since 1960 “of, by, and for the Wesleyan community.” March 15, 2019
N O R T H C A R O L I N A W E S L E YA N C O L L E G E , R O C K Y M O U N T, N O R T H C A R O L I N A 2 7 8 0 4
Provost Evan Duff Talks about Past 8 Years, Plans for Future
During the past eight years Dr. Evan Duff Q. Explain the financial relationship Q. Recent enrollment growth has caused lo- haveclose to 40 students taking classes in the
has overseen the expansion of the college’s between ASPIRE and the traditional-day gistical issues on campus. Describe some of the MSCJ program and our growth is primarily
adult-degree program and, as Wesleyan’s program. Has lower enrollment meant challenges that the academic side has confronted. due to word of mouth from current students.
Provost, helped guide the traditional-day that ASPIRE is running a deficit? What are some steps that have been taken This program is providing a vital service to
program in a time of growth. A.Adult studies tuition has always flowed to accommodate the increased enrollment? students in North Carolina who have rotating
He first came to Wesleyan in February into the overall budget of the college. Positive What are the most acute problems and needs? schedules and need to complete their graduate
2011 to take charge of the college’s adult or negative cash flow relates to the traditional degree online. We’re serving our mission of
degree program, now known as ASPIRE. program because the operating budget of the A. While we have needed to be more helping students to be lifelong learners.
Then, in summer 2012, he was asked to take college combines the two sources of revenue strategic, I don’t feel our growth has caused
on the additional responsibilities of interim along with grants and fundraising for advance- “emergencies” when it comes to classroom See DUFF pg 2
provost, a post he held for a year. In May ment.All four revenue sources impact the en- space (at least not yet). Based on generous
2016, following the departure of Dr. Michael tire college. Despite the declining enrollment, donations and internal funds, we’ve added a Will Plyler
Brown, Dr. Duff was once again named ASPIRE has not been running a deficit. Its net new biology lab and expanded our exercise
interim provost and a year later he assumed revenue amounts to $4 to $5 million per year. science lab to meet the growing number of SGA President Plyler
the position on a permanent basis. He retains Q. What’s your prognosis for ASPIRE majors in those areas. We’ve also utilized ar- To Run Again, with
two titles: Provost and Sr. Vice President of enrollment and its overall health over the eas on campus that we didn’t use much in the More Goals in Mind
Academic Affairs as well as Vice President next three-five years? past. Those areas include the BB&T room,
of Adult & Professional Studies. A.We’re making tweaks in mode of deliv- the media room in the Gateway Technology Will Plyler plans to seek reelection to
Last month The Decree interviewed Evan Duff ery, new programs, and new locations that will Center (GTC) and another classroom in the a second term as SGA President in the
GTC. We’ve also looked at offering more hopes of fulfilling more of his objectives.
Dr. Duff about his time at Wesleyan through instruction; this allows me to be a help grow the adult studies program. It’s hard afternoon classes, making sure we use all of
and the outlook for the future. stronger advocate for the needs of our faculty to predict the true rebound of the adult program our 8 a.m. time slots, and experimenting with The Rocky Mount resident was elected
who do this on a full-time basis. because there so many variables. (i.e. innovative evening classes for the traditional program. president last spring in a narrow win overAriel
Q. You just completed eight years at learning models, the rise or fall of competition, Wilson. In earlier balloting the two candidates
NCWC, first serving as director of adult Q. Let’s turn to ASPIRE. As the college improvement or decline in economy, etc.). I’m Q. The new business school building, tied with 70 votes apiece, prompting a re-vote.
studies, and then as interim provost and now has reported, enrollment has decreased pro- hopeful that faculty, staff and administration will planned for construction on the east side of
provost. What’s been the most significant gram-wide, due in part to the low national work as a team to establish goals and priorities campus near the GTC, will help provide Born in Lenoir, a small town located near
challenge during your time at the college? unemployment rate and strong economy. for the adult program that will help us to im- needed classroom space. What’s the status Boone, Plyler is a communication major
What have ASPIRE administrators done to prove innovation and services to adult students. of the new building? with minors in religious studies and music
A. Trying to find balance between inno- cut costs and grow back enrollment? production. On campus he’s is involved
vation and historical pedagogical practices Q.ASPIRE offers many online courses. Do A. We have about three-fourths of the with Fellowship of ChristianAthletes and
as applied to student-learning outcomes. A. Since we started to see this trend in you foresee incorporating more online courses funding for this building and we’d like to at- the music group Spectrum; he sings and
late 2016/early 2017, we’ve cut many of our in the traditional-program curriculum? If so, tain the remaining amount through donations plays piano and electric guitar. Besides
Q. What’s been most surprising dur- budget lines to help offset this reduction in which disciplines seem appropriate for online so that the college doesn’t have to take out writing and performing music, he enjoys
ing your tenure? the number of students we serve. While we’re format? What percentage of traditional-day additional loans to complete the project. I’d playing on Wesleyan’s disc golf course.
starting to see some positive growth in adult courses is offered online at the present time? expect that building to be ready by fall 2020.
A.Our campus and students services have studies, I expect we’ll continue to see similar He was interviewed by the Decree in February.
transformed quite a bit over the last eight years. enrollment in 2019 compared to 2018. A. Of all the courses we offer in adult stud- Q. If you can, project additional new Q. How do you like serving as SGApresident?
We have new residence halls and housing ies, at all locations, less than 20 percent are facilities that the college will need as it A. It’s a joy and a privilege to serve as
options, a renovated cafeteria, WOW café, Q. Describe the primary competition offered online. We do offer a healthy selection reaches 1,500 students in the day pro- the president. Though the position is a lot
Starbucks, a renovated bookstore, updated tech- faced by ASPIRE. Is it on-line universi- of courses each term, though, to give adult gram and then the ultimate goal of 2,000 of hard work, it’s also super cool. I’m very
nology and furniture in many of our classrooms, ties such as the University of Phoenix students flexible options with their schedule. much a people person. I love meeting new
new biology and exercise science labs, a more and Liberty or more local programs? A. I suspect we would need two additional people, I love helping people, and as the
beautiful campus, and 24/7 tech and tutoring What are the market leaders doing well? For many reasons, I think it would be classroom/office facilities, one of which would SGA President, I get to meet and help so
support. I’m sure I could list 10 more things. a good idea to offer a limited number of include the new School of Business building. many one-of-a-kind people, students and
This campus and the Wesleyan community have A. Most competition is coming from 15- or 16-week online courses that would Some of the new space would include the po- staff alike. I think that’s my favorite part.
changed so much over the last eight years and online programs offered at Liberty University be available to traditional students. Many tential for expanding our exercise science labs/ Q. What’s been the biggest challenge
it’s a better place because of the dedication of our or Western Governors’University rather than students come to college already familiar classrooms as well as our science facilities. for you as president?
donors, faculty, staff, administration and trustees. traditional face-to-face programs at William with the experience of taking online These are growing programs on our campus. A. To be honest, the most difficult
Peace and Barton. One competitor is moving courses. Offering some online and hybrid We’d also need additional residence halls and thing is getting students involved in
Q. What’s been most gratifying? its entire operations online, after offering classes provides traditional students with other expansions for dining and study space to SGA. There are many who like to voice
A. Experiencing the true community some evening classes. I think this is a mistake, a mix of learning models to prepare them serve our student needs. their opinions or grievances, but it's been
atmosphere that Wesleyan has to offer. Our which may benefit us. I’ve always felt that a for their future. Although online education harder to find students willing to put in
faculty, staff and coaches are caring and mix of delivery modes works best for working has been around for more than 20 years, Q. Review the new majors that the college the work to bring about necessary change.
go above and beyond to assist students on adults. Our approach is to offer seated, online, we’re exposing students to new ways of had added in the last four years. What others is the Q. Describe the ways you seek input
their educational journey. We become advi- and hybrid classes; this helps us to stand out. learning, which helps them prepare to college considering in the short and long term? from students on campus issues.
sors, mentors, life coaches, older sisters I do feel we need a couple of degrees that can learn, regardless of the learning model. A. Our bi-weekly SGA meetings offer
and brothers and temporary parents to our be offered 100 percent online to serve students A. During my tenure as provost and as a a time when the floor is opened for any
students and help them in ways that go be- whose work schedules are too unpredictable Q. To follow up, is it your sense cabinet-level adviser to the administration, students to be allowed to speak about
yond the classroom, playing fields/courts. for seated classes as well as students who that traditional-day students would like Wesleyan has added the following majors: whatever is on their minds. I hold weekly
Q. Many readers may not know that don’t live in Eastern North Carolina. more classes on line? What determines Liberal Studies, Communication, Market- office hours when students can come
you still teach and oversee ASPIRE. whether the college offers a traditional- ing, Biomedical Science, General Science, and talk to me about anything, and I’m
Describe your current teaching activities. Western Governors’University is unique day course online or face-to-face? Health Promotion, Logistics & Supply-Chain always accessible by email.
