Thanksgiving Around the World

By Darya Farsinejad

Around the world

Student Speakers from event. From Right to Left: Shaquita Searcy, Andrew Parrish, Kyle Edwards, Paula Diaz, Nicolas Pinones-Haltenhoff, Shaobo Young.

 

Thanksgiving is a time for friends and family to be grateful for what they have. This holiday has us looking forward to a week off from school, Black Friday and a big turkey. But do other countries have Thanksgiving? What do they celebrate?

The annual “Thanksgiving Around the World” took place in Taylor Center 221 on Nov. 6: the event showcased and discussed the different cultures that celebrate this holiday. Several student speakers explained a variety of traditions: Korean, Chilean, Chinese, Spanish, as well as less-known American customs.

Around the world food

Audience waiting for their table to be called to go get food.

 

Paula Diaz told the room about the culture in Chile, and Thanksgiving is celebrated there on Sept. 18 with food and family. “Even if we are from different cultures or different languages we all are similar in certain ways,” Diaz said.

In Korea, there is a three-day celebration. It begins on the eighth month and 15th day of the lunar calendar. This past year it started on Sept. 8. “In a way the eating and gathering part is similar to Thanksgiving,” Andrew Parrish said as he talked about Korean culture.

“Everybody gives thanks. Every culture around the world has a Thanksgiving event. They just don’t call it Thanksgiving,” said Timothy Spraggins, Chief Diversity Officer, “They express their gratitude for family, community, and abundance of crops and food in their cultural expressions, cultural adornment and their cultural preparation.”

After all the speakers’ testimonies, attendees ate a variety of food. Along with learning about different cultures, they also got to enjoy tasting what other countries had to offer. Bringing people together is what Thanksgiving is about, and this event helped bring different cultures together to celebrate as one.

Photo Courtesy of Darya Farsinejad

Contact the writer: dfarsine@aum.edu

The Firing of Will Muschamp: An Auburn Perspective

By Jacob Horton

 

muschamp

Will Muschamp  courtesy of Bleacher Report

The announcement of Will Muschamp’s firing on Sunday did not come as a surprise to many. For Auburn University football enthusiasts, this announcement may be just what they need to pick up their spirits after suffering their third loss of the season this past Saturday.

In four years at the University of Florida, Muschamp has posted an overall record of 27-20. For a university that is only six years removed from winning two national championships in three seasons, a span that mediocre is simply unacceptable.

The firing eventually became inevitable after posting a record of 4-8 in 2013. One of those eight losses was an embarrassing 26-20 defeat suffered at the hands of the Georgia Southern Eagles. This was already deemed a make-or-break year for the Gator head coach, and four losses into this season the Florida athletic department decided it had seen enough.

So what does all of this mean for Auburn Tiger fans? If you were watching Auburn’s abysmal performance on Saturday, you saw that it might be time for a change on the defensive side of the ball for the Tigers. For the first time all season, Auburn was outrushed by an opponent. The Tiger defense allowed 289 yards on the ground to the Georgia Bulldogs. That’s the most rushing yards they’ve allowed in Gus Malzahn’s short tenure as head coach.

With that being said, let us consider the possibility of Will Muschamp becoming Auburn’s next Defensive Coordinator. It’s nothing personal against Ellis Johnson. He served as Defensive Coordinator in 1992 for an Alabama Crimson Tide team that was remembered for having one of the greatest defenses in college football history. This move makes sense for an Auburn team that has struggled mightily on defense over the past few seasons.

So far in 2014, the Tigers rank 64th in total defense. They are allowing roughly an average of 388 yards per game. Their overall rushing defense ranks 43rd in the nation, but will likely continue to plummet if they cannot improve off of last weekend’s performance. They are allowing about 243 passing yards per game, which ranks them 91st in the nation. There is definitely room for improvement, and many believe that Muschamp can get this Tiger defense going in the right direction.

