Which Team is the Bronco Team of the Year?

Never in school history has there been five more outstanding nominees for Bronco Team of the Year in the same year. All five are deserving of the title, and yet only one can win it. Read the article, carefully consider the magnitude of each team's achievements and then go back to the Blue Turf board to cast your vote.

What a year it has been!

Boise State shattered the school record of four Top 25 teams with eight this year, and a record five of those finished in the Top 25.  Boise State is poised to break the school mark for the top finish in the NCAA Director's Cup, currently ranked #41 in the nation.  The Broncos captured four conference championships as well.

Four of the teams nominated for 2008-2009 Bronco Team of the Year finished in the Top 25 and four won conference championships.  The other did not win the Western Athletic Conference but rebounded for an outstanding run in the NCAA Championships.  The five nominees are the #20 men's tennis team, the WAC championship football team, the Pacific-10 Conference championship wrestling squad, the WAC champion gymnastics team and the WAC champion men's indoor track team.

The Bronco tennis team achieved a sparking 24-8 record with a challenging schedule that included matches with seven Top 25 teams.  Boise State blew away #17 Pepperdine 6-1 on the road, split with #14 Alabama, and battled #1 Virginia, #7 UCLA, #9 Stanford and #15 Texas A & M on the road.  Boise State reached the WAC tennis title before losing to host Hawai'i.  Boise State was selected as an at-large team in the NCAA's, where they disposed of Middle Tennessee State 4-0 in the first round and downed #14 Alabama 4-3 on their home courts in a thriller before losing to #3 Ohio State in the Sweet Sixteen.

Boise State reached as high as #19 in the College Tennis Online rankings before finishing at #20.  Coach Greg Patton was named WAC Coach of the Year, while Clancy Shields was honored as the WAC's Player of the Year and James Meredith was Freshman of the Year.  Shields, Meredith and Kean Feeder all made the All-WAC team for singles.  Feeder and Meredith were on the All-WAC doubles team and Shields & Stanley Sarapanich made the second team.

Patton guided Shields to becoming the #24 singles player in the nation.  Two of Patton's other stars, Kean Feeder (72) and James Meredith (84), were ranked in the top 100 as well.  Feeder and Meredith are ranked #43 in the country in doubles.  Shields received an automatic invitation to the NCAA Singles Championship while Feeder and Meredith reached the top 16 in the NCAA Doubles Championship.

The Bronco football team recorded an 11-0 regular season and a WAC title before losing to TCU 17-16 in the Poinsettia Bowl.  Boise State was ranked ninth in the nation prior to their bowl loss and finished the year #12.

Under the guidance of head coach Chris Petersen (who was named 2008-09 Bronco Coach of the Year), Boise State was a complete team that ranked among the nation's top 25 in nearly every category.  The Bronco defense was second in the nation in pass efficiency defense, third in the country in scoring defense (just 12.6 points per game), fifth in interceptions (22), seventh in turnovers gained (33), 18th in sacks (34), 20th in total defense (308.15 per game) and 22nd in rushing defense (118 per game).  The Boise State offense ranked 13th in the nation in passing offense (288.5 yards per game), 18th in total offense (440.85), 12th in scoring (37.62) and 11th in passing efficiency.  Boise State's special teams ranked  fourth in net punting (44.57 yards per punt), 14th in punt return yard defense ((5.28 per return) and 20th in punt returns (12.25 per return).

11  Broncos were honored on the All-WAC team while quarterback Kellen Moore was named Freshman of the Year.  Moore led the WAC in passing (259 of 370 for 3,264 yards, 25 touchdowns and a 161.53 efficiency rating).  Wide receiver Jeremy Childs (65 catches for 741 yards and 7 TD's), cornerback Kyle Wilson (28 tackles, 10 pass breakups and a WAC-leading five interceptions), offensive lineman Andrew Woodruff (who helped Boise State to a #4 national ranking for fewest sacks allowed at just one per game), defensive lineman Ryan Winterswyk (4.5 quarterback sacks and 10 tackles for loss) and Ellis Powers (71 tackles, 49 unassisted, eight tackles for loss, 2.5 quarterback sacks, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries for touchdowns) all made the All-WAC first team.  

