Hey everyone. It’s me, Vonwolf. It’s been a wild week of yelling and fighting. I’m sorry (ehh, not really), but I have good news to share!
What we’ve all witnessed over the last week, might be the best collective State athletics effort since…I don’t even know. We had wins in all sports, from blowouts to instant classics with recruiting and great news in-between. Not to brag or be egotistical, but this is why I was so angry with a subset of folks just overshadowing moments with negativity. I don’t care what happens in January, I want to enjoy the moment that is here and now.
Let’s be honest…We’ll remember that game for a long time. The feeling of being lower than low and then State races all the way back. Just a reminder, down nine with two to go.
A rivalry game that turned into something talked about for years. It got the team to their ninth win and a chance to go double-digit wins for only the second time ever. Leary is breaking records, Emezie is going out a king, Dunn with *technically* his second successful onsides kick, and the defense gets the game ending INT. Just perfect.
To make it even better, at half we’re celebrating a national championship from women’s cross country. Bing, bang, boom.
Then we follow it up with eight members making All-ACC teams, including SIX first-teamers. Couldn’t get any better than that…oh, wait…Moore and Durden have already committed to bringing it back next year. Add that to an already loaded group, things get serious again in 2022 for football.
Wolfpack basketball has roared back into the national conversation. How do you get people to forget your opening day loss? You win three games in seven days, with two of those being against #2 Maryland and #6 Indiana on the road. State is now locked into a #2 national ranking without any question or disagreements.
Cherry on top is having Diamond Johnson be the ACC Player of the Week. Johnson, through her two games against Maryland and Washington State, put up; 41 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists and 8 steals. All that production and only four turnovers…good lawd.
But, but, but they won’t win and aren’t good…whatever. During this week’s stretch they moved to third in overall records within the ACC, with wins over LA Tech and Nebraska. The latter of which, became it’s own instant classic. Four OTs of come from behind theatrics.
Seabron just so happened to have the following line; 57 minutes, 39 points and 19 rebounds. Dowouna only got EIGHT BLOCKS. Everyone played, everyone contributed.
And before the Nebraska game even happened, State picked up a commitment from the #1 point guard in the entire 2023 class. Dillingham is the talk of the country and he picked State to be his college of choice. Unbelievable.
Even State’s darkest day this season was made brighter. Bates had successful surgery in Florida and is already rehabbing in Raleigh. Will he come back next year?
Thursday, State Wrestling not only won…they beat the stuffing out of Gardner-Webb. “Well, they should have beat them, they are far superior.” Yeah, they got that message and proceeded to win every. single. match in route to a 45-0 win.
Ed Scott and Trent Hidlay both with tech falls. No match, and I mean none, were close.
Even though their season came to an end, State finished off Senior Night on Saturday with a win against Clemson, 3-1. An up and down season, but still seniors are heading out with a win.
It was announced that both Jenna Butler (All-Atlantic Region third-team) and Lulu Guttenberger (three-time All-ACC and team captain) were returning to State for their extra year of eligibility. We’ve talked about it previously, but this team was on the literal cusp of having a season to remember in Raleigh. Big, big pieces back for the Pack.
Just look at that damn list! That’s every sport winning, recruiting and returning. State may not have ever had a week in which there was so much drama and GOOD, FUN DRAMA. What a time to be a State fan, regardless of how long the dream lasts.
WPN’s Guide to the Duke-UNC Game
What a Year for NC State Athletics
First and foremost, this video got the goosebumps bumpin’…
This year we shook hands with adversity, played with the cards we were dealt and fought together until the end. We are the NC State Wolfpack. This is a look back at some of the top sports moments of 2021 🐺 #StrengthInThePack pic.twitter.com/EJnREZ7b0A
— NC State Athletics (@PackAthletics) December 30, 2021
There’s a lot to be thankful for in WPN this last year.
Women’s Basketball – Not much more you can ask for…back-to-back ACC Championships, while being top-5 for over two years straight. The players are beyond fun to watch and their coach has rapidly become a legendary figure (who also puts out a solid stream of perfect one-liners). All the Reynolds upgrades are something else, and to have this success as a tenant is a dream that reminds folks of the Jimmy V era.
