Whether they are swimming in the Davidson Natatorium, wrestling in the Hoover Mezzanine or shooting hoops in Yancey Gymnasium, you will never see the wolves under the weather. The winter wolves are prepared for another season this year.
The beginning of November signifies a new dawn for the wrestling team. After winning two individual State Championships last year in the 152lb and 120lb weight class divisions, the boys are back in the Hoover Mezzanine working hard. Senior Corey Berry returned for his sixth year of wrestling this season. When asked about his expectations for this year’s team Berry said, “I am hoping for us to end up at the State Duals in the finals again this year. We will most likely be going against Commerce High School, so I am hoping we can give them a run for their money.”
Many of the wrestling managers expressed how excited they were for a new season to begin. Senior Megan Gallagher said she first became a wrestling manager because she “had a lot of friends on the wrestling team and wanted to be able to support them and help them. Secondly, a bunch of my friends were going to start doing it that year, and I decided to do it with them because I wasn’t playing a winter sport.” Gallagher manages the wrestling Wolves alongside seniors Emma Watkins, Meredith Lynch, Sydney Anderson and Kat Cavanaugh as well as with sophomores Tatum Connor and Elizabeth Stainback and freshman Summer Kidder.
The wrestling managers get together before, during and after every meet to make sure it runs according to plan. Sophomore Elizabeth Stainback said, “As a manager, I go to just about every meet. This includes meets over Thanksgiving and Christmas Break. Really, I’m there to keep a book or record for Coach Stromie so he can look back at this meet and know exactly what happened in every match.”
Both girls and boys basketball begin in early November as well. Led by boys basketball coach Adam Griffin, the boys team hosts returning players as well as new additions. Seniors Banks Ramsey, Zach Hanger, Brae Davidson, Christian McLean and Warner Peaks will be playing for the varsity team this year. And they are excited to lead the team and encourage new players. Hanger said, “I love spending time with the guys and playing as hard as we can.” Freshman William Peaks looks forward to playing and said, “It’s fun to see my older brother on the varsity team. There’s a lot of competition between the two of us.”
Much anticipation surrounds the girls basketball team this year as well. Winning a State Championship in both their freshman and sophomore year, seniors Sutton West and Amaya Register hope to go for a third. Shooting guard and small forward Sutton West said she “started playing competitively around 6th grade but I continued to play because I thought it was really fun and made a lot of new friends.” West and Register both will continue to play basketball in college, with West signing to Furman and Register signing to play for Old Dominion University. High STchool Girls Basketball Coach and Assistant Athletic Director Jan Azar says the team has some new additions this year. Freshmen Paige Lyons, Nicole Azar, Alyssa Phillip, Riley Keller and Gracie Taylor join the high school team this year. Phillip said she hopes to “make it to the State Championship and hopefully win another one.”
The basketball managers feel positive about the new season. Three-time basketball manager and junior Melany Mendez said her favorite part about the job was, “spending time with the basketball team and with the other managers.” Mendez says that to do her job she had to, “give water and towels to the team. We also film the games and in previous years, I have kept stats. During practices, basketball managers set the time on the clock and we also do duties (washing towels, setting the video camera, preparing the medical kit) to get ready for the next game.”
Senior Alejandra Gleason continued, “Out of the three managers, two of us always must show up to practice taking care the time and sometimes rebound when needed.” Alejandra has been a basketball manager for the past two years, originally playing on the girls’ basketball team her freshman and sophomore year. Alejandra said, “After playing two years for Wesleyan I realized basketball wasn’t for me, so after my sophomore year season came to an end I decided to quit. After quitting, I also wanted to be part of the team, so I took the opportunity.
The basketball managers aren’t the only ones gearing up for the winter season as the basketball cheer-leading team “is most excited to possibly return to state to cheer for our girls (and hopefully our guys) basketball team” said senior, and four-year member of the cheer squad, Meagan Lynch. The team is just as close off-court as well. Senior and three-year member Garrett Huggins said, “I love the team element that we have and how close we are as a squad.” Senior and three-year member Meredith Lynch added, “I love how close the squad gets and it’s really cool to get to know people you normally wouldn’t.”
The wet Wolves also have been training for the season. The Wesleyan swim and dive team hosts practice every week day in the Davidson Natatorium, and the team looks promising. Returning senior and water polo captain Grant Beaty says he is” really excited to be a captain this year because it brings lots of things like new friends, leadership and leading the team in the kick-board cheer.” Alongside Grant, full-time swimmer and senior Ethan Moon will be competing for Wesleyan. Through fall, spring and summer Ethan remains a competitive swimmer for Dynamo. When asked about the season, senior diver Sarah Moon said, “Success, to me, is honestly just a good time at practice and the meets. I don’t really care about my place or how well I do. I just like to have a good time. In the words of [junior] Grace Tyler, “I’m not here for a long time, I’m here for a good time.”
All events encourage a sense of community between the players and the crowd, so every student should come out to support each of these sports. They each have something special to offer, so each student should get out and support the Wesleyan winter sports teams.