Tag Archives: sports

Wingate moves to 2-0 with win over Fayetteville State

Brendan Shriver, Staff Writer

Wingate jumped out to a 27-6 lead en route to a wire-to-wire 27-13 victory over Fayetteville State Saturday night at Irwin Belk Stadium. This is the fifth straight year the Bulldogs started a season 2-0.

“It was a good win. Fayetteville State was a much bigger, more physical team than what we faced last week. It was a step up in physicality, which will help us heading to next week’s game,” Wingate Head Football Coach Joe Reich says.

In his second career start, redshirt freshman quarterback Shaw Crocker connected on 19-of-33 passes for 228 yards and three touchdowns, with his primary receiver being BJ Muckelvene, who caught seven passes for 122 yards and a TD. Crocker now has 5 touchdown passes through two games this season. “Shaw continues to take steps forward, both in practices and during games, which is good to see,” Reich says.

Joe Kelly led the Wingate defense with 13 tackles on the night. Cardell Rawlings also contributed with two sacks and Juan Pagan-Gonzalez had three tackles and an interception.

But perhaps the biggest factor in Wingate’s victory was the special teams. “Our punter was a difference maker,” Reich says. “He got us out of jams. The kicker did a nice job as well. It was also good to see Ronnie Procopio break off a big return.”

Chris Birozes averaged 44 yards on six punts, with a long of 55 and another punt downed at the two-yard line. McLean Robertson was two-for-two on field goals, connecting on a 31-yarder and 42-yarder while also going three-for-three in PATs. Procopio had a 48-yard kickoff return to start the third quarter.

Wingate is back in action next Saturday, hitting the road for the first time this season and opening league play, traveling to Carson-Newman for a 7 p.m. start.

Edited by Brendan Shriver

Volleyball begins 2018 on six-match winning streak

Jalen White, Staff Writer

Last week, the Wingate Volleyball team faced Winston-Salem State, Belmont Abbey and Converse College, to open up the season. In the Belmont Abbey game, Wingate started off slow, but fought their way through the second set. They ended the game with a score of 3-1. 

Sophomore outside hitter Anne Abernathy stated, “This was a game to grow on, with the rough start and being able to fight back. It shows us our mentality for the rest of the season.”

In the next two games they dominated against Winston-Salem State and Converse, extending their hot start to the season.

The Bulldogs then faced the Augusta Jaguars in an exciting match. “At the end of the game we noticed that we needed this adversity to be a stronger contender in the SAC,” said Sophie Schaff. Wingate ended up coming on top with a 3-1 victory. They have an undefeated record of 6-0.

Senior middle blocker Phoebe Havenaar expressed that, “Winning the regular conference season and SAC, then hosting regionals, and making the Elite Eight,” are some of their teams goals this season. The team is really excited about having newcomers Molly Lambillotte, Shannon Kasprak, Reese Blackley and Kasey Eastland.

The Bulldogs are looking forward to improving their last season record of  27-4. As they go into this season as the favorites to win the SAC conference, the Bulldogs are on a roll and are ready to make a big impact.

 

Edited by Brendan Shriver

Men’s soccer looks forward to challenging season in 2018

Jaelyn Campanella, Staff Writer

As we kick off a new school year, we also welcome back fall sports, including Men’s Soccer. Coming off of a hot streak that ended with the Bulldogs being crowned national champions in 2017, they have a reputation of the top team to uphold. Not only did the Bulldogs claim the national championship last year, but for the past four years, they have won the South Atlantic Conference title.

Coach Gary Hamill said, “The upcoming season is always a challenge since we have been the top team in the league for the last several years.”

Hamill has been the head coach for 27 seasons and has been named the SAC Coach of the Year eight times, and Regional Coach of the Year twice. He is hopeful for the team this year and is excited for the opportunity to rebuild the team, since they graduated 10 seniors last year and only two of the starters are returning players.

One player to look out for is senior Pablo Jara. As the goalkeeper, he plays a vital role in the Bulldogs’ success, and has 29 career shutouts, which ranks second in SAC history. Jara was Wingate’s first player to be named a three-time All American in the school’s history and also earned All-SAC and All-Region honors for three consecutive years.

This season is unlike the past few years for the team, because it is a year of uncertainty. With so much of the past team gone it will be interesting to see the new players start. Luckily, there were no changes to the coaching staff, so the team still has a solid foundation.

