June 13, 2024

           Last Tuesday, the Student Athlete Advisory Committee held a talent show for all student athletes to celebrate Division III Appreciation Week. The teams that participated were the men’s track, women’s volleyball, men’s basketball, co-ed swim, and women’s soccer. There was a panel of four judges, giving each display of talent a score of one to five, for a possible total of 20 points.

Men’s track started off the evening with a duet of the screamo-genre song “Icarus Lives!” by Periphery. The performance scored nine points.

Women’s soccer covered themselves in glow sticks and did a choreographed dance to Shakira’s “Waka Waka” in the dark. They threw their glow sticks into the crowd at the end of the performance, and scored 12 points.

Women’s volleyball divided its team into two and had a vocal battle with a mash up of songs from Whitney Houston to Pat Benatar, Keith Urban to Journey. The two sides came together to sing “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from the Mulan soundtrack. The ladies scored an 18.

“Being a student athlete gives me the ability to represent Wittenberg in more ways than just academics,” said Camila Quinones, a member of the volleyball team. “As a student athlete, I strive to do well in the classroom, because academics comes first, but I also work hard in the gym to be the best athlete I can be.  It is kind of like the best of both worlds; I am learning about the things I’m passionate about while playing the sport I love.”

Quinones has been playing volleyball since fifth grade and has loved being part of the Wittenberg team. “I have learned so much about teamwork and communication, and I believe these two skills are crucial to success in the future.  It has also helped me develop my leadership skills, which is another character trait important in the ‘real world’…(My teammates) are my closest friends and push me to be not only a better teammate but a better person as a whole, and I think that is one of the most important things sports can teach anyone.”

Men’s basketball had a small skit about the meaning of love before getting into a performance of the song “Afternoon Delight” by Starland Vocal Band. The humorous skit gave the team the runner up position with 18.5 points.

The big winner was the swim team, with Nick Rittenhouse doing a slew of jump rope tricks (half of which he did while blindfolded) to the song “Cotton-Eyed Joe.” They earned a perfect score of 20 and the bragging rights that they were the victorious team.

Rittenhouse, the main representative for the swim team, was excited when his teammates asked him to show off his jump rope skills for his team’s entry. Rittenhouse has been in jump rope competitions off and on since elementary school, and when he showed his teammates his talent, they wanted him to represent them.

Rittenhouse has been swimming since age eight, and was inspired by both his mother (who was the first woman on her swim team) and brother. He values being both a student and athlete, saying, “It builds character. You get to know people and make connections…a team atmosphere shows you how to work with others outside of athletics.”

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