Braveheart Invitational returns to Wooster

Ian Ricoy

Sports Editor 

Wooster quidditch hosted its first official tournament in over four years on Saturday, Sep. 28. The Wooster Scottish Nationals hosted seven other teams from Michigan, Ohio, New York and West Virginia for a great return of the sport to the College. The Nationals were coming off an improved season last year that saw wins against regional rivals West Virginia and Carnegie Mellon. Wooster took this tournament as a chance to give their new players valuable experience ahead of the always tough season against big opponents. 

Seven teams from across the region competed in the tournament. The University of Michigan, Grand Valley State, Miami of Ohio, Bowling Green State, Cleveland State, Rochester Institute of Technology and West Virginia University drove as much as five hours to Wooster’s campus early in the morning.

Quidditch is played with three chasers and a keeper per team, who score points with the quaffle, a slightly deflated volleyball. Two beaters per side fight for control of three dodgeballs that knock opposing players out of play. After 18 minutes, seekers are released to catch the snitch, a third-party player who wrestles to protect a flag on the back of their shorts. Once a seeker catches the snitch, their team is awarded 30 points and the game is over. 

The success of the tournament is a welcome surprise given that Wooster hasn’t hosted a tournament this size in four years. This was also Team Manager Brandon Borges ’20 and Assistant Manager Lyn Santos ’22’s first time tournament directing. “The planning for the tournament was long. Since about June, I had been filling out forms and contacting referees,” said Borges. 

With such a long timeline during the summer working with United States Quidditch (USQ), the Great Lakes Quidditch Community and Student Activities, Santos said she had to do a lot of quick problem solving. “Because of some miscommunication between members in the Order (leadership), things that should have been done months before had to be done within a week,” said Santos. “From figuring out the regulations of USQ, sending out paperwork, navigating what was required from Student Activities, to making sure we were financially sound; it was a wild ride.” Captain Peyton O’Laughlin ’21 coordinated team personnel and tournament scheduling to prepare a successful tournament in the end.

On the gameplay side, Wooster took the home field advantage as an opportunity to gain work on the intagibles. “Overall, teamwork was high and, even with two losses, we were able to keep our spirits high and our attitudes in a good space to take on another game and work hard during practices,” said O’Laughlin. While the Scots went 0-2 for the day, there were achievements to be proud of. “Peter Greenwood ’22 went 2/2 at snitch catches, chasers, Claire Jennings ’21 and Justin Clement ’22 made it evident to everyone on pitch that they are truly game-changing defensive players,” O’Laughlin said. Despite lackluster results, Wooster continues to produce great players. Four Scots participated in Major League Quidditch last summer including Borges and O’Laughlin playing for the Cleveland Riff and Laura Ivy ’17 managing the 2019 champions Boston Nightriders. 

While these performances shouldn’t be understated, especially Greenwood’s catch percentage, it seems like retreading old ground for the Scottish Nationals. “Areas of improvement would include offensive execution. Many times during our games, our offense couldn’t capitalize or finish on plays,” said O’Laughlin. Wooster has not scored over 90 quaffle points since 2016 in a league where scores routinely exceed 100. However, this is not a new feeling for the Scots who must play against Big Ten schools with enrollments 20 times the size of Wooster. “We are by far the smallest official college team,” said Borges.

Overall though, reception from the tournament was positive. “The tournament ran a bit late, which was honestly perfect to let people wake up,” said Grand Valley captain John Michalowski ’20. Other captains were impressed with such a large-scale tournament being run at a small school. “We felt like the gameplay at [the] tournament was the best in the region that weekend, with the Michigan vs. Miami game as the tournament opener being a great choice. We would definitely come back if it was hosted again,” said Michigan Captain Zeke Majeske ’20. It was something to behold, especially for a senior. “To actually see big quidditch teams like Michigan and Miami competing at Wooster was surreal,” said Borges.

Biased reffing ruins football

Nick Gargaro

I am by no means a fair weather fan, and I am not a complainer either. It would be easy to be perpetually upset being a diehard fan of the Detroit Lions in the second half of the 20th century, but a true fan always walks into a new season with a sense of naiveté and blind optimism. That is what I have been able to do for my entire life. Centers and tight ends no one has heard of being drafted in the first round have not gone unquestioned, sure, but what more can a fan do than grit one’s teeth and pray Matthew Stafford will be elite in the coming year. 

