Opening Day bodes promise

first_imgBy the time you are reading this, March Madness will officially be in the books and college basketball will have a new champion after capturing America’s attention for the past few weeks. If you’re like me, and you’re wondering what you’re going to do with your life now that the tournament is over, don’t worry because Monday officially kicked off the 2015 baseball season.The USC baseball team has experienced success so far this season, and here’s to hoping the Dodgers can experience similar success and finally make it deep into the playoffs. Whether you’re a Dodger fan or not, America’s favorite pastime is back, and there are so many teams to look out for this season.At the bottom of my list of teams to watch is the Houston Astros. I admit that the only reason the ‘Stros even made the list is because of my personal ties to the team, but things are looking up for them this season, and maybe they won’t finish dead last this year. The recent move to the American League has been anything but easy for Houston, but they’ve added some depth to the bullpen and defense. Second baseman Jose Altuve returns and looks to carry last season’s offensive success into 2015. By putting this team on my list, I mean that they might hit a .500 record this year.Another team that has been somewhat quiet lately — by their standards, of course — is the New York Yankees. The Yankees are a veteran team that will now be without a captain. The team’s age raises a lot of concerns regarding injury, especially in the pitching rotation. Probably the biggest headline for the Yankees is the return of Alex Rodriguez from a yearlong suspension. I don’t think the Yankees will be a huge threat this season, but they are the Yankees and could definitely prove me wrong.The Detroit Tigers enter 2015 on the hunt for their              fifth-straight AL Central title. The pitching rotation has taken a blow due to injuries. Even Justin Verlander will be hampered due to a strained tricep. Though the pitching rotation has suffered some blows, the offense should remain strong enough to give the Tigers a chance at the playoffs.The Pittsburgh Pirates have emerged in the past couple seasons as playoff contenders and look to continue their playoff streak this season. They don’t have quite the potential that they had last season, but if they can successfully overcome injuries they could make a run for the postseason.The San Diego Padres are definitely a team on the rise, especially after the offseason they had. They added former Dodgers star Matt Kemp on the offense, and closer Craig Kimbrel from the Atlanta Braves. They have to compete in a tough NL West Division against the Dodgers and Giants, but if their offseason additions pan out, they could make a run for the NL West title.The Los Angeles Angels are a force to be reckoned with, even if they have to play without Josh Hamilton. The combination of reigning American League MVP Mike Trout and Albert Pujols should more than make up for Hamilton’s absence. Their offense will be enough to carry whatever their defense lacks.The Angels’ crosstown rivals, the Dodgers, look to reclaim their NL West title. The          one-two punch of NL MVP and Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke lead the pitching rotation. Behind them is explosive outfielder Yasiel Puig and new addition Joc Pederson, along with shortstop Jimmy Rollins.Unfortunately for the Dodgers, the St. Louis Cardinals aren’t going anywhere and seem to be Kershaw’s achilles’ heel. The Cardinals have a dominant offense headlined by Jason Heyward and a bullpen led by Adam Wainwright. The Cardinals have made a strong postseason showing the past few seasons and could finally make the push to the World Series this season.A record 115 players begin the season on the disabled list, and unfortunately for the reigning champions, Hunter Pence is one of the 115. Their rotation behind Madison Bumgarner is aging quickly, but no one thought the Giants would make it deep into the postseason last year, and they took home the title.Yesterday was day one of a long season, and as we’ve seen in the past, anything can happen.Regan Estes is a sophomore majoring in public relations and Spanish. She is also the sports editor of  the Daily Trojan. Her column “Wild Wild Westes,” runs on Tuesdays.last_img read more

