Archive for: March 2014

Marlins advance to Sweet Sixteen

THOMAS MILLS
Photo Editor

With three minutes and 46 seconds left in the second half of their second-round NCAA elimination playoff game, the Marlins were clinging on to a precious seven-point lead over the Wesley College Wolverines.
Then, to the roar of a packed J.P. Batten Student Center crowd, sophomore guard Sedric Nady nailed a three-point field goal.
“Once he hit that shot, we went on our run and pretty much controlled the rest of the game,” said team captain and senior guard D.J. Woodmore. “His basket was the turning point in the game. From there, it was just a free throw competition.”
“It’s all about finding a way to win and advancing,” said team captain and point guard Aaron Clark.
“For our seniors, this is their fourth trip to the Sweet Sixteen,” said head men’s basketball coach Dave Macedo after the game. “They’ve done an outstanding job. Everybody just wants to win.”
The Marlins, however, will have to place their past successes aside as they shift their focus to Fredericksburg, Virginia, home of the University of Mary Washington Eagles. Ranked 17th in the nation, the Eagles, who defeated the Marlins 95-87 in overtime on Dec. 17, will have home-court advantage in the round of sixteen.
“It’s a big challenge as they are a good team and have been playing well all year,” said Clark. “I’m sure they’ll have a great crowd to support them and it will be a challenge to go on the road and play in a game of this magnitude.”
“We lost to this team the first time around,” said freshman guard Khory Moore. “We are a very good team and it is hard to beat us twice in one season.”
The University of Mary Washington offers a unique matchup for the Marlins. The Eagles are fourth in the nation in three-point field goals per game and total three-point field goals made, making 301 three-point shots throughout their season. Virginia Wesleyan is right behind the Eagles though, as the Marlins have knocked down 296 three-point field goals on the season, putting them fifth in the nation.
“Mary Washington presents the challenge that you have to make shots to beat them,” said Woodmore. “We are one of the best-shooting teams in the country and so are they, which means whichever team shoots it better from the field will have the better chance of winning.”
The Marlins, however, have a significant advantage as they tout the best three-point field goal defense in the country. In their 30 games on the season, Virginia Wesleyan has allowed just 123 three-point field goals, 34 less than the next closest team.
Another intriguing aspect of the Eagles’ hosting the Sweet Sixteen round is that, unlike in previous years when the Marlins had to make long journeys to Wisconsin and Massachusetts, the team gets to stay in their home state.
“It means a lot to stay in the state of Virginia,” said Woodmore. “This means we don’t have plane rides that can tire teams out and can potentially draw a bigger fan support than most other teams in the tournament.”
“We know a lot of our fellow students are from areas close to Mary Washington so it may be possible to have a good crowd with it being spring break this weekend,” said Clark. “Most of us on the team are from the area so it’s not a bad drive for our families as well.”

Winter sports wrap up

KELLIE LAGOY
Sports Writer

The first weekend in March was the time for Virginia Wesleyan College’s winter sports teams to showcase their best performances in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) tournaments.
The men’s basketball team got a first-round bye and rallied their way through the weekend to win the ODAC championship title for the second year in a row. They took down Bridgewater College, Washington and Lee University and Hampden-Sydney College.
“I thought we gave a championship effort,” said head coach Dave Macedo.
The entire team pulled together to get the win in dramatic style, keeping the fans on the edge of their seats during the game. The scoreboard very briefly favored Hampden-Sydney in the championship game, but the Marlins’ confidence never wavered.
“It never went through our head that we weren’t going to win,” said senior Aaron Clark. The Marlins pulled through to win the championship game 77-74.
The women’s basketball team competed in the ODAC tournament as well, though with a different outcome. While the team managed to edge Hollins University in the first round, they fell to Guilford College 79-57 in the quarterfinals.
“The last game was a disappointment to all of us,” said sophomore Kelly Jones. “It was by far not our best game.”
Basketball wasn’t the only sport to see tournament recognition this month. The men and women’s track and field teams broke records and came home with hardware. The men’s team came back with a fourth-place finish while the women placed fifth with their highest point total ever as a team.
Senior Randy Lott set a record time in the 60-meter dash with 6.87 seconds. This time ranks him as the tenth-fastest in the nation for that event. Lott broke VWC’s record as well as setting an ODAC record in the 200-meter run with a time of 22.17 seconds.
Senior Courtney Mebane also held strong in the 60-meter by taking first place while sophomore Shakira Mills put up a program-record time of 7.90 in the 60 and junior Shakiella Daniel broke another program record in the 200.
“We had a lot of personal records at this meet, which gives us high hopes and motivates us for the outdoor season,” said Daniel.
All three teams played to the best of their abilities and all managed to shine bright for Virginia Wesleyan. Now each team faces different levels of competition as they look forward to what is to come.
The men’s basketball team will continue to compete in the NCAA tournament, the women’s basketball team will set a game plan for next season and both track teams will prepare themselves for the upcoming outdoor season.

