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A Fitting Tribute

Kim Johnson – I’m a girl – okay, so I’m a 31 year-old “woman” but “woman” makes me feel old. What about “lady?” Point being, I’m on a campus of men. One thing I have learned in life is that men and women communicate very differently.

This has been a difficult week for all of us at Wabash College. The loss of a student on a small and tight-knit campus like this affects everyone. Even though I didn’t have the privilege of meeting Patrick, my heart still breaks for the loss of a young person who, from what I understand, was the epitome of what it means to “live life to the fullest.”

My heart also breaks for the young men on campus who were his friends, his teammates, and his brothers. I have been there. I know how that feels. It really sucks. It’s hard to make sense of it and hard to know how and when to move forward.

I have seen boys grow up really fast this week. As I was standing outside the Chapel yesterday after Patrick’s memorial service I just wanted to reach out and hug every single one of them.

Here’s the point in my whole rambling. In my experience, when “girls” are upset they want to talk and share and hug and talk and share and hug. Guys just want to “fix stuff” (often with a grunt). So as I have moved about this campus of men these last few days, I haven’t seen guys talking and sharing and hugging and talking and sharing and hugging like I’m feeling drawn to do, but they are “doing and fixing.”

They have dealt with their broken hearts in a very different way than I am accustomed. That’s not to say there haven’t been tears and hugs, But the way they have come together to honor Patrick has been amazing and beyond what I would have ever been able to do.

Before Sunday even ended, his fraternity brothers and teammates had painted the Senior Bench in Patrick’s honor. (I nearly cried when I noticed the sphinx on either end of the bench had white tears flowing from its eyes.) There were several candles, photos, and a few words about him.

Several of the student bloggers have written very nice pieces on their sites.

His fraternity brothers put together a memorial service for him. Dressed in suits, they led the service. They asked friends, a coach, and a professor to speak. They closed the service quietly and led the very large crowd out of the Chapel. Outside they honored him again as a Lambda Chi Alpha brother.

No 19, 20, or 21 year-old should have to go through what they have this week. But they have. I know it hurts and always will, but all of the Wabash men could not have honored him any better than they have – even those who didn’t know him.

As I headed back to my office after the service, I noticed the day was absolutely gorgeous. The sky was so blue, the leaves so orange, and the grass so green. I thought about a very similar day a couple weeks ago when I was headed back to my office after listening to Dr. Rosenberg speak of his time visiting the concentration camp in Auschwitz.

He commented how life seemed to be “obliviously going on” around him. That comment really stuck with me because when I have been dealing with something difficult in the past, I have felt the very same way. Why did life just seem to be going on around me? Didn’t anyone understand, feel, or hear my pain?

But yesterday life was not obliviously going on around Wabash. When 11:00 rolled around, I was standing on the mall getting ready to take a seat in the Chapel. I turned and looked out over campus. There were people coming from all directions – students, professors, coaches, staff, and friends – pouring out of buildings to come honor one young man.

I would guess that fewer than half of the people there had actually met Patrick, but when one Little Giant is hurting, all Little Giants hurt together. There could be no more fitting tribute on this campus for a brother than the mature, heartfelt display I have witnessed this week.

Patrick Woehnker, you are Some Little Giant. And you will be missed.

Sphinx Club Drives Co-Motion

Jim Amidon — The Sphinx Club is, perhaps, the most misunderstood student organization on the Wabash College campus.

Members of the Sphinx Club wear red and white-striped overalls and white “beanies” with black buttons, and they lead cheers at Wabash sporting events.

Members of the Sphinx Club organize weekly Chapel talks that bring the campus community together for half-hour speeches by students, faculty, staff, and alumni. They also build community through pre-game cookouts year-round, including before mid-winter basketball games.

Members of the Sphinx Club consider themselves the guardians of Wabash traditions.

And members of the Sphinx Club get a bad rap because the “pledgeship” program potential members must endure is arduous to say the least.

