Tag Archives: sports

Veteran Brings Hope and Awareness During 5K

 Gabriela Cabrera, Staff Writer

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Photo by Gabriela Cabrera 

An amputee veteran stopped in North Carolina to complete a marathon as part of his mission to bring awareness to disabled veterans and raise money for his cause.

Rob Jones is running 31 marathons in 31 days to raise money for veterans overcoming challenges. Jones arrived in Charlotte, N.C this past Thursday to complete one of his marathons at Freedom Park.

Jones said that he hopes his journey resonates with people, and that they see it as inspiration to make themselves better.

“Instead of seeing tragedy or hardship as something that’s blocking your path or getting in your way, see it as an opportunity to get stronger,” said Jones.

In 2010, Jones stepped on a mine in Afghanistan while alerting his patrol to IEDs. The resulting injuries inspired him to bring awareness to other veterans.

“I knew at this point that I’m alive and I’m going to have the best life possible,” Jones said during an interview on the “Jocko” podcast in September.

Since the traumatic event, Jones has overcome his injury to pursue a new mission: Raising money for veterans and bringing awareness to the community about veterans who struggle to rejoin society.

In his blog, Jones said he searched for challenges that he could use to become better. These challenges included competing in the 2012 Paralympics and biking 5,200 miles across the country.

“Over the course of the ride I raised $126,000 for the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, and Ride 2 Recovery, three charities which aid wounded veterans,” said Jones.

Supporters gathered around Rob Jones as he thanked them for coming out to Freedom Park.

Madeline Schildwachter, an employee for the Semper Fi Fund, a nonprofit that provides programs to assist wounded veterans, said she is inspired by Rob Jones and his mission.

“When you think about someone who does the Couch to 5K program that in itself is an incredible feat. To just start something new and complete it makes me in total awe of those people,” said Schildwachter. “Then you have Rob and I’m just like ‘you are out of this world.’”

Jones made it his mission to raise $1 million for charities that had helped him during his time in rehab.

Pamela Jones, the wife of the veteran, said Jones is an example of someone who has gone through something completely traumatic that could halt everyone in their tracks.

“Rob is always telling me ‘Thank God it happened to me and not someone who wasn’t able to cope with it,’” said Pamela.

She said Jones believes this happened to him for a reason and that he now has the power to change people’s perception and to be an example to other veterans.

Pamela said Jones has enjoyed running in every city so far since each is so different, but there are some cities that really stand out to them.

“Charlotte is definitely the biggest turnout which is amazing,” said Pamela. “In Boston, he finished the run and there were bagpipes at the finish.”

Pamela said in both San Francisco and San Diego there were some younger kids who were inspired by Rob and ran the marathon with him.

 However, in some cities they didn’t get the same reaction.

“In Memphis it was really quiet. We only had about five people come out,” said Pamela. “It was really horrible weather. In the last five miles of the run there was this torrential downpour.”

 Despite the smaller turnouts, Pamela said the whole month has been really amazing.

After finishing the race in Washington D.C. this past week, Jones’ message continues to touch those around the world.

Pamela said Rob is trying to be a beacon of hope for those who have gone through traumatic experiences.

Edited by Harrison Taylor and Dustin Kiggins

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WU Students TP Campus for Homecoming Celebration

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Wessli-Ann Hardee, Staff Writer

Wingate University students clear out the store shelves as they stock up on toilet paper for the annual homecoming tradition of “TPing” the campus on Thursday night.

For years, Wingate University has been establishing traditions for students to take part in during homecoming. One of their biggest is allowing the students to cover the campus in toilet paper.

Bailey Goforth, a sophomore at Wingate, said she had heard about the crazy tradition when she toured the campus as a senior in high school.

“I never believed it could be as fun as they said it was, but participating in it as a freshman made me realize that what they were saying was true,” Goforth said. “It’s one of my favorite memories as a student here and something I always look forward to.”

“TPing” is usually seen as a type of vandalism, but the staff at Wingate University allow the students to have a little fun doing something they normally couldn’t get away with.

“I almost feel bad for making our campus look so terrible, but it really does look so cool the next day when you are walking to class,” Goforth said.

On the Thursday night of homecoming week, students leave their rooms and cover every inch of campus with toilet paper. They even go as far as pouring soap in the fountains.

“Last year I jumped in the fountain full of soap, even though it was freezing outside,” said student Veronica Manka. “I plan on doing that again this year. It was so fun.”

Wingate’s Student Government Association also created a little incentive for students in order to make the clean up the following week a little bit easier. For each garbage bag of toilet paper the students bring to the Office of Residence Life, they will receive a free t-shirt.

“Although it’s a lot of fun throwing the toilet paper…it makes quite the mess. To try and help maintenance, SGA encourages students to join in our annual clean up the Monday following homecoming,” said Kirby VonEgidy, vice president of marketing and communications for Wingate University’s student government. “We made the mess, the least we can do is help pick it up.”

