since 1960 “of, by, and for the Wesleyan community.” March 19, 2021
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
Bishops Commemorate Black History in Their Own Ways
By Amanda Lucci of the Civil Rights movement in today’s led to greater awareness of Black History the history of Blacks and other minority considers it a time to reflect on the many
& Decree Staff community activism. “Black History Month. She expressed the hope that the groups year-round. The daughter of an impediments that African Americans
When she was a child, junior Month is more significant this year new Democratic administration would Indian father, she said she does not observe have faced throughout our country’s history.
because people are listening,” she said. help foster better race relations in the U.S. Asian Pacific American History Month (in “They deserve to be recognized for the
Caitlin Leggett said, her teachers Jason Buel, assistant professor of com- At Wesleyan, Black History Month May) either. “I never thought a large ethnic battles they’ve been forced to fight, and
short-changed her in their lessons on munication, agreed that events of the past is a time of reflection and celebration of group’s history should be narrowed down for the obstacles they’ve overcome,” she
Black history. The Durham native said Black Americans throughout our history.
the material was made “digestible.” year have given Black History Month to only a month of recognition,” she said. said, expressing the wish that such reflec-
“Teachers breezed through slavery and added urgency in 2021. He pointed to the Though the campus activities were limited Golden maintains that Black History tion would “bring us a step closer to
touched on MLK Jr only by having us “momentum generated by Black Lives or altered by the pandemic, the college con- Month fulfills an important purpose. She unity in this country.”
tinued its BHM traditions by presenting an
watch ‘My Friend Martin,’ but that was Matter protests” over the summer. array of programs, which included an art Graduating Seniors Express
about it,” she said. “Slavery was barbaric Abigail Shah acknowledged that show in the Dunn Center, the “I Am 400”
and MLK Jr. was impactful, but that’s recent civil unrest has heightened interest exhibit in the Hartness Center, the Black ICnoWncaekrensoafbCoouvtiJdoPbaSnedaermchic
not the end of our history. Our accom- in Black history, both in schools and Student Association’s trivia night, and the
plishments should be taught with pride among the general public. She sees this Ebony Ball. During February, President
because of their influence on our future.” as a positive. “Black history is important, Evan Duff sent out weekly emails that
Sophomore De’Asia Clark expressed and it should be taught accurately be- highlighted notable Black historical figures. By Chasadie Searcy for her, but not because of the pandemic
similar frustration with the educational cause Black people make up a large part Editor-at-Large or insufficient education. She’s concerned
system. “We learn about the same three of the population,” she said. “Everyone While some Bishops participated
people every year,” she said. deserves to know their ancestral history.” in on-campus events, others took part In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, about her lack of job-related experience.
in celebrations that occurred in their seniors have high hopes of graduating in
Black History Month took on more Sophomore Hannah Golden believes community or even online. “It’ll be difficult looking for a job right
the spring. However, job scarcity is raising now because of the little experience I have
prominence in 2021 following the death the pandemic has prompted more Ameri- Leggett, a published poet, said she concerns for many. in my field,” she said while acknowledg-
of George Floyd and other events of the cans to spend time on social media, whose honored BHM by speaking at middle Maria Padron ing that a four-year degree gives her an
past year, said Leggett, who finds echoes posts on race and social justice issues have schools and high schools. “I use poetry
as a medium to educate students on Caracas native Maria Padron, a psychol- edge over other applicants.
Wesleyan Urged to Continue Covid Black history,” she said. ogy major, is still weighing her options. Instead of jumping right into the job mar-
Protocols as Staff Begin Vaccinations As an international student, she’s limited ket, Arnold has applied to Wesleyan’s new
College switchboard operator Gail when it comes to finding a job after college. MBAprogram and hopes to enroll next fall.
She is seeking optional practical training The Roper (NC) native knows that
Wesleyan reported 20 active Covid A. They should be eligible begin- Fields said she likes to watch documen- (OPT), which is temporary employment she must be on top of her game for the
cases among students and none among ning on March 17. That’s when the state taries about the contributions made by related to the student’s major. That way future. She explained that she’s taking
employees as of March 12. Since the moves to Group 4. Black Americans. She added that her she can work advantage of her educational opportu-
beginning of spring semester, there Q. When can students without underly- church holds a Black History program in the United nities before she launches her career.
have been a total of 70 students and ing health issues expect to get vaccinated? each year, presenting poetry readings, States for a year
two employees who have tested posi- A. Likely in very late March or April. musical performances and skits. after graduation Timothy Marinos
tive for the virus. Q. The governor moved the date for the from NCWC. Timothy Marinos hopes to begin a
The Decree interviewed Jessica Brys- vaccination of college employees to March Senior Chasadie Searcy tries to honor career in psychology right after col-
Wilson, Director of Health Services, 4. And the college has arranged for the Nash her forebears not just in February, but She wants to lege, but fears the pandemic and its
about recent Covid-related develop- County Health Department to give injec- year-round. She reads and posts impor- work as a tech- aftermath will complicate his search.
ments on campus and around the state. tions. What would you tell employees who tant information about the richness of nician or re- In recent years the Clayton resident added
Q. The college has changed its ap- have expressed reluctance to get a jab? Black history and Black empowerment search assistant a second major in criminal justice to comple-
on social media. She also volunteers her until she can ment his studies in psychology and better
proach to testing since last August. Could A. Employees need to weigh the risks time at her church and helps preteens and afford graduate prepare him for a career. Then after taking
you update us on what you’ve been doing? versus benefits of the vaccine. We don’t have teenagers in her hometown of Detroit. school. She’s courses from Dr. Chad Ross and Dr. Jonathan
A. For most of last semester students long-term data about the vaccine, but we open to any job Maria Padron Photos courtesy of C. Searcy Sarris, he decided to add history as a third.
had to get tested off campus. We first also don’t have long-term data about Covid. Shah said she seeks to find ways to sup- opportunity, “The educational resources were so great that
tested on campus in November with the Current indications are that having a Covid port Blacks in her community. “On any just as long as it’s in her field. I didn’t want to pass them up,” Marinos said.
surveillance tests that were offered right infection may increase your risk of heart or normal day if I see on my Instagram page Marinos sees the job market as com-
before students left for break. We continue lung problems in the future. I would recom- that there’s a Black-owned small business, Last year she enjoyed an intern- petitive even in non-pandemic times.
to use these rapid antigen tests on campus. mend the vaccine in most situations. whether it’s a coffee shop, barbecue place ship at Tarboro Pediatric Psychology, “Not only are there not a lot of jobs
The new tests have been helpful in limit- Q. Are all college employees eligible, or boutique in my area, I’m sure to visit where she provided psychotherapeutic open, but there are so many candidates
ing the number of students who need to or only those 50 and older? and support it,” she said. “If I see a book services for children and adolescents. applying for a finite number,” he said.
quarantine. This has helped minimize the A.All college employees are now eligible. written by a Black author or a biography He sees the military as a potential
students’ time out of class. Antigen testing Q.There are now three vaccines available in about a Black historical figure that I The internship enabled her to strengthen way to serve his country while using
has helped prevent spread on campus by the U.S.There have been reports that the newest admire, I’ll read it. If I see a charity that her research and writing skills, but, due to his knowledge and skills. “I would like
allowing us to catch positives before the one, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, was less supports the Black community or a school the pandemic, she worked remotely for to help soldiers with PTSD,” he said.
students have had a lot of direct contacts. effective in trials (around 66 percent vs. 90-95 that might need fundraising, I donate.” part of the time, robbing her of the oppor- “It seems like the best of both worlds.”
