Wellesley Whiptails forge ahead in spring season

By Soojin Jeong '17, Contributing Photographer   

By Soojin Jeong ’17, Contributing Photographer

By SOOJIN JEONG ’17

Contributing Writer

On Saturday, the Wellesley Whiptails played in a round-robin tournament against Brown, Northeastern, MIT and Middlebury. The Whiptails began their first tournament with high energy and quick adjustments, due to the strength of the other teams and the weather.

“It’s been a while since any of us have thrown in the wind, and it takes a while to re-calibrate. We have some work to do, but our team is large and enthusiastic. It’s not a bad starting point for the year,” co-captain Johanna Okerlund ’14 said.

The tournament spanned two days with the Whips (A-team) playing on Saturday and the Tails (B-team) playing on Sunday.

“The Whips won once and the Tails won twice, which is pretty good for our first tournament of the spring season, and we’ll only keep improving from here,” Vivienne Shaw ’16 said.

The Whiptails have three practices per week that last at least two hours each. The co-captains work to balance everyone’s goals and keep practices enjoyable but also focused and informative. The focus of their drills and scrimmages can range from specific plays to general strategies to perfecting fundamental skills. Practicing indoors from Thanksgiving to spring break can present a problem.

“It’s hard to imitate playing outside in the elements and playing with each other on a full size field,” Sheree Liu ’17 said.

However, everyone continues to work hard and new members brought even more talent to the team.

“We got a lot of amazing, new players and even a bunch with playing experience from high school. I have no fear that this enthusiasm will carry to inspire future generations of Whiptails,” Okerlund said.

Okerlund joined the Whiptails as a first year and never regretted it. They cheer each other up and attend each other’s extracurricular performances with homemade signs.

“The Whiptail community became my family immediately and has remained so my entire time here. I have never felt so accepted for who I am, or loved and supported by a group of such amazing dynamic people,” Okerlund said.

The Whiptails also have a fantastic culture that includes nicknames, inside jokes, popular lingo and casual hangouts. Nicknames spring from members’ actions, words or funny conversations.

“Tyson got her nickname when she accidentally bit someone’s ear during a tournament like Mike Tyson. Bucket got her name because she carries a bucket to practice. Mingo got her name because she used to catch the disc like a flamingo,” Okerlund said.

Inside jokes include their longtime debate over the sexiest vegetable and slang like “clutch,” “truggle” and “wizard.”

“Some people may think of us as a cult on campus, but we are a welcoming cult. We love new people and even adopt non-Whiptails into the community as honorary members,” Okerlund said. “I think our community and spirit off the field makes us strong when we play.”

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