Muschamp wouldn’t be in unfamiliar From Muschamp’s angle, a coordinator job may be the best he can do right now. Similar to former Alabama Offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, Muschamp is more than likely not going to have many head coaching offers. He has proven that he can be a successful defensive coordinator in the SEC, so maybe he should just tailor his career path to what he can do best.

If the Auburn Tigers want to start playing defense at a championship level, then Muschamp is the immediate answer. They need to seize this opportunity, and bring back a fan favorite in Will Muschamp, if they want to put an end to their defensive woes.

Contact the writer: jhorton4@aum.edu

 

 

 

 

Week 11 Heisman Standings

By Jacob Horton

As the 2014 football season approaches its final stretch of marquee matchups, the talk regarding who will take home this season’s Heisman Memorial Trophy is getting louder.  Which begs the question: on Dec. 13, who will be honored as the most outstanding player in college football with the 79th annual Heisman Award?

 

Traditionally, around five players are chosen as finalists for the award and get to make the trip to New York City for the presentation. So here are the five finalists that I believe have the best shot of taking home the award through 11 weeks of college football action.

 

  1. Trevone Boykin – QB Texas Christian University

The 6’2 inches, 216 pound signal caller for TCU has been the driving force behind this potent Horned Frog offensive unit. He shined his brightest Saturday night, when his team took down number seven Kansas State 41-20. Boykin threw for 219 yards with one touchdown pass, while also rushing for 123 yards and two touchdowns. The redshirt junior has accounted for 2,691 yards through the air this year, while throwing for 23 touchdowns. Boykin has accumulated 546 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. If TCU manages to win out the rest of its schedule, expect Trevone Boykin to be atop many Heisman voters’ lists.

 

  1. Amari Cooper- WR University of Alabama

Through nine games this season, Amari Cooper has proven to be the best wide receiver in all of college football, drawing comparisons to the great Jerry Rice. In 2014 Cooper has racked up 1,215 receiving yards, which ranks him second in the nation. Cooper leads all SEC receivers by a whopping 429 yards. He also leads the SEC in touchdown receptions with 10 thus far. In an Alabama offense that has looked shaky at times this season, the consistent play of Amari Cooper has him ranked among college football’s best.

 

  1. Melvin Gordon- RB University of Wisconsin

Playing in the Big Ten comes with its flaws. Even though it is considered a “Power Five” conference, it still tends to get overlooked when discussing the best teams and players in the nation. Melvin Gordon, however, has proven that there is still top-tier talent in the northern states. His 1,501 rushing yards leads the entire nation, while his 19 rushing touchdowns rank him second nationally. Gordon has carried the load for this Wisconsin Badger team as they pursue a Big Ten title.

 

  1. Dak Prescott- QB Mississippi State

What Dak Prescott has done this season for the Mississippi State Bulldogs through nine games is almost Heisman-worthy itself. He’sgiven new life to a football program buried in mediocrity.Prescott has thrown for 2,231 yards and 18 touchdowns, while rushing for 779 yards and 11 touchdowns. His most impressive stat thus far is the zero currently hanging in his team’s loss column. If Prescott were to lead his Mississippi State Bulldogs to an undefeated regular season and an SEC championship, how could the Heisman voters possibly deny him of this prestigious award?

 

  1. Marcus Mariota- QB Oregon

The Honolulu, Hi. native has been the most consistent football player in the country this season. Through 10 games, Mariota has thrown for 2,780 yards and NCAA second-best 29 touchdowns. Mariota has also rushed for eight touchdowns and accounted for 524 yards on the ground. Those numbers put him at a pace of roughly 278 passing yards and slightly under four touchdowns per game. Right now Mariota is the favorite to take home the trophy. Time will tell, however, as we still have a whole month of college football left to help us determine who is most worthy of the award.

