Archive | October, 2010

Updates, updates…

31 Oct

Oh boy, have we let things slide here. Due to a combination of other jobs, several major mid-term graduation projects and a lack of sleep, we aren’t afraid to admit we’ve let Vandal Nation slide a bit.

However, as the saying goes, the best is yet to come. Our graduation projects and papers are filed, and free time is finding it’s way back into our lives, which means more steady and in-depth coverage of Vandal athletics.

On tap for the next few days will be a recap of Vandal soccer, which playing its final regular-season game today and has a chance to finish with the overall WAC title. We are also bringing to you a profile on Vandal men’s basketball player Djim Bandoumel, who joins the Vandals after playing for the Canadian National Basketball Development Program.

Vandal cross-country hosted the WAC championships this weekend, and we’ll have full video re-cap of their success. The men placed fifth, but the women took the national title on home turf for the first time in school history. Exciting stuff.

Finally, after a long absence, we’ve secured travel for the Vandal’s final two away games and will bring you exclusive up-to-date coverage of their escapades as Akey and crew look to secure another bowl appearance.  Play-by-play’s, made popular by the great Travis, are also coming back, with our man J.R. Conrow taking over the helm. Look for them to start making appearances next weekend as both Vandal basketball and football will be in action.

All in all, we’ve got some exciting stuff planned, we appreciate you sticking with our content slump, and hope you’ll find your way back to Vandal Nation as regular updates resume.

Photo Gallery: Men’s basketball Black and Gold scrimmage

25 Oct

The Idaho Vandals gave the public their first glance of the 2010-2011 team with the annual Black and Gold scrimmage. Photographer Kate Kucharzyk was there and snapped some shots of the the Vandals in action.

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Photo Gallery: Idaho Vandals vs New Mexico State Aggies

25 Oct

The Idaho Vandals defeated the New Mexico State Aggies, but it came at a high price, as Idaho’s JoJo Dickson broke his leg and is out for the rest of the season. You can read the full story here, and enjoy these action game shots from Kate Kucharzyk.

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Injury to JoJo Dickson mars Vandal victory

25 Oct

The thunderous crowd at the Kibbie Dome had fallen silent and on the field, all that could be heard were the anguished cries of senior safety Shiloh Keo and junior linebacker Robert Siavii and a stream of verbal outbursts from Vandal defenders.

In the middle of it all lay senior Jo Jo Dickson, writhing in pain, clutching his fractured left leg.

On the previous play, Dickson had made a block for Idaho before being side-swiped by New Mexico State’s Kenny Turner on a late hit that sent Dickson to the turf.

Turner was whistled for a personal foul, but the damage had been done. Dickson was quickly attended by medical staff, put on a stretcher and rushed to Gritman Medical Hospital for surgery on an injury that will likely end the senior’s career as a Vandal.

Dickson’s final gesture in Vandal uniform – a wave to his teammates and the crowd in the Kibbie Dome, which erupted in cheers of ‘Jo Jo, Jo Jo’.

The single play overshadowed a huge night that saw Idaho’s offense build a 31-0 lead early on and, in large part due to the stifling play of Idaho’s defense, defeat the NMSU Aggies 37-14.

“It feels good, but it feels bad at the same time — it’s really hard to swallow,” said a visibly shaken Siavii, who is Dickson’s roommate. “He’s like my older brother. I’ve lived with him for two years. To see him out of the field really hurts me and just gave me an extra push to be even stronger.”

Following the play, Idaho coach Robb Akey knew of the dire situation of his teammates, calling them together and consoling Keo and Siavii.

“I saw some rage and a lot of hurt,” Akey said. “They lost one of their brothers during the course of the game today. You have no idea what kind of an impact that had. The guys overcame that and played hard and played well for the remainder of the game.”

The loss of Dickson is a staggering blow for Idaho. Not only did Dickson provide steady senior leadership on the field, he was Idaho’s fourth-leading defensemen, recording 34 total tackles and one interception in seven games.

“It’s really disheartening,” Siavii said. “But the whole defense — we’re strong. We have strong backup and we feel we are going to get our team back together again.”

For the third time this season, Idaho used strong-arm defense to clamp down on the opposition. The Vandals forced numerous three-and-out situations against the Aggies, who were looking for their first WAC win after entering the game with a woeful 1-5 record, and didn’t let the Aggies get on the board until the game was well out of reach.

