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

Wayne Rooney granted Manchester United testimonial for charity, Cristiano Ronaldo invited

first_imgManchester United have granted Wayne Rooney a testimonial with all the profits going to charity following a campaign by supporters to honour the striker’s long service to the club.Rooney will play in a testimonial match for a Manchester United XI against a yet-to-be-named opponent at Old Trafford on August 3, 2016.Details of the players and managers who will be involved on the day are expected to be revealed over the next few weeks.The 30-year-old has vowed to donate all the profits from the match to the NSPCC, Alder Hey Childrens’ Hospital, Claire House Hospice, and the Manchester United Foundation through the newly-formed Wayne Rooney foundation.Rooney’s representatives said United awarded the striker the testimonial following a meeting between “like-minded individuals and Manchester United fans” who wrote to executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward asking that a testimonial be awarded following the player’s 11-year spell at the club.”I would like to thank everyone involved in making this testimonial become a reality,” the United and England captain said. “Most of all I want to thank the fans for all their incredible support for me and the team since I joined the club.”The match night will obviously be special for me and my family but I hope it will be a night of celebration for all involved and that we can also deliver one or two surprises.”Most of all I hope the fans will come out in force and help raise as much money as possible for these amazing charities, all of which are very close to my heart for different reasons.”Since joining United from Everton in 2004, Rooney has won the Premier League five times, the League Cup twice and the Champions League on one occasion.The striker has also gained a host of individual accolades and is now just 13 goals short of Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time scoring record. “I am delighted that United fans will be able to celebrate Wayne’s amazing years at the club in this way,” Woodward said.  “From his sensational debut hat-trick to the latest of his 236 goals, he has been a central figure in what has been one of the most successful periods in the club’s history, winning everything from the Club World Cup, through the Champions League and League Cup to his five Premier League titles.”Wayne has selected good causes very close to his heart and the club is delighted to play its part, in providing Old Trafford as a fitting stage for such a game.”Rooney’s agent Paul Stretford added: “When I told Wayne that the a group of fans had come together to form a testimonial committee in his honour and had been granted the rights by the club he immediately insisted that all money raised should go to charities working for disadvantaged and sick children.”I wasn’t surprised because it is typical of Wayne as a man and as father. On Wayne’s behalf we are now working hard to make the event a huge success, memorable for the fans, and creating real benefits for those who depend on Wayne’s charities.” –last_img read more

Suffolk golf club wins top national award

first_img Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club in Suffolk has become the first winner of England Golf’s Championship Venue of the Year Award, sponsored by Travelbag.The club was honoured at last night’s England Golf Awards 2018, sponsored by Bridgestone. About 500 guests attended the glittering, black tie event at the Royal Lancaster London to celebrate all that’s great about golf in England.Felixstowe Ferry hosted the 2017 English Women’s County Championship, a five day tournament involving six teams and their many supporters, which was eventually won by Yorkshire.Alison Kemp, who was ladies’ captain in 2017, said: “This just means everything to the club.” Jo Woodward, who helped to organise the event, added: “We are absolutely over the moon, this is testament to all the hard work that went into the championship by all the volunteers and staff, we have a great team  at Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club.”The club produced a course in tip-top condition and its army of volunteers included tireless hostesses who looked after the needs of each team. The club overcame a shortage of space for spectators by setting up a refreshment tent – serving Pimm’s in the afternoon – which turned into a tournament hub.The attention to detail was remarkable, right down to the seaside-themed decorations on each team’s table and the specially produced signage which helped to organise the car park – and even the members’ dogs wore club collars.The new award was introduced to recognise the contribution of the golf clubs which host England Golf’s 55 championships and tournaments each year, offering competition to 6000 players, ranging from handicap golfers to elite amateurs.England Golf championship director James Crampton commented: “We couldn’t run our events without the amazing support of our clubs and volunteers. All three of our finalists went above and beyond to make their events outstanding successes and deciding on our winner was extremely difficult.“Felixstowe Ferry won through because of the scale of their enthusiasm. The club got right behind the event from our very first meeting and the support they gave us was quite exceptional.”The other finalists for the award were Goswick Golf Club, Northumberland, which hosted the English Senior Men’s County Championship – also won by Yorkshire; and Manchester Golf Club, hosts of the English U14 Boys’ Open Championship for the Reid Trophy, won by the South African Casey Jarvis.Caption: Felixstowe Golf Club representatives (from left) Alison Kemp, Jo Woodward and club secretary David Spencer, with their award. It was presented by Ian Sykes from sponsors Travelbag 22 Feb 2018 Suffolk golf club wins top national award Tags: Award, Championship Venue of the Year, Felixstowe Ferrylast_img read more