Wingate Baseball helps to fight cancer one swing at a time

Brandon Bowles, Staff Writer

On Wednesday May 3rd Wingate University Baseball was able to give back to the community by partnering with the Levine’s Children’s Hospital. As of 2014, 15,780 children and adolescence from ages one to nineteen suffer from cancer. Those that lose their battle with cancer are a little less than 2,000 in the United States.

To do their part, the baseball team decided to host a Homerun Derby that anyone willing to donate to the Levine’s Children’s Hospital could participate in. $20 was the entry price for athletes and $10 for non-athletes.

To make things fair, portable fences were brought in one for the guys and one for the girls. Each participant was given five outs to hit as many homeruns as possible. Baseball players had to hit the ball over the normal outfield fence for it to count as a homerun, whereas the guys had to hit it over the second closest fence from home plate and the girls the closest fence from home.

Once everyone got their chance to swing the top eight were selected to move on to the next round. Those participants were Rebekah Woods with eight homeruns, Naomi Sapp with six, Reece Daniel with five, Bub DeLuca, Tyler Napierala, Bradly Brown, Kemper Patton, and Brandon Donahue with four. There would be four head to head matchups to see who would make it to the semifinals and the winners of the semifinal match would make it to the finals.

In the quarter finals Woods would oust Sapp with 11 homeruns, Daniel would hit one to oust Donahue, Brown would oust DeLuca with four homeruns and Patton would oust Napierala with four. In the semifinal round, Woods and Daniel went ont to the finals after beating Brown and Patton respectively.

By this time both players were tired and did everything they could to muster the energy for one more round. When Daniel went first, you could see the fatigue in his eyes. He went through his batting routine and prepared himself for the first pitch.

Knowing that he is setting the bar he hits the second pitch out of the park followed by another one. He then proceeded to make two consecutive outs followed by another homerun followed by another out. On his second to last swing, he kept the ball fair giving him four total for the round.

Woods, on ther hand, knew what she had to hit four to tie five to win. As she stepped to the plate, she took the first pitch like Daniel. She swung at a pitch that didn’t quite make it out, giving her one out.

Then on the third pitch she hit the ball over the fence and followed it with another,, giving her two for the round. She made another out on the next pitch following it with back-to-back homeruns. At the end of the round both players were tied meaning that they would go to a swing off.

In a swing off both batters got a chance to take one swing and if both players fail to hit a homerun the process is repeated. The swing off happened twice with Woods taking the title of Homerun Derby Champion.

In the end, it was not about who hit the most homeruns it was about giving back and helping those that are fighting for their lives.   

Photo Source: Wingate Baseball Twitter

Edited by: Brea Childs

Wingate Senior Athletes are preparing to hang up their collegiate sports careers

Maggie Smith, Staff Writer

Some people’s first words are ball. Some people start playing a sport not long after they even learn to walk. People grow up around sports, and sports become apart of people’s life. For some, it is their life. So what’s it like when it’s all over?

For some people sports becomes a way a life. It requires commitment, hard work, and dedication. It can be rewarding and disappointing all in one. Sports is an emotional journey and the emotion of your last game is indescribable.

The saying goes, “All great things must come to an end.” This saying only helps a little. Like anything in life, you don’t realize how much you love something until it’s gone and you never know when it’s going to be taken away.

Through sports you gain your best friends. You see each other every day at practice and you bond because of the mutual passion you share for the sport. You bond through competing against each other. You bond over wins and over losses. You build each other up and you have each others back.

In high school, your last game is sad because you know you’re about to go separate ways with your teammates and most of them you’ll never see again. It’s sad to know you’ll never be apart of that same team with those same players again; it’s sad to know you’ll never play for that same coach again.

But for those who get to play again in college it makes it a little easier because you know it’s not completely over. You’re excited to move on to bigger and better things and to play at the next level.

For Wingate Senior Lacrosse player, Kendall Sienon, who’s Lacrosse career just ended, she said that playing a sport in collegian level versus a high school level is “virtually incomparable.”

Leaving high school behind and your high school teammates behind can feel like the end of the world. You’ve known most of your teammates and friends since elementary school, and you honestly believe nothing’s going to compare to it and the goodbyes are the hardest.

