Both Wingate Golf teams had strong showings this year at the SAC Tournament with the women taking the title and the men finishing third in the competition. The women’s championships, hosted by Newberry at Member’s Club at Woodcreek, was a runaway with the Bulldogs winning by a whopping 26 strokes. They were led by sophomore Mind Puangcharoen, who won the individual title with her 54-hole total of 232, edging out Queens junior Cameryn Smith by just one stroke.
Coach Erin Thorne said the team, “Couldn’t be happier,” for Puangcharoen, who also grabbed her first career collegiate win at the championships. Laura Nunez Rodriguez and Diana McDonald also had strong performances, finishing tied for fourth with each other and giving Wingate three golfers on the All-Tournament first team. The women will travel to Germantown, TN for the NCAA Division II Championships hosted by Christian Brothers University at Germantown Country Club.
The men improved on a disappointing tenth place finish last season, finishing in third and putting three golfers in the Top 15 of the individual rankings. The Bulldogs finished with a total of 891 at Cobb’s Glen Country Club in Anderson, SC, 13 strokes short of champion Carson-Newman, and were unable to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Coach John Hackney, in his first year at the helm, expressed the disappointment that the team felt after the finish, “We were disappointed not to win, obviously, because we knew that’s what we needed to get to the tournament.”
The team was led by fifth place finisher Charles Joubert, who tallied an even-par 216 for the three days and made the All-Tournament First Team. The Bulldogs had a one-shot lead heading into the back nine on Tuesday, but played holes 11-14 at eight over par and could not recover. Coach Hackney believes the team will use this experience and improve coming next season. “We will be even better next year and be ready to make a postseason appearance.”
The Wingate Bulldogs men’s lacrosse team is hoping to take advantage of some home field advantage throughout the South Atlantic Conference tournament here at Graham Gill Field this weekend.
The Bulldogs, 9-5 overall and 7-1 in the SAC, are hosting the Final Four of the Tournament this weekend. Wingate had a bye round in the quarterfinals by earning the No. 2 seed in the conference. The team has caught fire at the right moment, winning five straight heading into the tournament, the most recent win coming in a close battle on Saturday, a 10-9 home victory over Queens, which is the tournament’s top seed.
Wingate plays No. 3 seed Lincoln Memorial University (14-3) today at 1:30 p.m., a rematch which had the Bulldogs winning 11-10 on March 31.
“Everybody is ready and excited to play LMU again and I think we have a pretty good chance of going to the championship,” said senior Marc James.
Junior Christian Hall added, “We just don’t want the year to end.”
The Wingate-LMU winner will play the winner of the semifinal game between Queens and No. 4 Lenoir-Rhyne for the championship on Sunday.
Since the fall of 2016, the Leo club has been continuing its growth at Wingate and looks towards the upcoming changes and growth opportunities that are coming into the near future.The Leo club is an organization that looks to educate the student body about the visually impaired. It is also a community service organization.
“It’s a mixture of service and educating ourselves and the campus about those topics. We have monthly meetings to discuss how we can impact our community with our projects. Coming up, we have a Roadside cleanup day on April 21st.” Senior Leah Joyner said.
The club has made strides in their successful community projects and have worked closely with clubs such as the Lion Club in recent time.
The group is very active and continuing to grow. There is still much planned for the club in the future too. “We have not begun planning for the fall yet, but will definitely have the letters to Soldiers event where students can write letters to Soldiers for Christmas. We may also do reading buddy services for the Wingate Elementary School as well as other visual- awareness related projects.” President Gabrielle Slabaugh said.
Joyner and Slabaugh also discussed their favorite moments in the club this year. “I liked being a part of something bigger than myself by participating in a team to accomplish common objectives. Out of the many events we have done with the Leo club, I enjoyed volunteering at the letters to soldier’s event last November. It was great way to interact with people who all wanted to write a thank you letter to a soldier and hear their stories.” Joyner said.
“My favorite event this calendar year was our Visual Olympics event where we hosted different challenges to spread awareness of various visual maladies. I believe there are pictures of that on our social media; if you can’t find them, let me know. Leo Club is focused on the same service areas that the international Lions Club is focused on, specifically community service through recycling and awareness of and aid to the blind.” Slabaugh said.
Even though the Leo Club is still a new organization, the impact the club is having on campus and in the community is continuing to grow.
Instead of walking out of class, walk up to a student who is isolated and be nice to them. While this seems like a good idea at first, when it is looked deeper into it, this is victim blaming.
The entire point of the walk out was for students to take a stand as they feel that the Government is not doing their job of taking care of this situation. After the shooting on February 14th in Parkland, Florida, students have begun to demand better reform on gun laws and for people in control to stand up.
Instead of helping the students, people are choosing to call out students. Telling them to walk up instead of out is such a typical thing for today’s conservative Americans who like to ignore real everyday situations.
The youth of today is trying to stand for something they believe in and are asking for support from the American community only for them to be told that they are in the wrong.
It’s not unusual for people to try and change a movement to become inclusive to all. For example, “All lives matter!”, which was used to combat the “exclusive” political stand of “Black lives matter.”
