Don’t try to avoid the past

Over the weekend, I made good on a tentative promise to my former high-school debate coach to judge the national-qualifying debate tournament for the Akron district.

For those unfamiliar with high-school speech and debate, the tournaments can span from one to two days and stretch for as long as 12 hours a day.

It is a long, slow and at times torturous process, but with an arguably priceless reward.

I spent most of my Saturdays — and some Fridays — at these tournaments my sophomore through senior year of high school, herded together with a bunch of argumentative and ostentatious kids in a high school cafeteria. We spent hours waiting for a piece of paper to be posted that told us who we would be arguing and in what classroom we would showdown.

To an outsider, it would seem a bizarre and chaotic setting, but to many of the kids buzzing and flitting around that cafeteria, gathering information on rival school’s arguments and ranting about past rounds, it was home.

I was one of those kids. I spent countless weekends in an ill-fitting suit and huddled around a circle table thinking about how I could perfect my argument, impress the judge and run circles around my opponent.

Looking back, it was an extremely odd way to spend my time. Throughout my high-school debate career, I cried, raged, triumphed and sulked, all with an audience of similarly situated peers and well-meaning adults.

What I cannot deny even now is that debate was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

I am, without a doubt, the person I am today because of this crazy extracurricular to which I devoted three-plus years of my life. This is exactly why I agreed to help out as a sophomore in college.

As an adult, there are a lot of things about confronting my high-school years that are absolutely cringe-worthy. So much has changed since then — my self-image, my friends, my family, my political views, my religious affiliations — that it’s hard to believe I was ever that same person I was at 15 years old.

A lot of the last two years at college has been spent in isolation from who I was pre-graduation. The result is an intensely alienating effect that makes it way harder than it needs to be to do something as simple as visit my mom over the weekend, attend a service at my old church or even judge a debate tournament.

Revisiting the past can be a largely uncomfortable, cumbersome and exhausting experience. It uses time that you might otherwise want put toward the future, and there are many things about how your life used to be that are painfully different from how it is now.

Despite all this, however, it can also be an incredibly humbling and rewarding experience. Distancing yourself from your past does very little besides alienate those to whom you owe a lot and break up your self-image into such little pieces that it’s impossible to recognize yourself.

Both of these effects are hurtful to those around you and harmful to yourself. It is far more beneficial to confront your past, however uncomfortable or cringe-worthy, than to hide from it.

Bryan Alkemeyer, a Contributing Cartoonist for the Voice, can be reached for comment at BAlkemeyer@wooster.edu

We need more women in sports journalism

As a senior in high school, I told my journalism teacher I thought I might like to be a sports journalist, and I was promptly shut down. “You’ll either be amazing, and people in this area won’t hire you because they know you’ll receive a better offer, or you’ll just be average and they’ll hire a man,” he told me. “That’s pretty much how it goes.”

Although I appreciated his pragmatic view of the job market (I get it, journalists are going to starve — I’ll defend my humanities major another day), what he was really saying has bothered me to this day. The imbalance between male and female sports journalists is outstanding, and it’s just one of several examples of the lack of representation women have in professional sports.

Last Saturday, former NBA sideline reporter Craig Sager was posthumously awarded the 2017 Curt Gowdy Media Award by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Although his basketball coverage was as unforgettable as his on-court outfits (think: interviewing LeBron James in a blue brocade suit), the attention he sought doesn’t even come close to the attention women must make to be recognized as sports reporters today. The annual Gowdy award, which was established in 1990, is for “outstanding basketball writers and broadcasters.” Given how recently it was created, it’s upsetting to see that only one female has been honored in either electronic or print media so far. Jackie MacMullan, a sports columnist, author and television personality who’s covered the NBA for ESPN.com and Sports Illustrated, won in 2010. She played Division I basketball at the University of New Hampshire and helped Larry Bird write his autobiography.

Although pro athletes often go on to become columnists and broadcasters, the best reporters are not those who have game experience, but those who know the strategies, are analytical, have good communication skills and are personable. There are plenty of female journalists with these skills, yet they’re not being recognized. Why aren’t as many women interested or permitted into the world of sports?

Part of the problem is that many things about professional sports — from the coverage to the coaching staff — reinforce the idea that it’s a man’s world. The Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) found that TV networks in March 2009 aired 60 stories about men’s NCAA basketball, compared to a whopping zero for women. Though Title IX has ensured that women have equal opportunities, those opportunities seem to go unrecognized. A lack of media representation makes it seem like women’s sports don’t matter that much — our society wants women to pick up a novelty t-shirt and find the kiss cam before they would ever think to pick up a basketball.

This goes for leadership, too. WSF reports that women coach only about 23 percent of all college teams today, and that while many female coaches deal with gender biases, few male coaches deal with the same issues. Representation is just as important within sports as it is with the systems surrounding them. In a time when the playing field has been leveled by sports technology, medicine and years of experience, women can offer new perspectives on games that will keep things fresh — and equal.