The tradition has become such a fun event for the students to participate in, and senior Zack Singleton said it will be on his list of “most missed things” about Wingate University when he graduates in the spring.

“I’ve always looked forward to ‘TPing’ the quad,” said Singleton. “I’m really bummed that this will be my last year.”

Wingate’s homecoming week was full of games, activities and events. “TPing” the quad is one of the final traditions before the homecoming tailgate and football game on Nov. 4.

Edited by Gabriela Cabrera, Ryan Mackintosh and Mason Teague

WU Alum First to Receive MASM Award

By Adam Riley II, Staff Writer

Wingate alum, Callie Phillips, was presented with the first Master of Arts in Sport Management Distinguished Alumni Award during an expert panel discussing Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence in College Athletics in Austin Auditorium last week.

“No one has to do everything, but everyone can do something to help stop sexual assault and domestic violence,” Phillips said.

She graduated from Wingate in 2013 with her master’s in sport administration and she is the current head volleyball coach at Johnson & Wales University.

Edited By Harrison Taylor, Dustin Kiggins, and Cierra Smith

 

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

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

What’s Your Story?: Kimmi Moore faces trials that make her stronger

Maggie Smith, Staff Writer

Wingate University’s total enrollment is approximately 3,150. Out of those 3,150 people, each one has their own story. Students walk past one another everyday unaware of each other’s stories.

Some stories need to be heard so others fighting the same battles know they’re not alone, but sometimes people are afraid of sharing their story. Sophomore, Kimmi Moore has her own story and is willing to share it with others.

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Photo Source: Wingate Athletics

For many students freshman year is challenging as it is a big transition from high school to college. For Moore however, the transition was an easy one. Moore started Wingate University in August of 2015.

Moore went to Wingate on a soccer scholarship. “Because I came in on a sports team with people I already knew, the transition was fairly easy. I already had friends here and they were able to help me transition into the college life and help me with classes which showed me time management” said Moore.

Although Moore got off to a good start and liked Wingate, life threw her a curve. “My freshman year during spring break I went home for a few days and before coming back to school my boyfriend committed suicide” said Moore.

“When you lose someone to depression you automatically feel like it’s your fault,” said Moore, “It took me a very long time to realize it wasn’t my fault.” Moore also said “depression is an inner battle with yourself and the best thing you can do is find little things to look forward to.”

Moore said she took time off to cope and better her mental health after battling depression. “I didn’t return to school for awhile because my parents were worried and I wanted to remain home and stay close to them time.”

Moore eventually decided to come back and continue playing soccer. “I came back because I knew it was the best thing for me and I had so many opportunities ahead of me,” said Moore, “I’m glad I came back because I focused on soccer, bettered my play, made new friends, and I was beginning to be myself again.”

Moore credits her teammates and her coach for helping her on her “tough days.”

Moore also said her teachers were very understanding and helped with the work she missed. Moore said she was even able to finish the semester with a gpa over 3.0.

One of her teammates and best friends, Erica Pacello said Kimmi’s strength is something she’s never seen before. “Her situation from the outside looking in seems unbearable and somehow she managed to channel her weaknesses into strengths on and off the soccer field,” said Pacello, “she’s an amazing friend to me, she asks me if I’m okay when I know sometimes she’s barely getting through the day.” Pacello also said that she knows the battle Kimmi is fighting is internal but she roots for her every day.

Kimmi has found love again and is in a relationship. Her boyfriend Nick Sprinkle said she shows her strength everyday. “She doesn’t let little mishaps and setbacks deter her from being one of the most kind and caring people I have ever met,” said Sprinkle, “Every single day she gets up, goes to class, practice, rotations, and even has time for herself, when many people can barely balance school and homework she is balancing ten things at once and it puts into perspective how much she can bare.”

Sprinkle also said, “You would never know that she was struggling unless she told you. She always puts others before herself, even if it costs her something. She does not think twice about helping someone else.” Nick said Kimmi is one of the strongest people he’s ever met.

“Wingate has impacted my life because without all the support I was offered I would not have been able to come back. This school puts each other first, offers you with options to expand your knowledge and try new things, and is just the home feel,” said Moore, “this school has changed my life, made me a better individual and opened up new horizons.”

Moore advises others who are dealing with depression to keep busy and to lean on your friends. “Your friends are here to help you, call them…you think you’re burdening them with your problems so you bottle them up which makes it worse.” Moore said she has a tattoo on her spine that says, The pain you feel today is the strength you’ll feel tomorrow. Keep going. “If you tell yourself that everyday, it’ll start to get better and you will achieve what you want, so just keep fighting” said Moore.

Edited by: Brea Childs

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.

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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