They chose to ignore the problems at hand and make them into something that will bring less attention. Once students began to express that they were going to walk out and protest gun violence people on social media began to tell them how the idea was wrong. Telling students to walk up, not out began to spread on social media and soon enough everyone was posting about it trying to ignore the real problem at hand.
Is walking up going to show the government that we need reforms on guns or that the students are sick of being ignored and told they are too young to have opinions? Walking out is something that allows them to protest and make headlines.
Walking up is victim-blaming. Yes, it wouldn’t hurt kids to be nicer, but telling them that they are the cause of school shootings is wrong. Walking up is suggesting that the kids who have died in these shootings would have lived if they had been “nicer.”
This is also making kids across America feel more excluded and seemingly like an outcast even more. The logic of a walk up is telling students to walk up to the kids that they feel like would be the ones to bring a gun to school.
Imagine being one of those misjudged kids to get on social media and see that the kids only came up to you because they fear that you would kill them. This hashtag is telling students that it is their fault that school shootings are happening. This entire trend is taking away from the fact that the problem we face is an epidemic of gun violence and is placing the blame on students.
They act as if the entire problem of gun violence can be solved by just being nicer to people.
There’s a big difference between love and hate when it comes to being an athlete. The path every athlete takes isn’t the same and the reasoning for the things they do aren’t always the same either. I talked with Wingate assistant basketball coach Marcus Kirkland to get to know more about him and his journey to becoming a basketball coach.
Coach Kirkland was born in Genoa, Italy, where his dad was a professional basketball player as well as in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers. Guess it’s not too hard to see where his basketball genes came from. Coach Kirkland said that, “Being around my dad as a younger child always just inspired me to want to be just like him, but better” is what pushed him to be as good as he could be in the game.
Coach Kirkland played his college ball at Hampton University in Virginia. Standing at 6-foot-4 l with a 40-inch standing vertical, his career didn’t just stop once he graduated from Hampton. Coach Kirkland had the nasty go to move where he faked the middle, drove the baseline and punched it down on the other side of the rim that made fans go crazy.
What he dreamed about doing as a little kid was finally becoming a reality when he got the opportunity to play professional basketball overseas. Coach Kirkland played 6 years of professional basketball in two different cities. His first stop was Rome where he made more of a name for himself before making that transition to Milan where they paid the big bucks.
Being an athlete people always tell you to have a back up plan because you never know what could happen on any given day. Well, that was the case with Coach Kirkland and he had his back up plan in place. After 6 years of ball, a gruesome injury to his leg cut his career short to the point where he couldn’t play basketball anymore.
He then began coaching at Reading College in Reading, PA before coming to Wingate University in 2010. It takes a lot to coach and mentor young men and that’s something Kirkland cherishes when it comes to his job. Coach Kirkland said, “I love to shape, mold and mentor, watching young men become men.”
Growing up in life you have to learn how to make tough decisions and sometimes those tough decisions could hurt the people you care about. Coaching isn’t easy and when you are teaching men to become men, you have to also treat them that way. Coach Kirkland said, “The hard conversations about life, grades, performances, the things young adults might not want to here about but they are important. Maybe the parents aren’t happy about something and you have to handle that.” Talking to Coach Kirkland really helped me and motivated me to strive and also helped me understand how to handle certain situations.
Edited by Brendan Shriver
Photo Credits to Wingate University Sports Information
This past week, all of the Greek organizations at Wingate University gathered together to celebrate Greek week. Greek week is an annual event on campus where the organizations get together and compete in events to win a trophy and a winning title.
The first events began Tuesday around 5pm. Organizations presented their tokens they crafted while dressing in 70’s themed clothing. These tokens made up of a album cover and record decorated by each organization. Chi Omega took the win for the Token making.
Shortly after, the next event took place, which was the cardboard boat races. Each organization had only 30 minutes to build a boat using just two pool noodles, Cardboard, and Duct Tape. Sadly, only 1 boat made it to the end.
Chi Omega had the fastest time and walked away with two wins. Wednesdays events was a Trivia match and the theme was 50’s attire. Chi Omega won with Pi Kappa Phi following behind them.
Thursday was many people’s favorite event, The annual Variety Show. Each organization was paired with another and they had to prepare 15 minutes of dancing under several guidelines.
Alpha Xi Delta and Alpha Omicron Pi came up with a catchy dance to some of their favorite songs from the decades. Chi Omega and Pi Kappa Phi wowed the crowd with some intense dance moves and a stunt that left the crowd going wild.
Lastly the sisters of Sigma Sigma Sigma and the brothers of Kappa Alpha Order performed a creative routine where they traveled through TV land dancing to all of their favorite television hits. The results came in and Tri Sigma and Kappa Alpha Order took the win with their routine.
Fridays event was the Window Painting contest in front of Starbucks, The winners were Alpha Xi Delta, second Chi Omega, and third Alpha Omicron Pi.
Finally, on Saturday all of the organizations gathered at Campus Lake to finish off with several minutes-to-win-it games. After the games, the Greek Week Champion was announced. This years’s winner was the sisters of Chi Omega!
