Monthly Archives: October 2014

Sights & Sounds

 

Hannah Yager, with the Florida Public Relations Association, advertises group by writing in chalk on the sidewalk outside of the Communication Arts Building.Photo by Christian Graves

Hannah Yager, with the Florida Public Relations Association, advertises group by writing in chalk on the sidewalk outside of the Communication Arts Building.
Photo by Christian Graves


 

“I really like the Communications Department… This is my senior year, and I feel confident that I can get a job in the Pensacola area with the great professors I’ve had.”

— Hannah Yager

 

UWF soccer games end in same score, opposite outcome

Aaron Jacobs
Staff Writer

Women’s

The University of West Florida women’s soccer team dropped a close match to the University of West Alabama by a score of 2-1 last Sunday, October 19.

The Argonauts fell behind early on a goal by the Tigers’ senior forward Nicki Gears with 23:49 to play in the first half. The Tigers went up 2-0 on a penalty kick with 57 seconds left in the half that junior defender Lauren Tate powered past a diving Katelyn Burkhart.

The Tigers maintained their undefeated record on the road and held on to first place in the Gulf South Conference. Head Coach Graeme Orr praised his team’s efforts after the game.

“I’m obviously delighted with their attitude and application,” Orr said. “I thought they came out today with a good game plan and I thought they walked their socks off for each other.”

After falling behind early, the Argos battled back in the second half. Freshman midfielder Taylor Burkhart’s shot from near midfield soared just over the outstretched arms of Tigers’ goalkeeper Issy Foster and into the back of the net with 29:23 to play in the second half.

Despite the loss, Coach Joe Bartlinski found a silver lining in the way his team responded in the second half.

“[I’m] pleased with the second half effort and the mentality of this young team,” Bartlinski said. “We needed to play in the first half like we did the second half, but you know when you have five freshmen starting, these things kind of happen.”

Senior midfielder April Syme echoed her coach’s thoughts.

“If you don’t have it in the first half, you’re not gonna win many games,” Syme said. “But I think we just need to come up with that mentality like we did in the second half and we’ll be more successful.”

The Argonauts are currently sitting at sixth place among teams eligible for the Gulf South Conference tournament in November. Only the top six teams qualify for the tournament. Bartlinski, however, is optimistic about his team’s tournament chances.

“I think with a couple good weeks of training, we’ve positioned ourselves quietly,” Bartlinski said. “We’ve got to get in it, and if we do that, this is gonna be a tough team to beat when tournament time comes.”

The Argos have two games remaining in the regular season after the team won the last two games on the road.

The Argos shut-out Delta State 2-0 and overcame Mississippi College 2-1 after a late equalizer by the opponents.

Their next game will be Senior Night against Valdosta State at home on Friday at 5 p.m.

Men’s

The University of West Florida men’s soccer team grinded out a 2-1 victory last Sunday, October 19, in a physical match-up against the West Alabama Tigers.

The Argonauts jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead within the first eight minutes of the game, and held on the rest of the way. Junior midfielder Jorge Chirinos scored just 1:50 into the game, off the assist from junior midfielder Pablo Paz.

Chirinos would return the favor minutes later, assisting on a Paz goal with 37:17 to play in the first half.

“I think we had that in mind, you know, we had to [score] as soon as we could,” said Paz. “That was our goal, going after them and trying to score early goals.”

The Tigers werre unable to finish their opportunities in the first half, but fought their way back into it in a testy second half littered with yellow cards. All told, seven players received yellow cards in the second half, four from UWF and three for West Alabama.

Tigers’ senior forward Vitor Gazza was ejected after receiving a red card with just over 20 minutes to play, forcing the Tigers to play a man down for the rest of the game.

“It was a scrappy second half,” West Alabama head coach Matthew Thorne said. “It’s difficult enough to play West Florida with eleven men, let alone playing with ten men. But I was proud of how the players pushed on and fought till the last second. “

Tigers’ senior midfielder Evan Beutler cut the Argos’ lead in half with a one-touch shot off of the assist from Gazza that found the net with 30:00 to play in the second half. But the Argos were able to use the extra man advantage to pass the ball around on offense and pester the Tigers back line.