 

 

Contact the writer: jhorton4@aum.edu

 

 

 

Why You Shouldn’t Stress Over College Football Playoff Rankings

By Jacob Horton

With last week’s unveiling of the inaugural College Football Playoff rankings, fans across the country have been hypothesizing various scenarios in which their team earns one of the coveted spots in the four team playoff. Instead of attempting to gaze into the crystal ball, these fans need to realize that there is a lot of football yet to be played and things will eventually sort themselves out.

 

Last week’s College Football Playoff rankings placed Mississippi State as the number one seed, Florida State at number two, Auburn at number three, and Ole Miss at number four.  Florida State and Mississippi State both survived potential upset matches, while Auburn squeaked out a road victory Saturday against Ole Miss.

 

So here we are one week into the College Football Playoff rankings, and one of the four selected playoff teams has already been eliminated. The probable question on everybody’s mind regards who will be preplacing Ole Miss when they announce the new rankings Tuesday night.

 

For the few teams on the outside looking in, the opportunity to prove that they belong amongst the nation’s top four teams will present itself. For the three SEC West schools vying for a spot, an undefeated next few weeks will guarantee a place in January.

 

Mississippi State still has to travel to Tuscaloosa to take on Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide, while themselves for the “Egg Bowl of the Century” versus Ole Miss on Nov. 29. Alabama travels to Baton Rouge to clash with a resurgent LSU team, while they also host Mississippi State and Auburn this month. Auburn’s road to the playoff is without a doubt the bumpiest. They must travel to Athens to take on the University of Georgia on Nov. 15, and to Tuscaloosa two weeks later to face off in the annual Iron Bowl. Each of these three teams control their destiny; only a loss separates them from competing for a national title.

 

So, if your team is on the fence for making this year’s College Football Playoff, take a deep breath. One of the main reasons they came out with these rankings so early in the season was so the committee that chooses these teams can get some experience. By having done this process already, come December they will hopefully know what they are doing and will select the four teams that are the most worthy of playing for the national championship. Until then, kick back and enjoy the remainder of what’s already been a thrilling 2014 college football season. Things are going to get interesting.

Contact the writer: jhorton4@aum.edu

The CAB Comeback

By Serena Bush

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Imagine an organization that is all about providing quality entertainment and programming while enhancing students’ college experience, all while maintaining a family bond within the group. Now, stop daydreaming because there is such a group! Campus Activities Board has been a part of AUM’s list of campus organizations for some time now but has recently come out of remission because of Jay Bradford, with help from Lakecia Harris, Director of Student Involvement and Leadership Programs.

Bradford is a senior at AUM and, although this is his third year with CAB, this is his first year as the director of CAB. The most significant change is Bradford’s novel approach to advertisement. Diversity is his main priority when it comes to reaching out to students and getting them involved.

Even though Bradford is dedicated to organizing events for all students to enjoy, it is not easy to satisfy every individual’s want. As a director, Bradford wears several different hats: he has to keep up the morale of his fellow members as a mentor, he has to keep constant communication to make sure events come together the way they should, and he must coordinate venues while maintaining the budget. There are times when Bradford and his counterparts may feel that they have put together a great event, but they are still met with some negativity. His response is to observe, listen and dissect negative feedback and bounce back with positivity.

In light of all the pressures that come with being a director, Bradford is satisfied with the events that CAB has brought to campus this semester. He has received positive feedback regarding the ‘90s party, AUMfest, and most recently the Harvest Moon Festival, all events he organized. Bradford sees CAB as being different from other organizations based on the abundance of positive energy put into planning events.

If you haven’t been to the any of the vents organized by CAB, be prepared for an upcoming great fashion show. If you are looking for a club to join, that is more like family, and want to have fun working with an interesting group of people with unique personalities, CAB is the place for you!

 

 

 

 

Taking Advantage of Wellness Classes

By Nikki Headley

The Auburn Montgomery Wellness Center has many exercise classes available to all AUM students and members. Many have been on the schedule for a long time, and there are some that are brand new. Each session has a specific goal, and you will feel energized and refreshed afterward.