What you don’t realize is, playing a college sport is completely different. Sure you may only know your college teammates for four years whereas you knew some of your high school teammates for 12, but the goodbyes feel completely different and maybe even worse.

In college, you start all over. You have a new coach to impress and new teammates to become friends with. You have to adapt and gel with your new teammates. Playing on a collegiate team, you play with teammates from all over, not people you’ve known since elementary school, and not people who were raised like you. You start over and you think you have a whole four years to develop your role on the team and to become best friends with your teammates.

What you don’t realize is you only have four years and how fast they’ll fly. You don’t realize it’ll fly even faster than high school. You don’t realize that you’ll make lifelong friends that you develop even closer relationships with than the ones you had in high school.

You leave high school and never talk to some of those teammates again, and knowing that, you’re aware that it’s most likely going to happen with some of your college teammates, and that hits home. Especially because you and your teammates are all about to go separate ways all over the country and join the real world.

Sienon said she cried after her last game. “The emotions got to me and not because we lost but because of the sinking realization that this was the last lacrosse game I will be playing in,” said Sienon, “It is a little sad to be done but it hasn’t sunk in quite yet that I will not be stepping on the field again.”

When your high school sports career ends and you leave those teammates behind, it almost feels like your world is coming to an end, and in a way it is…that part of your world, that chapter, does end…but a new one begins.

When your college career ends, it’s a whole different story. When it ends your whole sports career is over, and it’s an even harder goodbye. You only had four years with those college teammates who also became your best friends, and those long four years spent everyday together and those long hours of practice, still aren’t enough.

When you play a college sport your best friends automatically are your teammates because those are the first people you meet on campus and they’re the people you spend the most time with. Moving on to the real world is already scary but leaving behind your best friends is even scarier.

I have gained some of my closest friends through lacrosse. Lacrosse brings us together as a mutual interest but I feel as if being apart of a sport and experiencing those things as teammates and friends brings you so much closer together. Some of them will definitely be in my wedding and a part of my life for many years to come,” said Sienon.

College is the best years of your life and a huge part of that for a collegiate athlete is because of the sport they played. In college you find yourself and a huge part of that is because of your best friends, you find yourselves together.

Playing a college sport plays a big role in finding yourself. You learn to lead, to work with others, how to communicate with others, etc. There is a lot you can learn about life from a sport.

When your college career ends it’s hard to accept that you’re about to leave this place that has been your home for four years. You’re about to leave a place where you find yourself.

You’re leaving a place where a thousand memories were made. It’s hard to leave that and all your friends behind and it’s extremely hard to leave behind the sport you’ve been passionate about since you were young.

The sport that has brought you so much happiness. When you play on your home field for the last time you realize you’ll never get that feeling back. The feeling of your friends and family in the crowd cheering for you.

Playing the sport you love with your best friends. Laughing on the field and leaving everything you have on that field. A sport can even be a stress reliever during college. For those few hours your on that field your head is in the game and all the stress of school is temporarily gone.
The question then becomes. what happens when you enter the real world? What’s your stress reliever? Sure you can play in rec-leagues, intramural leagues, adult leagues, etc. but will it ever really be the same?

Edited by: Brea Childs

New Faith-based Organization will be added to Wingate in the fall

Sarah Katz, Staff Writer

A faith-based organization will be joining one of approximately 50 registered student organizations on Wingate University’s campus in fall of 2018, said a university representative.

Delight is a college women’s ministry built for the purpose of inviting all women to strengthen and learn about their faith,” said Skylar Mize, cofounder of Delight on Wingate’s campus.

Based on information from the website, Delight was founded by three women at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.  The women wanted to create an environment that would foster relationships between women and God.  They did this through a Bible study and then by expanding Delight to multiple universities.

“I discovered Delight through an old friend from high school who recommended I check it out,” said Mize.  “The more I learned about Delight, the more I felt called to bring it to campus.”

Based on the website, Delight has three goals.  Delight wants to create a Christ-centered community, foster vulnerability and transform stories.  

“The goals of Delight are an outline for us to run this organization on campus,” said Alex Matranga, cofounder of Wingate’s Delight chapter.  “This gives a foundation for us to help grow our and other’s faith in an impactful way.”

Delight also incorporates nights of worship, service to the community and activities called Delight dates. “I am excited to help establish a support system for girls on campus so that we can help with anything that weighs heavy on their hearts,” said Matranga.  

