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CHAMPS Top-ranked WFU men’s tennis team rolls to conference title, prepares to host NCAA Championships MAY 2018


Coach Jesse Haddock remembered for putting together one of collegiate golf’s best-ever programs



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VOL. 27 // ISSUE 7 (USPS 014-373) EDITOR


Donnie Roberts, Brian Westerholt WRITERS

Sam Walker, Stephanie Hudson, Rachael Bari, Lauren Close Design & Layout

Summit Athletic Media www.summitathletics.com


// M AY 2 0 1 8


IMG College Jeff Salisbury, Ike Fullard, Neil Bishop, Kelsey Gomes

SPRING (?) FOOTBALL: The Wake Forest football team endured a chilly, misty day for its spring game April 7. Wide receiver Alex Bachman makes a catch with Jaquarii Roberson (82) beside him and safety Chuck Wade (9) defending. The Deacons completed their spring work in preparation for the upcoming 2018 season after winning eight games last year. See story, Page 18.

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// 6 THE BEST CHOICE Coming to Wake Forest to play collegiate tennis turned out for the best for Petros Chrysochos and the top-ranked Deacons, who will host the NCAA Championships in Winston-Salem starting May 17.

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ON THE COVER The Wake Forest men’s tennis team, which has been ranked No. 1 in the country all spring, won the ACC regular season and then went on to claim the ACC Tournament April 29 in Cary with a 4-0 victory over North Carolina.

// 10 BUILDING A DYNASTY Longtime head coach Jesse Haddock remembered after putting the Wake Forest golf program on top for many years, including three national championships.

// 14 A SPRING BREAK TO REMEMBER Members of Wake Forest’s Athletes in Action organization journeyed to Puerto Rico over spring break to lend a hand to hurricane-ravaged residents and serve fellow student-athletes.

MAY 2018



// R O N W E L L M A N

No. 1 men’s tennis team on a roll Dear Demon Deacons,


The competitive year is rapidly coming to an end, and many of our teams are in position to extend their seasons. At the top of the list is men’s tennis. The No. 1-ranked team captured the ACC regular season title and followed it up with an ACC Men’s Tennis Championship! The team was then recognized for its outstanding season by receiving the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, which will give us homecourt advantage throughout the tournament. Our women’s tennis team defeated No. 20 Virginia to advance to the quarterfinals of the ACC Women’s Tennis

Championship for the second straight season. Currently ranked No. 34, their tournament performance against quality opponents secured them a bid to the NCAA Tournament. The team has a strong RPI and several wins over highly ranked opponents this year. The men’s and women’s NCAA Tennis Tournament will conclude with the NCAA Championships at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex May 17 – May 28. Wake Forest has not hosted an NCAA championship since the 2009 Field Hockey Championship. Come out and support your Deacs…and cheer them on to a national championship! Our men’s golf team is advancing to the NCAA Regionals. The team shot the lowest single round at an ACC Championship in program history, making up 11 strokes over the last nine holes and vaulting them to third in the tournament. Advancing from the Regionals to the NCAA Championship round is a realistic goal for the team. They have put together a solid season after losing our No. 1 golfer at the end of last semester when Will Zalatoris decided to turn pro. Women’s golf is also advancing to the NCAA Regionals in Tallahassee. Jennifer Kupcho continues to lead the team and has been named to the USA

Proud to be a Demon Deacon! 4


Curtis Cup team, which will compete this summer. She is currently ranked No. 3 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings. She will represent us (WFU and USA) well over the next few months. Men and women’s track and field continue to improve. The team is currently training for the ACC Outdoor Championships, which will take place in mid-May. Robert Heppenstall, Elijah Shalaway and Alexandria Florent are expected to do very well at the championships. Unless baseball wins the ACC Championship, they will likely not advance to the NCAA Regionals. We have started five to six freshmen throughout the season. They have certainly improved throughout the season, which gives us confidence about the future. Our sports performance team continues to expand. An offer has been extended to a sports psychologist, and we know this position will be a valuable addition to our staff. Today’s athletes recognize the need and value of training mentally for their athletic endeavors. Our expanded sports performance team will enable our student-athletes to realize their full potential athletically as well as in every other area of their life. I look forward to seeing you at the NCAA Tennis Championships beginning May 17! Go Deacs!

Ron Wellman



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MAY 2018



// P E T R O S C H R Y S O C H O S






s a promising young tennis player with professional aspirations, Petros Chrysochos considered himself to be at a crossroads.

Should he go pro or go to college – or more specifically, Wake Forest? There was really no other choice among colleges for the budding star from Cyprus. “I made the decision to come to Wake Forest in the spring of 2016,” Chrysochos said. “To this day, it was the best choice of my life.” So why Wake Forest, a place he admittedly had no clue about? “I was like 17½ or 18 at the time and ranked No. 469 in the world ATP,” Chrysochos said. “I knew nothing about college tennis, but Coach Tony Bresky from Wake Forest followed me around in Europe from tournament to tournament and ended up visiting Cyprus and met my parents. He was the only one who took the time to talk with me about how the college tennis experience works. Other people started recruiting me, and I got all these messages, but I didn’t know these people and didn’t want to sit down and look at all that.” Chrysochos knew going pro would be difficult, factoring in the finances without a sponsor and knowing his parents would have to pick up the tab for all the travel involved. But besides Bresky, another Wake Forest connection helped push Chrysochos this way after some initial confusion. “At the time, I played all the junior slams, and a good friend of mine, Noah Rubin, had just won Wimbledon, and I was talking to him,” Chrysochos said. “He ended up going to Wake Forest, and I was like, ‘That’s stupid. You win the junior tournament at Wimbledon, and then you go to college? What is this guy doing?’ That’s when I just realized Wake was the place to be. They had the resources and the program, the coaching and mentoring and academics. They had everything.” Certainly, it has worked out well for Chrysochos, who is ranked No. 4 nationally in singles, and the Deacons, who have been ranked No. 1 in the nation a good part of the last two years along with winning the National Indoor Team Championship in February, two ACC regular season championships and two ACC Tournament titles in his three years. Wake Forest defeated North Carolina 4-0 in the finals of this year’s ACC Tournament April 29 in Cary.

