Mount Hood

Upsets destroy the perfect brackets

Unpredictable upsets and pairings leaves the title of national champions to anyone

Mollie Herron | News Editor

Contact the author at howlentertainment@wou.edu 

March is over, which means the infamous NCAA Division I basketball tournament, March Madness is coming to an end. On April 4, 2022 the championship game for men’s basketball will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana at Ceasar’s Superdome. The women’s teams will play their championship game on April 3 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Every year, competitions are held to see who can make the most correct guesses as to who will win each game of the tournament. Large brackets are filled out and entered into different game websites where winners are awarded prizes or money. 

The NCAA tracks the “perfect brackets” that people fill out this year, but unfortunately there are no perfect brackets left. The competition started with 20 million brackets that were filled out online for the men’s tournament, but after just the first day the number dropped to 192. With University of Richmond beating University of Iowa, New Mexico State University beating University of Connecticut and Saint Peter’s University beating University of Kentucky in huge upsets, only those 192 were left in the competition for the perfect bracket. The upsets continued and started taking down brackets, and after the University of Notre Dame took out University of Alabama, there were only four brackets left until Iowa State University beat Louisiana State University and there were officially no more perfect brackets. 

For the women’s tournament there are also no more perfect brackets after starting with over 1 million. After their first day the number of contenders dropped to 28, and after the entire first round only three remained. After the upset of Creighton University beating Iowa there was only a single perfect bracket left until Iowa State beat Louisiana State ending the possibility of a perfect bracket this year.

Based on bracket numbers, more people are interested in the men’s tournament, and this year, due to so many upsets, there were arguments for why every team in the Sweet 16 could end up being in the Final Four. Analysts are saying Texas Tech University has the best defense while University of Miami has all the parts to make for a great offense. Gonzaga University was the betting favorite and most people predicted them to make it to the Final Four, but the fact that Duke University is one of the only three teams to beat them this season made their potential matchup unpredictable.

The Sweet 16 played their games and viewers watched a few incredible upsets and we saw Gonzaga lose to University of Arkansas and not make it to the Elite Eight. All season Gonzaga was revered by fans and analysts as being one of the best teams and had a real shot at winning it all, but they fell short and lost 74-68. 

St Peter’s ranked No. 15 beat No. 3 Purdue University 67-64 so they could play University of North Carolina in their Elite Eight game after their own upset of 73-66 against University of California Los Angeles. After their games, Miami and University of Kansas advanced to the Elite Eight as well. Duke, as expected by many, took out Texas Tech to get them to their match against Arkansas.

In the fight for the Final Four, Duke beat Arkansas 78-69; Villanova University beat University of Houston 50-44; North Carolina beat St Peter’s 69-49; and Kansas beat Miami 76-50. Villanova is set to play Kansas on Saturday April 2 and later the same day Duke plays North Carolina to see who will earn their spot in the championship game.

Inside the Dugout

A glimpse at Western’s dugout culture

Mollie Herron | News Editor

Contact the author at howlentertainment@wou.edu 

Anyone who has attended a college softball or baseball game has noticed the energy that comes out of the dugouts while teams are playing. 

Dugouts were originally created so that spectators seated behind the team area could see over them. They were lower than the stands behind them because it was cheaper to dig deeper than it was to raise the stands behind them to see home plate. Despite coming from a very simple and non-team related reason, dugouts have become an important part of the game of softball and baseball.

Western’s teams are no exception to the general trend of dugout energy and ring out loudly with support. While their teammates are at bat or pitching, the rest of players are constantly yelling and cheering as a way to encourage their team or distract their opponents. Western’s baseball team generally shouts louder than softball, though most of their cheering is just yelling, but it is exciting nonetheless. The softball players seem to be more organized in their cheering based on what has just happened in the game. They do this in the form of chants or even songs they sing while replacing a key word with the name of the player.

Senior pitcher Reilly Tidwell said, “I think communication and support from the dugout is a huge contributing factor to successful games. The last 4 years I have been able to recognize just how many perspectives there are to the game.” Her time spent on the field and in the dugout has greatly improved her softball IQ. Tidwell said “as a pitcher who doesn’t hit, it is nice to be able to come back into the dug out and get feedback from our hitters on how to pitch to the other team based on where they are standing in the box, if they are dropping their hands, things like that. They see and recognize things that I can’t, and help me improve my game.”

