FAITHFULLY: Kielan Whitner relies on religion throughout his circuitous path to starting role at Syracuse

first_img Published on August 30, 2018 at 11:43 pm Contact Josh: jlschafe@syr.edu | @Schafer_44,Mountain View wouldn’t see a winning season in its first seven years. Former-head coach Tim Hardy left just months after naming Whitner a varsity starter during his freshman season. When his coach left, his friends followed suit.Whitner stayed.A two-star recruit, schools told him he wasn’t fast enough. Coaches valued other recruits more. He was undersized. Whitner committed to Appalachian State and finished his high school career without a single winning season.But then came the Syracuse offer which changed the course of his career. To attend a Power Five school, that he had always dreamed of, Whitner had to decommit.“When he had to call people and let them down, people that he didn’t want to let down, people that he genuinely liked and people that were very good to us … when he did that, that was rough,” said Whitner’s mother, Lisa. “He just wanted to go into his room and be by himself.”Whitner saw his first extended action of his college career against South Florida in a 45-24 loss. Then a true-freshman, he made several errors, including a personal foul call that all but solidified the outcome. The performance prompted an apology from Whitner on Twitter.After the game, Whitner found himself in what he called a tough place. Fans bombarded him on Twitter. Media dissected his errors. He turned to the Bible and found his favorite passage. Book 2 of Corinthians 12:8-10 reads:My power is made perfect in weakness“I just felt like you go through tough times, and that’s when you find, like, who you are as a person, and really build your strength through those tough times,” Whitner said.Less than a month later, Whitner registered a career-high nine tackles and forced a fumble against Louisville in a 41-17 loss. Syracuse finished the 2015 season 4-8. Scott Shafer was fired, resulting in more than half of Whitner’s freshman class leaving the program before their senior season.Whitner stayed.“At the end of the day you have to realize this is a business … they have to do what’s best for them and their family,” Whitner said. “I love coach Shafe and was sad to see him go. But at the same time, I was going to do everything in my power to be a guy for coach Babers and what they wanted a Syracuse football player to be.”Last year, Whitner observed senior linebackers Paris Bennett and Zaire Franklin. He hopes to mimic Bennett’s quick feet while also channeling the disruptive nature of Franklin in opposing backfields.His experience at multiple spots on the defense only helps when understanding his new position, Whitner said. He compared his role as a linebacker to that of a strong safety rolling down into the box.“He’s very, very intelligent and he cares,” head coach Dino Babers said. “The way he prepares and stuff, the things he does off the field, makes him a better him on the field.”Babers declined to name the starting linebackers during his last press conference of the preseason, leaving no clear indication that Whitner won the position battle.Regardless, Whitner is in a better place now. In his Twitter bio, he links to a different Bible passage. Matthew 6:33 reads:But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.“All this adversity, there’s not really anything I can do worrying about it or anything like that, so I’ve been at a good place,” Whitner said. “I just feel like in everything I do in my life, it’s most important if I focus on what God wants to in that situation rather than my own personal gain.”Cover photo by Paul Schlesinger | Staff Photographer,Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment. Mountain View wouldn’t see a winning season in its first seven years. Former-head coach Tim Hardy left just months after naming Whitner a varsity starter during his freshman season. When his coach left, his friends followed suit.Whitner stayed.A two-star recruit, schools told him he wasn’t fast enough. Coaches valued other recruits more. He was undersized. Whitner committed to Appalachian State and finished his high school career without a single winning season.But then came the Syracuse offer which changed the course of his career. To attend a Power Five school, that he had always dreamed of, Whitner had to decommit.“When he had to call people and let them down, people that he didn’t want to let down, people that he genuinely liked and people that were very good to us … when he did that, that was rough,” said Whitner’s mother, Lisa. “He just wanted to go into his room and be by himself.”Whitner saw his first extended action of his college career against South Florida in a 45-24 loss. Then a true-freshman, he made several errors, including a personal foul call that all but solidified the outcome. The performance prompted an apology from Whitner on Twitter.After the game, Whitner found himself in what he called a tough place. Fans bombarded him on Twitter. Media dissected his errors. He turned to the Bible and found his favorite passage. Book 2 of Corinthians 12:8-10 reads:My power is made perfect in weakness“I just felt like you go through tough times, and that’s when you find, like, who you are as a person, and really build your strength through those tough times,” Whitner said.Less than a month later, Whitner registered a career-high nine tackles and forced a fumble against Louisville in a 41-17 loss. Syracuse finished the 2015 season 4-8. Scott Shafer was fired, resulting in more than half of Whitner’s freshman class leaving the program before their senior season.Whitner stayed.“At the end of the day you have to realize this is a business … they have to do what’s best for them and their family,” Whitner said. “I love coach Shafe and was sad to see him go. But at the same time, I was going to do everything in my power to be a guy for coach Babers and what they wanted a Syracuse football player to be.”Last year, Whitner observed senior linebackers Paris Bennett and Zaire Franklin. He hopes to mimic Bennett’s quick feet while also channeling the disruptive nature of Franklin in opposing backfields.His experience at multiple spots on the defense only helps when understanding his new position, Whitner said. He compared his role as a linebacker to that of a strong safety rolling down into the box.“He’s very, very intelligent and he cares,” head coach Dino Babers said. “The way he prepares and stuff, the things he does off the field, makes him a better him on the field.”Babers declined to name the starting linebackers during his last press conference of the preseason, leaving no clear indication that Whitner won the position battle.Regardless, Whitner is in a better place now. In his Twitter bio, he links to a different Bible passage. Matthew 6:33 reads:But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.“All this adversity, there’s not really anything I can do worrying about it or anything like that, so I’ve been at a good place,” Whitner said. “I just feel like in everything I do in my life, it’s most important if I focus on what God wants to in that situation rather than my own personal gain.”Cover photo by Paul Schlesinger | Staff Photographer Two gold chains hang from Kielan Whitner’s neck. One dangles a block letter 25 his father gave him, and a cross. The other, resting further down his torso, carries a Miraculous Medal formerly worn by Whitner’s great-grandfather.The back of the medal displays an “M” merged with a cross, surrounded by stars, which represents the 12 apostles. On the front is an image of the Virgin Mary bordered by a message inscribed:O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.The self-proclaimed “mama’s boy” is a regular at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Syracuse. A senior at Syracuse, Whitner has had the same friends since grade school, and he’s never removed the rastafarian colored friendship bracelet on his left wrist, given to him on a mission trip in Haiti in summer 2015.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn Whitner’s freshman season at SU in 2015, he led all freshmen with 33 tackles. He entered 2016 fall camp as the starting strong safety, but finished the year with only three starts. In 2017, he switched positions to outside linebacker before moving back to safety in a supplemental role, tallying eight tackles on the season.This year, the senior is slotted as the starting weakside linebacker, his third position in four years.“You want to be that guy,” Whitner said. “Just, you know, being able to stay the course and contribute as much as I could to this team without trying to be selfish.”At the start of high school, Whitner and a group of friends agreed to attend Mountain View (Georgia) High School together. Built in 2009, the high school was new to Class 6A football.David Salanitri | Staff Photographercenter_img Commentslast_img read more