The first type of class the Wellness Center offers is cardio. Some examples of these courses are Calorie Crush, Cycling 101, GRIND, Kickboxing 101, Spin, Spin Plus, Sunrise Cycle, Swap and Tabata. All of these will give your heart a great workout, and you will burn a ton of calories.

The next category is muscular strength and endurance.  These include Ab Blast, Butts/Guts and More, Lunch @ the Barre, Party Pump, and Warhawk Weights. These classes will build up your muscles, and will make you stronger. These are also great for your endurance.

Another type includes workouts that will help you improve your flexibility. These include Yoga, Slow Flow Yoga, Pilates, Dynamic Flow Yoga and Active Isolated Stretch. Not only will this help you enhance your wellbeing, but also it will connect your body with your inner self.

The final category is the dance and fitness sessions. These classes include AUM Jam, Cardio Hip Hop, Party Pump, Zumba and Zumba Toning. These calorie crunchers are fun and exciting, not to mention they will burn a lot of fat. If you love to dance, these are perfect for you.

So if you want to bring out your inner weight lifter, improve your endurance, better your flexibility or just burn some calories while having fun then the classes at the AUM Wellness Center should be perfect for you!

Contact the writer: sheadle1@aum.edu

 

Photo Courtesy of AUM Wellness Center website.

 

 

 

 

The Beginning of the Cheaney Era at AUM

coach cheaney

 

By Jacob Horton

For the first time in 37 years, the AUM men’s basketball program will be under the leadership of a new head coach when the season tips off Oct.31

The Athletic department named Michael Cheaney as the new head coach of the men’s basketball team back in May. Cheaney replaced longtime AUM coaching legend Larry Chapman.

 

Cheaney comes into his first year at AUM with over fifteen years of coaching experience at the NAIA level. He has also coached at Division I, II, and III colleges over the course of his career.

 

Cheaney spent the last four seasons as the head coach at Voorhees College in Denmark, S. C. During his tenure, Cheaney led Voorhees to a 72-55 record and a trip to the NAIA National Tournament.In his first season with the Tigers, Cheaney helped the team to 16 wins, which is more than tripled the total from the year before. He followed with a 22-9 mark in his second season and helped the team to its first national ranking in more than 10 years. In his third year, the coach guided Voorhees to a 23-12 record, won the Association of Independent Institutions Conference Tournament and made an appearance in the NAIA National Tournament.Cheaney credits the winning record of AUM athletics as one of the driving forces behind his decision to coach here. He’s looking to add to that success as well.

 

“I know some people around here are considering us to be rebuilding,” Cheaney said in a recent interview. “I don’t like rebuilding; I like to win. The reason why I came to AUM is that the tradition of winning has always been here, from baseball to soccer, to tennis. I really would like to raise the bar up a little bit and get our guys to reach expectations this year that people think that they couldn’t get to.”

 

This men’s basketball team is coming off of a year in which it finished an overall record of 9-18. Coach Cheaney, however, believes the Warhawks can compete at a championship level this season.

 

“It depends on guys staying healthy, and at the same time, how quick they can adapt to the new system,” Cheaney said. “That is going to be the biggest transition. I believe we have pretty good people at every position.”

 

Where Cheaney hopes he can get the most attribution from this season are his forwards and centers. He feels as though they will be one of their main strengths and the key to winning conference matchups.

 

“We’re counting on Reggie Brown and Roderick (Robinson), two post guys,” Cheaney said. “They should be our power for us inside because they can change positions, play inside and outside…Conference-wise you’re going to see a lot of big guys that can do that.”

 

Along with the pressures of putting together a successful season, having to do so while replacing an AUM legend will be no easy task. Coach Cheaney is well aware of that pressure, and hopes to use it as motivation to help carry on Coach Chapman’s legacy.