Above all of our wild card losses, Monday Night Football blowouts and Thanksgiving Day embarrassments, there is one thing, however, that makes the loyal members of the Detroit fan-base despondent. Losing at the hands of the striped rent-a-refs in the National Football League. A wise man once told me, “Without referees, there would be no game,” but after the Lion’s loss to the Green Bay Packers, I do not know if the game is worth playing anymore. I’ll set the scene for those who missed it. It was a cold night in Green Bay, Wis., and the Detroit Lions were gearing up for their biggest game of the season against their divisional rivals, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. It was a primetime game, and the biggest question would soon be answered: “is Detroit a real contender this season?” Always believing in the power of the Honolulu Blue, I really thought they were going to be contenders in 2019. The Lions had been playing with an uncharacteristically tough and ambitious edge. Maybe it was our time to shine on this national stage. For three quarters of this game, it was so. It should be said, however, that while the Lions led the Packers throughout a majority of this game, they also missed several opportunities to pull away and take any chance of victory from Green Bay. The Green Bay Packers, the division leaders, and arguably the NFC front-runner, did not quit. I will give them that. They hung in the game and were able to make big plays when they were needed. 

In the fourth quarter, with time dwindling down past the two-minute warning, the Lions held a soft three-point lead, and had sacked Aaron Rodgers on a third-and-long just outside of field goal range. Things were looking good, until that damned yellow flag came flying down and everyone in Southeast Michigan knew the NFL had come to break our hearts again. A small and ignorant man claiming to have some sort of mastery over the ever ambiguous and questionable regulations of the great sport of football, blurted out to all of America,“penalty. Defense number 90. Hands to the face, five-yard penalty. Automatic first down.” It was the second such back-breaking call of the night to go against the Lions. The game was over. Green Bay had to kill a minute and a half off of the clock, hit a sub-30 yard field-goal and win. And they did.

It would be no use attempting to make some sort of list displaying the various times referees have cost Detroit a shot at relevancy, so instead I will stick to this most recent, infuriating example. Green Bay is a storied franchise, sporting legendary names like Bart Starr, Curly Lambeau, Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers etc. Aaron Rodgers is currently in his first year returning from a devastating injury, and now with a new coach and offense, Green Bay was 4-1 heading into Monday night. Maybe I am wrong, but Rodgers is a loved player around the country, famous for his extreme precision and humorous “discount-double check” commercials for State Farm. He has become a fan favorite. Would the world really be happy if he lost at home on the national stage to the “irrelevant” Detroit Lions? Perhaps, but perhaps there was just a lot of money riding on this game, or maybe a headline claiming Rodgers is back to his elite status would be more grabbing. Who knows, but I for one have watched the Lions time and time again get looked-over and be underappreciated, and while it may seem absurd to suggest that the National Football League could allow something like this to happen, it would not be too surprising when publicity is enough to keep Colin Kapernick out of the league. So maybe profits and headlines are enough to keep the Lions out of the playoffs. Or maybe we are just a cursed franchise. Regardless, if you see a Detroit Lions fan around campus this fall, give them a hug. They have needed it for decades. 

Swimming season off to challenging start

Ben Blotner

Contributing Writer

The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams kicked off their seasons at the Kenyon College Relay on Saturday, Oct. 19, with the men’s team placing fourth out of five teams and the women’s team finishing third.

Each event featured at least an “A,” “B” and “C” team from each school, with some events featuring even more teams. In the women’s 200-yard medley relay, Wooster’s A team of Hannah Langer ’21, Molly Likins ’22, Anne Bowers ’21 and Brooke Brown ’21 took seventh place out of 26 teams. Kenyon College, however, won the event, boasting the top three teams and five of the top six. On the men’s side, the Fighting Scots’ teams finished 16th, 20th, 22nd and 24th, with Kenyon winning this event as well.

