#SDSUisWinning

SDSU winning by Hunter Hewitt

Charlie Sheen was recently seen wearing Aztecs gear at one of San Diego State’s most recognizable spots. To his left was all nine of the Aztecs’ Mountain West Championship trophies. (Photo Credit: Joey and Hunter Hewitt)

Did Charlie Sheen go to San Diego State?

He must have. At least for a semester or two. Or maybe he just attended a few parties. There has to be some sort of connection.

In case you missed it – highly unlikely due to the enormous sample size – the Aztecs have been “winning” a lot lately. How much, you ask?

Try nine conference championships so far this school year. That’s right. Nine. The most ever in school history.

And we aren’t even done yet.

Let’s be real. Some of you didn’t even know we had nine sports teams. Some of you didn’t even know what conference we were in. Well, for those unaware, here is a public service announcement:

San Diego State owns the Mountain West.

Women’s soccer (twice), women’s volleyball, football, women’s indoor track and field, women’s swimming and diving, women’s basketball, women’s tennis and men’s tennis. All of these teams, whether in the regular season or the conference tournament, are Mountain West champions.

Nine.

Nobody else comes near that number. The next closest school? New Mexico (surprising, I know) with a mediocre five conference championships. Two of those – men’s track and field and cross country – came in sports that we don’t even compete in! 

Nice try, Lobos.

Not only have the Aztecs’ won nine titles so far, but there are still several chances for more. Odds are, at least one more crown will be locked up by the time the 2012-13 academic year is complete.

Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams still have their conference tournaments left. The men’s and women’s golf teams are also gearing up for their conference tournaments. The women’s outdoor track and field team still has its conference tournament as well.

The softball team still has a shot at the regular season title (no conference tournament). Although it would take some late-season heroics, the baseball team could still make a push for a trophy of its own.

Additionally, the women’s water polo team, a member of the Big West Conference, is ranked No. 8 in the country and could potentially take home its own hardware in its conference tournament. The women’s lacrosse team, a member of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, could qualify for a spot in its postseason tournament with a win over USC on Saturday.

To make a long story short, San Diego State wins. A lot.

Hop on the bandwagon while there’s still room.

This infographic is a great illustration of San Diego State's winning ways in 2012-13. Click to enlarge. (SDSU Media Relations

This infographic is a great illustration of San Diego State’s winning ways in 2012-13. Click to enlarge. (SDSU Media Relations)


AZTEC NATION,

Last week, we showed the residents of Boston they were in our thoughts and prayers by using a trending hashtag on Twitter. While we continue to pray for the recovery of the city of Boston, lets take over Twitter again. This time, let’s make sure everybody knows who the Aztecs are.

Whether its our athletic success, our beautiful weather, our mouthwatering Mexican food or anything else, let’s make sure everybody knows one thing:

#SDSUisWinning

Get on Twitter and tweet something about the best school in the world, and follow it up with the hashtag #SDSUisWinning. Or, log in to Instagram and repost the Charlie Sheen photo with the same hashtag. Maybe even set it as your profile picture on Facebook. Post a link to this story to inform people of our winning ways. Whatever you do, just make sure you let others know about the Red and Black.

Aztecs for life.

SDSU
 
 

Additional Links:
Hunter Hewitt: APSE Bio – http://www.apsportseditors.org/newsletter/apse-student-member-bio-hunter-hewitt/
Hunter Hewitt: WordPress – http://hunterhewitt.wordpress.com
Hunter Hewitt: Blogger – http://hunterhewitt.blogspot.com
Hunter Hewitt: LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/in/hunterhewitt
Hunter Hewitt: Twitter – http://twitter.com/hunterhewitt89
Hunter Hewitt: Facebook – http://facebook.com/hunterhewittSDSU
Hunter Hewitt: Tumblr – http://hunterhewitt.tumblr.com
Hunter Hewitt: About.me – http://about.me/hunterhewitt
Hunter Hewitt: BrandYourself – http://hunterhewitt.net/
Hunter Hewitt: GoAztecs.com Player Profile – http://goaztecs.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/hewitt_hunter00.html
Hunter Hewitt: SDSU News Team Story: http://newscenter.sdsu.edu/sdsu_newscenter/news.aspx?s=73846


by Hunter Hewitt

GO AZTECS

Advertisements

Hunter O. Hewitt: Aztec For Life

Aztecs team photo

The 2012 San Diego State Aztecs (Ernie Anderson/SDSU Media Relations)


By Hunter O. Hewitt


It’s been one week now, and it still hasn’t hit me. It still hasn’t occurred to me that my football days are done.

After Thursday’s game, I walked off the field at Qualcomm Stadium one last time. I took off my helmet, pads and cleats one last time. I sat in the locker room with the 2012 San Diego State football team one last time.