A. I’ve worked in administration at the in that it offers a competency-based model Management, Organizational Leadership, Q. Based on such input, what do students
community college and four-year college level and a flat tuition rate that covers all course A. I have no formal data, but I think it’d and a graduate program in Criminal Justice. like about the recent enrollment growth?
since 2002 and in every position, I’ve taught materials.You pay one rate that covers you be good for us to survey our students or Some new minors and concentrations include: A. I don’t have an answer for this one.
on a part-time basis. I now teach some of our for six months and you can complete as conduct a pilot of online classes to see how American Studies, International Studies, I’ve not been given a lot of positive feed-
leadership classes online, and the majority of many courses as you want during that time, students respond. Colleges should deter- LearningTheory & Practice, Music Production, back on this from an SGA standpoint.
my students are in the adult-studies program. based on your competency assessment for mine their own ability to offer alternative HealthcareAdministration, Hispanic Studies, Q. What most concerns them about the growth?
However, at times, I do have traditional each course. It’s an innovative model, but it’s formats based on the needs of their students. Leadership and SportsAdministration. A. With a growing student population,
students in my classes.As an administrator, I only for students with the right mix of deter- It’s important to us because our mission is housing has been a widespread concern
mination, self-learning skills, and motivation. to prepare students to be lifelong learners. For the most part new majors were de- of students since day one.
Sports Memory: The Longest 5K I Will Ever Runfeelit’simportanttostayconnectedtostudents veloped to serve the needs of our students, Q. What issues and tasks have occu-
By Hannah Ivester in the dewy grass, and my ankle gave out. I to run?” I looked at the three men around me–– based on feedback we received when pied most of your attention as president?
Decree Staff Writer heard a sickening pop, like something out of not wanting to disappoint my dad and knowing interviewing potential students, survey- A. Making necessary amendments to
an athlete’s worst nightmare. Now, I’ve rolled I was still a scoring runner, I announced, “I’m ing local organizations, and using a cross the SGA Constitution is taking up most my
(Editor’s Note: The Decree launches a my ankles before, and in fact, my ankles kind running this race.” The trainer’s shook his head section of employees that did research to work time. This process involves delicate,
new, occasional feature—Sports Memories. of suck. They always required some sort of in disbelief, as my dad kept repeating “You suggest new majors. In some ways we’re detailed work. The changes are mostly mi-
Bishop athletes recall a memorable event support and I was actually wearing an ankle don’t have to.” My coach said, “Don’t run it catching up with what our competitors nor in nature, grammatical errors, clarifica-
from their athletic careers. Turn to page 4 brace that day… on the other ankle. I stood up fast. Just finish.” were already offering. I suspect we’ll tions, etc. The biggest change is specifying
for similar features.) and my teammate, Sarah, asked if I was okay. continue to use these methods to identify that, while any enrolled Wesleyan student
I told her yes, decidedly, and took about two When my ankle was wrapped, I thanked future majors that align with our mission. is considered an SGA member, voting
It was the first race of the season:An early steps and fell to the ground. I groaned, “No. the trainer and stepped off the table. That I do feel like we need to determine and fo- membership at SGA meetings is being
September 5K race at the Catawba Chick-fil-A In- I’m not.” I felt the hot tears start to well up in first step was the worst one, the impact of the cus on our niche in the market, as we hold more strictly defined throughout the docu-
vitational. We had a brand-new coach, a brand- my eyes. I scoured the crowd for help. ground against my tender ankle sending a discussions about future programming. ment. The intent is to ensure that those who
new team, and for the first time in decades––a chilling shock of pain that radiated throughout vote on SGA bi-laws and proceedings are
men’s squad. The park was pretty under the My parents had come down to watch me my leg. I heard the one-minute warning and Q. What do you say to faculty and students such as residence hall representa-
early autumn sun, the dew glistening off the run this race, the only one they’d make that I knew I had to hurry. I took a deep breath other members of the NCWC community tives, organization representatives, the SGA
thick, green grass. The familiar smell of peanut season.As I was sitting on the cold, wet ground, and trotted over to the starting box, imagining who believe the college has stressed pre- Executive Board, and senators, who are
oil-fried chicken, also known as the gloriousness I kept thinking how disappointed they were go- myself leaving the pain at the training tent. professional majors to the detriment of more already involved in and committed to SGA.
that is Chick-fi-A, permeated the air (they were ing to be that they wouldn’t see me run. I locked I had stood in the box for about 30 seconds traditional programs, moving the college Besides making changes to the con-
selling it at the concession stand).Wesleyan had eyes with my dad as soon as they arrived, and when the announcer came on the bullhorn: from its liberal-arts roots? stitution, I’m also working to get a food
six runners that day and in cross country, if you he bolted over to me. Through my tears, I told “Runner’s to your mark.” I stayed put. “Set.” services committee started. Its purpose is to
have fewer than five, your team technically doesn’t him what had happened, and he scooped up I still didn’t move. Gunshot. I took the first A. I would strongly disagree with this provide student feedback to Sodexo.
qualify for the race. If you only have five run- and carried his sobbing child over to the athletic three steps out of the box, surrounded by other statement. In my opinion, the college has done
ners, an injury on the course could disqualify training tent while my teammates headed to the runners, and a rush of adrenaline hit me. The a great job of supporting both professional See PLYLER pg 2
your race. Those first five runners determine starting box. I sat down and the trainer looked pain was still there, but it dulled to the point and liberal-arts majors through new program
the score for the team and I was slated to be a at me, eyes wide as saucers. The two-minute of annoyance rather than something that com- development and investments in current pro-
one of our top five. I was ready to run. call rang out as I sat there, my ankle throbbing, manded my attention. We entered the woods. gramming. If you review the new programing,
pain radiating through my foot and up my leg. almost 50 percent of new programs have been
Our men had finished their race, a brutal The trainer started wrapping my ankle, trying to The tacky mud held on to my shoes. I felt liberal arts majors.Also, when reviewing money
8K with horrible footing from the rain the keep the swelling down. Coach looked at me, like I was running through bubble-gum, each (grants, donors, internal) used for program
night before. Carlos, a freshman at the time, his eyes mirroring the pain in mine. He peered step pulling my ankle from its place, trying to investments, 50 percent or more has been used
had just run his first collegiate race. I was over his shoulder to the starting line, watching make me stop. As runner after runner passed to hire faculty in the humanities and sciences.
proud of him; he had a great finish.As he my teammates warm up.As he turned back me, I willed my feet to keep moving. Each
jogged past us to head back to the blue around, I heard him ask, “So… are you going step melted into another as I refused to stop. Q. Provide an update on NCWC graduate
canopy, I jumped up to give him a celebratory programs. What’s been the early response
high-five. When I landed, my foot slipped See LONGEST pg 4 to the masters in criminal justice, now in its
first-year as a 100-percent online program?
A. Our first cohort included 15 students
and nine will be graduating on May 4th. We
2 North Carolina Wesleyan College, Rocky Mount, North Carolina 27804 March 15, 2019
Wesleyan Profile: Senior Trevor Harris IHCllaenmaelstpsheussC,AeBfnfutleitcrNt:NSoCot FWFlauCr,
By Jovan Pope high school diploma andAssociates degree,
Decree Staff Writer a source of pride. “I value school,” he said.
“It’s a very large part of my life.”
