Category Archives: Sports

Golf wraps up regular season against Kenyon College

Samuel Casey

Editor in Chief

 

The College of Wooster men’s and women’s golf teams competed in their last event of the regular season over the weekend before heading to Denison University for the 2021 NCAC Championships. The men came up short to Kenyon College 310-335 at home while the women finished with a 706, good for fourth place at the Denison Spring Invitational. This marked the completion of the spring season for the first time since 2019, as last year’s season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

At the Wooster Country Club, Tyler Hilbert ’24 led the Fighting Scots with a 78 on Sunday, the third-lowest score in the field and six strokes behind the medalist, Kenyon’s Lawrence Courtney, who fired an even-par 72. Notably, Hilbert finished the regular season with an average score of 79.1, third-best on the team and leading the pack of Wooster’s ten first years. 

David Roney ’21 was the second Scot in the field’s top five with a score of  81 and one of four players with at least 10 pars on the day. Ben Foltz ’22 (87), Connor Mitchell ’24 (89) and Jacob Ullom ’24 (92) rounded out the team while John Varley ’24 shot an impressive 88 to lead individual entrants. 

The competition was also Senior Recognition Day for Roney, the lone graduating player on the team, who wrapped up his collegiate regular season career. “I’m really just trying to live up every hole I get to play from here on out, and I’m thankful we got to have a season,” he said, referring to the uncertainty surrounding sports this year. “The tournaments have been more intimate than in the past, but that has helped me get even closer to my teammates.” Roney is looking forward to his last event as a Fighting Scot on Saturday at the Denison Golf Club. “I think what I’m most excited for at the NCAC Championships is just getting one more chance to play collegiate golf surrounded by my coach and teammates,” he said.

Head Coach Rich Danch spoke about how meaningful Roney has been to the golf program. “He’s a fantastic golfer but he’s an even better teammate, friend and confidant,” Danch said. “He has managed to get most everything right over the course of four years … and his departure will leave a hole that will be difficult to fill.” 

Two seniors on the women’s team also proved invaluable. At the two-day invitational, Megan Gronau ’21 shot 86 back-to-back for a total of 172, tying for 12th in the field, while Tongtong Wu ’21 finished one stroke behind at 173 after a second-round 86, placing 15th. Ultimately, it was the Big Red who triumphed at their home tournament, taking first-place with a combined 634 and medalist honors with Sophia Alexander’s 154. DePauw University (661) and Wittenberg University (675) finished ahead of Wooster’s 706 while Ohio Wesleyan placed a distant fifth (762). A Sunday charge was led by Melissa Cooke ’24 whose nine-stroke improvement from Saturday contributed to the Scots’overall eight-stroke gain, with Kayla Audette ’22 (90) and Riley Thorr ’23 (98) rounding out the team’s score.

Devon Matson ’21, who had her own two-stroke improvement, competed as an individual in her last collegiate round. “Golf has been such a large and important part of my life while at Wooster, and I am so grateful for the friends I made and experiences I had,” Matson said. “Although my career here is over, I know I will always be a member of the Wooster women’s golf team.”

Gronau shared a similar sentiment, stating, “I have absolutely loved playing collegiate golf, and representing Wooster every weekend at golf tournaments has truly been an honor.”

Both Fighting Scots teams will compete at the 2021 NCAC Championships opening event at the Denison University Golf Club on Saturday, April 24. No spectators will be allowed. 

Men’s tennis defeats Kenyon for the first time since 1999

Laura Haley

Chief Copy Editor

 

On Saturday, April 17, the Fighting Scots’ men’s tennis team came out victorious on home turf against Kenyon College. In a 5-4 thriller, the Scots secured their first win over the Lords since 1999 while simultaneously ending Kenyon’s 28-match winning streak.

