Ron Wellman Column: Fall Sport Success

Nov. 11, 2011

One of the most rewarding aspects of working in intercollegiate athletics is to see young student-athletes come to college as 18-year olds, fresh out of high school, and still starry-eyed with dreams of being on a college campus. And to watch them evolve into mature young adults before they take that final walk across the stage on the Quad to receive their diploma.

The maturation process for each individual is much the same as the maturation process for an athletic team. Newcomers, full of hope and ambition, mesh with veteran players who have gained experience and expertise in navigating the rigors of major college athletics and the Atlantic Coast Conference.

This fall has been especially rewarding in watching many of our teams, which struggled through the 2010-11 season, mature into cohesive and winning clubs.

The men's soccer and football teams, both of which missed the postseason last fall, have grown and shown marked improvement in order to put themselves on track to challenge for an NCAA Tournament bid or a bowl game this fall. Women's soccer, which won the ACC Championship in 2010, just missed repeating that feat with a heartbreaking loss to Florida State in the title game of the ACC Championship. Yet the team achieved a very high honor by being rewarded with a No. 1 seed for the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

The maturity of the Wake Forest teams comes from having good coaches and committed student-athletes who realize that winning is the byproduct of hard work and dedication.

The future looks even brighter because our teams have still not reached full maturity. We still have young teams, full of improving student-athletes, who are gaining knowledge on a daily basis from their coaches and from the experience gained by competing in the ACC. We fully expect them to continue to improve over the next few years.

December should be a good month for all of our teams, our fans and our student-athletes!

Go Deacs!

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