The first official “Kappa Week” ended NC Wesleyan and the University of Mary-
with Trevor Harris and his line brother land were offering programs that caught Har-
Robert Wilson hosting an exclusive service ris’attention; however, he soon decided against
event at J.W. Parker Middle School in the Maryland. “That campus was too large and
media center. There was a diverse group of too busy,” Harris said. Wesleyan’s biomedical Through February, Wesleyan reported special flu clinic and they’re seeing more
10 young men in attendance, ranging from program welcomed Harris as a new member no cases of flu, though other illnesses have than 200 patients per 24 hours. Accord-
the 6th to 8th grade. Harris and Wilson be- (Since arriving at Wesleyan in 2015, he’s kept some students from classes and others ing to the CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease
gan to greet the students with high-fives and added a second major in psychology.) feeling below par during winter semester. Control), our state still has high flu activity.
glazed donuts from Krispy Kreme to wake “I loved the campus here,” he said about However, we have worked hard to help
them up on a very gloomy Friday morning. his decision to enroll at NCWC. “Not only Jessica Brys-Wilson, the college’s prevent the spread of the flu on campus this
Harris was wearing a KappaAlpha Psi- is it beautiful, but I enjoyed the interactions director of Health Services, said that she’s year. We had the flu shot clinic early this flu
branded shirt, red Jordan shoes, blue jeans, with the professors and counselors when seen a considerable number of patients with season, we have the new hand-sanitizer sta-
a black jacket, and a smile from ear to ear. I visited in the previous spring. I realized bronchial infections and stomach viruses. tions installed, and facilities staff have been
His attire was appropriate for the special day Wesleyan was the best fit for me. I really She warned that since flu season begins in cycling through every building on campus
hosted by the school, “Jeans Day.” like the small campus and small classes.” September and extends into earlyApril, the with their new disinfecting machine.
Trevor Harris Pope Photo While atWesleyan he developed an ability illness may still arrive on campus.
Harris and Wilson introduced themselves Q. I'm guessing that there's still time for
to the students with loud voices and a high for teaching others. He became an S.I. leader The Decree interviewed Brys-Wil- flu to hit us. Remind us what we should do
level of energy. “We’re ending Kappa Week School in Pre-K. “In the same year, I was and peer tutor, helping with cell biology and son at the end of February. to help prevent occurrences of flu.
at your school to provide you with life moved to kindergarten, so I technically psychology “I grew into someone that loves
lessons that will benefit you as you mature,” people and wants to help those around me,” Q. What was the total number of flu A. The CDC still recommends that
Harris said. “This is what we like to call skipped a grade,” he said. he said. Not only does he get to improve skills cases by this time last year and the over- everyone over the age of 6 months old get
‘Guide Right,’a program where we go to In second grade, Harris’family moved all total for the entire academic year? their flu shot. It’s not too late to get it for
middle schools and teach young men how to Forestville, Maryland, where he attended in his major, but he gets paid for it. this year. You should also wash your hands
to carry themselves. This includes learning Asked to list his hobbies, Harris’eyes lit up. A. I treated 140 cases on campus last frequently with soap and water, get plenty
respect, listening skills, and much more.” Morningside Elementary.After that he began to year from January to spring break. of rest, and be sure to eat a healthy diet.
moveeveryfewyearsthroughoutsmalltowns "I really enjoy eating and see it as my number-
The two Wesleyan seniors then inMaryland.Attheendofeighthgradehewas one hobby,” he said. He added that he likes the Q. You indicated there were no cases Q. What have you been seeing at the
transitioned into a game of “Simon Says.” acceptedintotheAcademyofHealthSciences many Mexican restaurants in the area; his fa- thus far. Is that because it's been a "down" health center as far as illness?
Laughter was heard throughout the game; at Prince George’s Community College. vorite is El Jimador. “I order theArrozTejano, year around the region/state/country, or is
everyone was enjoying himself.At the the meal with steak, chicken, shrimp and rice there another reason for the low number? A. We’ve had a couple of upper-re-
conclusion of the game, Harris asked the Moving around a lot made it difficult spiratory viruses going around this year.
students to sit down and listen up. “It’s very for Harris to form long-lasting friendships, all covered in a cheese sauce,” he said. A. I think it is multifactorial. It’s not a Patients are experiencing fatigue, nasal
important that you always comprehend he said, noting that he became an intro- Knowing that Rocky Mount is a small down year for the flu in our community. congestion, sore throat, and cough.
what one tells you before taking action,” vert. He spent most of his time on school town, he has found activities off campus The local emergency room has set up a
Harris told the boys. “If it was something work. However, when he entered high that fueled his inner child such as playing Q. How does this virus compare to the
that you missed or don’t understand, there’s school, he became involved in sports. He miniature golf, watching movies, and DUFF from pg 1 flu—as far as the nature and severity of
nothing wrong with asking for help.” played center on the football team and he shopping. His on-campus hobbies consist Q. What’s the status of the MBA? Will it symptoms and duration of illness?
was a sprinter and shot putter on the track of playing games such as Overwatch and have a focus, such as marketing or finance?
At the conclusion of the Guide Right squad. After a short athletic career, he Fortnite on his PlayStation 4. A. Generally, students aren’t as sick
program, Harris gave the students a chance After graduation Harris plans to take a A. Based on the response and success of our with this virus as what we typically see
to ask questions.The students began to look went back to focusing on academics. break. He intends on taking a gap year to MSCJ program, we’re making modifications with the flu. Their symptoms are not as
at one another and laughed, as Harris smiled Throughout Harris’youth, his mother to our MBAproposal, which will be sent to our severe. With this virus, students might
and said, “What's up, any questions?”Then and aunt often worked at his school, pro- pursue a biology internship or shadow a accreditor, the SouthernAssociation of Colleges not feel great, but they’re still able to
one of the students stood and asked, “Can we viding extra motivation for him to do well. doctor. “I’d use that experience to do great and Schools-Commission on Colleges in July. We perform their usual activities.
have more donuts.” Harris’facial expression “Just because they were with me, that things while in medical school,” he said. hope to offer our first class in January 2020. When
said it all, as his smile changed to a look of He wants to become a neurosurgeon, and it’s first approved, the program will be a straight- Q. How many students have you
seriousness. “You guys are still hungry?You doesn’t mean I had it easy,” he said, noting he’s considering practicing in the military. His forward MBAwith no specific focus. However, I treated this winter for illness? How does
can have another donut, but do not touch the that he needed to gain independence. suspect that additional modifications will be made that compare to previous years?
coffee. I repeat--do not touch the coffee.” Harris noticed a change within himself goals mesh with his hopes for others. “I want to offer concentrations in Logistics, HealthCare
during his last years in high school. to open a practice that can be geared toward Administration and possibly DataAnalytics. A. In January and February, we’ve
After the program, Harris explained that “My identity flourished in 10th and 11th theAfrican-American community,” which of- seen 438 patients. That’s a slight decrease
he likes volunteering in the community grade,” he said. “I developed my sense of ten fails to get needed health care, Harris said. Q. The college is in the midst of the accredi- compared to the same period last year
because he benefitted from such mentoring humor and ability to talk to people.” He also wants to start an organiza- tation process that it undertakes every 10 years. when we saw 442 patients. In 2017, the
in his youth. Guide Right gives students When he graduated from TheAcademy tion that educates young black men and How is that going? Explain to the layman why number was 374, and 2016 it was 179.
the opportunity to express feelings that of Health Sciences at Prince George’s women to “help them realize their love of accreditation is done and why it’s important.
they might not share with their families. science just as I have.” High Vol Turnout
It’s one of many educational programs, CDhoimckin-faitle-As wWitihnsCAogoakionu,tCommunityCollege,Harrisreceivedhis A. There are multiple types of accreditation, Reported for MLK
many related to health and overall well- AmongmembersoftheWesleyancommunity, fries and lemonade. He likes that Chick-fil-A which is a voluntary process. There are six regional Day of Service
being, that the Kappas offer both in the lo- Chick-fil-Aand Cookout continue to dominate provide options for customers with special accreditors that establish standards and guidelines
cal community and the Wesleyan campus. thefast-foodlandscape.Forthesecondyearinarow, dietary needs such as gluten allergies. for colleges to use to ensure they’re operating in On a cold winter day, Wesleyan students,
Chick-fil-AwasthewinnerinTheDecree’sunscien- Aayushma Shrestha said the chicken an efficient manner while offering solid learning staff and faculty turned out to volunteer for
Born in Fort Washington, Maryland, tificpoll,earning51first-placevotestoCookout’s38. is “always juicy and rich in taste.” outcomes to their students. This is considered the the annual day of service held as part of the
Harris was a precocious student. He called Chick-fil-Afans were effusive in praising WendyAchilles pointed to the varied menu, “gold” standard of accreditation; it establishes legiti- Martin Luther King holiday in January.
