Kristen Johnson Yost University’s Communication Specialist

Staff Writer: Alexandria Sessions

If you’ve checked your email recently chances are you have probably received an email from Kristen Johnson Yost, in the last few days. Yost, our very own campus Communication Specialist and University spokesperson, makes sure students and President Rhett Brown are up-to-date on all things Wingate, but are we up-to-date on all things Kristen?

Before leaving her footprints on the grounds of Wingate University, the Elon University alum decided to try her hand at interior design only to realize that may not have been her thing. Instead, she found her niche in public speaking, going to competitions and not shying away from a single sentence.

“So I thought ‘Oh my gosh, you can make money just speaking! That’s so cool’,” Yost said. “When  I was trying to decide on what I wanted to do going to college…I’ve never been terrified speaking in groups of people and so I thought ‘Sure, I’ll go for that [Communications].’”

With the uncertainty of financial stability of just Communications, Yost graduated from Elon University with a double emphasis in Broadcast and Corporate Communications. In 2005, she landed her first Journalist job at an NBC station located in West Virginia. A year later she moved on to CBS affiliated with WDEF in Chattanooga, TN. Four years went by and she ended up being a one-man band for WBTV in Charlotte, NC.

“It was a great experience. I met a lot of great people and got to tell a lot of great stories,” Yost said. “I’m from a small town, so being able to broaden my horizon about how other people think and their perspectives and opinions was definitely eye-opening.” 

Grateful for the experience, the journalist found her next step through a mutual co-worker who knew Wingate’s former Marketing Director, Jeff Hakinson who needed help managing WUTV here on campus at the time.

“I was hired on to be the executive producer of the station as a marketing tool. It was a great step out of the news but still doing the news side of storytelling, and introduced me for the first to the behind-the-scenes of higher ed,” Yost said.

  Along with teaching the Studio Broadcast course here at Wingate University, Johnson Yost wears many hats in the office of Stegall including helping Brown and pushing out news for both faculty and staff, and students. 

  “I help Dr. Brown, our president, with external and internal communications…just kind of preparing him to know who he’s talking to, what they want to get out of the meeting, and all that good stuff,” Yost said. “For university Spokesperson, it’s just representing the university whenever the media calls, so putting out COVID response team emails or crisis management response emails.”

With these two positions, the former WBTV journalist has to work closely with Brown, who is intentional with his job, including showing appreciation for his co-workers and staff. This display of appreciation was something Kristen was not used to coming out of the News Writing business where everything is fast-paced.

“ Coming to Wingate was the very first time somebody ever told me ‘I appreciate you and the first time that they are like ‘I appreciate the work that you do’,” Yost said. “I never realized how meaningful that was until I heard it. In the news, it is just churning stuff out and there you are a dime a dozen. If you leave they will be replacing you the next day.”

Yost believes that Brown wants to see everyone succeed and thinks Rhett Brown is a great boss.

“I do appreciate the fact that he is so approachable… and very relatable. The fact that he went to this school and invested so much of his life in the school and that’s why I think that he genuinely cares about the students that go here and seeing them succeed, the same with employees too,” The 38-year-old said.

After arriving here in 2013 and taking on multiple positions, she still enjoys working at Wingate University, so when asked to move her office into Stegall to work closely with the administrative staff and Brown in 2019 she jumped at the opportunity. The constant change of positions is normal for the University spokesperson whose contracts in previous journalism positions, lasted about three years. With the school growing in many directions she continues to aid in any way she can. In a previous story in 2016 written by Robert Gay, on Wingate’s Weekly Triangle Yost said, “I’m a doer and always up for the challenge.”

Yost believes the Communication major is broad and can lead you to do many things, take her career path as an example. The former interim director of Marketing and Communications has some advice for students who picked up communication as their major.

“I think it’s a great field to go into especially if you don’t know exactly what you want to do,” Yost said. “My advice for students in the communication field is to keep in mind that you can do so much with it that you don’t need to limit yourself. Take advantage of every opportunity you have.”

Savannah’s Scoop

Staff Writer: Savannah Phillips

“I hate to be the bearer of bad news…” the doctor said as he entered my room in the ER. At that moment I knew- my toe was broken. You are probably wondering, how did you manage to do that? Well, the answer is simple, I was moving too fast. I didn’t take enough time to make sure my foot touched every step of that stairwell, and I slipped down. 

