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By Dustin Evans
The Shorter Lady Hawks basketball team lost freshmanAbby Stell this past season before a single game was ever played.
Stell was injured during the team’s third practice back and has been sidelined from the action since the injury. Her injured right knee was examined, and the doctor discovered that she had torn her ACL. This news affected Stell and the Lady Hawks as she would be out the entire 2012-2013 season.
However, she stayed positive about the injury. She began looking for ways to get back on the court.
“I knew that even though I tore my ACL, I could still play again eventually. I just needed to take care of myself and do the proper physical therapy to get back,” said Stell.
When the injury happened, the Shorter training staff was right there to examine her knee. The first to get to Abby Stell was trainer Josh Tucker. He knew the injury was severe.
“When I examined Abby’s knee, I knew she had damaged her right knee pretty severely. I stayed calm though and told her we would get a better look at her knee before anything was diagnosed,” said Tucker.
Despite the fact that Stell has injured her knee, she is taking strides to get back on the court and is preparing to return to action next season. She has had surgery on her torn ACL and is now doing physical therapy to help get the injured knee back to full strength.
Her older brother, Ben Stell, also a student-athlete here at Shorter, is very proud of his sister’s determination and fight to get back on the court.
“My sister is working hard to get back on the court and watching her work so hard just shows me how much she loves the game of basketball,” said Ben Stell.
Abby Stell has high expectations of returning to action next season and is hoping to be cleared to play sometime this summer. She still has several weeks of physical therapy left, as well as getting back into the physical shape to be on the court for next season.
“I know I have a lot of catching up to do since I’ve been on the sideline for so long, but I feel pretty confident about being able to play at my full potential again. I just can’t wait to be cleared to play and be back on the court with my teammates,” added Stell.
By Alan Samson
Redshirt Sophomore Nate Galloway came to Shorter University as a walk-on wrestler from Pebblebrook High School in 2010. Since then, Galloway has become one of the nation’s top wrestlers in NAIA after his All-American performance in his sophomore year. He plans to continue his dominance in the NCAA Division II.
Galloway started wrestling in high school when his new head football coach asked him to join the wrestling team. He was new to the sport and knew nothing about getting on the mat.
“My high school coach asked me after the season to try out for his wrestling team so I tried out,” said Galloway.
Galloway performed best in his junior year in high school. He qualified for the state tournament and placed fifth overall. His senior year he did not place at all in the state tournament. Galloway believes this hurt his chances of being recruited for wrestling out of high school.
“By not placing at state, colleges didn’t get to see me perform on the biggest stage and I think that is why I wasn’t highly recruited,” said Galloway.
Galloway signed with Shorter as a preferred walk-on and came in his freshman year and didn’t know what to expect. Shorter had signed a few state champions at the 133 pounds, and Galloway felt like the year was a toss-up.
“When I came in, I didn’t really have a whole lot of pressure on me. I didn’t get a lot of coaching in high school, since the coach was the football coach, but because I was so athletic, when I came in and got some actual coaching I was able to progress really well,” Galloway said.
Based on his performance and progress through his freshman year, Galloway earned a scholarship and set high goals for his sophomore season. He finished in the top 12 at the national tournament his freshman year.
Going into his sophomore year, the wrestling team began to go to bigger and better tournaments. Galloway said that is what helped him most during his run to the national tournament in his second year.
“Bigger tournaments meant better competition so I was able to train better throughout the year,” Galloway said.
The region Galloway had to wrestle in at the regional tournament was packed with competitive opponents. Galloway finished sixth overall in regions and qualified for the national tournament. In the national tournament Galloway won his first two matches before facing what he said was his toughest opponent.
“My third match was against a guy I had never beaten before. I had lost to him five times before. Twice earlier during my sophomore year and three times my freshman year. My coach told me I just had to go out there and wrestle so I did and I ended up winning in a big upset,” Galloway recalled.
This was a huge win for Galloway. This put him through to the semi-finals and gave him the All-American status.
“That was my biggest win. Not only did it advance me in the tournament, but I also beat one of my biggest rivals to become an All-American,” he explained.
Following his big win, Galloway fell short in the semi-finals and ended his run in the national tournament. The transition to NCAA Division II gave Galloway a chance to redshirt and take a year to practice and be prepared for the years when Shorter is no longer on probation. Galloway plans to wrestle in the club championship and bring home a ring for Shorter.
His final year at Shorter, he will be wrestling in Division II. Galloway is confident that his abilities will transfer nicely to the next level of competition.
“I plan to be a NCAA Division II All-American. In fact, I guarantee a national championship my senior year,” said Galloway.