 

“(Coach Chapman) tells me all the time that there’s no pressure on me,” Cheaney said. “I probably have put some pressure on myself just because I know it can be done. At the same time, the old coach is sitting around watching practice, probably will be at the games…I want to try and motivate the guys, especially the seniors. Even though I didn’t recruit you, it still would be good for us to go out on top your senior year. It would be another accolade for coach Chapman, and it would also bridge that gap from the old to the new generation.”

 

The 2014-15 season looks to be promising for the Warhawks under the tutelage of Coach Cheaney. Their season tips off on Oct. 31 when they face Concordia College in the annual Jimmy Faulkner Classic held at Faulkner University. Their first home contest takes place on Nov. 11, when they square off against Selma University.

 

Contact the writer: jhorton4@aum.edu

Photo Courtesy of AUM Athletics

Previewing the 2014 MLB World Series

By Jacob Horton

Previewing the 2014 MLB World Series

It’s finally here. After five and a half months of Major League Baseball, the 2014 MLB World Series is officially among us. Everything that has been worked for over the course of the grueling 162-game MLB schedule comes down to this best-of-seven series.

 

This year’s series looks to promise excitement and lots of late-inning drama, as the Kansas City Royals are matched up against the San Francisco Giants. Both teams seem to have that “it” factor that can carry them to a world championship.

 

For Kansas City, the 2014 season marked the first time since 1985 that the organization qualified for postseason play. They’ve had no problem knocking off the cobwebs, however, as they have yet to lose a game this postseason.

 

That’s right. In eight postseason games thus far, the Kansas City Royals boast a perfect record of 8-0. Don’t let that fool you, however: it has been far from a cakewalk for the Royals. Despite their perfect record, the battle-tested Kansas City Royals have won just about every postseason game they’ve played in in dramatic fashion.

 

In the AL Wild Card Game, it took a 12th inning rally to come from behind and defeat the Oakland Athletics. In their three game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels in the divisional series, two of those victories took 11 innings to decide a winner. All four of their victories in the American League Championship Series were decided by two runs or fewer. This proves that the road to the fall classic has been no easy ride for Kansas City.

As for their counterpart, the San Francisco Giants looked just as primed and ready as Kansas City. They have also looked impressive this postseason and have a 2014 playoff résumé almost identical to Kansas City.

 

Their postseason run began with a wild card game victory over the Pittsburg Pirates. In the NLDS, they defeated the Washington Nationals three games to one. Each win recorded by the Giants in this series was only decided by one run. In the NLCS, they knocked off a very talented Cardinal team plagued by key injuries in just five games. Nevertheless, the Cardinals have just as much of a chance of winning it all as their opponent does.

 

Need I remind everybody that the San Francisco Giants have won two out of the last three World Series? Here we are in another postseason, and the chance for a Giants’ World Series Championship is yet again hanging in the balance.

 

As far as the outcome of this series goes, one could make an argument for either team. Kansas City is coming into this series red-hot, but one could say that they have not faced a team as elite as San Francisco. Nobody in all of baseball is as good at manufacturing runs as Kansas City, while San Francisco’s timely hitting has gotten them to where they are now.

 

Let’s give credit where it’s due here: what Kansas City has done this postseason is simply magical. As impressive as their current winning streak is, they are more likely to lose a game in this series. This San Francisco team isn’t going to lie down for them just because they are flirting with history. At the end of the day though, I see Kansas City riding their tidal wave of momentum all the way to a World Series Championship in six games.

 

Contact the writer: jhorton4@aum.edu

 

 

 

State of Mississippi Emerging as a Football Powerhouse?

By Jacob Horton

By a show of hands, who predicted Ole Miss and Mississippi State would both be ranked in the top three spots in the AP poll by week seven? Well, here we are, and that is the scenario that we find ourselves in.

 

In a state that has been plagued by mediocre football for decades, the fans of Mississippi are waking up this morning sitting atop the throne of college football. The Rebels of Ole Miss University currently rank number three in the AP poll, while the Mississippi State Bulldogs hold down the number one spot. There hasn’t been this much hype in the state since the birth of Elvis Presley.

