Category Archives: NCAA DII

Wingate football beats Pembroke to remain undefeated and advances in AFCA ranking

Sarah Thurman Staff Writer

After a big win at home on Saturday against UNC-Pembroke,  the undefeated Wingate Bulldogs will be on the road for their next two football games.

Wingate, 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the South Atlantic Conference, will travel to Salisbury to play Catawba on Saturday and to Mars Hill on Oct. 21. Both games will kick off at 1:30 p.m.

The next home game will be against Newberry at Irwin Belk Stadium on Oct. 28, at 6 p.m.

The Bulldogs are one of only two undefeated teams playing NCAA football in North Carolina (the other one is North Carolina A&T) after taking a 31-28 victory over UNC-Pembroke (1-5).

Wingate is ranked No. 24 nationally in this week’s  AFCA/NCAA Division II Coaches’ top 25 poll. It’s the first time we’ve been in the rankings this season

Wide receiver Jay Hood scored the winning touchdown on a 14-yard pass from quarterback James Whitaker with 1:34 left in the game. Senior running back Lawrence Pittman ran for 165 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries.

It was the first time the two teams had played each other since the 2014 season. Wingate leads the all-time series 6-3.

The game was the first for the Bulldogs since a 22-14 win at Lenoir-Rhyne on Sept. 23.

In that game, Pittman rushed 37 times for 127 yards and one touchdown. Redshirt senior place kicker Freddy McCollum made a career-high three field goals for Wingate.

By the end of first quarter Wingate led 3-0 with McCollum scoring a 19-yard field goal. At halftime L-R got the lead with a 9-yard touchdown run. But Wingate regained the lead at 10-7 on Whitakers 16-yard touchdown pass to Malik Bledsoe.

In the third quarter, McCollum kicked a 21-yard field goal for a 13-7 lead

During the fourth quarter Pittman got a 3-yard touchdown run and with 3:12 on the clock, McCollum scored a 31-yard field goal, making the score 22-7.

L-Rs Nelson Brown got a 1-yard touchdown run for the final 22-14 score.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Photo Credit: Wingate Athletics Website


What’s Your Story: Sherwood reflects on his time at Wingate

Jackson Kaplan, Staff Writer

Since 1985, David Sherwood has served as the Sports Information Director at Wingate University. Sherwood resides in the same town where he has lived for his entire life and never had plans of going anywhere else. A graduate of nearby Forest Hills High School, Sherwood was granted the opportunity to go to another college besides Wingate, but chose to stay here after earning a full scholarship. The rest was history for the WU athletic department.

Photo Source: Wingate Athletics

Over the last 32 years, Sherwood has enjoyed watching the campus grow including the school’s transition from a junior college to a four-year university. The Bulldog athletic department continues to provide its student-athletes, coaches, administration and fans with new facilities.

The new building that first came to mind for Sherwood is Cuddy Arena, which was established after the retirement of Sanders-Sykes Gymnasium where the WU basketball teams used to play their home games. The brand-new, state-of-the-art McGee Center is another new addition that has impressed Sherwood as another sign of Wingate’s rapid growth.

Being an NCAA Division II school, Wingate University is significantly smaller than many major Division I institutions with its small, yet growing student body. Sherwood sees many benefits of working at a smaller school rather than a larger one including “there is more opportunity to learn about people’s stories.” Building strong relationships with fellow colleagues and student-athletes are more great benefits of working at a small university, which Sherwood cherishes greatly.

For the last three decades, Wingate University athletics has seen tremendous success in many sports, but the memory that has stood the most was the opportunity to see the Bulldog men’s soccer team win its first National Championship in the athletic department’s illustrious history.

Going back further in time, another great memory for Sherwood was following the 1987-88 women’s basketball team when they won 33 straight games and advanced to the NAIA Final Four. Sherwood also covered the 2010 WU football team when they went to the NCAA Playoffs for the first time in 2010. He also remembers being at the game where Wingate defeated Morehouse in the first round and recalls the memory of how excited the school was when it happened.

In his illustrious tenure at Wingate, Sherwood has received multiple awards of recognition including winning the 2016 Lester Jordan Award last summer from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). The Lester Jordan Award is presented annually to an individual for exemplary service to the Academic All-America® program and for promotion of the ideals of being a student-athlete.