By Josh Watson
With only three games into his junior year football season, linebacker Zach Mann found himself laying in a hospital bed fighting for his leg. He had contracted MRSa, a severe life-threatening form of STAF, on his foot. The infection had gotten into his blood stream and bones and was threatening to spread throughout his body.
The infection sent him to the hospital where he went through tests and many different medicines to try and fight the infection. The infection had eaten all of the tissue on the inside of his foot and he had a golf-ball-sized abscess removed from his foot.
After spending three weeks in the hospital, he had a pic-line put in for an antibiotic to fight the infection. He was sent home where he was told to do nothing but sit, eat, and sleep.
“I became more and more restless every day,” Mann said about having to sit at home, “it was killing me mentally.”
He had to do three sessions of antibiotics a day through his pic-line, which took two hours a session. This totaled to six hours a day for over a month. Along with that, he had to go to the wound-care clinic every day for three weeks. The wound-care clinic nurse had to pack and unpack the hole in his foot on a daily bases, which was a painful experience.
“Getting my foot cleaned out every day was probably the worst pain I have ever experienced,” Mann said.
Finally, in December the infection had been cleared and the pic-line was taken out. Although the battle for his leg was over, he had a new battle to fight; returning to the football field. This infection caused him to miss over half of last football season and almost four months of working out.
After Christmas break, his doctors cleared him to return to school and begin working out. He had lost almost 30 pounds in those three months of being sick and not being able to move. This caused him to feel weak and discouraged.
He felt as though he had taken many steps back.
“It felt like I was starting from square one, straight out of high school, I was so weak,” said Mann.
As soon as he was cleared though, he began getting back in the weight room and gaining his strength back. It was not a quick process as he had to overcome mental barriers as well as the physical barriers.
With time and perseverance, his strength slowly returned. Not even six months ago, Zach Mann was lying in the hospital bed fighting for his leg. Now football’s Spring Practice is underway, and he is not only practicing with the team, but has regained his starting linebacker position.
He is very blessed for the way things turned out.
“I would not wish what I had to go through on anyone, but now that I have been through it, I can say it has made me stronger mentally and physically and I am a better person because of it,” Mann said.
By Bradley Moon
On Sept. 26, 1991, Tanequa Natassia Whitman was born at Huntsville Hospital in Huntsville, Ala. Who would have known that this baby weighing only 7 pounds, 5 ounces would overcome much adversity to succeed in the sport she loves?
Whitman didn’t have any difficulty finding the sport that she loves. Volleyball happened to find her when she was asked to join a recreation team in elementary school at the age of 10.
Whitman played recreational volleyball for two years before she was invited to play travel volleyball at a club in Huntsville called NASA (North Alabama Spikers Association). Her club career lasted for the next six years (from age 12-18).
Whitman believes that her coaches had a lot to do with her love for the game.
“They made me better. They taught me to enjoy the game, enjoy good competition, and they taught me the value of respect,” said Whitman.
Once Whitman’s coaches instilled in her this love for the game, it continued to grow.
“Each year it got better and better. The game was more exciting, faster, the competition was more intense and my skills continued to improve,” Whitman said.
However, Whitman’s improvement was halted by an unexpected injury. During her junior year of high school, Whitman was excelling in volleyball and getting offers from big schools such as Washington and Texas.
While competing in a club tournament in Kentucky, Whitman jumped up to hit a high set in the middle of the net. As she landed, her left leg buckled and she collapsed.
This was Whitman’s first injury. At first, she thought this would be something she could play through, but the doctor told her otherwise.
Whitman’s doctor told her that she had torn her ACL and would be out of sports for six to eight months. This news was shocking to the young athlete.
“When I heard I was going to be out for a long time, I was devastated. I knew my volleyball career would never be the same,” Whitman recalled.
Whitman revisited the doctor before her surgery and was informed that she hadn’t only torn her ACL, but also her MCL, LCL, and meniscus. Following a successful surgery, Whitman went straight to rehab. She spent countless hours doing strengthening exercises in order to be ready for her next season. Whitman never gave up.
Her mother, Ruthie Whitman, attested to Whitman’s undying effort when she said, “Tanequa’s pure determination made her recovery much easier.”
Whitman’s senior season went well. She was recruited by Tennessee State University (TSU), a division one volleyball program. Her sister had previously attended TSU and loved the school.
However, Tanequa had quite a different experience there and after one season, Whitman transferred to Calhoun Community College in Huntsville, Ala. where she spent the next three semesters. During her time at Calhoun, Whitman earned an associates degree in computer information systems and spent her free time coaching club volleyball at NASA in Huntsville.
One night, Whitman was checking in on old teammates and previous opponents. Eventually, she came across the Facebook page of Jordan Corder, who was serving as the setter for Shorter University’s volleyball team.
