ISU football: Phenicie leaves school, McCann hired to coach WRs

By Madison Guernsey

Recently promoted offensive coordinator Rob Phenicie has accepted a job at another university, Idaho State announced Tuesday. A source close to the situation confirmed Phenicie accepted a job at Northern Iowa as an offensive assistant. Idaho State has not announced a new offensive coordinator.

Phenicie was named Idaho State’s offensive coordinator Jan. 19 after Matt Troxel accepted a coaching job at Montana. Troxel was the Bengals’ offensive coordinator during the 2016 season. Phenicie was ISU’s wide receivers coach for two seasons.

Northern Iowa went 5-6 last season, missing the FCS playoffs with the second-to-worst total offense in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. The Panthers have made the FCS playoffs nine times in head coach Mark Farley’s 16-year tenure and played for a national championship in 2005.

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ISU softball: Hot and cold — Bengals display inconsistent play in opening conference games

By Michael Guise

POCATELLO — As the fans walked toward the exits, Idaho State formed a circle in left field for a post-game meeting.

It was time to reflect on the day’s games. It was another learning experience for a team with 12 underclassmen. The Bengals showed their potential before their weaknesses were exposed in their Big Sky Conference opening doubleheader Saturday against Portland State at Miller Ranch Stadium.

Idaho State (8-14, 1-1 Big Sky) won game one 14-0 in five innings behind a display of power from its offense and dropped game two 10-2 in six innings after some costly defensive miscues and inopportune at-bats.

The Bengals tied a program record with six home runs in game one and totaled five hits in game two.

“Bipolar, that’s the best way to put it,” junior pitcher Ashlyn Ames said. “We came out two different teams today, and it showed. We got too happy with the win, instead of coming out and playing. We got too content.”

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ISU softball: Polar opposites — Bengals split home-opening doubleheader with Utah Valley

By Michael Guise

POCATELLO — Candi Letts saw two different squads Thursday.

One team allowed 13 hits and totaled five errors, while the other ripped 11 hits and controlled the field with one error.

It was a rollercoaster ride for Idaho State (7-13) in its home opener at Miller Ranch Stadium. The Bengals lost the first game of their doubleheader against Utah Valley 6-2 before rallying to close the day with a 6-3 win.

“Jekyll and Hyde,” Letts said. “Not coming out to have energy and perform. The game is much faster than our young kids are used to. We worked on that. We need to flip that switch sooner. In response to that, we came out in the second game and had more energy. We did a good job.”

Game one: Utah Valley 6, Idaho State 2

Letts watched a team that was not prepared to play.

The Bengals had an error in each of the first three innings, which helped put the team behind Utah Valley 5-2 after three frames.

Idaho State was blanked over the final four innings and dropped game one 6-2.

“We got caught on our heels,” Letts said. “We weren’t ready to play a game at a fast pace, and that is what happens when someone gets in your face. You have to answer back, and we got slapped in the face.”

The inconsistent defense did not help starting pitcher Ashlyn Ames. Only half of the Wolverines’ six runs were earned against Ames, who allowed 11 hits in five innings. Ames was relived by Harley Wells, who threw two shutout innings.

With two outs in the top of the third and runners on first and second, Taylor Miller ripped a ball to the outfield for a triple that scored her teammates. Miller was awarded home after the relay throw rolled into the dugout. The Wolverines (8-12) took a 5-1 lead, and Idaho State could not rally.

“I would have liked a lot less hits,” Ames said. “The infield, all around, was timid. That’s not what I’m capable of.”

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ISU tennis: Bengals down T-birds; Edin, Botes win Big Sky honors

By ISU Sports Information

The Idaho State men’s tennis team picked up its third conference win Wednesday with a 6-1 rout of Southern Utah in St. George, Utah. The Bengals battled to win the doubles point early and won five singles matches to secure the win.

“Southern Utah came out with intensity and pushed us to the limit early in doubles play,” ISU head coach Mark Rodel said. “Sebastian (Edin) and Josh (Goodwin) battled back from a 5-1 deficit to earn the 7-6 win and secure the doubles point for us. The team had to continue to dig deep in singles play in order to secure the win.”