For Argos’ Head Coach Bill Elliott, it was a relief to get a victory coming off a tough homecoming loss on Friday.

“For us to get two quick goals, I think everyone on our team breathed a sigh of relief,” Elliott said. “We showed that we were hungry to get a win, and sometimes things aren’t always gonna be pretty, you have to grind it out a little bit so to speak.

“I was pleased that we did that because I don’t know if we would have done that early in the year,” he said.

The Argonauts have one regular season game remaining after two tough losses over the weekend against Delta State in overtime and Mississippi College 1-0.

The men’s team will play their last regular season game on Friday when they face-off against Spring Hill College at 7:30 p.m.

‘Coming out’ when your dad steals your thunder

Emily Gonçalo

Emily Gonçalo

Emily Gonçalo
L&E Editor

I was 11 years old when I first heard the word. Gay.

Some popular girls in the sixth grade at my after school program were trading stickers and I overheard one ask for a rainbow sticker.

“Ew no, rainbow means gay, don’t touch it,” another replied.

I had no idea what it meant, but her tone was clearly negative, and I was not about to ask my parents, just in case it was “a bad word.” For years I believed that gay was synonymous with words like stupid, dumb or lame, and in a desperate attempt to make friends at a new school I went along for the ride.

It is now ten years later and a lot has changed since I was in fifth grade. My parents separated and divorced over the course of six years and I later learned it was because my dad is gay. Then, I figured out that I am gay too.

The social stigma that comes with the territory of being associated with the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) community is often extremely negative, especially for small southern towns. It makes it nearly impossible to talk about, and encourages society to shame and humiliate people in the community.

No amount of “It Gets Better” campaigns will make a young person struggling with their sexuality feel better when everyone in their life speaks negatively about a group of people they strongly identify with.

The internal conflict that comes from hiding your sexuality is unavoidable for the vast majority of the LGBTQ community who are discovering themselves for the first time.

For a long time after my parent’s separation I only saw my dad once or twice a week. At an age that is full of angst for most teens, I was no exception. I was angry. Furious, even.

I had no idea what was going on in my family, or why my dad was living in an apartment a few blocks from the house. I wanted to know how my father could be present and involved for the first 13 years of my life, and then leave suddenly.

The answer to my rage-filled questions, of course, was nothing. I had done nothing wrong.

The reason I had questions like that stems from the lack of communication between my parents and me, and the rest of my siblings.

When most people talk about their parents divorce they remember a time where their parents sat them down to discuss that they would no longer be living together.

This didn’t happen with my family.

My family moved to Florida from a small town just north of Boston, Massachusetts, shortly after my tenth birthday.

Life in the northeast was all I knew, and it was quickly ripped from me with little-to-no warning.

The only discussion my parents had with me about the move was to tell me they were going away for the weekend to look at houses.

Nowhere in my 10-year-old mind did “look at houses” translate to “we will be moving in a few months when we sell the house we’ve been renovating for the last five years.”

There was never a time where we were told what was happening. All my siblings and I knew was that we had just moved over 1,000 miles, and within two years our dad wasn’t living in our house anymore.

I got through my teenage rebellion like any other person did. Doors were slammed. Sad rock music was blasted through my headphones. My eye make-up got darker.

When I entered high school I started to realize I was different. I didn’t know how, but I could never quite find a group of friends I clicked with. I was always floating around, meeting lots of people, but mostly I had many acquaintances and only a handful of friends that I met years before at church.

I dated boys, and I liked being in their company. I was okay with dating and boys until it came to showing affection. I wanted no part in any of it, but I told myself that it was because I just hadn’t met the right guy yet.

I started making excuses so I didn’t have to spend any time alone with a boy, and I refused to lie to my parents in order to be alone with a boyfriend. I didn’t do it out of integrity. I did it because I wanted to make sure I there was no way he could make a move on me.