What few people know — including astonishingly few in the Wabash community — is that the Sphinx Club also does a good bit of philanthropic and community service work.

A year ago I asked the Sphinx Club to adopt a faltering fund-raising project that was on its last gasp. The program, Co-Motion, takes place each year in the weeks leading up to the Monon Bell football game. The goal is a healthy competition between Wabash and DePauw to raise awareness of the devastating effects of domestic violence and raise funds for the Montgomery County Family Crisis Shelter and the Indianapolis-based Julian Center.

Bill Padgett, a quarterback on Wabash’s 1991 Monon Bell-winning football team, came up with the idea to use the testosterone-fueled emotions of the rivalry for a good (and counterintuitive) purpose. Co-Motion was the result.

Sustaining the effort year after year was becoming a problem and the proceeds of the fund-raiser were dwindling.

Enter the Sphinx Club.

Under the direction of Club members Tony Caldwell and Jason Siegel, last year’s Co-Motion was by far the most successful in history. Members of the greater Wabash community donated nearly $6,000, which was split equally between our local domestic violence shelter and the Julian Center.

Tony has since graduated, so a couple of weeks ago I got in touch with Jason to remind him to get started on this year’s Co-Motion project. A day later, the Sphinx Club pledges were collecting donations outside the Chapel following the weekly lecture. They did the same thing at the football game weekend before last.

They take the responsibility for Co-Motion as seriously as they take their role at football games, with traditions, and at the weekly Chapel talks.

But what really blew me away was when Jason contacted me last week to say he and some of the Sphinx Club members and pledges would be going over to the Family Crisis Shelter to help out with a few projects. I had asked them to assist in fund-raising, which they did; they chose to go over and volunteer their time.

After hearing Irene Selby talk about the Family Crisis Shelter’s mission and the families it serves, the guys got to work. It was a cold, windy day, but they spent several hours painting a fence. Some were dressed for the work in grubby sweat pants and sweatshirts; another guy had shirt, tie, and impressive khaki pants. All of them were committed to the work.

In a lot of ways, I’m learning the Sphinx Club is about commitment. And maybe the long, difficult pledgeship program is, in fact, constructive in that regard.

What I know for sure is that this group of campus leaders followed through on a promise they made me a year ago. Not only did they deliver on that promise, they surpassed my expectations. I say that not because I’m surprised, but because I continue to be amazed by the spirit of Wabash men, and in this case the Wabash men who comprise the Sphinx Club.

If you wish to show your support for our community and the work the Sphinx Club is doing on behalf of the Family Crisis Shelter, you can write a check or drop off a donation in the Wabash College business office in Center Hall. Make sure to write “Co-Motion” on the menu line of your check or just tell Terri Fyffe the donation is for Co-Motion.

There are four elements of the Wabash mission statement: think critically, act responsibly, lead effectively, and live humanely. The men of the Sphinx Club can be proud of the way they act, lead, and live.

Civil Discourse – Who Needs It?

While many encourage civil discourse, Professor of Philosophy Mark Brouwer would suggest such an approach doesn’t go far enough.

Brouwer delivered the Oct. 25 Chapel Talk on the difficulties of having a conversation. He suggested a subtitle for his lecture, “Civil Discourse and Verbal Combat.”

He used a personal friendship as his example throughout his remarks. He and a friend, Matt, have been arguing for years. “We never agree on anything,” Brouwer said. “But we agree the argument is worth having.”

“Civil discourse is not only, at times, inadequate … but neutral. Everyone must abide by the rules of civil discourse.”

He explained a good verbal combat must have the common ground of trust, charity, humility and the desire to learn from one another. He doesn’t enter conversation solely for the purpose of learning something as much as changing his own opinion – or, to learn something.

“Learning requires changing one’s opinion,” Brouwer said. “What we can achieve by verbal combat is the courage to fail.”

