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Senior Electra Korn runs at the Panther Indoor Icebreaker last Friday. Korn finished third in the 60-meter dash and a second 200-meter dash among non-Division I athletes at the meet. Courtesy of Emory Athletics.

By Zak Hudak
Sports Editor

The Emory Eagles track and field teams faced off with 24 other teams  in their first competition of the season last Friday. Scored differently than Division I teams, the women’s team returned with a first-place finish at the Panther Indoor Icebreaker, while the men’s team secured a fifth-place slot out of 24 teams.

Despite the Eagles’ strong finishes, this meet was most about allowing athletes to measure their progress, Head Coach John Curtin said.

“The score is secondary this time of year, he said. “We were getting each of the kids an opportunity to find out where they are with their training. The distance kids had the cross country season to measure themselves, but this was the first time many of our kids competed.”

The women’s team, which ended the meet with 86 points, was led by junior distance runner Julie Williamson. With a time of 2:18.43, her 800-meter dash is the fastest ran by a D III woman this season, according to Curtin.

In his first-ever collegiate meet, freshman Phillip Greenfield notched a seventh-place finish in the 60-yard dash and a 13th-place finish in the 200-meter dash, clocking in at 7.16 and 23.36 seconds, respectively. He and all other Emory athletes were scored against other non-Division I athletes.

For the women, senior Elaina Kim cleared 3.2 meters in the pole vault, notching the team’s sole first-place at the meet. Senior Electra Korn paced the Eagles with a third-place 7.96 second finish in the 60-meter dash and a second-place 25.58 second 200-meter dash. Junior Julie Williamson took second in the 800-meter dash, earning a time of 2:18.43, while sophomore Kelsey Abbott ran a low 11s 3,000-meter race, sophomore Mackenzie Levy secured a 5:23.40 mile and junior Alexandra Aiello triple jumped 10.16 meters.

On the men’s side, senior thrower James Bassen managed a distance of 14.69 meters in the weight throw, and junior Jacob Seigel completed 12.28 meters in the shot put. Sophomore Jake Schlessinger took third-place in the 3,000-meter race, finishing in 9:08.45. Junior Dametris Osbourne managed fifth in the high jump, clearing 1.70 meters, while junior Spencer Koh pole vaulted a career-high 4.10 meters.

“I was totally blown away by some of what we saw.” — Head Coach John Curtin

Freshmen from both teams showed promise for the future of Emory track and field. Freshman jumper Charlie Hu led the Eagles with a third-place 12.80 meter triple jump and a fifth-place 6.04 meter long jump.

Other top freshmen performers for the men were Benjamin Rogin in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.63 seconds, Zach Lamb in the 400-meter dash with a time of 52.86 seconds, Max Brown in the mile with a time of 4:24.50 and Charles King, who ran a 1:59.02 800-meter race.

For the freshmen women, Erica Goldman took sixth with a 59.98 second 400-meter dash, Caitlin Cheeseboro took third with a time of 9.77 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles, Valerie Linck made eighth-place with a 1.40 meter high jump, Zoe Fowler took fourth with a 11.56 meter weight throw and Kora Dreffs took fifth with a 10.21-meter shot put throw.

“[The first meet] is an anxious time, and we have so many freshmen and young kids,” Curtin said. “It was really fun for us to see what they did when they were asked to toe the line.”

While the Birmingham-Southern College (Ala.)-hosted Panther Indoor Ice Breaker was held at the Birmingham Crossplex, one of the nicest indoor facilities in the country, the indoor track and field season can be difficult to train for. Being without their own indoor track, the Eagles practice on the outdoor Woodruff Physical Education (WoodPEC) track as often as possible. When the weather does not permit, as it did not with the snow storms last year, the teams improvise.

“I don’t see it as a hindrance in a big way,” Curtain said. “We run parking lot towers. We’ll get on the indoor running track.”

Training is made all the more difficult when athletes return home to cold areas for winter break.

“I’ve had a kid run intervals in a mall early in the morning or run hallways in hotels,” Curtin said. “They might shovel off [snow in] one lane of their high school track.”

Measuring up against D-I opponents was important for the Eagles, as the University Athletic Association (UAA) is one of the strongest D-III conferences in the country.

“The UAA is possibly the best distance running conference in the country,” Curtin said. “It’s not as deep in track and field [as in cross country], but still high-level performance. At the top of every category, there is a national caliber athlete.”

The Eagles will return to action after break on Jan. 10, 2015 with the Orange and Purple Classic at Clemson University (S.C.), a meet which Curtin feels confident going into after last Friday.

“I was totally blown away by some of what we saw,” he said.

