Local Studio Teaches Visitors the Magic of Glassblowing

Just 10 minutes from campus, students can now ignite their creative spirit at temperatures above 2,000°F. Inside a refurbished warehouse at the West End Mill Works in downtown Winston-Salem, a heater — called a “glory hole”  — reheats glass to soften and keep it hot enough to allow visitors to experience the magic of glassblowing. Continue reading “Local Studio Teaches Visitors the Magic of Glassblowing”

Wake Men’s Soccer Alumni Jon Bakero will join MLS

The 2017 Wake Forest Soccer season was filled with excitement and one of the finest runs on ACC play that the Demon Deacons have ever seen. Even though Wake Forest fell short on its goal to reach the College Cup again, this season was still remarkable due to one of the most talented Wake Forest teams in recent history. Continue reading “Wake Men’s Soccer Alumni Jon Bakero will join MLS”

Wake Forest defeats Texas A&M 55-52 in storybook fashion

“If you write the movie script, as soon as he walks out that door there’s a girl that falls in love with him and he gets married and lives happily ever after. It’s a storybook ending. You can’t make this stuff up.”

These were the words of coach Dave Clawson, talking about his quarterback, John Wolford, who threw for 400 yards and four touchdowns in his final game as a Demon Deacon, defeating Texas A&M 55-52 in dramatic fashion.

In his fourth year as Wake Forest’s head coach, Clawson has rebuilt the Demon Deacon football program, taking his team to a second straight bowl and winning eight games for the first time since 2008.

Clawson credits his senior class for changing the culture of his football team and for raising the program’s standard, which he expects will continue to rise each year. A victory in the Belk Bowl was the “cherry on top” for Clawson, and would not have been possible if it were not for the brilliant play of his quarterback Wolford.

“Two years ago there weren’t a lot of big John Wolford fans,” Clawson said. “For him to go out and ignore the critics and believe in himself is really a testament to his character and the type of person he is.”

In four years, Wolford has improved as much as any player in college football, and his recognition as the game’s Most Valuable Player was an appropriate send off for one of the all-time bests to wear old gold and black.

“[Wolford] deserves every single accolade and bit of success that he’s experienced,” Clawson said.

In humble fashion, Wolford credited the play of his offensive line, running backs and receivers for the success he experienced in the Belk Bowl and all season long.

“Across the board from Scotty [Washington], to Cam [Serigne], Tabari [Hines], [Alex] Bachman, Matt [Colburn], Cade [Carney] — all of them made huge plays,” Wolford said.

“They gave me MVP but they could have given it to anyone on the offense.”

Normally when an offense scores 55, it wins with ease. But not in the 2017 Belk Bowl, which was one of the highest scoring bowl games in history with a combined 107 points and 1,260 yards.

“It was a crazy game,” Wolford said. “We got up early and then fell behind. But I never had a doubt. This team has been through a lot, so a close game wasn’t going to faze us. And we got it done. That is what mattered most.”

The Deacs scored 31 unanswered points in the first half after facing a quick 14-point deficit following two blocked punts.

Scotty Washington turned things around for the Deacs as he created space in the first quarter and got open for a 50-yard touchdown to begin the offensive attack for Wake Forest. On subsequent possessions Wolford spread the ball around and found Hines for two first-half scores and another to Serigne from 37-yards out.

With his 21st career touchdown reception, Serigne became the best statistical tight end in the history of the Atlantic Coast Conference, passing Virginia’s Heath Miller for the most touchdowns by a tight end in a career.

Before the Belk Bowl, Wolford hinted that he hoped he and Serigne could connect one final time, recalling that Serigne, a redshirt senior, hosted him on his official visit to Wake Forest five years ago. Hooking up one final time allowed the duo to come full circle, getting an ACC record in the process.

Wake Forest’s offensive explosion extended all the way to the end of the first half, as did Texas A&M’s.

The Deacs entered the locker room with a 38-28 advantage and were well aware that the second half would require a similar effort.