Listen to Brouwer’s full Chapel Talk here.

I Would Have Struggled at Wabash

Kim Johnson — I consider myself a fairly intelligent person. I graduated fifth in my high school class and “With Distinction” from Purdue. But I think I would have struggled at Wabash. In fact, I am struggling at Wabash right now – even as a staff person.

Allow me to explain.

One of the first Wabash alums I met was Dr. Michael Orrison ’95. He is now a Mathematics Professor at Harvey Mudd College in California. We were talking about the events that led him to becoming a professor and how his experiences at Wabash have shaped the way he teaches.

He told me he expects his students to “struggle” – to ask questions, to wrestle with new ideas, encounter new concepts – and for him, “part of the pleasure of teaching is the pleasure of sharing in the struggle with his students.” He said, through that struggle, he has seen his students “gain confidence in their abilities as they tackle things bigger than themselves and bigger than they thought they could tackle.”

I had never really thought about it from the professor’s viewpoint like that before.

Last week I had the opportunity to hear English Professor Warren Rosenberg share his journey through Poland where he visited the Nazi Concentration Camp at Auschwitz and retraced some of his Jewish family’s steps before they left the country (fortunately before the war). It was obvious this experience had a very real and profound affect on him. He spoke of the knots in his stomach for months before the trip and being physically ill while riding across the country in anticipation of various stops.

As I was heading across campus after his presentation I found myself reflecting on the faces in the pictures and the stories he told. I wanted to know more about why they were there, who they were, what they thought about the experiences they were going through. And not just in the superficial way I had learned in history class but I wanted to really know.

I found myself struggling. As I wrestled with those thoughts my mind returned to comments of Dr. Orrison about the “pleasure of sharing in his students’ struggles.” It occurred to me it’s not just about the sharing in his students’ struggles. It’s about sharing his students’ struggles. The things they wrestle with are the very ideas and concepts he is wrestling with or has wrestled with in the past.

Part of what draws me to this campus and to the people here is the very thing that Dr. Orrison said drew him here 16 years ago. “[When I first visited campus] something screamed ‘engage me’ and the thought of wrestling with ideas seemed to be something that the architecture gave you space and sort of a license to do.”

The thoughts I was wrestling with on my walk across campus are the very “struggles” Dr. Rosenberg has struggled with and continues to work through now. Every faculty member and many staff here are struggling with something. The joy is in the struggle because out of that struggle new things are born – medicine, works of art, literature, theories, championships, friendships, character.

At Wabash it’s not just about thinking. It’s about thinking critically. It’s about acting responsibly, leading effectively and living humanely. As much as it hurts sometimes, I am enjoying every minute of the struggle.

Kim Johnson is a member of the Public Affairs and Marketing staff, who began her time at Wabash in late September.

Remembering Rod

Steve Charles — One of the fringe benefits of being technologically incompetent is that you get to know, and often rely upon, very good people. At Wabash, one of those people for 15 years has been Rod Helderman, our systems maintenance technician at Information Technology Services. He’s been the guy you call when your computer’s fried, your laptop battery burned out, or anything else goes wrong with your computer hardware. One of the friendliest folks on campus, one of the folks you were always happiest (and most relieved) to see walk in your office door.

We lost Rod over the weekend. The news came to us this morning. A heart attack, we’re told. When I saw his name under the “Sad News” tag on the email, I first assumed he’d lost his dad or older family member. Rod was too young to have a heart attack. But as we learned in a cruel lesson last year when we lost Mike Bachner, you’re never too young.

So now we’ve lost another who seemed to be in his prime, truly enjoying life. Rod had been running marathons these past couple of years, doing things he thought he’d never even try.

And though I don’t know Rod well enough to even begin to write anything that would do this good man justice, I don’t want to stand by silently either. You can’t lose someone like Rod and not say something. This will have to suffice until we get more official information.

