Category Archives: Voices from the Crowd

Voices from the Crowd: Softball and Life Lessons

Brooke Swain

Contributing Writer




As a senior softball player, I have played softball for 18 years. Out of those 18 years, the past four years at The College of Wooster have been my favorite. My experience with the softball team has been unmatched and I personally feel like every single teammate is my sister. The amount of respect that I have for every girl on our team is incredible and I am blessed to have been a part of this program for my collegiate career.

When making the choice of where I wanted to go to college, I chose Wooster because of the chance to continue playing my two favorite sports: softball and volleyball. My experience here at Wooster has been a roller coaster, but the one constant thing that I always had was my teammates. The softball team has always been filled with outstanding leaders. Chelsea Copley ’19, Morgan Bailey ’20 and Kendall Lloyd ’22 were top-notch leaders that helped me adapt to college life when I first arrived. These women taught me how to thrive in your own niche while also giving and receiving criticism to become a better player and person.

When we lost a season due to the pandemic, it was heartbreaking. The seniors lost their best season, and the rest of us lost a season to improve, to learn and to grow. As we navigated the challenging waters upon our return to campus, we learned how to adjust with the changing rules and regulations. This diligence eventually gave us the ability to resume what we know as a normal season of softball games. As a senior captain this year, my past experiences have helped me encourage our team to be better teammates on and off the field as well as teaching them tips and tricks for improving their time management.

Being a part of the Wooster softball team is an honor and I am extremely thankful for the guidance that Coach Rumph has brought me. She has taught me many valuable life lessons every day at practice and she continues to motivate me to be better by her own outstanding accomplishments. Coach Rumph personally cares for each of her players and has even taken the time to write letters of recommendation for graduate programs for myself and other players. I will use the life lessons, the time management and the consistency that I have learned while playing softball and volleyball at The College of Wooster when I move to continue my education at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. 

Voices from the Crowd: Basketball – More Than Just a Game

Khaylen Mahdi

Contributing Writer



My whole life, basketball has been more than just a game. It has been the focal point of my life, as all things circulate around my basketball schedule and aspirations. During my sophomore year of high school, I transferred to The MacDuffie School, a top-ranked preparatory school in Massachusetts, to prioritize my basketball dreams. A lot of change came about as a result of this move. As I approached graduation, my focus was to attend a school where I’d be able to play the game at the next level. Everything I did and all the energy I expended was directed towards basketball. A lot of steps that I’ve taken in my life were to put myself in the position to be able to improve as a basketball player and get to the next level, in whatever shape or form that may be.

Basketball has taught me a lot about myself and about life. It’s given me the opportunity to travel to new places, meet amazing people and have experiences I wouldn’t have had the chance to live out had I not been so dedicated to the sport. One of the best decisions I ever made in my life was the decision to attend The College of Wooster; although it was a risk because I was not recruited, the reward was much greater. I walked onto the men’s basketball program my freshman year not knowing what to expect from the coaches nor the dynamic of the team. But from the very first day, the guys welcomed me as a brother. The Wooster Fighting Scot community is one of the most vibrant, encouraging and supportive Division III communities in the entire country. The Rebounder community, alumni, students, faculty and surrounding community consistently shows their support and pride for our winning culture. Being a member of the men’s basketball team has been beyond rewarding.

I was fortunate enough to be elected Captain both my sophomore and my senior year – this gave me the opportunity to create a stronger relationship with the coaching staff, along with being able to lead by example and motivate my teammates to constantly work toward becoming a better version of themselves on and off the court. As I aspired to be the best leader I could be, my teammates taught me and motivated me to be a better version of myself. Being a member of the team means to sacrifice your individual wants for that of the team. “Buying in” was a phrase frequently used my last season among the players and coaches. It meant to fully invest yourself in your individual role to best help the team accomplish its goals. The role you’re given may not exactly be one you’d wish for; however, if you fully invest yourself in the role you’re asked to play, then your sacrifices will eventually reap the benefits.

Being a Fighting Scot means to want to see your brothers alongside you succeed; it means to carry yourself professionally both on and off the court to best represent your team; it means to put the well-being of your brothers ahead of your own. To uplift one another and “play for each other” is what we try to build ourselves on. To move with a foundation that cannot be broken helps to move with purpose and intention. Each year, my connection grew stronger with my teammates and each year with the new recruits, I gained a new brother and was able to share with them all that I learned  from those before me.