These girls were so happy to win again! I asked senior, Mackenzie Ponds, memeber of Chi Omega, how she felt when they announced her chapter had won. She said “I was very proud and excited for our chapter. This was my third time winning in my four years on campus. It gets more exciting every year to find out who will win. We put in a lot of work for greek week and hearing that we won is always a great feeling”.
The organizations then took a special moment to recognize Diana Coyle for all of her hard work and sending her farewells after working with Wingate Greek Life for the past 8 years. Everyone gathered in a circle while the sisters of Chi Omega sang their farewell song “shades”, since Diana is a former Chi Omega.
I was able to get an interview with her and asked what she loved most about Greek Week and what she would miss most about Wingate Greek life Community. She said “This year’s closing ceremony for Greek Week will go down as one of my fondest memories. Seeing the community all come together to celebrate as I prepare for my next big step in my career was bittersweet. I will remember the laughs of the minute-to-win-it games and the enjoyment of free food from Two Chicks and a Truck, I will even recall the misty rain that was taking place during the event. As a Chi Omega, having my sisters sing our special song, Shades, to me was the icing on the cake. As my final Greek Week at Wingate came to a close, I definitely realized it would be my favorite one to date.”
Diana said she would miss the family aspect of what Greek Life is, she came from a chapter with 100+ members so working with the small chapters here at Wingate helped to create a closer bond.
Diana gave some great advice, she says “As a sorority women, I continue to be amazed by what the connection of sorority life has offered me. Being able to build off that common life connection is magical, I love being able to share that network with collegiate women and the 80-year-old woman in the airport that is wearing her sorority letters. I encourage all members to hold their membership close to their heart, and to be grateful for all it provides to you.”
I also had the opportunity to talk to several members from other organizations to get their favorite memories from Greek week. Overall everyone had a great time getting to know other organizations better than they did when the week started. This years Greek week, was one for the books!
“I think my favorite memory is the variety show, because it was so much fun dancing and learning the routines with everyone. I also love how we came together as a community here at Wingate.” – Mckelvey Stone (Kappa Alpha Order) Freshman.
“My favorite part of Greek Week is the spirit aspect! I loved being able to dress up in decades themes with all of my sisters. It was fun to see the creativeness of what people wore, and how they used our themes of the 50’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s to show off their personal style and creativeness!” –Amanda Alling (Chi Omega) Senior.
As the spring semester comes to a close, Wingate seniors are looking forward to graduation and life outside of campus. Some will go on to graduate school, while others have found internships and jobs, and still others will make these decisions after graduating once coursework is behind them. We interviewed three graduating seniors to find out what their plans are and how their time at Wingate prepared them for life after graduation.
Marissa Vittorio is currently an Exercise Science major, a member of Tri-Sigma sorority, and program assistant of Employee Resources. Her wide involvement on campus at Wingate has prepared her for graduate school.
She has been accepted as a graduate assistant at Emory University to study Campus Recreation and is also waiting to hear back from Georgia State University’s Sports Administration Master’s program. Marissa says that she will miss the people at Wingate University: her friends, sorority, bosses, coworkers, and some professors.
Looking ahead to life after Wingate, Marissa said, “It’s scary to go from a set, protected schedule to do all these things on my own that I’ve never done before.” She also commented on the uncertainty of the future; even at this point in the semester, she is still waiting to hear back from different programs so that she can make concrete plans. In high school, we all knew where we were going after graduation by April; post-college plans are not as easy to decide on.
Kaitlyn Meyers, an Athletics Training major, is currently busy attending clinicals with the Wingate football team every day while also participating in the Athletics Training club. Next year, she will work as a graduate assistant at Georgia State University, where she will work as an athletic trainer while earning her Master’s degree in Sports Administration.
She is currently waiting on her results from the Board of Certification test, which will allow her to work independently as a certified athletic trainer. In addition to being nervous about her test results, she is also nervous about living on her own for the first time and finding an apartment. She says that what she will miss most about Wingate is the family atmosphere, since everybody knows everybody and it’s caring environment.
Dani Wolfe is also majoring in Athletics Training, and is a member of the Athletics Training club and the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, and currently works with the football team. She does not currently have a job lined up, but she is waiting to hear back from a couple of Physical Therapy schools.
She hopes to be accepted to one and continue with her education as a physical therapist. If she is not accepted to a physical therapy program this year, then she plans to work as an athletic trainer. She is concerned that her post-graduation plans are not yet set in stone, but she knows that she has options available.
Looking back on her time at Wingate, Dani said, “I am not ready for these four years to be over. It’s crazy how fast they’ve gone by.” What Dani will miss most about Wingate is living with and seeing her best friends every day, the family dinners, endless laughs, athletic training clinicals, and the friends that have turned into family over the past four years.
Even though the seniors do not all know what the future holds, they all share four years of memories of their time at Wingate and will take what they have learned here to excel in their future jobs and studies. Good luck, graduating seniors! Thank you for making an impact on the university, and we wish you the best in whatever the future holds for you.