— By Zak Hudak, Sports Editor

trawick_Covenant_preview

Junior forward Will Trawick dribbles around an opposing player. Trawick brought in 23 and six points in the Eagles wins over Trinity University (Texas) and Washington University in St.Louis (Mo.), respectfully, last weekend. Courtesy of Emory Athletics.

By Jacob Spitzer
Staff Writer

The Emory Eagles had a successful weekend at the Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.) Lopata Classic winning two of two games and bringing their record to 6-1 on the season.

“It’s always good to go away like that. We treat it as a tournament,” Head Coach Jason Zimmerman said. “[There isn’t] a lot of time in between games. [It’s] like a UAA weekend.

On Friday, the Eagles first defeated the Trinity University (Texas) Lions 83-74. Senior forward Alex Foster and junior forward Will Trawick led the team offensively with an impressive 23 points each. Senior guard Josh Schattie also scored in the double digits with 14 points.

“It feels good to go out there after a tough loss and just win a game,” Foster said. “It gave us back our confidence.”

Emory scored 45.3 percent of field goals to Trinity’s 46.7 percent.

The Eagles also scored 40 percent of its 30 attempted threes, while the Lions scored 38.1 percent of their 21.

“We had a lot of energy, and we were focused.” — senior forward Alex Foster

Sophomore forward A.J. Pulliam headed the Lions’ charge with 23 points, followed by senior guard Matt Selling with 14.

“I’ve never won on the Wash. U court before,” Foster remarked. “It felt great knowing we could play well there. Hopefully, it’ll translate over to when we play Wash. U later this season.”

Although the Eagles came away with a strong win, Trinity is by no means a weak team.

“Trinity has been in the NCAA Tournament the last three years,” Zimmerman said. “They’re 0-and-something, but their schedule has been ridiculous.”

The Eagles and the Wash. U have a long time rivalry with the Wash. U Bears having the edge so far over Emory. Washington University is nationally ranked third, while Emory is sixth.

On Saturday, the Eagles took on the University of La Verne (Calif.) Leopards, pulling ahead 80-59. Foster once again led the team offensively, scoring 13 points, followed by senior point guard Michael Florin with 12.

“I was really happy with how we played,” Foster said. “We had a lot of energy, and we were focused. We played like we did against Guilford.”

Sophomore forward Austin DaGue added 10, notching his second double-digit score of the season.

“DaGue really impressed me this weekend,” Foster said. “He’s from St. Louis so his family was at the game. While he was a little off the first game, he really stepped it up in the second. It’s a really great feeling to play well in front of your family.”

Sophomore guards Hakim Arnold and Kendall McClain led the Leopards with 20 and 11 points respectively.

Emory made 41.5 percent of its field goals with La Verne making 37.7 percent. On three pointers, the Eagles scored 34.6 percent (9) of their 26 attempted while the Leopards scored only 18.8 percent (3) of their 16 attempted. Emory rebounded 49 over the 36 of La Verne.

The Eagles return to action on Wednesday, Dec. 10 when they travel to Covenant College (Ga.) for their final game of the semester.

— By Jacob Spitzer, Staff Writer

wilson

Junior Andrew Wilson glides through the water in a breaststroke race.  Wilson broke national records in the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke races at the Miami University (Ohio) Invitational last week. Courtesy of Emory Athletics.

By Elana Cates
Asst. Sports Editor

The Emory men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams competed successfully this past weekend at the 21st annual Miami University (Ohio) Invitational. Both Emory teams placed fourth out of six, while the men’s and women’s diving teams came in fourth and the men’s in third, respectfully.

The star of the invite was junior Andrew Wilson, who led the men’s team by setting Division III records with winning time of 1:57.18 in the 200-yard breaststroke and a of 53.41 in the 100-yard breaststroke. He also broke an Emory school record in the 200-yard individual medley (1:47.59), and gained NCAA “B” cut times as a part of the Eagles’ 400-yard medley relay and 200-yard medley relay teams.

“For me, [the national records] weren’t that big of a deal in terms of moving forward with the rest of the season,” Wilson said. “The goal still remains to get points at the end of the season for NCAAs and just try to get better every day.

Head Coach Jon Howell’s goals were also aimed at the end of the season.

“[Wilson’s record] was not a big surprise, he is a great swimmer and his hard work has paid off,” Howell said. “It was a good meet, but we are still looking forward to next semester and nationals.”

In the 1,650-yard freestyle, sophomore Christian Baker led the Eagles’ 1650-yard freestyle performance with a first place “B” cut time finish of 15:33.62. He was followed by freshman Henry Copses (5:44.52) in fourth, sophomore Mitchell Cooper (15:47.88) in fifth and junior Eagan Zettlemoyer (15:55.73) in seventh.

