wingspan • october 26, 2009
Football team continues strong conference play
n today’s sports world, injuries are a part of the game. Most of the injuries suffered are from playing the game and are bound to happen. Those injuries, your teammates are likely to understand. But for some pro athletes, injuries on the field aren’t the ones that hurt them most. It is the stupid off-thefield injuMatt Thielke ries that bring them down, as well as open them up to much deserved hazing from their teams. Here are a few of the classic dim-witted, pinheaded, chuckle headed injuries of modern day athletes that we hold dear and exalt as our heroes. The first thought in my mind of the dumbest sports injury is former Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa. In 2004, he strained a ligament in his back. How? A violent sneeze caused his back to be yanked the wrong way. The doctor ordered him to stay away from pepper, pollen and ragweed for the rest of the season. Too bad he played outfield at the only ballpark in the MLB with ivy on the wall. One of my all time favorites is a man who is known as one of the Atlanta Braves best-all-time pitchers, John Smoltz. This will most certainly change your views of the guy. It turns out his baseball IQ doesn’t translate to everyday life. He suffered burns while he was ironing his shirt. . . that he was wearing. If I were his mother, I would feel like I failed him in life because I never showed one of the greatest athletes of all time how to iron clothes. Who could forget Detroit Tiger’s relief pitcher Joel Zumaya? According to the Detroit Free Press, in the 2006 American League championship series, he had to be rested for three games. He suffered swelling and inflammation in his pitching arm and wrist from playing too much Guitar Hero on his PS2 the night before the series. I bet his buddies in the bullpen had a good time with him when they figured out why he couldn’t pitch. Maybe he needed that self-esteem boost you get when the game proclaims “YOU ROCK!” I guess you are never too old to be a rock star.
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he Falcons were down 24-21 with less then 30 seconds remaining in their third conference game at Pisgah. It looked like they were destined for their first conference loss of the season. But junior quarterback Dillon Baker thought otherwise as he hit senior Tanner Keyse for a 15-yard touchdown pass to put West up, 28-24, as time expired. The touchdown lifted the Falcons to an Appalachian Athletic Conference victory. The team is now 5-4 overall, 4-1 in conference. The win over Pisgah was the first since the 2005 season when the Falcons won by a score of 6-0. The team carried the momentum into a homecoming game win against Brevard. “The team’s attitude is a lot better; the work ethic seems to be a lot better too, so it’s going much better than last year,” Head Coach Jeff Bailey said. Before last Friday’s loss to Tuscola, the team moved from the bottom to the top of the conference. The wins have helped to motivate the team and give them something to build on. “We’ve already got five wins; last season it took us a whole season to get one win. So we’re already off to a good start,” senior Gary Simpson said. Besides having a new start to the season, there are also changes in the conference schedule. The new conference is a 2A/3A split conference that includes Franklin and Tuscola. There are two games left in the regular season, an away game at Franklin and a home game against conference rival East Henderson. “There’s a lot more conference games, a lot tougher, but we’re a lot tougher team,” Simpson said. “We have much better leaders this year and a lot more dedication.” The football team has some coaching staff changes. Coach William Hemphill, the new defensive end coach, moved from Brevard. His son, junior Trae Hemphill, now plays football for the Falcons. “It’s great to play for Dad because he pushes me since Record: he knows I can do certain things that I think I can’t,” Hemphill said.