He was also the recipient of the CoSIDA 25-year Award. Sherwood was also awarded the AVCA Grant Burger Media Award for the NCAA Division II Southeast Region in 2008, 2010 and 2011.

The AVCA Grant Burger Media Award is an honor intended to recognize members of the media who have been involved in the advancement of the sport of volleyball.

In 2007, he received the Wingate University Faith Award and the Wingate University Service Award from his peers. In 2003, Sherwood received the Bob Kenworthy Award from CoSIDA. The Kenworthy Award is given annually to a CoSIDA member for community involvement and accomplishments outside the sports information office.

The Bulldogs lead the state of North Carolina across all divisions of athletics in producing Academic All-Americans. He has spent 20-plus years on the Academic All-America® committee and a one-year stint on the Membership Services Committee. He has also been part of the Daktronics All-American and the NCCSIA All-State committees.

There have been many changes to Wingate University over the last three decades, but one thing has remained constant, David Sherwood. The dedication to his craft, the treatment of his student-athletes, love for Wingate and production of exemplary work is unmatched in collegiate athletics. Sherwood is the gold standard of Sports Information Directors regardless of any level and is loved by everyone in the community. Sherwood’s legacy still continues to this day as the WU athletic department continues to produce champions on and off the field of competition.


Edited by Brea Childs

Wingate Softball gained record in a Double-header against Catawba

Cierra Smith, Staff Writer

This past Tuesday May 18, 2017, the Wingate softball team took their record to 25-21 overall and 10-8 in the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) in a double-header win over the Catawba College Indians. In the first game that started at 2 pm, the Bulldogs won with a score of 2-0 and in the second game starting at 4 pm, it was a close game with a score of 5-4. This win comes after a tough loss to Carson-Newman Friday in a SAC conference game.

In the first game, the team was led to a victory by a few key players including freshman Mary Claire Coyne (#14) who had a great night with a triple after three times at bat and one run to home plate. Sophomores Naomi Sapp and Taylor Wells  also helped lead the dogs to a victory with significant plays.

Catawba had prominent players including Kristen Stinnard who went up to bat three times and had a hit for the first game, as well as Keri Faulkner who also got a hit for the team.

In game two, we still see Mary Claire Coyne leading the game ending the night with four runs to home plate and a grand slam with two hits at bat. Following suit was seniors Katie McLaurin and Olivia Smith who helped solidify the victory with two hits and a run each.

Catawba scored much better in this match with players Katherine Shumaker and Leah Huggins contributing a series of RBI and a homer for the team, boosting the score for the Indians to 4 at the close of the game.

The Wingate softball team will have another double-header SAC game this Saturday, April 22nd against the Anderson Trojans.

Photo Source: Wingate Athletics

Edited by: Brea Childs

Women’s Arion Pierre is named SAC Player of the week for the fourth time in a row

Rachel Lods, Staff Writer

Wingate, N.C- After receiving the honor of SAC Astroturf Defensive Player of the Week for three weeks in a row, it did not even cross sophomore goalie, Arion Pierre’s mind that it was a possibility she could get it again. On Monday, April 10, however, that’s exactly what happened. Pierre was named the SAC Player of the Week for the fourth time in a row.

Photo Source: Wingate Athletics

Pierre is from Haymarket, Va and is a sophomore here at Wingate. Before attending Wingate, she went to Battlefield High School where she was academic honor roll for three years, while also earning membership in her school’s Spanish Honor Society.

Despite this uncommon honor, she says that it has not given her any sense of arrogance or “cockiness”. Pierre said, “If anything, getting this award four weeks in a row has only made me want to work that much harder. I am so hard on myself all the time and don’t necessarily think I deserve it but clearly people believe otherwise, so it feels good to get recognition.”

On the SAC charts, Pierre leads the league in save percentage at 54.3. She is second in total goals against (84) and goals against average (8.05). She also gave credit to the Wingate Women’s Lacrosse outstanding defensive performances that have enabled her to perform as well and as consistent as she has been.

Pierre hopes to keep improving, whether she is named SAC defensive player of the week again, or not, and is focused whole-heartedly on the success of the team.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Wingate Spring Sports wrapping up their 2017 seasons

Maggie Smith, Staff Writer

Wingate University’s spring sports teams are finishing up their 2017 spring seasons.

The Track and Field team will compete in the 2017 South Atlantic Conference championship meet on Friday, April 14, and Saturday, April 15. The meet will take place at Lenoir-Rhyne University.