With assistance from the athletic trainers, percent for Moderna and Pfizer). If given the tunity to interact more closely with patients
we’ve conducted 811 tests since January 21. chance to get the J&J shot, should one get it? During February many Bishops paid and sharpen her communication skills. “I Yazline Santiago
Q. Compare the number of Covid A. Though the data indicated a 66 tribute to particular Black historical figures. really hope I gain those skills while doing A native of Bridgeport, Connecticut,
cases so far this spring to last fall. percent effectiveness in preventing moder- OPT or in graduate school before I work in Yazline Santiago hopes to find a job in
A. Sixty-four students tested positive for ate to severe Covid infection, it was 100 Clark said that Billie Holiday has been the clinical psychology field,” Padron said. criminal justice.
all of last semester. Because we’ve done percent effective in preventing hospitaliza- on her mind. The jazz singer is the subject Her job search is well under way.
an increased number of testing, this has tions and death from Covid. It’s worth not- of a new film “The U.S. vs. Billie Holiday.” So far Padron has identified work op- She’s begun to prepare her mind for
resulted in a higher rate of positive cases. ing that this shot is a one-time dose, which Clark cited Holiday’s “amazing voice,” portunities by perusing sites like LinkedIn, her life once she leaves Wesleyan.
Q. Have there been any Covid-related will help with compliance when it comes to which changed American culture with Indeed, Glassdoor, and SimplyHired. She’s “I’m hopeful that an opportunity will
hospitalizations among NCWC staff and being fully vaccinated. landmark songs such as “Strange Fruit.” aware that as an international student, she become available,” Santiago said. “It
students since January 21? Q. Will the on-campus protocols (e.g., can only work in the states for 12 months just takes faith and a lot of prayer.”
Fields opened up about prominent unless her employer decides to sponsor her. Since she believes there’s a surplus of
A. Not to my knowledge. mask wearing and social distancing) remain Black historical figures that stand out to opportunities
Q. How does this winter compare so far in place all semester, even after faculty and her. She said that Martin Luther King Jr “Whatever job I find,” Padron said, “I in the criminal
in terms of the incidence of flu, strep throat staff have gotten two shots (or one with is the first. “I see him as a man who loved hope it allows me to prepare well for my justice field,
and stomach virus, etc.? Are you seeing Johnson & Johnson)? God, his family and all mankind,” she career as a clinical child psychologist.” Santiago is
many cases of illness other than Covid? A. I don’t anticipate a change in the mask said. “He wanted a beautiful Godly world confident she
A. We’ve had a decrease in cold and mandate or social distancing protocols. for all. I appreciate the peaceful methods Kneciya Tripp will find a job
flu cases on campus. We’ve had a stomach We’re going to be conservative with preven- he used to attain his goals.” She lamented Kneciya Tripp, a criminal justice ma- soon. Remain-
virus and conjunctivitis going around, but tion measures, as our first priority is always that Dr. King was assassinated on her 16h jor, plans on getting her master’s degree ing optimistic
the cases are lower than what I normally see the safety of our students, faculty, and birthday, “It was not so sweet,” she said. sometime in the near future. “I wasn’t despite the
this time of year. I attribute this to increased staff. We have about 150 employees being planning on looking for a (job) just yet. pandemic, she
hand hygiene and mask use. vaccinated this week (March 1-5), but most She also cited the contributions of four I was going to try to attend grad school said she’s been
Q. Are there plans to give earlier Covid students have not been vaccinated yet. Also African-American women featured in the first,” Tripp said, noting that she’s looking actively looking
vaccinations to college-age students with keep in mind that one is not fully vaccinated novel and film “Hidden Figures.” Work- at Bowie State University in Maryland. for a position. Yazline Santiago
underlying health problems (e.g., diabe- (and protected) until about two weeks after ing for NASA in the 1960s, the women, The Edenton native expressed con- She would
tes, obesity, asthma)? If so, when? their second dose (or first with J & J). Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Kath- cerns about the number of jobs that will like to begin as a police officer, with the
Q. What other mes- erine Johnson, and Christine Darden, be available to her after graduation from ambition to rise to higher positions in
sage would you like to blazed the trail for others to follow in Wesleyan, but that’s not because of the the criminal justice system. She plans
impart to members of mathematics and engineering, Fields said. pandemic. “I do think it would be difficult to relocate to North Carolina from her
the campus community (to find a job) because in criminal justice home state, she said.
regarding Covid and Dr. Buel singled out Fred Hampton, you need a lot more education than a As she ponders her new career,
their overall health? Lucy Parsons, Angela Davis, Ben Fletch- bachelor’s degree to be making a good Santiago said she’s become concerned
A. Hang in there! er, Kwame Ture, and Barbara Smith. “All amount of money,” Tripp said, adding that about racial tensions in our society.
Our county numbers are have fought for justice,” he said, “and she believes there is a “who-you-know” “I want to go into this field and feel as
looking better and, as most have been generally forgotten.” factor involved in securing employment. though I can make a difference,” Santiago
a campus, we’re doing Instead of stressing about the long-term said. “For me, this is more than just money. I
quite well. Keep wearing There was a consensus among many future,Tripp remains encouraged. Her goal is could have picked a different major for that.”
your masks. Wash your members of the Wesleyan community that to gain as much knowledge and experience as Santiago wants to become a role model
hands with soap and wa- Black history should be taught and recog- possible. She also wants to make sure the job for young Americans who come from
ter as often as possible. nized year-round, not just in February. she finds is enjoyable rather than just a way similar backgrounds. “I want people that
Keep social distancing to make money. “Really my expectations are look like me, people that grew up in com-
and get your vaccine as Clark noted that “Black history is Amer- just to be happy in what I do,” Tripp added. munities with so little promises, to see that
soon as you’re eligible, ican history,” adding, “We should learn it “That’s it, to be happy and successful.” there are endless opportunities,” she said.
unless your provider has in school along with the rest of the history. Over the summer, Tripp plans on “You just have to work hard against all
Myrayna Watkins and the women’s basketball team advised against it. We Black history shouldn’t just be celebrated in working as an investigator as part of a
February but every day of the year.” paid internship with the Department of
While she thinks Black History Month
is important, Searcy concurs that the Jerrian Arnold
promotion of Black heritage should not
be limited to one month. She added that Business major Jerrian Arnold antici- the obstacles placed against you.”
she’s pleased that “more Black people
are educating themselves and becoming
more self-aware of their place in society.”
won the East Division title. See story page 3. SI photo will get through this. Shah also believes that we should honor pates that it will be a tough job market
2 North Carolina Wesleyan College, Rocky Mount, North Carolina 27804 March 19, 2021
Spragley Named Head of Teacher Education, Diversity & Inclusion Liaison
Kelvin Spragley, 52, has joined the abroad. I stayed in the U.S. Army for three researcher, and later as a college profes- professor for 10 years and have taught a A. Current works centers on the creation
Wesleyan faculty as the new Director years while attaining the rank of sergeant. sor and dean. When I saw the posting for variety of history and education courses. of a diversity plan for NCWC. In light of re-
of Teacher Education and will assume After leaving active duty, I continued Teacher Education Director at NCWC, cent events throughout the country, and on
a position as the college’s new Diver- my time in the military by staying in the I was very excited because I saw it as an Q. List your academic specialty areas. campus, it’s clear that the institution needs
sity & Inclusion Liaison. reserves for another four years. As a result opportunity to give back to the profession A. In education they include public school assistance in addressing issues related to
of my time in the military, I qualified for that has given me so much over the course funding, parent accountability, resegregation diversity, cultural awareness, and respect of
He comes to Wesleyan from Louis- the Montgomery G.I. Bill where I re- of my professional life. To be able to work of public schools, educator relationships with thought among students, faculty, and staff.
burg College where he taught history ceived funds to pay for my first four years with pre-service teachers, while helping their advocacy organizations, and teacher
and education and served in a number of college. them form their educator rights. When it comes to history, Q. Let’s talk about Kelvin Spragley
of administrative roles, including in- Q. What’s the most theoretical framework my specialty areas are the history of school- outside of work. What are your hobbies
terim academic dean and director of the valuable lesson you regarding education ing in the southern U.S. and sharecropping’s and other interests?
two-year college’s education program. learned in the military? and learn what it impact on education opportunities for people
A. It’s that self-disci- means to be a teacher, of color in the U.S. My dissertation was A. I enjoy gardening, reading, and
An army veteran, Dr. Spragley pline can help one over- was an opportunity titled "Exploring Congruity of Curriculum exercising. A favorite pastime is participat-
taught social sciences in Wake County come almost anything. that was very appeal- and Instruction Policy Positions between the ing in martial arts tournaments and classes.
schools for seven years and, among Discipline became a form ing. I was humbled to North Carolina Association of Educators and I also enjoy spending time with my wife,
other positions, he was Executive of muscle memory as it learn that I had earned its Teacher Members." children, and extended family members.