It’s a shame it had to end the way it did, but we cannot let that game define our season. Just like one play doesn’t win or lose a game, the Poinsettia Bowl should not characterize the 2012 Aztecs.

The 2012 Aztecs are special. We started as a team that lost our four-year starting quarterback and our star running back; a team that lost two dominant defensive players in Miles Burris and Jerome Long; a team that lost not only three starters on the offensive line but also the offensive line coach; and a team that had question marks all across the board. Although unfortunate, these factors did not matter to this team.

The 2012 Aztecs are fighters, no matter the situation we found ourselves in. Early in the season, we found ourselves with a record of 2-3, causing “fans” to plummet off the bandwagon faster than a Marshall Faulk 40-yard dash and petition for head coach Rocky Long to be fired. After losing our starting quarterback to injury against Nevada, we found ourselves with our backs against the wall down by 10 points in the fourth quarter. Later in the season, we found ourselves down at halftime against Boise State and Wyoming, two pivotal games on the road. But no matter where we found ourselves, we always fought back.

The 2012 Aztecs are not just any other team. The 2012 Aztecs are Mountain West champions.

The Journey

When I first came to San Diego State in the fall of 2008, I had no idea what my first season would be like. I’ll never forget sitting in a team meeting in training camp and hearing Chuck Long ask the players what our goals are. I remember listening to some players respond, “13-0.”

I believed them. I had no idea what college football was all about, and I saw some pretty talented players out there. I thought it could actually happen.

What did happen, however, was a 2-10 record, and I was admittedly worried after my first season. I remember thinking I had a long four years ahead of me. Chuck Long was fired soon after.

Then came a morning in December of that year. We had a team meeting and met our new head coach, Brady Hoke. He set the tone from the very start and exhibited his no-nonsense mentality by telling a player who walked in slightly late to leave. That’s when I knew San Diego State football had transformed in the blink of an eye.

The Process

Building a championship-caliber football team doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time.

2009 was a year of growing pains. We were adjusting to Hoke’s system, morphing the identity of our team in the process. Ask any player from the 2009 team about the winter and spring conditioning in the offseason, and you will hear what may sound like horror stories.

And rightfully so.

In 2009 we were introduced to a man named Aaron Wellman, our new strength and conditioning coach. As far as we were concerned, this man was immortal. He became one of the most feared, yet also respected, men in our lives. If he said “Jump,” we said “How high?” Chuck Norris jokes were replaced with Wellman jokes. “Wellmanized” was added to our dictionary. Skipping class was nearly unheard of due to fear of getting caught and facing the wrath of a Wellman punishment workout.

Starting in January of 2009, we spent eight straight weeks conditioning and lifting weights before spring ball, and those eight weeks were the most physically and mentally challenging weeks of our young lives. We had never seen anything like it before. We had never trained like that before. We had never pushed our bodies and minds to the point of absolute exhaustion the way Wellman trained us to do.

Although the season didn’t turn out as we had hoped, it was an integral part of the process. To the fans, it may have seemed like nothing had changed, like it was the same old San Diego State team that couldn’t make a bowl game. Inside the locker room, however, we knew things were different. We knew better days were coming soon.

The “Winter ’09” phase, as players call it, did something that had needed to be done for a long time at San Diego State. It trimmed the fat (over a dozen players voluntarily quit) and dispensed of those who were not mentally prepared for where the program was heading. It got rid of all the nonbelievers, while molding the rest of us into believers in the process.

One group of Aztecs I cannot leave out of this piece is the senior class of that 2009 team. They do not have the results to prove it, but this class helped make our football program what it is today. They provided incredible leadership and laid the foundation for the future. Other senior classes have made bowl games and received plenty of praise, but this class often goes unnoticed. We would not be where we are today had it not been for this class of seniors:

Ikaika Aken-Moleta
Tony DeMartinis
Kwincy Edwards
Bryan Finkel
Atiyyah Henderson
Matthew Kawulok
Brandon Kohn
Luke Laolagi
Davion Mauldin
Jerry Milling
Aaron Moore
Peter Nelson
DeMarco Sampson (returned for 2010 season after receiving a medical redshirt)
Nick Sandford
Damian Shankle
Zach Shapiro
Jonathan Soto
Jon Toledo
Roberto Wallace
Willie Watters
Mekell Wesley
Drew Westling
Lane Yoshida

Thank you, 2009 seniors.

The Results

2010 marked the official return to the college football scene for San Diego State.

The players had bought in to Hoke’s system. Every time we stepped on the field, we believed that we would win, and although we didn’t win every game, we always had a chance at the end.

