It's a real treat for us here at Streaking the Lawn to get a chance to interview one of the players on a team we'll be playing this year. And that's exactly what we have here in Wofford's Taylor Wagener. It turns out that Wagener, a senior from Charlotte, N.C., has a pretty solid connection to Virginia, so read on!
Streaking the Lawn: Only three of Wofford's first fourteen games are at home. What's it like traveling that much at the start of the season? Do you think its a good experience for later on?
Taylor Wagener: It's will be a tough stretch, as it would be for any team playing on the road that much, that soon. With how young we are, (7 Freshman, 6 Sophomores, 1 Junior, and 1 Senior) it will be a major learning experience, and it will bring us closer together as a team, preparing us for our Southern Conference games later in the year.
STL: What was your biggest loss from last season's team?
TW: We lost a lot from last year to this year, but we also lost a lot from 2011, when we repeated as Southern Conference Champions, to last year as well. Last year's group of guys were special, and they were winners, and our goal is not to replace them. You can't replace a Loesing or a Giltner or a Tecklenburg or a Crowell or a Steelman. They all brought intricate parts to making last year, as well as the two SoCon Championships, the special runs that they were.
STL: Who is the freshman that you think will make the biggest impact this year?
TW: Again, I look at the freshman class as contributing by committee. We lost 6 guys, and we are bringing in 7 new ones, all ready and eager to help this team, and it will be a process, but all 7 are more than capable to stepping up and helping this team succeed.
STL: The Terriers were picked to finish fourth in the Southern Conference South Division this year. Do you think that's a fair prediction?
TW: I don't tend to look much as predictions, nor does Coach or the rest of the guys. We were projected 5th in our half last year and we ended up finishing 2nd overall, and we weren't projected to win either of the years we won the Conference Championship. We like being the underdogs, it's all the Sophomores on the team know, it's exciting, and we will sneak up on some people this year.
STL: Which Wofford player do Virginia fans need to watch out for most this year?
TW: Watch out for Mike Young, the best coach in America. This guy is a winner, and I have been blessed to get the opportunity to play under him for 4 years. We've got a lot of guys ready to help this team win, after the game you tell me which player impressed you the most, because we've got a whole bunch of guys ready to step up on any given night.
STL: Which of Virginia's players gives you the most concern?
TW: I haven't been able to check out Virginia yet, but two of my high school teammates and really close friends are on the team in Akil Mitchell and Anthony Gill, and I'm really excited to be able to play against them, Akil for the first time, AG for the second, as we played him last year when he was at South Carolina.