And now the Deacons, who are 25-2, are preparing to host the NCAA Championships, where they are the No. 1 seed in the field, in Winston-Salem starting May 17. “The goal is to win everything we play,” Chrysochos said. “The expectation is always there because we’ve been No. 1 in the country. We’re fortunate to be hosting this year, and hopefully that will be a great advantage for us playing at home in front of our home fans and playing on courts we know better than anyone else.” Chrysochos has been one of the team’s top players since his arrival, going 26-5 as a freshman and 34-8 as a sophomore in singles, and has been especially hot this spring, winning his last 20 matches – all but one in straight sets – in the regular season and ACC Tournament. Not only has he excelled wearing the Black and Gold, Chrysochos represented his country the first week in April in Davis Cup, winning his matches for Cyprus, which lost at Bulgaria. And before that, he went to the Irving Tennis Classic on the ATP Challenger Tour in Dallas, beating Italy’s Thomas Fabbiano, ranked No. 75 in the world. That came after winning a wild card to qualify and then advancing all the way to the tournament’s quarterfinals. “That’s the highest-ranked player any college guy has beaten in the last four to five years,” said Bresky, who was quick to heap praise on one of his standout players. “Petros is a great kid. He’s an outstanding representative for our program. He’s excellent in school, an outstanding leader on our team, he’s on SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee), he gets good grades, he’s been ranked as high as No. 1 in the country in singles and doubles at Wake, and plays pro tournaments on the side. He’s totally selfless and wants to help the team in any way he can. He helped us sign a good friend of his from home who will join the team next year.” Bresky then offered an example “to show you what kind of kid he is” by sharing his schedule when his Davis Cup trip to Bulgaria was sandwiched within the ACC schedule. “We played Notre Dame on Sunday, and he won his matches in singles and doubles, then got on a plane to Bulgaria to represent Cyprus in Davis Cup,” Bresky said of Chrysochos. “He arrived on Monday and played matches on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, winning all of them, but unfortunately his team lost. So he got on a plane on Saturday and travelled about 20 hours and played for us Sunday where he won his match in singles and in doubles against Georgia Tech. He works, doesn’t complain, is super tough and loves playing tennis.” MAY 2018



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PETROS CHRYSOCHOS CLASS: Junior HOMETOWN: Larnaca, Cyprus HIGH SCHOOL: American Academy of Larnaca MAJOR: Communication TOP ATHLETIC HONORS: Singles AllAmerican (2016 & 2017), First Team All-ACC (2017 & 2018), Second Team All-ACC (2016), Davis Cup team member for his home country (Cyprus) ON COMING TO WAKE FOREST IN THE SPRING OF 2016: “I signed and the next thing I know, two weeks later I’m out there playing the season at Wake Forest.” FAVORITE MEMORY AT WAKE FOREST: “It was when we won the ACC Tournament for the first time in program history my first year when we beat the University of Virginia in the finals. The match was tied at 3-all, and Dennis (Uspensky) was playing the No. 6 spot. He won 7-6 in the third set, and we all rushed the court. I was so happy for all the seniors. That’s the tournament that started it all for me.”

Chrysochos said he was “super jet-lagged and super tired, but I had promised Coach Bresky if we didn’t win in Davis Cup, I was going to come back to Wake on that Sunday and play and win.” The previous year, he and senior Skander Mansouri, who are ranked No. 2 nationally in doubles, played against each other in Davis Cup when Cyprus hosted Tunisia. Mansouri and his partner prevailed in a thrilling five-set match that lasted about four hours, but Chrysochos, who has trained and competed

alongside Marcos Baghdatis (career-high world No. 8) since he was 16, said that it was an experience he’ll always cherish. He has also played in the Winston-Salem Open, an ATP 250 Tour event, the last two years on the home courts at Wake Forest. “I’m so excited and thankful for all the opportunities Wake

N C A A C H A M P I O N S H I P S S E T AT W A K E F O R E S T T E N N I S C O M P L E X M AY 17 - 2 8 The Wake Forest tennis program couldn’t have picked a better time to serve as the host for the 2018 Division I NCAA Championships. The Deacon men’s team entered the season ranked No. 1 in the country, has maintained that spot throughout the spring and will be one of the favorites to keep the trophy at home in the tournament, which will be held May 17-28 in Winston-Salem at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex. Wake Forest takes a 25-2 record into the NCAA Championships after defeating North Carolina 4-0 to win its second ACC Tournament title in the last three years. “It’s a good time to be a Deac as far as tennis goes,” said head coach Tony Bresky. “It’s the first time to host the NCAAs on our courts, and we hope to have our customary, fantastic crowd to come and watch us play.” The Deacons, who are ACC regular season champions for the second straight season, have a deep, talented lineup



led by Petros Chrysochos (No. 4 in the nation in singles) and Borna Gojo (No. 6 in singles) along with Chrysochos and Skander Mansouri (No. 2 in the nation in doubles). Mansouri, a senior captain, is the winningest player in program history and was named the ACC Tournament’s Most Valuable Player after winning the game-clinching match against UNC. After the NCAA Regionals May 11-12, where Wake Forest will undoubtedly serve as a host school, the NCAA Championships will follow with the Round of 16 for both men and women (there are 16 regional sites with four teams in each one and the winners advancing to Winston-Salem) in the team competition, which will be held from May 17 to May 22. That will be followed by the men’s and women’s singles and doubles competition from May 23 to May 28. “There will be a lot of good tennis over two full weeks,” Bresky said. “Our boys are motivated and hungry and hope our best tennis is in front of us.” For more details on the tournament, visit: http://www.wakeforestsports.com/ncaatennis/ Tickets prices are: All-Session ($75 Adult, $50 Youth), Daily Tickets ($10 adult, $3 Youth, Group (10+) - $5).

