Why am I a Wildcats sports fan? Let me tell you.
First off, Weber State athletics is rising in nearly every major sport. Last season, the football team went 7–5, an improvement over the previous season when they went 6–5.
Four of the team’s losses were on the road, including their two most notable games: losing their first game of the year to Utah State and falling in their season finale in the FCS Playoffs against University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
That doesn’t mean the roster is without its question marks. After losing quarterback Jadrian Clark to graduation, the team will have an open competition between the four passers on the roster. On day one, the team could look to either Stefan Cantwell, Kaden Jenks, Braden Miles or Justin Shaw and be confident in their chances.
They’re also returning many of the top performers in senior wide receiver Darryl Denby, senior tight end Andrew Vollert and junior standout Treshawn Garrett. Defensively, the team will look to junior linebackers Emmett Tela and Landon Stice for leadership on the field.
This doesn’t mean fans should tune out and check their phones during special teams play, as the ‘Cats feature Jacob DeMaio as one of the conference’s best punters and kicker Taylor Hintze, who is primed for success in his second season as a starter.
Personally, I think November is the best time of the year to be a Wildcat. It is the one month of the year where the football and basketball seasons overlap.
The men’s basketball team continues to be one of the strongest programs at Weber State, as they were invited to yet another postseason tournament this past year: The CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
After graduating three seniors from the team after the 2016–2017 season, nearly the entire roster will be returning. Throughout his four years as a Wildcat, Jeremy Senglin certainly left his mark on the Weber State record books as the school’s all-time leading scorer. His 2,078 points also saw him designated second place all-time in Big Sky Conference history.
The Wildcats will also miss the on-and-off the court leadership of both Richaud Gittens and Kyndahl Hill.
Returning next season will be most of the men who played integral roles last season, including juniors Zach Braxton and Cody John with point guard duties likely handed down to sophomore Jerrick Harding.
With fans piling into the Dee Events Center in record numbers, the men’s basketball games are a sight to behold, and fans would be lucky to watch their dominant men’s team keep up it’s success inside and outside of the conference.
When the men go on the road, the Dee Events Center stays full, especially when fans and students alike come out to cheer on their women’s basketball team. The women’s team will only be graduating one player in star point guard Deeshyra Thomas.
While last year was a down season for the team, there is still plenty of drive and positivity around Coach Bethann Ord’s squad.
Returning to the team are a group of dominant 3-point shooters, starting with senior standout Kailie Quinn and junior Emily Drake. The point-guard reigns are likely to be handed down from Thomas to superstar sophomore Zharia Hale.
Beyond football and basketball, Weber State dominates across track, softball, golf, tennis and a myriad of other teams and clubs. So why am I a Wildcats fan? Beyond getting to cheer on my classmates and my school pride, I get to watch winners do what they do best: win.
My name is Harrison Epstein, I’m a diehard sports fan and sports editor of The Signpost.