Director at the North Carolina Founda- allows me to do what I the opportunity to Q. What’s your teaching philosophy?
tion for Public School Children, a non- need to do during times of work at NCWC in A. For education courses, my philosophy Q. Describe your social media habits.
profit that supports needy children. stress and fatigue. this capacity. is based on the concept of juxtaposing theo- A. I have Facebook and Twitter ac-
Q. What did you learn Q. Describe your ry and reality and theory and practice. With counts. I rarely make any posts to either,
The Whitakers native earned an about yourself while in duties as Director of history courses, I use compare-and-contrast but I do check them once each day.
A.A. in history from Chowan; a B.S. the military? Teacher Education. techniques to examine the similarities of Q. Identify favorites for the each of
in education from East Carolina; and A. I learned that I hate A. I’m responsible past historical events with more recent/cur- the following:
an M.E. and Ph.D. in curriculum and being average, and that for the following: rent events. In all my classes, students can Food: A vegetable salad, with baked
instruction from NC State. if I callous my mind to Dr. Kelvin Spragley maintaining accredi- expect to see methodologies such as case salmon and brown rice.
studies, problem-based learning, debate, Movies: I’m a science fiction guy.
He lives in Rolesville with his wife move beyond the hatred tation; providing and Spider-Web based instruction. My all-time favorites are the Freddy
of 26 years, Tracey Spragley, and their and fear that exists in the world, I can reports to state and federal agencies; Q. Talk about your second job title. Kruger series of the late 1980s and
18-year-old son, Kelvin Jr., who, after achieve great things. managing the courses taught and ensuring What does that entail? early 1990s.
completing a two-degree at Wake Tech- Q. What did you like most about the instructors who teach in the program A. As the Diversity & Inclusion Liaison Book: "Can't Hurt Me: Master Your
nical Community College, plans to trans- working at Louisburg College? are qualified to do so; helping students at NCWC, I’ll be responsible for collabo- Mind & Defy the Odds,” written by
fer to East Carolina University to study A. The Louisburg experience was matriculate through the teacher education rating with college leadership to create, David Goggins, a former Navy Seal.
engineering. Their daughter, Kelsey, 25, wonderful in that it gave me a chance to program; evaluating teacher education implement and monitor strategic initiatives TV Shows: “The Cosby Show” and
earned a B.S. and M.S. in microbiology work with a large number of first-generation program offerings; responding to program designed to build awareness and growth “Married with Children.”
at ECU and now is employed as a scien- college students. As a first-generation student inquiries; and recruiting and retaining among students as it relates to diversity Favorite Musical Genre: R&B/
tist at ThermoFisher Pharmaceutical. myself, I was able to sympathize with many teacher education candidates. and inclusion. The position also provides Motown/Philly Soul (1955-1980).
of the challenges that the students were ex- Q. Relate your previous teaching an opportunity to do similar work with the Sports Team: Army West Point
The Decree interviewed Dr. Spragley periencing and provide meaningful guidance. experiences. faculty and staff as the college considers a Black Knights
about his new roles, his teaching and Q. What attracted to you to NCWC? A. I was a public-school teacher full-time director in the future. Favorite place: My back yard. There
his interests outside of work. A. I’m an educator by training, but have for seven years, teaching history and Q. Describe specific programs you I have my garden; my patio; peach, apple
spent time as an education lobbyist and economics courses. I’ve been a college plan to implement. and pear trees; and over one acre of natural
Q. Describe a favorite childhood memory. area where I see all types of forest creatures.
A. My favorite childhood memories
surround large family gatherings during Wesleyan Profile: English Professor Doreen Thierauf
Christmas. When I grew up in rural By Joel Inzerillo hot in the summer, there are miles and miles enjoyed her time there. “My exchange year at is the closest thing we have to theAmerican
Edgecombe County, our Christmases Decree Staff Writer of coastline where the sand is white and fine, UGAwas just amazing. I got to knowAmeri- high school,” Dr.Thierauf explained.
were the best. Extended family members
would stay around for days on end. There Dr. Doreen Thierauf is an English and the water cool. I went to the beach every can academia this way,” she said, adding that Dr. Thierauf took part in the third tier,
was church, Motown Christmas music weekend to soak up the sun, swim, and, shemadefriends,triedoutSouthernfood,and Gymnasium, which, she said, is very rigor-
and, of course, lots of food—in particular professor at North Carolina Wesleyan obvious for a bookworm like me, read.” attendedall of Bulldogs’home games. ous. She said that her curriculum included
baked turkey and a wide variety of cakes College whose roots are in the far-off
and pies. I miss those times, as so many land of Germany. Her classes, focused on A rigorous college student, Dr. Thier- While at UGA, Dr. Thierauf met German, math, physics, biology, chemistry,
of the people who shaped my view of the critically examining works of literature and auf attended the University of Rostock another figure of importance in her life— astronomy, art, music, physical education,
world have since passed away. sharpening students’understanding of them, (established in 1419) as an English and Dr. Tricia Lootens. “She’s an important geography, social sciences, history, and at
Q. Tell us about your experiences in are often small and personal. Though the first German double major. When asked if mentor for me, both as a scholar and least two foreign languages. “In ninth grade
the service. class I had with her was a general education any professors had a great impact on her, teacher, to this day,” she said. I took 18 different subjects!” she said.
A. During my senior year in high literature class, I still remember the emphasis she responded that there had been many. Dr. Lootens was one of the professors that Dr.Thierauf noted that there is a limited
school, I signed up for the delayed-entry One was a linguistics professor named Dr. Dr. Thierauf was assigned to number of private
program so that I could enter the U.S. she placed upon each student’s interpretation.
Army as soon as possible. Three weeks Though the assigned readings were varied Birte Bös. “She was a fantastic teacher and serve as a research assistant schools in her
after I graduated from high school in a brilliant scholar,” Dr. Thierauf said. There as part of the exchange home country. She
1986, I was in basic training at Fort and all held my interest, my favorite was program. “Both professors thinks that while
Leonard Wood, Missouri. It was easily the about the heart- wrenching story of Omayra was also Dr. Gustav Klaus, who was her
most challenging experience of my life to Sánchez, entitled “And of ClayAre We Cre- advisor for both her bachelor’s and master’s encouraged me to pursue German schooling
that point, as I was pushed mentally and ated.” Fast forward to my next semester, and theses. “He was a huge influence on me as graduate studies in the United is exhaustive, it also
physically in a manner that I had never I was in a much smaller class that functioned well, as his courses drew me to British litera- States,” Dr. Thierauf said. offers a huge assort-
experienced. While challenging, I enjoyed similarly, but was more in depth. There, we ture, especially Victorian fiction,” she said. She went back home to ment of classes,
the experience so much that I graduated Throughout her time at the University of complete her Master’s in letting students
with honors out of the more than 300 read full books rather than condensed tales and
troops in my battalion. From there I was short stories. That semester, my favorite book Rostock, it was professors like these that English and History in 2007, find their passion.
stationed at Fort Lee, Virginia and finally was Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights,” inspired Dr. Thierauf to become a professor and then moved to the “I wish more
Fort Hood, Texas, though I did train at which instantly struck me with its mysterious herself. About the aforementioned Dr. Bös, U.S. to enroll in the Ph.D. Americans had
many other military bases in the U.S. and she said, “I remember sitting in her course program at Chapel Hill in access to the wide
opening and memorable characters. and thinking, ‘I want to be like her.’” 2009. “I’ve stuck around--I variety of courses
DeTchreee Such readings have made Dr. Thi-
erauf’s classes some of my favorites at Even now, Dr. Thierauf said that she tries like it here,” she said. I was taught as a
since 1960 Wesleyan, and in turn, led me to interview to emulate Dr. Klaus in her own teaching. After moving to the States, child,” she said. “I
Beyond individual professors, Dr. Thierauf she found herself called to took it for granted
s ta f f“of, by, and for the Wesleyan community.” her. Clearly well read, Dr. Thierauf was fell in love with academia by her second Wesleyan for the same reason Dr. Doreen Thierauf then, but now, look-
an obvious choice. I emailed her asking year of college. “I thought, ‘this is my students are— small classes. ing back, I’m very
Editor-at-Large if she was okay with answering some
questions, and she quickly affirmed that world,’ and I wanted to stay a part of it, if “You get to know your students so much grateful I received this kind of schooling.”