Now, I’m in bed recovering, I have to use crutches, elevate my foot, apply ice… you get the idea. After realizing that I would be out of school for 2 weeks, or more depending on what the OrthoCarolina specialists have to say, I beat myself up. I said to myself, if you would have worn different shoes this never would have happened! I even thought, if you would have gone a different way, you never would have fallen! The secret ingredient in both of my little thought bubbles was “if.” 

This brings me to the first lesson I have learned from my broken toe. 

1. We plague ourselves with this one tiny, minuscule word, “if,” that holds so much meaning! The truth is, when something happens, it happens. There’s no wondering what alternate scenario could have avoided it. All wondering accomplishes is making you feel guilty or simply refusing to view the circumstance as it is. 

Secondly, my fall resembles something I’m quite familiar with. 

2. Sometimes we get too far ahead of ourselves in life resulting in a fall, and sometimes, a break. Healing is a part of life. 

You thought that relationship was going perfectly- that you finally found your person. But then, they break up with you. You got too far ahead of yourself. 

You thought you would get that position on campus, but someone else was a bit more qualified. You got too far ahead of yourself. 

Don’t beat yourself up for the anticipation of a “win.” We all believe things will go our way, and sometimes they do, but when they don’t, we have to recover from the fall and learn to walk again. 

In the words of Bear Bryant, “Expect the unexpected.”

WU Cheer Tumbles Their Way to Being Top Dog

Staff Writer: Madison Mataxas

We see them on the sidelines of sporting events dawning smiles on their faces, repping their blue and gold uniforms, and performing for the crowds, but more goes into the Wingate Cheerleader’s routines than many of us realize. 

The season kicks off in August with the team participating in the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) camp. Here is where they learn a lot of material that they can put into their routine for the NCA National Championship. During this year’s camp, the team got a bid to compete in Daytona, Florida, and would be competing in the Game Day Open division against three other teams including rival school Lenoir-Rhyne.

During the two-day competition, the scores were split between the days. Points earned on the first day accounted for 25% of the final score and the remaining 75% were earned on day two. “On day one, we competed and hit our routine which moved us into 1st place by 4 points which was an amazing place for us to be going into finals,” sophomore cheerleader Keri Hennessee said. 

Skip forward to day 2, it’s time for finals. The team arrived at the Ocean Center for warmups where everyone’s energy showed that the Bulldogs came to play and were ready to go. Entering the Band Shell, the team was more than ready to show off what they have been practicing since August. “The team came to life…we hit the best routine that we have ever done, and it felt amazing walking off the mat,” Hennessee said. Before the team scores were announced, Head Coach Kelly Sheppard pulled the team aside to tell them that the Bulldogs’ score had gone up by 1.5 points and that was the moment that the team knew they solidified their 1st place spot in the Game Day Open division. “When we were presented with our trophy we were overjoyed because we knew we had just become National Champs,” Hennessee said.

After WU Cheer was presented with the championship trophy, banner, and national title the team headed to the beach to participate in the tradition of running into the ocean to celebrate their win. “That was one of the most special moments we had as a team, it was something we’ll remember forever…Our team is so excited and thankful that we get to bring home another national title,” Hennessee said with a smile.

Wingate Women’s Lacrosse Update

Staff Writer: Bella Pellet

It has been a whirlwind of a season so far for the Wingate Women’s Lacrosse team. Since the Dogs’ first game, they have made history in these past 10 weeks. Back on March 5th, the Dogs beat Limestone for the first time since the Saints have moved into the Southern Atlantic Conference. 

A few weeks later, on March 21st, the Bulldogs were ranked 25th in all of Division 2 women’s lacrosse. This was the first time in program history the women’s lacrosse team from Wingate has ever been ranked. The accomplishments of the women’s team just continue to grow. 

Since that first ranking on March 21st, the Dogs have been able to move up to #21 in the nation. They have won their last 7 consecutive games against rivals. On that road to #21, there have been some memorable moments.

In the game on March 25th against UVA Wise the Dogs took home the win 20-11. Senior Paige Kamar scored a career-high of six goals, adding three assists, four ground balls and three caused turnovers. 

The team beat the Mars Hill Lions on the road 21-2. Junior captain Leah Knowles led the way with four goals and added four draw controls, two ground balls and two caused turnovers. Junior captain Megan Biase also came up huge for the Bulldogs as she did not allow a single goal in the first half of the game. 