“I’M SO EXCITED AND THANKFUL FOR ALL THE OPPORTUNITIES WAKE FOREST HAS OFFERED ME,” CHRYSOCHOS SAID. “I WISH FOR EVERY PLAYER AT ANY COLLEGE TO HAVE THE SAME EXPERIENCE I’VE HAD.” Forest has offered me,” Chrysochos said. “I wish for every player at any college to have the same experience I’ve had.” As for the future, he looks forward to pursuing his dream of playing professional tennis after a senior season that he hopes to continue improving his game and then graduating “with a great undergraduate degree from Wake Forest.” Chrysochos is a communication major with a minor in entrepreneurship. But first things first. The much-anticipated NCAA Championships is next – and last – on the schedule. “It’s the big one, the one everyone wants to win,” he said. And it’s at home at Wake Forest – right where Chrysochos was meant to be.

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esse Haddock was the architect of one of the greatest collegiate golf dynasties in the country. Over his 32 seasons as the head golf coach at Wake Forest, Haddock won national championships, produced dozens of All-Americans and PGA Tour pros, and fostered countless relationships, not only on campus and in the community, but throughout the nation.

Since we are keeping score, Haddock’s scorecard reads like this: 30 players who were named to 65 All-American teams, 17 individual ACC champions, 15 ACC team championships, three NCAA team championships, three national team runner-ups, three individual national champions and two national Coach of the Year awards. That’s like going out in 30 and coming home in 29. Records that may not be broken. Haddock, who retired from Wake Forest in 1992, passed away on March 14. His funeral drew hundreds including many of his former players. Jesse Haddock never dreamed he would become a coach growing up in rural Winterville, N.C. The son of Robert and Maybelle Haddock, his mom had attended what was then East Carolina Teachers College. His father did not finish high school and became a tobacco farmer. “We had plenty to eat and plenty of clothes, but we didn’t have a lot of other material things,” Haddock told the Greensboro News & Record in 1987. “Our house was small, with a front porch and two big oaks outside-a typical little farm house. And ours was a wholesome family, loving and fairly strict. I think I drew my diligence and determination from that.” And there was certainly nothing in Haddock’s upbringing that precluded what his role would be in the future of collegiate golf. “The only thing I knew about golf was riding by the club and seeing the elite people play,” he said. “I figured you had to be awfully rich to play such a silly game.” Haddock enrolled at Wake Forest in 1945 with lofty thoughts of becoming a country doctor until he double-bogeyed a science class. A draft notice that arrived at the end of his freshman year sent him to Germany in the closing days of World War II with the 3rd Army. Returning from Europe as a student at the old campus in Wake Forest, N.C., Haddock felt obliged to help his family out financially. After quitting the basketball team, he found employment in the

school cafeteria. Before long, he became an equipment manager in the athletic department, working full time in the fall and attending classes in the spring. After becoming the first member of his family to earn a degree in 1952, Haddock was given a full-time job by athletic director Jim Weaver that was essentially the same position he had filled as an undergraduate. But it was much more than that. “I was at one time known as assistant to the athletics director, but I was in charge of working with the athletes and the coaches, and travel with football, basketball and baseball,” Haddock said. Living as the house monitor in a home near campus called the Colonial Club, Haddock developed close friendships with two golfers that he was charged with monitoring – Arnold Palmer and Buddy Worsham. Johnny Johnston was Wake Forest’s golf coach from 1947-52 and was the first college coach to work with the Demon Deacons’ first great star player in Palmer. Under Johnston, Palmer was the NCAA medalist in 1949 and 1950. Weaver took over as golf coach in 1952. Palmer would play three years for Wake Forest before leaving in 1950 to join the Coast Guard, devastated at the loss of his friend Worsham in an auto accident. Palmer would return to Wake Forest in the fall of 1953, just in time to help usher the school into the Atlantic Coast Conference. When Weaver left Wake Forest to become the first commissioner of the ACC, he put basketball coach Horace “Bones” McKinney in charge of the 1953-54 golf team, but with specific instructions. “You can coach all (the golfers) except for Arnold (Palmer). Leave him alone,” Haddock said. As a popular and successful basketball coach, McKinney was a noted speaker on the banquet circuit. When combined with his recruiting duties related to basketball, he was often called away and unavailable to accompany the golf team to all of its matches. Haddock was frequently called upon to escort the team. After filling in for McKinney for several years, Haddock was named the permanent head coach by athletic director Bill Gibson in 1960. It would be Haddock’s first attempt at coaching, and he naturally sought out some role models. He would model his approach to coaching after Wake Forest’s successful football coach Peahead Walker and basketball coach Murray Greason. After winning the 1960 Masters, Palmer stopped in Winston-Salem to visit with Haddock, who told him that he was having a difficult time getting the program re-started and was losing scholarships to other sports. Palmer picked up the phone in Haddock’s office, called his agent, Mark McCormack, and immediately endowed the Buddy Worsham Scholarship Fund with its first donation of $500. Haddock told himself: “This is the time for me to bring in some good players to get the program started as it once was and allow it to MAY 2018



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grow to become a program of distinction. And sure enough, the first two players I recruited, Jay Sigel and Ken Folkes, became first team All-Americans in their four years at Wake Forest.” While Palmer had given Wake Forest credibility on the national level by winning two NCAA individual championships, Haddock nurtured that reputation into a national dynasty. “People would ask how we would attract these young people, and

Lanny Wadkins, Jim Simons and Eddie Pearce would all contribute mightily to ACC titles from 1970 to 1972. Jay Haas and Curtis Strange headlined squads that won championships from 1973 through 1976, including Wake Forest’s back-to-back national championships in 1974 and 1975. The 1974 team founded itself trailing Florida by four shots heading into the final round at Carlton Oaks Country Club near San Diego.

The 1986 NCAA Championship squad. I would tell them that we have a great school,” Haddock said. “I would sell the school, that’s the first thing. And then there were the people that had been in the program, like Arnold Palmer. If you don’t use that name and allow the name Arnold Palmer to be in the conversation and say, ‘If it was good for Arnold, maybe it will be good for somebody else.’ The success that Arnold had as a professional golfer also helped us to be able to recruit.” Haddock led the Deacons to his first ACC Championship in 1963. From 1967-76, nobody could beat the Deacons as they won 10 straight conference championships. With Palmer’s assistance in setting up the Buddy Worsham Scholarship, the recruits poured into Wake Forest. The first recipient of the scholarship, Sigel, teamed with Folkes to reinvigorate the program and lead the Deacons to that first ACC championship. Haddock proved his recruiting moxie by landing such golfers as Leonard Thompson, Joe Inman and John Buczek. Buczek, Inman and Thompson, along with John Harris, Charles Snipes and Danny Herring, helped the Deacons win the 1967 ACC title, the first of what would become 10 consecutive titles. Jack Lewis joined the squad for the 1968 title before Haddock’s next batch of superstars arrived on campus.