The Aggies scored on their first possession out of the half as quarterback Nick Starkel found receiver Christian Kirk for the third time of the day. After cutting the Deacon lead to just three points, Wake Forest responded with a 27-yard field goal to extend the lead to six.

Texas A&M proceeded to score 10 straight, retaking the lead for the first time since the first quarter. Trailing 42-41 with 12:31 left to play, Wake Forest needed an answer.

Running back Matt Colburn led the Deacs on the following drive, carrying the ball three times for 38 yards on the 11-play drive that led to a Cade Carney one-yard score on fourth and goal.

However, the Demon Deacon lead was short-lived once again as the Aggies took the ball 72 yards down the field on a 10-play drive to take a 52-48 advantage.

With just 5:52 left to play Wake Forest needed its best drive of the game to take the lead.

In “storybook” fashion, Wolford led the offense one final time, in a 13-play 69-yard drive that took 3:26 off the clock. On the drive, Wolford completed four passes for 42 yards and carried the ball four times for 15 yards. After leading the Deacs down to the 1-yard line, Colburn capped off his 150-yard rushing day with the game-winning touchdown.

With a 55-52 lead and 2:18 remaining, the Deacs needed a defensive stop to win their second-straight bowl game.

Starkel completed five of his first six passes on the drive, nearly making it to midfield. Then, on third and fourth downs, pressure from the Wake Forest defense forced two incomplete passes, ending the game and giving the Deacs the 55-52 victory.

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons are the 2017 Belk Bowl Champions. Wolford, Serigne and the rest of the senior class got their storybook ending and will forever be the catalysts that turned this program around for the better.

Demon Deacons Fight to Victory in 2017 Belk Bowl

For Demon Deacon fans across the country, the best Christmas present of all came a few days late with a hard-fought Belk Bowl victory against the Texas A&M Aggies. Upon first glance, the score seems like it belongs in the first half of a college basketball game, with the final score of 55-52.

Not only was the score high, but so was the energy from Demon Deacon fans. On this sunny, clear day in Charlotte, the spirit of the students, alumni and fans of Wake Forest from near and far filled Bank of America Stadium with the same energy as any home game at BB&T Field.

The 15th annual Belk Bowl was the highest scoring game in the bowl’s history, and was also the highest scoring game in the bowl season so far. Although it was chilly at a crisp 46 degrees, the sun was still shining on the Deacon fans.

Junior Moe Rama was excited to see “the stadium packed with Wake fans who stood on their feet and cheered for the entirety of the game.” After being abroad for the semester, Rama could not “think of a better way to end the 2017 football season or year.”

Only 85 miles from the Wake Forest Reynolda Campus, the game was a great opportunity for local students, fans and alumni to gather in Charlotte. Winston-Salem native and Wake Forest junior Melina Jorizzo drove down for the Belk Bowl festivities.

“The excitement that the Wake fans brought to Charlotte this afternoon over the holiday break was remarkable,” Jorizzo said.

Many fans traveled from out-of-state for the opportunity to watch the Deacs play. Junior Sydney Calkins, who lives in Georgia, said, “I was so excited to be able to road trip to Charlotte to cheer on the Deacs and watch them win.”

The game was also a fun way for alumni of all ages to reconnect. Evelyn Branum (‘16) described her bowl game experience as, “incredibly fun and just like being back at home games in Winston.” After the victory, Wake Forest ’87 alumnus Alan Dickens described the future of Wake Forest football as “bright” and stated that he was “so proud of the Deacs and Deacon Nation.”

The student section echoed a similar sense of excitement. “We all stood along the student section to high five the team as they made rounds around the stadium,” senior Abby Revelle said. “It was cool to be able to say congrats personally to players we knew.”

As this is Wake Forest’s second bowl appearance in the last two years, fans were excited to travel again to support the team. “It was so fun to watch the Deacs win a bowl game for the second year in a row,” sophomore Elizabeth Koscielniak said. “There’s nothing quite like being in the stands cheering with so many other Wake fans who are all passionate about our school.”