Six of the Bulldogs have returned as defending SAC champions in seven events. Madison Hiatt won the 1500 meters and the 800 meters in the 2016 event. Vanisha Wilshire and Isaiah Kyle won the women’s and men’s high jump. Hannah Hinson won the hammer throw in 2016. Alyssa Johnson won in the 3000 meter steeplechase in 2016, and Austin Greeson won the men’s javelin throw at the 2016 SAC meet.

The Women’s outdoor track and field team is currently ranked third in the Southeast regional rankings, and the men’s team are ranked sixth.

The Wingate University Baseball team is currently 17-24 overall, and 8-10 in the conference. The Bulldogs will finish up their season with three home games. The Bulldogs face Erskine on Tuesday, April 18, and Tusculum on both Friday, April 21, and Saturday, April 22. Wingate will then move on to the SAC Tournament on April 27.

Wingate Softball is currently 23-19 overall and 8-6 in the conference. The Softball team takes on Carson Newman for a double header on their Senior day, Friday, April 14 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The Bulldogs will then finish up their season with three more games against Catawba, Limestone, and Anderson before heading into the SAC tournament.

Wingate men’s Lacrosse is 9-3 overall, and 4-2 in the conference. Men’s Lacrosse has two final games to wrap up the season before heading into the SAC tournament. The Bulldogs will have their Senior day against Brevard on Saturday, April 15, at 3 p.m. The Bulldogs have 11 seniors on the 2017 Roster; Michael Connor (Stockport, England), Seth Grimwood (Huntingtown, Md.), Brennan Asplen (St. Augustine, Fla.), Jacob Ormerod (Lake Mary, Fla.), Drew Thompson (Charlotte, NC), Tanner Kotch (Butler Pa.), Anthony Crisera (Silver Springs, Fla.), Vinny Aiello (Centereach, NY), Tyler Antram (Whitby, Ontario), Austin Murphy (Orillia, Ontario), and redshirt Senior, Ryan Vogrig (Vancouver, B.C.)

Senior Austin Murphy recently won National Player of the Week.

Wingate University women’s Lacrosse is 10-3 overall, and 4-1 in the conference, heading into their final three games of the season.

Women’s Lacrosse will also have their Senior day against Brevard, Saturday, April 15 at 12 p.m. The Seniors for the Wingate women’s Lacrosse team are; Paulena Dempsey (Jarrettsville, Md.) Kendall Sienon (Woodstock, Ga.), Morgan Insel (Plantation Fla.), Laura Swanson (Plantation, Fla.), and Brittany Andrews (Bel-Air, Md.).

Wingate’s Sophomore Goalie, Arion Pierre, has had a great 2017 season receiving Astroturf SAC player of the week four consecutive weeks for the past four weeks.

Wingate men’s and women’s Tennis finished their season April 12. The Men finished at 16-4 over and 10-1 in conference. The Women finished 16-3 overall and 11-0 in conference. Wingate Men and Women’s Tennis were both defeated by Georgia College in their last match on April 12. Both teams will enter the 2017 SAC Tournament April 20, in Rock Hill.

Wingate men’s Golf finished fourth in their last tournament on April 4.  Junior, Jarrett Stowe earned an all-tournament spot to end his season. Wingate Men’s Golf will compete in the 2017 SAC tournament April 23-April 25 in Salisbury, NC at the Country Club of Salisbury.

Wingate University women’s Golf finished fourth in the 2017 SAC championship tournament at the Link Hills Country Club Tuesday, April 11. Freshman Diana McDonald shot the second-best round of the day, posting an even-par 72.  The Bulldogs as a whole shot a 309 for a 54-hole setting a school-record total of 924. The previous school-record was 944 in the 2015 SAC tournament.

The Wingate men’s and women’s swimming collected four silver medals at the 2017 NCAA Championship to wrap up their season. Junior Alexis Divelbiss earned two silver medals, finishing second at 49.32 in the 100 Freestyle Relay. Defending national champion Senior, Vika Arkhipova finished second in the 200 Backstroke at 1:54.48. Wingate women’s 400 Freestyle Relay team consisting of Hanna Van Horen, Maria Madsen, and Abby Kosic finished second in the relay at 3:21.24.

The Wingate women’s swimming team finished third with 346 points. The men finished sixth.