Wrestling – Speaking of Reynold tenants…Wrestling is doing something that not many people fully understand. The sport has been SO heavily dominated by Big Ten and Ivy League schools. Other than the occasional OK State run, the trophy lives steadily in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. But things are changing in Raleigh. Recruiting classes have been off the chart, and this year’s squad -from top to bottom – is nothing short of spectacular.
Women’s Cross Country – Always a steady performer, State broke out this Fall. Wins the ACC, Regional and National Championship. The first team national championship since 1983 Cardiac Pack. And the scores weren’t close. The team consistently had a majority of scoring in top-25, top-15 and a wide margin of victory.
Women’s Soccer – Five straight seasons of NCAA Tournament appearances. The also had half a dozen games were they lost to a ranked opponent in literally the final minutes of games. Stellar keeper and steady scoring shows that State program is heading in the right direction and not far from making a BIG jump.
Football – State has at least nine wins in three of the last five seasons. In contention for ACC into the Thanksgiving weekend is something that WPN has been waiting for. Leary and Gill should have far more recognition than they are getting. Tony Gibson not being listed as a semi-finalist of NCAA assistant coaches is a crime. Yet we got to see Ickey play big boy football, while Emezie and Dunn are setting school records. Great comeback against UNC, 10*-3 season.
Swim – Nationally ranked recruiting and national meet podiums. We are very, very close from seeing a number of swimmers, from both men’s and women’s teams, will be in the running for Olympic teams. The program has always been a force, but there aren’t many weaknesses when you look at the full squad.
W Tennis – Got hot and made it all the way to the Final Four. The duo of Anna Rogers and Alana Smith just kept winning. Furthermore, they added great recruits and transfers to make another run again soon.
Baseball – For many of us at PI, we agree…there has been such a ride we’ve maybe ever experienced. To think about the season being lost, then to make the run they had to what SHOULD HAVE BEEN, at the very least, a national championship appearance, is just goosebump worthy. Couldn’t open Twitter or watch TV without seeing talk of State. Can’t wait for Boo to totally not go against his word and build/remodel a ballpark to accommodate a team that should be making runs on a yearly basis.
There are plenty of coaches, players and superfans that should be mentioned. We type this with a warm feeling in our heart. To everybody in WPN, from Raleigh and abroad, thanks for reading our articles and hope you all enjoyed the ride as much as we have.
NC State Swimmers a Part of 14 World Championships Medals
The six-day long 15th FINA World Swimming Championships, took place this week in Abu Dhabi. Not only was State well represented, they also won a whole lotta races.
Current and former State swimmers ended up making 14 podium appearances, including three members (two current) winning gold.
Junior Katharine Berkoff won gold in 4×100 freestyle relay and 4×50 freestyle relay. Senior Sophie Hansson won gold in 4×50 medley relay and 4×100 medley relay. State alum, Ryan Held, won gold in 4×200 freestyle relay and 4×50 medley relay.
State swimming returns to action on January 3rd.
WPN Reset: NC State Football Returns More and MBB in Reynolds
It was a calm Wednesday afternoon and then it got exciting REAL quick.
Rumor mill was in peak form the last two weeks, as players were making decisions about their future at State. Within just the last week, Gibson, Leary, Wilson and Ingle have all announced they are coming back. And that list doesn’t include earlier commitments of return from Durden, Moore and Fagan.
— DLeary (@DevinLeary1) December 8, 2021
— Tanner Ingle (@TannerIngle) December 8, 2021
There are still decisions to be made by Gill, Bam, Thayer and others. Without question, State will be losing Ickey, Person and Emezie.
With Doeren’s recent success in the transfer portal, it would seem likely with all the above in motion, some o-line and WR help won’t be hard to find. Here’s to another wild day of announcements. Cheers!
Thursday, State Men’s Basketball returns to the hallowed grounds of Reynolds. We’ll be having PLENTY of stories about Jimmy V, Reynolds’ history, game preview and more. Until then…
Back in Reynolds Coliseum tomorrow ‼️
Heritage Game 🆚 Bethune-Cookman at 6:30 PM pic.twitter.com/5kkvokXSlV
— NC State Men's Bball (@PackMensBball) December 9, 2021