starting out. We’re building an airplane while we’re flying,” Martello said. “It will be exciting to see this thing grow from the ground up. Personally, I am very excited to anticipate Boise State boxers going up against Air Force or West Point boxers.”
Martello’s boxing experience stems from his participation in the sport during his time in the army. He is a former Command Sgt. Maj. Martello served in Operation Desert Shield/Storm, Operation Joint Guard, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
Safety and preparation were emphasized at the boxing club’s inaugural meeting on Jan. 27 on the second floor of the Recreation Center.
“Boxing is not a fight; it is a sport,” Morris said. “It is a contact sport, but it is a sport. Those who come from backgrounds like wrestling will find that they take to it very naturally. You’re not there to kill the other person, you are there to win on points.”
It is unlikely that Boise State boxers will compete with other universities this year. Martello and Morris believe it is their duty to protect their athletes from the dangers of unprepared boxing and will allow their athletes to compete when the time is right.
The club boxing team will encourage different levels of competitiveness based on each athlete’s level of commitment to the sport.
Some athletes will find that they want to be on the team for the fitness regime, light sparring or perhaps to learn self-defense techniques. Others may find their competitive strive and want to compete in tournaments all over the United States.
Kevin Wells, a sophomore and criminal justice major, considers the boxing team to be an interesting prospect as well as a large time commitment.
“I think it is a great opportunity to try something that I have never really been able to do,” Wells said. “Boxing seems like it would be a very beneficial sport both physically and mentally. I would love to try it out and see where it takes me.”
There are some prerequisites a student must meet before joining the team. A student must be attending Boise State full-time, be in good academic standing with at least a 2.0 GPA and obtain a USA Boxing card. Optional equipment includes boxing wraps and personal boxing gloves.
“Boxing is a martial art,” Martello said. “You get a certain confidence with that. When you know how to box you know how to throw a punch and take one. It’s a great form of self-defense along with being part of a club.”
All students who are interested in training or learning the basics of boxing are welcomed and encouraged to participate, including students with no prior boxing experience. Practices will be held in the Bronco Gymnasium room 215, Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Despite gaining an exciting 16-point, first-half lead over San Diego State, the No.1 seed in the conference, Boise State men’s basketball was unable to withstand the Aztecs’ come-back in the semifinals of the Mountain West Championship tournament.
The 81-68 loss to the nationally-ranked Aztecs on Friday, March 7 could potentially be the Broncos’ last game of the 2019-20 season, unless they are invited to a postseason tournament such as the National Invitational Tournament (NIT).
“I think we showed a lot of relentlessness going from last year, losing 20 games, and this year, winning 20 games. Not many teams in the country can do that. We flipped the switch and [I am] very proud of my guys,” said sophomore Abu Kigab. “We came in every single day working hard in practice in the weight room. We knew what we wanted from the start of the season and all the guys were in on it, talked about it every single day, and we knew at the end of the day, it was going to be tough. Nothing’s easy in this world. If it was easy, everyone would do it.”
SDSU came into Friday night’s game having sustained only one loss on the season. Boise State and SDSU faced each other twice in the regular season, with SDSU claiming both victories.
Boise State got an electric start; they began the game with a 28-14 run, dominating on both ends of the floor. The run brought the crowd to their feet and forced SDSU to burn a time out early.
With five minutes remaining in the half, SDSU was able to show signs of life by going on an 18-3 run of their own, forcing Boise State to slow down their offense.
Despite dominating the boards 15-10 with a superior shooting performance in the first half, Boise State was caught on their heels going into halftime as SDSU hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to bring the game to a 40-40 tie at halftime.
Coming out of halftime, Boise State began to experience a stretch of shooting woes and a lack of ball security. Boise State was not able to make a field goal outside of the paint for the first five minutes of the second half and began to lose the turnover battle, which left them playing catch up the rest of the game. With 10 minutes left to play, SDSU got a 10-point lead.
“I loved the way we came out in that first half. We were playing great basketball. But, you know, I knew they would counter punch, and I knew they have done it all year long,” said head coach Leon Rice. “And, man, they got it going and that lead went away in just a second. But we knew we weren’t going to win that game in the first half. You’ve got to credit San Diego State, great defensive team and when they’re making shots like that, they can beat anybody. Anybody in the country.”
Poor shooting performances from Boise State’s most consistent scores, Derrick Alston (12 points) and Justinian Jessup (10 points), had Boise State looking for other options. Senior Alex Hobbs came off the bench and recorded 21 points on 11 field goals and ended the night with four assists.
“If this is the last time that I get to put on a Bronco uniform, it’s been an honor from the second I stepped on campus,” Hobbs said. “… I don’t think too many teams could bounce back this year the way we did from last year and so that’s definitely something we can hang our hats on and be proud of and know that whether we are leaving this program and it’s our last game or not, we left our mark and we left it in a good spot going forward.”