So this I know: He served in the Navy, on nuclear submarines (had a picture of a sub on his office door), and he could tell you all about that work. He loved his wife, Jeannine, who worked with us in here in Advancement; his daughter, Tamara; and his son, Mike, who graduated from Wabash in 2003. Rod was proud of that. He loved being a dad.

He liked basset hounds, had their pictures in his office, had at least two, one of them a rescue, along with a couple of other dogs (basset wannabes, I think he called them). It takes a man with a certain sense of humor—perhaps an eye for the absurd—to fully appreciate this duckbill platypus of the canine kingdom. Rod would describe his dogs’ misadventures with glee, their hound dog baying with delight. He seemed to enjoy their peculiar habits. They made him smile.

That may say something about why he put up with us at Wabash for 15 years.

His work at Wabash? Well, you know how lucky you are when you actually find a good auto mechanic in your neighborhood? Rod was that for us and our computers. He made it his job to make sure we could do ours, and in 12 years here I never lost more than a morning because of a computer hardware breakdown. There are certain essential jobs at a college with hundreds of computers. Rod’s is one of them.

His work in IT services went well beyond that, from introducing recycling measures to teaching some of the IT Tech courses to advising on computer hardware issues for the various centers on campus, and more. He had much to teach.

But what I valued most about Rod, I think, was his patience with me when I had problems, his sense of humor (patience and a sense of humor are two of the most required virtues for our long-suffering IT support folks), and how generous he could be with his time.

Several times during the year I’d find myself in Baxter Hall finishing an interview or story and I’d take a detour through the Baxter basement where Rod worked and stop by his office. He’d usually have something torn apart on the bench (in this virtual age, what a relief to see a man actually working with his hands on something tangible!), but he’d always look up, take the time to answer my questions, and talk for a while. That’s how I found out he’d run the Mini-Marathon in Indy (more like a fast walk, he said, in typical self-effacing style, but his runner’s number was up on his bulletin board), along with the Irish Fest there, and a Humane Society fundraiser in Lafayette, where he and Jeannine live. He was a person you could relax with, a person you could depend upon. He always took time for you, the time you needed, and that’s a vanishing grace in our culture.

With Rod’s death, more of that grace leaves us. Others who knew Rod well will have more and better things to say, but I didn’t want the day to pass without saying something about this good man. I am angry that we have lost him, but I am grateful to have known him. I thought he would have more time, and he should have. I will miss his patient voice on the other end of the phone, his laughter. I will greatly miss our conversations.

You can write to the family at this address: 2225 Beck Lane, Lafayette, IN 47909-3115.

Athletics History Every Wabash Man Should Know

Howard W. Hewitt – The history of Wabash College athletics stretches back to the 1860s. The College’s athletic history has been documented largely due to the writings of Max Services ’58 during his years as Wabash College’s wrestling coach and athletic director.

Director of Public Affairs and former Sports Information Director Jim Amidon ’87 was the lastest in a series of Chapel Talk speakers Thursday to celebrate the College’s 175th year. Listen to Podcast of Amidon’s Chapel Talk here.

Servies had kept records, documents, and his own writing for years and approached Amidon in the early 90s to be an editor of the vast amount of material. Servies was putting together a Wabash history ”Some Little Giants.”

Amidon struggled with the volume of material and with changing the author’s words. “I wasn’t editing the book I was editing history,” he told the students, faculty, and staff in the Chapel.

He went on to describe his efforts in the 90s and again recently in putting the history together. He now hopes to create a website that can be updated so all-time records will truly reflect “all-time.”

Amidon admitted the background to the College’s sports history wasn’t the title of his speech, but “I really wanted you to know the history behind the history.”

He went on to share some of the great Wabash stories and athletic traditions which are an integral part of the College’s history.

Amidon’s conclusion noted that history is being written now as the College’s athletes set new records and record new achievements. 