Cross country teams sweep conference meet
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er feet pounding a rhythm into the ground, junior Kiersten Ellsworth crossed the finish line at Fletcher Park to secure the conference title for West. Her third place finish helped West win the title in the new 2A/3A Appalachian Athletic Conference. “I expect us, now that we’re in a 3A conference, to hopefully get top 10 in the state,” Ellsworth’s sister, freshman runner Kayla Ellsworth, said. The women’s cross country team has qualified for state the past two seasons, placing fifth at state last year, and hopes to make it this year as well. They have placed in the top five in every meet they’ve participated in this fall, and the Lady Falcons want to continue their strong performance at regionals. Kiersten Ellsworth leads the large group of mainly underclassmen. She has been the first West cross country runner to cross the finish line in all of the races so far. The men’s team also won the conference meet. Brandon Hawkins led the senior-dominated team, with junior Jordan Christiano being one of only four underclassmen. “We’ve done OK this fall considering we have a small team,” Christiano said. “Hopefully, we can make it to state.” Christiano’s father, Dave Christiano, replaced James Galloway as assistant coach. The team hopes to repeat the success of last year’s team, which went to state and placed fifth. “Last year the men’s team went to state and did pretty well,” Christiano said. “This year a senior who should be running is hurt and another one is playing soccer, so this is a rebuilding year for us.” Head Coach Rodney Proffitt said the team can go far despite its size. “This year both the men’s and women’s teams don’t have the seniors that we’ve had in the past or the upperclassmen that we’ve had in the past,” Proffitt said. “We’ve had to rely on our younger athletes. They’re younger, but the talent is there.” The teams will compete at regionals on Oct. 31.
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Lining it Up Replacing her golf ball after reading the green, senior Carly Jackson prepares for a putt in a tournament at Crooked Creek on Sept. 28. The Lady Falcons won the tournament with a score of 126.
Golf team wins regionals, heads to state Katie King
Full Swing Warming up before a home match against Franklin, junior April Cameron hits a forehand shot. The Lady Falcons lost the conference match, 1-8.
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gional championships. “This season is different because we are in a different division, so the stakes are higher,” senior Olivia Springer said. This year’s team consisted of four returning players, Sciupider, Springer and seniors Taylor Bryson and Carly Jackson, along with one new player, senior Anna Padgett. Padgett played golf for four years for her school’s team before moving to the Hendersonville area and playing for West. “I am enjoying being on the team, and I think I am fitting in well,” Padgett said. “As a group, everyone is friendlier and easier to get along with at West.” Springer says that the Lady Falcons are feeling the pressure of becoming more experienced players. “This season is more serious because we are all getting to that point in our own personal games where our scores should be getting lower,” Springer said. “The top three players this year are Sciupider, Padgett and Jackson. Taylor (Bryson) and I have learned mostly what we need to know, but now it’s up to us to practice and make our score better.” Sciupider, Padgett and Jackson lifted West to a 15 stroke regional win over East Lincoln.
Women’s tennis team concludes regular season
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hen the Lady Falcons looked at the scoreboard and saw that they had defeated East Lincoln by 15 strokes, they realized their golf team would be going to state for the first time in five years. The East Lincoln golfers had previously gone undefeated inside and outside of their conference and was guaranteed to be West’s major rival at the regional tournament at Asheville Municipal Golf Course. The golf team’s win propelled the Lady Falcons into one of four spots at the state tournament at Longleaf Golf and Country Club in Pinehurst. “I’m really happy that we will be competing as a team this year at state,” junior Kayla Sciupider said. “It’s going to be tough, but we’re confident in our game. I’m also hoping for a personal win this year. I’ve never had an individual state championship title before, and I would love to get one this year.” The win at regionals topped off the team’s winning season with a record of 26-1. Despite the realignment move from 2A to 3A, the team managed to capture both the conference and re-
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ith numerous matches rescheduled and sporadic practices because of rain, the women’s tennis team has finished their regular 2009 season, tying for fourth in the new 2A/3A split conference. Senior Amie Cloer, who placed second at the state tournament last year, says the change in divisions made for tougher competition and challenges at regionals. “Moving up to 3A has drastically changed our season. The level of competition has really been raised this fall,” Cloer said. The Lady Falcons had a large team with young players. With the loss of just two seniors from last fall, Breanna Fuentes and Kaylin Waldrop, the team had 23 players. Heather Waldrop was the only freshman in the top six. “Our top six players did great. I think that this conference has helped us for next year because we’ve gained experience. We played harder teams this season than last year, which will help next year’s matches,” Waldrop said. Cloer won the conference tournament in singles on Oct. 16 at the Hendersonville Racquet Club. Seniors Elizabeth Huntley and Jessica Tobin placed third in doubles. They advanced to regionals on Oct. 23 and 24 at Patton High School. Cloer made it to the regional finals in singles and will play at state on Oct. 30 Record: and 31. Huntley and Tobin lost in the first round of doubles.
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