Boise State’s chances of making the NCAA March Madness tournament are next to none. The NIT is much more likely for the Boise squad; Boise State’s last appearance in the NIT came in 2018. The selection for NIT teams will be announced Sunday, March 15.
The NFL Draft day is set. Despite pushback from owners and fans due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the NFL league office announced that the draft will be nationally televised on NFL Network, ABC, ESPN and ESPN Deportes. The draft kicks off April 23 and will end on April 25.
With the NFL canceling all Pro Days, the combine will have been the last chance for college athletes to impress scouts. Four Boise State Broncos participated in this year’s NFL combine: offensive linemen John Molchon and Ezra Cleveland, wide receiver John Hightower and linebacker Curtis Weaver.
Here is a preview of how I believe Boise State will shake up the 2020 NFL Draft.
Ezra Cleveland, redshirt junior
Boise State has produced five first-round NFL draft picks throughout school history, and Ezra Cleveland looks to be the sixth. Cleveland was the staple on the left side of an offensive line that averaged 34.7 points per game and helped Boise State extend its streak of seasons with a 1,000-yard rusher to 12.
My prediction: First round, 29th overall, to the Tennessee Titans. The Titans lost offensive tackle Jack Conklin to free agency and signed quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a $118 million contract. Cleveland looks like a good fit for shoring up the offensive line and protecting the new franchise quarterback.
Curtis Weaver, redshirt junior
Many Boise State fans would like to see Weaver go in the first round. While it is possible, it is more likely that he will fall into the second. Despite recording the most sacks in Mountain West history (34), Weaver did not exactly “wow” scouts at the NFL combine. Weaver’s athleticism and ability to stop the run at the NFL level are in question, and without a pro day to reassure scouts of his abilities, it looks like Weaver is left with letting the film speak for itself.
My prediction: Second round, 59th overall, to the Seattle Seahawks. It looks like the Seahawks are going to let premier pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney walk in free agency, creating a spot on the edge for Weaver. Head coach Pete Carroll loves ends who can create havoc in the backfield.
John Hightower, senior
John Hightower’s time at Boise State can be summed up into two words: highlight reel. Hightower recorded 17 touchdowns in his two years at Boise State. He offers a great run after catch and playmaking but lacks size. NFL analyst Lance Zierlein “would like to see more competitive demeanor on [the]field” from Hightower. Hightower’s versatility on special teams will, without a doubt, give him a leg up on the competition.
Prediction: Fifth round, 179th overall, to the Dallas Cowboys. Would it be an NFL draft if we did not see a Boise State Bronco go to the Cowboys? The Cowboys lack wide receiver depth and leave something to be desired in the return game. With former Bronco Kellen Moore on the coaching staff and Leighton Vander Esch on the other side of the ball, Hightower would fit right in.
John Molcohn, redshirt senior
After receiving a last-minute invite to the combine, Molcohn made the most of it by showing surprising speed and adequate strength. Molcohn does not possess the size of a prototypical lineman but makes up for it in quickness. Against Florida State, he was often knocked off his spot but dominated against lesser conference competition.
Prediction: Seventh round, 241st overall to the New England Patriots. There are a lot of question marks in New England this year. One thing remains constant: Bill Belicheck. Belichick is known for his ability to find hard workers and flip late-round picks into solid starters, so both parties could benefit from this pick.
Column: Why Boise State Women’s Basketball needs more respect: By the numbers
Boise State Women’s basketball has been a perennial powerhouse in the Mountain West for the last four years. Despite the dominance that the Broncos have imposed on the nation, I feel that they have been severely disrespected on the national level and on campus.
Despite their recent success, Boise State women’s basketball has been hit with questionably low AP rankings, less than impressive March Madness seedings and fewer fans showing up to home games than they deserve.
Words cannot begin to describe the type of success that the team has had in the last four years. However, I would prefer to describe it by the numbers they put up.
Four Mountain West Championships.
Four peating in a conference is not easy. No sport at Boise State has done it since a decade ago when the football team won eight Western Athletic Conference championships in a row between 2002 and 2010.
Typically when a women’s basketball team wins their conference, they are given a seeding somewhere in the one to eight range. Over the last four years, Boise State has entered March as a 13 seed twice (2017, 2019) and was ranked as low as possible at 16 (2018).
I am not the only one who feels that Boise State has been disrespected on Selection Sunday. Last year after a first-round loss to Oregon State, head coach Gordy Presnell had this to say:
“We should have been a higher seed. I don’t know about how much negativity I want to talk about. We’re a 38 RPI and we’re 28-4.”
Boise State was handed a 13 seed last year. Little Rock, a 12 seed last year, had an RPI of 60 entering the tournament and was 21-10 overall.
71.3 points per game.
Throw any connotations of women’s basketball being low-scoring that you had out the window. This Bronco squad can put up points alongside the best of them. In the last four years, they have never finished outside the top 25% in team scoring.