“The years but make it holier”

Steve Charles—The love story of General Lew Wallace and his future bride begins at a piano. A piano that, until yesterday, was right here on the Wabash campus.

The exact ages and dates are sketchy as laid out in Lew Wallace: An Autobiography, but the story goes something like this:

When young Wallace (who would become Crawfordsville’s most famous resident) was about nine and attending the preparatory school at Wabash, he invited himself to the home of Issac Elston, who had the finest house in the region. He’d heard that the Elstons had a piano among their exotic furnishings. Never having seen such a “big musical machine,” he stopped by for a look.

“A party was in progress,” Wallace would write in Autobiography. “I worked my way, Indian-like, to a window through which the whole interior was in view. In a little while, sure enough, a young lady went to the machine, opened it, and began a song with an accompaniment.”

That young lady was Susan Elston, age six. It was the first time Wallace laid eyes on the girl he would come to love and marry.

The piano remained in the Elston Homestead, which was eventually donated to the College by Isacc Elston III and has since been the residence of Wabash presidents. The piano was moved to the Wabash campus during the administration of Andy Ford, stored in Baxter Hall.

Wabash music professor Larry Bennett knew about the piano, and as he was completing his term as department chair this year, wanted “to tie up some loose ends,” including giving the public access to the historic musical instrument. He contacted local woodworker Don Livingston, who did a beautiful job restoring the cabinet of the piano. He contacted Crawfordsville Public Library Director Larry Hathaway, who helped arrange for the piano to be received by the Library’s new Carnegie Museum.

The piano itself is remarkable. Built in Boston by Timothy Gilbert in the 1830s, it is number 680 of about 4,000 “square” pianos made by this innovative craftsman, who later patented improvements to upright pianos as well as a square piano with “an Aeolian attachment”—a combination piano/reed organ.

Purchased for Susan Elston, probably in Cincinnati, the piano was transported to Crawfordsville from Boston via the Atlantic Ocean, Mississippi, Ohio, and Wabash Rivers, and finally up Sugar Creek, which was navigable in those days.

But photographing this 170-year-old piano in Salter Hall yesterday morning and touching the fragile keys before it was moved to its new home, I couldn’t help but think of young Susan Elston, her delicate fingers playing while her future husband, still a boy, saw her for the first time through that window at the Elston Homestead.

The next time he saw her she was 18 years old, and all grown up. Wallace writes of that moment in Autobiography:

“Fifty years and more [ago], and I can blow the time aside lightly as smoke from a cigar, and have a return of that evening with Miss Elston, and her blue eyes, wavy hair, fair face, girlish manner, delicate person, and witty flashes to vivify it.

“There are young people who think a man past 70 may not be moved by the love of his youth… [Yet] far from so much as dimming the recollection, the years but make it holier.”

A New Kind of History

Kim Johnson - Yesterday I participated in a “Stylized Movement/Kung Fu Workshop” as part of the Visiting Artists Series here at Wabash. The workshop was a follow up to the group’s performance the night before of Tales from the Beijing Opera.

When I was first given my assignment I thought surely Jim had to be kidding me. I’m the rookie in the Public Affairs Office so I was half expecting the rest of the team to break out in laughter and razz me for falling for Jim’s preposterous request! And laugh they did, but I think it was more, “boy am I glad she got called out to do it and not me!”

Something like this is totally outside my comfort zone. I absolutely hate to be embarrassed or caught off guard (I think most people do but for me it’s almost an absolute fear). Plus, my sister got all of the grace and dancing ability in the family and my brother the martial arts skill. That leaves me on a good day with the ability to walk and chew gum at the same time.

Granted, Jim did say if I felt uncomfortable participating in the workshop I could just go cover it with a camera, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought, how often does the Beijing Opera come to Crawfordsville? I better take advantage of this! Plus it could be really fun!

So off I went to Ball Theater for a little Kung Fu!