In doubles play, the Scots emerged triumphant thanks to the No. 2 team of Nebyou Minassie ’22 and Alex Drewes ’23 pulling out an 8-3 win. The No. 3 team of Austin Hanna ’22 and Vakul Nath ’24 added to the win column 8-5. The College’s No.1 team of Joaquin Abos Amo ’21 and Shivam Dewan ’24 fell 0-8 making the match 2-1 to the Scots.

In singles play Hanna secured a win at the No. 2 singles flight 6-1 and 7-5 while Abos Amo at No. 1, Drewes at No. 3 and Nath at No. 4 all fell to the Lords.

The Scots found themselves tied with the Lords as two singles flights were still in play. The battle for the win came down to Dewan at No. 5 singles and Minassie in the No. 6 position.

Playing through pain, Dewan pulled out one of two three-set wins of the day rallying 3-6, 7-6 (12-10) and 6-3, moving the match score to 4-4.

Head Coach Zach Hasenyager stated, “The courts were thick with tension throughout the dual match. Every court was a battle so it felt like momentum would sway wildly back and forth with every swing of the racquet. We were able to have some students out there supporting [the players], and each point would end with cheers and encouragement from all sides. In the final two matches, Shivam beat a talented opponent to put the rest of the weight on Nebyou’s cramping legs. But he scrambled and fought and slid and willed his way to a win!”

Minassie was last left on the court battling through cramps but determined to secure the final match to put the Scots in the win column. In terms of mounting pressure Minassie stated, “I was so focused on the match that I was not thinking about Kenyon’s streak or that I had to clinch the match, and that really helped me to be calm and not be nervous.”

In a three-set thriller Minassie did just that — topping the Lords 7-6 (7-3), 3-6 and 6-4. “It was my biggest win of my college career so far, considering that I clinched the match. My teammates and the crowd’s support were really helpful because I was down 3-1 in the third set and also cramping, so it gave me extra energy to get the job done. A lot of people from Wooster, [including] families and friends, congratulated my team and I for this historic win,” stated Minassie. With Minassie’s clinch, the Scots toppled Kenyon for the first time in over two decades.

Hasenyager detailed the post-match atmosphere, saying, “I took almost an hour after the match to just soak it in. The older guys tried to impress upon the younger ones the enormity of the win. I heard from so many people who were so happy for the team. This was one to remember!”

The Scots will travel to Case Western Reserve on April 25 to battle the Spartans.

Wooster Sportlight: Passodelis describes unexpected senior year

Matt Olszewski

Senior Sports Writer

 

The College of Wooster men’s basketball team had a tough, short 2021 season this winter, ending the season with a record of 4-5. However, everyone was thankful they were even able to play some games during the pandemic, even if it meant their games would be played without spectators, the benches would be socially distanced between players and there would be less games.

For Joey Passodelis ’21he described COVID-19 as a blessing in disguise. “COVID helped our team come together because it was a basketball season like we had never seen before. We were all trying to make it as normal as possible but that wasn’t the case and through this new experience we bonded,” said Passodelis. As for the biggest challenge this past season for him and his team, he added, “it was a big challenge to develop team chemistry with no off-season practices, meetings on Microsoft Teams in the fall, and no chances to hangout off the court. Throughout the season, we became closer and it showed on the court.” He added, “It felt great to finally be able to compete on the court this year. Being from Pittsburgh, none of our gyms were open most of 2020 so it was hard to train, but when the season started it felt great.”

Although his teammates have helped him develop as a player and person on and off the court, Coach Doug Cline has had a major impact on Passodelis as well. “Coach Cline helped me develop in my four years at Wooster as a player by telling me to know my role. I knew I wasn’t the most skilled player, but he told me to work on the things I was good at, such as rebounding and shooting, and that helped me enhance my game. Off the court, he taught me to take a chance and appreciate things outside of basketball and that basketball in the big scheme of things is not what makes life so precious,” he said.

Passodelis has cherished many memories as a member of the Fighting Scots men’s basketball team. His favorite memory was winning the NCAC tournament at Wittenberg last year in Coach Steve Moore’s last season before retiring. “It was not just because we won but that we blew them out in their own gym and cut their nets down.”