In the 200-yard backstroke, junior Jared Scheuer picked up a third place finish with a “B” cut time of 1:47.91.

The team of Cooper, Wilson, senior Hayden Baker and freshman Alexander Hardwick came in first place in the 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:16.70.

Hardwick came in sixth place with a time of 45.51 seconds in the 100-yard freestyle, while Baker and junior John Galvin claimed third and fourth, respectively.

In the 200-yard breaststroke, following Wilson, were fifth place senior Eric Ruggieri (2:02.48), sixth place freshman Chandler Lichtefeld (2:03.74) and ninth place freshman Cooper Tollen (2:02.46).

The women came home with 60 NCAA ‘B’ cut times.

In the 100-yard backstroke sophomore Claire Liu claimed first place with a time of 55.28 seconds.

The team of junior Ellie Thompson, sophomore Annelise Kowalsky, sophomore Marcela Sanchez-Aizcorbe and senior Nancy Larson, with a ‘B’ cut time of 1:42.78, won the 200-yard medley relay.

The team of sophomore Claire Liu, sophomore Marissa Bergh, senior Dana Holt and senior Nancy Larson won the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:33.30.

A first-place finish claimed by the team of Liu, Bergh, freshman Julia Wawer and Larson earned a ‘B’ cut time of 3:23.29 in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

Senior Nina Zook picked up a second place ‘B’ cut time of 2:02.84 in the 200-yard butterfly.

In the 100-yard freestyle, Larson placed second (50.20), Bergh placed seventh (51.23 seconds), Liu placed ninth (51.62) and Holt placed 17th (52.13 seconds), each earning “B” cut times.

In the 200-yard backstroke, freshman Cindy Cheng notched a third place time of 2:00.87.

By the end of the weekend Emory’s two teams had snagged 95 NCAA ‘B’ cuts, two NCAA Division III records and one Emory record.

“Our teams did great across the board. Our focus this time of the year is always to just improve,” Howell said. “This meet gave us the confidence that our work this past semester has paid off, and we are looking forward to working towards Nationals and the end of the season. We had great team performances with strong upperclassmen leadership and are excited for next semester.”

The Eagles are done with their schedule for 2014 and will return after winter break on Friday, Jan. 9 at Florida Southern College.

— By Elana Cates, Asst. Sports Editor.

 

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Sophomore guard Michelle Bevan protects the ball from a defender. Bevan made her season debut in the Eagles’ tough loss to the Maryville College (Tenn.) Scots last Sunday. She added six points to Emory’s scoreboard. Courtesy of Emory Athletics.

 

 

By Zak Hudak
Sports Editor

Despite a valiant first half effort, the Eagles dropped to Maryville College (Tenn.) 80-61 last Sunday. The loss was their second-in-a-row and brought their season’s record to 3-2.

“[The Maryville Scots are] not street players,” junior guard Ilene Tsao said. “If they make a mistake, they know how to come back. They stick to the X’s and O’s. They play basketball the way it’s supposed to be played.”

The Maryville Scots took the court with great momentum, earning a strong 21-6 lead with 11 minutes remaining in the first half. Beginning with a jumper and a layup from freshman forward Dumebi Egbuna and headed by five points from Tsao, the Eagles then went on a 13-point rally, tying the score at 21 with five and a half minutes remaining in the half. During that time, the Eagles notched six rebounds and six steals. In the remainder of the first half, the Scots outscored the Eagles by seven points, leaving the scoreboard at 26-29.

The Scots rallied early in the second half, scoring 12-in-a-row and bringing the score to 51-33, but the Eagles responded by taking 10 of the next 12 points, six of which were brought by Egbuna. A three-point shot from junior guard Khadijah Sayyid with just under nine minutes remaining brought the Eagles’ deficit to single digits, but an eight-point stretch from the Scots’ made the score 65-48 with 7:12 on the clock. Maryville went on to keep their lead at 15 or more until the final buzzer.

“We sort of lulled into half time. We needed to come out strong during the second half,” Tsao said. “We got the defensive stops, but we weren’t converting on the offensive side. They kept hitting a lot of deep threes.”

The Scots managed an impressive 59.7 shooting percent from three-point range, on top of a 47.5 percentage from the field. The Eagles, who shot 40 percent from the floor, were offensively led by Junior guard Khadijah Sayyid.

“They had a lot of hunger and probably wanted it a little more than we did,” Sayyid said.

Although this game ended with a steep scoring deficit, Emory’s games against Maryville are generally tight, according to Sayyid.

