BYU Athletics Blog | October 2008 | Officially Home of Cougar Club

BYU Athletics Blog | October 2008

Pregame Fireside: UNLV

Oct 25, 2008 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 12:05 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

While sitting in the pressbox waiting for kickoff this afternoon, I'll try and summarize the talks shared at the fireside Friday night.

Last night the team held its traditional pregame fireside at the Colonial Stake Center in Provo. Players Tana Uyema and Jason Speredon joined Coach Mendenhall and his wife as speakers.

Uyema, a senior defensive back from Honolulu, Hawaii spoke of how we can become disciples of Christ thru service.

"Service is something I love to do," he said. "If I'm having a bad day, simply saying hello to someone really helps. As a football player here at BYU we have a great opportunity to be disciples and good examples to those around us."

A trio of players followed Uyema's talk with a special musical arrangement of "Lead Kindly Light."

Speredon, a member of the offensive line from West Valley shared some great examples of disciples of Christ in his personal life, including his wife. He also focused on key principles of discipleship, including: being anxiously engaged, beliefs demonstrated in behavior and focusing on what we are becoming.

"It's easy to focus on what we are, but it's not so easy to see what we are becoming," he said.

Chat Is Still On...Tomorrow

Oct 22, 2008 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 12:37 pm | Permalink

O'Neill got caught up finishing some school work this afternoon and was unable to make it to the player chat. We have rescheduled for 1:15 p.m. tomorrow. We still have the questions you've all submitted so come back to see his responses tomorrow. Thanks for your patience!

Newcomer Questionnaire: Michael Alisa

Oct 21, 2008 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 1:08 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

During Fall Camp I sat down to talk with several of the newcomers on the 2008 BYU team, and asked them, among other things, why they decided to come to BYU and what they were looking forward to the most in the months and years to come.

Michael Alisa

Provo, UT

Outside Linebacker

Do you have any nicknames?

In high school they called me “Big Mike” but that doesn’t really work anymore because I’m one of the smallest guys here.

What made you decide to come play here at BYU?

I’ve always wanted to come here to BYU. I went to look at a couple other schools, but when I came to BYU and talked with the coaches, I knew this was someplace that I wanted to go to. The coaches are all really good men and great examples to me of strong priesthood holders. This is the place that I want to become a man at.

Do you know what you want to study here at BYU?

I really want to get my MBA in business. BYU has an excellent business program so I’m excited to pursue that.

Is there a veteran member of the team that you look up to?

Definitely my brother-in-law Wayne Latu. He’s a good player, but the reason I look up to him the most is he’s a good man. He’s the kind of guy I want to be like.

What is your favorite football memory?

Definitely when Coach Mendenhall sat me down in his office and told me that he wanted me to come to BYU. It was like a dream. I walked out and started tearing up. I called my dad first and thanked him for everything, then called my mom. That by far was my favorite memory.

Who has been your greatest football influence?

My mom and my dad. They’ve always supported me, even with little things like driving me to practice every day and being there at all my games. They’ve always been there for me 100-percent, no matter that I do.

What are you looking forward to the most as a BYU football player?

I’m hoping to help the team as much as possible. Our team has so much potential, we can do some great things as far as football goes, and also be good examples off the field. I’m just really excited to be a part of it and to be a part of where the program is heading.

Alisa has seen playing time in five of the first seven games of the 2008 season, recording six tackles and one blocked kick.

Events for This Week

Oct 21, 2008 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 1:01 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink


Our player chat for this week is with wide receiver and return specialist O'Neill Chambers. The freshman will hold a chat tomorrow, Wednesday, at noon.

In his first season as a collegiate football player, O'Neill has seen significant time on kickoff returns for the Cougars. Averaging 24.5 yards per return, he ranks 42nd nationally.

Submit questions for O'Neill HERE.


This week's pregame fireside will be held at the Colonial Stake Center in Provo at 7 p.m. The address for the stake center is: 1625 South Slate Canyon Dr.

Thursday's Hero on Tuesday

Oct 15, 2008 - Posted by Jackie Johnson at 11:27 am | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

Because of Thursday’s game against TCU, the BYU football team celebrated their “Thursday’s Hero” Tuesday at practice. Two young men, Trent Duval and Kyle Sorenson were honored as Heroes of the BYU football team.

Duval is an 8-year-old boy who has AML Leukemia and has been in the hospital 11 of the last 15 months. Originally Duval was supposed to be honored later on in the season, but because he only has days or weeks to live, he was able to see his Cougars practice and get some great gifts as well.

Sorenson is a 12-year-old Cougar football fan who got in a car accident eight years ago with his whole family. Everyone survived, but Sorenson was left a quadriplegic, having to use a breathing tube.

Defensive lineman, Jan Jorgensen, presented the gifts.

“Trent, you’re a stud,” said Jorgensen. “You have no idea how happy we are to have you out here. We know that you are a big BYU fan, and we want you to know that you’re our hero. There are not a lot of people that get to come out here and do this, but we want you to know that you’re a part of our BYU football team. To show our love for you, we have a bag full of goodies for you.”

Duval and Sorenson both received hats, signed flags and a Fui Vakapuna jersey. When presented the Vakapuna jersey, head coach Bronco Mendenhall said, “You’re probably faster than Fui right now!”

Russell Tialevea presented the team flag and asked them each to sign it, while Ian Dulan and Brock Richardson both presented the boys the team coins.

“This coin is what we represent,” said Dulan. “We must carry it with us at all times, and if Coach Mendenhall asks us to present the coin, we must present it or we will have to run!”

