I haven’t always loved Weber State Athletics. Actually, like most, when I was a child I did not even realize that it was college sports they were playing. That all changed when I was in the eighth grade and was invited to hand out the programs for all the home football games by one of my mom’s friends.
It wasn’t that I enjoyed handing out magazines to elderly people or the free hot dog and Dr Pepper I would get during halftime — it was the chance I had to watch the Wildcats play football. I still remember Nick Chournos barreling through helpless defenses as he became one of the best running backs in Big Sky Conference history.
The football team is now coming off back-to-back two wins for the season and is now on the search for a new head coach. Maybe they can give the Pac-12 a call; I hear the coaches out there will change schools for the right price.
The volleyball team had a better year, but still struggled to get three conference wins and had trouble getting wins away from Swenson Gym. Weber State sports may seem like they are not going anywhere fast, but I have a different opinion, very different. Weber State sports are going to make a comeback. It may not be next year, but it is coming.
A new football coach will bring change to the program, that is a given, but what exactly is going to change? That depends on who they hire. Many people think Dave Peck out of Bingham High School would be a great choice, but whoever it may be, I have faith that athletic director Jerry Bovee will pick the right guy. Would that be the right guy to win an FCS championship? Win a Big Sky championship? Or just win more than two games?
Whoever it is, we must support him and his staff, packing the stadium through sun, rain, sleet and snow to watch the Wildcats play and propel them to victory. I think the students and crowd have a huge role in how the Wildcats make their way back to the top of the Big Sky pedestal.
Let’s take men’s basketball, for example. The edge they receive from playing in the Dee Events Center with a rowdy crowd is one of the many reasons why the Wildcats are tough to play at home. Not to mention the great job that Coach Randy Rahe does recruiting and preparing his players.
The women’s volleyball team played some of its best matches at home, taking the eventual Big Sky champion Idaho State University to five sets and stunning Southern Utah with a five-set comeback that is still being talked about. Coach Tom Peterson told me earlier this year that Swenson Gym is such a great place to play, as they can feel the intensity and passion of the home crowd.
We as students have a chance to make a difference, which could essentially be the difference between a win and a loss.
So let’s make a resolution to support the Wildcats, whether it be this winter as both basketball teams continue their quest for a Big Sky title or in the spring as the softball team takes the diamond. Or when the boys of fall return to the gridiron to show that they are one year stronger and faster too. Let’s believe in Weber State Athletics not only when they win, but also when they lose.