BYU Athletics Blog

Thursday's Hero

Sep 24, 2009 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 5:48 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

Today the team recognized Jana Nelson as its Thursday's Hero. Jana is the older sister of BYU outside linebacker Grant Nelson.

A native of Sewickley, Penn., Jana suffers from a degenerative disease of the central nervous system. She lost her vision at the age of two and by five-years-old had lost the majority of her hearing ability.

Jana graduated from high school with assistance from a full-time translator who communicated with her by doing sign language in the palm of her hand.

She was introduced to the team after today's practice by her brother, Grant. He signed to Jana for a few moments before senior linebacker Terrance Hooks presented her with a bag of BYU goodies. Then Grant and his mother helped Jana sign the team flag which is run out onto the field prior to kickoff each week.

Fireside Reminder

Don't forget about the team's traditional pregame fireside tomorrow night at the American Fork Tabernacle. The fireside is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Riley Nelson: Achievable Success

Sep 24, 2009 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 12:32 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

What are you looking forward to most about playing here at BYU?

I'm looking forward to the success that is attainable through the football program at BYU. Obviously the success on the field is something that is very important to me because it is what takes the level of fun you can have to the next level. It's easy to have tons of fun playing football when you're seeing the fruits of your labors through wins.

There is achievable success in many other forums here at BYU. There are a lot of eyes on the the program and individual players which can be looked at as a positive or a negative. If you take that as a positive you realize that you can have a profound effect on many people--especially the youth. I remember when I was young, idolizing not only college and pro players but even some local high school stars. Now I realize that there are loads of young kids looking to us as examples. We can influence them for good and that is a great form of success that I am looking forward to here at BYU.

What are your goals for the season?

My goals for the season start with the team goals of winning the state, winning the conference and winning a bowl game. Personally my goals are centered around my role in helping accomplish those team goals. As a back-up I see it as a responsibility of mine to bring energy and enthusiasm to every meeting, practice, and game. It is also my responsibility to prepare to the highest level so that I am prepared if called upon. It is a goal of mine to make it as smooth of a transition for the offense if I am called upon.

Visit Riley's bio page here.

Deseret News: Unga Brothers to Serve One Another

Sep 23, 2009 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 4:07 pm | Permalink

Check out this story written by Jeff Call of the Deseret News about Harvey and Victor Unga.

Nebraska Tournament

Sep 22, 2009 - Posted by Christina Measom at 10:21 am | Permalink

The tournament in Nebraska was a great learning experience for us and a definite benefit to our preseason. We learned a lot about ourselves and our teammates and about how good we really can be. In the Ameritas Tournament, we played some tough teams, No. 8 UCLA, No. 5 Nebraska and Virginia.

Against UCLA, we played well against a very good team, but not as well as we would have liked. In losing to the Bruins, we learned from that match that we had more to give than we had the night before and that we could play at a higher level.

The next evening we played Nebraska. Playing Nebraska in their stadium was an awesome experience. We are talking about 3,000+ people, 98-percent season ticket holders. They were the nicest, most courteous large crowd that I have ever played in front of and it was such a fun atmosphere to be in. Yes, they wanted Nebraska to win, but they also just wanted to see good volleyball. These fans would cheer for any great play made whether it was by the Huskers or us. There was no heckling or demeaning comments, but rather just a whole lot of people who enjoy watching this beautiful sport.

That night we came out with all we had, playing confident, collected and tough. We ended up taking the first set from Nebraska, something that no team has done on their home court since 2005. Although the next three games didn't end in our favor, we learned that we can play at a top level. I think in that match – the first game especially – we saw what we had in ourselves and what our teammates had in them. We played better than I think we knew we could and that taught us a lot about ourselves. I think that it showed us that we really are a good team and need to have confidence in our coaches, in our systems, in our teammates and in ourselves.

The next evening we played Virginia. Although Virginia is not ranked near as high as Nebraska or UCLA, we lost the match to them in four sets. I think that this match, although heartbreaking, was very good for us. It taught us that we need to bring our A game every time that we step on the floor. It taught us that we need to show every team the respect whether they are ranked in the top five or the bottom five. Good teams deserve to play against us at our best, to have good competition and maybe be humbled when we beat them. :) Not so good teams deserve our best as well, to teach them that they have some work to do, because when you play the Cougars you better expect the best.

Bring it on MWC, because you better believe that we will! WE'RE IN IT TO WIN IT!

Fireside Reminder

Sep 17, 2009 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 6:57 pm | Permalink

Don't miss our first home fireside Friday night at 7 p.m. at the Orem Windsor Stake Center. This is the team's first fireside here in the state of Utah so far this season and it will be packed so get there early! Hope to see everyone there!

Address to the fireside:

60 East 1600 North

Orem, Utah

And you shouldn't need any reminding about our home opener against Florida State on Saturday. Kickoff is at 5 p.m.

DON'T FORGET TO WEAR BLUE!!!

Romney Fuga: I'm Committed to This Program

Sep 17, 2009 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 1:28 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

What are some memorable moments from your mission to Madagascar?