The Deacons closed the gap to one stroke after nine holes before passing the Gators on the back nine. Wake Forest held a one-stroke team lead as Curtis Strange and Florida’s Gary Koch approached the 18th green. Strange’s play on the 18th hole not only determined the team title and clinched his one-stroke medalist win over Koch, but it will always be known as one of the finest moments in NCAA golf history. The golfers hit nearly identical drives. After Koch’s second shot sailed to the back of the green, Strange’s one-iron from 250 yards landed within seven feet of the pin. Strange sank his putt for the legendary eagle that secured the first NCAA golf team title for Wake Forest. “Playing on Coach Haddock’s first and second NCAA championship teams meant a great deal to me,” Strange said. “Seeing the great satisfaction and pride coming from him was very rewarding. What he had worked so hard for I had been a part of. Mentally I was well prepared to become a professional, and Coach Haddock had a great deal to do with that.” The second national championship in 1975 came at the Scarlet Course at Ohio State University. Instead of a championship decided on the 72nd and final hole, the Deacons made this one easier on their coach, winning by a record 33 shots over Oklahoma State.



Jack Lewis

John Buczek Golf World would call this team “the best college golf team ever.” Led by Haas and Strange, the Deacons also received strong contributions from Bob Byman, David Thore, Bill Argabrite and Tim Saylor. Haas, Strange and Byman would all go on to win on the PGA Tour while the others have compiled a lifetime worth of achievements in the sport. Following the 1976 season, Haddock left to become the head coach at Oral Roberts. A combination of factors led him to leave after just four months but it wasn’t long before he decided to follow his heart and return to Winston-Salem in time for the 1978 spring season. After a third-place ACC Tournament finish in his absence, Haddock regrouped the Deacons and won the next three conference titles. The 1986 team finished third at the ACC Championship behind North Carolina and Georgia Tech. That didn’t dampen Wake Forest’s enthusiasm for hosting the NCAA Championship at Bermuda Run. Oklahoma State entered the tournament ranked No. 1 in the nation while Wake Forest entered as the nation’s second-ranked team. The Cowboys led after each of the first three rounds. The Deacons languished in a fifth-place tie with Southern Cal, 16 strokes off the lead. In that final round, the Deacons were magnificent. Chris Kite fired a 66, including a backside 31, while Len Mattiace and Billy Andrade had matching 69s. Wake Forest fired a final round team total of 10-under 278 to finish at 1,156, four shots ahead of OSU. After the 1986 national championship, the Demon Deacons won Haddock’s 15th and final ACC Championship in 1989 with a fourstroke win over Georgia Tech.

Billy Andrade But Haddock’s legacy will not lie with ACC Championships and national golf titles but with the individuals that he mentored and developed along the way. Haddock coached 65 All-American golfers, numerous players who would go on to play professionally and countless others who made a career as teaching professionals, not to mention those who achieved success in business, education and other life pursuits. “We were Coach’s boys – a family,” Strange said. “We worked hard and we rooted for each other, and Coach Haddock was the thread that bound us together. “Coach drilled into us that off-the-course appearance was just as important as on-the-course behavior. From a professional standpoint when someone asks me where I went to school and I say Wake Forest, they immediately associate me with the school and our tradition. They know we are from a different school and they know that difference is class.” “If I had been a basketball player, I would have wanted to play for (UCLA’s) John Wooden,” Andrade said. “I am honored to have played golf for Coach Haddock, someone who has done so much for college golf.” Perhaps the most revealing comment about the golf program he built at Wake Forest came from Haddock himself. “Playing for Wake Forest is more than individual pride,” he said. “You are inheriting something. You are inheriting a program that has already been made into something very significant and you must complement it. You must add to it, and take it from there. I contribute. You must contribute.” MAY 2018



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The AIA group included student-athletes and staff from Ball State, Charleston Southern and NC State in addition to the Wake Forest contingent.




Ah, Spring Break.


hat much-anticipated time on every college student’s calendar when the pause button is pushed on academics and the focus becomes 14


parties and pleasure, most often in some exotic destination. Or at the very least, it’s a time to return home for a week of lazy, do-nothing-ness.

For a group of Wake Forest student-athletes, however, their 2018 spring break consisted of an experience much different. Yes, there was the attractive locale of Puerto Rico, but what went on during their time there was a far cry from the traditional activities that are most often associated with college folk and this annual time. These 11 young men and women, members of Wake Forest’s Athletes in Action organization, joined other college students and AIA staff from Ball State, Charleston Southern and NC State for a week of service to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico residents, along with doing mission work with fellow collegiate athletes at Inter American University in San Germán on the southwest corner of the island. For these Demon Deacons, it was a time they will never forget. “Originally, I wanted to go home for spring break, hang out with my family and just rest,” Deacon running back Matt Colburn says, “but Joe (Haynes, WFU AIA staff director) encouraged me to think and pray about going to Puerto Rico, that maybe God wanted to show me something in a different light by serving and helping people.” Volleyball player Jaclyn Childress decided to go partially for personal reasons, having had family in Puerto Rico affected by powerful Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the fall of 2017. “It sounds like a cliché, I know, but this trip really did change my life,” she says. “I had never felt that type of connection before in seeing God work through everything we did. I wouldn’t change it for the world.” The trip got off to somewhat of an unexpected start when the group arrived in San Germán and had no accommodations for their first night (a miscommunication with the local hosts). Not to worry. Arrangements were made for an overnight stay in the nearby Olympic Training Center. The facility name sounds more

