Wingate’s Pep band prepares to bring more excitement to the new athletic season

Ryan Mckeel, Staff Writer

Wingate University’s Pep Band gears up for the first home game of the 2017 season on Saturday, September 16 at 6:00 PM at Irwin Belk Stadium.

The Pep Band, Wingate’s premiere athletic performing ensemble, has been under the direction of Dr. Dawn Price, Associate Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Wingate University, for ten years.

With performances at select Volleyball games as well as all home Football games, the Pep Band strives to bring Wingate spirit to any game they attend. “My favorite Pep Band activity, besides playing music, is helping engage the crowd in cheering on the sports teams,” said Junior Dariyhn Lee.

A common theme in both rehearsals and games amongst the band members is the excitement for the game. With their music ready to go and instruments in hand, the band members are often the loudest ones in the stands cheering on their fellow bulldogs.

The band hasn’t always dominated a section in the stadiums, says Dr. Price. “The band has grown from 17 members in 2008 to now 47 members. The overall ability of the group has improved as well.”

Dr. Price strives to give every band member an opportunity to gain something from their time in the stadiums. “[Pep Band] gives students, both music majors and non-majors, an opportunity to play their instruments in sports and entertainment events,” she said. “The band also provides a wide variety of music intended to promote spirit at the various athletic events at which we play.”

Other key game day members have noted the, no pun intended, pep that the band brings. Head Football Coach, Joe Reich commented on the “special energy” that the band provides. “That is college football, having the band playing and the crowd cheering. That’s good stuff.”

The Pep Bands partner in crime, The Wingate University Cheerleader’s, have built a bond based on excitement and cheer with the musicians. “I think that the cheerleaders and pep band have been growing a relationship over the past few years,” said head cheer coach Kelly Sheppard. “We love the energy that the band gives us… I literally have to tell the girls to stay calm when the band starts up.”

Several of the Pep Band members have commented on the importance of their halftime shows.“I love performing for the people in the stands and hearing them sing along,” said junior Taylor Eudy. “It is exciting to be out there on that field and give the folks in the stand a chance to hear some tunes that they are familiar with.”

Other students in the stands have also felt the excitement that the band brings when their on the field. “It kind of stops you in your tracks. You can’t help but turn around and watch their show,” said senior Naomi Askew.

Athletes at games always find a way to show their support to the band members. Whether it’s a salute or shouted “Thanks!” from the football players celebrating a victory on the field, or a line of volleyball players after their win inside Cuddy Arena, most come together in some way to thank the band either at the stadium or in passing on campus.

When asked about their favorite tune, 12 of the 15 respondents listed Mark Ronson’s & Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk”.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Photo credit: Wingate University Athletics

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Jim Wand Returns to Wingate As New Semester Begins

Harrison Taylor, Staff Writer

Dr. Jim Wand arrived on Wingate’s campus this past Tuesday to hypnotize students once again. Wand, a hypnotist, has been coming to Wingate for decades, and is currently on a college tour spanning nearly 200 shows in just a year.

Students lined up over an hour beforehand outside Austin Auditorium, as the seating was first come, first serve. “My friends and I got here as early as we could,” said junior Cameron Walser, a Marketing Major. “There was no way we were missing this.”

Backstage, Dr. Wand went over his notes half an hour before the show’s start. He tells some of the Batte Center crew a couple of jokes he has planned for the night, before going over a sound check with his sound technician.

Wand goes into extreme detail when asked what he can and cannot do. While the earlier 8 p.m. show is typically PG, the later show at 10 p.m. has been known to be a lot raunchier. The adult themes explored in the 10 p.m. make the show more popular than its predecessor, which is why some students do whatever they can to see both shows.

“It’s definitely worth the wait,” said senior Kamery Reynolds. “It’s one of my favorite things to happen on campus.”

In the beginning of the show, Dr. Wand calls up students, then points out which students have been hypnotized. He quickly hypnotizes them, then he works on hypnotizing the new volunteers.

During the show, Wand poked fun at Wingate rivals such as Queens and Catawba. He also asked students to do various stunts, such as making up new dance moves to pop songs or belting out any song that comes to their mind.

The hypnotist show was a good final end to welcome week as Wingate has welcomed its first largest freshmen class of over 1,200 new students.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Hurricane Harvey hits close to home for some Wingate students

Savanna Harris, Staff Writer

It’s unlikely that, sometime throughout the past few days, you haven’t heard something about Hurricane Harvey. With coverage on every mass media outlet from TV to radio, news about what is being called the worst storm to hit the United States in over a decade, is being heard far and wide.

Making landfall last Friday as a Category 4 storm with winds of 130 mph, Harvey has relentlessly battered the Texas coastline. Although it has since been downgraded to a tropical depression and is moving inland, a record-breaking 50+ inches of rain have fallen in some areas.

