Montreat - Alex Wheet (SO/Durham, NC) is a rising junior for the Cavaliers' men's lacrosse team and plays both midfield and attack. Wheet is an inaugural member of the program at Montreat and is proving a versatile veteran presence for both offensive units. In the classroom, he's an Exercise Science major and Cybersecurity minor. With a large incoming freshman class this fall, the team will increasingly turn to upperclassmen such as Wheet to model the on-field and off-field attributes of a successful college student-athlete at Montreat.
What was your prior playing experience? I've been playing lacrosse since the 6th grade. I also played for my high school, Charles E Jordan, and various club teams.
You're an attackman and a middie and this year played both. What are the challenges and fun parts of each or either position? The challenges, to me, seem to be the same. If you're on offense, score a goal. If you're on defense, make sure the opponent doesn't score a goal. As long as everyone is doing their job and paying attention, then your job no matter what position becomes less stressful. The fun of it, to me, is experiencing something new about lacrosse. I've played attack for my entire career and playing the new position is refreshing and fun.
You guys are around each other a lot; one place is at Chapel each week. What's it like to attend as a team and what is an impact that it's having? It's a good team-building time for us. It allows us to grow together in our Faith and grow together as brothers.
What do you hope to do after college? I plan to take the test and get my C.S.C.S (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) certification. With this certification, the goal is to become the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for a college or university. Maybe get a Masters Degree sometime in-between there.
What are your best or most significant memories since you arrived at Montreat? A lot of the memories involve growing relationships with people both inside and outside the team. Late night runs to Cook-Out [restaurant] and all of the memories from our away games traveling together.
What do you see as the biggest difference for you in year one and year two as far as developing as a student-athlete, either on the field or off? The biggest thing I learned was how to split the time between school and sports. Learning to organize time now will definitely help me in the future.
Talk a little about getting up to the Black Mountain Children's Home to volunteer Volunteering at the Children's Home is a great opportunity. For the team, we get work together more and learn about each other and how we work as a team. Volunteering there is also the least we can do to help them. The Children's Home does so much for the community and for the kids, that the opportunity to provide basic lawn care or anything really, is huge. We're also grateful to them for letting us use their field to practice on.
As a Durham product, has Montreat finally bumped Duke out of your top spot for favorite lacrosse team? Both teams have a special place in my heart; I'll just say that.
Montreat - Rodney Williams (Winston-Salem, NC) is a rising senior on the men's lacrosse team and is one of the original members of the Montreat squad from 2015. This spring he took up the long-stick midfielder (LSM) position for the Cavaliers. An LSM must possess the ability to play strong defense, push the ball in transition, man the wing on faceoffs, and regularly gather in groundballs while using a defenseman's 6' long pole. As 2016 progressed and the Cavs steadily improved, Williams proved invaluable at the spot. The midfielder also shone in the classroom as he was one of a league-leading three Cavaliers named to the eight-man Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) All-Academic team.
How did you decide on Montreat?
God decided for me. I was looking for a fresh start after leaving my previous school [Gardner-Webb] – a place where I could play lacrosse again and develop spiritually. Coach McMinn spoke with my high school coach and as a result, I was led to come to Montreat after realizing it had all that I wanted.
How did you hear about the team? What was your prior playing experience?
I was recruited and I played lacrosse for Forsyth Country Day School before attending Montreat College.
You're an LSM. What are the hard parts about the position and what do you enjoy most?
The most challenging part is trusting my brothers. I love them, but I was used to making the big plays in high school football. The trust translated into lacrosse the more I learned about the game. As to the hard parts – one is not getting down on myself when I make a mistake. I enjoy getting ground balls and making good checks. Especially unexpected trail checks (when necessary).
You guys are around each other a lot; one place is at Chapel each week. What's it like to attend as a team and what is an impact that it's having?
I believe attending Chapel is important altogether. From a spiritual aspect, I believe it helps us grow closer to each other and God.
What do you hope to do after college?
I hope to attend Wake Forest University for Medical School. I would like to be a psychiatrist one day.
What are your plans for the summer?
For my summer, I am completing an internship at [Winston-Salem based] Top Priority Care Services. I shadow therapists and psychiatrists. I also learn how to diagnose clients and include play therapy when necessary.
What are your best or most significant memories since you arrived at Montreat?
Persevering with my brothers, playing video games, and cracking jokes are all among the memories I will always cherish. In addition to seeing them all grow into men along with myself.