exclusive than it probably deserved, AIA staff volunteer Katie Dry, a former Wake soccer player, pointed out. “We kept seeing these large spiders,” she recalls laughing (now). “On a trip like that, though, you have to be exceptionally flexible. You can make plans and then those plans can completely change.” Dry had visited Puerto Rico on a similar AIA trip while a student at Wake Forest. This second venture impacted her in a whole new way. “When I went four years ago, it was a huge break-through for me,” she says. “At that time, I had to dig deep and be courageous in everything we did, but I was so encouraged by the fellow athletes around me. “This time it was almost like going full circle, seeing the current athletes do the same thing in their interactions with each other and with the people they met. It was so evident that they were growing in their faith and were encouraged by all that we did.” Joe Haynes, who along with wife Kim have served as full-time AIA staff members at Wake Forest for 16 years, was instrumental in building the organization’s relationship with Puerto Rican colleges. He has led two groups on mission trips there. This time Kim and the couple’s son Noah accompanied Dry and the studentathletes. And, because of last fall’s storms, this trip took on an added dimension with humanitarian outreach. For two days, the group worked with local FEMA representatives, organizing supplies and traveling throughout rural areas in vans to deliver food and necessities to many families and individuals who had yet to be touched by any government relief efforts. “We delivered food to people who were in so much need,” Dry says. “Some only had tarps for roofs and were still putting their lives back together.

Caroline Rassenfoss (left) and Jaclyn Childress (right), joined by Carley Shannon of Ball State, deliver supplies. MAY 2018



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“The homes were not easy to reach and we drove some very narrow roads but we had to just trust our guides.” And though the work wasn’t always easy, and the circumstances they encountered were difficult, the students persevered. “Our kids were amazing,” Kim Haynes says. “We really didn’t know what to expect or what we were going to be asked to do, but our kids never complained. They just reached out and loved on people.” The reception they received from the Puerto Rican people left a true impact on them, too. “The hurricane was a real disaster for so many people and there still is so much need,” Colburn says, “but not once did we encounter anyone who seemed bitter or unwelcoming.” He recalled one particular instance when he was working with a woman in the completion of a FEMA document (Colburn’s Spanish-speaking skills came in handy), and she interrupted the session to serve the group some coffee she had prepared for them. Not being a coffee drinker, he was hesitant to accept, but football teammate Willie Yarbary partook and Colburn actually ended up enjoying the beverage. “That gesture was almost a microcosm of our interaction with the people,” he states. “They wanted to reciprocate to our offer of assistance with a gift to us. It was so humbling and God showed me through that how loving people can be.” The second portion of their week, the group concentrated more on reaching out to their peers on the local campus, building relationships with them that would last far longer than the few days of the visit.

The group takes time to pray with a Puerto Rico couple.



Matt Colburn enjoys the view while participating in the relief effort.

Caroline Rassenfoss, like Childress a member of the Deacon volleyball squad, had made the commitment to join the group primarily because of the missional opportunity. “I attended a Christian high school and had always heard that participating in a mission trip was something we all needed to do,” she says. “I felt like it was time for me to share my faith.” The group simply spent time with the Puerto Rican students, talking, eating pizza … just doing what college-age young people do. And when the opportunity presented itself, they would have spiritual conversations as well, encouraging the local students to explore their own AIA chapter and to build strong, lasting friendships with teammates and others that go beyond sports. “Religion and spirituality are very important in the Puerto Rican culture,” Colburn says. “The people we had conversations with were very receptive for the most part. Nate Gilliam (offensive lineman) and I made friends with a couple of basketball players we met. We hung out with them one entire evening, and I’m still in touch with them now. “I truly believe I left Puerto Rico a different person than when I went there,” he concludes. “God showed me love in a whole new way through the people I met there throughout the week.” Rassenfoss agreed completely. “Not one person regretted going,” she says. “The time we had with each other and with impacting other people in humanitarian and spiritual ways was unforgettable.” So, the next time you hear about Spring Break, maybe you’ll think of it in a different way. These Wake Forest student-athletes surely will.

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MAY 2018



// S P R I N G G A M E




t matters little that the Gold team, which was drafted by seniors Alex Bachman and Zeek Rodney, won the Wake Forest Spring Game 26-6. What does matter is just how well the Wake Forest football team has transitioned since winning eight games and beating Texas A&M 55-52 in the Belk Bowl, one of the most exciting bowl games of last year’s bowl season. Just before the annual spring game, head coach Dave Clawson announced the Wake Forest football team elected six players to serve as captains for the 2018 season – offensive linemen Ryan Anderson and Phil Haynes, running back Cade Carney, safeties Cameron Glenn and Chuck Wade, Jr. and defensive tackle Willie Yarbary. Carney is the lone junior among the group of seniors. Cold temperatures lingering in the low 40s and a hard-blowing mist didn’t make the usually warm and sunny event very fan friendly, but it didn’t slow down the game as the team played with pace throughout the conditions and looked much like the fast-break offense showcased in the Belk Bowl from a season ago. “I feel like we got a lot of good work, somewhere between 120 and



130 snaps, and It was good to see the offense in game-like conditions,” said head coach Dave Clawson. “We started out fast, moved the ball well. After that they got flat, and once the defense settled in, I thought they played better. Like any scrimmage, there are things I’m excited about and things I’m concerned about. We have a lot of work to do before we’re ready to play a game, that’s for sure.” Two redshirt freshmen were standouts on the offensive side. Running back Christian Beal, a former East Forsyth High School standout, rushed for 97 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries before leaving the game with an injury in the second quarter. Wide receiver Sage Surratt had six catches for 106 yards. “Christian is going to be a really good player,” Clawson said. “I mean, he’s a home-run threat, is going to be in the mix, and we’ve got every kind of back you can want. If we can keep Matt Colburn, Cade Carney and Christian Beal all healthy, we have three high-level tailbacks that are physical and can make people miss and go for big plays. Sage missed a lot of the spring with an injury, but he can make plays and gives us some flexibility with (Alex) Bachman, and we can put him in the slot a little bit. Our offensive line should be good, and we’ve got the top six guys back." Also, Greg Dortch, a speedy redshirt sophomore slot receiver, returns after catching a team-high 53 passes and scoring nine touchdowns in just eight games last season before being sidelined the rest of the season with an abdominal injury that required surgery. Kendall Hinton, projected to be the starting quarterback next season, had a good showing in the second spring scrimmage hitting 12 of 18 passes for 113 yards but completed just 5 of 17 passes for 21