Family ties led the Wesson brothers to Ohio State

first_img Published on November 28, 2018 at 11:04 am Contact Anthony: amdabbun@syr.edu After each Ohio State home basketball game, Keith and Stephanie Wesson wait for their two sons in Section 124 of Value City Arena. They’re not alone, though. Andre and Kaleb have at least 20 family members and friends waiting for them post game. Through high school and in college, the Wesson parents have traveled to every home and away game, and the extended family all have home season tickets to follow. “At the end of every game everyone gravitates to us,” Keith said. “Some people call it the Wesson box.”The ability to play in front of grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunts and close friends drove Keith to Ohio State in 1982. 31 years after their father graduated from OSU, both Wesson brothers are now starters for the Buckeyes. They’ll play in front of their family in the “Wesson box” Wednesday night for No. 16 Ohio State (6-0) as the Buckeyes host Syracuse (3-2). Andre is now in his third year at Ohio State, Kaleb is in his second. Both have seen a career-high 24.2 minutes per game in 2018.“Growing up in Columbus, all you hear about is Ohio State,” Wesson said. “You hear about all the games, you go to the games, you’re on campus a lot.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textKaleb and Andre have played basketball together since they were six years old, at the North YMCA in Columbus. For years, Keith said people tried to separate them. Kaleb’s 6-foot-9 size and ability led to interest from national AAU programs while Andre didn’t initially receive the same recognition.“We never allowed people to separate them,” Keith said.  “If both of them couldn’t play for a team, neither of them could. That was my call.”They attended the same AAU tournaments as members of the Mustang Ballers until Kaleb’s freshman year of high school, when they switched to the All Ohio Red team in the Nike Elite Young Basketball League. The Wesson brothers trained multiple times a week together with Renny Tyson at the Intense Basketball Training Academy, also in Columbus. Even after starting college, Keith said that they still train with Tyson over the summer.Whether it was video games or basketball, the two dueled almost daily. When they weren’t playing one-on-one in the driveway of their Westerville home, they were indoors, playing NBA 2K or Madden.“When they were young, my wife and I thought they were going to kill each other,” Keith said. Eventually, the fighting turned into encouragement as teammates. Andre said that Kaleb is his “biggest supporter.” Courtesy of Ohio State AthleticsIn Andre’s junior and Kaleb’s sophomore year at Westerville South High School, they came up one game short of the state championship. Playing on the Ohio State hardwood in front of 10,664 people, it was the biggest crowd they had played in front of. Huber Heights’ Wayne High School defeated the Wessons and Westerville South, 65-57. It was just the second loss of Westerville’s season.Kaleb received an offer from Ohio State near the end of his sophomore year. His father urged him to at least visit other schools. But Kaleb didn’t bother. He only wanted to be a Buckeye.“A lot of people think it was a package deal but it was not,” Keith said. “We always talked about how it would be nice to play together in college though.”At that point, Andre was ending his junior year and hadn’t received as much attention from the high-major Division I schools. His senior year, everything changed. Butler, Texas, Richmond and Xavier showed interest. But in April, then-Ohio State head coach Thad Matta offered. He could play alongside his brother at his father’s alma mater. Even when Matta left after Andre’s freshman year, current Buckeyes’ head coach Chris Holtmann had recruited Andre from his Butler days and developed a close relationship with him then.“Once I got my Ohio State offer, he definitely was pushing me,” Andre said of Kaleb. “He was a big part of the process.”The ensuing season, their final year together in high school, Westerville South returned to the state championship. Same arena and even bigger crowd of 13,722. This time, the Wesson brothers aided Westerville South to the state title in a 57-55 win against Lima Senior. “The biggest thing we learned is that the lights can’t be too big,” Andre said. “Some of the lights got to us, and our senior year we had everyone back and won it.”Less than one month after scoring 14 points in the state championship win, Andre committed to Ohio State. On the court, the Wesson brothers complement each other well. Off the court, they couldn’t be more different.Kaleb is a 6-9 forward with a well-developed post game. He’s able to both score and pass out of the post efficiently, Westerville South head coach Ed Calo said. Andre, a 6-foot-6 wing, guarded all five positions in high school and now can guard four spots in college.“They are night and day. Sometimes it’s hard to believe they grew up in the same household,” Keith said. “Kaleb will talk to anybody, he wants to be on the go, very outgoing. Andre is the opposite, he’s very reserved. He doesn’t open up to just anybody.”Wednesday night, when the Wesson brothers take the court, Andre will see his parents in section 124. They’re a constant reminder of the most valuable lesson he said he’s learned at Ohio State.“You need other people,” Andre said. “You can’t do anything by yourself to be good or be successful.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more