“It’s usually a good game,” she said. “We try to take each game as a championship game.”

On Tuesday, the Eagles bounced back from their two consecutive losses with a 68-45 home decision over Sewanee: The University of the South (Tenn.).

“We lost two in-a-row and we took that pretty hard,” Tsao said. “Our mentality going into [the Sewanee game] game was: this is where we sweat. This is where we work. We don’t want to let anyone come into our court and think they can play with us. Our goal tonight was to get back on wind column and to get the ball rolling again.”

The Eagles return to action next Monday against Agnes Scott College (Ga.) at the Woodruff Physical Education Center (WoodPEC).

“We responded really well to our losses,” Sayyid said. “[The Sewanee game] showed us that our team has a lot of potential.”

 

Junior forward Sarah Arington takes a shot. After consecutive losses to Birmingham-Southern College (Ala.) and Maryville College (Tenn.), Arington and the Eagles defeated Sewanee: The University of the South (Tenn.) at home on Tuesday. Photo by Mark Spicer/Staff.

Junior forward Sarah Arington takes a shot. After consecutive losses to Birmingham-Southern College (Ala.) and Maryville College (Tenn.), Arington and the Eagles defeated Sewanee: The University of the South (Tenn.) at home on Tuesday. Photo by Mark Spicer/Staff.

By Oliver Rockman
Staff Writer

After losing their previous two games, the Emory women’s basketball team landed on their feet Tuesday night against previously undefeated Sewanee: The University of the South (Tenn.), winning 68-45.

The win elevated the Eagles’ record to 4-2.

The game was initially hotly contested, as Sewanee held a 10-9 lead before the Eagles scored 14 unanswered points, spearheaded by a pair of three pointers from guards junior Khadijah Sayyid and sophomore Shellie Kaniut. Head Coach Christy Thomaskutty was pleased with the Eagles’ competitive drive after they struggled in their previous home game against Birmingham-Southern College (Ala.).

“We gave a great effort. We did not a week ago [against Birmingham-Southern], and paid for it,” she said. “Our bigger issue was that a team embarrassed us on our home court. [At home, our opponents are] going to have to battle to beat us.”

The Eagles did not let go of their 23-10 lead, and in the second half, had an advantage as big as 26. Kaniut scored an impressive 19 points, making three of her four three-point attempts, and Sayyid chipped in an additional 15.

Sophomore Michelle Bevan added 11 points off the bench, a career best. Thomaskutty said the entire team contributed to the win, but mentioned Sayyid, as well as junior guard Ilene Tsao, for their specific roles in the victory.

“What you saw last night was incremental improvement from every player. K.J. [Sayyid] did so many things defensively, and Ilene was the glue throughout her 30 minutes,” she said. “As a team, we showed great improvement.”

Tsao also credited the entire team’s effort in securing the victory.

“Our transition game and ability to execute our press was a key factor to the game,” she said. “They struggled to keep up with our fast tempo and ended up having to rush a lot of their shots.”

She identified two teammates whom she felt deserved additional praise.

“Shellie Kaniut had a great offensive game and really set the pace as the point guard, while K.J. Sayyid created a lot of havoc by pressuring Sewanee’s ball handlers.”

In the team’s losses, the Eagles didn’t show great intensity, Thomaskutty said.

Against Sewanee, things changed, and Thomaskutty believes the team’s mentality is one of their keys to victory.

“[We have been] starting off really slow,” she said. “That’s what we’ve been practicing: can we stay intense throughout a practice and then a game?”

As the season progresses, an improvement on defense will lead to better offensive opportunities, which will be followed by greater success, according to Thomaskutty.

“We’ve got to continue to shore up our defense. Anytime we get a stop, it’s amazing how much better of a shot we get,” Thomaskutty said.

Tsao affirmed Thomaskutty’s feelings of a strong need for defensive improvement.

“There are many areas of improvement for our team at this point in the season, but we are trying to focus on defense and rebounding,” she said. “If we can keep teams to low field goal percentages and play lockdown defense, it will transfer over to the offensive end.”

The team will look to put those changes into practice next Monday, Dec. 8, when they host neighbors Agnes Scott College (Ga.) at 6 p.m.

— By Oliver Rockman, Contributing Writer

Cleveland Browns backup quarterback Johnny Manziel sets himself before making a throw. According to writer Jayson Patel, the Browns should give Manziel Brian Hoyer’s starting spot. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Cleveland Browns backup quarterback Johnny Manziel sets himself before making a throw. According to writer Jayson Patel, the Browns should give Manziel Brian Hoyer’s starting spot. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Hello, and welcome to another edition of The Beej Knows Best. This will be the last edition this semester, which I’m sure makes you equally if not more sad than me. At first, I was hoping to write something sentimental, something that would last the cold winter that many of us are most certainly going to have. Perhaps it would revolve around schoolwork, or family, or a hot button issue in the public news. As I grabbed my winter coat and headed for Thanksgiving, I was hoping to gain some clarity by the beginning of this week. And let me tell you, things are clearer than they’ve ever been.