I couldn’t talk to anyone about the way I felt because I knew I would be judged. My relationship with my parents was non-existent in my high school years, and the strong friendships I did have were rooted in the Christian church.

Nearing the end of my junior year of high school I met a girl, and we quickly became friends. She would show more affection than my other friends did, but I never thought anything of it. If anything, I thought she was just a very nice person.

Suddenly my internal conflict intensified, and I started seeing Human Rights Campaign posters and other LGBTQ community relevant posters everywhere. It was the first time I was able to see “the gay lifestyle” in a positive light.

I couldn’t just brush them off. They were constantly on my mind, and I was even more worried because according to the way I was raised it was wrong to even look at “things like that,” let alone join them.

I could never get it off my mind, and my grades began slipping from A’s to B’s and B’s to C’s and from C’s to D’s. Of course this only made me feel worse about myself. I had a terrible self-image. Everything my parents wanted for me was slipping right out of my hands.

I began to question myself, and over a period of about six months I thought about it non-stop.

The church I was brought up in was not as strict as some, but it definitely had most of the stereotypical Christian values at its core. To be gay was an abomination before God. I knew if it were true I would go to hell.

I remember a specific Sunday school lesson where we were taught what Hell was like. According to the church, Hell is an eternity with no forgiveness for your sins. You burn forever in a boiling lake of sulfur, which, in case you were wondering is pretty hot. Sulfur boils at 832.3 degrees.

Of course I was terrified. I was scared to death and of death, but I confided the biggest secret I had ever had in my best friend, who I had known since ninth grade. She was encouraging and positive, or so I thought.

At the end of the year I went to a party with my best friend, and she asked if she could tell another friend of ours. I nervously said yes. That one friend became the whole grade, and in the weeks after I lost most of the “friends” I had.

I spent the summer between junior and senior year figuring out what I wanted to do about this secret of mine that had already cost me some friends and maybe even my family down the road.

I never got bullied for being gay, but I was ostracized and most of the people I had considered friends turned their backs on me.

Eventually I became comfortable with my sexuality, and even though I didn’t like hiding who I really was from the people I cared about, I enjoyed having something about myself that most of the people I interacted with daily didn’t know.

In the middle of my senior year I met a girl I liked. We dated about a month before she convinced me to tell my dad about our relationship. I was horrified by the idea, but I knew I would have to tell the truth sooner or later.

What I was really worried about was my parents rejecting me, kicking me out or making me go to some form of corrective therapy.

So I sat down, and as my dad always taught me, I wrote a “strongly worded e-mail” telling him the truth. I talked about how I didn’t know something like this could happen to me, how scared I was and how depressed the reality of being gay had made me for a long time.

His reply seemed to take forever, but eventually I got a text from him that said, “Don’t worry, I won’t tell. I love you. Come over for dinner later.”

I was in shock. I thought for sure that would be the last straw and he would disown me for good.

The girl I was seeing at the time was pleased that I didn’t have to lie about her anymore. But then things started to get weirder. When we would talk about my dad she would say things like, “so, is he gay, or just metro?” To which I would always reply, “well, he and my mom made me, so I guess he’s just metro.”

I always had my suspicions about him, but it made no sense that I would be brought into this world by a gay man and a straight woman. That was impossible. That would mean he didn’t want me in the first place, right?

We went on like nothing had changed for a few months. Then, one day my dad asked me to come to his house for lunch before I went to school. When I got there we sat and ate like normal, and then he started to get nervous.

“So, I have something to tell you,” he said.

Oh god, I thought. He’s going to tell me he met another woman he wants to be with instead of my mom.

“I’m gay… too,” he said.

I wish I could say I was welcoming to him, but the truth is that I was silenced by my own shock and surprise.

So all I said was, “Okay.”

“What, you’re not surprised?” he said.

Well, no. At that point I had had my doubts for months, and his coming out only confirmed speculation.

And now I was mad at him again. How could he do that? By coming out he had inherently made my coming out to my mother that much harder.