Based on the website, the second goal of Delight is to foster vulnerability.  Delight wants to provide an environment where women feel safe and comfortable sharing Christ in their lives without the fear of judgment.

“The organization is built off of diversity and creating a safe space where all women feel welcome and comfortable sharing regardless of their past,” said Mize. “Delight is only for women which helps those who may not be as comfortable sharing in a co-ed group.”

The website states that Delight’s third goal is to transform stories.  Delight wants to create an environment where women can encounter Christ and change their stories in the pursuit of him.

“We want this to be a judgment free zone where we can hear and share stories so that people understand how their stories can be used to spread God’s word,” said Mize.  

Delight will be one of approximately 50 organizations offered by Wingate University.  Only seven of the organizations offered are faith-based, according to the university’s website. “Delight will be the first of its kind at Wingate and it will be a new way for women to encounter the grace of God,” said Matranga.

Delight became a registered student organization at Wingate through committee approval during the spring semester of 2017.  Mize and Matranga said they communicated with the founders of Delight to discuss the process of starting Delight on campus and identified people to be part of the leadership team at Wingate.

“We learned everything we could about Delight because we wanted to be able to answer any question thrown at us by the committee or women wanting to learn more,” said Matranga.  “We wanted to have the knowledge to make sure that we were correctly informing everyone of what Delight stands for.”

Based on their website, part of Delight coming onto campus requires members to sell $180 in books in order to support the organization.  These are book written by and for the Delight community.

“We are hoping that required sales will not be an issue but Alex and I both believe in this organization strongly enough that we will buy the books ourselves if we have to,” said Mize.

This organization will be new to campus and with that comes a level of uncertainty.  Mize and Matranga said they met with their leadership team multiple times in order to ensure that all members are on the same page.

“We are excited for the start next year,” said Mize. “Our goal is not to have the most people coming to our meetings instead we want to have an impact on the people we meet.” Delight will officially start on Wingate University’s campus at the beginning of fall semester 2017.  

Edited by: Brea Childs

Union Symphony Orchestra performs at Wingate with guest artist

Ryan Mckeel, Staff Writer

A local symphony orchestra with deep roots at Wingate University performed on the evening of April 29, 2017 with a guest artist from the University of South Carolina.

The Union Symphony Orchestra, also known as the USO, and Dr. Jennifer Parker-Harley, associate professor of flute at the University of South Carolina and principal flute of the USO, performed a concert at Wingate University.

USOInvitation2-300x200
Photo Source: Union Symphony Orchestra

The concert, titled Sonica Vista, featured works by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, and Johannes Brahms, and was free for Wingate University students.

The ensemble’s artistic director and conductor, Richard Rosenberg, arranged Étienne Méhul’s Overture to “La Chasse de Jeune Henri” (Young Henry’s Hunt) and opened the evening with its performance. “That was an amazing performance and a really a beautiful evening! I can’t believe that was free,” said Wingate junior Simone Freeney.

Parker-Harley’s performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s concerto in D minor marked her second performance at Wingate University. “I really enjoyed the flute concerto,” said Wingate junior Tabitha Viola. “It was fun to be exposed to a new kind of music, and she was so talented! It was a delightful concert.”

Many of the performers onstage were Wingate University music professors, including Dr. Dawn Price, Director of Bands.

The orchestra has two pops concerts scheduled for the summer. A pops performance is one that includes popular music and show tunes as well as well-known classical works

Those performances will take place in Monroe, NC, while a Labor Day pops concert will be performed on the Stegall lawn at Wingate University on Labor Day. Pops concerts feature family friendly works that are enjoyable for patrons of all ages.  

“The pops concerts are a great time for our community to gather and enjoy some wonderful music,” said Dr. Martha Asti, founding member of the symphony and a Wingate University administrator. Dr. Asti was the group’s organist and harpsichordist during their initial performances.

The USO gave its first performances at Wingate University almost three decades ago. “The Union Symphony Orchestra was founded as a volunteer orchestra at Wingate University in the 1980s,” said Asti.

Dr. Asti has rejoined the symphony’s board. “We are humbled and grateful to have Dr. Asti with us on the board,” said Kim Norwood, a former member of the symphony’s board, now the current executive director.