Storm surge and flooding remain as imminent threats, and officials are worried the floodwaters may not begin to recede for days. The death toll has already exceeded 30 and is expected to rise further.

When a natural disaster strikes somewhere far away, we often don’t think about the possibility of it having an impact on the people who live on campus. But, students on campus who call Texas home have suddenly found themselves in this situation.

Treslyn Ortiz, a sophmore and resident of Texas City and Katie Bludau, a senior and residents of Seabrook which are both located in the Houston area both play volleyball here at Wingate and are feeling the effects of Harvey firsthand.

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Treslyn Ortiz, photo by: Savanna Harris
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Katie Bludau, photo by: Savanna Harris

Both girls, who have been keeping in constant contact with family and friends back home, expressed very much concern, as well as fear, based on news from their loved ones.

“I’m worried for the people who have lost everything,” said Bludau. “The community is strong and it’s good to see them coming together. But, I’m scared and heartbroken for those who no longer have a home.”

Thankfully, neither of their homes were directly hit or badly damaged. However, having close relationships with people who weren’t as fortunate is taking its toll.  “I have a cousin whose son has diabetes but wasn’t able to be taken to the hospital,” Ortiz said. “I’m scared for them and how others are being affected as well.”

She also has an aunt whose home was flooded with 7 inches of water, but even among the devastation, her family is graciously going out and rescuing people by boat.

With everything that’s unfolding, the two girls can’t help but feel the urge to return home. According to Bludau, “I won’t be able to go home until Christmas break because of volleyball, but I’d be there in a heartbeat if I could.” But, since Wingate remains their home away from home for now, they are donating money and clothes to those in need, as well as sending good thoughts to Texas.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Wingate has a view party for the Solar Eclipse

By Christina Kroeger, Staff Writer

On Monday the moon did something remarkable. The moon crossed paths with the sun and blocked the earth’s sunlight. When this phenomenon occurs, it is called a solar eclipse.

A solar eclipse can only occur when the moon is a new moon. The sun is much bigger than the moon. The moon, however is much closer to the Earth than the sun.

This difference makes the moon appear to be approximately the same angular size as the sun. This fact makes it possible for the moon to block the sun in its entirety.

This was the first total eclipse to only touch American soil since the US gained its independence in 1776. This year, the eclipse centerline passed through twelve states from Oregon to South Carolina, so if you were in that proximity, you would experience the total eclipse. However, anyone in the U.S. experienced at least a partial eclipse.

Totality in Wingate was set to occur at 2:42 pm. During that time Wingate had a watch party in the Quad in which the university provided solar eclipse glasses to students.

Leah, a senior, said, “ Looking through the eclipse glasses was surreal to see as the shadow of the moon moved across the sun, creating an actual eclipse. Also the shadows on the ground was cool, but getting to spend that once in a lifetime moment with friends made it even more memorable.”

The science professors volunteered to set up telescope viewing stations on the Quad so people could get a closer view of the remarkable event. “It was really amazing to see the campus get together to watch this once in a lifetime event. However, it wasn’t everything that I was hoping for on campus.” said Kelton Stone, a senior. 

Another student, Sydney Taylor, a junior, said, “ The whole aura outside felt weird. It was dim outside but not totally dark. It felt like I was wearing sunglasses even though I wasn’t. Overall I feel really lucky to have been able to experience it.”

Dr. Grant Thompson, an astronomy professor, went down to South Carolina to view the total eclipse and had a different experience. According to reports, South Carolina was in the direct path for complete totality making it so that when the moon fully covered the sun it would actually get dark.

He said he has been waiting years to view the total eclipse so he didn’t let the first day of classes stop him from traveling to South Carolina to watch. 

I also went to South Carolina to watch the total eclipse and I had goosebumps watching the sun disappear. I was able to take off my glasses for a minute to capture the phenomenon. If you missed this year’s total solar eclipse, don’t worry,  the next total eclipse will occur in the year 2316. Mark your calendars!

Edited by: Brea Childs
Additional reporting contributed by Brea Childs

Wingate’s Ross getting a foothold in pro soccer

By Adam Riley II, Staff Writer 

Wingate alumnus Callum Ross is playing very well this season for the Charlotte Independence of the United Soccer League.

The rookie midfielder was a member of the 2016 Division II men’s soccer national championship team for Wingate just a season ago. And he scored his first — and so far only — professional goal for the Independence while still a Wingate student, in a game on May 12 against Pittsburgh.