As for Passodelis’ favorite team tradition, he had one thing in mind: “A few years ago, we started stomping on the floor and crossing our legs as a bench when we made free throws. When it is done at the same time, it looks quite clean and would get the crowd excited.”

Given that next season will be normal again and more games will be played, Passodelis shared that he thinks the team can improve defensively. “One thing we like to pride ourselves in is being the best defensive team we can be. The past few years we haven’t been, so I am excited to see what the guys do on the defensive end next year.

On the academic side of things, Passodelis completed his Senior Independent Study last month. “My Independent Study focused on the impact fantasy football has on NFL viewership ratings and how ESPN could charge advertisers a higher price to broadcast their commercials during a given game based on the number of fantasy football players. ESPN operates as the intermediary in a two-sided market by charging fantasy football players nothing to use the platform and charging advertisers a large price to advertise in games with a large number of players rostered in all fantasy football leagues,” he explained.

Wooster Softball Wins Four in a Row Against Allegheny

Olivia Mittak

Sports Editor

 

The Fighting Scots softball team took away four wins in a row this past weekend against the Allegheny Gators. Playing on an away field can certainly be daunting, but the Fighting Scots didn’t let their emotions get the better of them. Their first two games against the Gators, played in the latter’s hometown of Meadville, Pa., were great successes. Throughout the entire first game, the Gators were only able to score a single run while the Fighting Scots ran away with ten. The Gators proved to be a slightly more formidable foe in game two for a final score of five runs. The Fighting Scots couldn’t be stopped, however, and walked away from their second and final away game against the Gators with a score of 13 runs.

Returning to their home pitch, the Fighting Scots were ready and hungry for their next two games against the Gators. Allegheny’s team was not willing to let the Scots run away with another game. Keeping their foes on their toes, the Gators managed to hold the Fighting Scots within a reachable range throughout the game. Game three ended with a final score of seven runs for the Scots and three for the Gators.

The final game against the Allegheny team saw the Fighting Scots take off once again, proving that no amount of resistance could stop them from controlling the scoreboard. As if to prove one final point to the Gators, the Fighting Scots finished their last game this weekend with their highest score yet this entire season, 15 runs against the Gators’ four.

This is the first time in the 2021 season that Wooster’s softball team has been able to succeed at defeating their opposing team this many times in a row. Previously, teams such as the Case Western Reserve Spartans and the Hiram College Terriers have successfully kept the Scots on their toes. This weekend’s four victories are an impressive dash of light on the team’s record, a surefire way to give them confidence and hope moving forward into the rest of the season.

Olivia Johnson ’21, a pitcher for the Scots, said that she felt her team “found our groove again” amidst a difficult season, and that this weekend’s games were “a lot of fun.” Johnson also reflected on continuing to play softball during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that her team has “adjusted to wearing masks” and is ultimately just trying to make “the best of our season.” After the 2020 season was cancelled due to lockdown measures, Johnson said that she and her team are just “so grateful to be able to play again.”

Marissa Norgrove ’21, another pitcher for the team, shared similar feelings about this weekend’s performance. She commented on how her team was “loud and energetic,” surely feeling the energy of such great successes on the field. Like Johnson, Norgrove felt that her team was handling COVID-19 well. “[We’re] not letting it stop how we as a team play our game,” she said. “We still come into each game with the same intensity and fight.”

Another bonus for Norgrove was the decrease in restrictions for spectators. “Now that two visitors for each player can come to the games, it has really lifted our spirits and fueled us even more. We are so happy our friends and family can still watch us play even in the times of COVID-19,” she explained. These four games were played right after President Sarah Bolton announced that The College of Wooster has moved from a “green” level up to a “yellow” level amidst growing concerns about a potential outbreak on campus. It remains to be seen whether or not this change will eventually lead to a shift in policy regarding spectatorship at games.

