Men's Football Blog | November 2009

Utah Pregame Fireside

Nov 28, 2009 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 1:15 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

Last night's fireside was more of a musical fireside, with numbers by both players and coaches on the team.

The first number was "I Heard Him Come," performed by McCall Clark, a friend of the team. Academic All-American and team captain Matt Bauman, along with defensive lineman Brett Denney were next. They played "Nearer My God to Thee" on their violins, with linebacker Grant Nelson accompanying them on the piano.

Manase Tonga, Spencer Hafoka, Travis Uale, Anthony Heimuli and Tevita Hola stood up next to sing a Tongan hymn. Offensive coordinator Robert Anae, his brother Alan and Mark Atuaia added two Hawaiian songs.

The final musical number featured the entire team as it stood to sing, "We'll Bring the World His Truth."

Air Force Pregame Fireside

Nov 21, 2009 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 6:46 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

Well another win is in the books! Congrats to the team on a great win against the Air Force Academy.

Here's a recap of the fireside last night:

The first speaker of the night was true freshman Jared Richardson. Using an example of when he was younger, he reiterated the importance of having a positive outlook rather than a negative one.

"This Gospel teaches all the wonderful things we can do, not the things we can't do," he said.

Quoting Matt. 14 he referred to the story of Peter walking on the water.

"What was it that motivated Peter to walk on water," asked Jared. "It was his focus on the Lord. He only started to sink when he shifted his focus on fear and worries."

Next Jared spoke about the importance of service to others.

Alma 36:24-25

24 Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

25 Yea, and now behold, O my son, the Lord doth give me exceedingly great joy in the fruit of my labors

He told of a story from when his younger sister, McKay, was about four years old. While on a family road trip his father stopped to help a young mother on the side of the road with car troubles. As she saw all her brothers helping, McKay asked what she could do. Everyone ignored her until the distressed mother was almost back on her way. McKay came up and gave the woman a flower and handwritten note. The mother started crying and expressing her deep appreciation for the act of kindness.

"That day McKay affected that lady's life a lot more than we could have," shared Jared.

Following Jared's talk, Cort Trejo, football operations intern, and his brother performed a duet to the musical number, "Be Still My Soul". Cort played the harmonica while his brother played the piano.

Redshirt freshman Brandon Ogletree was the next to speak. He opened by reading Helaman 3:35.

35 Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.

"When I think of someone who yields themselves to Christ, I think of a disciple," said Brandon.

Having served his mission in Chile, Brandon shared a conversation he had with an LDS woman in one of his areas. After seeing her constantly go out of her way to help others, even when she didn't have much of her own, he asked her why she did it.

"She told me, 'Well isn't that what we're supposed to do,'" he recalled. "I was always taken aback by her generosity. I hope I can become like her."

Brandon went on to share a quote by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: "You and I won't ever find ourselves on that cross, but we repeatedly find ourselves at the foot of it. And how we act there will speak volumes about what we think of Christ's character and his call for us to be his disciples."

New Mexico Pregame Fireside

Nov 14, 2009 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 11:09 am | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

Last night's fireside featured talks from senior linebacker Coleby Clawson and senior running back Manase Tonga.

Coleby centered his talk around one of his ancestors, Moses Clawson. After discovering Moses' handwritten autobiography in the Special Collections area of the BYU Harold B. Lee Library, Coleby has learned valuable lessons on discipleship. Moses was baptized into the Church in 1835 after getting an original copy of the Book of Mormon.

After joining the Church he wrote, "Persecution raged immediatley with unrefuted anger."

"Being a disciple has never been easy," said Coleby. "There are always things to throw us off the path."

He went on to relate how Moses crossed the plains and eventually settled parts of southern Utah. While experiencing many trials, he never lost his faith or dedication to the Gospel.

"We all have weakness and trials," said Coleby. "But if you ask yourself, 'Do you believe these things,' you'll be able to overcome some of those weaknesses."

He ended his talk expressing gratitude for his father's great example of discipleship.

"I'll always remember those acts of love and service," he said. "I've learned a lot through the examples of others."

The musical number that followed featured four wide receivers, McKay Jacobson, BJ Peterson, Brett Thompson and Spencer Hafoka. They sang the hymn "Ye Elders of Israel".

Following the musical number Manase opened his talk by expressing his appreciation for the team firesides. He was present in 2005 when Bronco Mendenhall held the team's first fireside in Albuquerque. BYU has held a fireside before every game since then.

After being removed from the football program for 16 months following the 2007 season due to academic reasons, Manase returned this past August. He told of an experience he had with Mendenhall upon his return.

"I went to see him in his office and the first question he asked me was, 'What got you in that situation in the first place,'" recalled Manase. "I couldn't pinpoint an exact moment, but I did know that it started with one bad decision."

He said that while he was gone from BYU he kept in close contact with his position coach, Lance Reynolds.

"He would always tell me something that LaVell Edwards always said, 'The most important things in life are options,'" recalled Manase. "Options come by way of making good decisions. If you chose to make bad decisions, like quicksand, you'll slowly begin to sink."

Manase closed by sharing a poem entitled "I'd Rather See a Sermon" by Edgar Guest.

I'd rather see a sermon

than hear one any day;

I'd rather one should walk with me

than merely tell the way.

The eye's a better pupil

and more willing than the ear,

Fine counsel is confusing,

but example's always clear;

And the best of all preachers

are the men who live their creeds,

For to see good put in action

is what everybody needs.

I soon can learn to do it

if you'll let me see it done;

I can watch your hands in action,

but your tongue too fast may run.

And the lecture you deliver

may be very wise and true,

But I'd rather get my lessons

by observing what you do;

For I might misunderstand you

and the high advice you give,

But there's no misunderstanding

how you act and how you live.