his childhood “pretty boring,” but said that their favorite restaurant, located in the Wal-Mart ideal for children as well as adults. She added, “I macy and paves the way for government federal
his parents had him reading at age 2. He shopping plaza. They cited everything from its likethattheyhavehealthyandunhealthychoices.” financial aid funding, among other things. According to Student Activities Director
then was enrolled at Montebello Charter prompt, polite service to its fresh and tasty food. Said Andrew Votipka, “It’s high-quality Elliott Smith, 150 Bishops—about twice as
Some survey respondents noted Chick-fil-Ais food at an affordable price. And the milk- Our accreditor is the SouthernAssociation many as in 2018–– teamed with 30 members
DeTchreee their favorite restaurant back home as well. shakes are good.” of Colleges and Schools-Commission on of the local community to complete service
In her comments, Morgan Branham typified In the Decree poll, the third- to fifth-place Colleges (SACS). We’re going through our projects. They provided support for the Boys
since 1960 many Chick-fil-Acustomers. “The employees finishers were Zaxby’s (14 votes), McDonald’s 10-year re-affirmation, an all-encompassing and Girls Club, Meals on Wheels, Peacemak-
“of, by, and for the Wesleyan community.” are friendly and it’s always clean,” she said. “The (8), and Wendy’s (7). It’s worth noting that process that involves faculty, staff, adminis- ers and Habit for Humanity. Other Bishops
food’s really good and not too expensive.” prominent national chains Burger King and tration, trustees, students, and the community. cleaned up trash at Battle Park, he said.
s ta f f Ali Cucinotta agreed. “The service is top- Kentucky Fried Chicken received no votes,
notch; they never make mistakes,” she said, while Hardee’s, a restaurant that originated in We’re finalizing the rough draft of our re- Smith, one of the day’s organizers, was heart-
Staff Writers adding the fries are “cooked perfectly” and Eastern North Carolina, got one. port that needs to be submitted by September. ened by the response fromWesleyan students.
“the milkshakes are incredible.” Cookout, located on North Wesleyan This report details how we meet or exceed He reported strong turnouts by members of
Cameron Beal, Allen Brown favors the original fried Boulevard, was noted for its extended evening SACS standards of operation.Then in spring fraternities and sororities and student organiza-
Trey Croom, chicken sandwich with extra pickles and hours. It’s long been a favorite late-night spot 2020 we’ll have an on-site visit by a team of tion such as the Exercise Science Club. “As a
Ali Cucinotta, pepper jack cheese. A former employee, he for Wesleyan students who also like the range peer colleagues from other colleges who will member of the Rocky Mount community,” he
praised Chick-fil-A’s speed and accuracy of menu items as well as the quantity of food it evaluate the evidence we submitted in our said, “it was uplifting to see so many students,
Christian Heisey, in processing food orders. He pointed to provides at a reasonable price. Taleyah Burgess report.Then, they will make a recommenda- many of whom aren’t from Rocky Mount, dedi-
Hannah Ivester, one other factor in his decision. “It’s a spoke for many Wesleyan students: “It’s tion to the SACS Board ofTrustees, who will cate energy and effort to make the city better.”
Jared Joyner, Christian organization,” he said. cheap.” Said Isaiah Johnson, “It fills me up.” then determine our status of reaffirmation.
Will Plyler orders the chicken nuggets, Its business hours make Cookout an Senior Joseph Alexander, representing
Jovan Pope, attractive place for students with “midnight Q. What’s Wesleyan’s current graduation rate? the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, was
Chasadie Searcy, PLYLER from pg 1 munchies,” some respondents said, while What steps has the college taken in the past five taking part for the fourth year in a row.
Qa’lexus Taylor, Q. What else would your administration some student-athletes said it fits their busy years to improve the rate? What’s been successful? Along with other FCA members, he vol-
Tanisha Williams like to achieve before the end of your term? schedules. “It’s convenient,” said Chris Day. unteered in a “Keep America Beautiful”
“They’re open late so we can get there after A. Graduation rates are by federal definition project, picking up trash at Battle Park.
Staff Photographer A. I’d like to see the Constitution changes practice and games.” He added that the low ONLYbased on first-time, first-year freshman.
passed by the SGA and the student body and prices help him remain on his budget. So, all of our transfer students and adult studies Abackup quarterback on the Bishops foot-
Joel Hernandez ready to go into effect next semester. students do not factor into this rate. Most col- ball team,Alexander views the Day of Service
Q. Do you intend to run for reelection? Many survey respondents commented on leges focus on a six-year graduation rate vs. a as a way to honor the legacy of Dr. King.
Special Contributors Cookout’s $5 tray, which includes a sandwich, four-year graduation rate because most student
What would be your primary objectives in two sides and a drink.Among the favorite selec- take more than four years to finish college. “He gave of himself and encouraged others
Carl Lewis, Andrew Stern, a second one-year term? tions were both chicken and hamburgers, as well to do so for the greater good of his country, not
Grace Wallace as Cajun fries and quesadillas. Many singled out With that said, our current graduation rate just for his tomorrow, but for our tomorrows,”
A. Yes, I intend to run for reelection next Cookout’s milkshakes and sweet tea. is 29 percent. That means 29 percent of the he said. The Day of Service “calls for us to
Faculty Advisor month(March). AsIhopeIhavealreadymade freshmen who entered college for the first serve our community alongside others who
clear, serving as the SGA President is both a The Decree survey, taken during Febru- time in fall 2012 graduated by spring 2018. do not look like us, and in doing that, we’re
Dr. William Grattan privilege and an exciting adventure for me. If ary in common areas such as the Braswell The other 71 percent either left Wesleyan taking part in what has made Dr. King’s dream
elected for a second term, my foremost goal is to building, the library and cafeteria, as well to work or transferred to and graduated more and more of a reality.”
179 Braswell • Phone: 985-5336 as in general education classes, polled 140 from another school. While 29 percent is a
Email: [email protected] students and staff. Respondents were asked number we want to improve, it’s misleading It was a family affair for TeikishaAnderson,
reinstate the now-defunct Residence Life Com- to name their favorite fast-food restaurant in because it excludes every Wesleyan student an assistant controller in the college’s business
mittee, which would allow our students to regain the Nash-Edgecombe county area. who transferred in college credits. office. She volunteered with her husband,
SGA representation by residence hall (Collins, Here is a list of the other finishers: Taco Keith, a Wesleyan alum, with the two working
Petteway,Edgecombe,theInn,etc.). Thegoalis Since 2014, Wesleyan has seen a lot of on a building refurbishment project for Habitat
for that to be the first step in getting students who Bell (5 votes), Bojangles (4), Smithfield changes, including a new administration for Humanity, which is establishing a ReStore
are outside the realm of clubs and organizations Chicken and BBQ (3), Dunkin Donuts (2), and almost $2 million from a federal Title shop in an old shopping center behind Sam’s
involved in the governing of their student body. Tokyo Express (2), Domino’s (1), Hardees III grant. Along with our enhanced reten- Club. Besides serving on the college’s staff,
(1), Jersey Mike’s (1), Sheetz (1), Sonic tion efforts led by Associate Provost Molly Anderson is advisor to the student organizations
(1), and Subway (1). Wyatt, I suspect these factors will establish Sisters of Distinction and 3W College Ministry.
an upward trend in our graduation rates in
the coming years. When she finished that day,Anderson said
she felt “a bit tired, but fulfilled.” She added
that she looks forward to volunteering again in
2020. “When I reflect on the all the hard work,
energy, dedication and commitment of those
that fought for our civil and human rights,”
she said, “getting up early and putting in a few
hours of work is paltry in comparison. It was
See MLK pg 4
March 15, 2019 North Carolina Wesleyan College, Rocky Mount, North Carolina 27804 3
Bishop Briefs: Men’s Hoops Team Upset by Averett in First Round
The men’s basketball season came to an Tankelewicz denied it was over- Following the tournament, The De- to replace, but that’s our goal for recruiting. The Bishops opened the season with
abrupt end as the top-seeded Bishops were confidence, instead blaming Wesleyan’s cree interviewed Coach Artina Trader The hope is that the returnees will work two losses at home, 17-9 to Hanover,
upset in the first round of the USA-South failure to play together as a team. hard this summer and show more consis- and 18-3 to Barton.
Conference tourney by a sub-500 team. Q. What was the difference in the tency on the offensive end in the fall.
Said Sause, “I think our over- game against Mary Baldwin? Then over spring break, the Bishops flew
Playing before a raucous capacity confidence hit us three weeks before Lacrosse Continues to Build to Texas for two non-conference matches.
crowd, Wesleyan lost to the Averett the season ended, and we stopped doing A. I’ve been told that our first-round The lacrosse team looks to improve on Coach Walker thought the road trip would
Cougars (9-17), who mounted a strong what we needed to do every day.” game was a good one to watch. I guess last season’s 1-15 record as Wesleyan con- give her players a chance to bond.
second-half comeback to win, 82-78. I would say the same thing if Wesleyan tinues to build the two-year-old program.