Chasadie Searcy, though busy, she was willing and able. possible,” she said. “I love learning, I love better than at a large school and you can build At Wesleyan, Dr. Thierauf likes most the
teaching, and it’s an incredible and rare actual mentoring relationships with them with- classes where she gets to read novels and
Senior Staff Writers Dr. Thierauf was born in the 80s in
the City of Rostock, Germany, which she privilege to be able to follow this calling.” out feeling rushed or overwhelmed,” she said. short stories. Her favorite classes so far have
Mary Cat Davis, describes as dazzling. “It’s a beautiful Though she fondly remembers her time Dr. Thierauf’s classes take advantage of been aboutAfrofuturism, Dystopian litera-
Savannah Ekland, in college, she also noted that her decision this, and each student can have their voice ture, British literature, and a writing course,
medieval coastal city in Northern Ger-
Will Plyler, many,” she explained. One only needs to to become a professor was often discour- heard. She pointed out that at other larger English 112, where she helps students with
Abigail Shah look at a few images of the city to see the aged. “Tons of people discouraged me from schools, that is rarely the case. “At NCWC, their research projects. “For students in
truth in that statement—it sits serene and getting a Ph.D. in literature,” she said. “Espe- our seminars have the perfect size for rigorous English 112, the goal is to get their paper
Staff Writers stately upon an estuary of the Warnow cially since the financial crisis of 2008, there discussion and authentic exchange,” she said. published in ‘Omnium,’” she said, referring
River, which stems from the Baltic Sea. are only a handful of professorships in my Moving from Germany to the U.S. was to the undergraduate research journal at
Kate Avila, Dr. Thierauf reflected that her childhood concentration every year. Things look even a big leap, and Dr. Thierauf found that there NCWC that she started with Drs. Keely
Byron Golphin, was a good one. “Oh yes! My childhood bleaker now in the wake of the pandemic.” was a bit of adapting to do. “In my region Mohon-Doyle and Julie Perino in 2019.
Joel Inzerillo, She described unfair hiring practices for of Germany, many people--even those Though she enjoys teaching, learning
Isaiah Johnson, was very happy,” she said. Though an only
Caitlin Leggett, child, she recalls an abounding family life. those with PhDs seeking to become profes- who are open-minded--are known to react is a large part of being a professor as well.
Amanda Lucci “My parents always made me feel like I sors nowadays. “Universities and colleges too to new things with skepticism,” she said. In this area, the Victorian era has always
often hire them as adjuncts on a course-by- “We’re also very, very direct, even blunt.” fascinated Dr. Thierauf. “We probably
Faculty Advisor was the center of their universe.” She attributed this to the unstable his- never left the Victorian age,” she said.
She also mentioned that she had a large course basis to staff classes,” she said. “These
Dr. William Grattan extended family that she would often see positions usually come with no benefits or tory of Germany as a nation. “I realized Though theVictorian era ended in 1901,
on special occasions. “Most family mem- job security and are not well paid. I feel these soon that I often came across as overly Dr.Thierauf believes that the revolution of
179 Braswell • Phone: 985-5336 bers lived in close driving distance--and we hiring practices are ethically wrong.We must critical… I definitely worked on becom- thought in those times continues to affect us
Email: [email protected] continuously visited each other, celebrating invest in teaching and create secure jobs for ing more diplomatic and patient since today. “So many cultural, social, artistic, tech-
birthdays and holidays together,” she said. the many gifted teachers and scholars who moving to the United States,” she said. nological, scientific, political, and environ-
As a child, she spent the weekends with often devote more than a decade of their She also noted significant differences be- mental changes that marked the 19th Century
life to become experts in their field.” tween the two countries in the method of edu- continue to shape our own lives, and we have
her family and friends at the beach, which Of course, the big question is why did Dr. cation, noting that Germany’s high schools to understand these changes to make sense of
was not far from her home. She likens the
beaches back home to North Carolina’s Out- Thierauf move to the U.S.? She related that the have three different tiers.The first tier, called our present--and to plan for the future,” she
er Banks, noting that people from around University of Rostock had a student exchange Hauptschule, trains kids to work at hands-on explained. “I find it fascinating that something
program with the University of Georgia, jobs and then has them work as an apprentice that people decided to do 200 years ago still
here who have been to northern Germany and in 2006, she was chosen for one of the at a company.The second is Realschule, structures our own choices today.This is what
often compare the two. “The beaches are
incredibly beautiful,” she said. “It’s not too two available spots. She made clear that she which prepares kids for mid-level jobs. “This keeps pulling me back to the 19th Century.”
March 19, 2021 North Carolina Wesleyan College, Rocky Mount, North Carolina 27804 3
Undefeated: Women’s Hoops Team Takes East Division Title
Capping an undefeated season, the rival William Peace University at the East Division with a 9-5 record. who transferred to Wesleyan from could be great in the long run,” she said.
women’s basketball team claimed the home on March 6, with the division It’s been an eventful season for the Wake Tech prior to her junior season. Johnson’s own game has evolved
USA South Conference East Division championship on the line. “We were Wesleyan program. Besides contend- Besides ranking second on the team in
title when a controversy engulfed its op- ready to play,” Trader said. ing with the pandemic, the team was scoring, she was the second-leading re- in the past two years. In 2019, as a sopho-
ponent before the championship game. But the game was canceled and the forced to play without Coach Trader, bounder (7 rpg) behind Harrison (8.2). more, she was the team’s main scoring
The Bishops dominated the conference, Bishops were awarded the victory by who missed almost a month after she threat, averaging 13.3 points per game,
winning all 12 of their games. forfeit after the Pacers de- suffered a heart attack. The 2020-21 di- “Myrayna is long and mobile and while shooting 33.6 percent from the
The team finished with a 15-1 cided to boycott. Its leading vision title is her first in her 11 seasons. can score from anywhere on the court,” field. Then last year she finished fourth in
overall record, its only loss to scorer, guard Lauryn Cross, The Bishops qualified for the confer- Trader said. “She can guard any posi- the conference at 17.5 ppg on 39.8 percent
a Division I opponent, North had been suspended by the ence playoffs after a stellar regular tion. So she allows us to throw some shooting. “I became known around the
Carolina Central University. Peace athletic department season that saw them reel off 12 straight fun lineups out on the floor.” conference as a ‘shooter,’” she said.
One early-season highlight was for a confrontation follow- wins for its first regular-season title dur-
a win over Division I UNC- ing its first-round win over ing Trader’s tenure. The coach credits a Trader said Wesleyan’s overall depth Now looking back on her senior sea-
Greensboro, 52-37, on the road. Meredith College. Cross balanced scoring attack and deep bench was a difference maker all season as son, Johnson acknowledged that her role
“It’s a great feeling,” alleged that she was the for the team’s success. She also praised the team was able to make substitutions had changed since her sophomore year.
