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25 2013




Greekend football makes controversial changes to format from GREEKEND, page 1

“I think it’s been hard for the seniors to take this change because we all have become really close with our respective sororities. For the freshmen, since this is their first year, they will move up and become a closer unit of freshmen because of it, and less divided,” said Carr. While inter-sorority bonding was the primary goal, the weekend was not without entertaining games. The juniors won all three of their games, and the first-year come-from-behind victory over

the seniors proved to be the most exciting game of the weekend. For the fraternities, however, the turnout was disappointing. Instead of making the change that the sororities did in determining teams through class, the Inter-Fraternity Council decided to maintain tradition and keep the competition between fraternities. Unfortunately, Beta and Sig were both unable to field a team, leaving TKE and Phi to duke it out for the championship. While TKE proved victorious, Greekend football for the fraternities did

not live up to the excitement that previous years provided. Sophomore referee Keenan Durham recalled last year’s intense atmosphere of Greekend football and was hoping to experience much of the same this year. “For the guys, there was a little disappointment in the lack of participation and support for Greekend. Greekend is a chance for the frats to earn bragging rights and I was looking forward to seeing that intensity,” said Durham. Even though many people have fond memories of

the rivalries between the sororities and fraternities in Greekend football, this weekend showed that there may be a transformation underway. Sororities are beginning to use the weekend as an opportunity to pull themselves closer together and develop relationships that may have been previously hindered because of sorority boundaries. Fraternities, on the other hand, need to boost participation if they want to continue the fraternal rivalries that are fond memories for many Whitman students.

(Top) Juniors and seniors play a spirited game captured by Lucas Ramadan’s, ‘14, headgear (above). Photo by McCormick

Senior athletes combine sports, psychology by cole anderson Staff Reporter


arely do collegiate students have the luxury of combining their academics with their extracurricular studies. Senior soccer players and psychology majors Jed Jacobson and Leland Matthaeus have fully embraced their roles as student athletes by focusing on sports psychology for their senior thesis. The thesis, a culmination of four years of psychology studies and varsity soccer, involved cognitive tests for both athletes and non-athletes. “We were basically looking to improve the knowledge in the field of psychology about the effects that athletics can have on the brain,” said Jacobson in regards to the aim of the study. The initial predictions were simple: Athletes would outperform non-athletes in a series of executive functioning tests. “Executive functioning is a form of intelligence that is more involved with problem solving and impulse control, especially when under pressure,” said Matthaeus, who believed years of pressure-filled and strategic performances on the field

would translate into the lab. Their study also made a distinction between team sports involving coordination between members and more individual sports. “We also predicted that externally-paced athletes [involved in] sports such as soccer or basketball, where there are external cues coming in that you have to react to, would [perform] better in decision making and problem solving tasks, while the self-paced athletes, [involved in sports like] swimming or running, where you’re pacing yourself and you have to inhibit the urge to stop, would be better at impulse control. And that’s actually what we found,” said Matthaeus. The setup consisted of 54 participants with a generally equal spread for each test group. Those subjects would go through different cognitive tests like an impulse control test where the word “red” would be printed in blue ink and the participant would have to name the color of the word, not the word itself. The problem solving tests were conducted with what is called a tower test and the pair ran statistical analyses of their data to determine its legitimacy. The pair also relied on its soccer experience to conclude which cognitive skills tested could

be taught in an athletic setting. “Playing soccer has given us insight into how athletes train. And knowing exactly how athletes train and play, we know which of these executive functions may or may not be included in practice and competition. That also helped us prove another theory we tested based off this thing called cognitive skill transfer, where skill training in one setting can transfer over to a different setting like how problem solving in soccer could transfer to problem solving in the lab,” said Matthaeus. Jacobson and Matthaeus’ data proved their hypothesis, affirming the pair’s beliefs. “It’s one thing to theorize, but then to actually implement the test, and find out that yes, they do differ, that was a pretty cool moment,” said Jacobson. While athletes scored significantly higher in executive functioning, the data also revealed that out of their sample, athletes scored lower on average than non-athletes in the preliminary cognitive testing for general intelligence, most of which was based on vocabulary skills. Matthaeus and Jacobson were not discouraged by the latter findings, and both look to continue their academic jour-

ney with sports as a driving force. Both Jacobson and Matthaeus are planning on continuing soc-