The Bishops had lost three of four had won. It was the highest scoring game “We have the opportunity to be a “Being a very young team, we haven’t
The teams played a tight first half, Wes- prior to the tournament. (between the two teams) I’d ever coached. well-balanced team,” said second-year really had an established group of up-
leyan holding a 44-42 advantage at intermis- Coach Bridget Walker. perclassmen to unite the players,” she said.
sion. Then in the second half, the Bishops Players rejected the idea that the Q. How would you grade this past season? Sophomore midfielderAli Cucinotta said “Doing something as big as flying and
extended their lead to 70-62, only to watch season was a failure. A. With all the ups and downs, I would the foundation is much stronger this year. playing in Texas will give them lasting
Averett outscore them 20-8 over the final say a C. The Bishop roster has grown to 16 players. memories off the field that will help them
6:28. Wesleyan held its final lead, 76-74, at “Right now it may seem like a down note, Q. What was the team doing well during “I’d say we’re a lot closer to what an average connect on the field. It was the first flight for
the 1:30 mark, butAverett's Montre Cash but once we become a few years removed, we’ll the five-game win streak? women’s lacrosse team looks like,” she said. a few and it was an exciting time for all of us
made a three-pointer. The Cougars then held really understand the full scope of what we ac- A. We were scoring and getting stops. Last year the Bishops began the season to represent our team and our school.”
off the Bishops down the stretch and made complished,” Tankelewicz said. “I’m very glad There was great ball movement, but the big- with 15 athletes, but one quit and a few oth-
their free throws to seal the upset victory. to have gone out with five guys that I really like.” gest difference was scoring consistently and ers were soon lost to major injuries. Of the The Bishops lost their two matches
working hard on defense. 15 on the opening-day roster, only seven had in Texas, 18-10 to the University of
Wesleyan senior Chris Sause said the Frye, a junior, was disappointed that the Q.And what happened down the stretch? Why ever played lacrosse. This year there are only Dallas, and 19-9 to Southwestern.
locker room was subdued after the game. team was eliminated so early in the tourna- weren't you able to sustain the winning ways? two members who are new to the sport. “As
“Nobody knew what to do,” he said. ment. He said he’ll use theAverett loss as A. We went cold on the offensive end. athletes in other sports, both have picked up Against Southwestern, Wesleyan
“Everybody just sat there in silence.” motivation in off-season workouts. “It hurt When you’re trying to win, consistent lacrosse pretty well,” Cucinotta said. trailed 8-6 late in the first half, but the
me to see our seniors go out like that since I scoring is the most important thing. Afuller roster will allow the Bishops to host team pulled away in the closing min-
Expectations had run high for the Bishops know how bad they wanted to win,” he said. Q. What most pleased you and the rest players during the game (each team utes and added to its lead in the second
(19-7), who finished first in the East Division “I don’t want to feel that again, so I’ll make coaching staff about the past season? puts 12 players on the field at one time). half. Cucinotta led the offense with six
with a 12-5 conference mark. They had sureIgetmyselfandtheteamrightfornextyear.” A. Our rebounding. Over the last four Barring serious injuries, Wesleyan hopes goals, while freshmen Grace look, Mad-
already racked up an 80-77 road win against years, we’ve been in the top three in the to the avoid one of the pitfalls it faced last eline Graham and Kailey Andrasko each
Covenant, the West Division champ and the Women’sTeam Finishes 9-7 conference in rebounding, as well as top year, when the team had to play many scored one. Freshman goalkeeper Mil-
overall number-one seed in the tournament. The women’s basketball team was 10 in the country. This year we tied for first games down a player or two. “When you’re lenia Crespo made 17 stops in the loss.
Aconference championship and DIII playoff ousted in the first round of the USA- in offensive rebounds per game and rebounds down two players, the others have more
berth seemed within Wesleyan’s grasp. South Conference playoffs, losing to per game, and we finished second in the coun- ground to cover,” Cucinotta said. “Having a In their next matchup, the Bishops will
Mary Baldwin, 114-108, in overtime. try in offensive rebounds per game and fifth few substitute players is helpful because of take on Meredith, the team Coach Walker
But first it had to get pastAverett, a team After relinquishing a 12-point, second- in the country in rebounds per game. how much running is involved in the sport.” called the favorite to win the conference title.
coached by former Wesleyan assistant half lead, the Bishops ended the game on Q. What was the highlight of the season? Cucinotta, last year’s leading scorer
David Doino.According to Bishop players, a 13-3 run to tie the score in regulation. A. I’m sure everyone would say the last sec- with 56 of the team’s 79 goals, said that, Softball Splits First Four
the Cougars always seem to play their best Sophomore guard Kayla Johnson hit a ond three-point shot Kayla Johnson hit against dating back to fall practice sessions, she’s
basketball against Wesleyan. The two teams key three-pointer––one of six she made in Pfeiffer to finish the comeback after we were noticed a dramatic improvement in stick While still a freshman, pitcher Beth
split their games during the regular season, the game––to stave off elimination. But down by 24. I’d say it was the win at Greensboro skills and overall team speed. She added Braswell emerged as a team leader in
the Bishops taking a home exhibition game, in overtime, MBU outscored the Bishops, because we stayed the course, no matter the that she’s had to spend less time educating 2018, posting a won-loss record of 10-5
84-82, last December, and the Cougars win- 15-9, to advance to the next round. score or ref calls, and came out with the win. her teammates on lacrosse strategy. and an earned run average of 2.01. At
ning in Danville, Va., 78-65, in February. The Bishops finished with a 9-7 record Q.Whatspotsdoyouneedtofillfornextseason? the plate she led the Bishops with a .384
in conference action, 11-15 overall. The A. We have five seniors who’ll be hard batting average and 31 RBIs.
Senior Justin Tankelewicz said that team slumped to a 3-9 record to open the
Averett put in a strong overall effort in the season, before it went on a five-game win- In 2019, she hopes to continue to lead.
tourney opener. “They were tougher than ning streak to move into playoff contention. She is an anchor in a pitching rotation that’s
us, they wanted to win more than us, and also comprised of senior Shelby Godwin
they were more of a team than us,” he said. All-Conference Basketball Team Members: Chris Braswell, AJ Frye, and Robert Wilson SI photos (2018 stats: 6-9 record, with 101 strikeouts in
82 innings) and sophomore Grace Preston.
Rebounding was one key, as the Cougars
out-rebounded the Bishops, 39-31, 19-8 on Braswell feels that her freshman season,
offense. “Second-chance rebounds killed while successful, was a learning experience,
us in the second half,” said backup guard as she moved from playing at Princeton
Johnathan Pickler. “We were 1,000 percent High School to the much-faster college
more talented than all the teams in the con- game. “This year I’ll be less nervous and
ference. We just needed to rebound better.” more comfortable on the field,” she said.
Senior Chris Braswell led the Bishops The Bishops opened the season at
with 26 points, including 6 of 9 three- home with a 9-3 loss to a non-confer-
pointers, while AJ Frye contributed 18 ence Guilford team. Braswell took the
points and 3 assists. Top rebounders were loss, yielding nine runs, eight hits and
Riccardo Bullock (8) and Rob Wilson (7). seven walks in five innings of work.
In post-game interviews, players were “I need to hit my spots more consis-
asked whether the top-seeded Bishops were tently and limit the walks,” Braswell said.
complacent entering the game againstAverett.
Just before spring break the Bishops went
Profile: Greg Clark––Bishop Base-Stealing Legend, Coach on the road to play exhibition games against
By Trey Croom walk-on at East Carolina University in the fall of Played in Trenton, New Jersey, the game was a League Baseball Draft with the 462nd pick. He conference rivals Brevard and Piedmont
Decree Staff Writer 1978. But at the time North Carolina Wesleyan nail-biter against Trenton State. Trailing by a run went to play for a Dodgers minor league team in (Georgia). The Bishops split both series.