The first thing I learned from the program was that “Kung Fu” means “time.” In China, the relationship between skill and time is embedded in the language and the term kungfu refers to anything that takes time to learn. Good! They already know if I’m going to learn this stuff, we’re going to have to have lots of time!

The workshop began with a brief history of the Beijing Opera – when it began, how it evolved, the culture of China, how different dynasties of China affected the social class of the actors and how that has evolved over time. The movements, costumes, and colors are all representative of culture and status.

The troupe leader, American Merrianne Moore, explained the typical training of actors. Many begin learning skills at a very early age, usually from a parent who is an actor or has a love of the theater. By the age of 10 or 11 they go to “opera school,” which is a boarding school where they learn techniques and skills six days a week. (The opera school training now includes academic coursework but didn’t always which served to perpetuate the existence of actors as a low social class.)

Our workshop followed a “typical day” at the opera school. We started by learning to walk and how to hold our hands and arms. Each movement was very systematic. There was a rhythm and purpose for everything.

We did leg training next which included kicks of which we would do 50 to 100 of each if we were students at the Opera School (there were four or five different kicks). Thankfully we only did a few. Between the kicks, jumps and arm movements I was beginning to feel like a plate of spaghetti. (I probably looked about like one too!)

Next was carpet training to help us stretch our waists and hips. I was thinking, “finally we get to sit and stretch.” I was imagining something like yoga class – long stretches with periodic rest poses. NOPE! Carpet training in the Opera School starts with five-minute handstands! Handstands are followed by cartwheels, no-handed cartwheels, front and back handsprings, tucks and whatever other flips, flops, jumps, and contortions the limber body will allow. I decided not to volunteer for this knowing full well the last time I attempted a cartwheel (about ten years ago!) I nearly broke my wrist.

We ended our workshop by learning a few techniques with the weapons and how those techniques would fit into a stage battle. By that time I felt like I had endured a battle and wondered if I could ever survive a day in opera school.

It was fun to share the stage with several Wabash men. (Check out photos here and here.) I was impressed with their willingness to take off their shoes and participate. Many of them were attempting handstands, cartwheels, and fighting with “the warrior” and truly enjoying the experience for what it was – a chance to take advantage of an opportunity that will likely never cross their paths again.

I figured if they didn’t care how silly they looked walking, kicking, and jumping across the stage there was absolutely no reason why I should! That’s the beauty of learning, right? A safe place to grow and stretch our minds (and bodies in this case), mess up, correct it, and try again, and if we’re lucky it’s in a fun and engaging atmosphere.

When we reached the end of our three hours together, I really felt like I had accomplished something or at least had given my best. As I headed back across campus, my new experience in hand, I pondered the last couple days – the afternoon discussion with the troupe on Monday, the Tales from the Beijing Opera performance that evening and the workshop I had just completed.

I couldn’t help but think if I had learned history like that – experiencing it – when I was in school, I wouldn’t have gotten a “C.”

Photos by Steve Charles

Have Lunch With Present Indiana Students

Howard W. Hewitt – The Present Indiana summer internship program has grown in quality each of its three years. If you have not seen any of the student presentations previously, you should take advantage of the noon time presentations going on this month.

Present Indiana is a segment of the three-part Quality of Life Grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.

Present Indiana offers 8-week internships to Wabash students to study interesting Indiana history and culture. Tuesday, Oct. 9, two of the students made noontime presentations in Detchon Hall. 

The presentations will continue Oct. 18, 25, and Nov. 8 and 15. The presentations on the 18th will feature Matt Vest‘s video and research on the German-based religious immigration to southwestern Indiana. The other presentation will be Robert Campbell‘s study of the actual battle of the Battle of Tippecanoe.

Mitch Brown ’10 gave his presentation on the history of Brown County’s art colony. And even if you’ve been to Brown County to peep at the leaves in fall, you’re still going to learn a lot about the community and its importance in the art world from Mitch’s presentation.

