Bench-Warmers Without a Bench: N.C. Should Fund All K-12 Sports

By Harrison Taylor, Staff Writer

Every day between the hours of seven and nine, my 16-year-old brother practices his extra craft: playing varsity football for his school. He plays because he loves the sport. The activity provides him structure, balance, and, most importantly, something to do.

I can remember when he first started playing when he was in fifth grade. A nosy family member asked one day after his practice, “Why do you spend all this time on this? What’s the point?”

Another relative replied, “Well, you must start somewhere.”

While his school, Cuthbertson High School, has dozens of sports and activities, another school in the same county, Monroe High School (A school located in a poorer part of the county), doesn’t even have a baseball field. Students who play must share a field with another school nearby.

While sports at Monroe are bound and plentiful, some may be cancelled due to no adult volunteer to coach the team. Compared with other schools in the area, Monroe has an average of 25 percent less athletic opportunities than the top three schools in Union County.

The lack of funding schools like Monroe receive for athletics and extracurriculars is no secret. According to Union County Public School’s 2017 Individual School Financial Statements, Cuthbertson had a receipt of $212,944 for their athletic programs, while Monroe had a significantly less receipt of $159,286 for their programs.

When a school has less funding for sports, what happens to kids in places like Monroe? Students are left without equipment, volunteers, and without an activity. Activities can be essential in an adolescent or child’s development and can even predict whether that child is going to graduate high school or go to college.

This point is discussed heavily in Robert Putnam’s book, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis. Putnam’s research points to the impact sports and activities have for developing social skills, a child’s community involvement, and even their future economic success.

Putnam argues that important adult mentors from outside a child’s family come directly from sports, as these ‘have nots’–which Putnam defines as kids who come from lower income areas that struggle with providing extracurriculars–can be excluded from experiences that kids at more wealthy schools are given on an almost daily basis.

My brother gets to play football just by participating in a local fundraiser and paying for his jersey. This may not be the same for the students at Monroe High School. What are the consequences of such experiences for these students? When a kid wants to play lacrosse and is simply told, “We don’t have a coach or the money.”

A few weeks ago, teachers from around the state of North Carolina gathered in Raleigh to demand more funding for education. Last week, Governor Roy Cooper vetoed the state budget due to small proposed increases education saw in this budget. Just two days ago, the NC General Assembly voted to override his veto as the new budget passed.

But, there is still time to talk about what goes into a future state budget. Just as teachers have become fed up with being underpaid and underappreciated, perhaps this is an opportunity to look at those who have been underfunded and overlooked.

Our state budget shouldn’t just increase teacher pay and funding for their curriculum. The budget should go beyond the classroom and allow the kids who want to play to do so.

This would increase graduation rates, get kids in poor areas off the streets, and allow talented student athletes to shine regardless of their location. Putnam’s ‘have nots’ can have a lot if we choose to help them.

The kids in Monroe deserve a fighting chance. North Carolina should fund all K-12 sports for the same reason they should buy more textbooks: You must start somewhere.

Edited by: Rachael Robinson

Wingate athlete compares Division I, Division II experiences

By Emarius Logan, Staff Writer 

Every high school basketball player dreams of playing basketball at the highest collegiate level when they graduate. The goal for many is to get that big-time Division I offer to play at the next level.

I’ve had the opportunity to play at both the Division I and the Division II level. I played at Division I Appalachian State University in Boone for two years before deciding to transfer and finish up at Wingate.

There are some major differences, two being in the financial benefits and the off-season program.

Basketball programs at the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level of Division I benefit tremendously from their school’s participation at that level. Schools at the Division I level offer 13 full basketball scholarships while at the Division II level they offer only 10 full scholarships.

At App State you were allowed to get refund checks back from your financial aid as well as to receive a cost-of-attendance stipend from the athletic department. App State is in a lower-level FBS conference (Sun Belt), so the stipend was not as large as at some bigger programs. You could receive anywhere from $3,500 to $9,500 for the year depending on your financial aid refund.

Any financial aid received at Wingate is applied to tuition, room and board so the only way to get a cash refund is to take out a student loan.

The other major difference is in the rules as they relate to offseason workouts and practice. Division I schools are allowed six full-time assistant coaches as compared to two at the Division II level. So off-season as well as in-season workouts are more intense and in-depth due to the more limited individual contact with a coach.

At App State, players could work out six hours a week with a coach — two hours of individual workouts, two hours of team practice and two hours of weight training. At Wingate, you’re not allowed to work out with coaches at all during the off-season, including summer.

All your development as a player during that time has to come on your own, because the rules don’t allow this to happen.

Emarius Logan will be a senior on the Wingate University men’s basketball team during the 2018-19 season. He is from Columbia, S.C. 

 

 

 

Thompson looks forward to serving as 2018-19 SGA president

Bryan Young, Staff Writer 

SGA elections results are in for the 2018-2019 school year.