The 200-yard backstroke relay saw the women’s teams finish ninth, 13th and 14th, as Kenyon was again the victor. The men’s group of Trey Schopen ’20, Graham Letkeman ’22, Eli Samuelson ’20 and Josh Gluck ’21 earned sixth place, but Kenyon continued its hot streak with another win.

In the 200-yard breaststroke relay, the women shined as the team of Brown, Madison Whitman ’21, Molly Likins and her sister Heidi Likins ’21 took third place. Wooster’s other groups finished sixth, seventh and eighth as the women fared well overall. The men’s teams finished seventh, 10th and 12th; Kenyon again had the top team on both sides.

Carnegie Mellon University finally interrupted Kenyon’s dominance in the women’s 500-yard crescendo relay, with its A team finishing just ahead of Kenyon’s top group. Wooster’s teams took 10th, 13th, 17th and 18th place out of the 22 teams, with the men’s team getting a similar result at 13th, 18th and 19th.

The women’s team turned in a solid performance on the 200-yard butterfly relay; the A group of Bowers, Lexi Riley-DiPaolo ’21, Mia Chen ’22 and Brown captured sixth place, while the B, C and D groups placed 12th, 13th and 14th, respectively. As for the men’s event, the Fighting Scots placed 13th, 16th and 18th. 

Nell Kacmarek ’20, Whitman and Kay Wetmore ’23 led Wooster’s women in the 3×500-yard freestyle relay, earning fifth place out of 10 teams. The Scots’ only male team in this event finished seventh out of nine overall groups for the men.

On the women’s side, Kenyon continued to be the team to beat; the Ladies’ A team won the 400-yard IM relay, with Wooster’s teams finishing eighth, 11th, 12th and 14th. Kenyon, however, was finally unseated on the other side, as it was the Carnegie Mellon men’s turn to upend the Lords. The Fighting Scots took 10th, 15th and 18th place.

In the 200-yard freestyle relay, Molly Likins, Riley-DiPaolo, Bowers and Brown continued to be standouts for the women, turning in a strong effort that earned them fifth place out of 22 teams. Carnegie Mellon was again victorious in the men’s event, as Wooster’s teams placed 16th, 18th and 20th. 

Perhaps the highlight of the day was the final event, the mixed 200-yard medley relay. Competing against Kenyon, Ohio Northern University and Ohio Wesleyan University, the Scots put together a mixed men and women’s team of Gluck, Molly Likins, Schopen and Brown. This group finished with a time of 1:45.41 and earned 10 points, good for second out of the four schools.

Athletic department inducts athletes into Hall of Fame

Chloe Burdette

Managing Editor 

On Saturday, Oct. 19, former College of Wooster athletes and former members of campus faculty were inducted into the W Association Hall of Fame. The seven who were inducted, consisting of five Wooster athletes from various sports, an athletic trainer and a coach, were all honored at a ceremony during the College’s Black and Gold Weekend. 

The five athletes were accepted into the prestigious Hall of Fame for their superior athletic performances during their years at the College, along with their various awards and accolades earned from their sport. 

The first induction was to the late Mel Riebe ’55. Enrolling into the College at age 34, he was a stellar golfer who was praised for his overall support of his teammates and the leadership he possessed to put his team into the conference championship. Perhaps the most interesting fact about Riebe is that he was a professional basketball player before his golf career began. Picked up by Boston in 1947, he played two seasons and racked up a total of 81 games with the Celtics. At the ceremony, grandson Erich Riebe ’92 spoke in acceptance for his grandfather. Erich Riebe was also inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003 for his athletic career at the College. “Even to this day, I still have people come up to me and tell me how much they respected my grandfather,” Riebe said. “He believed in me, and I am honored to be in the Hall of Fame with him.” Liebe finished his speech with a nod to his grandfather: “He is not here now, but he has the best seat in the house.”

