Biggest homecoming parade set tone for homecoming at ISU

By Debbie Bryce For the Journal

POCATELLO — The Idaho State University homecoming parade featured a record number of entries Saturday.

For the first time in 19 years of business, Club Charley’s entered a float in the homecoming parade at ISU. The premiere effort garnered third-place honors Saturday.

Charley’s crew worked to create the float, which featured Spyke Naugahyde of Charley’s Angels.

Spyke donned an orange mohawk and orange furry boots while he lip-synced “Eye of the Tiger.”

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ISu football notebook: Bengal week Big for Barnum, linemen return for ISU

Alex Kuresa ISU 2015

By Madison Guernsey

Last time Idaho State played Portland State, the Vikings rode their emotional high from a win against Washington State and downed the No. 23 Bengals in a game ISU coach Mike Kramer says marked the beginning of the end of the 2015 season.

The time before that, ISU forced seven turnovers and drubbed PSU on a damp day in the middle of a five-game winning streak that nearly catapulted the Bengals into the 2014 FCS playoffs.

When the teams match up this Saturday, a PSU squad (1-3, 0-1 Big Sky Conference) that’s reeling from an unexpected slow start hosts a Bengals team (2-2, 1-0) that has yet to find consistency

“Portland State’s always been a hard-minded team,” Kramer said Wednesday at his weekly press conference. “They proved that by coming back into our place last year and bullying us. … For us to be successful, it’s real imperative that we match mental toughness with mental toughness and let iron willpower be the deciding factor.”

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ISU MBB: Telfair named to preseason all-mid-major team

Ethan Telfair UNC

By Journal Staff

Idaho State senior point guard Ethan Telfair was named to the College Sports Madness preseason all-mid-major second team Tuesday. Telfair, who averaged 20.2 points and 5.4 assists per game last season, was named Big Sky Conference Newcomer of the Year after leading the Bengals to a fourth-place finish in the regular-season standings last season.

Weber State senior Jeremy Senglin joined Telfair on the preseason list. Telfair and Senglin are the only two Big Sky players named. The complete list can be found at

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ISU football: The good and the bad — Deciphering the pluses and minuses from the Bengals’ win against Sacramento State

ISU team photo Sac State

By Madison Guernsey

Idaho State’s up-and-down, hot-and-cold 42-34 win Saturday that should have never been in doubt — and was almost a loss — looked as if it was played by three different Bengals teams.

First, we saw the dominant squad that shot out of the gate to a 21-0 lead and used home-run plays to boost a lead that dwindled in the second half. The unit put together efficient, well-executed scoring drives and suffocated Sacramento State’ offense.

Then the Bengals wilted, allowing the Hornets and mobile quarterback Nate Ketteringham to expose holes in the defense and turn the one-sided game 180 degrees. Sac State took control in the yardage battle and cut the Bengals’ lead to 21-17 in the third quarter.

But ultimately, ISU closed. With 2:51 on the clock and eight-point lead, the Bengals needed to extend their final drive past the first-down marker at least once to seal the win. The dominator and the wilter both appeared in between, but the cool-headed closer prevailed.

Mission accomplished, and a win is a win.

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Changes coming to ISU’s RISE Complex

Most of the workers at ISU's RISE complex are being laid off.

Most of the workers at ISU’s RISE complex are being laid off.

By Shelbie Harris

POCATELLO — The director of an Idaho State University top research center has departed and the function of the facility he managed is under reevaluation, ISU officials said.

Last week, ISU announced that Dr. Eric Burgett, the director of the Research and Innovation in Science and Engineering (RISE) Complex, is no longer employed at the university.

University officials said Burgett “left ISU on his own terms to pursue other opportunities.” No further information was provided and Burgett did not respond to attempts by the Journal to interview him about his departure.

Burgett was one of the highest paid employees at ISU, earning more than $190,000 annually. ISU officials said they’re not yet sure if someone will be hired to replace Burgett.

Additionally, ISU officials said Burgett’s departure has given the university a chance to re-evaluate the RISE’s direction. A transitional leadership team has been put in place to manage the RISE while university officials decide the best way to utilize the research facility moving forward.

ISU President Arthur Vailas said the RISE will remain part of ISU’s research arsenal along with the Idaho Accelerator Center, both of which are located on Alvin Ricken Drive.

“All research complexes change,” Vailas said. “Anybody who knows anything about research knows labs come and go and you have to put other things in.”

According to Vailas, the issues needing attention relate to the complex’s future function at ISU.