It only took a few more months to build up the courage to talk to my mom and tell her. I wasn’t sure how she would react. I wanted to ask my dad, but somehow I think their conversation didn’t turn out the same way ours would.

When I sat down to tell her I couldn’t get the words out of my mouth. She basically had to guess what I was going to say, and then she cried. She said this isn’t the life she wanted for me.

Coming out in a safe environment is hard. Coming out in a not-so-safe environment is nearly impossible.

Sometimes it’s not about “being true to yourself.” Sometimes it’s about protecting yourself from physical and emotional torment.

In retrospect, I made it to the other side pretty easily. Coming out in my dad’s shadow wasn’t exactly how I pictured it, but that’s how it happened.

Looking back now, the whole event is comical to me. I was so stressed and confused over this part of myself that I was told didn’t and couldn’t exist, and once I came to terms with it my life improved 110 percent.

Illyria director: ‘A lot of labor has gone into this show’

Illyria director Kris Danforth Photo by Christine Cain-Weidner

Illyria director Kris Danforth
Photo by Christine Cain-Weidner

Ashley Seifert
Staff Writer

When a musical graces a stage, the sheer amount of work that goes into its overall production is likely the farthest thing from the audience’s mind.

Various positions, not including those of the characters involved in the storyline, must be filled to ensure a successful production.

“A lot of labor has gone into this show, but Illyria’s not alone in that,” director Kris Danford said. “With the amount of work needed to make this musical a success, students have managed to build an assortment of skills not only for this production but for themselves as well.”

Danford said that most of the costumes are made from scratch. Every student in the department contributed to sets and costumes. Students do hours in the scene shop or costume shop as part of their class work.

A comedic adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Illyria revolves around the story of Viola and her twin brother, Sebastian. Upon being shipwrecked and then being separated from Sebastian, Viola chooses to disguise herself as a man named Cesario to conceal her identity and winds up in the employ of Duke Orsino, who she then falls in love with.

Senior Rachel Lewis, who was cast to play Viola, said that if she had to pick a quality of Viola’s she considered her most favorite; it would have to be her strength.

“She is very outspoken and a fiery-spirited person, which is actually a personality trait I have started cultivating within myself this year,” Lewis said in an email. “My own nature is, by default, very calm and relaxed, which I enjoy, but I’m working to find an inner balance between relaxed and ferocious. So this role and opportunity has brought me closer to that personal aspiration and made my connection with Viola even stronger.”

Junior Andrew Terwilliger also noted having a strong connection to his character, Duke Orsino.

“Orsino wears his heart on his sleeve and makes no reservations about being a ‘lover of love,’” Terwilliger said in an email. “One might say that he is indeed in love with being in love, but I think he is truly just a passionate human being who is lonely and heartbroken.”

Terwilliger added that the rehearsal process of the show is the only part of the production that is specifically about the actors and how they develop their characters.

“In general, the rehearsal process has gone as most do, a lot of exploration and playing with justifications for our actions within the text,” Lewis said. “I remember when after a not-so-great night of rehearsal, our director, Kris Danford, said not to be discouraged as this is sometimes a ‘two steps forward, one step back’ process.”

Lewis said that, as a result, she can reflect on how a rehearsal feels in comparison to a different one.

“Often times, that can have a lot to do with how I spend my time pre-rehearsal,” Lewis said, “Warming up is essential, and I have started to better identify what my body needs in order to have an efficient rehearsal I can feel happy about.”

Terwilliger said the rehearsal process is his favorite part because it’s the part in which an actor truly gets to slip into someone else’s skin and become someone else for a few hours every night.

“In order to develop a character, we were encouraged to not only read through Illyria several times, but many of us chose to read through the musical’s source material,” Terwilliger said. “We relied heavily on our training in the Meisner technique as well, which teaches that actors must ‘live truthfully in imaginary circumstances.’”

Terwilliger said that allowed them not only to develop characters, but also to develop real characters with truthful actions and emotions as opposed to just being cartoons on a stage.