Nearly every Hoosier has visited one of the state’s great state parks. Zac Simpson ’09 spent his summer learning about the history and development of the state’s parks.

Nine students spent the first eight weeks of their summer in the project. The only surprising thing about Present Indiana is that we haven’t had more competition for the summer internship. It’s a well-paid, fun, and educational opportunity for Wabash men.

I’m lucky to help supervise the internship with David Clapp, director of international students. We guide the students in managing their time, narrowing the focus of their projects, and preparing their presentations.

Just Friday Jacob Peerman and Ross McKinney did a presentation on Indiana wine and cheese.

The students are available throughout the year to make on- or off-campus presentations on their projects. Indiana has much to offer – the grant funds projects to show new Hoosiers and older ones alike that the state is rich in cultural diversity.

Top right: Simpson. Lower left: Brown.

Pack the Stadium: It’s Wittenberg Week

Jim Amidon — I want to draw your attention to the Little Giant football team, which on Saturday will host North Coast Athletic Conference behemoth Wittenberg University. The rivalry between those Tigers and the Little Giants has become — dare I say — almost as big as Wabash’s rivalry with those other Tigers of DePauw.

Sure, the Monon Bell Classic will always be the big game on Wabash’s schedule. But since Wabash joined the NCAC and DePauw the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, the Bell game is different.

What gives the Wabash football team a purpose is the NCAC championship and the automatic berth the conference champs receive to the Division III playoffs. In most of the last 20 years, the team that has won the league title had to beat Wittenberg to get to the playoffs.

So while there will still be games to play in the NCAC after this Saturday, it’s safe to say the winner of the Wabash vs. Wittenberg game will be the team to beat in the league.

Wittenberg comes to Crawfordsville this weekend with a nifty 4-1 record and 2-0 mark in the league. After being shutout in their opener, the Tigers have reeled off four straight wins, including a 73-0 whomping of Earlham last week.

Wabash won its third road game Saturday by beating the Gators of Allegheny 28-20, raising the Little Giants’ record to 5-0 and 3-0 in league play.

If you didn’t have this week’s showdown marked on your calendar in August — and many people did — put it on your calendar today and plan to be at Byron P. Hollett Little Giant Stadium this Saturday at 1 p.m.

The Little Giants need your help this week, too. It’s fall break on campus, so many of the die-hard student supporters of the team will have gone home for a mid-semester break before the stretch run to final exams.

When a team as good as Wittenberg comes calling, you’d like to think you’ll have home field advantage. The folks in this community can certainly do their part by suiting up in anything Wabash red you have and showing up ready to be loud and proud in support of the Little Giants this Saturday.

If you come, you’ll see two of the winningest college football programs in the country; two programs with long and distinguished histories.

You’ll see two of the best-coached small college teams in the nation, who are bitter conference rivals playing every play as though it was the last play of the season.

You’ll see Wabash try to avenge last year’s 19-17 loss in Springfield, a game in which the Little Giants missed a short game-winning field goal as time ran out.

You’ll also see All-American linebacker Adi Pynenberg (left) and his defensive teammates trying to slow down a Wittenberg offense that has averaged over 600 yards and 60 points per game in its last two victories.

You can check out Wabash’s first-year starting quarterback, Matt Hudson (above right), whose family is from Crawfordsville, as he takes on his biggest challenge yet since stepping in for injured senior Dustin Huff. Hudson and the young Wabash offense will need to grow up quickly for Wabash to stay in the driver’s seat for the North Coast championship.

There are all sorts of reasons to be a fan of the Little Giants this weekend. But if you still need a reason, show up Saturday in support of the Wabash football team as a way of demonstrating your pride in the coaches and players who do so much for the youth of our community.

It’s October and football is in the air. The Little Giants are undefeated and mighty Wittenberg is coming to town. Show your heart, show your spirit, and come ready to be loud and proud for the Little Giants. And remember, Wabash Always Fights!