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Wildcat Football Opens Fall Camp Friday
Courtesy: Weber State  
Release: Sunday 08/02/2011
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Courtesy: Robert Casey
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WSU Head Coach Ron McBride returns for his seventh season with the Wildcats.

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QUICK HITS
    It’s football time and the Weber State football team opens its 2011 fall camp this Friday, Aug. 5 as head coach Ron McBride begins his 7th season at the Wildcat helm.
    The Wildcats return 38 lettermen (16 offense, 20 defense, 2 special teams) and 13 starters (six offense, seven defense) off a team which produced a 6-5 record overall and a 5-3 mark in Big Sky Conference play in 2010. 
    The Wildcats were picked fifth by the coaches and sixth by the media in the Big Sky Conference preseason polls. 
 
MEDIA DAY
    Weber State will hold a media day this Thursday, Aug. 4 on the new field at Stewart Stadium.  WSU head coach Ron McBride and several returning players will be available for interviews and photos.  Media availability will be between 4:00-4:45 at the Stadium.  It will also be an opportunity for media to see the new turf field at Stewart Stadium.
 
CAMP INFORMATION
    Per NCAA requirements, the first two practice days are helmet-only practices.  Monday and Tuesday are helmet-shoulder pads. The first full padded practice is on Wednesday, Aug. 10.  Practice sessions will be at Stewart Stadium or the WSU practice field. 

PRACTICE SCHEDULE
    Below is a tentative practice schedule.  Times are always subject to change.  Players and coaches will be available before and after each practice session.  All sessions are open to the public.  Please contact the WSU Media Relations Office (801) 626-7414 / (801) 452-3811 for information and to request specific players or coaches.

Friday, Aug. 5 (Stewart Stadium)
8:35-10:10am Group #1 Practice, Group #2 Lifting
10:30-11:50am Group #2 Practice, Group #1 Lifting
 
Saturday, Aug. 6 (Stewart Stadium)
8:35-10:10am  Group #1 Practice, Group #2 Lifting
10:30-11:50am Group #2 Practice, Group #1 Lifting

Monday, Aug. 8
8:35-10:10am  Group #1 Practice, Group #2 Lifting
10:30-11:50am Group #2 Practice, Group #1 Lifting
Tuesday, Aug. 9
8:30-11:00am Practice Session #4
 
Wednesday, Aug. 10
 8:30-11:00am Practice Session #5 - Full Pads
 
Thursday, Aug. 11
 8:30-11:00am Practice Session #6
 
Friday, Aug. 12
 8:30-11:30am Practice Session #7
 4:00-6:00pm Practice Session #8
 
Saturday, Aug. 13
8:30-11:00am  Practice #9
 
Monday, Aug. 15
8:30-11:30am Practice Session #10
4:00-6:00pm Practice Session #11

Tuesday, Aug. 16
8:30-11:00am Practice Session #12

Wednesday, Aug. 17
8:30-11:30am Practice Session #13
4:00-6:00pm Practice Session #14

Thursday, Aug. 18
8:30-11:00am Practice Session #15

Friday, Aug. 19
8:30-11:30am Practice Session #16
4:00-6:00pm  Practice Session #17

Saturday, Aug. 20 (Stewart Stadium)
10:00am-1:00pm Wildcat Fan Fest
11:00am “Chalk Talk” with Coach Ron McBride
11:30am-1:00pm Scrimmage

New Turf Field at Stewart Stadium
    Wildcat fans will notice a big change when coming to games this fall.  A new synthetic turf field has been installed at Stewart Stadium, along with a new track for the Chick Hislop Track.  The new improvements are thanks to a generous donation from Robert and Annette Marquardt. 

PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS
    Two Weber State seniors have been named to the Sports Network/Fathead.com Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Preseason All-American Team, released Friday.  WSU offensive lineman J.C. Oram was named to the First Team and linebacker Nick Webb was named to the Third Team.
    Oram is a 6-4, 310-pound native of Marriott-Slaterville, Utah who has been an anchor of the offensive line for the ‘Cats for the last three seasons.  He is one of six players from the Big Sky to earn First Team honors.  Oram earned Second Team All-American honors from The Sports Network last season, along with First Team All-Big Sky honors.  He has appeared in 36 career games for the Wildcats in three seasons and has started 32 career games.  He has been a key part of WSU’s offensive line that blocked for All-Conference players Cameron Higgins, Trevyn Smith, Vai Tafuna and Bo Bolen the last three seasons.
    Webb, a 6-4, 245-pound linebacker, represented the Wildcats on the Third Team.  The Salt Lake City native has played in 35 games in his three-year career with the Wildcats.  In three seasons at Weber State he has recorded 186 career total tackles.  He also has 117 unassisted tackles and 12.5 tackles for loss.  Last season he ranked seventh in the Big Sky in total tackles with 99, including 69 unassisted tackles, the seventh most in WSU single-season history. 
 
BIG SKY CONFERENCE
    The 2011 season begins the 49th year of play in the Big Sky Conference.  Weber State is a charter member of the league which began operation in 1963-64.  WSU from 1963 through 1976, Weber State and the rest of the Big Sky were classified as NCAA Division II members. In 1978, NCAA Division I-AA was created. That was changed to NCAA Division I FCS in 2009. 
 
WILDCATS PICKED FIFTH, SIXTH IN POLLS

    Weber State has been selected to finish fifth by the media and sixth by the coaches in the 2011 Big Sky Conference football preseason polls, released Tuesday by the conference.  Weber State totaled 247 points to earn the fifth spot in the media poll, while Northern Arizona was selected sixth with 228.5 points.  The two teams were switched in the coaches poll with NAU picked fifth and the Wildcats sixth.
    Defending FCS national champion Eastern Washington was picked first in both polls.  The Eagles garnered six first place votes in the coaches poll and 29 in the media poll.  Montana State was picked second in both polls, picking up three votes in the coaches polls and 19 first place votes in the media poll.
    Montana was picked third in both polls with Sacramento State coming in fourth.  Portland State, Idaho State and Northern Colorado rounded out the selections in both polls.
    Weber State is coming off a 6-5 record in 2010.  They were 5-3 in conference play, finishing in a three-way tie for third place.  WSU has six All-Conference performers returning from last year’s squad and has 38 letterwinners and 14 starters returning.  Coach Ron McBride returns for his seventh season with the Wildcats.

PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE

    Weber State seniors J.C. Oram, Caleb Turner and Nick Webb have been named to the Big Sky Preseason All-Conference Team, which was released by the league Monday.  All three players earned First Team All-Big Sky honors last season.  The preseason team was selected by a group of media and league sports information directors.
    Oram, a 6-4, 310-pound offensive guard, was a unanimous selection to the preseason team.  He was one of six players that were unanimous selections.  The Marriott-Slaterville, Utah native earned Second Team All-American honors from The Sports Network last season, along with First Team All-Big Sky honors.  He has appeared in 36 career games for the Wildcats in three seasons and has started 32 career games.  He has been a key part of WSU’s offensive line that blocked for All-Conference players Cameron Higgins, Trevyn Smith, Vai Tafuna and Bo Bolen the last three seasons.
    Turner is a 6-4, 285-pound offensive tackle from Redlands, California.  He has played in all 23 WSU games in the last two seasons and has started 18 straight games.  He has also been a part of the offensive line that blocked for Higgins, Smith, Tafuna and Bolen.   
    Webb, a 6-4, 245-pound linebacker, is the only Wildcat to make the squad on defense.  Webb, a native of Salt Lake City, has played in 35 games in his three-year career with the Wildcats.  In three seasons at Weber State he has recorded 186 career total tackles.  He also has 117 unassisted tackles and 12.5 tackles for loss.  Last season he ranked seventh in the Big Sky in total tackles with 99, including 69 unassisted tackles, the seventh most in WSU single-season history.
    Defending FCS national champion Eastern Washington led the league with eight players on the Preseason All-Conference Team.  Montana State sophomore quarterback DeNarius McGhee was named the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and Sacramento State defensive end Zack Nash was named the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. 
    