Colleen McCauley Piscetta ’89 was inducted into the Hall of Fame for her accomplishments on Wooster’s track and field team. She won eight NCAC Championships and was an All-American Honoree in her 1987 season. Hailing from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, she knew she was destined to be an athlete at a very young age. “A lifetime love of sport was instilled in me growing up in Cuyahoga Falls,” she said. “The kids in town and I played sports out of the sheer joy of sport — it was game on, all of the time.” One of her fondest memories at the College was earning a spot at a distinguished track meet for her 200 m. “Although my host of conference and All-American titles are proud memories, my best event by far was the 200 m with a personal best of 24.5 seconds and qualifying for the Knights of Columbus Indoor Meet at the Coliseum which was the second oldest indoor meet in the country at the time,” Piscetta explained. Piscetta now shares the W Association Hall of Fame honor with her late husband, Rob Piscetta ’87. 

Matt Mahaffey ’00 was a punter for the College of Wooster football team. Nicknamed the “Golden Boot,” Mahaffey’s career on the field progressed immensely and earned Academic All-American first team his senior year. “I was thrilled to find out I made the Hall of Fame and quite surprised. I didn’t think a punter would ever get into the Hall of Fame,” Mahaffey said. “An honor like this takes a lot of luck and a lot of just being in the right place at the right time, and in many ways, Wooster was always the right place at the right time for me.” 

The next inductee was Natalie Barone Weingart ’06. Although dual-sport Wooster athlete who played for both basketball and softball teams, Weingart found most of her success on the softball field. As a pitcher, Weingart was named the NCAC Pitcher of the Year during her junior year and aided her team in getting a spot in the NCAC tournament that same year. “Being accepted into the W Association Hall of Fame is a great feeling of honor,” Weingart said in her acceptance speech. “I feel very privileged and thankful that members consider my accomplishments during my time at Wooster noteworthy.” Weingart also added how she wanted to help the College of Wooster community. “I also feel now, that I must try to give back to the COW community and other young athletes to share my knowledge of the game, how to train for skills of the game, and also how to leverage your athletic career to help you in all aspects of life,” she said.

Mark Miller ’09 was next in the lineup for induction. Miller was a stand-out pitcher for the College of Wooster baseball team, as he helped the Scots go to the Division-III World Series. Most notably, he earned All-American Honors as a closer due to his fastball that reached up to 90 mph. Miller was excited about his Hall of Fame induction because he was chosen the same year as his coach, Tim Pettorini. “When I received the Hall of Fame Induction letter, I was extremely excited. One reason was because of the overall honor, but the other reason was because Coach P. was going in at the same time!” Miller said. “My years at Wooster, especially 2009, hold a special spot in my memory and heart. Thank you to Wooster accepting me, and pushing me to new limits.” 

As no surprise to most members of the campus community, Tim Pettorini was also inducted in the Hall of Fame. After 38 seasons with the College of Wooster baseball team, Pettorini’s teams had won 19 NCAC titles — not to mention a record number of 1,243 wins as head coach. “I enjoyed everything about coaching at Wooster for the past 38 years and this is really the icing on the cake.” Pettorini said. 

Rounding off the inductees is Tom Love, head athletic trainer for The College of Wooster for the past 37 years. Developing the sports medicine program at the College, Love set the precedent for exceptional athlete care at Wooster. “My years at Wooster defined my professional career,” Love said. “Since I was the first full time athletic trainer at the College, I had the opportunity to develop the sports medicine program. Establishing guidelines that allowed us to provide the best care for the athletes in all sports while functioning with very limited resources was very challenging, but also very rewarding.” Love is most appreciative for The College of Wooster community for believing in him. “I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to serve the student athletes at The College of Wooster. The College and the City of Wooster are truly special places that have become home to my family and I. Go Scots!”

“2020” album is a bold commentary on the present

Andrew Kilbride

Senior A&E Writer

Making an album function as a commentary for the present can be a risky business. This isn’t to say that this is an invalid form of art. Rather, works defining a certain day and age risk becoming hodgepodge of references and cultural cues that don’t carry over to future generations. Now that we live in a media culture that seems to move a mile-a-minute, it feels doubly true, as if most artists would shy away from such a task out of its sheer futility, but Richard Dawson is not most folk songwriters. Musically and lyrically, Dawson’s always thrived in creating meaning out of moments that feel intentionally awkward and unpredictable, which is just part of why his new album “2020” is such a phenomenal snapshot of contemporary malaise set to song.