In the next game, the Bulldogs held Catawba to 5 goals in their 16-5 win. Senior captain Becca Ruiz contributed three goals while junior defender Emily Phipps added a team high of six ground balls, three caused turnovers and two draw controls. 

The Bulldogs took down the Lincoln Memorial University Railsplitters on April 2nd with a score of 19 – 3 win. Freshman Danielle Scarfogliero had a team high five points with two goals and three assists, either scoring or assisting on each of Wingate’s first five goals. 

On April 9th, the Wingate Women’s lacrosse team beat the Newberry Wolves 15-13. This game was a battle for the dogs as it was more physical than normal. Although the conditions were rough, Head Coach Abby Wiley had taught her team to be composed and never stoop to the Wolves attitude levels. Due to this, Dogs came out on top. Not to mention it was Head Coach Abby Wiley’s 100th career win! Coach Wiley has been at Wingate for four years and ever since her arrival she has been building the program from the ground up. It was also during this game that goalie captain Megan Biase piled up her 250 career saves!

On April 13th, the Wingate Women’s lacrosse faced off against their historic rivals the Lenoir Rhyne Bears. The Bulldogs once again held off the Bears 22-9. Freshman attacker Nelida Watson added a goal and two assists to assist with the win. Junior attacker Kayleigh Hiles and freshman midfielder Claire Fuchs contributed to the win by each scoring twice. 

Just two days after the Lenoir Rhyne Game, the Bulldogs faced off against Mount Olive, an out of conference rival for them. This game was the senior game for the five seniors of the program, Becca Ruiz, Bella Pellet, Caroline Heffner, Camyrn Gallagher and Paige Kamer. The Bulldog defense came up huge in this game holding Mount Olive to only 3 goals. This effort was led by junior captain Megan Biase in goal. She tallied up 11 saves throughout the game. 

As the team approaches the last regular season game this Saturday, April 23rd against the Tusculum Pioneers. Following the next week, they have the Southern Atlantic Conference Championship weekend to look forward to. With all the hard work the Dogs have put in, they have been able to secure a spot in the semi-finals, bypassing the quarterfinals. The championship weekend is held at Lenoir Rhyne University. The semi-finals will take place on Friday and if the Dogs progress, they will be in the championship game on Sunday. 

This season for the Wingate Women’s Lacrosse team has been a record breaking one and they do not intend to stop making history until they bring home a Southern Atlantic Conference championship for the first time. 

How to Solve the World’s Problems

Staff Writer: Emily Werner

These are trying times. We’re almost three years into the pandemic, Russia and Ukraine are at war, and One Direction is still broken up. There are so many issues in the world and it seems as though nobody knows how to solve them… except me. 

Debt and poverty are debilitating to the average person. This country (and a good portion of the entire world) has so much debt. We have an enormous amount of people living on the streets, unable to afford food or healthcare. People are forced to choose between basic necessities; either go to the dentist for the first time in years, or get your kid school supplies. Have dinner or get a warmer winter coat. Nobody should have to live like that. My solution? Give everyone a house. It’s possible. According to Statistica, there are more than 30 empty houses per homeless person in America. Vacant, functional, climate-controlled homes that no one is using. Everyone needs a house. Give them the houses. How do we pay for it? Where will the money come from? How will the world go on?! Simple; PRINT MORE MONEY. Don’t try to talk to me about inflation and economics. Money is made up. We can assign a value to any piece of paper. We have before. Just don’t tell anyone you’re doing it. Duh. Civilizations used to use salt as currency, so I think we can deal with a few more bills coming out of the mint. 

It’s too late to solve coronavirus. Too many people have it at this point, but here’s what I would’ve done. Two words: Typhoid Mary. You know, the cook who gave everyone typhoid fever? She was told not to be a chef anymore yet kept getting cooking jobs and infecting people. At the start of the pandemic, we should have taken every person from that plane and put them on North Brother Island, where Typhoid Mary once resided. Then, anyone who they’ve come in contact with is monitored to make sure they don’t have symptoms. If they do – bye. North Brother Island. Yes, isolation is extreme, but so is coronavirus. 