On the other hand, as someone who was assigned the position of light board operator and given the responsibility of pressing the “go” button for any light cue changes, Junior Tammy Babich said light board ops generally don’t have any special rehearsals. She said that instead the lighting crew has special workdays and during those days, they have a different goal each time.

“For example, we have load-in days, where we hang up all the lighting instruments and the colors and patterns the lighting designer wants,” Babich said in an email. “Then we have focus days, where we go to each of these lighting fixtures and make sure they’re focused and pointed in whatever position the lighting designer wants.”

Babich said that other than that, any technical stuff only happens during “tech week,” which is the week before the show opens. She said that that essentially means the crewmembers only have a week to learn all the things the actors have been rehearsing over the past five weeks.

“It’s the most hectic and exhilarating part of the rehearsal process and it’s the finishing element of a show,” Babich said. “It ties everything together because the lights are finally used and the costumes, wigs and makeup are all applied. It makes the show so much more real and close.”

13th Annual Wheelchair Basketball Game celebrates disability awareness month

Head coach Sammy Duffy before the 13th Annual Wheelchair Basketball Game. Photo by Iqueena Hollis

Head coach Sammy Duffy before the 13th Annual Wheelchair Basketball Game.
Photo by Iqueena Hollis

Iqueena Hollis
Staff Writer

The Mobile Patriots from Alabama won the 13th Annual Wheelchair Basketball Game against University of West Florida faculty, staff and students in the Field House Thursday, Oct. 23 at 6 p.m.

The event, put on by the American Disability Association compliance through the human resources department, occurs every year along with other events that are held in observance National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Participants were able to play a traditional game of basketball against a team of wheelchair bound professional basketball players.

“Our goal is to promote inclusion,” said Sylvia Patterson, ADA coordinator and senior human resources specialist. “We want students to recognize that people with disabilities have abilities as well.”

Sammy Duffy, head coach of the Patriots, said he enjoys participating in games and letting people see the skills possessed by disabled people. Being 31 at the time his disability began, Duffy has a unique connection to the team.

“I love the game of basketball and this team has done a lot for me in my personal life and in the community,” Duffy said. “It has made me a better person.

“I had a daughter who passed away in ‘88. Then, in ‘89 I broke my back in a car wreck. And in ‘90, I lost my wife. If it wouldn’t have been for the Mobile Patriots wheelchair basketball team, I don’t know what I would have done.”

Members from all levels of the university, including a past university president, vice presidents, and other employees joined in to play the game during one of the four 15 minute quarters.

Student organizations such as the men’s and women’s basketball teams and the Army and Air Force ROTC formed volunteer teams to play against the Patriots.

This year, the roster of volunteers expanded to players from businesses and other community organizations such as West Corporation, The Studer Group, Pensacola Pelicans, Lakeview Center, Gulf Power, and Southeastern Vocational Services.

There were also players from WEAR TV 3, CAT Country Radio, NBC 15, Cox Cable and the Roy Jones, Jr. All Stars.

“I hope it helps students appreciate what they have and not worry about what they don’t have,” said Phillip Evans, coach/player of the Patriots. “We are able bodied just like everyone else, we just have a different and sometimes better way of doing things.”

During half time the audience was entertained by the faculty, staff and student spirit squad, the UWF cheering squad, the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity.

The Project Search Program, the Haitian Student Organization, Delta Phi Lambda, the Voices of Victory radio choir and members of the Southern Edge Dance Studio also performed halftime shows.

“Watching people that are bound to wheelchairs play basketball so well was an amazing experience,” Dexhiana Brown, student at UWF, said. “I will never look at a disabled person with pity ever again. They really gave us a run for our money.”

Along with the basketball game, the ADA office held its 11th Annual Disability Awareness Conference and hosted the UWF Mentoring Day program on Oct. 29 in observance of NDEA month.

The Student Disability Resource Center offers a variety of services for disabled students. Students can benefit from many services offered by the center.

East Campus development at stand still, trolley tracking application allows students to follow trolley in real-time

This screenshot from the 'Transloc' app shows students the ETA of each trolley to a certain location on campus.