While not encouraged, players often yell at the opposing team while they are playing. It is all said in good fun and is never directed by saying numbers or names, but instead by singing more songs, chants or funny lines as a reaction to a play.

The secluded area for the team allows for bonding that other sports do not get to see. With their own “team room” that they are able to use while playing, the team can discuss in real time strategies and tactics that other sports would not be able to fit into their 1-minute timeouts.

Having teammates who are ready to discuss the game on hand as they are playing helps build a better bond between the players as well as give players insight to what is happening when they are not looking. Tidewell said “We play a team sport, so every single person, playing on the field or not, has a role that can help or hurt the team, depending on how seriously they choose to take their role. Sometimes the “most valuable players” are not necessarily the super star starters, but the teammates they have supporting them in the dugout.”

Graduating senior athletes

Hannah Greene |  Sports Editor

The COVID-19 pandemic caused the spring season for athletes across the country to be canceled — a lot of these athletes being seniors and ready to graduate. Below is a list honoring the senior Wolves here at Western. A huge congratulations and recognition of your hard work is in order. Note: some athletes listed below may come back for an eligible season.

Men’s Baseball: Mitchell Hulse, Hunter Johnson, Blayze Arcano, Tyler Brandenburg, Alan Vasquez, Cam Nowack, Connor McCord, Cole Carder, Logan Hatley, Nathan Bonck, Justin Dolezal and Joshua Mcintyre.

Women’s Softball: Chandler Bishop, Nicole Miller and Kennedy Coy.

Men’s Basketball: Jaylyn Richardson, Dalven Brushier, Riley Hamilton and Jaquan Horne.

Women’s Basketball: Shariah Green.

Men’s Cross Country and Track and Field: Justin Crosswhite, Stephen Fey, Sawyer Heckard, Derek Holdsworth, Zach Kanelis, Hunter Mosman, Max Carmona, Adam Alnazer, Dominic Giordano, Austin Goldstein, Curt Knott, Mitchell Kruse, Nick Sieber and Chris Steffey.

Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field: Rachel Bayly, Danel Camacho, Grace Knapp, Cassie McKinney, Grayson Burke, Olivia Jimenez and Kendra Zimmerdahl.

Men’s Football: Braelen Evans, Tyler Reid, Nico Jackson, Ty Currie, Joey Roos, Derek Parnell, Nate Proctor, Aaron Turner, Joseph Gonzalez, Anthony Kennison, Court Hammond and Tyrell Cummings. 

Women’s Soccer: Alex Qualls, Kaili Brundage, Kaitlin Poe, Jacky Beristain, Isabelle Creighton and Selene Konyn.

Women’s Volleyball: Allie Spear and Sianna DeCarli.

Contact the author at hgreen18@wou.edu

Photo by Hannah Greene

2020 Summer Olympics canceled due to COVID-19

Hannah Greene |  Sports Editor

Every four years, the most elite athletes come together to compete, to represent their countries and, most of all, to win gold. This summer, July 23 through Aug. 8, 2020, would have been the 29th Summer Olympics, having started in 1880. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the Olympics have been postponed for the first time ever. The Olympic Games will now be held on July 23, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan — Asia’s fourth time holding the games.

Because of COVID-19 and the rescheduling of the Olympics, the competitors have been put in an odd position. It has especially put a strain on the mental preparation of the athletes, as well as their training schedule and goals to peak at certain times. On another side, this postponement has given these athletes extra time to prepare — allowing for more improvement, focus and honing in on specific areas to be able to compete in 2021 at their highest performance. 

Although fear dominates these uncertain and harsh times, the teams from around the world have continued to stay positive and use their platforms to help keep their fans positive and patient. 

Contact the author at hgreene18@wou.edu

Online Wolves’ Athletics auction to support athletes

Hannah Greene |  Sports Editor

This year marks the 34th annual Western Oregon University Athletic Auction. This event was created and implemented to benefit the current and future athletes and athletics of Western Oregon University. The goal for this year is to raise $100,000, and as of May 26, almost $34,000 has been raised. On May 30 at 7 p.m. (PST), a live event will be held where viewers can watch the live auction. 