It’s the bottom of the 9th, and the third-base was hiring one of ECU’s graduate assistants, Tony in the top of the ninth inning, with a runner on Lethbridge,Alberta, Canada. Playing in 57 games, In the first Piedmont game, Braswell
coach has given the green light. Greg Clark knows Guzzo, as their next head coach. Having been rebounded from the Guilford outing by win-
if he is not standing on third in two pitches, there in touch with him during his recruitment for the first base, Clark slammed an 0-2 pitch over the Clark batted .312 with a .406 on-base percentage ning a pitcher’s duel with Piedmont’s Melissa
right field wall to give Wesleyan the lead. “It’s and 15 stolen bases. The Dodgers extended his Eckman. In the 2-1 victory, Braswell tossed a
will be screaming from the third base coach’s box. Pirates, Coach Guzzo persuaded Clark to stay in a favorite memory because I wasn’t known as contract to play the next season in Lethbridge, but complete game and limited Piedmont batters
He gathers a lead off first base, with eyes on the Rocky Mount and attend his hometown school. a power hitter,” he said. “It was a high-pressure Clark did not want to go back to Canada. to four hits while striking out six.
pitcher’s back foot. Timing is everything in the art In the fall of ‘78, Clark’s freshman year, more situation. The whole atmosphere was electric.” Instead he accepted a teaching position
of base-stealing and getting picked off would Braswell believes the pitchers in the
virtually end the game. than 100Wesleyan students tried out for the base- The Bishops held onto the lead in the 9th for in Rocky Mount. Clark’s playing career Wesleyan rotation complement each other
ball team during fall practices (There the victory and then went on to win the South Re- was over, but he was about to begin a new well, making it challenging for opposing
The Methodist right-hander were only 700 students in the school). gional, with Clark named the tournament’s Most career influencing other players. teams in double-headers. She noted that
throws over to first and Clark Godwin throws the hardest and tends to
gets his jersey dirty. The hurler Clark made the team and earned the Valuable Player. Although Wesleyan would lose Clark taught in the Nash County School Sys- pitch high in the strike zone, while Bras-
starting center-field position. Until the it first two games of the World Series to storied tem for 30 years, coaching baseball at Red Oak well works lower in the zone and throws
then comes set and delivers the 1979 season, the Bishops baseball Division III baseball programs, the 1981 season Middle School as part of his responsibilities. He more curves and drops. Preston throws
pitch. Clark is off like a light a range of pitches. “Grace has killer off-
and swipes second base. It was team’sbestrecordwas11-18in1975. was another huge step in the right direction. said he enjoyed his time as a teacher and coach. speed pitches,” Braswell said. “It’s hard
The college baseball landscape was dif- The 1982 season saw the Bishops duplicate “When I would experience a tough day in the for teams to adjust to us.”
as if Methodist players knew ferentduringthattime,withteamssuch their success from the previous year. Wesleyan classroom and middle schoolers were acting like
he was stealing and there was Baseball Jumps to 7-3
nothing they could do about it. as UNC-ChapelHill,UNC-Wilming- posted a 29-15 record, won a Dixie Conference middle schoolers, I could always look forward to
ton and East Carolina University on championship, and earned a return trip to the baseball practice or games later in the day,” he said. The Wesleyan baseball team opened
The pitcher comes set again, Wesleyan’s non-conference schedule. NCAATournament. Clark stole 69 bases dur- After finishing his teaching career in 2012, Clark 7-3, with its two most recent wins coming
eyes Clark, and throws toward in a double-header sweep of conference
the plate. He’s timed his jump Clarkdidnotsetpersonalgoalsbefore ing the season, pushing his career total to 202, joined theWesleyan staff as an assistant coach. foe Brevard in western North Carolina.
each season, only the ultimate team still a DIII record. His stolen base percentage, He was excited to continue coaching baseball full-
so perfectly that the catcher has objective of making it to the Division .918 (202/220), is still ranked seventh in the time.While the past six years have not been the Against Brevard, game-one starter J.D.
no opportunity to make a throw Greg Clark Makaukas pitched seven shutout innings,
to third. Moments later, to the III World Series and winning it. nation all-time. He was named the Wesleyan most successful for the Bishops, Clark has gotten yielding two hits and recording eight
The spring of ‘79 saw the Bishops program’s first Conference Player of the Year the chance to watch his son,Tyler, close out his col- strikeouts. Cedrick Kornegay and Brandon
cheers of the Bishop crowd, two-hole hitter Tom set a school record of 18 wins. While its goal had for his efforts during the regular season. lege baseball career. “WhenTyler told us he would Wheat led a 22-hit attack, collecting four
Haverkamp slams a base hit and Clark scampers not been within reach, the team was moving in That year in the South Regional, Wesleyan put attendWesleyan, my wife and I were elated,” he hits apiece, while freshman third baseman
home with the tying run. There was no stopping the right direction. The next season the Bishops a beat-down on rival Methodist, earning a spot in said, noting that his wife, Lisa, is an alum as well. Drew Nichols went 3-5 with three RBIs.
Greg Clark when he’s eyeing the next base. won 22 games and set another school record. Clark the World Series in Marietta, Ohio.At the time, Clark said he enjoyed seeing his son, a strong-
That was more than 30 years ago. Today, Game-two starter Drew Tubb
following a career as a public-school teacher said the team was improving and at its best point in the series featured a six-team format, giving the armed catcher with some “pop” in his bat, follow in pitched a complete game shutout as the
school history, but there was still work to be done. Bishops a bye in their first game. However, Wes- hisfootstepsandplaycollegiateballonBauerField. Bishops won 13-0 to finish the sweep.
and coach, Clark is back on campus as an as- He had not established himself as the prominent leyan would finish in fourth place for a second It brought back memories of his own playing days at The offense was paced by Logan
sistant coach for the Bishops baseball team. player he knew he wanted to be. He decided to year after it was ousted by the eventual national Wesleyan. Clark knew his son was in the right place. Andrews, who drove in five runs with
Born and raised in Rocky Mount, Clark began make adjustments. He worked on his baserunning champion, Eastern Connecticut State. a home run, double and single.
playing baseball in the 1960s––first the “Midget abilities over the summer of 1980. “Thirty Although Wesleyan had not achieved its Having arrived on campus 40 years ago,
Clark says he likes coaching just as much as he Stats Notes: In their first 10 games,
League,” then the “Small Fry,” followed by Little stolen bases a year was not enough,” he said. goal of winning a national championship, the enjoyed playing at Wesleyan. He said he looks five Bishops have already reached double
League and Pony League. Well-known for his The 1981 season was a monster year for Clark school’s baseball team had established a national forward to interacting with “the guys” every day figures in RBIs: Kornegay, Andrews,
speed, Clark was a standout player all the way Wheat, Brad Pennington, and Nate Gard-
and the Wesleyan baseball team.At 33-13, the name for itself and built a foundation for even- and influencing their individual games. While ner. Following the Brevard series, Ko-
through his career at Rocky Mount Senior High. Bishops not only smashed the school record for tual success.After Clark’s graduation, Mike Fox he has coached talented players such as Ciro rnegay was leading the team with a .512
In the 1970s, the college recruiting process wins, but claimed first place in Dixie Confer- took over the program, leading the Bishops to Norzagaray, Clark said his proudest accomplish- batting average (21 hits in 41 at-bats).
was dramatically different than it is now, due in
ence (now USA-South) and earned a berth in a national title in 1989 and grooming the talent ment might be helping to graduate 11 seniors (Sports Information staff and
large part to advances in communication technol- the NCAASouth Regional Tournament. The off- that allowed his successor, Charlie Long, to take in 2019. “That this many seniors have stuck Decree Sports Writer Jared Joyner
ogy. Today coaches can contact players through season preparation had paid off for Clark, as he set the program’s second national title, in 1999. around here is a source of pride to me,” he said. contributed to Bishop Briefs.)
cell phone calls and watch their highlight tapes on a school record with 72 stolen bases and became Clark thought he had played his last com- Unless he’s asked, Clark is not given to talking
recruiting websites. “When I was in high school, the program’s firstAll-American.As a dominating petitive baseball game after the Bishops were about his past accomplishments. He’s a modest,
it was all word of mouth and getting seen by the presence in the Dixie Conference, Clark had his knocked out of the 1982 NCAATournament, but soft-spoken man.And while this demeanor
right scout at the right time,” Clark recalled. eyes set on reaching the Division IIIWorld Series. around that time, his father received a call phone infuses his coaching style, one should not mistake
Clark had not been seen by many Division-I
coaches in high school, so he wanted to try to One of Clark’s most memorable games came call at home. Clark had been selected by the Los his quietness for a lack of enthusiasm. Greg Clark
in the first regional game in the school’s history. Angeles Dodgers in the 18th round of the Major is passionate about the game of baseball.
