c Sports – The Western Howl
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Headline: Champions vs. champions

Analyzing the National Cheer Association’s College Daytona performances from Navarro and Trinity Valley

Jude Bokovoy | Lifestyle Editor

 

Contact the author at howllifestyle@wou.edu

 

This article contains spoilers for competition results and season two of “Cheer.”

Navarro cheer team is one of the most well known collegiate cheerleading teams in the U.S. Navarro can be easily recognized by their sparkly red and black uniforms, incredible stunting abilities and team spirit. In 2020, Netflix released a documentary about Navarro’s road to reach the National Cheerleaders Association National Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida, called “Cheer.” The show and the team’s execution of their routine was a major success. Navarro was named the 2019 National Champion in Daytona’s advanced large coed junior college division. 

Daytona is NCA’s Collegiate Dance and Cheer Competition. To be able to participate in Daytona, each team needs to qualify by either getting bid on at an NCA camp or approved by sending in a video. Cheerleading teams come from all over the country to experience and compete in the notorious Daytona.

This January, the second season of “Cheer” was released that included their rivals, Trinity Valley Community College. Throughout the season, they went back and forth showing how each team prepared for Daytona, as well as the ups and downs throughout the season. Both teams were incredibly talented and had viewers on their toes, wondering who was going to be the 2021 National Champions. TVCC ended up placing first, stealing Navarro’s national title. 

Although both of these teams are located in Texas, they couldn’t be more different. Days before Daytona, many competing teams performed a showcase of their routines for their friends, families and fans. At TVCC’s Daytona showcase, the camera crew made it clear that they were only focused on certain individuals, by exclusively filming certain cheerleaders as they were executing their skills. Their routine was extremely tumble heavy leaving viewers in awe, however it seemed they were more focused on the individual spotlight rather than working as a team. It didn’t go unnoticed that many of them did not smile during the duration of their performance. 

The Navarro routine was team-based. Everyone had a smile on their face and they were energetic while performing their fluid routine. Navarro’s baskets and transitions were jaw dropping. As always, their choreography lit up the mat. What these two teams had in common were the high magnitude of tumbling, stunts and ambition. 

This year TVCC decided to enter into the advanced small coed division, meaning that they did not end up competing against Navarro. During the weekend of April 6 – 10, NCA’s Daytona provided each team two days to perform their routine twice in hopes of taking home a trophy. 

Throughout TVCC’s day one performance, their tumbling was clean but the stunts were not. There were many shaky dismounts, two stunts needed to be saved and the center group for their main pyramid fell. TVCC made a comeback on day two; their team jump combo was level throughout the team, the baskets were very high and the center tumbler had lots of energy. Unfortunately in the same middle stunt group, the flyer slipped during the pyramid. While making their final exit on day two, each member of the team did actions towards the crowd of an “I’m the best” mentality, iconic of the individualistic mindset that is rampant in TVCC.

On the other hand, Navarro blew it out of the park for both days’ performances. On day one, their beginning tumbling sequences were intense, all of their pyramids were executed well and included elaborate transitional stunts. On day two, all of their one-man stunts were solid; they nailed their first jump combo of a toe touch to a b-twist and they performed choreography with enthusiasm. The only notable flaw from Navarro was during one of their pyramids in which well known athlete Gabbi Butler slipped but regained balance while doing the choreography. When Navarro left the mat on day one and two they all hugged each other and exited as a supportive team.

At the end of the day, both TVCC and Navarro executed their intense routines very well. Both included elaborate baskets, jump combinations, tumbling and pyramids; because of their determination and skill Navarro and TVCC went home as the 2022 National Champion for their respective divisions.

Spring term intramural sports open for sign-up through IMLeagues

Find out what intramural sports are being offered during spring term

 

James Fowlkes | Freelancer

Contact the author at jfowlkes18@mail.wou.edu

IMLeagues, available on desktop, laptop or mobile devices, allows students access to a multitude of fitness classes and intramural sports activities that they can sign up for. When COVID-19 was surging around campus — and all over the world — students were required to sign up for facility and fitness class reservations. Before entering, students had to agree to wear a face mask and maintain physical and social distance while getting a workout in. With the mask mandate being lifted, signing up for facility use is no longer required, but students will still have to sign up for other fitness activities if they’re planning on participating.

IMLeagues also provides a list of intramural sports and drop-in activities available for all members. This spring term offers soccer, corn hole, volleyball, softball or home run derby, golf and tennis. Drop-in activities available for sign-up are volleyball, table tennis, basketball and futsal. Schedule-wise, basketball and futsal are held Wednesday nights at 7 p.m., and volleyball and table tennis are held Thursday nights at the same time at the Health and Wellness Center.

To get set up on IMLeagues, students have to create an account using their student email address. One can find a drop-in or fitness activity within the intramurals section, sign up and agree to the terms and conditions. Overall, it is a simple process. 

IMLeagues has previously offered virtual or esport activities such as Rocket League and Super Smash Bros. 1v1 tournaments. As far as this spring term, there’s no news on when or what virtual competitions will take place, but until then there are drop-in intramurals and fitness classes on IMLeagues.