Head Coach Artina Trader subject of racist comments Assistant Coach Dez Driver, who led without losing intensity or skill. As an Noting the increased number of scoring
said of the title. “It was a and profane gestures during the team in Trader’s absence. example, she noted that the coaches often threats on the roster, she found other ways
year full of unknowns and the game, the Raleigh Coach Driver took the reins for would insert Jones in place of Watkins. to help in the team’s success. “The beauty
unprecedented challenges, Cydney Nichols SI Photos News & Observer reported. the first time on February 14. While was that everyone played their part and
but this group did the work To show their solidarity, Trader was confident in her long-time “JuJu and Myrayna are very similar in made some sort of contribution,” she said.
necessary to win games and a champi- players and the head coach decided against assistant, she said it was hard to watch their skill set,” Trader said, “but I believe
onship. I’m proud of our team.” taking the court against the Bishops and the games via live streams. “I tried to JuJu is a better defender. So it was a luxury Coach Trader will savor the title as she
In a normal season,Trader noted, the Bish- defending their East Division title. Peace watch the first game (a 24-point win for the team to play her off the bench.” continues to convalesce at home. “If there
ops would have been well positioned to play has recognized the Bishops as champs. over Averett) after my surgery, but my was ever a time for me to have a heart
in the national tournament. But the NCAA Last week’s incident was the second heart rate shot up, so the nurse asked Johnson agreed that Watkins arrived attack,” she quipped, “it would be this
at just the right time, citing her height year, with a veteran assistant coach with
(5’ 9”) and versatility. “With her addi- six seniors on the roster.”
tion to the team, it made us realize we
decided to cancel nationals after more than between Cross and a player from a confer- me to put my phone away,” Trader said. Bishop Sports Briefs
40 percent of Division III teams elected not ence school. During a January matchup The team was paced on offense by a
to play due to the pandemic, she said. USA vs. Mary Baldwin, Cross threw a punch trio of seniors—Cydney Nichols (12.5
South teams were limited to games within at an opposing player, who, she said, points per game), Watkins (10.5), and Cucinotta Ties School Record
their own division, and the annual confer- made similar racist comments to her. Johnson (9.9). Sophomore Karysma
ence title game was scrapped as well. Cross was suspended for four games as a Harrison (9.1) and junior Javana Jones
After last year’s early exit from the con- result, according to a report onABC11. com. (7.1) added scoring depth. Wesleyan mid-fielder Ali Cucinotta tied her own school record by scoring 11 goals
in a match, as the Bishops picked up their second win of the season by trouncing
ference tournament, the Bishop were mo- Wesleyan players were shocked by the Trader said each of her veterans Randolph College (Va.) 19-8 in non-league action on March 5.
tivated to win their first title in the Trader developments. When she heard that the ti- made substantial contributions to the
era. In 2020 it finished second with a 14-2 tle game had been canceled, Johnson said team. She said she’s been impressed by The senior tallied 9 goals in the first half and 2 in the second. She added 1 assist and
took 13 shots during the match.
conference record, but lost to Maryville, a she was in disbelief, noting that she and their maturity and the development of Two freshmen were also key to the Bishops’ win. Midfielder Blaire Harley
West Division team, in the first round, 75- other fourth-year players were keyed up their “basketball IQ.”
66. “Maryville shot well from three-point for the chance to win the title. “It didn’t “The senior class set the tone,” scored 4 goals and 3 assists while goalkeeper Devin Bautz made 7 saves.
Wesleyan has opened with two victories and three
range and we did not,” Trader recalled of seem real to me that the championship Trader said, noting that the players losses. In its first match, Wesleyan buried Sweet Briar
last season’s final game. “But our team had game had just been cancelled,” she said. have all put aside their egos in their
a different focus this year because, for six “I had to remind myself not to take that quest for team success. “If we play the College, 14-3, with a balanced scoring attack that saw 4
goals from Cucinotta, 3 each by Madeline Graham and
of them, this was the last chance.” moment for granted and to be proud of right way, the players know they will Maddie O’Neil, and 2 each by Harley and Deja Hartman.
In this year’s tournament, NCWC won what my team and I had accomplished. I get a chance to showcase their talent.
its opening-round matchup by crush- told myself I wouldn’t let the cancel- Each athlete brings specific skills to The next three contests were all lopsided losses,
as the Bishops fell to three other Virginia schools at
ing Greensboro College, 102-72. Five lation of the championship game take the team, but they all understand that home--Ferrum (17-2), Southern Virginia (19-3), and
players scored in double figures, as Kayla away from that.” sacrifices have to be made when it
Johnson and Myrayna Watkins led the Wesleyan had defeated Peace twice in comes to individual stats.” Christopher Newport (22-1).
Ali Cucinotta tied a school Wesleyan began the season with 18 athletes on its ros-
way with 18 points apiece. Watkins and the regular season, winning 82-62 on the It's worth noting that the team’s record for goals in a match. ter. This is Coach Bridget Walker’s fourth year at the helm.
Kneciya Tripp each pulled in 9 rebounds. road January 22 and then 62-59 at home success in the past two years has Men’s Soccer Displays Tenacious D
Next the Bishops were set to play two days later. Peace ranked second in coincided with the arrival of Watkins,
McDowell Scores 34, but Bishops
Upset in First Round by Averett A stingy defense has allowed the men’s If we continue playing well, with pace
Senior Damon McDowell led the game, only to see Covenant eliminate them Moore played with McDowell when soccer team to begin the season at 2-1-1. and intensity, the goals will come.”
men’s basketball team all season, but in the second. He said he can empathize Moore was a senior and McDowell a
his game-high 34 points was not enough with McDowell, the team’s only senior. freshman. He knew at once that the Myr- The Bishops have yielded just one Women’s Soccer
to carry the Bishops to a win in their “It was hard for me,” Moore said of his tle Beach native was a special player. goal in four games, which includes a Begins 2-1-1
first-round matchup against Averett in final collegiate game. “That was a chapter “My first impression was, ‘This guy 0-0 draw with College of Charleston, a
the East Divsision playoffs on March 3. I had to close, and it was sad to see it can hoop!’” Moore recalled. Division I program. After losing its first match, the
The Cougars advanced to the second end. I really hated it for Damon because He said McDowell was a strong women’s soccer team won two and
round with an 82-72 win at Everett he worked so hard. He’s accomplished sixth man, arriving at a time when Regarding the match against Col- tied a third to open the season.
Gymnasium. Montre Cash led AU with so much in his four years at NCWC.” the Bishops needed his energy off the lege of Charleston, forward Luca Zallo
24 points, while three teammates scored At 8-2 in the conference, the Bishops bench. He called his former teammate a said that the tie gave the team added Greensboro shut out Wesleyan, 2-0, in
in double-digits. had tied for the East Division regular-sea- fearless competitor. “He really stretched confidence and reaffirmed for him that the first match, but the Bishops followed
McDowell shot 60 percent from the field, son title with Pfeiffer University, but earned the floor with his impeccable shooting its defense is outstanding. “We know the loss with two thrilling wins. In the
made 5 of 11 three-pointers, and went 5 for the first seed in the playoffs. The two ability,” Moore said. “He didn’t mind we can play football against anybody,” second game, at home, Kristel Thompson
5 from the foul line. He also led the team in schools split their regular-season contests, getting dirty and doing the little things it said the first-year forward from Italy. broke a 1-1 tie in the 76th minute as she
rebounds with 8. NCWC’s second-leading with each team recording a blowout on its takes to win basketball games.” tallied her second goal of the game after
scorer was Tim Pettiford with 13 points. home court. (Pfeiffer, a former Division II The coach said McDowell has always The Bishops have defeated two a pass from Kalley Munro. GK Alicia
In Averett, Wesleyan possessed a winner’s mentality, USA South Conference rivals, Meth- Jacobs repelled 7 shots by William Peace.
faced the 2020 regular- both in practices and games. He odist and Pfeiffer, both by 1-0 scores.
season division champ, remembers just one notable de- Its only defeat was in the season Four days later, playing in Virginia,
which ousted the Bishops ficiency in the freshman’s game opener, 0-1 to William Peace. Wesleyan jumped to a 2-0 first-half lead
in round one of last sea- and that was dribbling. on goals by Claire Bailey and Madison
son’s tournament, 75-65. “It’s now a lot better and that’s Zallo said that freshman goalkeeper Stace. The AU Cougars countered ear-
This year the Bishops a reflection of the work he’s put Matteo Torchio has been impressive, ly in the second half, but the Bishops,
defeated the Cougars into improving his game over the as his fellow Italian has given up just led by Jacobs, played tight defense the
twice in the regular years,” Moore said. one goal while posting two shutouts. rest of the way to seal the win.