Regardless of the way that their situation and environment might change in coming weeks, the Fighting Scots’ softball team will surely walk away from this extraordinary weekend with high spirits — and they deserve to do so. They’ve got a strong roster of players for this season, and we wish them the best of luck as they move forward with their next games.

The Fighting Scots will play their next two games at Kenyon College on Saturday, April 17.

Pride asks us to interrogate what we remember

Aspen Rush

Managing Editor

 

On April 12, Trans Queer People of Color (TQPOC) and Queer Student Union(QSU) invited Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Professor Dr. Natasha Bissonauth to discuss the history of Pride. Pride month, held every June, celebrates LGBTQ+ history and culture. The College created their own rendition of Pride, celebrating for one week every spring. Harry Susalla, sexuality and gender inclusion programming intern and QSU liaison for TQPOC, organized and led the event. Students, faculty and alumni gathered virtually to discuss the history and modern implications of Pride.

Bissonauth began her discussion  by addressing the multiplicities of queer history, insisting that there is not simply one narrative of queerness. However, Bissonauth used the 1969 Stonewall Riots as a jumping off point for discussion, as the events of Stonewall launched the Gay Liberation Movement to the forefront of American politics. Police raided the Stonewall Inn in lower Manhattan, one of the few places LGBTQ+ individuals could be openly queer at the time. The inn was owned by the mafia, who were able to pay off police in exchange for their continued operation. Bissonauth pointed out that to be queer is to have a precarious existence; although it was not illegal to be queer, it was prohibited to act it. The Stonewall Inn was one of the only places patrons were able to “kiss queerly, dance queerly, dress queerly.” 

As was a regular occurrence, police raided Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969, terrorizing the queer individuals within. Police forced trans and gender-nonconforming individuals into the bathrooms to check if they were wearing at least three items of gendered clothing that aligned with their sex assigned at birth. On this occasion, the patrons of Stonewall fought back, throwing coins at police. Dr. Bissonauth quoted scholar Eric A. Stanley’s description of the riots: “In a blast of radical collectivity, trans/gender-non-conforming folks, queers of color, butches, drag queens, hair-fairies, homeless street youth, sex workers and others took up arms and fought back against the generations of oppression that they were forced to survive.” Dr. Bissonauth asked us to consider the identities of those in the riot. As Stanley points out, they exist at the intersections of marginalized identities. Because of this, Bissonauth argued, “they couldn’t be so easily seduced by the structures that held out normativity as a reward.” 

“Trans militancy,” Dr Bissonauth went on to say, “illuminated that non-normativity could be used for revolutionary shifts in social order.”  Liberation was not interested in the notion that “if they just treated gays better, everything would be fine,” but rather radical liberation insisted that society rethink the order altogether and dismantle the entire structure. 

Key figures like Marsha P. Johnston and Sylvia Rivera were explicit in pointing out that the riots were motivated by police brutality and that the protestors maintained radical, revolutionary politics.

Gay liberation was not and is not a single-issue movement. “This history of radical queer politics had to disappear for gay rights to be had,” Dr. Bissonauth said. “Progress is never without a backlash and it is never linear… It comes with the narrowing of queer politics, narrowed to the narrative of sexual freedom and sexual identity.”

In closing remarks, Bissonauth said, “We remember the dream of a social revolution that has yet to be realized.”

Susalla, opened the floor to questions, beginning with his own: “Why do you think so much of the queer agenda has been to be included rather than to queer spaces themselves?”

Bissonauth responded that radical change is difficult to implement, and that an intersectional, multi-dimensional project is much harder to follow through with and requires capital to accomplish.

Sharah Hutson ’20, shifted the discussion towards queer self-care, raising a fitting question as the vast majority of attendees were queer. They asked, “Do you have any tips for sustaining yourself and maintaining hope with the knowledge that we won’t be alive for Black liberation and queer liberation?”

Hutson offered their own suggestion: radical rest in the face of capitalism. Bissonauth agreed and discussed her own experience of self-care during the COVID-19 pandemic. She pointed to disability studies for inspiration. She further suggested that we consider politics of care as a model.