The Poinsettia Bowl victory in 2010 was monumental, as we dominated Navy in front of nearly 50,000 fans at our home stadium, winning the first bowl game in San Diego State history since 1969. We finished with a record of 9-4, and people were finally starting to take San Diego State seriously once again. Players like Vincent Brown, DeMarco Sampson, Ryan Lindley, Ronnie Hillman, Miles Burris and others became nationally known while leading our football program to new, unfamiliar heights.

Although Hoke left following the season, Rocky Long did a phenomenal job of carrying over many of Hoke’s philosophies and traditions while adding his own touch along the way. In 2011, we picked up right where we left off and made it to another bowl game. Although we lost in the New Orleans Bowl, we finished with a solid record of 8-5, and reached back-to-back bowl games for the first time in school history.

Then came 2012. This was the next step for our program. A conference championship. Three straight bowl games. A 26-13 record over three seasons, a remarkable feat compared to the 38-80 record amassed from 2000-2009.

We may have lost the last two bowl games, but the accomplishments far outweigh the losses. A new era of San Diego State football has arrived, one where bowl games are expected. No longer should fans wonder if the Aztecs will make a bowl game or not, they simply should wonder which bowl game they will play in. San Diego State football is officially back.

The Future

What’s next for the Aztecs?

Big East? Mountain West? At this point, who knows. Right now, only one thing is important: winning. If we continue to win consistently, we will be on the right track to take this program to next level of Top 25 rankings and BCS potential.

The talent is there. The resources are there. The work ethic is there. It just needs to continue. And whatever is next for Aztec football, I will support them no matter what.

One thing I ask for is the same support from the city of San Diego. The attendance numbers this season were disappointing, especially in the bowl game. We know you are out there because we see you at the Sky Show every year. Why can’t we get a crowd like that every week?

If this program is going to continue to grow, we need more fan support. Times were rough in the first decade of the 2000s, I understand, but things have changed. San Diego State is competitive now, and we are steadily climbing our way to football prominence. Hop on the bandwagon while there is still room.

To the true supporters out there, thank you for sticking with us through thick and thin. You have remained in those seats at Qualcomm Stadium whether during a 2-10 season or a season that ends with a bowl game, and you have truly embodied what a fan is supposed to be. We appreciate you all.

I’ll leave you with one simple phrase. Three words that mean the world to me, and hopefully the same to my fellow students, alumni, and others associated with San Diego State.

Aztecs for life.

Aztec Stat of the Week: Long Snapping Efficiency

Aztecs For Life

Freshman long snapper Jeff Overbaugh has played an integral role in San Diego State’s success this season (Ernie Anderson/SDSU Media Relations)

In football, special teams often go unnoticed.

Even when special teams plays are highlighted, certain details of those plays are typically overlooked. For example, when a game-winning field goal is shown, the announcers rarely talk about how well the ball was snapped.

Long snappers play a critical role on every football team. In addition to snapping the ball to the holder for field goals, they also snap the ball on punts, ensuring that the ball reaches the punter in a timely manner and in the appropriate spot for the punter to kick the ball well.

Although long snappers rarely receive praise, San Diego State football long snapper Jeff Overbaugh deserves some recognition. The true freshman long snapper has been flawless all season with his snapping duties, and he has the stats to prove it.

Through 12 games, Overbaugh has snapped the ball well on all 105 attempts. He is 52-for-52 on PATs, 12-for-12 on field goals, and 41-for-41 on punts – impressive numbers for a freshman playing a nerve-racking position at the Division 1 level.

A product of  long snapping guru Chris Rubio – like former SDSU long snappers Aaron Brewer and Tyler Schmitt – Overbaugh’s talents have helped the Aztecs’ special teams immensely. Teamed with freshman punter Seamus McMorrow, San Diego State is sure to have a solid punting game for years to come. And although senior kicker Chance Marden will be gone after the season, Overbaugh will have the Aztecs nearly worry-free when it comes to field goal snaps for the next three seasons.

Did you miss the “Meet the Aztecs: Q&A with Jeff Overbaugh” piece from earlier in the season? Check it out here


LINKS:
Hunter Hewitt: WordPress – http://hunterhewitt.wordpress.com
Hunter Hewitt: LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/in/hunterhewitt
Hunter Hewitt: Twitter – http://twitter.com/hunterhewitt89
Hunter Hewitt: Facebook – http://facebook.com/hunterhewittSDSU
Hunter Hewitt: About.me – http://about.me/hunterhewitt
Hunter Hewitt: BrandYourself – http://hunterhewitt.brandyourself.com/
Hunter Hewitt: GoAztecs.com Player Profile – http://goaztecs.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/hewitt_hunter00.html


by Hunter Hewitt

GO AZTECS