Honoring our graduating track and field Wolves

Western track and field team hit personal bests

Mollie Herron | News Editor

Contact the author at howlsports@wou.edu

Western hosted its only home track and field meet on Friday, April 8. John Knight Twilight was the only outdoor home meet that the Wolves held for the 2021–22 season, in which they invited universities from all over Oregon as well as multiple running clubs.

They honored 11 seniors for senior day: Gabe Arce-Torres, Kaylin Cantu, Samuel Cole, Owen Collins, Justin Crosswhite, Moana Gianotti, Austin Goldstein, Aaron Hanible, Devin Hasher, Logan Jackson and Taryn Wilson.

Collins placed second in shot put with a distance of 46-4 and hit a new personal record in the hammer throw. He threw a distance of 165-7 earning him runner up behind Western’s own Samuel Cole who threw 166-8.

Crosswhite won the 800 meter with a time of 1:53.55 and joined runners Emmet Klus, Timothy Rambo and Keeton Sanchez in the 4×400 relay to end the day. The group finished first with a time of 3:27.35 with everyone left on the track cheering them on.

Goldstein placed first in men’s javelin with a distance of 194-10. The crowd cheered Goldstein with a slow clap that increased in speed as he ran with the javelin turning into a full cheer as it soared through the air.

Hanible ran a time of 56.67 in the 400 meter hurdles which put him in first place. He also started the men’s 4×100 with Danny Cossette, Amari Hendrix and James Mazzio where they won with a time of 44.69.

Maya Hopwood, Taryn Wilson, Ana Popchock and Maliyah Thompson ran a time of 48.91 placing them in first for the women’s 4×100 relay. Western also won the women’s 4×400 relay with runners Macy Clemens, Amity Deters, Jenelle Hurley and Jessy Hart completing it in 4:17.44.

The Wolves will compete in the Mt. Sac Relay, Long Beach Invitational and the Bryan Clay Invitational from April 13 – 16 in California.

Spring term athletics event

Check out the spring schedule for Western athletics

Mollie Herron | News Editor

Contact the author at howlsports@wou.edu

Come support our athletes by attending some of our home games this term and keep an eye out for our away matches further below!

Home games:

  • April 8 – Track and Field vs John Knight Twilight (mens and womens)
  • April 22 – 1 p.m. baseball vs Northwest Nazarene University
  • April 23 – 12 p.m. baseball vs Northwest Nazarene University
  • April 23 – 12 p.m. softball vs Western Washington University
  • April 24 – 12 p.m. softball vs Western Washington University

Away games:

  • April 8 – 12 p.m. baseball at Montana State University Billings
  • April 9 – 11 a.m. baseball at Montana State University Billings
  • April 13–16 – Track and field at Mt Sac Relays
  • April 14–16 – Track and field at Bryan Clay Invitational
  • April 14–16 – Track and field at Long Beach Invitationals
  • April 15 – 12 p.m. baseball at Central Washington University
  • April 15 – 2 p.m. softball at Northwest Nazarene University
  • April 16 – 12 p.m. baseball at Central Washington University
  • April 16 – 12 p.m. softball at Northwest Nazarene University
  • April 19 – 4 p.m. baseball at Bushnell University
  • April 21–23 – Track and field at Oregon Relays
  • April 29–30 – Track and field at Oregon State High Performance
  • April 30 – 1 p.m. softball at Central Washington University
  • May 1 – 1 p.m. softball at Central Washington University
  • May 5 – 1 p.m. baseball at Saint Martin’s University
  • May 6 – 1 p.m. baseball at Saint Martin’s University

 

From influencer to boxer

Why social media influencers are swapping careers

Mollie Herron | News Editor

Contact the author at howlsports@wou.edu

Social media influencers seem to be everywhere these days. Because of their ability to rapidly grow their platforms, influencers have been able to make unexpected career leaps. Some have gone from YouTubers to professional musicians; Instagram models to full-time fashion designers; or, in more recent and somewhat confusing news, vloggers to highly competitive boxers.

Popular influencers like Logan and Jake Paul, KSI, Austin McBroom and Bryce Hall have all pursued careers in boxing. While they did not all succeed, the new boxers did manage to attract a lot of attention and brought more viewers to the sport.

The most notable of the new boxers are Logan and Jake Paul. They have taken the boxing world by storm by booking fights against popular fighters like Floyd Mayweather Jr., Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley. 

So, why are these influencers starting to box instead of sticking with their usual creator content?

One factor pushing for more influencer matches is money. People like Logan and Jake Paul are making millions and are able to earn even more for every match and rematch they schedule. It is suspected that this is why many of the matches end in a draw, as they can easily earn more through holding a rematch. Forbes estimated that Jake Paul made $40 million from participating in three matches in 2021.

The training and preparation it takes to become a boxer is also an opportunity for more content creation. Many of the influencers making this strange career transition have been on the internet for several years. If they run out of content ideas they are out of a job, so having a whole new career that they can film is an easy way to diversify their branding. The more posts involving boxing and calling out world famous boxers, the more attention the influencers receive.