We are going to talk about Johnny Football! Who else? Last year, I wrote that the Houston Texans should have pulled the trigger on Manziel. I’ve stood by the fact that I believe in his ability to become a star in this league. But I don’t believe starting him is the right move, from a statistical or a locker room chemistry perspective.

Earlier this year, I said that I had taken a serious interest in the Browns this season. And so far, they haven’t disappointed. The Browns need to revert their offensive strategy back to the pre-Josh Gordon days. As I watched the Browns on TV, I was happy to see Gordon, who looked nearly at full strength after his 12-week absence. The issue is that the offense has revolved too much around Gordon, and both the Falcons and the Bills were able to capitalize on that fact.

Looking at the numbers, Gordon has caught 15 balls this year on 29 targets, putting him at a catches-to-target percentage of 51.72. Looking at the entire NFL, the average is 63.97 percent. If we narrow our scope to the top 32 receivers, the percentage increases to 64.90. And finally, if we were to look at the top-10 wide receivers, an elite class that Gordon could fall into, then it again increases to 67.17. This means that Gordon is catching 12.24 percent less targets than the league, 13.17 percent less targets than the top-32 wide-outs and 15.45 percent less than the top 10. Not a great sign for your top playmaker.

The next logical thought is that Gordon is showing obvious rust from his time off. However, Gordon has only dropped one ball in his 29 targets, which yields a drop rate of 3.44 percent. The league average drop rate, which is calculated by dividing total drops by total targets, was 4.32 percent. Gordon’s rate is better, but he’s not a merely average wide receiver. Thus, it is fair to say his low catches-per-target percentage isn’t a result of him dropping the ball.

The next step is to look at Gordon’s per-game numbers. For this, I only looked at the top-10 wide receivers, because that is where Gordon should be, based on his production last season. These players averaged 6.63 receptions per game on 9.88 targets. Gordon has averaged 7.5 receptions per game on 14.5 targets. Although he’s been catching 13.09 percent more than these other top wide receivers, he’s done so on 46.84 percent more targets. That’s a staggering amount, and something that the Falcons certainly adjusted for, and the Bills certainly prepared for. Quarterback Brian Hoyer has been essentially throwing the ball up there and hoping that Gordon can come down with it.

The Browns were sitting at 6-4 before Gordon came back, but their offense was still fairly anemic. I believe that their game plan shifted to giving their best playmaker the ball, which on paper seems logical. But this philosophy has caused Hoyer to throw the ball to Gordon in less than ideal situations. Since Gordon has been back, Hoyer has thrown five interceptions, doubling his total from the previous 11 games. Of those five, three were directed Gordon’s way. Teams will continue to double-team Gordon, and if the Browns’ game plan stays the same, it won’t matter who plays quarterback.

Based on the numbers, it shows that Gordon’s presence so far has changed the Browns’ offensive game plan, and this change has been detrimental. Previously, their best wide receiver was Andrew Hawkins, who was only getting 8.18 targets per game, followed by Miles Austin at 6.08. Hoyer averages 32.91 pass attempts per game, so these two accounted for 24.86 and 18.48 percent of the passing attack. In Gordon’s first game back, he was targeted on 16 of Hoyer’s 40 passes, or a whopping 40 percent. Against the Bills, Hoyer threw 30 passes before being pulled, 12 of which were in Gordon’s direction, once again totaling 40 percent. That’s just too much action for one player, regardless of his supporting cast. Before changing to Manziel, Head Coach Mike Pettine and the Browns should go back to the basics. The ball will find Gordon if and when he gets open. Forcing the issue is not the solution.

From a chemistry standpoint, switching this late into the season to a rookie quarterback in Manziel would be hazardous at the least.

First, Hoyer is the respected veteran who won the position and played well for the first 10 games of the season. According to multiple reports, he is a locker room leader. He is also in the last year of his contract. If the Browns played Manziel, signaling that the team had given up on Hoyer, they couldn’t possibly put Hoyer back on the field in the event that Manziel does have some rookie growing pains. They would also be indicating that they do not want to re-sign him in the offseason. If Manziel were to struggle immensely down the stretch, the Browns would have to go out and sign or potentially even draft a quarterback to compete at the position.