Dawson’s lyrics follow a very similar formula to his previous album, 2017’s “Peasant,” where each song functioned as individual character studies of ordinary people in medieval society. He applies a similar emphasis on each protagonist’s everyday struggles and concerns, but this time his focus is solely on present figures who inevitably resemble either yourself or people you know. A lot of them are directly relatable like the disaffected white collar schlub working at a “seething viper’s nest” in “Civil Servant” and the man who takes up “Jogging” to overcome crippling anxiety. Others like “Heart Emoji” and “Black Triangle” go to darker places, focusing on different characters who are ultimately done in by their alienated rage and unhealthy, self-isolating obsessions, respectively.

His experimental folk sound has never been lacking in originality. On “2020” he fuses so many genres that it’s nigh impossible to assign a singular genre that covers everything on here. It wouldn’t be accurate to say he’s changed his sound — the songs all bear obvious stylistic resemblance to his previous work, so much as he’s incorporated a lot of unexpected influences, all of which work far more than they should. His claustrophobic, alienated songs about the digital age fittingly use a diverse array of digital sounds. These jams range from the soulless robotic auto-tuned vocals telling Amazon workers to “increase productivity” on “Fulfillment Centre” to the spacy synths in the “Black Triangle” intro, which would be right at home on a 70’s rock album. Just as unexpectedly, it then makes way for a really Tom Waitsian bluesy shuffle, but that’s beside the point.

“2020” should absolutely cement Dawson as one of the decade’s most unique and inventive musical talents, assuming he hasn’t been already. Artists who are willing to sound awkward and uncomfortable are rare for a reason, but Dawson is uniquely good at not only creating these moments but making them purposeful and endearing. If I’m listening to this twenty years from now, I may think that naming a song “Heart Emoji” is a bit much. If somehow Dawson’s “2020” doesn’t reflect the reality of 2040, I have a hard time believing I wouldn’t get a kick out of the brilliant song writing and character vignettes

Gina Rodriguez’s “Apology” Falls Short

Korri Palmer

One convenient feature of Twitter is ‘trending topics,’ because it allows us to witness culturally relevant events as they unfold. This past Tuesday’s trending topic surrounded Gina Rodriguez sharing a video of her singing along to Lauryn Hill’s infamous verse on the Fugees’ classic “Ready or Not.” The issue wasn’t the song or the odd red eye shadow she was wearing, but it was when she said the N-word very casually. For those of you who do not know what word I am referring to, it is a word created to describe black folks in a derogatory way by non-black people. This led to outrage on social media out of the discomfort that is felt by the black community when non-black people use the N-word. There are already past incidents of Rodriguez making statements that seem anti-black through previous interviews.

In addition to her initial video, Rodriguez later released a video where she apologized to fans for singing one of her favorite songs. She continued to gaslight viewers by saying she is sorry if people were offended by her behavior, thus not even genuinely apologizing for the initial issue. This is a common trend amongst celebrities or brands. They make a decision that offends a specific group of people and because of the speed of social media, they are forced to come up with a genuine apology almost immediately. So, it makes me ask: can we really trust that Rodriguez is sorry for her actions that offended the African American community? Who will hold her accountable? Who will educate her about her mistakes? Is that even someone’s job? These are the affects of ignorance can have upon our social media use.

To be clear, I am not a stranger to the N-word, and we know what word I am talking about. I am also not a stranger to hearing all types of people using the N-word. It is used frequently in the media we consume, mainly as a derogatory term for African Americans and in other times it is used within the African American community to describe each other. It means friend or foe, any gender, but most importantly, it will always be used to describe a black person. I mention all of this to say that it is truly uncomfortable to hear non-black people use the N-word in order to feel culturally hip or cool. There are many opinions on this word — the idea that it’s just a word, the idea that it should be only used by black people, and the idea that it just shouldn’t be used at all. I am not writing this to tell you what I think is right, but to try to convey the discomfort I felt when I heard Rodriguez comfortably use the N-word on social media last week. There is a problem with how we casually disregard the effect that words can have on specific communities. The real question is: how do we solve this problem?