season, winning 78-72 Asked to describe a favorite
on the road and then edg- moment from the past season, “Matteo is a complete goalkeeper. Baseball Ranked
ing them, 69-68, in the Moore recalled a game-winning He can make any type of save, even 24th in Nation
regular-season finale, as play by McDowell against Wil- low shots, the most difficult kind for
Pettiford hit a three-point- liam Peace in Raleigh. tall keepers,” Zallo said, noting that A senior last season, Wesleyan’s
er as time expired. “Fans or no fans, Peace is one Torchio’s only goal against was on a Brad Pennington elected to invoke
Averett is led by of the hardest places to play,” rebound of a penalty kick taken in the an extra year of eligibility offered to
former Wesleyan assistant Moore said. “We’re down by one season opener against Peace. Division III athletes in 2020 due to
David Doino. with eight seconds left. Coach the pandemic. Now “Penn” is back in
“AU is a well-coached Thompson draws up a play. Incumbent GK Tobias Borzel has a new position to lead the Bishops in
team,” said NCWC first-year Damon McDowell scored 34 points vs. Averett in division tourney. Damon ends up with the ball and been just as stellar, as he shut out Col- their quest for a USA South title.
lege of Charleston with 6 saves. The
assistantAdrian Moore. he scores under the basket for junior started the bulk of the games Instead of manning second base as he
“After beating them twice in the regular program located near Charlotte, edgedAv- the game winner. It didn’t surprise me last season, leading the Bishops to a did in four previous seasons, he’s made
season, we knew they’d come with a erett in the East Division title game, 72-70). because he’s made for moments like this, conference title—in the clincher, he a successful transition to starting catcher.
strong game plan in the playoffs.” The Bishops were paced all season but the poise he showed made me proud.” made two stops on penalty kicks dur-
Moore said that the Bishops played by McDowell, who capped his four-year As he’s raised his overall game, ing overtime against Covenant--and a And he’s earning positive reviews for his
hard, but fell short. “Fatigue really got Wesleyan career by leading the USA McDowell has established himself as berth in the NCAA regionals. work behind the plate, as the Bishops surged
to us down the stretch,” he said, adding South in scoring with 23.4 points per a vocal leader. “Guys gravitate to him to an 8-2 record and a national ranking of 24th.
that Wesleyan missed 13 free throws. game. His average was more than 3 because of his basketball abilities,” While acknowledging the fine work of
“If we would’ve made half of the ones points over the conference’s second-lead- Moore said, “but he’s demonstrated his his goalkeepers, second-year Coach Meir “Penn is like a robot,” said backup catcher
we missed, the dynamic changes.” ing scorer and 10 points higher than Wes- leadership qualities in practice and dur- Lewin said the overall team defense has been Nikolas Megrichian, citing Pennington’s con-
Moore, a former all-conference player, leyan’s second-leading scorer, forward ing the games. Damon knows what we responsible for the low goals against average. sistent and accurate throws to second base.
knows the heartache of ending your career Isaiah Lewis. For the season McDowell want as a coaching staff and he knows
with a tough playoff loss. In his senior year, shot 48.2 percent from the field, and 41.8 how to translate that to the team.” “The entire team is working hard, He added that Pennington’s value to the
2017, the Bishops won their first-round percent from 3-point range. which makes it difficult for our oppo- team extends beyond talent. “He brings a
nents,” he said. “We're a team that’s com- deep knowledge of the team,” he said. “He
fortable retaining the ball and staying in knows the pitching staff inside and out and
control of the game, which, in turn, limits he’s been here longer than all three of our coach-
our opponents' opportunities to hurt us.” es,so he’s often the go-to guy when there’s
uncertainty about a particular situation.”
He said that he’s not worried about the
team’s offense, which has generated under a Pennington is among four Bishops
goal a game in the early part of the season. who have hit over .300 and driven in 8
or more runs. They include Davie
“I’m not concerned at all,” Lewin
said. “We create a lot of chances and See BRIEFS pg 4
we’re a dangerous team in the attack.
4 North Carolina Wesleyan College, Rocky Mount, North Carolina 27804 March 19, 2021
Bishop Baseball Player Pays Heavy Price for ‘Ego Lifting’
By Neiko Megrichian About four years prior to that morn- and mismatching Gold’s Gym iron plates. requires every muscle from the levator scapu- on our second set out of five. The difference
lae to the to calves to be completely in sync in between me and him was that he hadn’t quite
In the weight room my teammates’bel- ing, I was in the midst of my second fall I educated myself through YouTube Uni- order to move the weight safely and power- hit the ego stage in the lift, so there was no
season at Santaluces Community High versity and learned all about injury preven- fully. Deadlifts are one of the only move- question it would be an easy feat.
lowing was enough to wake up the rest of tion, maximizing muscle growth, and nu- ments where you cannot cheat. To complete
campus. It is a small room—about 20 feet by School in Palm Beach, Florida. My head a full rep, you must lift the barbell from the My first rep went up quicker than I had
50 feet, which is just enough for five squat baseball coach was keen on introducing trition. Eventually I became the strongest ground up to your hips so that you’re standing expected, causing my head to balloon. The
racks and a double-deck dumbbell rack. The the varsity team to strength training during player on the roster and one of three names upright. It became my favorite movement, so shouting of my teammates harmonized with
west wall is navy blue with clichéd motiva- our gym class. He did what he could with to evade the injured list. I started hitting I worked hard on perfecting it. “Face to the Floor” by Chevelle. There was
tional quotes that escape my mind. That day, what knowledge he had, but ultimately, he the ball further than I ever had and my extra snare in this harmony from the iron plates
October 11, 2019, it smelled like what a lot couldn’t make us lift because during school throwing velocity rose quickly. I lowered I held myself to a high standard in the weight rattling against each other. As I pulled the
of coaches would probably call “hard work,” hours he was the P.E. teacher, not a baseball my pop-time (the duration in seconds from room. I always kept a good posture, walked tall, slack out of the barbell on my second rep, I
but to the untrained nose was musty, rubbery coach. Most of my teammates weren’t ex- the pop of the catcher’s mitt to the second- kept focused and became wildly self-aware (not shifted my hips forward too soon, breaking
and a little peachy from the Febreze cone actly thrilled with the idea of lifting weights baseman’s mitt on a throwdown) to 1.9-2.0 to be confused with self-conscious). the form that I had spent years perfecting.
during seventh period gym, so normally seconds, and my performance on the field
that sat in the corner. Bouncing off every October 11th was stormy. My alarm Instantly, I felt my lower back pop.
cinderblock wall was the echoing of 30 col- they could be found playing pickup bas- made me known throughout the county clock blared at 5 a.m., but I had already Instantly, I saw the fate of my athletic career
lege baseball players roughly imitating Meek ketball or football. Two of my teammates as an aggressive catcher. I attributed all of been awake. My roommate, a teammate, crumble. Instantly, I experienced one of the
inspired me to join them. They introduced my new success to what I learned in the wished me a happy birthday. worst self-loathing episodes of my life.