“When we bought it, it was for a heck of deal,” Vailas said about the RISE. “It’s pulled in a bunch of money over four or five years. Other things will go in there. It’s no big deal.”

ISU purchased the 220,000-square-foot Ballard Medical Building in 2011 at a price of $3.6 million and transformed it into the RISE Complex.

The RISE has been focused on three research areas: particle accelerator applications, the production of portable nuclear energy sources and nanocrystal wavelength shifting.

As of fall 2015, Kent Tingey, ISU vice president for advancement, said the total amount of research funds attracted by the RISE Complex reached $13 million.

Last month, ISU officials said the university’s commitment to the RISE Complex and research in general remains strong.

ISU submitted research grant funding applications totaling more than $97 million last year — a 7 percent increase from the previous year. Out of those applications, ISU was awarded more than $36 million in research grants — a 22 percent increase over the prior year.

But the RISE’s future attracted questions last month when ISU laid off 34 of the complex’s employees, leaving only 12 full-time employees in addition to the ISU students and graduate assistants who work there.

According to ISU spokesman Stuart Summers, the university is reviewing all aspects of the RISE at this time.

“This includes equipment, space, personnel, budgets and programs,” Summers said. “High-level research will continue at the complex now and in the future. RISE, just like the Idaho Accelerator Center, is an important part of our campus and mission and both facilities will continue to be integral to ISU research opportunities.”

ISU officials would not provide a timeline on when changes at the RISE would be implemented, but they said the process is moving along rapidly.

“The Idaho Accelerator Center had great funding then it went downhill and it’s gone back uphill,” Vailas said. “Research parks are always changing programs and operations, so from what I understand we’re working on a plan to transition to other kinds of functions. It’s a wonderful opportunity.”

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Former ISU football players gather for homecoming

Former Idaho State football players whose graduation years range from the 1960s to 2015 gathered for a tailgating event Saturday before the ISU homecoming football game Saturday outside Holt Arena in Pocatello. Josh Friesen/Idaho State Journal

Former Idaho State football players whose graduation years range from the 1960s to 2015 gathered for a tailgating event Saturday before the ISU homecoming football game Saturday outside Holt Arena in Pocatello.
Josh Friesen/Idaho State Journal

POCATELLO — Young and old. Last year’s grads and yesteryear’s grads. Those who donned the pads for current Idaho State head football coach Mike Kramer and those who played under ISU legend Babe Caccia.

It was Saturday — homecoming for Idaho State, and the Bengal football squad downed Sacramento State 42-34 in Holt Arena. But outside before the game, different generations of Bengals were connecting, reminiscing and describing what the university still means to them at the Idaho State University Football Alumni Team tailgate.

The Football Alumni Team, or F.A.T. as they call themselves, is an organization composed of former Bengal football players and supporters of the football team that helps improve school spirit at games. F.A.T. is also a fundraiser, with donations and contributions going toward the F.A.T. Football Endowed Scholarship.

F.A.T. chairperson Don Neves, who quarterbacked the Bengal squad in 1964 and 1965, looked amongst the crowd Saturday afternoon and saw a special connection that spanned generations. Former players, family members and friends mingled. The grill was fired up. Beverages were being passed around.

And everyone was decked out in orange and black.

“There’s a brotherhood when you participate in athletics,” Neves said. “People associate with each other, and I still associate with the guys that I played with. …

“I’m close with guys from the 1981 championship team. I’m close with the guys that graduated last year. … It’s a big deal. It’s a big deal to me to see this and see that people are enjoying it and there’s spirit here.”

Bus Connor and Gerry Belko helped lead the Idaho State men’s basketball team to its first NCAA tournament appearance in 1953. Though the Bengals fell in the first round to Seattle University, Connor and Belko established a Bengal basketball program that would go on to NCAA tournament appearances for the next seven consecutive years.

Even through their years apart — Connor lives in Boise and Belko is in Salt Lake City — the timeless and lighthearted chiding remained.

“He just shot every time he got the ball,” Connor said. “I don’t know what you’d call that. I’d throw it to him and he’d shoot it.”

“And it went in!” replied Belko.

“It went in once in a while,” Connor responded.

The back-and-forth continued as Connor remembered back to ISU’s postseason game against Seattle.

“Seattle had two twins called the O’Brien twins,” Connor said. “They were great players. One scored 35 (points), but I checked the guy in front and held him to 34.”

Added Belko, “There’s so many great stories. I could just take his resume and tell you a story about each one of those things.”