This screenshot from the ‘Transloc’ app shows students the ETA of each trolley to a certain location on campus.

Kenneth King
Staff Writer

University of West Florida students will have to wait longer for details on the East Campus development, David O’Brien, the associate vice president of business and property development said at the Student Government Association Senate meeting on October 24th.

The East Campus development site is for restaurant and retail facilities.

Jim Barnett, associate vice president of facilities services, stressed the primary focus of the East Campus development.

“Our primary focus is to fit the vision and the mission of the university,” Barnett said. “Secondarily, in that particular location, some 25,000 cars pass through there every day. The public is a secondary customer, not a primary customer, so we’re not going after the dollar. We’re going after it to make sure it fits our student faculty staff community as we move forward in an academic setting.”

UWF currently has a 20 year contract with Compass/Chartwells in dining services.

Price points designed for UWF students and the public are still being negotiated, Barnett said.

“I stress again that this is a snapshot of time, and as this is a dynamic process, things will change,” Barnett said. “That’s just a part of the business. We will try to keep you informed.”

Chip Chism, head of parking and transportation services, also gave an update on the “TransLoc” app, which gives the user the view of trolley routes, stops and current location in real-time.

“It’s a pretty interesting product and we’ve had some success with it,” Chism said. “We can track how many people use it, and for this month we had 3,855 unique individual people access it. So that’s pretty good information.”

Chism also addressed the parking situation.

“Now I’m never going to convince people that we have plenty of parking on the core of campus because we don’t,” Chism said. “But we do have parking on the perimeter of campus. Normally I count those lots for about eight weeks. Some years I will count for six weeks. This year after the fifth week, when I can walk outside between 10 and 2 and find 80 empty spaces in a parking lot, there’s no point in me counting this anymore.”

“There’s always a place to park on this campus. It just isn’t a place where people want it to be. That’s not convenient. I know that’s no consolation for those folks who are running late for class, but that is simply the reality of the case.”

In other action,

  • An academic town hall meeting will take place in the Great Hall, located in the University Commons. The provost and deans from all academic departments will meet there to speak directly with students. The town hall is open to the public and is set for Nov. 12 from 12-2 p.m.
  • The SGA will begin fundraising for the Argo Pantry, which is designed to provide healthy food for students who are in need.
  • Eryka Wallace appeared at the meeting to stress the importance of social media responsibility.

Green Fee to install solar powered umbrellas allowing students to charge electronic devices

Kyle Treadway
Staff Writer

By the end of this semester, students at the University of West Florida will be able to enjoy Florida weather while also charging their electronics due to SolarDok picnic tables funded by the Green Fee program.

The metal picnic tables will have an umbrella with solar panels that will direct electricity to outlets placed just above the table. If an outlet on the table is not being used, the solar panels will instead direct electricity to the nearest building.

SolarDok picnic tables are also used at the University of Florida and University of Central Florida.

“I think the plan for solar-powered tables is a good concept,” Shashank Ganugupati, graduate student said. “It is nice to have green energy and clean energy.”

There are currently six picnic tables planned for areas around campus. One picnic table will be located by the College of Business, one in front of Building 13 and two on the Commons patio.

“We wanted to choose the locations of the picnic tables in areas of the campus with high sunlight and high traffic,” Student Body President Ethan Friedland said.

Each table will cost around $6,000 and is funded by the $190,000 obtained through the Student Government Association Green Fee. Each table is expected to last around 10 to 12 years, according to Friedland.

The SGA Green Fee charges each student 75 cents per credit hour in order to fund other energy-efficient projects around campus. The program was started in 2011.

“Those fees fund sustainable or energy efficient projects here at UWF,” Carlos Sosa, SGA chief of staff said. “This movement was started by SGA and the Student Environmental Action Safety (SEAS) three years ago. At that time there was a school wide polling of the students, and the majority was in favor of the Green Fee.”

Many students continue to support the Green Fee.

“I think the Green Fee is definitely worth it,” senior Bradley Peterson said. “I would rather pay for that than for a huge parking garage.”

