you're reading...


The Season Ahead: Warren Wilson College Sports Coaches Share Goals, Celebrate Memories

by Grace Hatton, staff writer

One of the signs of a new year at Wilson is the beginning of the athletic season. From swimming to basketball, Wilson has an impressive array of athletics to offer the sports enthusiast. The Echo talked to a few of Wilson’s coaches to get their perspective what this year will look like for them.

Men’s Basketball Coach Kevin Walden

What Are Your Aspirations for the Upcoming Year?

Our expectations every year are to maintain at least an overall team GPA of a 3.0, complete over 25 community service hours per team member, have a winning season, and qualify for the USCAA National Championships. With a strong nucleus of players returning and talented new crop of players, I feel we can exceed all these expectations for the 2011-12 school year.

What’s Your Favorite Memory from Wilson Athletics?

My favorite memory was beating a very solid D-III team in Piedmont College during the 2008-09 [season]. We had four very hard-working seniors, including two four-year players who deserved a good quality win over a tough opponent. It also marked our 10th win on the season which was the most number of wins since the 1992-93 season.

What Changes and or Improvements Have Been Made to Your Team?

The biggest improvement for this year’s team will be our depth. We will be able to play more guys, play at a faster pace, and wear our opponents down. We have brought in a very talented group of six new players to go with an experienced group of nine returners. This is our largest roster size in my four years at Warren Wilson.

Women’s Basketball Coach Rob Shook

What Are Your Aspirations for the Upcoming Year?

We always want to have a roster of 13 to 14 players. We aspire to win more games than we did last year. We have a great schedule this season with the potential to win more games than in the previous seasons. I also want our team to participate in all 24 hours of the Andy Summers 24-Hour Event.

What’s Your Favorite Memory from Wilson Athletics?

There are several, but the women’s game we played for Haiti relief was great. [BIO/ENS professor] Lou Weber sang the National Anthem and Tom La Muraglia [Landscaping Crew Supervisor] shaved his ‘stache after the game.

What Changes and or Improvements Have Been Made to Your Team?

We haven’t made a lot of changes. We have added additional service opportunities for this season. We will be doing fitness testing this year in the preseason and retesting again in the winter. We continue to improve on our preseason workouts every year.

Women’s Soccer Coach Stacey Enos

What Are Your Aspirations for the Upcoming Year?

Warren Wilson College is hosting the USCAA National Soccer Tournament Nov. 1-3 at the JBL Soccer Complex this year. Because we won the bid, we are granted an automatic spot in the top eight. We have not qualified for postseason play since 2006, and my goal this year is for us to qualify in RPI standings even though we have a secure spot. I do not want to be the eighth seed by default. I want these young women to earn their spot.

What’s Your Favorite Memory from Wilson Athletics?

The 2006 homecoming victory over Southern Virginia University 3-2 overtime. Amazing crowd-300-plus fans-of students, staff, faculty and alumni watching a phenomenal match.

What Changes and or Improvements Have Been Made to Your Team?

Recruiting student athletes to Warren Wilson College takes a tremendous amount of work. We were thin in the goal last year so I focused my energy on increasing my goalkeeper numbers. I have two outstanding goalkeepers this year: Kendra Orians and Lora Gess. Kendra went to University South Carolina Sumter with a solid soccer program. Warren Wilson College played her former school two years ago. She made some good saves in the match and expressed interest following our game.

Lora is a transfer student from Richmond University and has great experience and playing history. She is versatile and talented both in the goal and on the field. Because of our depth in goal, I currently have Lora starting as our center midfielder.

Both student athletes are a great fit for our soccer program and college. They bring maturity and experience. That is always appreciated.

Men’s Soccer Coach Ben Kerr

What Are Your Aspirations for the Upcoming Year?

Our goals this season are [to] post a winning record, win our home matches, and make a deep run through the USCAA National Tournament, which we are hosting at JB Lewis Soccer complex, Nov. 3-5.

What’s Your Favorite Memory from Wilson Athletics?

After 11 seasons I have many fond memories, but among the best would have to be beating LaGrange College at their 2006 homecoming with only 11 players, no subs, in overtime in 90 degree weather. Also, winning our final two matches in 2009 on the road at Ferrum, 2-1 scoring on a cheeky free kick in the 88th minute, and then beating Averret University two days later 2-1 in overtime with a fantastic 35 yard shot into the upper 90.

In all those games the stands were filled with their vocal fans, and I can still hear the screams of our boys echoing through the silent stadiums

What Changes and/or Improvements Have Been Made to Your Team?

We have added five very talented new guys to the team this year, complementing the returning core of players, which will make us much more competitive. Our roster is only 17, which is not ideal, but with more focus on flexibility and core strength this preseason we can hopefully avoid the injury woes of the past. If there are any players out there in the student body, I encourage them to come out and join the side … It’s a great bunch of boys, and I’m sure we’ll create a few memories for the record this season as well.

We have a Cinderella storyline in front of us, going from 0-14, to a chance to win the National Tourney; that is a very rare bird … It will be incredibly difficult to pull off, we will need good fortune, good luck and good health, but hopefully, we paid our dues to the futbol gods last year … time will tell.


No comments yet.

Post a Comment

Stories by Category