The ensembles history has always included deep support from the university’s staff and facilities. “We performed in Austin Auditorium, as the Batte Center hadn’t been built yet,” she said. “We took a break around 1990,” said Asti.

In 2004, Wingate University’s current music department chair and director of choral activities, Kenney Potter, took to the podium as the symphony’s artistic director.

Union Symphony incorporated as a 501c3 in 2007. The orchestra now has a youth symphony that is led by Wingate University adjunct professor Sabrina Howard.

The USO has plans to fill the stage with more musicians for their 2017-2018 season. “We have goals for growth,” said Kim Norwood. “We would like to put 68 musicians on stage next season.”

Professor of piano, Dr. David Brooks, will be a featured performer with the symphony this fall.

For more on the Union Symphony Orchestra, visit their website at unionsymphony.org Ryan McKeel is a PR major at Wingate University. Follow him on Instagram @ OatmealMcKeel!

Edited by: Brea Childs

WUSPYS annual Sports Award Banquet set for Monday

Tariah Harrell, Staff Writer

The Wingate Bulldogs fifth annual WUSPYS sports awards banquet will take place on Monday, May 8 at the Union County Agricultural Center in Wingate. There are 18 categories in this year’s WUSPYS. Voting has currently started. All the awards will be voted on by Wingate coaches, along with the athletic administrative staff and members of Wingate’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. There were more that 90 people who received a WUSPYS ballot on Monday.  Next Monday, the doors of the Union County Agricultural Center will be open at 4:45 p.m. where the red carpet will be set for the athletes. Team awards will be handed out at 5:30 p.m. and the first WUSPYS award will be handed out following the team awards at 6 p.m.

Here are the categories and nominees of each of the following categories:

Female Breakthrough Athlete

Katie Bludau, Volleyball

Cristina Casanella, Women’s Golf

Marta Miscenko, Women’s Basketball

Gianna Thompson, Women’s Track & Field

Taylor Wells, Softball

Male Breakthrough Athlete

Dalton Cox, Men’s Cross Country

Josh Dominguez, Men’s Basketball

Blake Hayes, Football

Nicholas Oliveira, Men’s Tennis

Will Sheridan, Men’s Lacrosse

Freshman Female Athlete of the Year

Diana McDonald, Women’s Golf

Treslyn Ortiz, Volleyball

Elena Pellegrini, Women’s Tennis

Ebba Stillman, Women’s Swimming

Tarah Young, Women’s Track & Field

Freshman Male Athlete of the Year

Daniel Belsito, Men’s Tennis

Ben Evans, Men’s Swimming

Joseph Mason, Baseball

BJ Muckelvene, Football

Elliot Zirwas, Men’s Track & Field

Newcomer of the Year (Non-Freshman)

Ty Andrus, Baseball

Theo Dessacs, Men’s Tennis

Alex Divelbiss, Women’s Swimming

Elma N’For, Men’s Soccer

Best Championship Performance

Jon Ander, Men’s Soccer (National Championship Game)

Alex Divelbiss, Women’s Swimming (BMC Championship Meet)

Isaiah Kyle, Men’s Track & Field (NCAA Indoor Championships)

Abby Saehler, Volleyball (SAC Tournament)

Will Sheridan, Men’s Lacrosse (SAC Tournament)

Vanisha Wilshire, Women’s Track & Field ( NCAA Indoor Championships)

Danasia Witherspoon, Women’s Basketball (SAC Tournament)

Play of the Year

Shannon O’Neal OT game-winner at Tusculum

Women’s Track & Field 4×1 Relay

Moryah Johnson interception at Limestone

Amber Neely game-winner at #4 Lincoln Memorial

Aksel Juul goal in NCAA Regional Title Match

Women’s Swimming NCAA Champion 800 Free Relay

Alex Llerandi OT game-winner in SAC title game

Best Upset

Women’s Soccer vs. #25 Carson-Newman

Men’s Basketball at #3 Queens

Women’s Basketball at #5 Lincoln Memorial

Baseball at #9 Mount Olive

Women’s Tennis at #18 Francis Marion

Men’s Lacrosse vs. #5 Belmont Abbey

Softball DH sweep at #15 Lenoir-Rhyne

Best Comeback

Men’s Basketball vs. Catawba (SAC Tournament)