Connor also played football and ran track at Idaho State before being a part of Boise State athletics for 27 years — eight of which were spent as the Broncos’ head men’s basketball coach. Despite Connor’s longevity in Boise, there’s only one school where his heart truly lies.

“I’m not a Bronco,” Connor said. “I’m a Bengal.”

Like Connor and Belko, Louie Hurst also has made his mark on Idaho State athletics. A kicker and an all-conference defensive back, Hurst played for the Bengals from 1968 to 1972. He played his first two years in the Spud Bowl — now Davis Field on the southeast corner of campus — before playing his final two years inside the newly built Holt Arena. Hurst kicked the first collegiate field goal inside the Dome.

And though Hurst’s wife, Chris, is a University of Idaho graduate, even she had on Bengal gear.

“It’s like a great big family reunion,” Louie said. “There are guys I haven’t seen for 40 years. And they show up and it’s like we just met yesterday. It’s a great feeling because we’ve all been there — the blood, sweat and tears. … It becomes a real tight-knit family in a hurry.”

Though Kamino Ward, Tavonte Jackson and Christian Diehm graduated from ISU just last year, they still understand the heritage and honor that comes with being a former Bengal football player.

Ward and Jackson both played cornerback for ISU in 2014 and 2015. Diehm redshirted in 2011 and played on the offensive line in 2012 and 2013 before becoming the full-time starter at center in 2014 and 2015. The trio was instrumental in the Bengals’ record-breaking 8-4 campaign in 2014 when ISU narrowly missed out on the postseason.

Ward, Jackson and Diehm haven’t had much time to soak in what it means to be a part of the Bengal alumni fraternity. They can’t wait to continue connecting with those who are seasoned in the experience.

“I look forward to the future — like 10 years down the line coming back and just being able to come to this spot exactly and hang out with everybody,” Diehm said. “All they have to know is what years I played. … It’s simple.”

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ISU tennis: Bengals conclude tournaments in Logan, Ogden

By ISU sports Information

Senior Quentin Wacquez advanced to the semifinals of his flight in his first appearance as a Bengal as the Idaho State men’s tennis team found ample success in both singles and doubles play at the Weber State tournament Sept. 24-25 in Ogden, Utah. The tournament, which was originally scheduled to take place over three days, was squeezed into a day-and-a-half due to inclement weather that hit the area earlier in the week.

Wacquez began the tournament with a tough 7-5, 3-6, 10-6 win over Montana State’s Kasper Parlklo followed by another three-set victory over MSU’s Alex Flink 3-6, 6-3, 10-6 to advance to the Flight 1 semifinal match. Wacquez once again forced three sets but fell to MSU’s Rok Sitar 3-6, 6-3, 10-6.

“Quentin had the standout performance of the weekend for us as he reached the semifinals of the first flight and just missed advancing to the finals following a 10-7 third-set tiebreaker loss,” head coach Mark Rodel said. “He showed great character and tenacity in all of his matches.”

Senior Josh Goodwin also had a strong showing, advancing to the semifinals of Flight 2 before falling to Weber State’s Cezary Walkusz 6-2, 6-4. Goodwin picked up a 6-1, 6-0 win over Southern Utah’s Ben Yeacker to start the weekend and followed it up with a 6-3, 7-6 victory over fellow Bengal Keegan Sullivan in the quarterfinals.

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ISU soccer: Strong defense not enough for Bengals in 2-0 loss at Montana

The Idaho State soccer team fell 2-0 to Montana on Sunday afternoon in Missoula, Montana. The Bengals limited the Grizzlies to three shots on goal, but Montana posted a .666 shot-on-goal percentage for two goals on the afternoon.

“Our back four and goalkeeper played outstanding this afternoon, and I am so very proud of them,” ISU head coach Allison Gibson said. “Our front six must start taking some of the load off their shoulders and start putting away their opportunities.”

Idaho State (3-9-0, 0-2-0 Big Sky) matched Montana (5-4-2, 1-1-0) with five shots in the first half, but the Griz fired off all three of their shots on goal in the first 45 minutes, connecting in the 15th and 34th minutes for a 2-0 lead heading into the break.

In the second half, ISU’s back line was solid, defending all eight of Montana’s shots and preventing the Griz from firing off a single shot on goal. Despite the solid defensive effort, the Bengals took just two shots in the second half with a single shot on goal severely limiting their opportunities to score. Montana was able to effectively defend ISU in the final 45 minutes to earn the shutout win.

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