Who knew that a Wildcat could ever become a Lion?
That revelation came to light in April when Tim Toone, the Weber State University Wildcats all-time receiving leader in receptions, yards, and touchdowns, was selected by the Detroit Lions as the final pick in the 2010 NFL draft.
His draft position led the media to dub him "Mr. Irrelevant," but Wildcat fans will tell you, as a student-athlete, Tim proved his relevance on and off the field.
In addition to rewriting the Wildcat receiving records, Tim also hit the books and earned his bachelor's degree in athletic training. He graduated last spring with a 3.2 cumulative grade point average.
While many followed Tim's athletic exploits, far fewer know how supportive he was of his fellow Wildcats. Tim was a fixture at home volleyball, soccer, and men's and women's basketball games, cheering on his peers from the front row of Purple Pak -- the vocal student cheering section.
As Tim is working hard to earn a spot on the Lions roster, we're getting ready for another successful Wildcat sports season.
Fans attending our first two home football games will discover a new experience under the lights. From the way the team is introduced to the activities planned during and around the game, our goal is to make the entire game-day atmosphere memorable for the fans.
At the homecoming game on Sept. 25, we plan to have a pre-game carnival and demonstrations by the trampoline act "Flippin' Out" to entertain fans before and during the game. We'll cap the evening off with a fireworks show immediately following the matchup versus UC Davis.
The stadium lights themselves have been replaced with new units offering a brighter field of play for fans, while being more energy efficient. The improvements will give fans a clearer view of the action on the field, and Stewart Stadium is now rated for national television broadcasts.
The infrastructure improvements don't end there. When basketball season rolls around, fans will find the Dee Events Center has a new look for games.
The old scoreboard has been replaced, giving way to a new Daktronics video system that will bring you closer to the hoops action than ever before. The new display board hanging over center court will feature video screens 6 feet high and 8 feet wide, showing live game action, video replays and candid crowd shots.
Randy Rahe's and Carla Taylor's Wildcats will keep the scoreboard operators busy, as they put up plenty of baskets and take aim at claiming more Big Sky titles.
While we are working to enhance the stadium and arena experiences through upgrades in infrastructure and more game-day activities, I recognize that our primary focus is to field a team of quality individuals who are well prepared come game day.
After all, as fans you want to see our teams successfully compete each time they play.
A big part of that success on the field and court hinges on having a passionate home crowd that cheers on the team. Our student-athletes feed off the energy of the crowd.
For those of you who haven't been to a Wildcat sporting event, I invite you to come check us out.
I think you'll truly enjoy the experience. And for those who regularly attend the games, bring a friend and introduce them to what Wildcat Athletics is all about.
We're making changes in our game-day activities to enhance your experience.
If you have ideas or suggestions about other ways we can make our home games even better, drop me a line at email@example.com.
It's still a couple months before the basketball teams hit the hard wood, but with these improvements in place, a nationally ranked football team ready to take on a tough schedule and a full slate of soccer and volleyball action set to start, now truly is a great time to be a Wildcat!
Bovee is director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Weber State University.