Women’s Basketball vs. Catawba (SAC Tournament)

Women’s Tennis at Anderson

Women’s Lacrosse vs. Coker (SAC Semifinals)

Men’s Lacrosse at Tusculum

Game of the Year

Football beats Mars Hill 42-39

Volleyball vs. LMU in SAC Championship Match

Women’s Basketball vs. LMU in SAC Championship Game

Women’s Track & Field wins SAC Championship

Men’s Lacrosse beats Queens 11-10 in SAC Title Game

Geddings Award– Best Overall Student-Athlete

Kaitlyn Brunworth, Women’s Soccer

Keith Griffin, Men’s Basketball

Mikaela Hadaway, Women’s Golf

Alyssa Johnson, Women’s Cross Country

Female Athlete of the Year

Brittany Andrews, Women’s Lacrosse

Alex Divebiss, Women’s Swimming

Abby Saehler, Volleyball

Layla Tanik, Women’s Tennis

Vanisha Wilshire, Women’s Track & Field

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Male Athlete of the Year

Ray Edward, Football

Leif-Henning Klüver, Men’s Swimming

Isaiah Kyle, Men’s Track & Field

Austin Murphy, Men’s Lacrosse

Alex Nelson, Men’s Soccer

Women’s Team of the Year

Women’s Cross Country

Volleyball

Women’s Swimming

Women’s Basketball

Women’s Tennis

Women’s Track & Field

Men’s Team of the Year

Men’s Soccer

Men’s Swimming

Men’s Basketball

Men’s Track & Field

Men’s Lacrosse

Bulldog Club Spirit Award*

Cornel Cheron, Football

Mike Conner, Men’s Lacrosse

Lucas Cuadros, Men’s Swimming

Macy Franklin, Women’s Soccer

Olivia Smith, Softball

Shelby Tricoli, Women’s Basketball;

*This Award goes to the student-athlete that best personifies the Bulldog spirit, both on and off the field, that always shows great pride in being a Bulldog.

The Wingate Bulldogs fifth annual WUSPYS sports awards banquet will take place on Monday, May 8 at the Union County Agricultural Center in Wingate. There are 18 categories in this year’s WUSPYS. Voting has currently started. All the awards will be voted on by Wingate coaches, along with the athletic administrative staff and members of Wingate’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. There were more that 90 people who received a WUSPYS ballot on Monday.  Next Monday, the doors of the Union County Agricultural Center will be open at 4:45 p.m. where the red carpet will be set for the athletes. Team awards will be handed out at 5:30 p.m. and the first WUSPYS award will be handed out following the team awards at 6 p.m.

Here are the categories and nominees of each of the following categories:

Female Breakthrough Athlete

Katie Bludau, Volleyball

Cristina Casanella, Women’s Golf

Marta Miscenko, Women’s Basketball

Gianna Thompson, Women’s Track & Field

Taylor Wells, Softball

Male Breakthrough Athlete

Dalton Cox, Men’s Cross Country

Josh Dominguez, Men’s Basketball

Blake Hayes, Football

Nicholas Oliveira, Men’s Tennis

Will Sheridan, Men’s Lacrosse

Freshman Female Athlete of the Year

Diana McDonald, Women’s Golf

Treslyn Ortiz, Volleyball

Elena Pellegrini, Women’s Tennis

Ebba Stillman, Women’s Swimming

Tarah Young, Women’s Track & Field

Freshman Male Athlete of the Year

Daniel Belsito, Men’s Tennis

Ben Evans, Men’s Swimming

Joseph Mason, Baseball

BJ Muckelvene, Football

Elliot Zirwas, Men’s Track & Field

Newcomer of the Year (Non-Freshman)

Ty Andrus, Baseball

Theo Dessacs, Men’s Tennis

Alex Divelbiss, Women’s Swimming

Elma N’For, Men’s Soccer

Best Championship Performance

Jon Ander, Men’s Soccer (National Championship Game)

Alex Divelbiss, Women’s Swimming (BMC Championship Meet)

Isaiah Kyle, Men’s Track & Field (NCAA Indoor Championships)

Abby Saehler, Volleyball (SAC Tournament)

Will Sheridan, Men’s Lacrosse (SAC Tournament)

