Wooster vs. Oberlin 1:00 P.M., Saturday John P. Papp Stadium

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Coverage: WOO 91 UStream Channel (www.ustream.tv/channel/wooster-sports )

Jeremy Ludemann

Staff Writer

The College of Wooster’s football team played valiantly, but was simply outmatched in its first game against Washington & Jefferson College on Sept. 7. But nothing cures a losing streak like playing Oberlin College in the NCAC opener, right? Wrong. The Yeomen are now a force to be reckoned with after their shocking 19-2 victory over the Spartans of Case Western Reserve University on Sunday. The staunch Yeomen defense held the Case offense scoreless, and the Oberlin offense racked up over 240 yards rushing. Case, who had beaten Oberlin 28 straight times prior to Saturday’s game, could not establish their running game, and their offensive line had serious protection issues. Oberlin’s defense capitalized as they sacked Spartan quarterbacks Billy Beecher and Erik Olson five times and they forced two CWRU turnovers. The Oberlin defense held Wooster to only 14 points last year, and Yeomen offense now has new life. Thus, the Scots will need to bring their best game on Saturday to get their first win of the season.

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Oberlin – QB Lucas Poggiali: The Sandusky product rushed for 91 yards, threw for 100 yards and scored two touchdowns in the Yeomen victory on Sunday. He’ll need to be mobile against the Scots defensive line, led by junior Ian Crawford.

Wooster – LT Nick Flannery ’16 & RT Michael McCants ’15: Flannery and McCants will need to be able to give ample time for Richard Barnes ’14 to conduct the offense. Last week, Oberlin’s defense sacked Case Western Quarterbacks Billy Beecher and Erik Olson five times. The Scots’ o-ine, especially the tackles, will need to protect Barnes – or Oberlin will be starting its season at 2-0.

 

HOW OBERLIN WINS: First, zone out the home crowd at the Papp. The Yeomen only played in front of 1,200 fans at home last week, and they’ll play in front of a near capacity crowd of around 4,000 on Saturday. Second, continue to mix up the rushing attack and establish their ground game in the first half.

 

HOW WOOSTER WINS: First, shore up the rush defense. At the end of the first quarter two weeks ago, W&J halfback Dion Wiegand already had three touchdowns. Second, Wooster will also need to stay disciplined at the linebacker position in order to prevent big plays from Poggiali and senior halfback Oscar Richardson.

 

PREDICTION: Although Oberlin will be coming off of a historic victory, the Scots have had two weeks to prepare for the Yeomen. On Sept. 7, the Scots played one of the best teams in Division III, and will be better prepared for this one. This will be an exciting Homecoming contest, with the Scots winning 21-14 and going to 1-1 on the year -— and 1-0 in the NCAC — on a late touchdown run by Sean Hackel ’15.

BEN’S BUFFOONISH BUT BOISTEROUS BABBLINGS

Losing is the best, except it’s absolutely terrible

Ben Taylor

Several weeks ago, a satirical radio program in Canada entitled “This is That” aired a story about a new “no-ball” soccer league, the intent of which was to eliminate winning and losing entirely so that none of the “competitors” would feel slighted when it turned out that their team actually kind of sucked in comparison to everyone else ever in the history of soccer (youth soccer leagues can be kind of difficult like that). The Washington Times picked up the story as well.

As with almost all fake stories, a number of people believed this one to be true, and the shock quickly followed. What type of sport can be played without a ball or a score? Is not competition the thing that makes sports worthwhile? Is there any more heinous assault against all that sports-lovers hold dear than such a proposition? I would contend that there is not.

Competition is one of the most valuable things that sports have to offer society because it has implications far beyond the sports world. The entirety of life is full of little competitions. Did I get the job? Did I get the internship? Did I get promoted? The list goes on and on. From its earliest stages, life is a competition, and sports as a whole embody this.

From time to time, though, efforts are made to devalue the precious gift that is competition. It is a telling sign that people were so easily convinced that the “no-ball” league discussed in the article was real. I recall, for example, T-ball as a young child, in which the league kept no official score and there were no official winners or losers. The aim of doing so was certainly admirable: let kids get in shape without ruining their love of the game. Let them play because they enjoy it, not because they are good at it; the benefits of a sport should not be denied to these children because they cannot handle what could be labeled as detriments.

