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WolfPack 2017-2018 Year in Review
Categories: General, Athletics
Posted: 5/21/2018

It’s been an exciting year for the WolfPack!

Highlights from the 2017-2018 year included:
  • Varsity football going 8-4, hosting a first round playoff game, and matching the furthest run in school history in the state playoffs
  • Varsity boys cross country claiming a region championship and third at the state championship meet, which ties a record finish for the varsity cross country team
  • Varsity swim sending two swimmers and a diver to state, each of whom earned school- or personal-record placements
  • Varsity track sending 14 athletes to the state meet, where the girls team claimed eighth place overall and sophomore Devin Wade claimed third place in the 3200m and set a school record
  • Both varsity soccer programs advancing to the state playoffs with the boys soccer team reaching the semifinal round of the tournament following a strong and successful season
  • Varsity girls tennis earning a spot in the state tournament ¬and won the first round
  • In addition, we had three teams claim Metro10 championships this year: Seventh- and eighth-grade football; Sixth- and seventh-grade boys basketball; Middle School girls soccer

We also had the privilege of finishing this year with another athletic signing day, through which we celebrated the accomplishments and plans of seven members of the Class of 2018. Congratulations to the following athletes and their families; we are so looking forward to cheering you on as you continue to work hard, play hard, and honor Christ through athletics on the collegiate level!
  • Rachid Bilotti (Soccer) – Gordon College
  • Carter Huffman (Baseball) – Sewanee: The University of the South
  • Jake Lewis (Football) – Berry College
  • Wills McCutcheon (Lacrosse) – Centre College
  • Brooks Merkle (Swimming) – Auburn University
  • Luke Persons (Baseball) – Walters State Community College
  • Jacob Pitts (Baseball) – Huntingdon College

I would like to acknowledge the dedicated staff members and students who supported the WolfPack this year. We are so grateful for the athletic training staff, including the hardworking student athletic trainers that participated in SWAT; you have all worked to ensure that our athletes are safe and well cared for. Thank you for how you have modeled servant-leadership for us all this year. Thanks also to Jonathan McClellan, our strength and conditioning coach, who has been working behind-the-scenes with many of our teams and athletes to ensure they are well-prepared for competitions. The time and work you put into understanding the needs of each team and athlete is greatly appreciated.

Of course, WolfPack spirit would not be the same without our cheerleaders, pep band, and marching band members! Thank you for the many hours that you have put into cheering on the Pack at athletic events! Your support, energy, and enthusiasm motivates the WolfPack to fight through hard moments and more fully celebrate great ones.

We are so proud of all that the WolfPack has accomplished. God has graciously filled this year with many moments of growth and celebration, and we are excited to see how he builds upon those moments in the seasons to come.


Coming in 2018-2019
Looking ahead, I am excited to share some of the plans that have come together for the coaching staff of the 2018-2019 school year!

Coleman Joiner
This year, we welcomed Coleman Joiner into the role of varsity head football coach (read more about it in the MDJ). Since being named head football coach, Coach Joiner has been hard at work preparing for the season ahead. Most recently, members of our prospective varsity football team for 2018-2019 participated in crucible week, a 4-day series of workouts designed to physically and mentally challenge our athletes with the goal of discovering something new that we believe the Lord has for this team next year. Over 50 athletes came out to bond, grow, work hard, and sweat together, and it proved to be an awesome experience!

Mike Shaheen
Along with his role as director of student leadership at Whitefield, Mike Shaheen will be joining the WolfPack coaching staff as head varsity baseball coach. Shaheen has over 20 years of coaching experience both in varsity baseball and football. He has led baseball teams to state championship titles three times at Wesleyan school, where he had an average of 25 wins per season. Shaheen has served in a variety of roles within school athletic departments, and currently serves as a director of Fellowship of Christian Athletes in the Dominican Republic, where he developed a nonprofit athletic organization and served as a chaplain for professional coaches and players. Coach Shaheen’s deep experience in athletics and baseball specifically will be a great asset to our varsity baseball program.

Ann Barnett
Ann Barnett will be moving into the role of head varsity cross country coach for the 2018-2019 school year. Over the last year, Barnett served as a Middle School Spanish teacher and assistant to the admissions director at Whitefield. She has been a part of the cross country coaching staff at Wesleyan school, served as a coach for varsity and junior varsity soccer, and is an avid runner. I am excited to see how Coach Barnett’s passion for building relationships with students and creating systems and processes through which teams can improve will serve our varsity cross country runners in the coming year!

Timothy Unsicker
Timothy Unsicker will be taking leadership of our varsity girls basketball program next year as head coach. Unsicker has served as a Whitefield teacher and coach for 10 years, with involvement in basketball, cross country, soccer, and track & field. His coaching record for the WolfPack includes coaching the varsity girls basketball team into the state playoffs in 2014/15. Coach Unsicker’s energy and passion for this sport and girls basketball will continue to build this program for years to come.


Special Thanks
As we conclude this year, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank some of the people that have invested in the WolfPack in outstanding ways.

John Charles has faithfully served as our PackBacker president for the past three years. In this role, he has led the PackBacker board through three school years in which we have experienced incredible growth. John has also served many late nights as a game administrator, PA announcer, clock/scoreboard operator, and a dedicated Whitefield fan. As John concludes his final year as PackBacker president, I would like to thank him for how he has faithfully and humbly served our school and supported me while I transitioned into this role in the past two years. He has been a great source of wisdom and support, and I consider him a great friend.

Margaret Joiner has also been an incredibly valuable member of the PackBackers. Without her help, we could not have accomplished many of the initiatives that were realized in the last year. Her ideas, initiative, and insight has truly made a difference in the athletic department. She has served on the PackBackers board, coordinated team moms, led multiple committees, and has often been the first to jump in and solve problems that arise or find new ways to make things better. I am grateful for the support and help she has been to me and the WolfPack over the years!

Thanks also to those who served on our PackBacker board this year, and to all of you who chose to be members of the PackBackers. This organization is an awesome help and blessing to Whitefield athletics as a whole and to each of our student-athletes. Thank you for serving as volunteers and for showing up and cheering loudly at athletic events!

Finally, I must thank Crissy Watkins, who serves as Whitefield’s assistant athletic director for Middle School sports, and is finishing her final year at Whitefield. Crissy has been an amazing asset to our school and to this athletic department. Her passion for coaching and mentoring students has been evident as she served as softball coach, soccer coach, chair of the physical education department, Whitefield’s Metro10 representative, and assistant A.D. She has been a cheerleader and support for our Middle School athletes and coaches as well as a dear friend to each of us on the athletic staff. Though she will be greatly missed, we’re looking forward to cheering Crissy on in whatever God has planned for her next, and we have begun the process of seeking out candidates to fill the roles she will be leaving behind.

God has truly been gracious to Whitefield athletics this year. In summarizing the outstanding moments we’ve had and the things we look forward to, it is only fitting to pause and give Him the glory. We praise Him for the growth He has allowed within our teams and athletes, how He has continued to bring coaches to our staff that will also serve as Christian mentors, and how He has allowed us to celebrate many victories and learn in our losses. Praise be to God for an awesome year in WolfPack athletics! We look forward to continuing to work hard, play hard, and honor Him with you in the years to come.

Danny Ryan
Athletic Director