Keeping Manziel on the bench leaves more options open. If Hoyer succeeds and the Browns make it somewhat deep into the playoffs, then they can consider signing him to a large contract and potentially even trading Manziel. If Hoyer struggles, they can let him go in the offseason and move on to Manziel next season. By sticking with the incumbent, the player that got them to the hunt in the first place, the Browns are not only keeping their options open, but they also are protecting the locker room chemistry.

The problem in Cleveland thus far is not Brian Hoyer. I’m not saying that he is a franchise quarterback, nor am I saying that he has the ability to take the Browns to the playoffs this season. However, the Browns’ offensive strategy since Josh Gordon’s return has hamstrung Hoyer, and he has struggled as a result. The Browns have a small chance of making the playoffs this season. They shouldn’t risk ruining their locker room chemistry or preemptively closing the book on Hoyer by replacing him with Manziel …

— By Jayson Patel, Contributing Writer

 

Florida State University (FSU) fans get fired up at a Doak Campbell Stadium pre-game ceremony. Social Media Editor Jenna Kingsley, who attended a FSU game three weeks ago, found that she is glad Emory does not have a football team. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Florida State University (FSU) fans get fired up at a Doak Campbell Stadium pre-game ceremony. Social Media Editor Jenna Kingsley, who attended a FSU game three weeks ago, found that she is glad Emory does not have a football team. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

By Jenna Kingsley
Special Sections/Social Media Editor

After three years of higher education, my best friend finally convinced me to attend my first ever college football game. It happened three weeks ago. I understand that this is not a shocking thing to say at Emory, but I’m pretty sure it is in my hometown, in the South and in general #Murica.

If it makes things any better, it wasn’t my first-ever run-in with football — I do have a general sense of the game from friends and family, as well as my time in high school. But there was a clear difference between rooting on the Martin County High School (Fla.) Tigers and sitting in Doak Campbell Stadium at Florida State University (FSU).

As expected, the game was more fun and more exciting than those I attended in high school. The stakes seemed higher (millions of dollars higher) and, overall, the experience was much more intense.

There was also better food, which pretty much ensured that I’d enjoy the game. And I did. But in the weeks following the game, there’s been one thought running through my mind: Thank God Emory doesn’t have a football team.

Again, let me reiterate. I had a fantastic time. It will go down as one of my favorite weekends in college, largely because of the game. I got to tailgate and watch football and be with friends from home. FSU was even playing Boston College (BC), and a kid from our high school was on BC’s team. I didn’t say hi to him (for senior superlatives, he won “Best All Around,” and I won “Most Studious” … our paths didn’t really cross), but it was exciting to “know” someone on the field. Everyone seemed happy and nice (and a little bit drunk), and I genuinely felt welcomed into the stadium by the Noles. When they won, I felt like I’d won, too.

So, it’s not that I hate football. And it’s not that I can’t enjoy the game in a college setting. It’s just that I’ve confirmed a suspicion I’d had for a while: I, personally, really haven’t missed out by going to a college without a football team. The “football mentality” many schools have is not the right fit for me, and I’m glad it’s not something we have here at Emory.

I loosely define the “football mentality” as a mindset in which football is seen as a largely important aspect of a school for its students.

Schools with this mentality see football as one of the most important, if not the most important, element of school spirit.

There doesn’t have to be anything wrong with that. If you really love football, or you really love tailgating, or you really love band or cheerleading or some aspect of the game, that kind of atmosphere probably fits really well. It’s all in the spirit of the game.

But there are a few aspects of “the spirit of the game” that I find problematic. The narrow-minded (and sometimes dangerous) turn that rivalries can take, the God complexes thrust upon sometimes morally questionable athletes — I feel these hurt some schools rather than help them. These attitudes don’t have to be part of supporting a football team, but they undeniably are.

We’ll take the University of Florida (UF) and FSU rivalry as an example. I wasn’t at the UF-FSU game last Saturday, but I was on campus two Saturdays ago for the BC game, which marked the beginning of what a friend called “Hate Week,” a week dedicated to the rivalry between UF and FSU.

My friends were already riled up about UF before the BC game even started, and I’d gauge that about 95 percent of all Yik Yak posts on the Saturday before the UF game were Hate Week related.

Things like Hate Week? I get that teams love to hate each other. It’s fun. And if you can get a George Orwell reference in there, power to you.It was what I saw after Hate Week, and after the game, that actually bothered me.

If you haven’t heard, UF lost the game. Most of my FSU friends kept it classy and focused on the game (or their 28th straight win) in their Yik Yak posts. Most of my friends from UF also kept it classy. One friend who was at the game posted, “Heartbreak after heartbreak but leaving this place with dignity.” Graceful. Relevant. Another friend made a jab at FSU’s quarterback and 2013 Heisman trophy winner, Jameis Winston, who has been accused of sexual assault and was caught on camera shoplifting crab legs from Publix. Also seems relevant.