Women need much more representation in sports. Although representation starts within teams, the effects of gender bias have spread to affect real careers. It’s not just a game anymore.

Women’s basketball overcomes Witt

Roger An
Contributing Writer

The Fighting Scots women’s basketball team stepped up their game this weekend in a victory over Wittenberg University on Senior Day. With this win, Wooster secured a berth in the conference tournament for the first time since the 2013-14 season.

Rachel Collins ’17 started the scoring for the Scots in the first quarter with a layup, and then linked up with a three-point shot from Danielle Besancon ’17 a few minutes later. The opening 6-0 drive for the Scots was finished by Akwia Tilton ’20 sinking two free throws, and the team’s defense was definitely working, as they held Wittenberg to only five points in the first quarter, which turned out to be too much for the Tigers to overcome.

Going into the second quarter, Kylie Orr ’20 started a scoring streak that would result in nine unanswered points for the Scots. Cat Fiorito ’20 converted on a fast break opportunity only to be fouled. Fiorito nailed the free throw, combined with another after a flagrant foul on the opponent for a rare four-point play, putting the Scots up 23-5.

The second half was much closer with 8-0 and 7-2 runs from the Tigers closing the gap, but the early lead was too much for them to overcome.

Head coach Lisa Panepento commented, “All three seniors started the game, which was a special moment for us and our teammates, it started us off on the right foot energy wise, which set up the tables for a good game for us.”

This game marked the end of the regular season for the Scots. The Scots will begin their postseason on Feb. 21 against DePauw.

Men’s tennis splits double header against Capital and Tiffin

Emma Woods
Contributing Writer

The men’s tennis team had a busy Sunday, playing two matches, first against Capital University at 8 a.m. and then against Division II opponent Tiffin University later on in the afternoon.

The Scots had no problem against Capital, sweeping their opponents, 9-0. Despite the chilly morning, coach Zachary Hasenyager said the men started out both doubles and singles with high energy levels. “We were able to control the matches and [Capital] never really got a chance to settle in or get their rhythm”.

Jack Buchan ’17 and Davis Elkins ’17 had an impressive doubles match, winning 8-1. The win has the duo closing in on the all time doubles wins record for Wooster.

The other doubles teams faired equally well. Titus Bera ’18 and Jesse DeWitt ’17 won handily 8-1, and Andrew Long ’18 and Nathan Deveroux ’20 won 8-3.

The men continued the success through singles. Nearly all the players won in two sets, making quick work of the Captial competition.

The afternoon brought warm weather and a far more formidable opponent in Tiffin University, a Division II school with multiple scholarship tennis players.

The Scots turned up the intensity, fighting for every point in both doubles and singles but eventually falling to their opponent 8-1. Buchan and Elkins continued to show cohesion and focus playing first doubles, but Tiffin was able to pull ahead, winning the match by 8-6. Titus Bera ’18 and Jesse DeWitt ’17 also lost 8-3 but showed concentration and maturity throughout the match.

The Scots fared slightly better in singles. Buchan rallied during his second set but ended the day with a loss. Bera stayed composed and determined, keeping it close and challenging his opponent on every point. Although the win eluded him, he and the team stayed positive, offering each other encouragement throughout the day.

Elkins holds the only victory for the Scots against Tiffin. Playing third singles, he came from behind in an impressive comeback, finishing the day for Wooster with an impressive tie-breaker win. “I knew my opponent was going to be tough so I really had to focus on capitalizing on the big points and being patient within each point by playing that extra ball,” said Elkins of his success. “Fortunately after catching a few breaks I was able to use my game plan to my advantage and pull out a victory.”

Expressing pride in his team, coach Hasenyager said, “I was most pleased to see our resiliency. While we weren’t able to win many matches, we fought back and made them earn it.”

Men’s tennis has a double header this Saturday at DePauw University and with Centre College. Both teams have had a good start to their season so it will be a demanding day for the Scots.

“Our experience so far will help us compete well against [DePauw and Centre] and hopefully we will come out with some wins,” said Bera. “I strongly believe this team is growing and it is still early in the season. I’m excited to see what we have in store for us the rest of the season.”

The Scots are currently 4-4 on the season.

Men’s lacrosse starts season with a close loss

Anna Hartig
Contributing Writer

The College of Wooster men’s lacrosse team started off their season against Albion College last Saturday in Detroit, Mich. While the Fighting Scots lost, 13-11, the team is looking at the rest of the season with a positive outlook.

“We had a very challenging and productive preseason, which may have led us to go into our first game a bit too confident,” Captain Matt Parmelee ’17 said. “The loss will allow us to refocus and sheds light on aspects of our game that we can improve on.”