However, I see two main problems with such a devaluation of competition.

First: whether it is plainly stated who the winners and losers are, winners and losers still exist. One team scored more runs than the other. One team scored more goals than the other. One team outperformed the other. (This, of course, does not consider ties, which are basically nothing more than double-losses.) Merely because there is no official quantification of this reality does not diminish the truth of it. Denying the existence of winners and losers has a secondary purpose of denying any sort of performance-based evaluation, of denying that there is any such thing as “better” or “worse.” At its heart, this is a lie. Sometimes it truly does just suck to suck.

Second: to remove competition is to remove the force that causes people to improve. If no one or nothing is better than any other, then there is no reason for me or anyone else to work to improve themselves. If an “A” is just as good as a  “C,” then there is no reason for me to attain to an “A.” When it comes to life, a hierarchical ordering of goods is requisite for personal improvement. Removing competition from sports removes this lesson from sports, and this lesson is vital.

The diminution of the competitive aspect of sports on any level is not just detrimental because it is contrary to the very nature of sports; it is detrimental because it removes from sports all the fabulous lessons it teaches participants about life as a whole. Sometimes life sucks. Sometime you lose. But the more important lesson is this: that’s why you work, and that’s why you push yourself—to be the best at the end of the day. By lessening the amount of competition in sports, we do those playing a disservice.

While the story about the “no-ball” league may not be true, that does not mean that it doesn’t hold an important warning: if we don’t value competition, we may lose it. And if we lose competition, what do we really have left?

Golfer’s on and off-field excellence recognized

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Sheamus Dalton

Sports Editor

In a school known for its academics as well as its athletics, there may be no greater honor than receiving an All-American Scholar Award at The College of Wooster. To win such an honor means that an individual is equally dedicated to both the rigorous academics found here at the College and to the competitive nature of NCAA athletics. Sharmeen Chinoy ’16 has recently been recognized to have such dedication on and off the field  after being named an All-American Scholar by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association.

Chinoy, born in Calcutta, India, has been playing golf for much of her life. She began playing when she was a young child, but it wasn’t until the end of her time in middle school that she began to take her game to a higher level.

“I always had a passion for the game but eighth grade was when I first started travelling,” Chinoy said. She further explained that in India she would travel across the nation and compete in tournaments in various cities. Her love for the game was what inspired her to look for education abroad as she approached the end of her high school years.

“In India you either play golf or you go to school,” said Chinoy. Determined to obtain a higher education that would also allow her to play competitive golf, she looked to the U.S. for her undergraduate degree and it wasn’t until President Cornwell paid a visit to her high school in India that she decided on Wooster.

“I heard about [Wooster] from a friend at my high school,” said Chinoy. “The president visited my school and that’s when I knew.”

“The rest is history” would be the appropriate cliché to use, but the history Chinoy has made while playing golf for the Scots has been rather remarkable. In her first season, Chinoy led the Scots in nearly every tournament and averaged just over 88 strokes a round for 16 rounds. She was also named NCAC Player of the Week in April following her performance at the Mohican Classic where she shot a 179 (87-92) over the course of 36 holes.

In June, the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) named Chinoy as an All-American Scholar selection. This prestigious award is given to select golfers who meet strict criteria determined by the WGCA. In receiving the award, Chinoy was  one of only eight other student athletes in the NCAC to be honored with the selection.

“A friend posted the link on my Facebook page. I didn’t know what it was but I was really honored,” said Chinoy.

This year, Chinoy returns for the Scots to begin the program’s fourth season. Chinoy, along with the rest of the team, began this season with a bang finishing seventh in the Denison Fall Invitational and fourth in a record-setting performance at the Ohio Wesleyan University Fall Invitational.

At the OWU Invite, the Scots set two school records by scoring record-lows 338 and 334 on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Individually, Chinoy set a school record by shooting a 77 over 18 holes of golf en route to a 155 overall and fourth place finish in a field of 61 golfers.