yards in the spring game. He had the only passing touchdown of the game with a 5-yard pass to Dortch but he wasn’t accurate in the wet and windy conditions. “It’s just certain passes where you’re not in the position that you want to be, and that just comes from practicing those passes,” Hinton said. “That’s something that I’ve got to work on, definitely, with our type of offense being a heavy run-pass option team.” Quarterbacks were down by two-hand touch during the spring game, but had Hinton been allowed to go full contact, he may have rolled up significant rushing yards. Known for his running ability, Hinton did rush for 118 yards on 15 carries. “(Kendall) was erratic,” said Clawson. “He can make plays with his feet. If it was live today, he probably scores two or three touchdowns. But that other aspect of distributing the ball to our receivers is something we’ve got to get better at and we will. We’ve got four months, but it isn’t where we need it to be.” Jamie Newman and Sam Hartman alternated possessions for the Gold team. Newman, a 6-4, 235-pound redshirt sophomore, completed 9 of 13 passes for 128 yards and hit Bachman on a 43-yard pass, setting up Beal’s first touchdown. Hartman, an early enrollee and true freshman, completed 7 of 13 passes for 80 yards. Defensively, linebacker D.J. Taylor had a team-high nine tackles in his bid to be a starter alongside Justin Strnad. Carlos Basham Jr., a reshirt sophomore defensive end, led the Gold team with seven tackles and a sack. Freshman Zion Keith had the only interception of the spring game. Chuck Wade Jr. spent the spring transitioning to safety after spending three seasons and making 17 starts at wide receiver. Wade had 76 receptions for 838 yards and three touchdowns in his first three seasons. “Chuck has gotten so much better,” senior safety Cameron Glenn said of the new addition to the secondary. “He’s a lot better tackler now and a lot more detailed, and that’s what you need to play in this defense. He’s got the want to tackle and be physical and be a good defensive player. “We’ve made significant progress, we’re communicating better, and we’re farther along than we were last year at this time. We kind of have a new system going in, but we’re playing a lot faster, and that’s how it should be. We’re believing in what the coaches are saying and starting to buy in more, so the relationship with the coaches is the main thing.” Wake Forest opens the 2018 season at Tulane on Thursday, Aug. 30. The first home game is against Towson on Saturday, Sept. 8.

MAY 2018



// S TA N C O T T E N

Rounding the Bases


As May begins, the college baseball season has one eye on the diamond for the remaining regular season games and then one on the postseason which will arrive sooner than later, kind of like a Rayne Supple fastball. Last season, Tom Walter’s Demon Deacons were one win shy of a trip to the College World Series – losing out to the eventual national champion Florida Gators on their home field. The 2018 season for the Deacons, by any measure, has been a lot different than 2017. Off the field issues cost the Deacs the services of veterans Bruce Steel, Chris Farish and Keegan Maranpot for the season’s first 38 games. Steel and Farish have since returned; Maranpot will be redshirted. Their absence

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created a lineup card in most games that had seven of the nine positions occupied by five freshmen and two sophomores – players basically getting their introduction to the rigors of college baseball. Last season, the Deacons marched into the NCAA Tournament with thoughts of winning a national title. In 2018, the Deacs will be hard-pressed just to make the field. As of this writing (April 27), Wake Forest is four games below the .500 mark at 19-23 on the back side of an 8-7 win over Liberty. But Walter and his youthful team are determined to get there. I sat down with the head coach of the Demon Deacons in the Wake dugout ahead of the game with the Flames to talk about the pathway he sees to the postseason in 2018 and other topics relating to Wake Forest baseball. R Part of our conversation… Q: What is the Deacs’ path to the postseason? Walter: “We’ve got to go at least 6-3 in our conference series at Georgia Tech, at N.C. State and at home against Virginia, which is obviously not going to be easy. Those are three historic programs who have good ballclubs. It’ll be tooth and nail, but with our pitching we have a chance. We’re getting better offensively. If we get hot at the right time and start to play with a little more confidence I can see that happening. So if we go 6-3 in those games, and if we go 4-1 in our five remaining midweekers, that puts us at 28-27 on the regular season and in good shape going into the ACC Tournament. Anything

short of that, for an at-large bid, we’re going to have to win the conference tournament.” Q: Many are saying Wake has the best starting pitching rotation in the ACC. Do you agree? Walter: “I would agree with that. I think Griffin Roberts is the best pitcher in the league. And when you start on Friday with the best pitcher in the league, and he eats seven, eight innings every week, that makes a huge difference in how you pitch the rest of the weekend. Morgan McSweeney and Colin Peluse behind him have been very consistent and are both super talented. And I’ll put our closer, Rayne Supple, up against anybody, too. We always feel good about winning games when those guys are on the mound.” Q: Heading into the Liberty game (April 25) what’s the state of your team? Walter: “I think we’re starting to play better baseball. We’ve been getting better each of the last two weeks. Our freshmen are really starting to come around. If you look at their quality at-bat percentage it’s much higher than it was in the first four weeks. As they come together, and with the addition of getting Bruce Steel back in the lineup, we’re a much different club than we were in February.” Just exactly how the numbers stack up heading into the ACC Tournament, obviously, remains to be seen. And whether or not Wake can get to where Coach Walter talked about is anybody’s guess. But I would wholeheartedly agree that, as a group, the Deacs have the best pitchers in the ACC. And if the Demon Deacons get to the league tournament and have to win it to get back in the NCAA Tournament, those who will bet against them will be few and far between.