Gun violence is a huge problem in the US. Kids are being gunned down in schools, a man recently opened fire on a crowded subway car in New York City, and 54% of all gun-related deaths are related to suicide. How do we fix this? It’s hard to come up with a solution to this because of how many people would choose their gun over their firstborn child, but I’ve come up with one. Stricter background checks. If you want to get a gun, you should have to go through a year of therapy and consent to your therapist sharing their findings with the gun distributor. If they find you unfit to own one, you don’t get one. People assume that having a mental illness automatically means you’re dangerous, but that is not the case, hence the year of therapy – to ensure you are not a danger to yourself or others. We could also do a rental system. If you want your gun for hunting, go ahead and rent one. This way we have paper trails. Same with selling them at gun shows or whatever place you can buy a gun without a license. Paper trails keep track of guns so there’s never any confusion about who has them.

Starvation affects 9.9% of the world’s population. That may not seem like a lot, but it is over 79 million people. How would I solve this? Stop treating food like a luxury item that only certain people deserve. If everyone had access to food and clean water, you wouldn’t see those commercials about starving babies across the world. All people deserve to be able to take care of themselves. Food and water should be a not-for-profit item. Like the houses.

The world’s biggest problem is that One Direction has been on their 18-month hiatus since 2016. I’d solve this by tricking them. I’d have them all set to perform at the same stadium at the same time and ask them to sing the same song. They’d be on five segments of a stage, and as they sing, the walls come up to reveal they’re all together. This would bring back memories and strong feelings of nostalgia for them. They would realize the world would be better off with them together. They will finally tour their fifth album and they will continue to make more music. What a dream.

Courtesy of US Weekly

Obviously, the answers to the world’s problems are so much more complex. Sometimes there isn’t an answer at all. Nobody is going to just give someone a vacant house or food. Nobody is going to give up their guns or do extensive background checks. One Direction might do a reunion tour someday, but that’ll be it for them. People are not going to quarantine to prevent the coronavirus from spreading. There is no convincing everyone that they should care about others. Our society is very individualistic and it shows when it comes to these issues. Unfortunately, some of these may never get fixed. Some will get worse. I am serious about my One Direction plan, though.

Happy April Fools’ Day!

Staff Writer: Jacob Almond

Most of you can probably say that you have been fooled once or twice before on April Fools’ Day, maybe by someone you know personally or a celebrity pulling a prank on the general public. 

However, there have been times the public thought something was a joke on April Fools’ Day when it wasn’t, such as the announcement that David Lee Roth was out of Van Halen on April 1, 1985, or that even last year, April 1, 2021, that Roy Williams was retiring as head coach for the University of North Carolina. 

So how did all of this start?

Some say it originated in France under Charles IX, when he declared that the new year would no longer start on Easter, but would begin on January 1. Since Easter was considered lunar and a movable date, those who followed the old ways were considered “April Fools”. 

Others speculate that it could be related to the vernal equinox which takes place on March 21,  a time people are often thrown off by the weather. 

Despite the variations on where this globally recognized holiday originated, all cultures have in common the fact that this day is set apart for one to try and fool someone else. 

So how will you spend your April Fools’ Day? Will you be the puppet master of an April joke, or will you be the puppet?

OTF Gaming Kicks Off An Early Start To Success

Staff Writer: Dwayne Davis

WINGATE, NC– Most student-athletes on college campuses are known for their hard work on and off the field but not so much for their gaming skills. Once considered as a distraction to young kids and even adults, video games have opened doors for many, while turning casual players into multi-millionaire athletes. Thanks to the progressive popularity of eSports and gaming, a junior football player at Wingate University, Darius Randolph has seen nothing but success after being inspired to start his own gaming team.

Randolph looks to be one of the biggest names in the history of the eSports league as he kicks off his gaming team, “OTF Gaming.” The team consists of several gamers that he has met on and off the field throughout the balance of both careers. When Darius isn’t busy putting in those hours inside the Irwin Belk Stadium, he runs constant games of Call of Duty on his Xbox Series X late at night. Being a Division ll football player takes up countless hours of his life so his team is what keeps him going. 

“I really don’t get to enjoy my passion for video games as much as I want to. My roster of gamers that I hand-picked was the perfect move in my opinion. They have lots of free time and don’t do anything but treat this gaming stuff like a full-time job.”

In fact, being on the roster of OTF Gaming is really like a 9-5 job to the players. Competing in tournaments in many of the friendly wagers that go on in the Call of Duty pro-community allows for the team to earn unthinkable amounts of cash for just “playing a video game” like many mothers would recall. Fortunate sponsors such as Firstblood and many others host tournaments for gamers like Randolph’s team and have a ranking system or bracket just like the NBA or any other sport. However, just like any other sport comes with the responsibility of holding practices and putting in the hours of training. To many, this might sound a little unusual but for the players of OTF, this is an almost everyday thing. 

