UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | June 18, 2024

OPINION | Sports editor’s predictions for fall sports

In the upcoming months, fall sports will return to Utah Tech in full swing. With the start of this new season comes a wave of fresh possibilities for the Trailblazers as ambition eagerly awaits to bring them back onto the field or court. Photo Courtesy of Cora Mark, Miki Akiyama and Stan Plewe

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Fans gather in the Greater Zion Stadium. The stands are flooded with red. It’s time for fall sports to take center stage.

After a few short months away for summer break, students head back to campus for fall, and that means it’s time for some of my favorite sports.

This upcoming season holds new possibilities for the Trailblazers. The question is: will they harness their potential or fall short of expectations?

Based on roster changes, previous stats and some speculation, here’s how I predict the fall season will go.

Football

The football team ended their 2023 season with a disappointing 2-9 record overall and 1-5 in conference play. However, the team has made some big changes since the end of the season.

The program named Lance Anderson as their new head coach in December following the unsatisfactory records under the leadership of former head coach Paul Peterson.

Along with the new head coach, the program has eight new additions to the coaching staff and only retained two of the coaches from the 2023 staff.

The team has also signed over 20 new players to their recruiting class. Does new talent equal mean records?

One can only hope that with an almost complete overturn in staff and the addition of new players, the record will show some improvement for the Trailblazers in the upcoming season.

However, the team will need a building period. Time to rebuild and change the culture under a new coaching staff, and time to build team chemistry. Because of this, I predict the record of the 2024 season will be similar to that of 2023. The team will improve under the new leadership, but this won’t happen overnight or in one season.

Women’s Soccer

The women’s soccer team had a successful season with an 8-6-5 record during the regular season, ending the 2023 season ranked fifth in the Western Athletic Conference.

At one point in the season, they had a 10-game unbeaten streak. The team just wasn’t able to carry that success into the WAC tournament, losing to Grand Canyon University in their first game of the tournament.

Since the end of the 2023 season, the team has signed 10 new players.

The team has also been playing spring games in preparation for the upcoming season.

I predict that under the leadership of head coach Lexi Brown, the team will thrive this season. The 2024 season will be the second season under Brown’s leadership. Combined with the talent the new additions will bring, this team is more than capable of big things this upcoming season.

Men’s Soccer

The men’s soccer team ended their 2023 season with a 9-9 overall record. The team ranked third in the WAC conference.

The team went on to win against San Jose State University in the WAC quarterfinal but lost to California Baptist University in the semifinal.

The preseason coaches poll in 2023 had ranked Utah Tech University to finish last in the WAC conference.

If last season has anything to say about the team, it’s that they should not be underestimated. The bar is now set high for the team.

The 2024-2025 season will be Utah Tech’s first season being eligible for NCAA Division I postseason play upon completion of its four-year reclassification process. Let’s see some Division I level playing this season. Students at Utah Tech are Trailblazers, meaning they set themselves apart from others in great ways. Utah Tech sports teams are made up of those Trailblazers.