Pregame Fireside: Wyoming

Sep 19, 2008 - Posted by Carey Hoki on September 19, 2008 at 9:43 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm

The football team held its weekly fireside for members from Highland, American Fork and Pleasant Grove stakes on Friday night. The American Fork Tabernacle was packed on the eve of the Cougars’ Mountain West Conference opener against Wyoming, as people came to hear the team address its theme, “Being a Disciple of Christ”.

The night began with a talk by Spencer Hafoka. The freshman wide receiver recently returned home from a mission to Ventura, California. Hafoka shared his thoughts on what it truly means to be a “receiver”—as it relates to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He pinpointed four characteristics of a good receiver: fast, quick, strong and good hands. Hafoka read a poem entitled “It Depends Whose Hands It’s In”. A link to the poem can be found HERE.

Following Hafoka was a musical number presented by Max Hall, Fui Vakapuna, Matt Bauman, Bryan Kariya, Brenden Gaskins, Scott Johnson and Reed White. The group sang “How Firm A Foundation”.

Quarterback Stephen Covey also shared his thoughts on discipleship. The redshirt freshman from Provo, Utah focused on overcoming trials and hardships in life.

“Becoming a disciple of Christ requires a lot of stretching,” he said. “It’s during these times that we can truly become friends with God.”

White accompanied the team as it sang “Called to Serve,” before Holly Mendenhall, the wife of head coach Bronco Mendenhall, took the stand. Holly challenged those in attendance to realize the small decisions they make in their lives are what will impact future, bigger decisions.

“It’s the small things we do that show whether we are true disciples or not,” she said.

Coach Mendenhall closed the meeting with a few thoughts and experiences. He shared the message which was presented earlier this week in a team meeting by defensive back Brandon Howard about the “Pride Cycle”, and the dangers which lie ahead for those who do not humble themselves. Mendenhall also told of a powerful experience he witnessed last week when the team collectively sang, “Called to Serve” to a young man who signed a letter of intent with BYU, but decided to serve an LDS mission before entering the program. The team sang for that young man as he prepared to enter the Missionary Training Center the following day. Mendenhall said all of these experiences show that this team is focused on more than just football.

Quoting the words of Gordon B. Hinckley, the former president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mendenhall said, “The mission of the Church is to stand as an ensign to the nations and light to the world." He added by saying, "The greatest part of this job is what we get to represent.”

Max Hall visiting with fans and signing autographs following the fireside.

Defensive lineman Jan Jorgensen.