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Former Wingate Bulldog star poses with The Weekly Triangle’s Adam Riley II after last Wednesday’s Charlotte Independence game in Matthews

He told this story to The Weeekly Triangle after playing in a 0-0 draw against Richmond last Wednesday at the Matthews Sportsplex:

“So the day before, I had a 10-page paper due, and I was up till like two in the morning. I got up the next morning and managed to grab my first goal It was a bit of hard work and just a bit of trying to balance my time and get some sleep when I could. I loved scoring my first goal and I’m still looking for my second one.”

Now he has a new routine as a professional.

“For me it’s trying to get to bed before 11 or at least get off my feet and get some rest, then I’m up early-ish like 7-7:30 a.m. or so up on the training room kind of pre-gym stuff and warming up, you know?”  Ross said.

“Usually by 1 or 2 p.m. we’re finished, then we get our lunch. I go to the gym a lot maybe two or three times a week just to keep on top of things throughout the season. It’s  a busy schedule but if you manage yourtime correctly and put your mind to it and concentrate it’s not too much. You’ve just got to stay on top of it.”

Meanwhile, he has climbed his way up the depth chart and into the starting lineup, starting in 13 of the 14 games he has played in his rookie season.

“For me it was a case of kind of waiting for my chance to start,” Ross says.

His patience finally paid off following the suspension of a teammate, for undisclosed reasons. Callum assumed the starter role at midfielder and since then he hasn’t looked back.

“Every week I’m just trying to improve, trying to learn, listening to the coaches things like that and trying to take the opportunities when I get them,” Ross said. “I love starting, love playing and playing football. Also, I just need to try to keep improving and see how many minutes I can get by the end of the season.”

The tie last Wednesday extended the Independence’s unbeaten streak to nine games, and Charlotte is one point behind Charleston in second place in the USL Eastern Division. Ross hopes that for the second straight season, he might be playing for a championship.

“We’ve been struggling to pick up points, things like that, but we know inside this locker room that there’s plenty of talented players and we’ve got a style of play where other teams struggle,” he said.

“But we know what we want to do. We’re not satisfied with playoffs now, we’re up there now with the best teams and we want to go all the way and win the league, and then carry that through the playoffs.”

 

 

 

 

Bulldogs hope summer program lifts 8-3 football season in ’16 to higher level

By Adam Riley II, Staff Writer

 The Wingate University football program looks to build off of  a successful 2016 season, finishing 8-3 overall and 5-2 in South Atlantic Conference play. All that begins in the summer.

Over the course of an eight-week period during the months of June and July, the Bulldogs have what they call the “Dog Days of Summer”. This is a period where players come back to campus to conduct the bulk of their preparation for the upcoming season.

The Bulldogs train at 6 a.m. four mornings a week.

“Certain days we’re running then lifting, specifically doing speed and power development, other days we lift and then run afterwards for our conditioning work. And that final 4-week build up until camp starts it’s a big push to get everybody geared and ready to go.” said WU head strength and conditioning coordinator Will Hayes.

Head coach Joe Reich’s Bulldogs eclipsed another 7-game winning record last season, which earned them a shot at the SAC championship in the last game of the regular season at Newberry.  They fell just shy of claiming their first title since 2010 in a 27-22 loss.  The Bulldogs finished second in the league, tying with rival Catawba, which had won the conference the previous year.

“We played with great effort last season, I want us to carry that over into next season.”  Reich says. “From a league perspective, we got ourselves in the championship conversation last season.”

Training camp officially starts on Aug. 7 and Reich and his Bulldogs enter the 2017 season with high hopes and expectations.

Redshirt senior linebacker  Zack Singleton, one of the team’s captains, said:  “I’m really looking forward to it. We have a lot of athletes coming in, probably the most athletes we’ve ever had on the team.”

Reich said,  “One of our main focuses going in Aug. 7 is to stay healthy throughout camp.”

The Bulldogs were hit drastically by the injury bug last season, losing starting safety Kameron Johnson, a redshirt sophomore, due to a season ending foot injury in camp. In addition, the Bulldogs suffered  two more critical blows with injuries to running back Lawrence Pittman and receiver/return specialist Adam  Riley. Both Bulldogs suffered season-ending ankle injuries just one week apart. Pittman was leading all NCAA football players in touchdowns scored when he was sidelined for the season.

And three-year starting quarterback Kyle Johnson suffered an injury to his throwing arm on the opening drive of the season-ending game against Newberry, in which he did not return.

The Bulldogs lost a number of key seniors from this past season on both sides of the ball. They include: defenseive end and SAC Defensive Player of the Year Ray Edwards; first team all-SAC defensive end Andre Foulks; and four-year starter at cornerback Cornell Cheron. 

On offense, most notably  notably the Bulldogs will lose All-Conference Receiver and four-year starter in Jordan Berry, as well as fellow starting receiver Joe Wallace, in addition to quarterback Johnson.

