“Biggest Little Farm” at ISU Sunday

Acclaimed documentary, “The Biggest Little Farm” plays this Sunday, Aug 25, at 4:30 and 7:00 p.m. at the Pond Student Union. This Palm Springs and Heartland Film Festival winner follows John Chester and his wife Molly who work to develop a sustainable farm as they turn a desolate acreage into a natural wonder. “It’s truly food for the soul,” writes the Boston Globe, while Entertainment Weekly calls the film, “A thoughtful and often profoundly moving portrait of the remarkable work involved in producing mindful food.” $3 for the public, $2 for ISU staff, or free for ISU students. Cosponsored by the ISU Oboler Library. For trailer and more information, go to www.pocatellofilmsociety.com/farm.
bigfarm

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‘Ultimate athletes': High expectations surround Idaho State’s deep linebacker corps

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POCATELLO — Roger Cooper wants his linebackers to stop the run, rush the quarterback, cover receivers in man and zone.

Because of all that he asks them to do, the Idaho State defensive coordinator calls them his “ultimate athletes” — and right now he has more players who fit that description than he ever has at Idaho State.

“We’ve got depth, more depth than I’ve probably ever seen us have in my five years here, so it’s exciting,” senior middle linebacker Kody Graves said. “Even the young guys coming in, some of those freshmen … seeing some of the stuff that they do is like, stuff that that my class wasn’t doing as freshmen. I think that’s kind of a testament to coach Cooper. They’re just more developed, they’re into it in the film room, into it (on the field), it’s pretty impressive. It’s an impressive group of linebackers top to bottom.”

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Idaho State cross country teams picked to finish 6th, 7th in preseason polls

The Idaho State men’s and women’s cross country teams were picked to finish sixth and seventh, respectively, in this year’s preseason Big Sky Conference coaches poll, released Wednesday.

The ISU men finished fifth in the conference last season, but lost top runner Wyatt Didericksen. The men received 65 points in the preseason poll, eight fewer than No. 5 Idaho.

ISU’s women were picked to improve upon last year’s eighth-place finish. They earned 54 points in the poll, right behind Montana’s 59 points.

Northern Arizona was picked to win in both polls. The men were a unanimous selection with 11 first-place votes. NAU’s men’s team has won three consecutive NCAA Division I national cross country championships, and has claimed 22 of the last 27 Big Sky Conference titles.

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Idaho State soccer eager to bounce back, begin season under 1st-year coach Debs Brereton

ISU soccer 2019

POCATELLO — Debs Brereton pulled no punches regarding the condition of the Idaho State soccer program she inherited.

“Certainly the only way is up as of right now,” Brereton, ISU’s first-year head coach, said Tuesday.

The Bengals are coming off back-to-back seasons as the bottomfeeders of the Big Sky Conference, with a total of just three conference wins between 2017 and 2018.

The good news is that Brereton, hired last December, not only has a plan to turn the program around, but she’s liked what she’s seen from her roster through the spring and preseason.

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Idaho State hires Lei Talamaivao to replace Steve Fifita as defensive line coach

Lei Talamaivao

Idaho State football announced Lei Talamaivao as its new defensive line coach on Wednesday. The announcement comes two days after Steve Fifita abruptly resigned as ISU’s defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator.

“We’re excited to have him,” ISU head coach Rob Phenicie said. “I wish the best for Steve, and it’s just one of those situations that we were fortunate to not miss a beat with Lei coming on board. … We’re fortunate to have him on board with us and to have someone of his quality available at this time.”

Talamaivao takes over a defensive line that will be a big question mark for the Bengals heading into the season. Idaho State returns experience with Kainoa Fuiava and TJ Togiai, both of whom appeared in all 11 games last year, but the pass rush was an issue for the Bengals in 2018, with just 17 sacks in total.

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Community welcomes back Idaho State students

Orange and Black

POCATELLO — The community welcomed students and faculty back to the Idaho State University campus on Monday with a celebration in Old Town, featuring free food, entertainment and a parade.

In its 10th year, Welcome Back Orange Black started at 4 p.m. at the Old Town Pavilion with a parade starring the Bengal Dancers and the ISU marching band. The event continued until 7 p.m.

It featured 64 vendors, 15 of which offered free food.

“The purpose of the event was to have our business community have an event that welcomes students back to the community and really shows our pride,” said Stephanie Palagi, executive director of Old Town Pocatello Inc.

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Steve Fifita resigns as Idaho State’s defensive line coach

Steve Fifita 2014

With just over two weeks until the start of its season, the Idaho State football team must hire a new coach.

Bengals defensive line coach Steve Fifita resigned Monday, according to school officials. ISU head coach Rob Phenicie told the Journal on Monday that Fifita resigned for “personal reasons.”

“We’re going to be moving on,” Phenicie said. “We’re excited (about) the direction we’re going.”

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Biding their time: Bengals wide receiver corps is stocked with veterans awaiting their shot

Chris Reynolds spring game 2019

POCATELLO — Four years ago, Tanner Conner walked into the Idaho State athletics offices with a half-scholarship for track — and walked out with a full offer for football.

“He came here on an official track visit, and he just wanted to come in and talk football,” ISU head coach Rob Phenicie said. “He’s a big guy, so we were like, wow, we have to see if this guy is for real. So we went back and looked at his film, and were like, holy smokes. We had to get this guy.”

Conner is a junior now. On the track, he’s a two-time Big Sky Conference champion. On the football field, he’s the favorite to be the Bengals’ third wide receiver this fall and the standard-bearer for an often-looked group.

First-team all-conference honorees Mitch Gueller and Michael Dean tend to soak up all the headlines around ISU’s receiver corps — not surprising when you consider that they’re both multi-year starters who have put up some crazy stats in their four years at Idaho State.

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