4 North Carolina Wesleyan College, Rocky Mount, North Carolina 27804 March 15, 2019
High School Wrestling: The Secret Signal and the Upset Victory
By Christian Heisey ders; legs that could rival a tree trunk; and sessed far better technique than I did. round was about to begin, I looked into rude, cheating, and quite disturbing.
Decree Staff Writer a face that only a mother could love. The match started just like all others. the crowd and saw my parents smiling at But as a freshman, I viewed it as a
me. Joy ran across my face for I realized means to a win. And I would do any-
Before the match, the Dixon High fans As I paced back and forth across the We approached the middle of the mat that no matter what, they were behind me. thing to impress the coach.
were getting restless, waiting for the ref rubber nitrile mat, I looked at my coach and shook hands and glared at each other,
to call us to the center of the mat. I stood in despair and said, “There’s no chance as the ref blew his whistle. Through the The second round began as the first At the moment I was desperate for a
there in amazement at the behemoth who I’m getting out of this with a win.” first minute, the match was more like the one ended: Christian smacking the ground means of escape. With sweat pouring off me,
stood across from me. He towered over first round of a boxing match: a “feeling like a slice of cheese when it hits the floor. and my back close to touching the cold mat, I
me at 6’ 1”, with broad, muscular shoul- After watching my opponent for a out” phase. But it soon changed in his It was all too familiar. The pattern went heard the familiar words from my corner.
few moments, my coach grabbed me favor. My opponent began to increase the on this way for most of the round. But
LONGEST from pg 1 by the shoulder and whispered, “Be- pace, creating more opportunities, more something was different now. After the first “IGD!!!”
The first mile was unremarkable. I kept lieve in yourself, you got this.” space. He took the first shot, which was round I realized I could help my team win Without hesitation, I enclosed my
putting one foot in front of the other. “If I the fastest shot I had ever experienced. In while losing. My opponent was on pace to hand around his manhood and squeezed.
can get through the first mile, I can finish the The announcer called us. The coach- an explosive move, he lunged between win the match by technical fall, which oc- My opponent stood with lightning speed,
race,” I told myself. The trail brought us out es took their seats as we checked with my legs, drove his knee into the ground, curs when one wrestler reaches a 15-point furious, and threw a haymaker that
of the woods, and I felt the sun on my back. the score-table. The ref explained the and slammed his shoulder into my hip. lead over his opponent, at which point the struck my cheek with the force of a car.
The warmth surged through me, fueling my rules, told us to shake hands, and blew He hoisted me into the air like I was flyer match is stopped. But this type of victory I could feel my teeth crack against each
every step. I burst from the last of the trees the whistle. The match had begun….. on a cheerleading team, then proceeded garners only five team points, one short of other, and I was sure that my jaw had just
and I saw it––a Little League softball field. to slam me into the floor: two points for the six that Dixon needed. At around the been separated. He went to swing again,
It took me back to my early days of softball, It was a Sunday evening in January a takedown. But as he scored the points, 40-second mark, my opponent took me but the referee stopped him cold.
2011. Jacksonville High School was in the a miracle occurred in that moment. The down for another two points. The score My coaches came to help me, as
Hannah Ivester Onslow County Cup Wrestling Tourna- Dixon wrestler let me go, allowing me was 26-12. Instead of standing me back up blood oozed from my mouth onto the
and I heard the chirping voices repeat cheers ment. Each year, the location rotates among to stand and score a point for an escape. to take me down again, he held me down mat. As they checked my mouth, I heard
that I hadn’t heard in a decade. I imagined the county schools. This year it was held at There was an immediate glimmer of hope, and tried and pin me for the six points. my opponent screaming at the referee,
small voices cheering for me, rooting me on. Dixon High School, a small 1Aschool with as I stood there pondering the notion that With my head and arm engulfed in his grip, pleading his case that I was at fault for
an enrollment of about 700 students. The perhaps he wasn’t a good ground fighter. my opponent rolled my body over until my the punch he had just thrown at me.
As I continued to run, I heard another tiny gymnasium was at full capacity. The back was just above the mat. The referee But since the ref had not seen my
college’s coach call out the time “9:43.” smell of nachos and popcorn lingered in the “If I can get him to the ground, then crawled over to us for a closer look. provocative move, he awarded me the
I was taken aback. I had finished the first air from the concessions. There were the there’s a chance!” I thought. match by disqualification.
mile in less than 10 minutes? I felt a surge screams of eccentric parents and frustrated “This is surely the end,” I thought. The gymnasium erupted into joy on one
of pride. I could do this. My ankle could do coaches ringing off the walls. That thought soon was erased as he Back at the beginning of the season, side and disbelief on the other. Jacksonville
this. I picked up the pace a little, ignoring proceeded to score four more takedowns there were two rules established during fans were ecstatic, as we had won the team
the pain that shot through my foot. I was My team was having an average year at before the first round ended, letting me our first practice. One: Always keep County Cup, while Dixon fans were scream-
going to finish the race, and I was going to best, coming into the tournament with an back up each time. As the ref’s whistle your ears open. Two: If the coach yells ing for an appeal, calling the match “rigged.”
do it in less than 30 minutes. The next mile 8-9 team record. We had no reason to be rang out through the gymnasium, it oc- “IGD,” do it. “IGD” was a foreign As I stood there at the end, sweating,
was a breeze. I don’t know if it was pride, the favorites to win. That honor belonged curred to me that my opponent was toying concept to me and a few of my team- exhausted, still reeling from the trick I had
adrenaline, or stubbornness, but it was one to Dixon. Through sheer coincidence, I with me. He thought very little of me and mates. Our coach explained it like this, just pulled, the referee raised my hand in
of the least memorable miles of my career. found myself in the 145-pound division decided to take the easiest route to victory. “If you’re about to get pinned, and you victory. I walked off with my head held
I didn’t pass anyone because I was pretty final. There had been a forfeit and an injury happen to have your arm under his high as if I had won through sheer talent.
far back from the pack at that point, but I by my previous opponents en route to the Before the match, it was explained that body, listen for ‘IGD.’ That means you I put on my clothes and walked
saw my parents and they told me after the championship, and I became the only fresh- Jacksonville held a five-point team lead buckle down, man up, and squeeze his to the bathroom. Before I reached
race that they hadn’t seen traces of pain in man to reach the finals. My opponent was over Dixon for the team portion of the junk like your life depends on it. Just the door, my coach pulled me aside,
my face, only determination. The last mile, on a strong Dixon team that was predicted Cup. This meant that in the last match— make sure the ref isn’t looking.” wrapped his arm around my shoulder,
though, was pretty rough. during the pre-season to win a state cham- mine––all I had to do was avoid getting Most observers would consider this and said, “I told you ‘You got this.’”
pionship. He was a senior who had won an pinned, ––a six-point win––for my team
The course went back in to the woods, individual state title the previous year by a to claim the County Cup. As the second
twisting and weaving through rolling hills, landslide. He was stronger, faster, and pos-
and I had to be careful of the treacherous
roots that seemed to reach up and grab at my High School Basketball: The Dramatic Game-Winning Shot
feet. I came upon another runner—a woman By Jared Joyner for the last two years. He was very skinny and went on a 13-2 run late in the first half. With seconds left, our coach called a much-
from William Peace. She would meander Decree Staff Writer tall, lightning fast with the ball in his hands. If three minutes left, Jackson silenced the home needed timeout. The score was tied at 85. I
along the trail until she heard my laboring we wanted to win, we had to stop him. I knew crowd with a lightning-quick drive down the walked to the bench and grabbed the green
breath, and then she’d dart about 100 yards Waking up that morning in Wake Forest, it would be a tough task, but all summer I had lane. He made the layup and a foul shot. Gatorade bottle and squirted water into my
ahead. Irritating as it was, I let it slide and I felt different, in a good way. I woke up to been working for moments like this. mouth. I wiped sweat from my face with
maintained my pace, still just willing my the song “Just Fine” by my mom’s favorite With 10 seconds left, my team trailing a towel. The coach looked at me and said,
body to let me finish the race.As the third artist, Mary J. Blige. It was a Friday and When I walked into our blue-and-white by seven, I took a shot from the right side, “Keep playing solid defense on Jackson.
mile came to an end, the final 150 meters that meant game day. locker room, there was the new leather smell but it hit the rim and bounced away. East He only has two points this quarter.” De-
was coming up. Usually, I tend to pick up of our basketballs and the fresh detergent Wake collected the rebound, hurried down termined to stop Jackson, I had been doing
the pace and try to pass runners at this final As I got myself ready, I realized there was scent of our white-and-grey jerseys. I went court and made a three-pointer to open a a good job all quarter, moving my feet and
straightaway. This was not a usual race. time to pick up breakfast before school. So, I to my locker and saw the word “Huskies” 10-point lead at intermission. staying in front of him. One more stop and a
decided to stop at Bojangles and get the usual, across my jersey. I felt so much pride look- basket would be a great end to a great day.