The Scots kept the score close with hat tricks from both Josh Herold ’17 and Nathaniel Miller ’18. Sam Kuhn ’18 also responded to Albion’s quick lead with two goals within just a couple minutes of the start of the game. Other goals were scored by CJ Polak ’17 and Luke Liljenstolpe ’20.

Players put in a lot of hard work in the off-season which led to an effective preseason.

“The team took advantage of the warmer than usual weather to get outside early and prepare ourselves for a high tempo style of play,” said face-off specialist Erik Barroso ’18. Last Saturday’s game against Albion also allowed the team to gain more game experience which should lead to a more successful season. First years also used this early season game to get adjusted to playing at the college level.

With 15 first years joining this season, the team has a lot of new talent that the team hopes will contribute to a strong performance in conference.

While many of these players experienced their first collegiate game against Albion, Nick Gargaro ’20 said, “The [first-years’] quick success is a testament to the growth of the team and an insight into how the team will hopefully continue to look in the future.”

Talent ranges across the board as some individuals who are now in their second or third year of playing lacrosse are starting to take important roles in the leadership of the team.

This leadership along with a strong skill set should lead the Fighting Scots straight to success. “We were able to make the tournament last season, but lost to Denison in the semifinals,” Parmelee said. “So the hope is to warrant a better result this season.” The Scots will face Denison in late April at home for an intense rematch of last year’s conference semifinal.

Wooster men’s lacrosse team will be back in action against John Carroll University on Saturday, Feb. 25 at noon. “We are looking to bounce back from a hard loss against Albion, sharpen up some of the little details and get ready for our next game against John Carroll,” said Barroso.

While next weekend’s game is held at John Carroll University, the team is hoping for lots of support for the rest of the upcoming season at home games. Make sure to attend to the first home game on March 18 against Wabash College.

Wooster themed Instagram accounts become niche trend

Sally Kershner
Features Editor

As a liberal arts institution, sometimes Wooster can get a little carried away with emphasizing “arts” in that title. That’s not to say that Wooster students don’t care for math and natural sciences, but with the influx of College of Wooster-themed Instagram accounts, the student body obviously is leaning towards creative outlets. With the increasing number of followers per account, it seems that Wooster students are enthusiastically enjoying these public inside jokes about the College. Gaining the most followers these days are notable Instagram accounts @woostertrash, @daddiesofwooster, @woonannerz and @cstoresamplers.

Since Lowry notably lacks seasonal fruit they claim to put out on the dining menu, Wooster students have become accustomed to eating either pineapple or bananas any day of week. More often than not, students are always running around trying to get something done and need a quick healthy snack, and bananas are a popular choice for students to grab while on the go. Instagram account @woonannerz has perfectly captured the essence of Lowry’s lack of mobile snacks and student’s forced affinity for the phallic fruit. This account posts candid shots of varied Wooster students in the processing of eating said fruit, all posts are thanks to anonymous submissions. Direct Message @woonannerz if you happen to snap an aesthetically pleasing banana-eating scene.

Instagram account @cstoresamplers offers a more unique approach to niche Wooster cuisine. This account presents couture and highly aesthetic photos of items bought at MacLeods (C Store) paired with a review of the purchased items below in the description. From fruity sparkling water to sandwiches purely composed of processed meat and cheese, @cstoresamplers sample the unique foods at the C Store so that you don’t have to — flex is precious. In case you’re weary of the quality of these items, do not fear: the account graciously scores each purchase on a rating systems of “Boltons” out of 10, as homage to The College of Wooster’s President Sarah Bolton. Students can rely on @cstoresamplers ability to debunk the myths of strange C Store foods and deconstruct its contents. The Wooster Voice gives this instagram 10/10 Boltons.

If your social media appetite is not quelled by the food-themed Instagrams, look no further than eye candy account @daddiesofwooster. The username says it all — this Instagram account features male students that others submit believing to be the “Daddy” of the sport they play or organization they belong to on campus. From basketball to hockey to general hotties, @daddiesofwooster allows students of all sexual interests to get to know a little bit more about the Daddies of Wooster — even complete with general information, just like Pokemon cards! Chocolate and sweets cause cavities, so satisfy your sweet tooth by gazing over this diverse group of Daddies. Who’s your Daddy?

Creating a public account that exploits these male students may be trashy, but if you’re all about it, Instagram account @woostertrash posts literally just that — trash. Frequently back dropped against the grassy knolls of campus, students submit photos of trash they find on the ground. This account often features emptied and crumpled Pabst Blue Ribbon cans — more proof in case you weren’t sure you attended a liberal arts college — but one can find aesthetic photos of condoms, crumpled love notes, muddied packs of cigarettes and unopened jars of salsa. Hopefully those featured items are not all from one night, but it is possible. If the administration can casually suspend five prominent Greek groups on campus, anything is possible at a night here at Wooster.

All Instagram accounts are public, so all students are encouraged to keep up with these shenanigans.