Some of the most memorable moments from my mission would have to be being and working with the members. They had awesome members who were just so fun to be around and to do activities with. They just knew how to have a party. The members were also just so enthusiastic about missionary work and would always be willing to help the missionaries teach and give us referrals. A lot of success that I saw during my mission was because of the help that members gave. They are just awesome people to be around and are so excited about the Gospel.

How has serving a mission changed you and helped you prepare for the season?

A way that the mission has helped me prepare for the season is that it has taught me how to manage my time more efficiently. With school and football at the same time, the schedule can be a bit hectic. I'm just glad that I learned some time management skills so I can give both areas the required attention. It also helped me to realize that I was not giving enough of myself and that I needed to do more. It helped me to be more determined and committed to this program and even more committed to myself.

What are your goals this season?

My goals for the 2009 season are to do the best that I can and contribute to the team as much as I can. I want to be someone that my teammates can trust to do their assignment and perform it well whenever I would go on the field.

Visit Romney's bio page here.

Early MWC Preview on ESPN

Sep 14, 2009 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 10:59 pm | Permalink

Previews for the 2009-10 season are slowly being release. Check out what ESPN.com's Dana O'Neil has to say about the Mountain West Conference.

Tulane Pre-Game Fireside

Sep 11, 2009 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 8:49 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

The team just got back from its pre-game fireside held at the J.W. Marriott ballroom. It was fun to meet and interact with the fans from both the New Orleans and Baton Rouge Stakes.

Junior wide receiver BJ Peterson was the first player to speak. He started by sharing an experience he had while serving in the Philippines Cayan Mission. The experience taught him about the importance of serving others and overcoming natural man tendencies.

BJ shared a quote by Elder L. Tom Perry:

"When the spirit conquers the flesh, the flesh becomes a servant, not a master. When we clean out the corners of worldliness and are ready to obey the Lord, we are able to receive his word and keep his commandments."

Tying his talk into the team's theme, "Becoming disciples of Christ," BJ stated that true disciples receive guidance from the Lord on how to best serve those around him.

"Being a disciple means learning to think, feel and act like Christ," he said. "He loves the Lord and serves him with all his might, mind and strength."

Following BJ's talk, linebacker Coleby Clawson and defensive back Travis Uale sang an a capella duet of the Primary song, "When He Comes Again".

Sophomore offensive lineman Terence Brown followed the musical number with his own talk. He used the Bible Dictionary to define a disciple as a pupil or learner who is a follower of Christ.

"The simplicity of that struck me," said Terence. "We all have our struggles and make mistakes, but as we learn we become disciples of Christ."

He went on to pinpoint three characteristics of disciples: humility, obedience and charity.

"Humility is not a sign of weakness, but spiritual strength."

Thursday's Hero

Sep 10, 2009 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 5:29 pm | Permalink

Today's Thursday's Hero was 18-year-old Eric Woodruff. Eric's mother was involved in an accident during her pregnancy with him and doctors didn't think he would survive. But Eric just recently graduated from Syracuse High School with a B+ grade point average. He is a huge BYU fan and was happy to meet the team.

Fireside Reminder

For those of you who will be in the New Orleans area tomorrow night, don't forget to come to the team's pregame fireside at the J.W. Marriott Hotel Ballroom at 7 p.m. CT. See you there!

Utah State and the BYU Nike Classic

Sep 09, 2009 - Posted by Marisa Boaz at 12:08 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

What a busy week it has been! We are well into our pre-season and have been learning and improving a lot. This week we had four matches. We played Utah State in Logan on Tuesday and then had the Nike Classic this Friday and Saturday for our home opener at the Fieldhouse. (It was great to be back in the Fieldhouse with all our wonderful fans! Also can I say how much the freshman loved it! ) On Friday we played Cal Poly, and on Saturday we played Weber State and Kansas State. ---By the way, it was too funny to see a group of well-known BYU athletic personnel (I won't name names) huddled around a TV screen on the score tables at our game. And then suddenly, everyone stood up with their hands in the air and hollered with excitement—all in the middle of a play. We soon found out our great football team had just beat Oklahoma 14-13!!!!!!!

This week we unfortunately had two loses (Utah State and Kansas State), along with our two wins (Cal Poly and Weber State). The good news is that we have improved a lot as a team and have made some changes that seem to be working well. The best part is that we all feel motivated to help this team succeed. We are looking forward to this next weekend when we play in Nebraska.

Life outside of volleyball has been full of school, Church, family and friends. Before the tournament on Friday we had a special pre-game meal where everyone's family (mainly parents and spouses) were invited to eat a great meal, catered by Legends and get to know one another better. Chelsea Goodsell's mom made everyone a special bag of Chex Mix covered in white chocolate....yum! Everyone loved it. Thanks Goodsell family!

Since we travel during the season, everyone has to be extra diligent in their school work, talking to teachers and seeing that assignments are turned in before we miss class. Some of us, including freshman, need to get in a certain number of study hall hours in each week, too. We can squeeze in some study time when we travel, but it can be a little distracting because we are always having too much fun together.

Well I better get to the library to study before we leave tomorrow at 8am for Nebraska! Go Cougars!