Vanisha Wilshire, Women’s Track & Field ( NCAA Indoor Championships)

Danasia Witherspoon, Women’s Basketball (SAC Tournament)

Play of the Year

Shannon O’Neal OT game-winner at Tusculum

Women’s Track & Field 4×1 Relay

Moryah Johnson interception at Limestone

Amber Neely game-winner at #4 Lincoln Memorial

Aksel Juul goal in NCAA Regional Title Match

Women’s Swimming NCAA Champion 800 Free Relay

Alex Llerandi OT game-winner in SAC title game

Best Upset

Women’s Soccer vs. #25 Carson-Newman

Men’s Basketball at #3 Queens

Women’s Basketball at #5 Lincoln Memorial

Baseball at #9 Mount Olive

Women’s Tennis at #18 Francis Marion

Men’s Lacrosse vs. #5 Belmont Abbey

Softball DH sweep at #15 Lenoir-Rhyne

Best Comeback

Men’s Basketball vs. Catawba (SAC Tournament)

Women’s Basketball vs. Catawba (SAC Tournament)

Women’s Tennis at Anderson

Women’s Lacrosse vs. Coker (SAC Semifinals)

Men’s Lacrosse at Tusculum

Game of the Year

Football beats Mars Hill 42-39

Volleyball vs. LMU in SAC Championship Match

Women’s Basketball vs. LMU in SAC Championship Game

Women’s Track & Field wins SAC Championship

Men’s Lacrosse beats Queens 11-10 in SAC Title Game

Geddings Award– Best Overall Student-Athlete

Kaitlyn Brunworth, Women’s Soccer

Keith Griffin, Men’s Basketball

Mikaela Hadaway, Women’s Golf

Alyssa Johnson, Women’s Cross Country

Female Athlete of the Year

Brittany Andrews, Women’s Lacrosse

Alex Divebiss, Women’s Swimming

Abby Saehler, Volleyball

Layla Tanik, Women’s Tennis

Vanisha Wilshire, Women’s Track & Field

Male Athlete of the Year

Ray Edward, Football

Leif-Henning Klüver, Men’s Swimming

Isaiah Kyle, Men’s Track & Field

Austin Murphy, Men’s Lacrosse

Alex Nelson, Men’s Soccer

Women’s Team of the Year

Women’s Cross Country

Volleyball

Women’s Swimming

Women’s Basketball

Women’s Tennis

Women’s Track & Field

Men’s Team of the Year

Men’s Soccer

Men’s Swimming

Men’s Basketball

Men’s Track & Field

Men’s Lacrosse

Bulldog Club Spirit Award*

Cornel Cheron, Football

Mike Conner, Men’s Lacrosse

Lucas Cuadros, Men’s Swimming

Macy Franklin, Women’s Soccer

Olivia Smith, Softball

Shelby Tricoli, Women’s Basketball;

*This Award goes to the student-athlete that best personifies the Bulldog spirit, both on and off the field, that always shows great pride in being a Bulldog.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Review: Takara presents a great touch to Asian restaurants in Monroe

Kendall Sienon, Staff Writer

MONROE, N.C. — You don’t have to go far to get exquisite Asian cuisine. Located on Highway 74 across the street from the Buick/GMC Car Dealership, Takara may be the new go-to place for all sushi, hibachi, and Asian fare lovers!

Nearly everyday of the week you’ll see the restaurant full of hungry guests. However, on Wednesday and Sunday it is extra busy when Takara offers half price sushi on their special rolls. However, the specials don’t stop there. On Thursdays, they have buy one hibachi get one half off.

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Photo Source: Yelp

There are two dining options to choose from: Hibachi or regular dining. At hibachi, guests can choose anything from the menu including sushi and items from the kitchen. There, a chef will cook for the table right in front of you. He will roll out all the tricks, while putting on an entertaining show for diners.

The fried rice is immaculate and the seafood sauce is never ending. The chicken, steak, shrimp and veggies that accompany the extra large portions of fried rice are cooked to perfection.

Each hibachi dinner includes an option of soup or salad, fried rice, veggies and meat. If you’re not in the mood for something so heavy and just interested in the hand-made sushi, the regular dining option may be for you. There, it is like any typical dining experience with average servers.