“I wake up, eat breakfast and watch my favorite streamers on Twitch, then I go run a session of squad games on Warzone, sleep, and repeat. I try to do the same thing that Optic Scump does. He’s kind of the Micheal Jordan of the eSports league,” said OTF Big Ty, one of the eight on Randolph’s team.

As Big Ty mentioned, Scump is one of the most honored and also most emulated in the history of gaming. He was one of the first big names when it came to eSports and inspired many other players such as Darius to compete and take his favorite hobby to a professional level. Surpassing over a million Twitch stream viewers and over $400,000 in earnings, it is safe to say that Optic Scump is a staple and an idol for both Randolph and his roster.

Just like Scump, Darius wants to be one of the many gamers that have crossed the benchmark and stigma that gaming is just gaming. He wants to be one of those guys that turn gaming into a more popular sport to show the younger generation that football and basketball isn’t the only way to make money while doing what you love. With Randolph being a psychology major at Wingate he definitely uses those skills when it comes to grinding towards his goal. 

“I don’t think I want my body to be worn out from countless hours of hitting on the football field, CTE is very common in the professional league and even other sports so I don’t think it’s worth the risk. Playing with OTF and having a shot at the eSports league sit right with me knowing that the risk of injury isn’t there. I want this team to be generational and create opportunities for those who don’t have that athletic gift or weren’t blessed with those genes,” Darius spoke. 

When it comes to his team, it seems as if they were gifted with a special and natural talent for gaming. Winning five tournaments of Call of Duty has shined the light not only on Darius but also on most of his teammates gaining notoriety from the likes of big gamers such as Faze Swagg and Faze Temperr. If Darius keeps going in the direction that he’s going, he is sure to be a big competitor in the eSports league sitting right beside the greatest.

Savannah’s Scoop

What if I told you that your own worst enemy is someone that you know quite well? What if I told you that it is yourself? I know it’s hard to hear- we each hold onto so much pride.

 I’ll be the first to admit that last night, I was brought to my knees… as my pride crumbled onto the ground, I felt humbled. God brought me to my knees indeed, exactly where I needed to be. 

 “You can’t have your cake and eat it, too,” as they say. Think about it, if something, or somebody, is in our way, we move them. There are often mountains between us and our goals, but we tend to climb them anyway. So, why is it that we can’t seem to overcome ourselves? 

We are the hardest obstacle to move, I think, because it’s a struggle between “you and yourself.” The human mind is a powerful thing, and we often are faced with what we want, and what is truly right. It’s easy to give someone else advice, but when it comes to having the conversation with yourself, the innermost parts of who we are are often stubborn. 

Though resistant at first to the realization that I had to change Myself, the grip slowly loosened. It was uncomfortable to overcome those twisted emotions, the war that raged in my head. But once you realize that you are your own worst enemy, the struggle will begin to fade away and the answer is clear- how bad do you want to change? Bad enough to get yourself out of the way?

-Savannah Phillips

Racing Minds and Winning Times at NCAA Division II Championship

Staff Writer: Madison Mataxas

If you’ve picked up a newspaper or been on any form of social media within the last month, chances are you know a little bit about what has been happening between Russia and Ukraine. More often than not, when we think of war, our thoughts don’t immediately go to the large numbers of students from the warring countries that are watching historical events unfold in their homeland from their dorm rooms in countries across the world.

Even fewer thoughts are devoted to the student-athletes working tirelessly to stay focused and perform at their championship meets or games. Among these athletes are Wingate swimmers Slava Ohnov from Ukraine, Fedor Sokolov from Russia, and Queens University swimmer Vlada Maznytska from Ukraine who worked hard to put their heavy hearts and cluttered minds aside and compete for NCAA titles at the Division II Championships in Greensboro, NC earlier this month.

As individual qualifiers for the NCAA championships, they knew that even with everything going on with them internally, their coaches and teammates counted on them to help win titles and points for the team. Throughout the meet, they realized that competing is one of the important things they could be doing to raise awareness and support during a time they all need it most.

