Local sports

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Special Olympics of Idaho Partners with Local High Schools for Unified Basketball Tourney

Posted By on Thu, Mar 5, 2015 at 11:38 AM

As the high school basketball season draws to a close, a local partnership is scoring points for inclusion.

Special Olympics of Idaho is partnering with the Idaho High School Activities Association (ISHAA) to orchestrate the second annual Special Olympics Idaho Unified Basketball Tournament. The occasion features high-school teams from across the valley, incorporating students both with and without intellectual disabilities in a friendly tournament that enhances education and promotes inclusion.

“Sports transcends labels. It creates this meaningful environment,” said Shanna Endow, vice president for education and outreach at Special Olympics Idaho. “This initiative is growing around the world. We needed an opportunity to get the public involved.”

Everyone is welcome to attend the event at Mountain View High School on Friday, March 6, where eight teams will be using two separate courts during competition. 

Following the inaugural tournament in 2014, a participating Unified Sports club at a local high school was surprised with a visit from the varsity basketball team, which congratulated participants and presented them with a coveted varsity letter.

“Relationships are created through sports,” Endow said. “This past year, we see that awareness is also transcending the playing field, creating inclusion in the community.”

Along with the tournament this year, many volunteers from local high schools will be helping to run the main event—experiences that Endow said are essential.

“This is how life should be,” Endow said. “We should celebrate and embrace each others’ differences. Let those stereotypes break down.”
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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Boise State Student Athletes Far From Home at Christmas

Posted By on Thu, Dec 25, 2014 at 12:00 PM

There's no place like home for the  holidays... unless you're a student athlete. While the campus of Boise State University is buttoned up for the long holiday break, more than a few athletes, coaches and athletes are keeping their eye on the ball in lieu of a Christmas tree.

The Boise State football team is gearing up for a New Year's Eve Fiesta Bowl contest versus the Arizona Wildcats. Meanwhile, Boise State's men's basketball squad has spent a good chunk of its holiday week in Nevada at the Las Vegas Classic. Unfortunately, the men's basketball team lost in Tuesday night's championship game, falling to Loyola (Chicago), 48-to-45.

And there will be no rest for the basketball team, as it heads to Colorado State where it will play on Wednesday, Dec. 31.

“You are sacrificing your family time and your social life for the sport you love,” senior men's basketball guard Igor Hadziomerovic told Boise Weekly. “There are obviously going to be some sacrifices that you are going to have to make for that.”

Hadziomerovic was born in Sarajevo but his home is in Australia, making it nearly impossible to see his family during the holidays.

“It is always hard when your family is not here, obviously,” said Hadziomerovic. who added that he tries to talk to his family every chance he gets. “I talk to them through Facebook and Skype and stuff. We always stay in contact still.”

Meanwhile, Yaiza Ortego, a sophomore guard for the women's basketball team, is also far away from home—she's from Spain.

"Even when I was home in Spain I wasn’t seeing my family a lot because I was with the international team so much,” she told BW. “It has become kind of a normal thing for me to be away from them and them away from me.”

Both Hadziomerovic and Ortego said their families encouraged them to seek out the best opportunities for themselves, even if meant being so far away from them.

“I am here in part because of them,” said Ortego, whose next game is Dec. 31, at Boise State's Taco Bell Arena, where the women's basketball team takes on Colorado State. “I was more looking to play in Europe but my dad told me to come here to get my degree and play basketball.”

While they are not seeing their own families this year, the student athletes are spending the holidays surrounded by people who care for them. Hadziomerovic said fellow teammate Nick Duncan's mother and father are "like a second family to me.

Ortego is spending the holidays with teammates Brooke and Brittney Pahukoa.

“I am thankful that I have my teammates because they are helping me a lot right now,” Ortego said. “I feel like right now they are my family.”

Despite the hardships of not seeing their families, both athletes indicated that their sacrifice has been time well spent.

“It has been worth it because [being at Boise State] will give me that degree and that experience,” said Ortego.

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

College of Idaho Football Scores Second Win at Home Opener

Posted By on Sun, Sep 14, 2014 at 11:32 AM

  • College of Idaho

Nearly 5,000 students, alums and fans packed into the Simplot Stadium in Caldwell for the College of Idaho football home opener Sept. 13—the first home game played by the school's football team in 37 years. The capacity crowd thrilled as the Coyotes prevailed over Montana Western 31-28, the team's second close victory in as many weeks.

"I don't think anybody really expected this," said C of I coach Mike Moroski. "I'm just so happy for the alumni, the locals—people who remember when football was here."

The College of Idaho's football program was reinstated in 2012 after being shuttered in 1977. The Coyotes' first game, at Pacific University in Forest Grove Sept. 6, ended in a 35-34 win, leaving the Yotes with a 2-0 record for the season.

Among the stars of the game was freshman safety (and Bishop Kelly High School graduate) Cory Brady, who intercepted three passes and tied for the team lead with seven tackles. Junior quarterback Teejay Gordon, of Manteca, Calif., was also a standout, finishing with 219 yards passing and a touchdown to go with 59 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

Freshman kicker Luke Taylor, of Spokane, Wash., clinched the victory with a 22-yard field goal with 7:22 to play. Gordon secured the winning margin, running three kneel-down plays to kill the clock. The stadium erupted in cheers, with the student section rushing the field to celebrate the win.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Brady said. “We’ve had so many practices where those stands have been empty. I couldn’t ever imagine it being full. Today it was full. It was amazing being able to win for them today.”
The Coyotes' next game will be at Southern Oregon, Saturday, Sept. 20. The team's homecoming game is scheduled for 1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 11, at Simplot Stadium.
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Sunday, September 7, 2014

College of Idaho Coyotes Win 35-34 Against Pacific University in First Game of Relaunched Football Program

Posted By on Sun, Sep 7, 2014 at 3:31 PM

  • Courtesy College of Idaho

The College of Idaho celebrated its first football victory in 37 years when it faced off against the Pacific University Boxers in Forest Grove, Ore., on Sept. 6, but it was also the Coyotes' first football game since 1977.

