“Street Cat Named Bob” at ISU Saturday

“A Street Cat Named Bob” will be shown this Saturday, July 22, at 3:30, 5:45 and 8:00 p.m. in the Bengal Theater at the ISU Pond Student Union. This acclaimed movie based on the best selling novel by the same name, tells the true story of the unlikely friendship between a young homeless musician and the stray ginger cat who changed his life. The Los Angeles Times calls the movie, “A rewardingly unassuming, tough and tender portrait of a London musician whose ill-fated life takes a surprising turn after a ginger tabby turns up in his kitchen.” Admission is $3 for the public, $2 for ISU staff, or free for ISU students with Bengal ID. For trailer and more information, go towww.isucinema.com/streetcat.

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ISU WBB: Bengals add Latvian Betlere for 2017

By ISU Sports Information

The Idaho State women’s basketball program has announced the signing of Amanda Betlere from Latvia. Betlere has spent time competing for the Under-16 National Team in 2012 and 2013. In 2014 she was a member of the U18 national team and in 2016 she was a member of the U20 team.

“We’re excited to finally announce the signing of Amanda Betlere,” Idaho State head coach Seton Sobolewski said. “She has been verbally committed since mid-March.”

Betlere spent the 2016-17 season playing for her club, RSU, in the senior Latvia Estonia League. She averaged 3.3 points, 1.7 assists and 1.8 rebounds.

During the 2015-16 season with SK Cesis, she averaged 7.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists in the regular season. During the playoffs she scored 11.3 points a game and dished out four assists.

“Amanda is a skilled, athletic and very competitive point guard with extensive international playing experience,” Sobolewski said. “Once she adjusts to our system, she is going to be a very big contributor for us.”

In 2014-15 she averaged 8.7 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists for TT-Riga Juniores.

“Amanda’s ability to dribble, pass, and shoot is going to add to our depth of offensive skill,” Sobolewski said.

Betlere plans to major in public relations at ISU.

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ISU football: Phenicie heading toward end of whirlwind offseason

By Madison Guernsey mguernsey@journalnet.com

PARK CITY, Utah — While most college football coaches were finalizing spring practice schedules and ramping up offseason recruiting, Rob Phenicie was battling himself in a mental wrestling match.

After being promoted from ISU’s wide receivers coach to offensive coordinator in January, Phenicie left for a coaching job at Northern Iowa in late March. Days later, he was back in Pocatello, taking over the program after head coach Mike Kramer abruptly retired.

The move happened exactly a week before spring practices got underway, leaving Phenicie scrambling to get his affairs in order.

But Phenicie made it through spring ball and survived a media barrage at his first Big Sky Conference Football Kickoff event Tuesday at the Park City Marriott. Phenicie and the rest of Idaho State’s coaches report to preseason camp July 24, with the players following suit Aug. 3.

“I’m just ready to get going,” Phenicie said in Park City. “I at least have the time now to put together our program manual, and we just finally started going over that. Getting thrown into the fire the way I did, I didn’t have the opportunity to have that available for the coaches and for the team, so I’m kind of fired up to get going with the coaches on that and then start our offensive installation meetings.”

Phenicie only finalized his coaching staff this summer. He lost cornerbacks coach Stanley Franks to the Canadian Football League at the end of spring camp. He had to pry Matt Troxel away from Montana, his alma mater, to return to ISU as the offensive coordinator. He promoted graduate assistant coach Aaron Prier to a full-time assistant and hired former Oregon State GA Kam Yancy to coach defensive backs. It’s all finally settled, and now Phenicie can operate under a semblance of normalcy.

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ISU football: Bengals add 4 JC transfers to bolster defense

By Madison Guernsey mguernsey@journalnet.com

PARK CITY, Utah — Idaho State added four transfers to its defense, first-year head coach Rob Phenicie announced Tuesday at the Big Sky Conference Football Kickoff in Park City, Utah. Defensive backs Justin Dorsey and Kory Garcia, and linebackers Paea Moala and Ryan Gray will all be juniors for the Bengals this season. ISU also added sophomore quarterback transfer Mike Goggin, who announced his commitment in June.

Dorsey played the 2016 season at Santa Ana College in Santa Ana, California. The 5-foot-11 cornerback tallied 39 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and two interceptions in 10 games. He also returned two kicks and six punts for an average of 6.75 yards.

“Justin is a true corner,” Phenicie said of Dorsey.

Garcia played last season at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, California. The 6-foot defensive back had 24 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and four interceptions in nine games for the Rustlers.

“He has the ability to play both corner and what we would call a nickel Sam,” Phenicie said, “which means he can move inside and play over a slot receiver.”

