The Lees-McRae College Lady Bobcats soccer team may have doubled their win total from a year ago, and earned a berth in this year's Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference tournament, but success on the field just isn't enough for this group of student-athletes.
The Lady Bobcats volunteered their time this past weekend to
assist in the Wooly Worm Festival held here in town. The Wooly
Worm Festival began in 1978 when the residents of Banner Elk
celebrated the coming of the snow season with a Woolly Worm
Festival. They set aside the third weekend in October to determine
which one woolly worm will have the honor of predicting the
severity of the coming winter. In the small village nestled
between the Carolina's two largest ski resorts, residents have
cheered on woolly worms entered into races against one another. To
win the honor of being the wooly worm that predicts the severity of
the winter, the worms must win heat after heat of hard-fought races
- up a three-foot length of string.
The Wooly Bear caterpillar has 13 brown and black segments, which the late Charles Von Canon explained to the small crowd that huddled together in the sub-freezing temperatures at the first Woolly Worm Festival correspond to the 13 weeks of winter. The lighter brown a segment is, the milder that week of winter will be. The darker black a segment is, the colder and snowier the corresponding week will be.
The Lady Bobcats assisted Festival organizers in preparing, running, and cleaning up the Annual Wooly Worm Woad Wace, Friday evening. After volunteering their time Friday, the Lady Bobcats traveled to Barton College for an important CVAC match up that would determine Lees-McRae's post season hopes. Emerging victorious 2-0 over the Lady Bulldogs, Lees-McRae secured a berth in this year's CVAC tournament.
Working with the Christian Children's Fund, the Lady Bobcats sponsored a child, a seven year old boy named Mark, (pictured below), from the Philippines. "We're doing this because as a team we felt like we could do something to change the life of someone who was less fortunate than us," commented Lady Bobcat sophomore Jenna Simpson, (pictured left). "We came together and contributed what we could, and in the end we raised enough money to support Mark for a year."
Mark, the eldest of three children, is a kindergarten pupil who has already expressed a desire to become a teacher when he gets older. He is in good health and spends much of his free time playing local games with other children of his age in the neighborhood when he is not running light errands for his mother.
"It's great to see our student-athletes look outside of themselves," commented Head Coach Renee Lopez. "Through this sponsorship and volunteering with the Wooly Worm Festival, our players have put their time and money into helping to make the world a better place."
The Lady Bobcats will travel to Charlotte, NC Tuesday evening to take on regular season champion Queen's University Lady Royals. Kick off is set for 7:00pm.