Whitman had met Corder through volleyball several years earlier. While looking at her page, she began to have the desire to play the game again. She immediately sent Corder a Facebook message and went straight to Shorter’s website to find out more about the team.
“As I was browsing through Shorter’s website, I felt as if something was telling me to play volleyball again. It was as if The Lord was showing me my next move,” Whitman said.
Corder responded to Whitman’s message with great enthusiasm and encouraged Whitman to email Shorter’s head volleyball coach, Jon Moseley. Whitman received an immediate response from Coach Moseley and as they say, the rest is history.
Whitman has been very successful at Shorter. She is currently third all-time in digs in a career with 1,064. However, she has had to overcome other injuries in her time at Shorter.
In Whitman’s first season as a hawk, she experienced a very painful hamstring tear. However, with the help of Shorter’s athletic training staff, she was able to finish out the season. Her second season at Shorter consisted of an impressive 516 digs on the season, but also another meniscus tear in her left knee.
Though Whitman has gone through a lot for the sport she loves, she wouldn’t trade a minute of it.
“I have no regrets, the adversity I faced was part of God’s plan for my life and I can now be an inspiration to other athletes,” Whitman said.
Whitman is returning to Shorter for her final season in the fall of 2013. She believes her team will have a successful year and she cannot wait to get out on the court again.
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Students and faculty stand for 27 hours in honor of the 27 million enslaved around the world.
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By Merrilee LaVilla and Anna Norman, Guest Writers
On March 14 and 15, a group of college students will be making a 27-hour stand.
This event, called Stand for Freedom, is an effort by the International Justice Mission to raise awareness for the approximated 27 million men, women and children who are in slavery today.
On the day of the stand, students will stand for a consecutive 27 hours, one hour for every one million slaves, in order to raise awareness about modern-day slavery. No student is required to stand the entire time, but a rotation system will be in place to ensure that at least one Shorter student is standing over the entire 27 hours.
According to ijm.org, “International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression.”
College campuses across America will be participating in the stand between March 5 and 15. The overall goal of the movement is to raise $270,000 for IJM and spread the word that slavery is real.
According to Hannah Mitchell, sophomore education major and current president of Shorter’s IJM chapter, the goal of Shorter’s campus chapter is to support the efforts of IJM through prayer, fundraising and the spreading of awareness about injustice. One way Shorter’s IJM chapter is helping accomplish this goal is by participating in Stand For Freedom.
After learning about the reality of modern-day slavery at the Passion conference in Atlanta, Mitchell felt led to do something about it and started the campus chapter. The chapter has been in existence since Jan. 29 and meets twice a month.
As its current president, she urges the chapter to be involved with the upcoming Stand for Freedom.
“It’s a really good way to raise awareness,” said Mitchell. “Standing for 27 hours is pretty radical.”
Mitchell isn’t the only one excited about IJM’s efforts. Retha Tarleton, sophomore psychology and Christian studies double major, has joined the ranks.
“I want to participate in the stand for the 27 million people that are enslaved in either human sex trafficking or just regular slavery,” said Tarleton.
The chapter’s advisor and assistant professor of criminal justice Dr. Beverley Spitler believes it is a Christian’s duty to take part in such causes.
“We have a responsibility as Christians to bring the injustices to the public square because they’re not going to go anywhere unless you’re willing to stand up, plant your foot and say, ‘This is wrong, and as a Christian, I am going to let everybody know,’” said Spitler.
According to ijm.org, “What started with a few small groups of passionate university students has grown into a national anti-slavery movement.”
Anyone is welcome to join the cause. Every dime raised by Stand for Freedom will go to IJM to help fund their mission. Interested students can contact Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Courtney Overton, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Winners (top left) Bricey Bradshaw, second runner-up; Merrilee LaVilla, Miss Shorter University, and Benji Kloda, first runner-up, pose post-crowning.
Judges scored the contestants in several preliminary competitions. Prizes are awarded in physical fitness and talent. This year, LaVilla won the talent competition and Klouda won the physical fitness competition.
LaVilla will represent Shorter in the Miss Georgia pageant this summer. She recieved a $2,000 scholarship along with her crown and sash. LaVilla will continue to promote her platform of Human Trafficing Awareness and prevention.
Other competitors were Mary Blanks, Claire Crain, Sarah Curlee, Amanda DeJiacomo, Ashley Henderson, Mary Ellen Kiker, Kassie Oldham, Lauren Persichetti, Lauren Shields, Rachel Skinner and Tabitha Smith.
The Office of Student Life presents the pageant each year. Emily Messer, pageant directer and now the VP of Enrollment Magagement, directed her last Miss Shoter this year. Kristie Osborne, admissions representative, joined as asssisstant directer. Whitney Moseley, Assisstant Directer of Student Life, filled the role of back stage manager.