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ISU football: Yancy hired to round out ISU coaching staff

By Madison Guernsey mguernsey@journalnet.com

PARK CITY, Utah — Idaho State head football coach Rob Phenicie finalized his 2017 coaching staff with the hire of Kam Yancy, announced Tuesday at the Big Sky Conference Football Kickoff at the Park City Marriott.

Yancy will coach the Bengals’ defensive backs after spending two seasons as a defensive graduate assistant coach at Oregon State and quality control coach for three seasons at Utah. Yancy replaces Stanley Franks, who coached ISU’s cornerbacks for five seasons.

Yancy played defensive back at Utah for two seasons (2009, 2010) after playing for Los Angeles Pierce College.

“He came highly recommended from (head coach) Gary Andersen at Oregon State,” Phenicie said of Yancy. “He’s a young coach, and this experience will be really good for him. I’m excited to have a man such as him on our staff. … He can recruit the Los Angeles area.”

Phenicie said he, offensive coordinator Matt Troxel and offensive assistant Aaron Prier will share duties coaching ISU’s tight ends and wide receivers.

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ISU football: Bengals picked to finish last in Big Sky preseason polls

By Journal Staff

PARK CITY, Utah — Idaho State was picked to finish last in the Big Sky Conference preseason football coaches and media polls, released Tuesday at the Big Sky Conference Football Kickoff in Park City, Utah. The Bengals earned 44 points in the media poll — 17 behind 12th-place Sacramento State — and 15 points in the coaches poll — 11 behind Sac State. ISU finished last in the Big Sky in 2016 after going 1-7 in conference play.

Defending conference co-champions North Dakota and Eastern Washington were picked to finish at the top in both polls. The Fighting Hawks edged EWU in each, with 15 of 24 first-place votes in the media poll and six of 13 first-place votes in the coaches poll. Both teams went 8-0 in league play last season. Northern Arizona and Montana also earned first-place nods in both polls, while Cal Poly and Weber State each got one first-place vote in the coaches poll.

The coaches poll was voted on by the league’s head football coaches. The coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team. The media poll was voted on by the league’s television, radio and print media, along with the league’s sports information directors.

The Big Sky football season kicks off on Aug. 26, as Portland State plays at BYU in a nationally-televised game on ESPN. Cal Poly will also host Colgate in a nationally-televised game on ESPNU on Aug. 26.

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Big Sky partners with Pluto TV streaming service

Big Sky Conference release

PARK CITY, Utah — The Big Sky Conference announced a partnership with Pluto TV, the leading free Internet television service in America, on Monday at the Big Sky Conference Football Kickoff Event at the Park City Marriott. As a part of the deal, the Big Sky Conference will air all of its live streamed sports events on Pluto TV for free including up to 700 football, men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and selected soccer, softball and track and field events.

With Pluto TV, the Big Sky gets the benefit of Pluto TV’s community of over six million monthly active users and becomes the first mid-major conference with a dedicated 24/7 channel where fans can watch from any Internet-connected device—mobile, tablet, desktop and connected TV. In addition to watching live conference events on Pluto TV, Big Sky fans will also be able to access on-demand archived events and exclusive video content on WatchBigSky.com, powered by Pluto TV.

“We’re extremely excited to announce our new partnership with Pluto TV,” Big Sky Conference Commissioner Andrea Williams said. “With the changing media landscape and the rise of cord-cutting, it’s important that the Big Sky adapt in order to allow our fans to stay connected to us. With our new partnership with Pluto TV, Big Sky fans can have access to video content at home or on their mobile device. As long as you have an internet connection, you’ll have Big Sky Conference content.”

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Gubrud, Reyes earn preseason MVP nods

By Big Sky Conference release

PARK CITY, Utah – The Big Sky Conference announced its annual preseason all-conference football team Monday at the Big Sky Conference Football Kickoff Event at the Park City Marriott. The team is selected by a group of Big Sky media members and sports information directors. The media selected Eastern Washington junior quarterback Gage Gubrud as the preseason offensive player of the year, while North Dakota senior safety Cole Reyes was selected as the league’s preseason defensive player of the year. Both won the year-end categories for their respective sides of the football to end the 2016 season.

Gubrud, who was also the Big Sky’s first-team quarterback at the end of last season, is coming off record-breaking campaign for the Eagles. The then-sophomore threw for 5,160 yards and 48 touchdowns. He also rushed for 606 yards, leading EWU in the category. Gubrud was a finalist for the STATS Walter Payton Award, along with former Eagles receiver Cooper Kupp.

Reyes won the Big Sky’s Defensive Player of the Year award after a junior season where he made 70 tackles, along with three interceptions. Reyes helped lead North Dakota to its first-ever Big Sky title, as the Fighting Hawks tied with Eastern Washington at 8-0 in league play, along with the program’s first-ever appearance in the FCS playoffs.

North Dakota led all schools with six selections, while Eastern Washington had three.

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