Wilson also made the second team as a punt returner despite leading the conference in punt returns (470 yards) and three returns for touchdowns.  Joining Wilson on the second team were Moore, running back Ian Johnson (738 yards and 12 touchdowns), receiver Austin Pettis (45 receptions for 502 yards and nine TD's), defensive end Mike T. Williams (35 tackles, four sacks and six tackles for loss) and safety Jeron Johnson (84 tackles, 60 unassisted, with three fumble recoveries).  Ian Johnson broke Marshall Faulk's all-time WAC rushing touchdown record with 57 career TD's.

Boise State's wrestling team finished the season ranked ninth in the country with a 17-3 record (8-0 in the Pac-10) and broke an all-time record for points in dominating the Pacific-10 Conference Championships.  Seven of Randall's wrestlers were ranked in InterMat's top 20:  Andrew Hochstrasser (#4 at 133 pounds), Kirk Smith (#4 at 184), Brent Chriswell (#6 at 197), Adam Hall (7th at 157), Nate Lee (13th at 174), Jason Chamberlain (16th at 149) and Tyler Sherfey (#18 at 165 pounds). 

 Six Broncos  (Hochstrasser, Chamberlain, Sherfey, Lee, Smith and Chriswell) won individual titles in leading Boise State to a second consecutive dominating Pac-10 Championship.  In this one, though, the Broncos outdid every other team in league history, shattering the 13 year-old championships point record (155) with 172.5 points.  Adam Hall finished second in his weight class while Brian Owen, Cory Fish and Sam Zylstra took fourth place. Nine of Boise State's 10 starting wrestlers were invited to the NCAA National Championships in St. Louis, where they finished 12th.  Three Broncos were named All-America   Hochstrasser finished fourth in the nation, Brent Chriswell ended up sixth and Sherfey placed eighth in his weight class.   

Bird and Resnick teamed up to lead the Broncos to their second consecutive WAC gymnastics championship and their best finish ever at the NCAA Regional Championships (third).  Under the guidance of WAC Coaches of the Year Bird and Resnick, Boise State recorded the seventh best team score in school history of 196.525 to win the conference title, shattering their season-best by .300 and topping their closest opponent by 1.175.  Boise State was ranked in the national Top 25 for nearly the entire season and finished 20th.  Boise State was 30th in the country in attendance, averaging nearly 1,000 fans per meet.  

Hannah Redmon (Bars and Floor), Mallory Dziawura (Bars and Beam), Chelsee Apple and Shaniece Craft (Vault), Kelsey Lang (Beam) and Sarah Smith (Floor) all were honored as All-WAC performers for Bird and Resnick while Lindsay Kazandjian (Beam), Redmon (Vault) and Katie Tuller (Bars) were named to the second team.  Craft (Vault) and Lang (Beam) won individual apparatus WAC championships.

The Broncos were ranked 18th in the nation in floor exercises (48.802), 21st in the country in vault (48.903) and 22nd in uneven bars (48.745).  

The Boise State men's indoor track team was a 35-point underdog to Utah State going into the WAC Championships.  However, the Broncos put the best performances of their careers on display to finish with 150 points to Utah State's 145.5 points in a dramatic victory.  The Broncos were 1-2-3-4 in the long jump with senior Ryan Grinnell (25-feet, 4.75 inches) leading the way.  Behind Grinnell were freshman Eetu Viitala (24-7.75), Per Strandquist (24-6.25) and junior Zacharias Arnos (24-1.50).  Grinnell (52-10.25) and Arnos (51-10.50) finished 1-2 in the triple jump.  

Senior Simon Wardhaugh (71-8) won the weight throw by nearly seven feet.  Caleb Cazier (1:53.43) captured the WAC title in the 800 while freshman Eric Capelle and Strandquist (both with 6.84) finished second and third, respectively in the 60-meter dash.  Sawyer Bosch won the 3,000 with a time of 8:30.55.   

Boise State finished 26th in the country at the NCAA Indoor National Championships.

Five teams with incredible credentials await your vote on the Blue Turf Board.


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