Calgary Flames set embarrassing franchise record in sixth consecutive loss

first_imgIt’s not the kind of record the Calgary Flames wanted to set.Not only did the team’s 5-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday extended their losing streak to six games, but it marked an entirely separate low: the Flames haven’t even held the lead in nearly that entire timeframe. Via @Sportsnet: #Flames pic.twitter.com/9C0jW07dxY— Ryan Pike (@RyanNPike) November 22, 2019The last time Bill Peters’ team held any sort of lead was during their 5-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Nov. 7, when Sean Monahan scored a go-ahead goal halfway through the second period.Since then? Six consecutive losses. Calgary has been outscored 23-5 in those games. They have not played even with the score tied since a Nov. 9 game against St. Louis went to overtime (the Flames lost 3-2). The Flames have been shut out in three straight road games for the first time in franchise history. Calgary players reportedly held their second closed-door meeting in the locker room in just eight games after the latest beating, in which team captain Mark Giordano told reporters they offered “just a lot of honesty” to one another.Head coach Peters told reporters on Nov. 5 that the Flames “need more out of some veteran guys” amid their ugly downward trajectory, disappointing for a group that expected to contend as the Western Conference’s team to beat again this season. The team will need to find that “more” soon or face season-defining consequences. After all, a certain team east of Alberta just recently went 400 minutes without holding a lead, and their coach was fired.last_img read more

Bill Peters has resigned as head coach of Calgary Flames

first_imgA statement from Bill Peters, in the form of a letter to CGY GM Brad Treliving:: pic.twitter.com/YouP6ZABrm— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) November 28, 2019Peters, 53, had been the head coach of the Flames since April 23, 2018. Before joining Calgary, Peters served four seasons as bench boss of the Carolina Hurricanes. He was absent from the team in Wednesday’s 3-2 OT win against Buffalo. Bill Peters has resigned as head coach of the Calgary Flames, GM Brad Treliving said during a press conference on Friday.The decision came following a firestorm of allegations in which Peters was accused of using racial slurs and abusive behavior toward former players.Former NHLer Akim Aliu, who played under Peters at the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs during the 2009-10 season, tweeted Tuesday that the coach repeatedly used racial slurs toward him before a morning skate. Aliu’s tweet quickly prompted reactions from others who played under Peters, with accusations of physical and verbal abuse coming from two other players.MORE: What to know about Calgary Flames’ investigation into Bill PetersThe NHL denounced Peters’ behavior as “repugnant and unacceptable” on Tuesday morning but offered no further comment until the matter was looked into more thoroughly, followed shortly by Flames general manager Brad Treliving dousing rumors that Peters had already been fired. Treliving stressed the need for a “thorough” investigation before making a decision. In the end, it was Peters’ decision to step away from the Flames organization.On Wednesday, Peters issued an apology to GM Brad Treliving saying, “Please accept this as a sincere apology to you, and the entire Calgary Flames organization, for offensive language I used in a professional setting a decade ago,” read the statement, which he also sent to TSN’s Bob McKenzie and Sportnet’s Eric Francis at the same time as Treliving. “I know that my comments have been the source of both anger and disappointment, and I understand why.” last_img read more