Wingate redshirt Sophomore Lennart Queiss won the 100 Freestyle consolation finals at 44.08. Wingate took silver in the last event of the day in the men’s 400 Freestyle Relay with a time of 2:55.01. The Bulldogs 100 Freestyle Relay team included; Queiss, Sebastian Holmberg, Leif-Henning Klüver, and Mehdi Zeraidi.

Photo Source: The SAC website

Edited By: Brea Childs

Wingate Men’s Lacrosse ranks #12 in the nations USILA/ Nike poll

Rachel Lods, Staff Writer

Monroe, N.C.-  After reaching number 16 in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association/Nike coaches poll, the Wingate University Lacrosse team has climbed another three spots and is now ranked number 12 team in the U.S.

The Bulldogs are currently tied for second place in the SAC with Queens and are hoping to continue their standing three-game win streak.

Senior defender, Drew Thompson said, “A fundamental aspect of our success has been our new coach. He has really pushed all of us to cultivate a family atmosphere on and off the field and he is such a big part of why we have been able to be so successful this season.”

Thompson also discussed the importance of the win against fifth-ranked Belmont Abbey. The Bulldogs victory over Belmont Abbey was the first since February of 2012, making this the first win over a top ten team in nine years.

Another vital win for the Bulldogs was that against Coker where the Bulldog experienced a season-high in goals scored and a season-low four tallies.

When asked who the most influential player has been so far in the season, the unanimous vote was junior goal tender Will Sheridan. Thompson said, “After senior goal tender, Jake Ormerod’s career ended injury, Will stepped up and showed the team that he could rise to the challenge and now has the highest save percentage in Division II and is one of our most influential leaders. Having a player like that on your team really elevates everyone’s level of play and focus.”

Photo source: Wingate Athletics Lacrosse page

Edited by: Brea Childs

Wingate’s Annual Spring Game begins preparation for the Fall 2017 football season

Brandon Bowles, Staff Writer

It’s that time of year again. That time when every college football team is evaluating what they have and what they need to work on. Wingate’s annual spring game will be held on April 8 at 11:30 A.M.

During the spring Head football coach Joe Reich said, the one thing he looks forward to is “being able to teach.” In the fall there is not much time to teach, because you are getting ready for a game every weekend.

Coaches and players take the spring to break down a certain play, or offensive scheme and take what they caught on film and learn from what they did right and wrong. Spring practice is definitely a more relaxed environment than in the fall. Coaches still push the players to perform to their highest potential, but they also realize that it is the spring and not everything will be perfect.

In terms of getting into a rhythm Reich believes the Offense has been able to get off to a faster start then the defense; thanks in large part to the veteran leadership on the offense.

Having this veteran leadership has helped the new starting quarterback James Whitaker have a seamless transition from being the backup to Kyle Johnson the year before. Reich is pleased with Whitaker’s performance this spring, as he has shown he is capable of leading the offense. Reich’s top three offensive players this spring have been quarterback James Whitaker, wide receiver BJ Muckelvene and center Daniel Owens.

Defensively it has been harder to find a consistent flow. A lot of guys that did not get a lot of playing time last year are being asked to step into more prominent roles.

Veteran linebacker Zack Singleton will need to continue his leadership role and help the younger guys develop their confidence and find their place in the defiance. Singleton and defensive end Cardell Rawlings and Cal Hanford have had a good spring according to Reich.

The offensive line is coming back intact and is primed to have a good season in the fall. Reich believes that having that stability up front will help the offense run a lot faster because they have a veteran offensive line.

This past season Wingate was able to have a good year running the ball. This spring they have focused on becoming a better pass protection team and Reich felt that they have taken the first steps in doing that this spring.

With the spring coming to a close on Saturday, players have one more week to try and impress the coaching staff and make a name for themselves before they reconvene in August for the beginning of the season

With a good mix of young and experienced players this team could be one to keep an eye out for. Wingate looks to improve on an 8-3 record last season falling one win short of being SAC champions. This spring players have been told by coaches to come to practice with their mind set on proving to every opponent that they are physically and mentally stronger than they are.

To satisfy that football craving, come out to support the team this Saturday and get a sneak peek at the talent that will be put on display for next season. At 11:30 a.m come to Irwin Belk stadium with family and friends and enjoy a little spring football action.  

Photo Source: Wingate University Athletics

Edited by: Brea Childs