Category Archives: Wingate University

Women’s basketball GA Grisillo earns promotion to assistant coach

By Harrison Taylor, Staff Writer

What do you do when the thing you love the most is suddenly out of your reach? Do you give up? Or do you find another way to channel that love in a different way?

Most athletes who tear their ACL probably wouldn’t go the route that Katelyn Grisillo, Wingate’s new women’s assistant basketball coach, decided to go.

katelyn-grisillo

Grisillo, a graduate assistant coach here for the past two years, recently earned a promotion to the full-time staff after assistant coach Celeste Stewart left to take a new job at East Carolina University.

As she comes in to tell me about the career she had before coming to Wingate, Grisillo beams with level-headed energy with a positive, headstrong attitude pressing on the front of her words. She apologizes for being late, as she’s been out all day preparing for the camp her team is about to endure, and apparently, I’m lucky I caught her before it started.

Grisillo quickly goes through a decade and a half worth of athletic history with me; starting to play when she was a young in Charleston, S.C., her transfer to USC-Aiken, and her eventual ACL tear during her junior year that changed things for her.

“You know, two years on the bench…it kind of gave me a different perspective. I wanted to know the ins and outs of what we were doing. And honestly what brings me back is the relationships…those coaches and the relationships, they formed with me, they still valued me as a person,” Grisillo says, speaking passionately of her experiences that led her to pursue coaching as a potential career path.

In addition to loving the game of basketball, Grisillo loves to play racquetball, has a dog named Jessie (a retriever/husky mix), and clearly has a strong connection with her players, as one walks in to get a room key from her while she continues to explain her love for the game.

Grisillo was a graduate assistant coach and a student in Wingate’s Master’s in Sports Management program before getting hired. She’s worked with the team and Coach Ann Hancock as they won two South Atlantic Conference championships.

“We’ve done pretty well…we would all like to see us get a step further. We made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament two years in a row…we need to get across that hump and get that Elite Eight appearance. That would be a nice place to get to,” she says. 

The topic of winning and getting further as a team brings a new side out of her as she speaks, looking annoyed by having to even mention that a school like Carson-Newman made it further than they did in the NCAA tournament.

“They made it this year and they’re out of our conference. It would be nice if we could be the one to make it out of the SAC.”

But, she reiterates that winning isn’t just about games.

“I think that enhancing our winning culture that we want to create is important. Not just winning games, not just having a fantastic record, but, doing things that winners do…going the extra mile on the court, in the classroom, as people. Coach Hancock teaches a lot of life lessons. [She says]‘Be a giver, not a taker.’”

From turning an injury into a new perspective, and then into a new career, Grisillo has come a long way from playing as a kid in Charleston, and she plans to continue driving those messages of perseverance into her team.

“Whatever we can do to instill those principles in the girls, that matters more than making it past the second round,” Grisillo finishes, before speaking more on the chemistry she and Coach Hancock have and the enjoyment she gets working with her.

Grisillo leaves quickly, seemingly preparing for the camp she’s about to go through with her girls. It’s clear her energy is welcome on the court, and her love for the game is still thriving through the “winning culture” she and Hancock are making sure the team is prescribed to.

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

Leo club looks towards the future as the club continues to grow

Shane Rich, Staff Writer

 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.

Edited by: Brea Childs