Coaching accomplishment, team adversity

KERRI-LEANNE TAYLOR
Sports Editor

Baseball Head Coach Nick Boothe wins his 600th career game, but the team starts their 2014 campain with a losing record.

The baseball team has already started out their 2014 campaign breaking records, and they are only 13 games into the season. On Feb. 23, Baseball Head Coach Nick Boothe recorded his 600th career win, as his team won a closely fought game against Averett University.
This milestone places Coach Boothe amongst the collegiate coaching elite, as he is now one of only 30 men who have gained the prestigious 600-win status. Although this season has begun with personal triumph for Coach Boothe, he is not satisfied with his current success, and hopes his team continues to work hard and win games.
“Coach Boothe’s 600 win is a great feat in college coaching but it does not seem to have changed his hunger to win every game we play.” said junior pitcher Dylan Stoskus.
The coaching milestone has come amidst a shaky start of the season for the baseball team as a whole. Currently, the team posts a 3-10 record, but they look to keep improving as the season progresses.
“We’ve had a rough start but we’ve shown a lot of signs of improvement. We have a lot of young guys that are stepping up and bringing a lot of energy, which pushes everyone to work harder to improve.” said Senior pitcher Brooks Kirby.
The team’s losses have come to quality opponents, including nationally ranked Salisbury and Cortland St. The team looks to gain experience from these defeats, as well as motivation to keep progressing on the road to an Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) title.
The unique combination of hard work and teamwork which the team displays on a daily basis will help them to move on from these losses and get back on track to a successful season.
“We are more than a team. We are a family, and I know this family is destined for success. With our work ethic and determination, I know we can achieve anything put in front of us. I wouldn’t want to go to battle with any other men than these guys I’m honored to call my teammates and coaches” said junior George Annunziata.
The Marlins were ranked the ninth seed in the ODAC preseason poll, but they look to prove everybody wrong in their upcoming games, and produce record-setting performances this season.
“I’m hoping we make it farther than the ODAC thought we would. I’m not bothered by it, I just think we are going to surprise some people.” said freshman Taylor Erby.
With a combination of experienced returners and talented new-comers, the team hopes to finish their season in first place, and bring home the ODAC title. The team will keep working their relentless pursuit of a championship, no matter what may come their way.
“My motto is ‘Don’t ever give up on something you can’t go a day without’, and we are a team that will never give up on our love for the game of baseball.” said junior George Annunziata.
The team plays at home this weekend, facing conference foe Lynchburg in a double-header on Saturday, and will play against Earlham on Sunday. Both games begin at 12pm, so if you’re sticking around for spring break, venture out to the field and support your Marlins!