There is one server there that always remembers me every time I went there with my order ready to be placed. She has since moved on and no server has stepped up to match her enthusiasm and amiability.

Although the service isn’t top-notch, it has not stopped me from enjoying some of the best sushi I’ve ever had. My go to is “White Christmas” but there are some other rolls that are just as incredible such as “Pop-Pop Girl” and “Godzilla”. I promise this sushi will not disappoint.

Takara offers consistent service with a consistent meal. The atmosphere is intimate and soothing while offering an Asian flair. It is a perfect place to go on a first date or with a group of friends. Half price sushi is a must and don’t be surprised if you find yourself there nearly every week enjoying the handmade sushi rolls.

Address: 2515 W Roosevelt Blvd, Monroe, NC 28110

Hours: M-F 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 4 p.m.-10 p.m.; Sat 12 noon-8:30 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Busiest times: Wednesday/Sunday; 6:30-8:30 most days

Phone Number: (704) 289-1127

Dress: casual

Reservations: not necessary but recommended for large parties

Wheelchair access: Yes

Price: $/$$$ (however it can range depending on the day you go and the items you choose)

Overall Rating: ★★★★ (4 out of 5)

Edited by: Brea Childs

ESPN Layoffs are Not a Good Sign For Sports Reporting Industry

Trey Lower, Staff Writer

As a sports broadcasting major here at Wingate, my lifelong dream has been to be an announcer for ESPN. Whenever you think of sports, you ultimately think of the channel, and I always had a path in place to get there.

However, as the years have progressed and the broadcasting industry continues to change, my goals have forcibly changed along with it. Last week, ESPN announced that in a cost-cutting maneuver, it would lay off 100 employees, most of whom were seen on ESPN on a regular basis.

The company took a beating on social media because of it, as fans soon realized many familiar faces were leaving the network. Longtime reporters Dr. Jerry Punch, who served ESPN for 30 years, and NFL reporter Ed Werder, who spent over 15 years at the network, were among the major layoffs.

ESPN gutted its entire team of NHL writers in the middle of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and also significantly diminished its analysts and writers for both the NBA and MLB. So, why did the layoffs happen? Simple. People are cutting the cord on cable, plus a change in direction at the company has led to significant money loss and cost-cutting measure had to be taken.

ESPN is one of the most expensive channels you pay for on your cable bill, charging nearly $5 a month by itself. Add in the fact that the programming at the channel has begun to lack significantly in terms of content, and people just are not interested in watching ESPN anymore.

I scrolled through twitter most of the day when these layoffs were happening, gauging reaction from the average viewer, as well as from the ESPN employees. The average fan appeared disgruntled with not only the cost of paying for ESPN, but that lack of content as well.

Shows like First Take and Around The Horn have become mainstays on the network, and the greatest show in the history of the planet, Sportscenter has drifted away from highlights and become more of a news show, similar to what you would find on CNN or FOX. This aggravated the viewers and turned them away.

ESPN2’s midday viewership was so bad, that the company resorted to re-runs of shows from earlier in the day and even earlier in the week. In addition, most tweeters were mentioning that they usually only watch ESPN for the live sports; and because of the change in content they simply didn’t need to watch the other programming anymore.

In addition, technological advances have also begun as the Worldwide Leader’s downfall. As more and more people begin streaming events on their phone or tablet, the less a television is needed.

The addition of WatchESPN several years ago, an app that allows you to watch ESPN wherever you may please, has been among the catalysts in the rise of streaming sports events. In 2016, Twitter teamed up with the NFL to live-stream Thursday Night Football, and in 2017 Amazon will take over this service.

Additionally, ESPN has since combined the WatchESPN and the ESPN apps, into one app, to make it simpler for the avid sports fans to keep up. It’s because of this shift in technology that ESPN simply doesn’t need some of the same employees around anymore.

The journalism industry continues to change, and many believe that these layoffs by ESPN are simply just the beginning. It is believed that ESPN will eventually turn into a service similar to HBOgo, where there is a certain price to pay each month to watch the channel’s content. As for me, I still have my dreams of being a great sports broadcaster, but the changing industry has certainly cast a darker cloud over my future, and all aspiring sports broadcasters futures.

Photo Source: Worldsoccertalk.com

Edited by: Brea Childs