Every item sold and donated through the auction will go directly to and support the athletics here at Western. Through their site, https://wolvesauction2020.asimobile.net/#/index, supporters are able to create an account to bid during the auction or watch the live event for free, scroll through and view the items available to auction, purchase raffle tickets and virtual tickets, register for regular updates and even “Raise the Paddle for Student-Athletes” — money pledges from $100 to $5,000.

The items being auctioned range from signed jerseys to signed footballs, from a brand new Traeger Pro 22 smoker to a tour at the Rogue Hop Farms. 

After a year cut short for Western Athletes, this auction delivers an excellent way for fans to support their hometown heroes and help propel them and future stars into their upcoming seasons.

 

Contact the author at hgreene18@wou.edu

Online workouts for Western students and community

Hannah Greene |  Sports Editor

With the recreational department closed, along with all other athletic facilities, working out and staying in shape is a little more difficult — luckily Western offers options for students and the Western community to work out at home. These classes are available through the Health and Wellness Center, giving full-time enrolled Western students free membership. For Western community members, a free trial period is offered with the options between a daily pass or a term membership which costs $108 per term and $105 for the summer term.

Registering is quite easy and risk free; by emailing hammerlez@wou.edu “Add Me,” your information is then verified and an email confirmation is sent with instructions on how to register for a fitness class.

Campus Recreation Assistant Director, Zachary Hammerle, is the creator and initiator behind having online fitness classes for Western, giving students and the community the option to continue to workout from the safety of their own home. 

For the rest of spring term, classes will be offered until May 29 with an unknown schedule for the summer term. Currently, multiple class options are there to choose from like yoga, meditation, zumba, spin and more.

There are many other free options out there for students and community members to join to stay active and interactive, while keeping a safe distance. Instagram offers a safe way to workout, giving users access to Instagram Live, where followers can join a profile’s live stream — this has also worked with live music events and gaming. Orangetheory, a popular workout studio, offers free 30-minute daily workout routines that are available to anyone. Youtube, another great source for free at home workouts, offers endless videos of workouts that people are able to view and follow easily.

Most free at-home workouts take into consideration that not everyone has access to a lot of workout machines, making the workouts focused on bodyweight training — strength training workouts using one’s own bodyweight — and resistance-type exercises. 

And now, with the capabilities of Zoom, FaceTime, Instagram Live and more, working out together is easier than ever.

 

Contact the author at hgreene18@wou.edu

Photo by Hannah Greene

Esports available through Campus Recreation

Hannah Greene |  Sports Editor

Due to COVID-19, not only were Spring Varsity and Club sports put to a halt, but the recreation department had to stop all Intramural Leagues as well — resulting in the creation of the Esports League. 

“We researched and talked about an expansion into Esports for a while. We wanted to make sure we knew how to effectively run an Esports league, and if Esports fit into the Campus Recreation mission and values. You could say we fast tracked the implementation when the pandemic arrived, but I’m happy to say they have gone well,” stated Andy Main, the Assistant Director of Campus Recreation Intramural and Club Sports, on the decision to proceed with Esports leagues. 

As of right now, there are multiple leagues offered for both Xbox and Playstation 4 including FIFA 20, NBK 2K20 and Madden 20. 

“We’ve tried to stick to games that at least one of our Intramural Supervisors had experience playing,” said Main on the decision of which games and leagues to have — this way they could be confident in what they were doing.

Currently there are five people working on the leagues to ensure quality and capability, including Main and four Intramural Supervisors: Shariff Youngblood, Noah Jones, Jonny Watt and Sarah Texter. Each Intramural Supervisor works on the league from the start to the finish, actively managing each aspect — GroupMe conversations have been started to keep all participants up to date and to make sure everyone follows the rules and how the matches are set up. GroupMe has also helped the Intramural Supervisors by giving feedback, allowing for improvements to newer leagues. 

“Some of the difficulties we’ve had at WOU with the leagues is being able to get more people to sign up, it’s a small school and sometimes people don’t know we offer some things,” stated Shariff Youngblood, an Intramural Supervisor, on the subject of helping create the Esports leagues.

Right now through May 24, students are able to join the leagues for Madden 20 on PS4 and Xbox, which can be done through IMLeagues. For more information and regular updates, follow the Intramural Sports page on Instagram, wou_imsports.

 

Contact the author at hgreene18@wou.edu

Photo courtesy of Andy Main

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