Chinoy’s final comments about the team for the upcoming season were anything but negative. She expressed a huge sense of excitement and confidence in the team’s ability to improve and compete against a difficult group of teams in the NCAC. With the results they have had thus far in the season, it is safe to say that Chinoy and the rest of the team are on pace to have their best season in program history.

Tennis teams prove themselves tough matches for opponents

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Isabel Abarca

Staff Writer

The Wooster tennis teams are off to a promising start after playing well in invitational matches this past weekend. Seven women won at the Oberlin Invitational, giving the team hope for the upcoming season. The men also started their season strongly at the Kenyon Invitational with a handful of victories.

The women’s tennis team won a little under half of its matches last season, but they have gradually made progress over the course of the season and are looking to continue their growth in the 2013-14 season. “We are a pretty young team and because of this we have a lot of room for growth, especially with the three freshmen,” said Catherine Christian ’16.

The women’s team has shown previous opponents that Wooster tennis is anything but an easy adversary. Rachel Appleton ’14 anticipates a change of attitude from competitors after last year, when the team moved up two spots in the NCAA rankings and earned its best record at Hilton Head in 15 years. Another key to the success of the women’s tennis team this year is the chemistry that exists between all of its members. Chemistry is a vital part of any team’s success, and the number of young players on the women’s squad makes it important for the team to bond quickly.

As expressed by both Appleton and Christian, the team is young; over half of the team is made up of underclassmen. Christian and Rose Chiumento ‘16, who are sure to be key returning players this upcoming season, will play a very important role leading the team.

The Wooster men’s tennis team also looks promising for the upcoming season, with new head coach Tim Dunford and a solid group of freshmen. Although last year the team only won about a quarter of their matches, they are up against tough teams in their conference.

“I think the new coach will really help us as a team in many ways,” said Willy Nelson ’15. “He’s a fiery guy who wants to win and is going to do everything in his power to convince us that we can win. Coach Dunford will make sure we’re working hard, gaining confidence and doing the little things right. With that, good results should follow.”

The freshmen also bring hope to the team with their talent and drive. Davis Elkins ’17 and Jack Buchan ’17 have started off their college careers strongly with a decisive win in the “C Doubles” championship at the Kenyon College Invitational. The duo is expected to produce more great results as the season progresses.

Aside from a new coach and competitive freshmen, there are a handful of returning players that are looking to lead the 2013-14 tennis team. “Key players would be Willy Nelson and Milo Saurman [’16], as they are our top players for singles and doubles,” said teammate Tripp McLane ’15.

Nelson emphasized the importance of the depth of their team: “The matches at the bottom of the lineup are just as important as those at the top.”

McLane and Appleton both explained that the teams are tightly knit groups, which creates a positive and competitive environment. Both are hoping this closeness will help them grow and develop toward a successful season.

Albany Park Theater Project spotlights social issues

 

Laura Merrell

A&E Editor

Plays often make you think, but seldom do their themes and messages stick with you after leaving the theater. I had a slightly uncomfortable, yet immensely profound experience last Saturday when I saw a performance by the Albany Park Theater Project (APTP). As part of Wooster’s 2013 Forum, the production included different excerpts from their past plays, addressing often ignored or cast aside racial and social issues. The plays dealt with topics such as illegal immigrants, foreclosure and poverty in creative ways such as the format of a game show and dance.

Even before the show started, I sensed that this was not a typical night out at the theater. The normal divide between the actors and the audience was broken. Actors spread out throughout the rows and introduced themselves to audience members, inviting them to ask questions. I often feel fairly passive or removed from the action of a play, shielded as a member of a group in a darkened theater. Removing that boundary before the play even started made the intimate tone of the stories on stage even more poignant.

The personal nature of APTP’s work goes beyond the circulation of actors before the show to the process itself. From the beginning of its creation, the youth performers are involved. The entire group helps conduct interviews, conceive a central theme, write material and stage the final product. APTP’s exploration of difficult topics is so successful because their strong emphasis on collaboration lends their message more value. Everyone, the actors, director and audience are involved together in exploring these issues.

I have gone to many satisfying plays, but none required me to sit up in my seat and pay attention the way APTP’s did. A great example of this was in their first piece, “We Got the LINK.” The plot revolved around three girls and the impact the LINK card, similar to food stamps, had on their lives.