Madness is in full effect

DJ WOODMORE
Staff Writer

There is only one month out of the year when grown men can be seen dancing and crying all on the same stage. Only one month when underdogs are the favorites, dreams are shattered and legacies are made. And only one month in which your chance of winning the lottery is slightly greater than picking a perfect bracket. The month is March and this one already looks to be one for the ages.
“March Madness is a brutal time of year for everybody,” Head Men’s Basketball Coach Dave Macedo said. “It’s all about surviving and advancing, or else it’s lose and go home.”
Macedo has experience at every level of the NCAA tournament, from first-round upsets to national championship rings and everything in between. He has made an appearance in the “Big Dance” each of the last 10 years at VWC.
“This tournament can either break your heart or create memories that last a lifetime,” he said. “The key is getting hot at the right time plus a little bit of luck.”
But while the NCAA tournaments at the Division II and III levels have already begun, the teams at the Division I level are still playing for their spots in the bracket. Everybody’s favorite teams, such as Duke and UNC, are still looking to keep hope alive as they end their regular season and get ready to begin conference play.
From there, those who win their conference tournaments will receive automatic bids to the NCAA tournament and those who don’t will hope to continue their season with an at-large bid. There are 351 teams in Division I that all start the season with a common goal, but only 68 of those teams advance to the tournament.
“We all want to watch the David vs. Goliath matchup and the Cinderella team come out on top, but nobody picks them because we don’t want it to mess up our bracket,” senior Trent Batson said.
This year the players will not be the only ones expecting perfection on the court; fans will be thirsting for it. What’s at stake? One billion dollars! According to Rob Wile of the news website “Business Insider,” Berkshire Hathaway has teamed up with Cleveland Cavaliers owner and Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert to offer college basketball fans a shot at becoming a billionaire. Legendary investor Warren Buffet will be awarding one billion dollars to any fan that creates a perfect bracket in this year’s NCAA tournament.
“This adds tons of excitement to the sport of college basketball and makes every game just a little bit more important for both the players and fans,” sophomore guard Sedric Nady said.
Its important to note that a perfect bracket has NEVER been filled out in the history of the Bracket Challenge, which makes this challenge that much more exciting. But all is not lost if your bracket has an error or two, because Quicken Loans will be awarding $100,000 each to contestants with the 20 imperfect brackets closest to being correct. So, if you get painfully close to perfection and fall short, there’s still big money to be won.
Last year’s tournament was full of bracket busters, none more evident than Florida Gulf Coast University, who stole the NCAA tournament’s spotlight with high-flying alley oops and NBA-range 3-pointers. In doing so, they became the first 15 seed in NCAA basketball history to advance to the Sweet 16.
This year’s college basketball has already had its fair share of history-making moments, including Wichita State’s perfect regular-season record of 31-0, the first undefeated season the NCAA has seen in 10 years. Another standout is Creighton University’s senior forward Doug McDermott who looks likely to join the 3,000-point club, a feat that only seven collegiate athletes have ever accomplished in their NCAA careers.
March has officially begun but the madness hasn’t even started yet. The official start day of the tournament is March 18, and all games will be streamed for free on various sponsoring websites, as well as be aired on cable television channels including CBS, TNT, TBS and TruTV.
The 2014 tennis season is nearly in full swing. Both the men and women’s teams have been preparing for this Spring season.
Head Coach Darryl Cummings, born and raised in Virginia Beach, has returned to Virginia Wesleyan after a decade of coaching at Old Dominion University. Having years of collegiate coaching experience, Cummings has been confidently training his players for the upcoming season.
“In the fall, we had two to three tournaments that provided competitive opportunities,” he said. “It gave the coaches and players good feedback on how to develop their games.”
In addition to team training, many players pursued individual improvement during their school breaks.
Sophomore Mia Proctor prepared for the fall and upcoming season by playing and teaching tennis during the summer.
“This helped me understand what I had to work on,” Proctor said. “I also tried to work on my mental game and under that anyone on any day can win the match.”
Fellow sophomore player Graham Wilson prepared for the upcoming season by training over winter break and meeting with his personal trainers three times a week at Tidewater Performance in Newport News.
“This season I plan on trying to improve my record from last year to go as far as I can and hopefully make it to nationals in May,” Wilson said.
Proctor’s goals for this season is being a leader and making sure everyone is trying their best on the court, while Wilson hopes the team’s training will lead them to a win at the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) championship.
One of the most exciting aspects of the players’ training takes place during Spring Break. Both teams will travel to Florida over break to enhance their understanding of the game and become closer as a team. The trip will begin in Orlando where players will be matched by teams … (play a couple of teams.)
“I am really looking forward to the trip because it will give good training opportunities,” Cummings said.
Next, the teams will attend a pro tournament in Miami where they’ll observe the highest level playing and train at IMG Academy in Bradenton, where famous tennis players like Venus and Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Andre Agassi are alumni and trainees.
“I’m expecting the team to do well during the season and to really understand what it means to be a team,” Proctor said.
Players are working extremely hard to cooperate as a team and are confident that their training can lead to championships.
Cummings stated confidently, “This season, the men have the chance to compete for a conference championship and the women’s have a chance to be at the top 5 this season.”