100-32 Overall record.
If you were not convinced that this team was a legitimate powerhouse before, you should be now. Winning 75.76% over four years is no small accomplishment, but the rankings committee have not found it enough to see the Broncos crack the top 25during that time.
55-17 Conference record.
Dominating the Mountain West is essential when you want to be considered nationally. This is something that Boise State, fans, players and coaches alike have come to learn. Coming from a Group of Five school typically offers less competition than a Power Five school. That being said, UConn, a nonpower five school has won four of the last seven national championships.
Seven All-Mountain West team players.
Braydey Hogins, Brooke Phukoa, Jayde Chrisopher, Marta Hermida and Riley Lupfer have received All-Mountain West team honors, Lupfer doing so three times. Year after year, Boise State women’s basketball has produced for their team and for their fans. The team draws a considerable following, but not as much as their male counterparts. On Nov. 19, 2018, 4,125 fans were in attendance.
This was Boise State women’s basketball’s most attended home game since 2006-07.
“We had been pushing (that game) for months. We did deals with tickets. We did a lot of different things to get people here and it worked,” said junior guard Braydey Hodgins in a 2019 interview with The Arbiter. “But that’s also a lot of time and energy that can’t happen on a two-game-a-week basis.”
There were 10,651 in attendance at the Feb. 16 men’s basketball game against No. 4 San Diego State University.
While Boise State from the outside is known as a football school the women’s basketball team has been dominant. So dominant that in the last four years the team has held the conference championship, won 75.76% of their games, been in the top 25% in scoring and produced some of the best female athletes in the Mountain West.
Headline: Looking for a new hobby? Try camping
Written before lockdown
With the weather warming up, students are beginning to look for new hobbies to learn and places to explore. Although the outbreak of the coronavirus has restricted the limits of normal activity, camping can serve as a way for people to safely enjoy their social distancing outdoors.
Camping can be whatever a camper wants it to be; it can draw people from all walks of life and can be enjoyed no matter the level of experience. David Pate, a retired doctor from St. Luke’s Health System, believes that people should take advantage of Idaho’s outdoor options.
“This is a good time for all of us to take care of our health,” Pate said in an interview with the Idaho Statesman. “Let’s use the great outdoors we’re blessed with here in Idaho as our gymnasium.”
Many casual or first-time campers prefer the traditional state campgrounds. State campgrounds generally cost a fee to reserve spaces and prices vary depending on the location. Amenities usually provided are firewood, cleared room for a tent, a fire pit and space for a car. Some state campgrounds also provide restrooms, showers, trash and recycling drop off locations.
David Langhorst, the director of the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, encourages camping to break up the quarantine boredom.
“Outdoor activity is healthy at this stressful time, and we encourage people to enjoy a hike, a ride or some snow sports,” Langhorst said. “These precautions give the public recreational opportunities while still minimizing the risk of infection.”
Idaho offers over 30 state parks, all of which are open and rely on campers for funding in order to maintain the land and pay employees. All Idaho state parks are to remain on their seasonal schedule.
The Sawtooth National Forest is a three-hour drive away from Boise State’s campus. The forest offers a number of sights, trails and rivers for visitors to enjoy. Most of the roads are easily accessible and there are plenty of small towns to visit for convenience.
For those interested in camping and looking for advice, Boise State Outdoor Program coordinator Jordan Pascal offered some pointers, including play safe, be prepared, make a list and know your impact.
Pascal outlined the specifics of his pointers in an email:
- let someone know where you are going to be camping, and give them a time frame of when you will be back. Consider the potential risks for your trip (environmental, physical) and make a plan to mitigate those.
- Check for information online about the place you are going to camp- Is there a restroom there? Do you need to pay? Is there a permit required? What does road access look like if there is snow? Are campfires permitted? How is the trail marked?
- You don’t need fancy equipment to have a fun, safe time camping. Look to friends, family, and your community to borrow clothing or equipment you might need. A little research on the front end can help you become more prepared to have a good time!
- A great resource to help someone think through aspects of preparing to go camping is the 7 “Leave No Trace” principles here: https://lnt.org/why/7-principles/”
More experienced campers may enjoy what is commonly known as backcountry camping. Backcountry camping includes no electricity, paved roads, running water or, most of the time, cell service. Backcountry campers often rely on materials they bring with them on their trip and camp at a remote location. This form of camping is mostly enjoyed for its remoteness and disconnect from society.
Emily Kopra, a freshman health science major, plans on spending her time away from school and in the woods.
“It’s a great way to just get away from everything that’s going on,” Kopra said. “I love camping because it gives me the chance to get outside instead of being locked up inside. I would encourage anyone who wants to try it to at least give it a try.”
For more local information about the coronavirus, including updated case counts and hygiene recommendations, visit the Idaho coronavirus site.