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Ole Miss Wakeboarding Team Makes Waves

Standing from left to right: Austin Pillow, Mason Draughn, and Matthew Miley sweeping the podium for men’s advance at the Spring break competition in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Although Ole Miss is widely known for more popular sports like football and baseball, another team marks its territory out on the water.

The club team, Ole Miss Wake, travels to compete in wakeboarding competitions held in both the fall and spring semesters against eleven other wake teams in their conference.

Ole Miss Wake team rider, Austin Pillow, said, “Right now we’re made up of about 30 riders. We’re getting better and better every year.”

The team competes in the Louisiana Collegiate Wake Tour. The tour hosts four stops, meaning competitions, with two in the fall and two in the spring.

The competitions place the team riders into three categories to compete: beginner, intermediate and advanced. The number of tricks a rider is able to perform sets the different competition levels apart.

Ole Miss Wake president, Spencer Moritz, said, “We compete with a bunch of other Louisiana schools as well as Mississippi State. How well we do in the Louisiana Collegiate Wake Tour determines whether or not we get to compete in nationals against schools from across the country.”

Ole Miss Wake was started three years ago, but it has grown to be a top competitor in its conference. The team placed fifth in the Wakeboard Nationals that was held in Shreveport, Louisiana this past year. Since then, the team has been receiving more recognition on campus.

“Since we’ve been placing our team has been given more money, which certainly helps with all the traveling expenses and jerseys for the members,” said Moritz.

Ole Miss Wake placed second in the Spring break competition in Gulf Shores, Alabama with four members receiving awards.

“We swept men’s advanced and we had a beginner place third in the men’s beginner,” said Pillow. “Everyone is always excited for each other’s success and it is great that we have so many riders to who challenge themselves every year.”

Ole Miss Wake will compete in their last competition of the season in Monroe, Louisiana on April 23.

“We are looking forward to our next stop and hopefully we do well so it won’t be our last and we can go on to compete in Wakeboard Nationals,” said Pillow.

Anna Ellis is a journalism major for the Meek School of Journalism and New Media. She can be reached at acellis4@go.olemiss.edu.

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