Author: Matt Peterson

Mormons encouraged to help Muslims

The differences between Mormonism and Islam were discussed during the 11th annual Mormon Studies Conference held on campus earlier this month. The two-day event, titled “Mormonism and Islam,” featured speakers both locally relevant and nationally renowned, including Stephen Prothero of Boston University. Prothero, the keynote speaker on day two of the conference, made it a point to emphasize the theological disparities between the two religions, as well as their similarities as faiths “outside the mainstream.” “Differences aren’t inconsequential. They’re foundational,” Prothero said. He said that because Mormons and Muslims have similar experiences with national persecution and misconception, the two faiths should support one another. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, according to Prothero, should take the lead due to its slightly better standing in the national eye. “Islam,” Prothero said, “has not received the legitimization Mormonism has enjoyed.” Prothero went on to cite the national representation of the LDS Church. Four Congressmen are Mormons, constituting three percent of the representative body. With Mormons making up only two percent of the nation’s total population, Prothero declared Mormons as “over-represented in the U.S. Congress.” With such a healthy representative showing, Prothero challenged Mormons to step up to support Muslims who currently suffer stereotypes and persecutions with which the LDS Church can empathize. “Mormon Republican people in power are more Republican than they are Mormon,” Prothero said. “If they thought...

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Wrestling returns home with fine-tuning in mind

After two months of matches abroad, the UVU wrestling team can finally look forward to competing at home. Coach Greg Williams is confident Wolverine fans will like it as much as his players. “We like the fact that Utah loves wrestling,” Williams said. “There’s a lot of fans. We have a good team to watch. They’re really impressive. Some of the teams coming in here have turned into pretty good rivalries.” Jan. 22 is the next home date with the Wolverines hosting conference rival Wyoming. The Cowboys have held the upper hand over the last four years, but last year’s narrow 21-15 defeat has the Wolverines thinking change is on its way. “[Wyoming] has had our number,” Williams said. “We haven’t been able to beat them, but last year was a barn burner. We’re definitely looking forward to it.” Encouraging signs abound for UVU. Senior 125-pounder Ben Kjar defeated three nationally ranked grapplers en route to a third-place finish at UNC Greensboro’s Southern Scuffle December 30, including 11th-ranked Garrett Frey from Princeton. Even after Kjar’s impressive pre-conference performances, earning him a No. 12 national ranking as of last week, coach Williams thinks his best is yet to come. “He’s had eight matches against ranked guys,” Williams said. “He’s beating ranked guys. The thing that’s great about what he’s done so far is what he hasn’t really hit stride yet....

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Rising to the next level: Baseball star Brinkerhoff takes big game to big leagues

The honors keep on coming for UVU baseball’s Jace Brinkerhoff. The former Wolverine third baseman took his game to a whole new level this month after being picked by the Los Angeles Angels in the 38th round of the 2010 MLB Draft. After the first two days of the draft had passed with no news concerning him, Brinkerhoff relaxed to the point that others knew about his selection before he did. “I was actually at the gym and had some people call and tell me,” Brinkerhoff said. “After the past two days, I didn’t think it was going to happen.” His professional career has started with the Orem Owlz, who coincidentally play where Brinkerhoff established his big-league game. The appeal of playing at home wasn’t lost upon the newly-minted pro. “I’m really excited to have the chance to play in Orem where my parents can watch me play,” Brinkerhoff said. The recognition for Brinkerhoff’s stellar college career didn’t stop there. The same day his professional career began, PING! Baseball honored him by naming him third-team All-American. That came after already being named third-team All-American by Louisville Slugger. Before Brinkerhoff’s selection, UVU coach Eric Madsen summed up his value in two words. “He’s irreplaceable,” Madsen said. The Owlz will find out why, starting today, as their season begins on the road. Brinkerhoff and the Owlz will play their first home...

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Baseball team’s rookie year in Division I play exceeds individual, team expectations

Baseball coach Eric Madsen doesn’t hesitate when asked about the first thing that comes to mind concerning UVU’s 2010 team. “It has to be the unity,” Madsen said. “All the guys focused on one goal. I’ve never been part of a team where that was so evident.” Madsen had three goals in mind for the Wolverines’ first season of NCAA Division I play: 40 wins, a regular season conference championship and the conference tournament championship. Done, done and done. “Those were pretty lofty goals for our first season in the conference, but we thought they were attainable,” Madsen said. The process of attaining them, however, required exceptional play from a roster untested by the college big leagues. Exceptional — an NCAA-leading .372 batting average, led by Jace Brinkerhoff’s .456 clip (first in the nation) and a nine-man lineup that didn’t feature an average below .310. Exceptional — a 42-17 record that included a season-ending 14-game winning streak. Exceptional — roughing out a rain-delayed, 10-inning victory at BYU the night before traveling to Texas for the GWC tournament, despite the game having zero-effect on the standings. Exceptional — senior catcher Kevin Arendse’s tenth-inning walk-off RBI single to win the Great West Championship. After that final game game, Madsen referred to Arendse, Brinkerhoff and Sage Thorpe as “irreplaceable.” New talent will hopefully be found, as all three are seniors. Despite the...

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Softball UVU vs. BYU

After showing signs of resistance early on, UVU softball ultimately caved after cross-town rival BYU ran off 10 runs in three innings. The Wolverines lost the final decision 12-3, snapping their four-game winning streak and dropping their record to 17-18 heading into last weekend’s series versus Portland State. UVU started ahead early thanks to spot-on defense and a solo home run by junior Megan Gardner. Gardner (2-4, 3 RBI) batted in all three runs for UVU. Poor pitching opened the floodgates for the Cougars in the third inning, who scored six runs off two home runs – a grand slam by Angeline Quiocho and a two-run homer by Jessica Purcell-Fitu. “Pitching has to get it done,” UVU head coach Todd Fairbourne said. “[BYU] doesn’t just punish big mistakes, they punish little things. Our pitchers are still making big mistakes on their throws.” Freshman Heather Bacon (five strikeouts and five runs allowed in three innings) relieved starter Kyli Flanary (five runs allowed in two innings), but was unable to stop the bleeding. BYU scored thrice more in the fourth and tacked on another run in the fifth, leaving the Wolverines with a 10-1 deficit and a possible mercy-rule ending entering the bottom of the fifth. “Flanary – she has the stuff,” Fairbourne said. “She just needs to harness it. I thought Heather actually threw very well, as funny as that...

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