Duval and Sorenson were accompanied by their families, all totaling over 41 men, women and children at the Cougar practice.

Chat Rescheduled

Oct 14, 2008 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 12:49 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

Due to a conflict with class, the player chat with wide receiver Michael Reed which was scheduled for this afternoon at 1 p.m. has been rescheduled for Friday, Oct. 17 at 11 a.m. Keep submitting questions and be sure to check back in on Friday!

Pregame Fireside: New Mexico

Oct 11, 2008 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 1:22 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

The team held its traditional pregame fireside in Orem last night. Freshman linebacker Michael Alisa and Heisman Trophy candidate Max Hall joined Holly and Bronco Mendenhall as speakers at the event.

Alisa shared three qualities of a good disciple of Christ: gratitude, charity and obedience. He also addressed the team's "Quest for Perfection" and how that theme is transferrable to all areas of life.

"When we put on our BYU uniforms we are representing something bigger than ourselves," said Alisa. "We're representing the Lord's church."

The trio of Jadon Wagner, Coleby Clawson and Jeff Bell sang "Nearer My God to Thee" with Matt Bauman accompanying on the piano.

Following the musical number, Hall spoke about his decision to come play football at BYU. While at a pregame fireside, Hall decided that BYU was the place he needed to be.

"Since I've been here I've been extremely blessed," he shared. "I can't tell you how the players and coaches here have changed my life."

Hall went on to compare the game-changing decisions made by a team's quarterback to the role we have in the outcomes of our own lives. While none of us are perfect, and will never be perfect in this life, we can still give it everything we have to try and be perfect.

At the conclusion of Hall's talk the team stood to sing "We'll Bring the World His Truth".

Holly Mendenhall, wife of coach Bronco Mendenhall, spoke on the importance of learning to simplifying our lives and spending time with family. She also stressed how important it is for each of us to remember that everyone is different--for good reason.

"We've been given differences for a reason," said Holly. "The Lord has a plan for us."

Coach Mendenhall was last to speak. He shared his experience four years ago when he was in an interview for the head coaching position at BYU with Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

"Elder Eyring asked me only one question, 'Is the Church true?' Since then I've always tried to think, 'How will we help others know the Church is true?'"

Mendenhall spoke of discovering your own life mission and deciding how your life mission will help others and make a lasting mark.

Thursday's Hero

Oct 10, 2008 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 11:39 am | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

The team recognized 17-year-old Jared Maxfield of Salt Lake City after practice yesterday as this week's Thursday's Hero. Maxfield was born with a cyst at the base of his brain which doctors thought would develop, causing him to lose the ability to walk and talk.

Maxfield has difficulty reading and talking, but is a great visual learner. He goes to East High School and plays on the football team, just like one of his favorite players, Fui Vakapuna.

Maxfield was very emotional as he came onto the field to meet the team. He is a die-hard BYU fan and told the team, “I’m happy to be here. This is one of the best days of my life!”

He was presented the team coin by Harvey Unga, his other favorite player. The team coin has a flag bearer on one side and the team motto on the other.

“This coin represents us and what we stand for,” said Unga. “We keep it with us at all times to help us remember to always do the right thing at the right time.”

Wayne Latu also presented Maxfield with a shirt, a jersey and some hats.

“Here is a flag that we’re going to sign and you can hang it up in your room,” said Latu.

Fireside Reminder

Don't forget to attend the team fireside tonight at the stake center on 735 E. 800 South in Orem at 7 p.m. Heisman Trophy candidate Max Hall will be one of the speakers participating in the fireside.

Janice Kapp Perry Pays a Visit

Oct 01, 2008 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 4:15 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

The Cougars welcomed a special guest during their team meeting this afternoon—renowned LDS songwriter Janice Kapp Perry. Kapp Perry, who wrote “We’ll Bring the World His Truth”, a song the team sings every week at its firesides, was introduced by junior linebacker Matt Bauman. Bauman presented her with a “Y” flag signed by the entire team and asked if she would sign the team’s flag, which is carried onto the field prior to each game.

“We honor you and all the work that you’ve done,” Bauman said.

Following the presentation, the team stood and sang all three verses of “We’ll Bring the World His Truth”. After it was announced it was Kapp Perry’s 70th birthday, the team sang “Happy Birthday”.

“This is the best birthday I’ve ever had,” said Kapp Perry. “I have always been a big BYU fan, so it’s great to spend a few minutes with you today. My songs have been sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and on ‘The Oprah Show’, but when I first heard that the team was singing ‘We’ll Bring the World His Truth,’ I thought, ‘Yes, I’ve hit the big time!’”

Kapp Perry went on to explain all the reasons why she is such a big fan of the Cougars, including buying a house within walking distance to LaVell Edwards Stadium, and hanging photos of some of BYU’s greatest players in her home.

“I even know how to correctly pronounce Harvey UNGA,” she said. “When they say it wrong on TV, I’m sitting at home correcting them.”

The meeting closed as head coach Bronco Mendenhall presented the songwriter with a team coin and an autographed football.

Thursday Fireside in Ogden

Oct 01, 2008 - Posted by Lane Olson at 1:49 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

Just a reminder to come join the Cougars for their pre-game fireside happening tomorrow night (Oct. 2, 2008). Players from the football team will focus their attention to spiritual matters in preparation for Friday's game against Utah State. There will be music and spoken word. This week's featured speakers will be kicker Mitch Payne and DB Andrew Rich. Come enjoy and join in the spiritual mission of the BYU football program.

Thursday, Oct. 2

Ogden Tabernacle; 7 p.m. (MT)

2133 Washington Blvd.

Ogden, Utah