Hamill also said, “ We graduated 10 seniors last May and with just two returning starters. It’s a whole new team. It is both a challenge and an exciting time to rebuild the team again and start a new era.”

The Bulldogs started their season with a pair of games in Winter Park, FL on Thursday, Aug. 30 and Saturday, Sept. 1. The first match  against Rollins ended up as a loss for the Bulldogs, with a score of 1-2. However, the game on Saturday against St. Leo was quite impressive, with strong offensive plays in the first half that led the Bulldogs to take their first victory of the season, with a final score of 3-2.

Wingate then returned home for two games. The first game of the year at Pride Park was played on Wednesday, Sept. 5 and the Bulldogs tied Chowan, 0-0. The second game was on Saturday, September 8th and Wingate defeated Flagler 4-1, as junior forward Elliot Curtis led the way with a goal and an assist.

Wingate is back in action Wednesday, Sept. 12 opening up SAC play against Mars Hill at 7:30 pm at Pride Park.

Edited by Brendan Shriver

Shaw Crocker excels as Bulldogs signal-caller in first collegiate start

Heath Barringer, Staff Writer

Irwin Belk Stadium was the scene for the Wingate Football team on Aug. 30 as they opened the 2018 season on a Thursday night. Fresh off a 9-2 record and a SAC Championship in 2017, the Bulldogs look to repeat this year with a new quarterback under center. Shaw Crocker, the redshirt freshman from Greenville, S.C. made his debut for the Bulldogs and made it a memorable one.  

Shaw is an education major with a focus on math education, and with that, it brings pretty tough calculus classes that he brought up when I had the chance sit down and chat with him before the game. He said, “Having my redshirt year really helped me get settled into college with classes and all and not having the pressure of playing right away so I could get right in the classroom to start off was nice.”  

He also attributed to how comfortable with the Bulldog offense he was compared to his redshirt year where he did not play by saying, “I looked at it as a chance to grow and grow closer with some of my teammates. Our quarterback room is pretty tight and having that year to get comfortable really helped.”  

Shaw had a great football mind before he came to Wingate and this comes from having a father who has been in high school coaching for 30 plus years. Both of his parents attended Newberry College where Crocker almost ended up attending himself before making the decision to bring his talents to Wingate.

He talked about some nerves before his first start like anyone would, but he also talked about knowing the team had his back and trusting in the system. He was just ready to have some fun and play ball. And on opening night for the Bulldogs, that is exactly what he did.  

After the game I had a chance to catch up with offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Long for Wingate. He summed up what everyone was thinking by just saying, “I thought it went really well.”  

Crocker ended the night throwing for 202 yards and 2 touchdowns on 14-22 from the pocket.  He also had a rushing touchdown on a nifty little keeper from the 2-yard line. He thanks his teammates for his performance and personally his center Hunter Jolly, who made his first career start as a redshirt freshman as well on Thursday.  

Jolly had confidence in his quarterback by saying, “I knew he was going to light it up before we ever stepped out on to the field.”  Crocker was happy with is first performance and I’m sure the rest of OneDog Nation was too.

Edited by Brendan Shriver

Bulldogs start 2018 in dominant fashion, shutout Johnson C. Smith 36-0

Brendan Shriver, Sports Editor

In the first-ever Thursday night home football game at Irwin Belk Stadium, Wingate recorded 9 sacks and held the Johnson C. Smith University Golden Bulls to 123 yards in a 36-0 shutout.

“It was pretty cool to be part of the first Thursday night home game,” Wingate Head Football Coach Joe Reich said. “It was a good win and the defense played lights out. They played a great game and we are excited about what they did and we were hoping that would be the case.

The Bulldogs were up-and-down for much of the second half offensively after leading 10-0 at halftime.

In his first start, junior running back Domineke McNeill had 155 yards on 18 carries, including a 67-yard run. In his first appearance as a Bulldog, redshirt freshman quarterback Shaw Crocker went 14-for-22 with 201 yards and two touchdowns, while also running for a touchdown. Defensively, Davion Washington had a team-high eight tackles while Gabe Price got three tackles for loss and two sacks.

The Bulldogs are back in action Saturday, hosting Fayetteville State at 6 p.m.

Edited by Rachael Robinson and Brendan Shriver

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

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