As the Deacs cap off a strong 8-5 season with over four and a half hours of hard-fought football, it seems to be only the beginning of a pattern of success for Wake Forest football led by head coach Dave Clawson.

No. 13 North Carolina’s Berry holds off Wake Forest with late shot

Head Coach Danny Manning’s Demon Deacons traveled to Chapel Hill on Saturday, Dec. 30 to face the defending National Champion North Carolina Tar Heels.

The Deacs had not won in the Dean E. Smith Center since 2010, and before Saturday’s contest, no one was really giving them a chance.

Manning’s squad had defeated just one opponent belonging to one of the five major conferences through non-conference play while the Heels had five such wins this year, hardly missing a beat from last season, despite losing a number of key pieces on their roster.

Wake Forest trailed 35-30 at the half, keeping the game close despite shooting just 30 percent from the floor. Seven steals and seven blocks on the defensive end for the Deacs gave the Heels fits and led to nine Deacon points in transition in the game’s first 20 minutes.

After an abysmal collective first half shooting performance, scoring for both teams picked up in the second half.

Leading 62-53 with 8:39 left to play, the Tar Heels looked as if they would run away with it, as the North Carolina faithful were on their feet, enlivened after a Brandon Childress turnover led to a Kenny Williams dunk.

The Deacs silenced the crowd momentarily, however, connecting on three straight 3-pointers to tie the game at 62. Following a Bryant Crawford jumper with 2:23 left to play, the Deacs found themselves with a four-point advantage.

North Carolina responded like they often do, scoring six straight points, with the game-winner coming from a Joel Berry II floater with nine seconds left on the clock.

Down by two and with one final possession to either tie or win the game, the Deacs took one final timeout. The idea was that they would take whatever the defense gave them, whether that meant space to pull up from three or an avenue to drive to the basket.

Keyshawn Woods found that the defense collapsed and pulled up from beyond the arc. The ball hit the back of the rim and the Tar Heels escaped with a 73-69 victory.

“We believe in [Keyshawn] and he told us to find him,” Crawford said of the Deacs’ final possession. “I felt like it was a good shot, he makes tough shots and I thought it was going to go in.”

Crawford told reporters the team doesn’t believe in moral victories, but for a Deacon team that won just one of its first four games of the season, playing the defending National Champions on their home court to the final possession should be a sign of tremendous progress.

North Carolina’s Roy Williams was happy to get the win today, even though he was not pleased with his team’s performance.

“I told Danny [Manning], and I really believe it, we were the lucky team, we weren’t necessarily the best team and we darn sure weren’t the best-coached team out there today.”

Despite coming up short, Manning found his team’s fight, especially in the second half, to be encouraging for the days ahead.

“We didn’t get the outcome that we wanted, but if we play like [we did] in the second half today, for two halves moving forward, we’ll put ourselves in situations to be fairly successful.”

Wake Forest will return to Winston-Salem on Wednesday, Jan. 3 to face another Hall of Fame coach in Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim. The Orange (11-2) will have one less day of rest than the Deacs, as they host Virginia Tech on Sunday, Dec. 31.

Wednesday’s game will tip off at 7:00 p.m.

President Hatch Ranks Highest Compensated University President

Wake Forest president Nathan Hatch was named the highest compensated college president by Chronicle of Higher Education in a report published this weekOld Gold & Black editorial staff members Becky Swig and Heather Hartel contributed to reporting and writing this article.

Continue reading “President Hatch Ranks Highest Compensated University President”

Deacon Profile: Catherine Woodard

When Catherine Woodard reads from her latest book and first full-length poetry collection, Opening the Mouth of the Dead, she brings a bucket of moonpies with her to cities not in the south. She urges each person to take one, heat it up in the microwave when they get home and enjoy their bites of “Southern Souffle,” as she calls it. Continue reading “Deacon Profile: Catherine Woodard”