KEY RETURNERS:

Defense:

Zack Singleton (LB)

Kameron Johnson (DB)

Josh Shelton (DB)

Robbie Wallace (LB)

James Basham (DE)

Tim Longmire (DB)

Jabari Foster (DB)

Joseph Kelly (DB)

Christopher Biroses (P)

Offense:

Blake Hayes (RB)

Lawrence Pittman (RB)

The entire OL

Jake Jensen (TE)

B.J. Muckelvene (WR)

Malik Bledsoe (WR)

Jay Hood (WR)

J.T. Stokes (WR)

Adam Riley II (WR/PR)

The Bulldogs will play seven night games in a 10-game season, four of which will be at home for the first time in the school’s history.

“We are looking forward to Saturday Night Lights! Playing seven of 10 games at night this year will be a different experience for us.” Reich said in a previous interview. “I like the idea of the new reality, playing at night and I think it will really get all of our guys fired up.”

The Bulldogs’ season begins at 6 p.m. on Sept. 2, as they travel to Charlotte to face off against the Golden Bulls of Johnson C. Smith University. Wingate’s first home game is on Sept. 16 against conference opponent Carson-Newman, with kickoff at 6 p.m. at Irwin Belk Stadium.

Are ‘super teams’ good for the NBA?

By Adam Riley II, Staff Writer 

The National Basketball Association has had a long history of “super teams” since even before the recent addition of NBA forward Kevin Durant to the already high-powered Golden State Warriors.

And for those of you who don’t know what a “super team” is or what is classified as one, allow me to enlighten you on the subject. In the world of sports, a super team is when a team already has MULTIPLE potential Hall of Fame candidates and one or more of them have come from another team. Also, the super team in the making has already achieved a certain level of success prior to adding another superstar player to the roster.

Finally, following the newly acquired superstar player, this team poses a potential “threat” to the equality of competition of the other teams in the league/association.

As previously stated above, this trend dates back to even before my time: starting in  1968 to be exact, with Wilt Chamberlain and his move to the Los Angeles Lakers along with other super star players that were also acquired by the Lakers, Wilt is just one of many. Other super teams soon developed after that. For instance, the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks with the additions of Lew Alcindor and Oscar Robertson; and we can’t forget about the 1982-83  Philadelphia 76ers having Julius Erving and Moses Malone.

Over the first 30 years since the league’s existence we see this “super team” trend with just three teams. Some of the most recent super teams of  the 21st century include the 2007-08 Boston Celtics when the organization conjured up trades for both Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, when they already had stardom in the 1st round draft pick Paul Pierce aka “The Truth” and Rajon Rondo.

One of the most famous super teams includes the 2010 Miami Heat, when they acquired Chris Bosh and Lebron James to join Dwyane Wade, which they went on to win back-to-back NBA titles. We have to throw in the Cavs when Lebron went back to Cleveland to join forces with Kevin Love and the immaculate Kyrie Irving. We all know about the most recent super team in the Golden State Warriors with Steph Curry, arguably one of, he greatest shooters in NBA history — if not the greatest — with Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. And this past season they added the former league MVP and 3-time scoring champion Durant.

All this talk about super teams is exciting to hear and everything, but is it really worth the watch?

Is it really worth watching the NBA Finals, supposedly one of the most competitive championship games in sports history, if you already know who’s going to win before the game starts? Or rather you give it the benefit of the doubt in hopes of a really good Finals series that goes to Game 7 where it’s do or die, but instead you get a blowout?

Both of those of those scenarios sound like a waste of time, well at least to me it is. What I’m trying to get at is that all these “super teams” in the league are really making it hard for fans to enjoy watching the game of basketball. Don’t get me wrong —  a lot of fans love the idea of super teams, especially if their team is one or is in the making. I’m just saying as an athlete and fellow sports fan in general, it kind of takes away the fun of the game. Winning is cool and all, but it gets to a point where it becomes boring because of the lack of competition, which will inevitably make winning effortless. And there is a distinct line between beating a team(s) that you’re supposed to beat and just flat out beating EVERY single team.

I love a close game! I love the feeling of knowing you can potentially come back from a deficit and win the game, when all odds are against you there’s still hope; if you still end up losing you lost giving your best and that’s all a coach, player, GM, anyone really, can ask of you.

As you can see, the NBA is no stranger to the super team phenomenon and this isn’t just something that recently occurred. It’s been going on for quite a while, and as you can see if you pay attention to sports news, more teams now are beginning to follow suit and jumping on the “Monstarz” bandwagon (“Space Jam” reference!). I personally don’t agree with it, but hey I’m just one guy and for some players it may be about the money and others about actually winning NBA Titles. Who knows?