Many die hard boxing fans are against having people like the Paul brothers in the ring because they feel that these influencers are not respecting the sport. The argument could be made that they are bringing more money and attention to the sport, but they have been heavily criticized for their lack of commitment and amateur status.

The fights the influencers try to create are also only against big names, which leads many to suspect there is no real intention to become a boxer and they only care about the potential fame and glory. Logan Paul was rumored to fight Mike Tyson in early 2022, but seeing as Tyson retired in 2005 the match was likely a ruse to garner more engagement. Jake Paul has publicly addressed one of the greats, Conor McGregor, after only fighting a few matches. The skill it would take to challenge one of the big names in the scene like McGregor compared to the short time Jake Paul has been fighting leads one to suspect it is all for publicity.

Only time will tell if these matches truly make boxing a more popular sport, or if these influencers will merely pass by to their next attention-grabbing schemes.

Western Wolves baseball team wins against the Saint

Wolves win 3 of their 4 games against Saint Martin’s Saints

Mollie Herron | News Editor

Contact the author at howlsports@wou.edu

Western’s baseball team faced off against the Saint Martin’s Saints on April 1 and 2. 

The Wolves split with the Saints on Friday, winning the first game 9-2 and losing the second 3-2. The next day the Wolves had a clean sweep and beat the Saints 2-1 and 8-0.

Mike Peterson pitched eight of the nine innings of the first game in the sun and allowed only 2 runs from the Saints in the fourth. Top scorers of the game included Justin Herzog, Anthony Zellner and Spencer Weston. Herzog led the team with 3 runs with Weston and Zellner scoring the second most at 2 runs each. Levi Cummings and Jacob Maiben both had 1 run in the bottom of the fourth inning to get the Wolves at an 8-2 lead before Herzog scored the final run of the game in the seventh. 

The second game was a pitchers battle as both teams were low scoring. Our own Wolves only had two hits and 2 runs, one each by Herzog and Derek Maiben. Unfortunately, those 2 runs were not enough and the Saints scored the final run of the game at the top of the fifth.

On Saturday, the Wolves had a slow start as the Saints scored an early lead of 1-0 in the first inning and continued to hold it until the fourth inning. At the bottom of the fourth Derek Maiben and Logan Ho each scored, putting the wolves at a 2-1 lead. The Saints had one hit the next inning with no runs, with the rest of the game in a standoff with no further hits or runs for either team leaving the Wolves with the victory score of 2-1.

The Wolves shut out the Saints in their second game on Saturday when Parker Johnson pitched seven innings with only one hit from the Saints in the first. At the bottom of the third, brothers Jacob and Derek Maiben both scored, earning a comfortable 2-0 lead. In the fifth, the Maiben brothers each scored again along with Cummings creating a larger gap for the Saints to try and come back from. Johnson kept the Saints from scoring and Cummings, Herzog and Zach Valdez scored 1 run each in the seventh, ending the game with a score of 8-0 when the Saints failed to get a run at the top of the eighth.

The next home game for the baseball team is Friday, April 22 at 1 p.m. against Northwest Nazarene University. Support the Wolves while breathing in fresh air and soaking up the sunlight during their game against the Nighthawks. 

New basketball team created in Salem

Salem Capitals are earning their top spot in the West region of The Basketball League

Mollie Herron | News Editor

Contact the author at howlnews@wou.edu

In mid to late January of 2022, tryouts were held for what would become Salem, Oregon’s first professional basketball team. The Salem Capitals are a part of the West Conference of The Basketball League, a fast growing league of 42 teams across the states. As of now the team is undefeated and scoring in the low hundreds almost every game. 

When the team plays at home, the crowd is filled with the player’s families and community members there to support the new city team. Team owner, Jason Conrad, who can be recognized by his dapper attire and the fact that he is seven feet tall, always goes out of his way to involve the children that are running about. During timeouts, halftime and in between quarters, Conrad invites the kids to compete for prize money and fun items.

The team clearly loves what they are doing and seem to be each other’s biggest fans. The team’s biggest cheerleader is probably one of its own forwards, Dominique Lawrence, who can be seen yelling and dancing whenever he is not on the court to support his teammates.

People that are watching the Capitals play for the first time are often drawn to Western alumni center Vincent Boumann’s presence. While not quite as tall as the team’s owner, Boumann stands at 6’10” making him a force to be reckoned with on the court, especially at tip-off.

Each player brings their own set of skills to the team, keeping the opposing teams on their toes when it comes to Capitals plays throughout their games.  This is due to their different positions and how long they have each been playing the game. The team has a wide variety of experience and skills ranging from the youngest being Scott Clough at 23 and Paul Hafford is the oldest at 38. 

After games are held on their home court, the team encourages attendees over 21 to join them for a beer in their Ox Box. This gives members of the community a chance for one-on-one time with players and coaches.

Last weekend the team played the California Sea-Kings and Vancouver Volcanoes. The Capitals won both games with the scores 109-103 and 104-102 respectively. The Capitals play the Sea-Kings again on Friday, April 1 away, and Bakersfield Magic the next day also away.

Tickets to all future games can be purchased on the Salem Capitals’ website.