Student athlete's experience some sort of loss at the end of their college career. That loss can come in the form of losing their final game, losing their NCAA eligibility or graduating from their sport, but some get to ride off into the sunset. There’s only one champion that wins it all. On Nov. 23, BYU men’s soccer won it all, making senior Connor Fordham one of the lucky ones.
BYU vs. Texas. Caven Lacrosse Center. Tyler Clancy gets into his stance on one knee across from the opponent, the head of his stick parallel to his opponent’s. He’s locked in and his only focus is on securing the ball. The referee yells, “SET!” but Clancy is completely motionless, barely even breathing. He blocks out all the noise around him, waiting for the sharp whistle to blow. As the whistle blows, Clancy explodes out of his stance and wrestles for the ball.
The Haws family welcomed a little girl in March 1998 and named her Julia. The sport of lacrosse runs in the Haws family’s blood, and somehow, Julia always had a lacrosse stick in hand growing up. Her mother, Nancy, gave her the nickname "The Bruised and Broken."
Behind each athlete is a dedicated team of coaches, trainers and physical therapists who help keep them at peak ability. For BYU men’s soccer, the physical therapist role is filled by Deniece Oats. Oats has stuck with the job for 24 years, and the team has captured seven collegiate club national championships in that time.
Jared and Jeremy Manzella were six and four years old, respectively, when they suited up for a hockey team in Eagan, Minnesota. Family, friends and teammates made younger brother Jeremy play goalie that day because he was the youngest kid on the team. Little did they know that one decision would contribute to a lifelong bond between two brothers.
BYU hockey opened their season with matchups against Utah on Friday, Sept. 20, and Weber State on Saturday, Sept. 21. The Cougars fell to the Utes and Wildcats, but they are taking the positives aspects of those games to carry them forward into the rest of the season.
Gonzales described her nine month recovery process following a torn ACL as "the smoothest physical recovery." However, the road back to the court presented unexpected mental and emotional challenges for the redshirt sophomore.