But posting about how you’re so happy you got into your top choice, UF, and looking down on all other FSU students for not being smart enough to go to UF? Saying, “At least we can go home and study at our library in peace,” while the FSU community is recovering from a school shooting in their library? These are both things I saw on my Facebook timeline that simply do not seem relevant. What does being pretentious about academics and mocking tragedies have to do with football?

I won’t pretend to understand. I’m just thankful this isn’t something I have to deal with on a yearly basis at my own school. (Except for the alleged WashU rivalry, which I’m pretty sure no one understands and/or even knows about.)

Another thing I’m glad I don’t have to deal with at Emory is the pedestal many football players are placed on. I get it, they’re phenomenal athletes — but do they deserve the special treatment they receive? I don’t think so, and I’m aware that many people disagree with me.

But it’s an argument I don’t have to worry about at Emory. Some students are varsity athletes. Some students are involved with the paper or Feminists in Action or SGA. Some students literally just watch Netflix after they finish their homework. We all have our own shit to do, and we do it, and nobody’s better than anyone else for it.I do understand that students and alumni oftentimes want a hero to root for, and that role is usually filled by a football player.

It’s the ends-means justification that I have trouble with. And as for athletes that commit serious crimes and still get to play “hero,” I think that’s just as reflective of the football mentality as it is reflective of the players themselves.

I’m glad Emory doesn’t need a hero to root for. Our student body is doing the work that we all rally behind.

We care about athletics, yes, but we also care about being ethically engaged and academically challenged and environmentally sustainable and a list of other buzzwords that we (or at least I) actually believe in.

For me, Emory is about finding your passion and pursuing it to positively impact the community. I’m not saying other schools with football teams lack this ideology. I’m just saying that it’s our focus at Emory. Not football. And I like that.

— Contact Jenna Kingsley, Special Sections/Social Media Editor

 

Photo Courtesy of Emory Athletics.

Junior forward Will Trawick dribbles past a defender. Trawik notched a career-high 27 points in the Eagles’ victory over LaGrange College (Ga.) last Saturday. Photo Courtesy of Emory Athletics.

By Jacob Spitzer
Contributing Writer

The men’s basketball team continued their winning streak with a 65-52 topping of LaGrange College (Ga.) last Saturday. The Eagles’ win improves their record to 3-0 on the season.

The Eagles outshot the LaGrange Panthers with a field goal percentage of 47.7 over LaGrange’s 30.9 and a three point percentage of 55.6 over the Panthers’ 21.4. The Eagles also outrebounded the Panthers with 43 rebounds to LaGrange’s 41 and notched 20 assists to LaGrange’s six. However, LaGrange outperformed Emory in free throw shooting, scoring 80 percent to Emory’s 45.5, and the Panthers had less turnovers with 13 against the Eagles’ 18.

Junior forward Will Trawick led the Eagles’ scoring effort, leading the Eagles with a career-high 27 points. Senior forward Alex Foster had another solid week, scoring 15 points with junior guard David Rao and senior point guard Michael Florin also scoring in the double digits with 10 and 11, respectively.

“He was just hot,” Foster said about Trawick’s breakout game. “They were doing all they could to stop him. He was making some great shots.”

Trawick attributes his successful game to his taking advantage of recent practices.

“I had a shaky preseason,” Trawick admits. “I’ve been practicing really hard to become more consistent. I haven’t had a game like that in the college level.”

While the Eagles had a solid game offensively, they continued to fall short of their high defensive standards.

“We weren’t rebounding well and had too many turnovers,” Zimmerman said.

Junior guard Mark Wagner, junior guard Braxton Ford, senior forward Jordan Johnson and senior guard Nick Mitchell lead LaGrange with double digits scoring 12, 11, 10 and 16 points respectively.

The game was one of the more festive of the year, with many parents of the athletes coming to the game.

“We had a big team meal together. It was a fun time having all of your families around to see you play,” Foster said. “It was a really fun environment.”

— By Jacob Spitzer, Contributing Writer

onfire

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we at On Fire have a lot to be thankful for. As the semester winds to a close, much has happened in the world of sports and the world of Emory. In between stuffing face with turkey, sleeping for days afterwards in a tryptophan-induced coma and vegetating in front of the big screen for hours on end while watching football, your On Fire correspondent wants to recognize several things he (or she) is thankful for this holiday season.

Snuggies

Your On Fire correspondent enjoys the feeling of warmth. Snuggies provide warmth. ‘Nuff said.