 

It wasn’t that long ago when a neighboring state ruled the ranks of college football, was it? From 2009 to 2012, the National Championship trophy resided in the facilities of an Alabama school.  Needless to say, both Alabama and Auburn are still among the best college football programs in the country, but with both schools suffering tough road losses these past two weeks in Mississippi, all signs are pointing to a possible national championship season from the Magnolia State.

 

This season also has extra incentive due to the fact that this is the inaugural season of the four-team playoff. People will remember the winner, the loser and the teams that got snubbed out of a chance to play in the first four team playoff.

When you’ve been bad at something for so long, people expect you to fail at any given point. This is the first time the Bulldogs have ever been ranked number one in any poll in college football history. It only took the Bulldogs five weeks to go from unranked to number one in the AP poll. The previous record was six weeks by Ohio State in 1954.

 

As for the Ole Miss Rebels, they have looked equally impressive in back-to-back wins against powerful SEC West opponents. They took down the mighty Alabama Crimson Tide, and dominated an inferior Texas A&M program that seems to be fizzling out as the season progresses. Both wins showcased how potent this team could be.

 

With that being said, all signs this year are pointing to an Egg Bowl of the century Come Nov. 29, which SEC West rivalry game will have more on the line regarding admission to the four-team playoff? Will the Iron Bowl serve as the “opening act” to the more important Egg Bowl? At the rate we’re going, the first round of the four-team playoff may as well be played at Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium on Nov. 29.

 

The question regarding both Mississippi schools is this: When will the “real” Mississippi State and Ole Miss teams show up? When will the former punching bag of the SEC West finally appear and give leeway to the superior football programs? From the looks of it, I’d say were going to be waiting for a while.

 

Contact the writer: jhorton4@aum.edu

AUM Men’s Soccer Team Looking to Build on Success

By Jacob Horton

The 2014 AUM men’s soccer team looks poised and ready to settle some unfinished business this season.After finishing as national runner-up in 2013, the Warhawks are hoping they can build on last year’s success.  According to head coach Wulf Koch, however, 2014 is a new season and this team is not dwelling on the past.

 

“It played some motivation coming into the season, but we are a new team this year,” Koch said regarding last season’s result. “Our goal is to continue to improve and take it one game at a time.”

 

2013 marked the fourth time in the program’s history that the Warhawk men’s soccer team finished as the national runner up.  After ending the regular season of 13-5, the Warhawks fought their way through the SSAC and NAIA national tournament. It was there that they fell one victory short of their national championship hopes to the Martin Methodist Redhawks.

 

The Warhawks have shown they are all in this season, posting an 8-2-1 record through 11 games thus far. Statistically, they are averaging over two points per game on 19 shots, while only allowing an average of one goal per game on just ten shots. The success of this team so far has earned it the number four overall ranking in the National NAIA rankings.

 

“I think we are deeper and more athletic than we were last year,” Coach Koch said. “We had some injuries that hurt our depth last season and now those guys are healthy and back playing. We also did a solid job of recruiting. I am really excited about the freshman class we brought in.”

 

This 2014 Warhawks team features ten freshman, three sophomores, nine juniors, and only one senior. That statement alone should give supporters of the men’s soccer team a lot to be excited about now and in the near future.

 

As for the present, the upcoming slate of games will determine if the Warhawks can keep building on this momentum and accomplish their goal of being crowned national champs.

 

“We need to continue to play well,” Coach Koch said. “Playing a complete season is the key. We are about to start conference play, and that will really show us where we are at. We just have to focus on the small goals of winning each game and the rest will take care of itself.”

 

In their latest contest on Saturday, the Warhawks took down conference foe Belhaven University 1-0. The win improved their conference record to 1-0-1. Their next game will be a key conference matchup at home against Brewton-Parker University on October 9. Kickoff is set for 3:30 pm. The season began in late August and they are about midway through the season.

 

 

Contact the writer: jhorton4@aum.edu