Voices from the Crowd: Doak Schultz – Swimming Changed My Life

Doak Schultz

Contributing Writer


My journey through the sport of swimming has been unconventional. I spent my last two years of high school chronically ill, barely able to compete. Up until graduating from high school, I swam with everyone, from Olympic gold medalists and world record holders to local neighborhood kids.

My first year at Wooster, I committed to try and make a name for myself as a collegiate athlete. Coming to Wooster represented a fresh start for me socially and athletically, but soon after arriving on campus, I encountered many obstacles. I immediately began to fall behind academically and was soon diagnosed with ADHD. Although I was struggling in the classroom, I was swimming very well. I was consistently healthy for the first time in two years, and by the end of my first season at Wooster, I was swimming the fastest I ever had.

Coming home for the summer after my first year on campus, I learned that my dad had lost his job while I was at school and that my family would need to move. During my sophomore year, I learned that my mother had cancer and I decided that I needed to withdraw from the College. Because the swim season spans from September to February, I did not complete my second season.

I spent a year-and-a-half away from Wooster. During that time, the pandemic began. My family moved around as we tried to find a permanent place to live. We eventually became homeless, living in the basement of my dad’s coworker because there was nowhere we could afford to rent. So many things had taken over my life: the pandemic, moving away from my family and friends, the end of a three-and-a-half-year long relationship, unstable living conditions, the death of a childhood pet and emotionally supporting my parents through hardship and illness. My swimming career seemed like it was over. Only 13 percent of college dropouts return to graduate in five years.

Over time, my dad got a new job and my mom became healthy. We found a beautiful place where we could afford to live, and I started taking classes at community college. This year, I made it back to Wooster. After a year-and-a-half out of the water, I was welcomed onto a team of the most amazing people I have ever met.

I would not be the person I am today were it not for the love and support of my teammates and the coaches of the swim team. This year, I joined a team that was 70 percent underclassman­ – nobody knew me, yet we inspired each other. My teammates listened to my story, and I listened to theirs. Together we achieved the second highest score at the NCAC Conference meet in school history, were almost undefeated in dual meets and won the Wooster Invitational for the first time in 11 years. This season, I learned that home is the rush of the water and the blur of the tiles gliding by below me as I race with the people I love. 

Voices From the Crowd: Kaiya Magnuson – Discovering The Magic of Ballroom Dancing

Kaiya Magnuson

Contributing Writer


I danced a waltz for the first time last spring, holding a six-foot dowel between me and my dance partner so that we could maintain social distancing. It was a goofy introduction to the sport of ballroom dance, but my experience dancing in-person this year has been unforgettably vibrant.

Ballroom practices are typically my favorite moments of the week. They are a chance to de-stress, connect with friends and try something new. Thanks to my teammates’ incessant chatter and encouragement, I always have a smile on my face, even when I am exhausted after a long workout. Evening social-dance practices are especially energizing since dancers of all levels bring cheerful attitudes and a willingness to learn new dances. We share lighthearted conversations while we dance. Just last week, I chatted with a new acquaintance about the snowfall while simultaneously practicing the tango. Moments of connection like these exemplify how partner sports embrace collaboration and build strong friendships.

When I attended my first ballroom competition last fall, I felt uplifted by my teammates’ support. I was challenged to quickly learn new routines and strengthen my technique in the frantic weeks leading up to the competition. In doing so, I realized how sharing my difficulties and successes with my dance partner helped me build confidence. Every time my dance partner and I nailed a tricky sequence, we shared enthusiastic, hand-stinging high-fives. We carried this sense of camaraderie to the competition, cheering each other on during every dance. Despite not advancing in any of my events, I was proud to have danced my best and I am grateful for my teammates’ encouragement. I look forward to attending future competitions and finding inspiration from the incredible dancers I meet there.

Through ballroom dance, I am constantly learning about coordination and communication. Every week is a chance to practice a new dance, each with its own intricate steps and characteristic postures. Yet ballroom also challenges me to develop my communication skills. Each dance partner has their own unique style, and I am constantly learning how to interpret nonverbal cues so that I can dance harmoniously with others. Ballroom dance is truly both an athletic and social learning opportunity.  