Artist Spotlight: Paul Kaufmann

EMILY GIBSON
Staff Writer

In the dimly lit studio theater in the fine arts building, junior Paul Kaufmann is stretched out on an old red sofa. Each time the camera clicks, he adjusts his pose; at one point, he poses like Rose Dawson from “Titanic,” then like a preteen girl at a sleepover, and then he enthusiastically points down at his boots with an energetic grin.
“No one is ever going to take me seriously again,” he laughs as he repositions himself and poses again for the camera.
Kaufmann is a theater major at Virginia Wesleyan who has acted in four school productions.
In VWC’s theatre department’s production of “Noises Off” in the fall of 2012, Kaufmann played his favorite role to date: Garry Lejeune. Garry, an actor who can never quite finish a sentence, has a role, Roger, in a play within the play.
“It allowed me to play two different people at once, since the whole production was an actor playing a role then going back to himself,” said Kaufmann. “I know this sounds crazy, but when I act, I have to go into my character’s mind to see how they would think. So Garry was a challenge for me because I had to create mannerisms for him then figure out what mannerisms Garry would create for the character he plays in the show and how would he portray his character, and how can I portray him portraying his character.”
Opening April 9 in the Hofheimer Theater, Kaufmann’s next role is Bottom in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” As rehearsals progress, he is working on developing his character, and figuring out how to portray him.
“When I play a character, I try to create what I think they mentally want, what their deeds are, and work around that,” said Kaufmann. “So for Bottom, in the play he literally becomes an ass. So, I’m trying to present this overbearing guy that you don’t want to work with, but at the same time I think he has a bit of heart to him. So I’m trying to portray this big, colossal, arrogant ass while deep down he really cares and this is just who he is. He just doesn’t realize he’s forcing all of these people to go through torment with him.”
When one is talking with Kaufmann, the hours of work he has dedicated to perfecting his skill are apparent. From getting into character, to memorizing lines to performing, being a theater major is a lot of work.
However, the craft goes underappreciated nonetheless.
“I think it’s funny how you’re a theater major, you get made fun of. But, you know, the Oscars just happened and when those prolific people talk about how they get into character, they are respected artists. Like, people think Leo DiCaprio is the Van Gogh of our time, but when I say I am a theater major, people say ‘Oh, so you want to work at McDonald’s or be a taxi driver?’” said Kaufmann.
Last fall, Kaufmann studied theater in London, and was met with a different outlook on the major and the craft.
“I like to make a joke when I tell people I’m a theater major. I’ll say ‘Oh, I’m going to do the one thing that’s going to make me the most amount of money and guarantee me a job: theater,’” said Kaufmann. “Then people in America laugh and say ‘Oh, you can’t be serious.’ But in London when you say that, you get such high respect and people say ‘Oh, well good for you.’ It was really cool because I feel like with the arts over there, people see it as not only doing an art but it being your craft and a part of who you are.”
Back in America, however, theater majors are still met with skepticism and condescension.
“There’s great talent here and it sucks because people don’t focus on that,” said Kaufmann. “People think acting is easy unless you’re in some big movie. It’s very easy with the arts to generalize it instead of focusing on it and realizing how much work we put into each and everything we do.”
As he prepares for his senior year at Virginia Wesleyan, Kaufmann has big plans for the future.
“Ideally—bam, I move to Chicago after I graduate, go to The Second City, and Lorne Michaels from Saturday Night Live is going to pick me up, put me on SNL, then I’m going to network out like Jason Sudeikis and make movies or do stage productions, whatever,” Kaufmann said.
Realistically, however, he is thinking smaller: “Since I studied at a small school, I have experience helping with lights, sound, and stage. So I can show up in Chicago and say ‘I can do lights, I can do sound, I also perform, what do you need?’” he said. “So, realistically, I’ll move out to Chicago and whatever comes my way, comes my way.”

Can’t beat no meat

Glenn Rose
Staff Writer

Yorgo’s Bageldashery serves vegan-friendly options

You wouldn’t expect a bagel restaurant to be a good place to find vegan-friendly sandwiches, yet Yorgo’s Bageldashery (which seems to be a word they have made up) has a whole menu devoted to giving vegans and vegetarians a new place to eat.
Restaurants that cater to those who have tried to remove animals from their diet are on the rise in Norfolk. If you are interested in the meat substitutes, they have vegan chicken, barbeque chicken, egg salad, chicken salad, bacon and lastly Philly cheesesteak. The vegan Philly is the best thing here by far, the texture and taste of the sandwich exactly what I remember real Philly cheesesteaks tasting like.
This restaurant is small and closes at 3 p.m. every day, which I think has helped their business. The many times I’ve gone in to Yorgo’s there have been a lot of people inside. I believe this is partially because of the early closing time. They are shaving off extra hours of labor and people feel the need to “get in there before it closes!” There is no shortage of restaurants that do this, many of which are found in Norfolk. The reasoning behind this isn’t just to save hours, it makes it easier to keep your ingredients fresh. Since you don’t have to worry about staying open all day, you have time to find fresh ingredients for each day and not staying open all day, means you won’t have to spend as much money replacing the produce.
I’m assuming this attitude came from being a restaurant that specializes in bagels, considering that bagels are meant to be eaten fresh and if they’re day-old they’re sold at a major discount.
On the subject of their bagels, well, they are delicious. But this shouldn’t be a surprise since they are a bagel place. There are almost 30 types of bagels to choose from, some of which can even be purchased layered with the vegan options mentioned earlier. If you don’t want your vegan food on a bagel, well, no problem! They have wraps and sandwiches too, along with a whole cooler full of drinks you don’t typically see anywhere else and an equally unique soda fountain machine which has a personal favorite of mine, birch beer. You will definitely enjoy your stay.
Yorgo’s is in the Ghent area of downtown Norfolk, which is heavily populated by young people. This could also be part of the reason why they choose to sell food that is vegan-friendly, since most vegans are young. If this restaurant keeps its popularity up, other places will hopefully see the appeal in having a meat-free menu.