Another student agreed with Peterson.

“The Green Fee funds good projects, and only costs us a little bit of money,” freshman Dylan Swaney said. “As long as it is not too much, I am fine with it.”

The Green Fee has funded new energy efficient LED lights for the Field House and bottle filling stations on water fountains around campus.

In addition to the SolarDok umbrellas, the Green Fee is also funding an updated “yellow bike” system.

With the old system, students could freely use yellow bikes around campus without restriction. The current plan is that students will pay to rent yellow bikes for a semester.

“From what I’ve seen, that fee goes to keep up maintenance of the bikes and also to buy new ones so the program can be self-sustaining,” Sosa said. “Maybe with the Green Fee, we can see students we charged significantly less to rent the bikes.”

The projects to implement SolarDok picnic tables and to upgrade the Field House lights were proposed by students and faculty to SGA and SEAS in 2013. Each proposal was graded on six criteria including the cost of implementation and the number of students affected.

Students and faculty can submit their proposals for next year’s Green Fee projects by visiting uwf.edu/sga and completing the online proposal form. Proposals are due by Nov. 1 at 5 p.m.

UWF Historic Trust opens ghost tours downtown

Side the Gray House where the ghost of Thomas Moristo is said to have been sighted in the first upstairs room window. Photo Ashley Seifert

Side the Gray House where the ghost of Thomas Moristo is said to have been sighted in the first upstairs room window.
Photo Ashley Seifert

Ashley Seifert
Staff Writer

The paranormal activity of the realm between worlds brings an eerie light to the of history of Pensacola, especially in the weeks leading up to the most haunted day of the year. Halloween. The University of West Florida Historic Trust opened the 24th Annual Haunted House Walking and Trolley Tours on Friday, Oct. 17, and Saturday Oct. 18.

The tours will continue next weekend on Oct. 24 and Oct. 25, as well as the following weekend on Nov. 1.

Wendi Davis, the organizer of the event, said that during the tours people have experienced unexplainable activity of some kind and as a result enjoy showing them pictures of what they captured.

“They also like to tell us what they saw, what they smelled and what they heard,” Davis said. “Their experiences are even sometimes incorporated into the scripts.”

There are a total of four tour routes to choose from, not including the ‘Trolley of the Doomed,’ which makes its way up to North Hill. The others are ‘Ghastly Ghosts of North Seville,’ ‘Murder and Mayhem,’ ‘Adults Only Redlight Tour’ and ‘Tragedy and Terror of South Seville,’ all of which are led by costumed guides.

The walking tours begin at 6:30 p.m. and continue to depart each half hour until 9 p.m. Each group meets outside of Voices of Pensacola Multicultural Resource Center before departure. The trolley tours also start at 6:30 p.m. and follow a slightly similar pattern until the last one begins at 8:30 p.m.

Andy Roberts, the tour guide for Tragedy and Terror, said his choice of costume was selected specifically in deference to his own ghostly experience.

“When my wife and I vacationed in the mountains, we decided to check in at this old hotel on a Sunday night,” Roberts said. “We were led to this small dining area, and while there I noticed an old, nicely dressed gentleman enter the room. His appearance reminded me of a butler. As he walked past me, I tried to ask for a glass of water, but he never so much as glanced my way.”

Roberts added that it wasn’t until their actual waiter returned that he realized the gentleman he’d tried to hail down didn’t exist in the normal capacity. He said it was the strangest encounter of his life but quite the eye-opener.

During the Tragedy and Terror tour, Roberts led the group down Zaragoza Street, while regaling them with tales about the homes, businesses and even the Old Christ Church.

One such business, The Mole Hole, has its own resident spirit in the form of a child who made his presence known one year by moving the toys the owner had placed on display to the floor and rearranging them to give off the impression that they had been well played with.

In addition, the story of Thomas Moristo and his residential haunting of The Gray House came to light.

Roberts said his spirit is often sighted in the window facing toward the water. He said he believes the reason Thomas has yet to depart from the house is because he’s awaiting his fiancé’s arrival.