In just one short semester, I danced face-to-face with a partner for the first time, traveled to my first ballroom competition, performed in the Culture Show and formed countless friendships in a fun-loving and supportive community. I look forward to growing as a dancer and as a member of the Wooster community this semester!

The Last Lap: Two Swimmers Reflect on the Season

Kay Wetmore

Contributing Writer

Robby Beal

Contributing Writer


As the 2021-2022 varsity swim season comes to an end, a reflection on our time spent together as a team is inevitable. Beginning in September, our season sprang fresh into action as we welcomed 24 first-years to the team. Our drive was revitalized as old and new personalities mixed and the team’s depth was bolstered by the first-years. This is evidenced by the women’s team’s 7-0 undefeated dual meet record alongside the men’s 6-1 dual meet record and first place finish at the Wooster Invitational, a feat unaccomplished since 2009. In addition to the teams’ victories this season, Head Coach Rob Harrington became the winningest coach in Wooster Swimming and Diving history this past week.

The strong drive found within our team was clear throughout the time spent both here in Wooster and while in Florida during winter break. As we spent time on the warm and sunny shores of St. Petersburg, we received a refreshing break from the academic pressures. This forced us to dedicate time focusing and honing in on our skills to once again be strong competitors in the water. Not only did we push ourselves in the waters of St. Petersburg, but through this shared experience, we became excited and inspired for the rest of our season. During that time training over winter break, we reminded ourselves of our goals for the rest of the season to continue to be the best team we could possibly be.

Looking ahead, we hope to carry our momentum into a successful conference meet. The four-day event is always jam-packed with fast swims and great races that gets the teams and fans loud. This will be the first time the meet will be held since 2020, so for the first-years and sophomores, this will be their first time to encounter such a great atmosphere. Our conference has some of the most competitive college swimming programs in Division III athletics, which always makes the conference meet a fast event full of national qualifiers. Hopefully some of these national qualifiers will be our teammates. Although it was just announced that spectators are not permitted at the conference meet, we are ready to yet again adapt to these changes and find new ways to enjoy the end of our season. As upperclassmen, we are excited to see the rest of our teammates finally experience a full season and hopefully accomplish all our team goals. It has been a long and eventful season, but we would not choose to spend the time with any other team and are excited to see what the next few weeks hold for us.

The Scots’ next meet will be on Saturday, Jan. 29 against Oberlin College at Timken Natatorium. Come out and support the Scots as they hope to finish their season strong!

Voices from the Crowd – A Welcoming Family

Bryon Simpson

Contributing Writer


Being a part of the cross country team this season was more than just running with friends. I vividly remember the first day of practice when my new teammates and I huddled up for the first time, chanting the phrase: “one team, one family.” We huddled like this almost every day, whether it was during regular practices, meets or other special events. “One team, one family” wasn’t a motto that we just casually chanted every day, but it was also expressed during our most important times during the season. This simple phrase sticks with me because it perfectly encapsulates what this team and this season is all about.

One of the key components of why I find this team so special is how inclusive it is and how people treat each other on the team. It doesn’t matter who you are, you will be respected and find yourself at home when you are on this team. Being the diverse team that it is, you are bound to find people with similar or exactly the same interests to yours and ultimately create bonds with those people. I can’t count the amount of wonderful conversations I’ve had with teammates on a daily basis. Overall, everyone on the team has positively impacted each other in some way or form.

I really appreciate how the first-years were welcomed to the team during the first weeks of the season. The seniors did everything they could to make the new runners feel welcome and they definitely delivered. Before anyone knew it, the freshmen became a part of the team almost overnight. Even though I am a current sophomore, the loss of the 2020 season made me feel like a freshman. Although it seems obvious why I was feeling that way, as this was my first year running in college, I really lacked the social aspect during my freshman year and, as a result, didn’t have friends or know many students on campus. It also didn’t help that there was no cross country season in 2020 and less human connection in the 2020-2021 year overall. I am very glad I joined the team because meeting these amazing people on the team really improved my life.

In short, being a part of the cross country team this season made me appreciate the social aspects on campus that I didn’t have prior to this semester and because of that I will be eternally grateful to my XC family.

With the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships occurring on Saturday, Nov. 13, the season is over. Congratulations to both the men’s and women’s teams on great seasons!