MIKE HOKE TAKES OVER AT QB
    After four years with one quarterback the Wildcats will have a change at the signal caller.  Mike Hoke will enter fall camp as WSU’s starting quarterback.  Hoke, a junior from Kailua, Hawaii, has appeared in 16 games as a backup quarterback in his two seasons with the Wildcats.  He has thrown for 419 yards and three touchdowns in his career with the ‘Cats.   
    Hoke replaces fellow Hawaiian Cameron Higgins who finished his four-year career with the Wildcats in 2010 and left as one of the top players in school history.  In his four years with the ‘Cats Cameron played in 48 games and set school records for most career passing yards (12,274), most career touchdowns passes (98), most career total touchdowns (105), most career pass completions (935), and career passing efficiency rating (144.5).  His 98 career touchdown passes is also the most in Big Sky Conference history.  His 12,261 yards of total offense is the third most in Big Sky history and his 105 touchdowns is tied for the second most in the conference history.

MAC IS BACK FOR MORE
    Head Coach Ron McBride begins his 7th season as head coach of the Wildcats and his 20th season as a head coach on the NCAA Division I level. ... Coach Mac is 126-95 overall, 38-32 at Weber State.  On October 14, 2011, McBride will turn 72. He is one of only six head coaches in NCAA Division I who are over 70. The others are: Joe Paterno (Penn State), Bob Ford (University of Albany), Bill Snyder (Kansas State), Howard Schnellenberger (Florida Atlantic) and Jerry Moore (Appalachian State).

FAN FEST SET FOR AUG. 20
    The final day of fall camp will also be the Wildcat Fan Fest.  The annual fan fest will be held Saturday, Aug. 20 and will be a chance for fans to see the new field and watch the football team in their final scrimmage of camp. 
    The Fan Fest will begin at 10:00 a.m. at Stewart Stadium.  At 10:45 a.m. WSU head coach Ron McBride will hold a Chalk Talk on the fourth floor to talk about the fall camp and provide a preview of the upcoming season.  At 11:15 a.m., fans will have an opportunity to take a tour of the football team’s locker room and provide a glimpse into the Wildcats’ locker room traditions.  The football team’s scrimmage will begin at 11:30 a.m. on the new field.
    Admission to the Fan Fest is free to all.  Fans will be able to get autographs and have their pictures taken with players, coaches, and Waldo.  WSU posters and schedule cards will also be given away.  In addition, student-athletes from other Weber State teams will be in attendance to meet fans and coach them at various sports skills stations (for children, 8th grade and under).  There will also be face painting, Wildcat merchandise for sale, and an opportunity to run out of the tunnel and on to the brand new turf.
    Don’t miss a day just for the fans and get ready for the upcoming season at the Wildcat Fan Fest on Saturday, Aug. 20.
 
2011 SCHEDULE
    The Wildcats will open the 2011 season Sept. 3 at Wyoming.  That will be followed by another road game at an FBS school when they take on Utah State Sept. 10 in Logan.  It marks the fourth straight-year the Wildcats have played two FBS teams in a season.  It will be the first meeting with the Aggies since 2001. 
    The 2011 home and Big Sky opener will be Saturday, Sept. 17 when the ‘Cats host Sacramento State.  WSU will then play at Northern Colorado and Eastern Washington to close out four of the first five games on the road.  They will then play four of the next five at home beginning Oct. 15 for a Homecoming game against rival Idaho State.  The following week the ‘Cats will host future Big Sky member Southern Utah.  After a game at Montana they will return for back-to-back home games with Montana State and Northern Arizona before closing out the regular season Nov. 19 at Portland State.   

NEW RADIO HOME
    This season Weber State will have new home for radio broadcasts.  Starting this season all WSU football and men’s basketball games, home and away, can be heard live on 1280 KZNS-AM “The Zone”.  The Zone is an all-sports radio station in Salt Lake City that has covered Utah sports for many years.  In addition, many of WSU’s games will be simulcast on 97.5 FM. 
      WSU play-by-play voice Carl Arky returns for his 13th season as voice of the Wildcats.  He will be joined in the booth by former WSU standout Ty Sparrow who will provide color commentary for all Wildcat football games. 

TV TIME

    The Wildcats play three games on television this season, all on Altitude TV.  WSU’s games Sept. 24 at Northern Colorado, Oct. 1 at Eastern Washington, and Nov. 5 at home against Montana State will also be aired live at 1:30 p.m. Mountain time on Altitude TV. 
 

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