All you need to know about Weber State fall sports
Weber State University has 16 different sports teams that compete in the Big Sky conference. Of those 16 teams, there are seven that will kick off their seasons this fall. Here is a look at each team, and what you need to know about them.
This season the Wildcats are looking to bounce back from three consecutive losing seasons. The program has had a lot of changes in the coaching staff over the last three years, as new head coach Jay Hill is the fourth head coach the team has had since 2011. With returning players like running back Bo Bolen and cornerback Deon’tae Florence, and new players like BYU-transfer quarterback Billy Green, the Wildcats will try to improve upon last season’s 2-10 record.
Despite losing several seniors from last year’s squad, the reigning Big Sky Conference champions will be looking for their first back-to-back titles since they won three in a row from 1977-80. The team will look to their lone senior, center James Hajek, for leadership, with nine of the team’s 13 players being underclassmen. Reigning Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year Joel Bolomboy and Big Sky Newcomer of the Year Jeremy Senglin will also be returning to this year’s squad, and will look to build off their success from last year.
Men’s and women’s cross country
The women’s cross country team looks nearly unstoppable as they took home their third consecutive Big Sky Conference title last year. Freshman Summer Harper clocked in the fastest time for the Wildcats with a 16:54.2 mark that also gave her the individual conference title. Harper went on to place eighth in the NCAA Mountain West Regionals, qualifying her for the NCAA Championships where she finished in 156th place.
The men’s team finished in the top four in the conference for the third season in a row, and will look to try and bring home the title this season.
As Weber State’s third reigning Big Sky champion team, the soccer team looks poised for a repeat this season, as all but six of last year’s players return for the Wildcats. Junior MacKenzie Harrison will return as the reigning Big Sky Offensive MVP, as well as First Team All-Conference honorees Chansi Crompton and Brecken Holbrook.
After a rough start to head coach Bethann Ord’s tenure, the women’s basketball is trending upwards this year. Last year the Wildcats finished 7-22, a marked improvement over their winless 2012-13 season. With seven players returning this season, including seniors Brianna Averette, Carlee Lough and Zakiyyah Shahid-Martin, the Wildcats will look to put together their first winning season since 2006-07, when they finished tied for second in the Big Sky Conference with a 17-14 overall record.
Consistency is what the volleyball team is looking for this year, coming off a 7-27 record in 2013. Junior Samantha Staker was named the Big Sky Conference Top Newcomer last season, recording 401 assists in 98 sets. The team’s defense was solidified by senior defensive specialist McKay Tarbox who prevented opponents from scoring numerous times while setting the school single game digs record (42) as well as the single season digs record (515). With seven upperclassmen on the squad, the Wildcats will rely on their veterans to build off of last season as they open the year on the road at four different tournaments.