One of them broke out of her story and asked whether we, the audience, ever had to go to a public aid office. Demanding that the audience think about how the issues presented on stage affected them is a crucial way that APTP elevated theater beyond simple entertainment. This was not a chance to escape and delve into a fictional and harmless world. Instead, the audience had to confront issues that they may not have personal experience with, but nonetheless impact them as members of American society.

Students often complain about living in the “Wooster bubble” and this was apparent even to some of the cast members who spent only a few days on our campus. They shared in a post-play Q&A session that they had never seen so many white people before. It is important for us to step outside of our Wooster perspective and see how others view us.

How do we deal with issues of race, social inequality and poverty? Experiences like this play rattle the audience by asking difficult questions to challenge their perspectives. On this campus we are lucky to have lectures, plays, readings and concerts that provide the opportunity for us to engage with uncomfortable topics and emerge more informed.

Although APTP’s performance was a one-night-only event, there are many other chances to have a similarly important cultural experience during this year’s forum. The next event is a talk by Valarie Kaur, a filmmaker and storyteller, on Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in McGaw Chapel. I hope to see you there.

The scene

Scandal: Gorge my Heart Out

Ian Benson

Listen, I love “Breaking Bad” as much as the next guy. It’s well written, acted, directed and plotted. It’s about as perfect as a television show can be, and it is right up there with “The Wire” for the greatest show of all-time. But, “Breaking Bad” isn’t always the most fun show to watch. It’s rough and taxing on the mind. It can leave me in a bad mood. I’ll be sad to see it go, but it’s necessary for my wellbeing. Besides, right after it leaves the other best show on television returns. That’s right, I’m talking about “Scandal.”

“Scandal” airs on ABC. Its lead in is “Grey’s Anatomy,” which I didn’t know was still airing. Network television has become a punch line in recent years, and for good reason. I’ve never met anyone who says they like “Two and Half Men,“ but it’s entering its 11th season. The standard network drama is either a cop show or a medical show. But “Scandal,” a prime time network political drama-soap opera, is a completely different creature.

For those who are unaware, “Scandal” stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, the former White House Communications Director who currently runs a crisis management firm. She spends her days and nights helping powerful people get out of terrible situations. Also (late arrival spoilers) she’s the President’s former (and still occasional) mistress. They’re actually deeply in love. The cast is rounded out with her rag-tag team of former lawbreakers and broken-birds-turned-do-gooders, a magnificently shrewd First Lady, an intrepid Assistant U.S. Attorney, the gay Republican Chief of Staff and his journalist husband.

Olivia, despite all her commitment to doing the right thing and helping good people, is clearly a villain protagonist. The number of lives she’s destroyed is at least in the double digits. She’s deceived some friends and thrown others under the bus. She’s ruthless, and manages to be admirable and frightening in the amount of respect she commands despite this. Every couple of episodes, she’s at least indirectly involved in some horrendous crime and sometimes has her ex-spy, formerly homeless techie genius friend dispose of a body. But you keep rooting for her and President Grant (morally gray himself) to get together because dammit they’re just meant for each other.

It’s easy to write off “Scandal” as being a ‘guilty pleasure’ show. It’s ridiculous to the point where it’s difficult to tell if it’s self-parody or just a knowing wink from the writers. Most characters aren’t all that well rounded and have some level of hero worship towards Olivia that can sometimes be unwarranted. A few plot points are suddenly dropped with no explanation. Every time someone is referred to as a “gladiator in a suit,” I chuckle. But at the same time, it never lets up on the narrative pedal. Voter fraud, assassination attempts, unexpected pregnancies, murder and romantic entanglement all constitute a standard story arc for the series. Olivia is a legitimately strong black female character, and her existence as the lead on the show isn’t used as a gimmick, like it would be in other programs. Most episodes end with a cliff hanger and the shock of some of them make it feel like the show’s writers are competing to get the most audience jaw drops.

Sometimes it’s messy, but sometimes that’s what a show should be. Some get by on technical execution, where everything is thought out and immaculately conducted, and others operate like a club DJ who’s cranked the volume to its legal limit and expects you to dance your way through the manic ride. “Scandal” is the best example of the latter on television.