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MAY 2018



Celebrating a Class of Champions



The month of May is always a bittersweet time. While there are currently many exciting things happening — from the Deacon Club's first-ever Deacs Day of Giving to the continued progress on the construction of the Sutton Sports Performance Center and Shah Basketball Complex — May also marks the point that we have to say goodbye to a class of seniors as they graduate and prepare for the next step in each of their journeys. While I know this goodbye isn't permanent and is simply part of the process, it continues to evoke a lot of emotions. Between athletics and academics, our student-athletes achieve so much during their time at Wake Forest. On top of that, however, they are genuinely good people who embody the Pro Humanitate spirit in everything they do, including their involvement in the local community. It is because of the dedication and character our student-athletes possess that makes it hard to see them go each May. Not only do we get to watch them compete in the Old Gold and Black, we are able to witness them grow as scholars, leaders and people over the course of their time as Demon Deacons. Having the opportunity to interact with and get to know these young men and women is truly an honor. I am lucky enough to come to work every day and have the opportunity to dedicate my efforts to supporting our deserving student-athletes. So much of what I do, however, is made possible through the generous and loyal support of Deacon Club members. As graduation serves as a time to reminisce for many of us, I hope it also allows you — as Deacon Club members — to reflect upon the role you've played in helping us Develop Champions. Whether it's providing an athletic scholarship which allows someone who may not have otherwise had the opportunity to attend Wake Forest to do so, donating to the Annual Fund to provide the athletic and academic resources our student-athletes need to succeed, or contributing to a facility that helps foster relationships between our teams, your support makes a monumental impact. As


this year's graduating class of student-athletes officially receives their Wake Forest degrees, I hope you feel a sense of pride, knowing that your commitment has helped each of them achieve the coveted title of Wake Forest graduate. Finally, to the Class of 2018 — congratulations on this exceptional accomplishment! On behalf of the entire Athletic Department, I'd like to thank you for representing Wake Forest with such class and respect. As you enter the alumni stage of your Wake Forest experience and become a Varsity Club member, I hope you will continue to engage with the University and Athletic Department by attending events, cheering on our teams and contributing to the wonderful family atmosphere that embodies this institution. I wish you the best of luck as you begin writing the next chapter of your journey, and I look forward to staying connected. Go Deacs!


SAVE THE DATE: VARSITY CLUB AND HOMECOMING WEEKEND We hope you’ll be able to join fellow Deacon fans, Varsity Club members, Wake Forest coaches and staff on Friday, November 2 and Saturday, November 3. The Deacs will play Syracuse at the Homecoming football game on Saturday (game time TBA). More information will be provided in the coming months.

Keep up with the Deacon Club on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! For the latest news and information from the Deacon Club and to connect with other members, be sure to find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! @WFUDeaconClub Facebook.com/DeaconClub @WFUDeaconClub | @DeacOnTheRun @BarryFaircloth

IS WAKE FOREST ATHLETICS IN YOUR WILL? Planned giving ties your legacy with the future of Wake Forest Athletics. To learn more about the many ways you can support Wake Forest Athletics through planned giving, please contact Paul Kennedy at (336) 758-3875 or kennedpj@wfu.edu.

REMINDER: DEACON CLUB DONATION DEADLINE IS MAY 31 Don’t forget to renew your Deacon Club membership and continue supporting Wake Forest student-athletes! Please note that payments on all outstanding pledges and balances for the 2017-18 year are due by May 31. Payments can be made online at DeaconClub.com/Donate or by phone at (336) 758-5626. You can also mail checks (made payable to Wake Forest University) to 499 Deacon Blvd., Winston-Salem, NC 27105.

MAY 2018



// B O B A N D P E G G Y N E A L

Neals establish deep connection with Wake Forest


t was 1966 when Bob and Peggy Neal packed up their belongings and moved to Winston-Salem. Bob had just earned his MBA and accepted a job offer at R.J. Reynolds. As natives of Tennessee with no strong ties to the Triad, this relocation provided a whole new experience for the young couple — an experience they were excited to embark on. Both passionate sports fans, the Neals found comfort in the fact that their new city was home to Wake Forest University and the Demon Deacon athletic programs. Bob and Peggy’s love of sports began at an early age and continued to



grow over the years. They attended the same high school, where athletics were held in high regard. In a way, the athletic culture they experienced there helped set a precedent moving forward. When it was time to head off to college, Bob and Peggy both chose to attend Carson-Newman University. It was here that they officially began dating, continuing to bond over their mutual interest in athletics. A small school located in Jefferson City, Tennessee, everyone attended the teams’ games. Not just an opportunity to show support, athletic contests also served as social gatherings for the

student population. Demonstrating their dedication, Peggy recalls, “The basketball team always played in the NAIA Tournament, and this was before televisions were prominent, so everyone went to the gymnasium and listened to the radio broadcast.” As time went on and Bob worked to complete his master’s degree in business administration at Indiana University, the couple enjoyed following the Hoosiers. Once they arrived in Winston-Salem, however, the Neals knew that cheering on the local team would help them acclimate to their new location, serving as a familiar pastime.

“When we moved to Winston-Salem, we immediately adopted Wake as a team to follow,” Bob and Peggy reminisce. While it may have begun as simply “a team to follow,” the Neals have established a much deeper connection with the athletic programs at Wake Forest over the years and have evolved into avid fans. In fact, the pair has only missed a handful of football and basketball games since they first arrived over 50 years ago. Soon after their arrival, Bob and Peggy learned of the Deacon Club and decided to become members. “We were sports fans, so we were going to attend the games, but joining the Deacon Club was a way to support the young people,” Bob shared. Today, the Neals have been loyal Annual Fund supporters for 47 years, helping provide the resources necessary for Wake Forest studentathletes to succeed, both academically and athletically. Recently, the Neals decided to further their commitment to Wake Forest Athletics and our student-athletes by

setting up a charitable gift annuity. Bob and Peggy have designated the principal to ultimately establish a Wake Forest soccer scholarship, while using the supplemental income payout to participate in the Deacon Club’s Next Level campaign. Whether it’s at games or other special happenings, the couple’s involvement with the Deacon Club has helped establish a group of familiar faces throughout the years. The Neals have also had the opportunity to interact with numerous student-athletes, allowing them to meet the individuals their donations help support. “Getting to see the student-athletes at events like the annual Stewardship Brunch makes you feel even better about what you’re doing,” Peggy states. “The coaches should also be commended for choosing quality kids who present themselves so well.” As Bob and Peggy reflect on the past 50-plus years they’ve spent cheering on the Demon Deacons, they comment on how much has changed. “There wasn’t

much of anything when we first got here, but it started with the football stadium and now there’s no comparison when it comes to all of the facilities,” they recount. When the Neals first came to WinstonSalem in 1966, the landscape of the University was drastically different than it is today, especially in regard to athletic facilities. At that point, the football team was still playing in Bowman Gray Stadium, the men’s basketball team competed at the Winston-Salem Memorial Coliseum and Spry Stadium was still 30 years away from coming to fruition. While both are now retired from their careers — Bob as a senior manager of marketing and Peggy as a substitute teacher — they still call Winston-Salem home. The couple has three grown children: Kenneth, Karen (MS ’93) and Kathy. As they look ahead, the Neals are excited to witness many more Demon Deacon victories as they continue adding to their Wake Forest memories.