Mill’s “Dreams and Nightmares.” Sweat
had started to flood the valleys of the rub- me to Ronnie Colman, CT Fletcher, and weight room and studying people who are “Thanks, bro. You ready to go lift I could blame this on a number of
ber floormats and the clashing of iron plates BroScienceLife’s Dom Mazzetti, whose experts on performance lifting. something heavy?” factors. I had slept poorly. I lifted the day
videos I started to watch religiously. I learned that deadlifting is the ultimate before. I was numb from my pre-workout.
and barbells roared in an asynchronous I soon fell in love with the rusty barbells movement. It is a test of brute strength which “Too early to think about that,” he said. Hell. Kellogg made me do it. Except
melody. The environment was electric. I was fired up. We were moving into none of that had anything to do with my
That Smell. Can’t Ya Smell That Smell our strength phase of the offseason lifting bigheaded idiotic mistake, which essentially
By Geovanni Dixon reared from the atrocious bodily fluid that Flapping my arms tirelessly, I hoped that program and the main movement that cost me the remainder of the offseason and
Friday was the deadlift. even seasons to come. Perhaps I should’ve
It was winter of the 2011-12 academic had invaded my bubble. But I stayed strong someone would end this small hell, this prison. I was new to Wesleyan. I had only known worn a belt. It may have softened the blow,
year, and there was a wrestling match at and prevented him from completing the I counted seconds between my flailing. my teammates for a little less than two but it would not have saved me from mov-
my high school, Northern Nash Senior move by keeping my legs locked and firm. I could see the referee looking at me, months and I was eager to prove myself as ing my hips too early. I had never lifted with
High. We were facing the neighboring He was not done. Since he had known about his bifocal lenses burning a hole in my an impactful player. For whatever reason I a belt before that time. I thought belts were
school, Nash Central High School. It my lack of experience, and could probably skull. I questioned a lot at that moment. imagined the quickest way to make a name for old men, or for show. Now I never lift
was a small tournament toward the end feel it too, he attempted to tire me out. Then I saw that the referee had stopped for myself was to make the loudest clash without one (when I have the choice).
of the season. This was like a “break” I still held my own. The weight room counting. Why? Was I putting up too much when my loaded barbell hit the floor. After we
from the regular-season matches. It was had long been my best friend, but there of a fight? warmed up as a team with our final deadlift In the following seasons, our team dynamic
also meant to be a benchmark for the is only so far muscle can carry you. He I couldn’t breathe and I attempted to tap set of 225, I slapped another 45-pound plate changed. We got a new coach/recruiting coor-
wrestlers who would be taken to bigger tried the hip toss again and again, but I out, but the referee did nothing.At this point, I onto both sides, knowing damn well we had dinator, who fell in love with two new catchers.
schools for matches that would qualify would reverse the move each time. was fed up and cursed him, I cursed everyone, four more sets afterwards. I hit 315 with ease, Not to sound sour, but they weren’t special.
them for state tournament. I was tired. We struggled, standing for even God, for putting me in this situation. and remained focused, tall, and self-aware. Very good ball-players sure, but not better
A senior, I had not been an active what seemed like hours (it had only been He was laying there prone, staring, with “Oh, big man!” my teammates called out. than me or the other catcher that we had.
or athletic child until I tried out for the five minutes). My teammates cheered an irreverent expression across his face. I now Big man. I thought. I stood 5’7” and some
football team in my freshman year. I saying: “Pin him” and “Go for the hold.” believe I had passed out for a few seconds be- change on a good day and weighed about 175 As time went on, I found ways to train
had come to see sports as a way to stay Spurred by this young man’s nausea- cause the rest of what happened is now a blur. lbs. “Big” would usually be the last word to de- without straining my back. I got stronger
healthy, improve my mood, and avoid inducing essence and my weakening After my opponent released me, I rose to scribe me. But I felt really good, probably too by doing different variations of squats and
negative influences. Now that my foot- breath, I went for the pin. With the last a stir of laughter from the wrestlers on both good for my own well-being, and I proceeded Romanian deadlifts which relieve tension
ball career had ended, I decided to join bit of my strength, I had done it! It took teams and the fans. They couldn’t believe to break the golden rule of mindful strength from the lumbar. It worked. I was mashing
the wresting team in an effort to remain every ounce of effort, but I had done it. the spectacle that they had just seen. training: ego lifting. This is when the weight of the baseball. I could catch, throw, and
in shape. Since this was my first year The problem was that there were 10 I was angry and embarrassed, still curs- your ego is too heavy for you to support and run with no problem. Unfortunately, my
with the sport, I had participated in only counts. In a matter of seconds, my opponent ing loud enough for everyone to hear, as I that weight transfers to the physical world. new coach was already committed to his
three matches by the time we faced off rolled out of the pin and put me in the same made my way to the sidelines. “Why didn’t “Another 35, please,” I said to my recruits and I lived on the back burner.
against Nash Central. Because of what position; however, the way he performed it ya’ll help me?” I yelled. “I was dying, HE teammate, Kellogg.
happened that day, this would be my was strikingly different than mine. He had STINKS! I KNOWYOU CAN SMELL IT!” He replied the only way a well-trained “You’re too much of a liability,” they told
fourth and final appearance on the mat. executed a textbook example of a reversal. As I approached the bench, my coach gym rat would: “Let’s f’ing go.” me. “We can’t be in a big position and have to
I was in the weight class for heavier Not only did he pin me down; he sarcastically asked: “Are you alright?” Kellogg was another weightlifting- pull you from the game. Don’t worry.You’re
young men. At the time I was 185, but had done so with his armpit positioned “What do you think.” indulgent teammate who respected me just still going to travel with us, but we aren’t put-
unlike the other wrestlers in my weight squarely across my mouth and nose. I The whole team laughed at that exchange. as I respected him. He was set to try 385 lbs. ting the other two on JV.You’ve made a lot of
improvements by the way.”
class, at 5’ 9”, I wore my weight differ- was in the worst position possible! Later I turned in my equipment. Bishop Sports Briefs Continued
ently. Looking back I really should have For a time I kept asking God, “Is this Since that fateful day, my family never
considered losing twenty pounds. where I die? Will this be the end?” ceases to remind me of my last match.
And I should have taken the sport more I realized I was on the fifth count. I And it always makes them laugh. I still BRIEFS from pg 3 finished first with a time 27:16 on the
seriously. If I had, I would not have been struggled to be released from his hold, shudder at the memory. 8,000-meter course. Battling injuries, the
defeated in such an embarrassing man- but due to fatigue and a burrito from the (Headline courtesy of Ronnie Van Zant Morgan (3 home runs, 18 RBIs, .386 batting Wesleyan team was paced by Chris Siel-
ner on that fateful day. Once my match night before, it became a bid for survival. and Allen Collins of Lynyrd Skynyrd) average), Jackson Hobbs (9 RBIs, .386 BA), kowski, who placed 7th at 30:06.
started, I realized I was up against a young Tyson Bass (1 HR, 8 RBIs, .387 BA), and
Pennington (1 HR, 9 RBIs, .324 BA). Volleyball Loses 3
Of Coyotes, Turkey Calls, and the Call of Natureman who had been a classmate in middle The volleyball team opened its season
school. We had a few classes together and By Hunter Strickland When my dad and uncle got back to me, I was in On the mound, red-shirt freshman with three road matches, losing two at
he was a giant kid even then. By the time OnApril 11th, 2008 I was on my 1st turkey tears bawling my eyes out. C. J. DiBenedetto has been impressive, Greensboro (3-0, 3-0) and then a third at
we met on the mat, my opponent was a winning two of his first three decisions, William Peace (3-1).
seasoned athlete. He was a towering 6’ 2” hunt. I was five years old, about to turn 6 the next But my dad and uncle put me at ease, and while compiling a 3.00 ERA, with 10
and 195 lbs. to my stout 5' 9” self. month. It was a chilly spring morning on my we resumed our hunt. At the time we were strikeouts in 15 innings. Like other fall sports, the volleyball team
family’s farm in Chatham County. I had my dad sitting on the edge of the field, leaning back is playing a shortened, conference-only sched-
The height disparity was only one of and uncle with me to help me kill my first bird. against an oak tree. The field was on top of Megrichian said DiBenedetto has ule, with the regular season ending April 10.
the different reasons he would win that a hill with a creek running alongside it. I sat bounced back from an injury-plagued
day, but it was not the most important. That morning my dad’s green Toyota truck up a little and looked down the hill and saw a 2020. He praised his teammate’s poise Against Greensboro, the Bishops were
He had also been wrestling since middle had shredded a pulley in the engine bay. It smelt gobbler strutting up and down the creek. I said, in high-intensity situations and said his led in the first match by middle blocker
school while in middle school Geovanni terrible. We smelled burnt rubber for days and “Deddy, there’s a long-beard on the creek.” curveball has been effective. “There’s Lauren Weaver, who recorded 12 kills and
would have rather played games like the worst part was the odor lingered on our a significant velocity difference from 4 blocks, with a .409 hitting average. In the
Kirby Super Star or Metal Gear Solid and clothes. I was sure the turkeys could smell us. At first my father didn’t believe me and his fastball and the two play well in his second match, Michaela Seawell had 8 kills,
skipped classes. I could see in his eyes that looked for himself. When he saw the bird, he arsenal,” he said. “Sometimes his fastball 3 assists and 2 aces.