C of I's football program was reinstated in May 2012, when the private liberal arts college kicked off a yearslong fundraising campaign and construction of a new athletics facility. The team held its first scrimmage in April, and the $4 million Marty Holly Athletics Center opened in August, paving the way for the debut game against Pacific on Sept. 6, which the Coyotes' won 35-34.

According to a post-game report from the college, C of I junior quarterback Teejay Gordan stunned the home team when he ran for 137 yards, threw for 195 and scored three touchdowns. 

“To score on the first drive was key for us—we knew we belonged,” said C of I Coach Mike Moroski, a 56-year-old University of California at Davis graduate who played eight pro seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, Houston Oilers and San Francisco 49ers.

“Pacific is a really good team, so I thought our coaches did a fantastic job, and it was a lot of fun to see guys execute and make big plays at crucial times,” he said.

The decision to bring football back to the 123-year-old Caldwell campus has not been universally applauded, with some concerned that the program would dilute C of I's well-known commitment to academic excellence.

"There were, and still are in my opinion, doubts, and we have to prove that 100-something football players—or any large influx of students—can keep the same standards and keep what we love about the college the same," C of I Athletic Director Marty Holly told Boise Weekly in August. "We've worked hard to make sure the school doesn't change negatively."

Enthusiasm for the Sept. 6 game, broadcast on KTIK AM 1350, ran high on Facebook and Twitter, with alums sharing play-by-plays and checking in from as far away as France. The Coyotes' first home game is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 13, at Simplot Stadium in Caldwell, when the Yotes go up against Montana Western.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

10-10 Rule in Effect For Great Idaho Potato Bowl

Posted By on Wed, Dec 18, 2013 at 2:57 PM

As fans of the San Diego State University Aztecs and the University of New York at Buffalo Bulls gear up for participation in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, which takes place beginning at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, the Boise Police Department is making it a little easier for tailgaters to warm their bellies. 

In a press release, the BPD indicated that the 10-10 program, which opens a section of Julia Davis Park to tailgating activities including the consumption of alcohol in opaque containers from 10 a.m.-10 p.m., will be in full effect during the bowl game. 

Apart from Boise State University property, the 10-10 Zone encompasses a section of Julia Davis Park that extends roughly between Broadway Avenue and the Friendship Bridge that crosses the Boise River between Boise State and the park. 

The so-called 10-10 Ordinance was designed to make the boundaries wherein tailgating activities are permitted more intuitive to reduce confusion on Boise State game days, and according to the number of open container violations handed out early in the Boise State Broncos season, the effort has reduced the number of alcohol-related citations cut on game days. 

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Press-Tribune: C of I Football Could be a Game-Changer for Caldwell Economy

Posted By on Thu, Nov 7, 2013 at 9:41 AM

It has been 36 years since a football game was played at The College of Idaho, but with the return of a gridiron program to the Caldwell private college, the fans—and the money—are soon to follow.

This morning’s Idaho Press-Tribune reports that C of I’s NAIA football program, led by former UC Davis head coach and NFL veteran Mike Moroski, could mean a “very conservative” $3.2 million in annual spending benefiting the Caldwell economy—and that’s not counting one-time expenditures of $4 million for a new athletics facility and a residence hall planned for fall 2015, both of which will create construction jobs and boost sales at local building supply businesses.

An economic impact study related to the football program calls for 10 full-time and three part-time positions with combined salaries of $618,000, leading to an overall local impact of more than $1 million. In addition, the program will boost enrollment by 120 students by spring 2014, totaling more than $767,000 a year in meal plan revenue alone.

Throw in discretionary spending related to new students, visiting parents and fans, and everything from hotels and restaurants to gas stations and grocery stores are expected to get a boost. 
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Monday, April 11, 2011

Les Bois Lease Will Be Auctioned Today

Posted By on Mon, Apr 11, 2011 at 8:56 AM

Less than a month after seeing its bid to rejuvenate live horse racing at Les Bois Park rejected, Treasure Valley Racing is expected to be a top contender today in a new effort to grant a lease to operate the Garden City racetrack.

On March 15, Ada County Commissioners rejected a proposal from TVR based on an insufficient bond/deposit amount, the length of the lease and financial terms of the agreement. Unanimous consent was required from all three commissioners, and Commissioner Sharon Ullman made it clear that she would vote no. However, only two of the three commissioners are required to approve a deal from a live auction, which will be held at 1 p.m. today at the Ada County Courthouse.

Treasure Valley Racing is an amalgam of horse racing operators and enthusiasts, including Harry Bettis, James Grigsby, Larry Williams, Linda Yanke and the Greene Group, which operates a simulcast facility in Post Falls. TVR has already reportedly hammered out a tentative agreement with the Idaho Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association to run an abbreviated season, which could start as early as June. Les Bois Park has not seen thoroughbred racing since August 2008.

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