Atlanta Sports Teams (Not in the playoffs)

Ah, Atlanta. Never has your On Fire correspondent been more consistently disappointed with someone or something than the time he (or she) was stood up for a date at Dunkin’ Donuts on New Years Day. At least we aren’t Chicago.

Whiskey

As a Southern Gentleman (or Gentlewoman), there is nothing more enjoyable than the smooth burn of a nice, legal, sip of Jack Daniel’s.

Todd Gurley

God bless you, Gurley, for literally running over the competition only to be sidelined by the NCAA, then coming back to be sidelined with an injury. #FreeGurley

Loyal Readers

Without you, oh loyal readers of On Fire, this column would not exist. Though the subjects and seriousness may range from issue to issue, you have shown a deep level of commitment that can only be found in a special breed of person.

Kanye

With Yeezus Season approaching, let us give thanks to the lyrical mastermind who reminds us that he is a god, but also graces us with poetic lines like “Close your eyes and let the word paint a thousand pictures.”

Mascot Names That Aren’t Culturally Insensitive

Yeah, Redskins, you still suck.

The News Team

Just kidding, screw News.

Senior Michael Florin defends against Guilford College (N.C.). Florin would go on to score 21 points, including the game-winning shot with four-tenths of a second left in the game. Photo  by Mark Spicer/Staff.

Senior Michael Florin defends against Guilford College (N.C.). Florin would go on to score 21 points, including the game-winning shot with four-tenths of a second left in the game. Photo by Mark Spicer/Staff.

By Jacob Spitzer
Contributing Writer

The men’s basketball team continued their strong start on Saturday, beating Guilford College (N.C.) 77-75 with a buzzer-beating jumper from senior point guard Michael Florin. Emory’s win improves their record to 2-0 for the season.

“It’s a moment you dream about,” Florin said about the shot.

The Eagles outshot the Guilford Quakers with a 43.7 field goal percentage as opposed to Guilford’s 34.2, and out rebounded the Quakers 46 to 43. However, the Eagles had a lower free throw percentage at 50 percent to 84.2 and more turnovers at 13 to 8.

Florin and senior forward Alex Foster continued their strong streak, scoring 21 and 23 points, respectively. In a break out game, sophomore forward Austin DaGue also scored double digits with 11 points.

“We expected a tough game,” Head Coach Jason Zimmerman said. “Guilford has a very good program. It is traditionally a very solid team.”

The teams went back and forth for the first five minutes with Emory pulling ahead by nine by the middle of the first half, maintaining their lead until the end of the half with a score of 42-31.

Guilford began heating up, going ahead 57-53 by the middle of the second half.

“We made a couple of defensive mistakes on two or three of the possessions in the first three minutes of the second half,” Zimmerman explained.

The Quakers’ run was aided by a lack of strong Emory defense, according to Foster.

“Defensively, [we were] kind of a step behind, not as focused” Foster said. “But not to take away from Guilford. They hit a lot of shots in the second half. Some of the players we knew could heat up heated up.”

Emory and Guilford alternatively had big runs, with Emory making a 14-1 run to gain a nine-point lead with 7:11 to play in the game.

With 1:24 remaining on the clock, Guilford was within two of Emory. Following two Guilford free throws, the score was tied. With .4 seconds remaining, Florin took the game winning shot to finish out the game.

“My last buzzer beater since fourth grade,” Florin joked.

As their season’s first extremely close game, the contest served as a learning experience for the Eagles.

“We’re going to be in close games throughout the season,” Foster said. “One thing is that is going to benefit us is knowing we can rely on our players to have the ability to close them.”

Guilford junior forward Jonny Rice and senior guard Matt McCarthy lead their team with 16 points each. Sophomore forward Trever Hyatt added to their contributions, notching another 15 points.

Emory started last season with a 1-2 record over its first three games last season in sharp contrast to its 2-0 start to this season.

“We were losing games and later found our groove in the later season,” Foster said. “We’re off to a good start and hoping to maintain that.”

Zimmerman doesn’t want the team’s winning record to change how hard they work. His players still have a lot to improve upon, he said.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re 11-0 or 0-11, there is always something to improve,” Zimmerman said. “Winning just gives you confidence.”

The Eagles have the ultimate goal of taking a national championship title this sea

son, according to Florin.

“We have the attitude we can win every game,” he said. “Our goal is to win the [national] championship this year.”

The Eagles will return to action on Saturday at 4 p.m. in the Woodruff Physical Education Center (WoodPEC) to take on the LaGrange College (Ga.) Panthers.

— By Jacob Spitzer, Contributing Writer

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