“Many times, our stories are relayed to us from individuals who have either been in the buildings or in the residences, or they’re stories we’ve heard from other sources,” Roberts said. “We’ve even done some research through the university to back up and corroborate some of the information we talk about.”

 

 

 

Alabama-Huntsville shuts-out Argonauts 1-0 in UWF homecoming match

Kenneth King
Staff Writer

The University of West Florida men’s soccer team tried to hold their own on Friday night against the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), but was shut out at the homecoming showdown 1-0.

The match was intense. Neither team managed to get an edge over the other except when UAH forward Anthony Benitez found a hole in UWF defenses and headed in the first goal shortly after the beginning of the second half.

Despite the cold air, attendees came out in support of their Argos, cheering and stomping in their sweaters and coats.

The Argos had several close chances, however, many were off-target and sailed over the goal. They ended the game with 16 shots compared with the Chargers’ six.

Tensions were high, and a minor scuffle erupted in the last 30 seconds of the game. Players from both sides rushed to end the brawl as fists flew. Many in attendance demanded the referee to call a foul, however, none were called throughout the entire game.

Assistant coach Lee Irving stressed the need to create opportunities to score and the importance of urgency.

“I think we did a good job in the first half of breaking down their backline and getting the opportunities it’s really just putting it down to a matter of finishing those chances at this point. So we’re creating them, we just got to make sure that the end product pays,” he said.

“In the second half we could’ve probably tightened up and played with a little more urgency,”

Irving said. “We tended to take our foot off the gas a little bit and let them creep back into the game. So we’ve just got to make sure we stay focused for the entire game.

“Somebody has to step up and be a leader at some point,” he said

Friday’s defeat drops the men’s soccer team to an overall record of 4-6-2 for the season. The next match for the Argos will be a home game against the University of West Alabama on October 19 at 3 p.m. For more information on UWF athletics, go to http://goargos.com/.

UWF women’s soccer team scores three to top UAH 3-1 in homecoming match

Kenneth King
Staff Writer

The University of West Florida women’s soccer team added another win to their record on Friday afternoon when they defeated the University of Alabama in Huntsville 3-1 in their homecoming match.

Attendees filled the bleachers, rising up from their seats to cheer on their Argonauts as the sun set above them.

The Alabama Huntsville Chargers had their backs against the wall as the lady Argos peppered the opposing goal with 29 shots, keeping the goalkeeper busy.

The onslaught of shots and constant pressure was the focus of head coach Joe Bartlinski’s strategy. The Chargers’ offensive players were forced to stay on their own side of the field.

“The idea was to put their very good strikers and forwards on the defensive,” Bartlinski said.

“We wanted to attack them so we were able to keep it on their side of the feel because they have very dangerous strikers.”

England native and junior midfielder Tricia Gould, scored UWF’s first goal 17 minutes into the game after she outran her opponents and launched the ball toward the goal too quickly for the goalie to react.

Midfielder Kaitlyn Culotta followed up with another Argo score 10 minutes later.

Plagued by nine fouls, the Chargers struggled to create any offensive momentum, ending the game with only five shots, although midfielder Sydney Pfankuch did manage to bring UAH a point 23 minutes into the second half.

Gould added the final goal for the Argos and her second of the match after she scored another goal in the last nine minutes of the game.

Bartlinski said he was happy with the growth he had witnessed in his players, despite not having his complete team present at Friday’s game.

“I’m really pleased because we’re pretty thin,” Bartlinski said. “We’ve got players who aren’t here or on national team duties or injured so this was a thin squad and yet I was fully confident that they would do well and they did.

“This is the time to start to peak and I feel that we are, as thin as we were. We’re going to get more healthy players in the next week or two and we’re peaking at the right time,” he said.

Friday’s victory brings the lady Argonauts to an overall record of 7-4-0. The next game for the Argos will be at home against the University of West Alabama on October 19 at 12:30 p.m. For more information on UWF athletics, go to http://goargos.com/.