Author: Matthew Petersen

Utah State fan revolt perfect timing for UVU

Timing is everything, and really, the Wolverines’ couldn’t be better heading into tomorrow’s men’s basketball game at Utah State. That’s because the Aggies find themselves in their own controversy, though nowhere near a Penn State or Syracuse level (a.k.a. DEFCON 0.5).   Sum-up: USU fans chose to take offense last week after two incidents put their in-game behavior in question. Athletic director Scott Barnes and school president Stan Albrecht issued a letter of apology to BYU for Aggie fans’ behavior during the BYU-USU basketball game. Several fans had boasted crude signs referring to BYU forward Brandon Davies’ honor code violation from last season.   The letter was compounded by a USU usher admonishing student fans to stop cursing and pointing. The fans responded, remaining silent during the first three minutes of last week’s game against University of Denver. They basically said, “You don’t want us to cheer our way, we won’t cheer at all?”   Let’s get one thing straight. Utah State has the best fans in the state. They are involved, loud and obnoxious all for their team. Do they sometimes cross the line with the things they say/do? Of course they do. In good conscious, they can’t deny it. That being said, I would rather have an occasionally over-rowdy fan base than one without a beating heart. It makes the program look good and, more importantly, lifts...

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Golf becoming the powerhouse UVU needs

When I spoke to athletic director Mike Jacobsen a few months ago, he called men’s basketball “the sport we hang our hat on.”   In terms of fan interest and financial returns, Jacobsen has a point. Still, there’s one question that needs to be asked.   How about that men’s golf team?   Before you blink and disregard this as a suicidal jump off the mainstream bridge, consider following:   Men’s golf team finishes this season: first, second and second. The victims: Washington State, Boise State, Idaho and Weber State. The accolades: Mason Casper wins individual title at Battle in the Tetons, named American Men’s Golf Conference Player of the Week and was among the top-10 in the nation in scoring average.   It’s a shame so much success is going unnoticed, largely because all the invitationals have, to this point, taken place out of state. The Wolverines wrap up their only in-state showcase today at the Wildcat Invitation in Layton before heading to Hawaii at the end of the month.   Am I jealous? Yes, and not just because of the location. UVU golf represents, perhaps better than any other sport, where Wolverine athletics stand and what they’re trying to do. Without a big-time conference’s backing, wins of the most frequent and bigtime nature are needed to help the program take the next big step. The step itself,...

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Volleyball starts conference play

The Great West Conference is deceiving by two thirds, with “conference” as its only accurate description. As for “west,” that depends on your definition. English immigrants of the 1600s may have considered New Jersey Institute of Technology part of the western world, but it hardly fits the modern-day mold. “Great” is also hard to swallow, at least at Utah Valley. The Wolverines are defending region champions in seven sports, and the others that fell short kicked themselves for underachieving. Every UVU program feels they should, not just be able to, win the conference crown. And that’s exactly what volleyball head coach Sam Atoa wants to avoid this year. “We’ve been talking about the importance of being consistent regardless of the level of play,” Atoa said. “That can always be and has been a challenge in trying to play at our level, especially if our opponent we’re competing against is not quite at that level.” The Wolverines recent road trip may have provided a necessary dose of humility. Heading into last Saturday’s region opener at North Dakota, UVU had gone 4-4 on an eight-game road swing after starting the season 6-2. Superlative play from middle blocker Erica Nish (GWC Player of the Week) and sophomore outside hitter Lindsay Barker was tempered by lack of execution and a rough stretch from Chelsey Heaps. The senior outside hitter leads the team in...

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Football Intramurals

With no team in Wolverine green and the college up the road struggling, football could be a sore subject in Utah Valley. Instead, students are finding their own form of competition on the gridiron through UVU Intramurals. With over 30 teams already registered, flag football boasted enough heated games in last week’s first regular season action to force referees into enforcing conduct rules. Sophomore Ryan Vialpando admitted he embraces the competitive nature of the game, especially with no college football team to call his own. “Football’s my favorite spot for sure, so you’ve got to take what you can get,” Vialpando said. “We get pretty into it out here, and it makes for some good games.” Students have as much fun with team names as the games. Vialpando is a quarterback on team Natalie Portman. Other names include Public Enemy, Victorious Secret and We’ll Be Havin That. Ditto for basketball, which boasted over 20 registered teams in Week 1 of regular season play. Matchups this week include Bang-A-Rang vs. Midway Mafia and Notorious vs. McLovin. Other sports to kick off their respective regular seasons included co-ed soccer and volleyball. Students can still register for $5 per athlete....

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In the zone

By Matt Petersen Sports Editor   I’m not a Yankees, Knicks or Giants fan. I had never been further east than Kansas City, MO. I didn’t know anyone in New York City. I was as far removed from politics as a narrow-minded sports geek could be. That being said, I had no idea how close to home 9-11 would hit both me and the world of sports. I was 17, and suddenly I remembered stories from grandparents about “getting drafted.” I pictured myself fighting a foe without a face in some foreign country. And unlike many friends who later volunteered for military service, I didn’t face the idea with bravery or duty. I was afraid. In the aftermath of Sept. 11, I retreated further into the world of sports. I just didn’t expect the rest of the world to join me. I watched a baseball game and saw them honor the recently fallen and newly commissioned. I saw ridiculously rich athletes, already donating ridiculous amounts, shed tears on the field, and it wasn’t over the money. I heard fans sing the national anthem like they meant it. I realized, in that moment, that sports wasn’t a place to hide. It was a place to hope, a world that reminds us that whatever happens, we still hold the right to be happy. To play. To watch. To go on. My...

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