Southern Utah (4-12, 1-7 Big Sky) won the first doubles match with a 6-3 win over Quentin Wacquez and Francis Filipovich at the No. 3 doubles position. Bjorn Scheepbouwer and Keegan Sullivan tied things up with a 6-3 win over Micah Alba and Guy Feigin at the No. 2 doubles position. Edin and Goodwin faced a big deficit early, falling behind 5-1, but battled back for the 7-6 (4) match win and secured the doubles point.

In singles play, Goodwin started things off with a 6-3, 6-2 win at the No. 3 singles position while Filipovich followed with a two-set win over Nico Schmidt at No. 4 singles, 6-1, 6-1. SUU took the next match at No. 6 singles, but the Bengals rattled off three straight singles wins to close singles play and claim the 6-1 match victory. Two of the final three singles matches went to three sets, but Idaho State (6-7, 3-2) outlasted the Thunderbirds in both instances.

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ISU softball: After stepping away, Harrison rediscovers passion at ISU

By Michael Guise

Haley Harrison does not answer unknown phone calls.

But last summer at her Las Vegas home, she changed her mind. The voice on the other end surprised Harrison. Idaho State head coach Candi Letts reached out to Harrison, whose softball career was at a crossroads

Harrison left Utah Valley five games into her sophomore season and began wondering about her future. Her love of the sport she began playing at 4 years old was gone, but she did not want to quit.

Her conversation with Letts gave her hope and directed her to her new home at Idaho State.

“When I got the call, my heart dropped into my stomach,” Harrison said. “I got so nervous because I haven’t talked to a coach in a long time. I was like, ‘That sounds amazing. Let’s get this thing going.’ Two weeks later, I was signing my Letter of Intent.”

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ISU prof to discuss Bigfoot, search for relict hominoids

By Idaho State University

POCATELLO — Jeff Meldrum, professor of anatomy and anthropology at Idaho State University, will make two presentations at the National Oregon/California Trail Center in historic Montpelier the evenings of April 14 and 15.

Meldrum’s first presentation on Friday, April 14, at 7:30 titled, “Sasquatch and Other Wildmen: the Search for Relict Hominoids.”

He discusses the shifting attitude of science towards the prospects of cryptic man-like species, such as sasquatch, yeti, orang pendek, surviving into the present alongside humans in various remote corners of the globe.

Author of the book, “Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science,” Meldrum will hold a book signing beginning at 6 p.m. April 14 in the lobby of the center.

On Saturday, April 15, his second presentation is titled, “50 Years of the Patterson-Gimlin Film.”

The year 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of this most compelling and controversial film footage depicting what alleges to be a Bigfoot in northern California. Novel methods of analysis and contemporary scientific perspectives shed new light on the credibility of this now iconic film.

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ISU football: 2017 ROOT SPORTS TV schedule announced

By Big Sky Conference and Journal Staff

The Big Sky Conference and the AT&T Sports Networks have agreed to a multi-year extension to continue their partnership to air Big Sky football beginning with the 2017-18 season. All games will air on its ROOT SPORTS-branded regional networks.

The extension continues a relationship that is entering its sixth year. ROOT SPORTS will air a minimum of eight games each season with at least one of those games slated to include the league’s defending football champion.

“The Big Sky is pleased to announce its continued partnership with ROOT SPORTS as the league’s football premiere TV network and appreciates the long-standing relationship,” Big Sky Conference commissioner Andrea Williams said. “The conference enjoys the Emmy-winning production and commitment of ROOT SPORTS to bring high-quality football programming to our alumni and fans across the country.”

As part of the agreement, Big Sky football fans will have the opportunity to watch archived copies of the games on the league’s streaming network 30 days after the game airs on television.

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ISU T&F: Bengals picked 6th, 10th in preseason poll

By ISU Sports Information

Coaches selected Idaho State track and field to finish sixth on the men’s side and 10th on the women’s side in the Big Sky Conference Outdoor Track and Field Coaches’ Preseason Poll released Tuesday by conference officials.

Men’s Poll

The Bengals earned 79 points in the men’s vote. Northern Arizona was the unanimous No. 1 in the poll with 12 first-place votes. Southern Utah (129) and Montana State (113) rounded out the top three.

Women’s Poll

The Bengal women received 49 points in the voting. Northern Arizona topped the poll with 140 points and eight first-place votes, and Montana earned the remaining four first-place votes for 129 points. Sacramento State was selected to finish third in the conference with 118 points.

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