Laura Thompson, a junior communication major from Rutherfordton, is the newly elected SGA president. 

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One of the things that she wants the student body to know is that “Everyone’s voice is important and everyone matters.”

Thompson said she wants to make sure that students are more aware of SGA and what it does. She wants the students to understand that SGA is government by the student body and that it has been established to help with students’ questions and concerns.

 Laura will succeed outgoing president Amanda Alling, who is graduating.

She said she thought her greatest accomplishments this year have been in revamping the structure of the organization.

“We were able to create effective change that will surely set the next Executive Board up for success next school year,” Alling said.

She is also proud of SGA’s contribution of spreading Bulldog spirit around campus from sponsoring a Gold Rush game for football to enhancing Coffee on the Quad, and various other events.

“We were able to spread the feeling of One Dog around campus,” she said

Other officers for next year, who were chosen in the recent elections were Kirby Von Egidy,Trace Jolly, Kailey Ezekiel, Natalie Hart, Samantha Hiller,Nico Ortega, Daniel Berrezueta and Diareth Flores. 

Wingate’s Graduation season marks the beginning and end for many students

I’Dajha Harris, Staff Writer

To many at this time, May is the end of a chapter and the beginning of a new one, for graduation season is upon us.

Wingate University will be having two Commencements. The first one is for the graduate/professional school graduates which will be held at 6 p.m. Friday. The  undergraduate graduation will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday. Both ceremonies will be held outside on the Academic Quad.

Options for those who are unable to attend include a live feed of the graduation. The link is on the Wingate University commencement page under the hyperlink: livestream. If weather conditions are poor, the graduation will be held in Cuddy Arena. 

The speaker for the graduate class will be Dr. Maria Pharr, president of South Piedmont Community College, who has worked with a vast number of other community colleges such as Pitt Community College in Greenville, both in admissions and as a faculty member and administrator. 

Stein, the state’s 50th Attorney General, sponsored the 2013 School Safety Act as a N.C. state senator.

The Baccalaureate service will be at 11 a.m. Friday in the McGee Theater. Speaker will be Rev. Amy Jacks Dean, co-pastor alongside her husband, Russ Dean, at the Park Road Baptist Church in Charlotte. It will follow a Farewell Celebration from 9:30 to 10:45 on the Batte Center lawn. 

With the graduation season rapidly approaching, so is the joy of the many graduates reaching their last leg of the semester. They are ending one chapter and opening a brand new one once the commencement comes to an end.

Wanting to get an insight from a graduating student, Amanda Alling offered an interview about her thoughts on graduation! “I am so excited to graduate! I have loved my four years at Wingate, and have made so many great memories, met so many amazing people and have learned so much. I have excelled not only just in the classroom but in my personal and professional life as well. I will always be grateful to Wingate for making me who I am today.” Alling expressed in our email interview.

amanda alling

Her parents, brother and his girlfriend will be coming from New Jersey to celebrate her big day along with her closest friends being in the audience and cheering her on. After graduation, Alling mentioned her upcoming pursuits for the next chapter of her life. “After graduation, I will be pursuing my MBA in either Marketing or Data Analytics. I am excited for this next step in my life, as well as putting to use everything my Communications major and minors have taught me. I can’t wait!”

Her excitement was prevalent and shined through in her all of her responses. Her time at Wingate University was well worth it for her and helped her reach the goals that was needed for her future

So, with that, she left the upcoming graduate classes with some words of encouragement. “Take every single opportunity presented to you. Whether it be a class excursion to Charlotte, or attending those extra study sessions. There are so many transferable skills you will gain from stepping out of your comfort zone and experiencing everything that this Wingate life has to offer you.”

Edited by: Brea Childs

Artist B.o.B performs for Wingate’s Springate 2018 concert

Sarah Thurman, Staff Writer

Over 100 students gathered in Cuddy Arena on Friday, April 27 to celebrate the last event on the SprinGgate 2018 schedule, with a concert from the famous artist B.o.B.

Springate 2018 was a week full of events to close out the end of the year and to allow students to let loose one more time before finals begin the next week.

The concert doors were set to open at 8, but B.o.B was running late and therefore the concert got pushed back. So the doors opened at 9 pm. By then, the line had already reached to the back of Burris.

However, by 9pm the lines moved quick, and soon enough we were all inside. Junior, Cameron Walser, DJ’d until B.o.B appeared. He played a mix of popular songs from the early 2000s to now, which got students singing and dancing along.  

Walser played for about an hour and a half and then the lights changed and B.o.B’s DJ came on stage to hype up the crowd. Once, B.o.B appeared, the whole tone of the gym shifted, as the students electrified with excitement.

B.o.B was very active with the audience, jumping in and out of the crowd, crowd surfing, throwing shirts, using students phones to take videos and pictures, and even brung some students on stage.