he wanted to win this match not just for ac- My dad and Uncle Travis were arguing said “it was the same longbeard that had been tails into a right-handed batter, so when
colades, but to show up an old classmate. about how to install the pulley, and you would coming to the field every day.” When he said it he drops in his curveball, hitters will Freshman setter Sloan Martin made an
think that with both of them working together, was the same one, my heart started racing. I was often roll over and ground out, or they impressive debut, tallying 19 assists, 14 digs
Then there was the smell. that it would have been fixed in five minutes. having trouble catching my breath, and I was just buckle at the knees.” and 3 kills in match one; and 21 assists, 2
Imagine the worst smell; then magnify But no, it took almost an hour! They were hol- shaking uncontrollably. My nerves had got to me digs and 3 kills in the match two.
that tenfold. The stench was worse the lering back and forth. “No, Travis, it goes on and, it seemed like I was having a panic attack. Softball Set for
closer I got to him on the mat. Imagine like this.” “No, Sted, it goes on like this,” or, Conference Action In Raleigh, on March 10, Wesleyan
onions and trash being left in the sun; my favorite part: “Get out of the way and let I was using my dad’s Benelli m2 20 gauge claimed the first game against Peace, but
then soak it in water. That’s the smell that me do it.” “No, Travis, I wanna do it.” and I could hardly hold it, because I was shaking Pitcher Beth Braswell has already dis- the Pacers swept the next three. Seawell
emanated from my opponent. so bad. My dad tried to pin me down to steady played mid-season form, as the Bishops split achieved a double-double with 11 kills
This young man stunk the whole of the After a solid 45 minutes, they finished the re- me. I was shaking so much that I was crunching their first six non-conferences games. and 17 digs and added 2 aces and a block.
gymnasium. Since it was a wrestling match pairs, and we were on the road headed to a spot. the leaves under me. My uncle was watching the
someone sitting in the bleachers would deduce bird move up and down the creek. He kept calling The senior won two of her first three Golf Finishes
that this was the accumulated odor of many We got to the woods around six-thirty. every once in a while, just to let the bird hear us. starts, compiling an 0.95 ERA while striking 14th in Tourney
young men tugging at each other's leotards. Turkeys were already gobbling, and it was hard out 25 hitters in 22 innings. As a batter, she’s
NO, this was from this one guy, the op- to get in the right spot without scaring birds off My father explained that since this turkey hitting .333 with a team-leading 7 RBIs. The Wesleyan golfers finished 14th in a
ponent standing right in front of me. It was the roost. When we got to the spot, there were was the only one that came to the field in the field of 16 small colleges at the Savannah
common knowledge that to make weight at least five or six birds gobbling around us. It morning, he was likely scared of the decoys. At The team opens USA South Confer- (Ga.) Invitational in early March.
wrestlers would exercise excessively, and was so loud we couldn’t hear ourselves think. one point my uncle left his post and crawled to ence action on March 13 when it travels
work up a sweat, before weigh-ins. At times I was happy when the woods went the decoys so he could gather and hide them. to Staunton, Va. to play Mary Baldwin The Bishops placed 7th among the
And my opponent was drenched in quiet, but my dad and uncle love to listen to By the time he came back to our position, we University. 8 teams from the tough USA South
sweat. He looked like someone who had turkeys and kept calling at them, making them had another problem… I had to pee. Conference. Methodist, a perennial
just come from a 10-mile jog. Not only was all gobble at the same time. My dad told me he CTeraomsssC3orduntry national powerhouse, led the field with
I at a disadvantage in skill, but I was also had never had this many turkeys at once. I had never had to pee so bad in my life. After The men’s and women’s cross-country a cumulative three-round total of 865.
outmatched in hygiene. When I realized my uncle pulled the decoys out of the field, the teams each placed third in the USA South Wesleyan tallied 943.
that the cloud of stench wafting through the When the sun began to rise, a beam shone turkey started to work his way toward us. I was Conference East Division championship
air was this young man, I shuddered. on us, making us warm. It’s when the sun peaks trying to tell my dad that if I didn’t undo my following an abbreviated season. Both Bishop number-one man Frankie
I wore glasses and I left them on on the horizon that turkeys fly down to look for pants, I was going to pee on myself. I couldn’t teams raced on Wesleyan’s on-campus Schmitt shot a 277, one over par, with
the bleachers. I was sure that my other a hen. My dad put out a hen and jake decoy to hold it. I had to go so bad I was crying. My dad course February 27. individual rounds of 70-71-76.
senses had been heightened because of it. attract others. My uncle had caught a glimpse finally unzipped my pants and I got on my knees
I did not falter. I steeled myself and went of two gobblers appearing on the other side of and went. Luckily I was peeing downhill. Due to the pandemic, USA South This season is the first for new Head
through with the match. the field. Since turkeys are territorial, we knew officials eliminated the typical confer- Coach Mac Sykes, who took over for
It started off easily enough, as I found other turkeys would want to come to the field At the same time, out of the corner of my eye ence-wide meet, opting to run separate Gregg Ripke, who stepped down last
a rhythm and stayed on my feet at first. I and fight over the hen decoy. About four min- I could see that the turkey kept coming toward championships for each division. year. At the helm for 10 years, Ripke
held my own, but that was when he made utes later, we had six turkeys in the field; four us. When I finished, I just sat down. There wasn’t led the Bishops to one of their most suc-
his first strike. were long-beard, mature gobblers, and two of even time to button my pants. My dad looked at Meredith claimed the women’s East cessful seasons in 2018, when the team
In an attempt to go for a takedown, he them were jakes. They were strutting in circles me and said, “Get ready. He’s going to be close.” Division team title, while Methodist’s claimed the USA South title, a berth in
had stepped toward me, moving his back around each other, making drumming noises Makayla Lawler won individual honors Division III national tournament, and a
across my chest. He was going for a hip with their chests and spitting everywhere. He wasn’t lying. The turkey walked within with a time of 23:12 on the 6,000-meter national ranking of 13th.
toss, which is when you step in front of a ten yards of me. When my dad said I could course. Wesleyan’s lowest time was record-
person and use your center of gravity to The spectacle shocked and excited me; as this shoot him, I had no room for error. I had to shoot ed by first-time runner Florentina Lonati, A 1980 Wesleyan grad, Sykes was a
fling them forward. was my first turkey hunt, it’s like God wanted him in the head or not at all. When I shot, the who placed 15th with a time of 32:06. four-year letter winner for the Bishops,
Feeling his sweat across my face, I me to fall in love with the sport by sending all gun kicked me off the edge of the tree, putting winning the team’s MVP award in 1977.
these birds our way. Then suddenly two coyotes me flat on my back. As I lay there, I hoped and In the men’s race, Methodist placed Ripke will continue to assist the program
ran into the field spooking all the gobblers. prayed that the turkey would be dead. When I sat first, followed by William Peace and then during 2021 to help in the transition, the
back up, my dad and uncle were high fiving and Wesleyan. The Monarchs’ Drew Topoly college’s athletic department said.
The black and brown animals were slightly bear-hugging me. If a stranger had seen us, he
smaller than a typical husky dog. Suddenly I would have thought we has just won the lottery. (NCWC Sports Information contrib-
was fearful (I didn’t know this at the time, but uted to Bishop Sports Briefs)
coyotes are as just as scared of humans as we When I look back on this event, it gives me
are of them). And I was disappointed because chills and brings a smile to my face. To this day,
I figured the coyotes just ruined my first hunt. it’s my favorite hunt of all time. It shows me that
Then my father and uncle quickly took care of when you’re hunting, it’s not always about kill-
the situation, shooting and killing the coyotes ing; it’s about having fun and making memories.
and then taking them back to the truck. Hopefully one day I will get to experience this
with one of my kids.
That all happened in a matter of minutes.