BYU Athletics Blog | 2011

Media Day 2011: Justin Sorensen

Jul 12, 2011 - Posted by Taylor Wilson at 4:24 pm | Updated: October 10, 2011 3:05 pm | Permalink

BYU kicker Justin Sorensen returned from his mission early in 2011 and is ready to compete for the Cougars during the upcoming season. The 2011 season will be his first competition in over two years and the added excitement of football independence has Sorensen anxiously awaiting early September. 

“I’m really excited for this season," Sorensen said.  "I don’t even think I have my head wrapped around the independence thing yet.  But the places we’re going have everyone so excited.  We’re working harder and I know I’m working harder as I work to get back in shape after my mission. Independence is great because it means publicity for our team and for the church. It will be great  to get our name out there and to get more fans involved with our program. It’s going to make our team a lot better.”

 

Aside from kicking, Sorensen also many talents, including the ability to skillfully ride a unicycle. 

 

“It started the summer between fourth and fifth grade.  I was at my cousins house and I was all by myself. They had an old unicycle with a flat tire and I rode it for something like twelve hours.  In fifth grade I rode it to school everyday, rain or shine. From there it just escalated and at age twelve I competed in the national championship in Washington. It’s just been a big part of my life ever since." 

 

He says the student body will be seeing him riding his unicycle around campus. But don’t worry, he’s never gotten hurt riding it. He also rode a unicycle around on his mission and said it was a great conversation starter.

Media Day 2011: Brandon Doman Interview

Jul 12, 2011 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 4:24 pm | Permalink

BYU cameras went behind the scenes to capture some footage from BYU Offensive Coordinator, Brandon Doman's Spanish Webchat.

Media Day 2011: Jennifer Rockwood

Jul 12, 2011 - Posted by Whitney Weekes at 4:18 pm | Updated: July 12, 2011 4:21 pm | Permalink

 

BYU women’s soccer coach Jennifer Rockwood spent time with BYU Athletic Communications during the Football Media Day afternoon breakout session to share her thoughts on Media Day and the West Coast Conference.

“It’s a very exciting big day for BYU being independent and whatever is good for BYU football is always good for us,” Rockwood said. “As a soccer coach, we definitely feel a big benefit with this move into the West Coast Conference. The WCC is a nationally recognized and successful soccer conference, so we’re thrilled.”

The new conference will bring new experiences for women’s soccer.

“We can’t wait for the new competition, the new teams, the new facilities and the new cities,” Rockwood said. “It’s going to be exciting. I’m really looking forward to it.”

After a successful spring season, where BYU went 10-0-1 and gave up just one goal against Arizona State, Rockwood is sad to see seniors leave but knows the future of the program is in great hands.

“We graduated some fantastic players that have been a big part of our program, but we have some great leaders who have stepped up that have been able to lead the team through this offseason,” Rockwood said. “They have real high expectations.”

Rockwood expects a successful upcoming season but recognizes the competition the team will face in the WCC.

“We have a lot of returning starters and returning players, so I really look forward to a great season,” Rockwood said. “We know we’re going to have to be better than we’ve ever been to compete in the West Coast Conference.”

Media Day 2011: Interview with LaVell Edwards

Jul 12, 2011 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 4:10 pm | Permalink

BYU cameras caught up with former BYU Head Football Coach LaVell Edwards and talked BYU Football and Media Day 2011.

Media Day 2011: Breakout Session with LaVell Edwards

Jul 12, 2011 - Posted by Taylor Wilson at 4:04 pm | Updated: July 12, 2011 4:18 pm | Permalink

After participating in the Legends Roundtable, LaVell Edwards answered questions about BYU going independent and what it would take to coach a team during independence.

What did you think when you heard BYU would become a football independent? 

"I was surprised by the announcement.  I've always been in a conference and I've liked that.  I was never privy to any discussion about independence and didn't expect to be, so I was very surprised by the announcement last fall." 

How do you motivate a team without the promise of a conference season and the potential for a conference championship? 

"It's a whole new ball game.  Bronco is a very sharp young man and is a very good football coach. He will figure out ways to keep his kids motivated and keep them going in the right direction. Things can get real tough if you get off to a slow start and you aren't playing for a conference championship." 

BYU has experienced some difficulty in find opponents in late October and November. Will that get easier as time goes on? 

"ESPN will make it easier to get big games late in the schedule but team's that have to worry about winning their league championship will probably not want to play BYU as a non-conference opponent late in the season." 

Will independence provide an easier path to national prominence for the Cougars? 

"I've wondered about that myself. I think ESPN will help because it will give the program more exposure than they've had in the past. If you're a non-BCS school than you can't afford to lose any games, so it makes it very tough if the goal is a national championship. That makes every game right from the start even more important. We will just have to wait and see how it works out."

Would you have embraced independence while you were coaching? 

"I really don't know. It never came up while I was here and I was surprised when I heard it was a possibility even now."

Media Day 2011: LaVell Edwards and Steve Young on Golf

Jul 12, 2011 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 3:54 pm | Permalink

Backstage at the BYU Legends broadcast during BYU Football Media Day.

 

Media Day 2011: Afternoon Breakout Session Photo Gallery

Jul 12, 2011 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 3:49 pm | Updated: July 12, 2011 4:07 pm | Permalink

Photos of the afternoon breakout sessions.

Media Day 2011: Haley Hall Steed

Jul 12, 2011 - Posted by Whitney Weekes at 3:45 pm | Updated: July 12, 2011 4:02 pm | Permalink

 

During the BYU Football Media Day afternoon breakout session, senior basketball guard Haley Hall Steed, who got married in May, shared her excitement toward joining the West Coast Conference with BYU Athletic Communications.

“It’s exciting,” Steed said. “We’re excited to see some new teams and faces. The travel is going to be awesome. It will be nice to travel to California and the west coast during the winter.”

This year marks a perfect year to join the WCC in Steed’s eyes because the team is already faces changes to its program.

“We have a young team so it’s a good time for us to make a transition because we graduated a lot of seniors,” Steed said. “There are a lot of changes taking place. Why not a new conference?”

Steed, who was named Third Team All-MWC last season, will miss playing in the Mountain West Conference but is looking forward to new rivalries in the WCC.

“There are fun places to play in the Mountain West because they fill up their arenas and have good fans,” Steed said. “I’ll miss the environment there. I’ve been part of the Mountain West for five years now. The rivalries were fun but it’ll be fun to have change and form new rivalries.”

Specially, Steed is looking forward to the rivalry she’s sure will develop between BYU and Gonzaga.

“The basketball powerhouse Gonzaga is going to be the rivalry for us,” Steed said.  “It’ll be the big game of the year. They have a really good program and do really well every year. Over the last while they’ve dominated the West Coast Conference so that’s the team we’re excited to go in and play every year.”

Steed was granted a sixth year due to medical hardship and therefore, will return to Marriot Center for the 2011-12 season for her final year as a member of the BYU women's basketball team.  

“I love this team,” Steed said. “I couldn’t leave them. I still have a passion for the game. Once you’re done playing college you’re done forever and you never play at that level again. I still have some fire left in me. They can’t get rid of me just yet. I’ve been here forever but I’m ready for one more year.”

Media Day 2011: Legends Roundtable Photo Gallery

Jul 12, 2011 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 3:37 pm | Updated: July 12, 2011 4:04 pm | Permalink

Photos of the Legends roundtable.

Media Day 2011: Interview with Haley Hall Steed

Jul 12, 2011 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 3:36 pm | Permalink

BYU cameras caught up with BYU Women's Basketball Senior Guard Haley Hall Steed and talked about the move to the WCC.