While this year’s pride events have taken a different form than previous years, Pride still sets a welcoming precedent for queer students. Susalla said, “Pride week gives opportunities for queer student to feel proud, build community and to show the entire school that we exist on this campus. Even if all students don’t attend events, the simple presence of Pride week shows that students are supported.” 

Women’s lacrosse seniors chomp away at the Gators

Chloe Burdette

Editor in Chief

 

On Saturday, April 10, The College of Wooster women’s lacrosse team played the Allegheny Gators and came out on top during their season home opener with a score of 22-13. All while chomping on the Gators for their three-peat win, the team celebrated their seven seniors with their many accolades — Ashley Boersma ’21, Katie Harvey ’21, Lauryn Hill ’21, Alexa Mellis ’21, Katie Shideler ’21, Claire Truscott ’21 and Miura Wiley ’21.

For many of the spring season athletes across the world, 2020 was the beginning of a nightmare for their athletic careers — some teams were even sent home while on their spring break trips across state borders, or didn’t even get the chance to play against an opponent at all. The women’s lacrosse team was able to squeeze in a mere five games before their season came to a screeching halt and they were sent home. For the 2021 spring season sports grads, whose junior seasons were stolen from them, they also thought their senior seasons would be stolen. After the most unpredictable year of most of our lives, the team was more grateful than ever to have a small sliver of a season. 

“Having the chance to play lacrosse this year, although it has been different this year, has helped me feel some sort of normalcy,” Harvey said. “Getting to go out on the field for a couple of hours with my teammates and forget about responsibilities and stressors in my life is refreshing.”

Boersma also added that her team and her coach have been able to keep the overall spirit of the game alive even when it could be stripped away at any given moment. “My teammates always come to practice with a fun, upbeat, positive and excited attitude even in situations of adversity,” She said. Wiley added that the team can’t take anything for granted during this year. “As a team, we’ve been taking this season one step at a time. We focus on preparing for the next game, and spending as much time together as possible while we can.”

Lacrosse has shown to be quite the outlet for many of the seniors on the team. Because games have been unpredictable on a week-to-week basis, every game is a chance for players to give it all they’ve got. “Being at practice and games helps take my mind off of everything going on around me, and allows me to just be in the moment. Being in the moment is something that my coaches and teammates have really emphasized this year with all of the craziness and unknowns that come with COVID-19, and I think these unknowns have made every game, practice and time to be with my teammates even more meaningful,” Mellis stated. 

As shown by Saturday’s game, the players have held up to their word of “playing in the moment.” The Fighting Scots came out of the gates strong as they scored four goals in the first four minutes of the game to humble the Gators. As the game progressed, it was clear that the Gators wouldn’t be able to match the ferocity of the goal-savvy Mellis, Wiley, Britta Treu ’23 and Jill Murray ’23. 

Mellis had an exceptionally eventful game against the Gators during her senior day — she tied the school record for number of goals scored in one game (eight). The last person to hold this honor was Ellie Hudson-Heck ’16, according to a post by Wooster Athletics on April 12. Mellis is the sixth person in program history to hold this award. 

 

After the completion of this game, the seniors only have a maximum amount of five games left. While reminiscing on their Scot Lacrosse careers, one moment that sticks out for most is the team’s trip to Hilton Head in 2019. “I think the Hilton Head spring break trip was a favorite memory for many players, seniors especially,” Boersma stated. “It was a great team bonding experience- the weather was gorgeous, we rode bikes, cooked meals, explored the beach and of course played some lacrosse.” Truscott added this trip was specifically memorable because of the flight to Hilton Head. “one of my teammates convinced the flight attendant that it was my birthday and she got the whole plane to sing me happy birthday… It was a really fun moment and made me realize the importance of the bonds that I have created on this team.”

The seniors and the rest of the women’s lacrosse team are next slated to play Kenyon College at John C. Papp Stadium on Saturday, April 17.