deacon club photos Deacon Club members are encouraged to submit photos for publication in the Gold Rush. Send your photos in digital format to DeacClub@wfu.edu. Submission of a photo does not guarantee that it will be published. Thanks for showing off your Demon Deacon pride!



3 1 Wake Forest alumni, fans and Deacon Club members gathered at the Amway Center to watch the Orlando Magic take on John Collins and the Atlanta Hawks. Prior to the game, the group attended a reception hosted by Magic owners and Wake Forest Parents’ Athletic Advisory Council members, Doug and Maria DeVos (P ’14, P ’17, P ’20).

2 Former football players reunite at a pre-game tailgate prior to the 2018 Spring Game as part of this year’s Wake Forest Football Alumni Reunion Weekend.

3 K ate T. (Crowley) Parker, Beth (Schwartz) Foley, Vanessa (Slattery) Kuklick, Meredith (Lester) Klemmer, Jacki Ball and Amanda (Lewis) Riepe (left to right) — all women’s soccer alumni from the Wake Forest Class of 1998 — met in Nashville for a reunion.

MAY 2018






n each issue, Where Are They Now showcases a former Wake Forest student-athlete. Peter Princi (’98) was a four-year member of the Wake Forest baseball team from 1995-98 before embarking on a professional career. In four seasons in Winston-Salem, he made 47 appearances with 16 starts on the mound, racking up 10 wins and exactly 100 strikeouts in 125 innings pitched. He was a member of the 1998 ACC Championship team, which also qualified for the Gainesville Regional and defeated Illinois and Richmond in the NCAA Tournament.

PETER PRINCI When did you graduate from Wake Forest? 1998

When you come back to Wake Forest, you always… Feel like I am back at home.

What was your major and/or minor? Business Finance

I was there when… Tim Duncan led our basketball team to two ACC Championships.

What does being a Demon Deacon mean to you? I am proud to have graduated from one of the best academic schools in the country while managing the busy schedule of a student-athlete. Why are you still involved in Wake Forest Athletics? As an alumnus and former student-athlete, I feel that it’s important to stay engaged. Whether it’s simply cheering on the Deacs at a game or attending an event, our support as alumni is vital. This is a major reason why my family and I have recently decided to make a gift to the next phase of construction at the David F. Couch Ballpark. Why do you feel it is important to give back to the University? I feel that my college experience helped shape me into the person I am today, and I owe part of my success in business to the University and athletic program. What is your current occupation? Managing Director at Morgan Stanley. We manage over $6 billion for high-net-worth families and institutions (endowments and foundations). What is your favorite memory of your time at Wake Forest? Winning the ACC Baseball Championship my senior year. What makes you most proud of Wake Forest? I am very proud when I see the University consistently ranked in the top 30 for academics. From an athletic standpoint, it makes me extremely proud to witness moments like the amazing run our baseball team made last year, almost making it to the College World Series.



Who is your favorite coach at Wake Forest, current or past? Coach George Greer and Bobby Moranda. I also had the pleasure of playing for Coach Tom Walter in the Cape Cod Baseball League in 1997 as a member of the Cotuit Kettleers. He is doing an amazing job with the program.



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On Tuesday, May 22, join us in a 24-hour fundraising event in support of Wake Forest Athletics. Your participation allows us to invest in the resources necessary to prepare our student-athletes for competition at the highest level. Former student-athletes and current and former members of Wake Forest Greek life can also participate in special giving challenges to make an even greater impact for our student-athletes.

V ISI T DE ACONCL UB.COM / DON AT E T O M A K E A DON AT ION T ODAY. Like and share our #DeacsGive2018 posts in order to spread the word!




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// T O D D H A I R S T O N



The NCAA Council met recently to discuss a number of proposals that were introduced to the membership during the fall legislative cycle. Among the most impactful proposals adopted were two measures that significantly change the way campus recruiting visits will function going forward. Official recruiting visits (i.e., visits financed by the institution) may now occur during the junior year of high school. Previously, such visits were only permissible during a prospect’s senior year. Additionally, unofficial visits (i.e., visits financed by the prospect) may only occur after the beginning of a prospect’s junior year of high school. Previously, unofficial recruiting visits could occur at any time. The rationale behind these proposals was to slow down the recruiting process and allow middle school students and freshmen and sophomores in high school to focus on academic and athletic success. In addition, these proposals were implemented to purposely de-emphasize the importance of unofficial visits, as it shortens the permissible window of time for these visits to occur. While these legislative changes should achieve their intended outcome, there are other unintended consequences of these proposals

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that could have negative financial implications for both prospects and institutions. In many instances, prospects visit campuses at various times throughout high school when traveling in conjunction with club team competitions or following participation in sports camps. In some cases, these may be their only opportunities to travel to certain parts of the country, however, the new bylaws would preclude such drop-in visits prior to the junior year. As for institutions, since official visits could previously only occur during the senior year — after binding commitments had already been made — many coaches opted to conduct very few official visits, and in some cases, none at all. However, with the ability to offer an official visit to juniors, prior to a commitment, the number of official visits will almost certainly rise, resulting in increased costs to institutions. It will be interesting to observe the net effect of these new rules in the coming years and whether the perceived benefit of a delayed recruiting period is outweighed by the financial impact on institutions, prospects and their families.

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The official publication of Wake Forest Athletics

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