“I think we got to comfortable,” said receiver Maurice Shaw. “We came out strong, but didn’t come out with the same desire and intensity after the half.”

NMSU got their first touchdown with seven second in the half on a 17-yard passing play, and struck late once again with 19 second remaining in the game.

“Defensively, I thought our guys continued to play pretty well,” Akey said. “I don’t like the score we gave up there at the end. We learned a lesson from that, but it’s an inexpensive one, ‘cause all it cost us was points on the board.”

Idaho’s offense was, once again, powered by Nate Enderle, who threw for 291 yards and three touchdowns. The Aggies came into the game being in the WAC cellar in regards to defense, and Idaho capitalized.


Idaho’s offensive cause was helped greatly by the return of Maurice Shaw, who returned from a one-game suspension and led the Vandal receivers with 73 yards and a touchdown reception. Shaw made the most of his six catches, including a Randy Moss impersonation in the end zone, as Shaw reached out and pulled in a one-handed pass for the score.

Idaho’s rushing game, however, is still lagging. Idaho brought up 88 rushing yards on 27 carries against New Mexico State. Several lapse in defense also cost the Vandals, who gave up a big NMSU touchdown pass that was waved off on an illegal formation on the part of the Aggies.

Akey said the squad will need to overcome the loss of Jo Jo and prepare for next weekend, when the Vandals travel to Hawaii to take on the Warriors.

Hawaii has been the surprise in the WAC, and are unbeaten in WAC play with a 4-0 record. Akey aknoladged it will be a tough battle, but said his squad will be ready for it when the time comes. For now, the focus is on another victory at home.

“We got our first WAC win today, and we are still undefeated in the Dome,” Akey said. “We’ve got another winning streak started.”



Photo Gallery: Volleyball vs. Hawaii

22 Oct

You want ’em, we got ’em. The Vandals lost to No.4 Hawaii yesterday, but the loss didn’t stop Kate Kucharzyk from getting some excellent shots of the Vandal volleyball team in action.

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The roundup — Oct. 13

13 Oct

Phew, mid terms are here and to say we’ve been swamped with coursework is an understatement. Regardless, we’ll try and keep up to date on Vandal events. We hope these quasi-daily roundups will help keep everyone informed of the progress happening in Vandal Nation. A big shout out to the UI Argonaut, which has agreed to share their killer content with us (helps when you know the editor :)). They have some great writers and help us fill in the gaps, as one person certainly can’t be in five places at once.


  • First and foremost, the Idaho Vandals soccer squad broke several school records this weekend, as they notched victories over Louisiana Tech and New Mexico State. You can check out my coverage of the events for the UI Argonaut here.
  • The Vandal volleyball team rebounded against the Nevada Wolf Pack. Kevin Bingaman of the UI Argonaut has the story.
  • Idaho’s swimming and diving team kicked off their 2010 season with the first official meet. Two freshmen Vandals medaled in their first career college races. Argonauts Vicky Hart has the scoop.
  • Vicky also followed the women’s golf squad as they traveled to Tacoma and reports on their disappointing results.
  • We’ve also partnered with professor Julie Scott’s Sports Broadcast Journalism class, which produces videos for a hour-long segment called ‘Inside the Vandals’ seen locally on KLEW every Thursday. They have been kind enough to share their work with us as well as the university. There is some high-quality work coming from these up and coming journalists. For proof, check out their feature story on Idaho football tight end Daniel Hardy.
  • Ever wanted to know how the UI swimming and diving team gears up for races. Inside the Vandals takes you behind the scenes.
  • The Idaho Statesman has an interesting write-up of the WAC football voting and rankings. Check it out here.
  • In case you haven’t heard, the UI will finally be represented, as Horizon Air is painting one of their planes in the great silver and gold colors of UI.

That’s it for this edition of the roundup. Keep checking back here, and follow us on Twitter, for the (hopefully) latest updated on Vanda sports!

Photo Gallery: Volleyball vs Utah State and BSU

8 Oct

Photographer Kate Kucharzyk is back with another batch of Vandal action photos, this time from the Vandals volleyball match against in-state rival BSU and Utah State.

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