He pulled four girls from the crowd and had them come on the stage to dance with him. After the girls were off the stage, he went back to performing some of his well-known collaborative songs.

There were many times where he would jump over the bars and run into the crowd. When he did, he would dance with the students in the crowd to give the whole concert a very personal experience.

He ended the concert by running off stage, but the audience began to chant “B.o.B!” and he came back out performing his most popular song “Airplanes.” After he performed his final encore, he jumped off stage and began to give students his signatures and take pictures. 

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Photo Credit: Sarah Thurman Rapper B.o.B autographs a student’s ticket at the SpringGate concert in Cuddy Arena.”

Nani Shaw, a freshman student was first in line at the concert, she arrived at 8 pm and was able to get very close to the stage. When asked about the concert she said, “I was pretty excited! After the concert I was tired, and I lost my voice.”

Once the concert was over, the crowd cleared Cuddy, and went on with the rest of their night. Overall the concert was a great way to wrap up Spiringate and fun way to start studying for next week’s upcoming finals.

Edited by: Brea Childs

McDonald wins SAC Player of the Year Award, cherishes season

Shane Rich, Staff Writer

For the first time in her time at Wingate as a golfer, Diana McDonald has been awarded the SAC Player of the Year Award for Women’s Golf. McDonald, along with the rest of the women’s golf team, has had much success throughout the course of the year, as they just finished winning the SAC Tournament with a 26 stroke victory over Queens University.

“I have definitely learned a lot this whole year about my golf game and became a more mature player from my freshman year last year. I kicked it off very well last season with our first tournament which I came 2nd and shot 73-68. I think with that starting I was able to take that with my other tournaments” McDonald said.

The SAC Player of the Year also had some comments concerning advice for younger golfers as well as who she has to thank for her success.

McDonald said,“We have two freshman this year and they are very great players. With their ability on the golf course I feel that they can do great things in the future. My best advice for them is to do themselves and just do what they do best!”

“My family has always been there for me from the beginning and always have supported me and sacrificed so much for me. I thank them so much. I would also like to thank my wonderful team for having a great year and for working hard out on the golf course and for always being supportive. Finally, I would like to thank my coach from back home in Canada who has helped me a lot in my golf game.” McDonald said.

McDonald had much to say about what made the SAC Player of the Year award so special, and she also capped everything off by telling what her favorite moment was this year.

“My favorite moment of the year is going to tournaments with the team. But we held our home tournament in South Carolina and everybody on the team went and I had fun with them. Also, some of our supporters came to watch us during the tournament and we got to have dinner at our coach’s parents’ condo one night, and we walked on the beach and played with the younger kids. It was just a great time.” McDonald said.

As they look forward after McDonald’s year for the record books, the women’s golf team hopes to continue their success throughout next season.

Edited by Brendan Shriver

Photo Credits to Wingate University Sports Information

Football to host seven home games this fall

Crystal Fuller, Staff Writer

Wingate University Athletics Director Steve Poston and Head Football Coach Joe Reich announced the 2018 Wingate Football schedule in March. For the first time since 2002, Wingate University’s football team will have the upperhand of playing seven home games.

Coach Reich explained how the Bulldogs got lucky, “When we look for games sometimes we take what we can get. Last year we had a bye week but we also played the first two games on the road so we only had four home games in the regular season. When the scheduled flipped we immediately had six home games,” said Reich.

Coach Reich also said that,“Florida Tech really needed a game and was willing to come up here and play us at home so that’s how we got to seven. Florida Tech is a top quality out-of-conference opponent who will be a great new challenge. We know UNC Pembroke will be tough as well.”

The Bulldogs have played six home games on eight occasions, the most recent being in 2016. The Bulldogs will play a senior college school-record seven home games, beginning with a Thursday, August 30 contest versus local rival Johnson C. Smith at Irwin Belk Stadium and John R. Martin Field (7 p.m. start time).

“We are looking forward to opening on a Thursday night,” said Reich. “This will be a nice change up…having seven home games will be a good thing for us as well.”

Wingate will see many benefits from the seven home games and has many plans in store. The Bulldogs will host their annual special events throughout the 2018 home schedule including Church Youth Day, Patriots’ Day and Tailgating for the Troops. These events will influence larger crowds just as last year when the Bulldogs sold-out the first night game to ever be hosted by Wingate.

“The best thing about having seven home games would be that we wouldn’t have to travel as much plus it will be more fun for the school,” said Domineke McNeill, a sophomore running back. “Hearing the crowd pushes us more to be more physical and make more plays but for the other team they tend to get scared and fold.”

General admission season tickets range from $40 for adults and $20 for non-Wingate students. Single game tickets are $12 for adult and $8 for non-Wingate students. For more ticket or schedule information go to www.wingatebulldogs.com. We hope you join us this year as we continue to make history!

Edited by Brendan Shriver