Soccer players Leland Matthaeus ‘13 and Jed Jacobson ‘13 took their love of sports off of the pitch and into the laboratory for a sports psychology thesis. Photo by Sloss

Baseball team takes advantage of bye week down to California to take two games from University of Redlands in a doubleheader. fter seven consecutive Although it was a lot weekends playing conferof travel for a two-game seence opponents, Whitman ries, the team felt it was necbaseball had a bye essary to find a chance to get this weekend. in as many games as possible. Rather than us“With such a strict limit ing the break on number of games played, to catch up on scheduling a series in an sleep and off-week allows us to schoolreach the maximum 40 work, the games played. Also, team it would be a waste to flew take a weekend off during the end of the season when the weather gets nice,” said senior Chris Andrews. University of Redlands gave Whitman a taste of strong competition before heading into a league series against a struggling Whitworth team. “By scheduling quality opponents from other conferences, it allows us to compete and gain experience on a weekend that we would not be able to get game experience, and that is what it is all about at this level,” said junior Cameron Young. J u n ior Sterling Spilinek and senior Tyler Grisdale earned (Above) Jonny Lari ‘14 blocks a pitch for the Missionar- their first colleies, who won two games in California. Photo by Kirkava giate wins in the by tristan gavin Sports Editor


weekend effort, but the team also saw what it needed to work on to finish out the season strong. “It is important we fine-tune our pitching and fielding, but I think hitting is the most important thing. Whitworth has suffered some key injuries this year but they are a tough team and are definitely going to come ready to play. I’m confident we can play right with them,” said Justin Weeks. Beyond exposure of skills, the trip provided the opportunity for a more intangible growth. Due to a scheduling blunder, the team’s Saturday games were canceled, which took away a chance for more in-game experience, but also provided needed time to come together as a team. “We got the chance to go to a Major League Baseball game. While we did get in a practice that morning, watching the game was a great reminder that we all came to California over a love of the game, and I think that realization brought us together as a team and gave us the refreshing break we needed,” said Andrews. With several players hailing from Southern California, the trip also allowed players to see their families, one of which opened its home to the team for a Saturday dinner. “We headed over to Jimmy’s parents where they provided a nice home-cooked meal. I think everyone enjoyed the pool as well as the Huntington Beach sunshine,” said Young. The road trip was a positive on every level for Whitman, but the team expects to

cer after college and they are both also strongly considering going into the field of sports psychology.

buckle down for two more weeks of hard-nosed baseball. “Taking two in California allowed us to gain some momentum as we move forward to this weekend’s series against Whitworth. From my understanding, it gives us a shot to have the most wins in the program’s history since moving to DIII if we win out. That is a great incentive to come and push each other each day this week; we may be out of playoff contention, but we have a chance to put our names down in the record books and do what most of us came here for: to turn this program around into something that Whitman students can be proud of,” said Young.


v. University of Redlands Apr. 21: W 7-6 v. University of Redlands Apr. 21: W 14-7


Men’s v. NWC Tournament Semifinal: W 5-0 v. NWC Tournament Final: W 5-0 Women’s v. NWC Tournament Semifinal: W 6-0 v. NWC Tournament Final: W 5-0

upcoming Baseball

v. Whitworth University Apr. 27, 12 p.m.: HOME v. Whitworth University Apr. 27, 4 p.m.: HOME v. Whitworth University Apr. 28, 12 p.m.: HOME


Pioneer spring 2013 issue 12