I emerged from the woods, cresting the a sausage biscuit, fries, and a pink lemonade. ing at the jersey and, from that moment, I It turned out that my three-pointer on
final hill, and I could see the finish line. The I pulled up to the window and when I went to was in a zone and ready to play tonight. our first possession was the only shot I It was East Wake’s ball and, even though
white flags fluttered in the wind as runners hand the lady my money, she said, “No need had made in the half. I’d been playing tough defense, I knew
pushed to complete the race. I centered my to pay. This one’s on the house.” I just knew My teammate Sam walked over to me they’d be giving the ball to their best player
vision on the massive red numbers—the this day was going to be a good one. and said, “Let’s get this win tonight.” I walked into the locker room, grabbed a with the game on the line. I was ready.
race clock. They flashed at me “29:39.” towel to wipe the dripping sweat off my face, After the ref blew the whistle and handed
20 seconds. Could I run 150 meters in 20 After eating my free Bojangles, I walked I put on my silky Nike jersey and laced my and said to myself, “This is where my good the ball to East Wake, Jackson took a pass
seconds? I was going to try. I hadn’t pointed into my first-period class, math, which was fresh blue-and-white Nike Kobe Bryant’s sneak- day ends, I guess.” from a teammate. The clock wound down
my toes since I fell before the race, but with not my favorite subject. For some reason I ers. I was ready. Our coach came into the locker as he dribbled up the court. I could hear the
every bit of grit I could muster, I changed was happy to be there today. Before taking room and said, “Let’s have a good warm-up, During half-time, we talked about how crowd chanting DEFENSE with two loud
my stride. I drove with my knees, imagining my seat, I kept thinking “Why do I feel so fellas. Tonight is a big game, let’s go win it.” we were going to come back and win the stomps coming after it. Players had cleared
that with every jut forward I was breaking good today? What’s happening?” Then I game. Our coach said, “We have to stop one side of the floor and it was just me and
through the walls of pain in my ankle. I thought my day was going to turn upside During warm-ups, every time I shot the turning the ball over and rebound.” As he him. I sat down low in a defensive position
entered the flag-lined straightaway. “29:51.” down as my teacher said she was returning ball it would swish through the white, nylon said “rebound,” he slammed his white board to get a stop. With 10 seconds left, he
I passed the annoying sprint-walker from the test that we’d taken the previous week. I nets. Then it was time to announce the starting against the ground, and all you heard was executed a behind-the-back move and then
Peace. “29:54.” My ankle popped and I was a 100 percent sure I had failed it. When lineups.As I stood at the bench to get called, a loud crack as the board broke into two drove hard to the basket. At 6’, 2”, he made
faltered just a little, about 30 yards from the my teacher came and slapped the test sheet I looked around our home gym, a gym that I pieces. Right before we headed out the locker it hard for me to contest the shot. The ball
finish. “29:58.” I pushed with everything I on my desk, I took a big gulp. Then I grabbed loved. The lights were bright, and there was a room, I brought my team together and in a floated through the hoop. East Wake was
had left and flew through the finish. “30:06.” my paper and looked at the grade––“91.” I nice shine on the floor and the big blue-and- very assertive tone I said, “Let’s play this half leading, 87-85, with four seconds left.
took a second look to make sure it didn’t say grey H for my school name, Heritage. Then I with some passion and give it all we got.” All
It wasn’t pretty, and I didn’t beat 30 19, but it didn’t. It was, in fact, a 91.I was so glanced into the navy-blue bleachers filled with the players were then locked-in and ready to I couldn’t believe it. My perfect day was
minutes, but I had finished the race and I even happy, I had the biggest smile on my face. all our fans, chanting and hollering for us to turn the game around and get a win. going to end with me allowing the game-
scored for my team (there were 3 runners This day couldn’t get any better. win. The PA announcer called my name and I winning basket. During the timeout, our
from our team behind me).As soon as I ran onto the court, ready for the game to start. After my poor first-half shooting, I de- coach said, “Jared, I want you to go get the
passed my bib to the workers at the finish After a great day at school, it was time to cided to start taking the ball to the basket to ball, rush down the court and take a shot.”
line, I felt the wet tears, built up from the last 3 prepare for my game that night. It was a big We all shook hands with the other team. get myself going. The first play I drove into
miles, begin to fall down my cheeks. I limped conference matchup and we needed a win. Then the referee tossed the ball in the air and it the lane against two tall players and scored The ref blew the whistle to end the
to the training tent and collapsed on the table. Before every high school game, I would was tipped back to me.As the team’s starting a layup. I took a deep breath and said to my- timeout. As we walked on to floor, the whole
It was done. The race was over. I had done go home and take a one-hour nap.As I was point guard, I took a deep breath and began self, “Finally.” Then on defense I stole the gym was quiet, as if we had already lost.
it. I got ice, looked to my coach, and asked, sleeping that day, I dreamt about the game; it to advance the ball into the front court. I had ball and passed ahead to one of my team- The ball was inbounded to me and I rushed
“Can we get Chick-Fil-A for lunch?” was a back-and-forth contest all night. It was been feeling good, so I called the first play for mates for a slam dunk. The crowd went up the right side of the court, taking three
tied in the fourth quarter with four seconds left myself. I came off a screen, planted my feet, crazy; I could not hear my own thoughts. hard dribbles. Then I launched a shot from
and my team passed the ball to me and I took bent my knees, and launched a long three- The team and I were playing well. At the mid-court. My heart was beating out of my
the last shot….Then, as you might expect, the point shot.As I released the ball, I saw it spin- end the quarter, we were up by 2 points. chest. Then, swish, the ball went through the
alarm sounded to end my nap. I was mad I ning in the air and then dropping right through net and I leapt high with indescribable joy.
didn’t get to finish my dream. Did we win or the net, a swish. The crowd screamed and the By the start of the fourth, it was clear that The crowd and my teammates all stormed
lose? That made me anxious about the game. announcer screamed over the speaker system, we needed stop Tyrone Jackson, who had onto the court and jumped all over me.
“Jared Joyner from deep for threeeeeeeeee.” continued to play a strong game. If we wanted
As I got ready to head to the gym, the posi- to win, we needed to figure out a way to stop I ended that game with 23 points and
tive vibe came back. While driving, I thought During the first half, the game was back him. I decided to take on the challenge. He made the game-winning shot. That was
about all the good things that had happened and forth, as Tyrone Jackson led the way was now my man to guard. one of the best sports moments of my life.
that day––from the free Bojangles to the 91 on for East Wake. My team struggled to guard
the math test that I was sure I had failed.Then, Jackson and he really took charge as his team The fourth quarter, the lead went back
just as quickly, the good feeling vanished. I was and forth. It was a dog fight. Then, with 30
filled with the sense that something was going to MLK from pg 2
go wrong, and I didn’t want our game to be the Members of the college’s Exercise Science Club volunteered for the
thing that would be the downfall to a great day. the least I could do to help out in a small way.” MLK day of service.
Before I got out of the car, a J. Cole song came Like Anderson, Danny Henderson Photo Courtesy of D. Henderson
on the radio and I began to feel good again.
volunteered at the Habitat store, chipping
This was a critical game for us; we were up ceramic tiling with shovels. As a first-
playing East Wake. It was our third game of time participant, he said he was impressed
the season and we had lost our first two. We by the number of students who took part in
couldn’t afford to start the season 0-3. All the day. An assistant professor of exercise
summer I had been working hard to improve science, Henderson teamed with members
my game. Now a sophomore, I wanted to of the Exercise Science Club.
show that I had become a better player, a
better point guard and leader, than I had been “It was difficult and non-glamorous
last season. The team we were playing had work, but I finished the day feeling we
a 6-foot, 2-inch point guard named Tyrone had done something worthwhile, and I
Jackson. He had led our conference in scoring was glad we’d participated,” Dr. Hen-
derson said. “It was great to take part
along with so many others.”