At NCAAs Ohnov, a Junior at Wingate, competed in the 50 Freestyle, 100 Freestyle, and several relays for the Bulldogs. He won first-team All-American honors in the 100 Freestyle where he finished seventh and in the 400 Freestyle Relay. “It didn’t go as well as I’d like or hoped it would…I made a few finals and won some NCAA trophies…I can’t say that I’m completely satisfied with it, but I’ll take it, especially with everything that is going on,” Ohnov said. Before coming to the US, Ohnov and Maznytska swam together and studied in the same school for a little bit. More now than ever, they try to keep in touch, checking in on each other and their families. “Thank God we still have ways to connect with our families…I text my mother every day and call once every 3 to 4 days,” Ohnov said.

To many of us, being on the other side of the world from our families and friends while war has broken out in our country feels like a very foreign concept, but for Ohnov and his family, it is becoming their new normal. “They’re scared, but my mom recently told me that they are starting to get used to the emergency alarms…it’s not a good thing but they are trying to keep their routine going,” Ohnov said. He went on to say that many of his friends have gone to help with territorial defense and even though they don’t have military experience, there are people with experience teaching them. “I talked to one of my friends who went to the frontline and made it back. He said it was the scariest thing he has ever seen…I’m just glad he made it back,” Ohnov sighed. “I have never been more proud to be a Ukrainian and I kind of feel guilty for not being there but my friends have said that they don’t need people right now, they need supplies (weapons, ammunition, and food)…We have more people than resources…People go for defense and are sent back after they are checked in and are told that they will be called when they are needed.”.

While talking about what is happening in their country can be painful, Ohnov feels that doing so helps spread awareness and support. He has recently started a GoFundMe to help his family in Kropyvnytskyi, Ukraine, 200 miles south of Kyiv, and has already raised $3,580 which he will send directly to them. “I have received a lot of support from teammates, friends, and even the Wingate staff like professors…I couldn’t ask for more…I started this to financially help my family and the shelters because it’s the best way I can help them right now,” Ohnov said.

His family has stayed in Ukraine to take care of Ohnov’s grandparents and 3 dogs so leaving is not easy. “They are trying to help out everyone around…My mother is an elementary school teacher and has been helping to make the school into a shelter for refugees and those without a place to live,” Ohnov said. 

Looking toward the future, Ohnov’s summer plans are a bit different this year. With his home country at war and Ukraine’s travel restrictions, he is not able to return for the summer, but he is not letting that stop him. As a Criminal Justice major, he has applied for internships in South Carolina in their Law Enforcement Division to gain experience and benefit his future career and will continue to train for the 2022-2023 swim season where he has high hopes to compete at NCAAs for himself and his country once more.

Link to Slava Ohnov’s GoFundMe:

Jarren Cottingham’s All-Conference and All-Regional Titles

Staff Writer: Madelyn Cherry

The Wingate men’s basketball team had an overall record this 2021-22 season of 21-8. Jarren Cottingham, a redshirt junior guard, contributed to the team’s season with 943 minutes of playing time, 469 points, and 84 assists. In previous years, Cottingham has received numerous titles that have contributed to his basketball career. Recently, Cottingham won the title of NABC 2nd team all-regional accolades and earned the first team all-SAC honor for the second straight year in the 2021-22 season. 

In order to decide the title of the NABC 2nd team all-region accolades, coaches in the region vote and the amount of votes received for the players determine what team they fall on. “I guess they felt I was deserving of it and I am very appreciative of the award,” Cottingham said. 

He says that what motivates him to reach these milestones in his career is the disrespect he receives from players from other schools. He says that it is his goal to always be the top-dog on the court against rival schools. Although he is thankful for all of the titles he has received, 

“I am happy to be all-conference and all-region, but I am missing one thing and that is a championship. My career has a void without it. Once I win that championship I will feel complete,” Cottingham said.

For him to reach these goals and continue to receive these titles, Cottingham puts in hours of extra work. He spends much of his time in the gym and on the court but also makes sure to eat healthy foods and get a lot of sleep to keep his body healthy. He says “repetition is key,” and in order to master his craft, he works constantly on his game. Winning these titles does put some extra pressure on him to be excellent every game, but he believes that he thrives under pressure. 

“I have no problem with putting more weight on my shoulders to get this program to where it needs to be. I just try to go out and play and help my team win games in any way,” Cottingham said. 

Cottingham took a redshirt year which he believes helped him get to where he is today. His year off allowed him to focus on his game and his strength. He was able to put on weight and even grew taller. He believes that his redshirt year jump-started his next season. Which led him to win all-conference and all-regional this past season. Cottingham is preparing for his next season and hopes to win the championship title.