One day after falling to Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the Horizon League championship game last week, the Wright State men’s basketball team suffered another loss with the passing of 79-year-old super fan Andy Winchek, who was known around the Nutter Center simply as “The Legend.”
One of the first WSU graduates after the school was founded in 1967, Winchek never missed a home game from the time the Nutter Center opened in 1990 until his health started failing a couple of years ago.
“He was always there, always waving his sign,” former WSU coach Jim Brown said. “There was a time when we didn’t have a mascot and there was all this talk about what exactly is a Raider, so he started coming to games dressed as what he perceived a Raider to be. He was in full costume with a sword and a helmet. It was hilarious. He was very, very passionate about the basketball program.”
Winchek’s devotion began when the team was playing at Stebbins High School and later at the physical education building on campus.
“In fact, the day his daughter (Nicole) was born he still made it to the game that night,” said Kevin Krejny, Winchek’s son-in-law and Nicole’s husband.
“He and his wife (Vera) went to every game,” Krejny added. “They never missed one. It got to the point where the ushers didn’t even take their tickets, they just waved them in. Everyone knew who they were.”
Dressed in his green coat with the same “Go Raiders” sign he carried to every game for 15 years, Winchek would always leave his seat at some point in the game and head over to where the students and pep band were to lead them in a cheer.
About five or six years ago, the band members started chanting “Le-gend, le-gend” when Winchek started his stroll their way.
The name, and the chant, stuck.
Baseball: The weekly honors continue to roll in for the WSU baseball team as Kieston Greene was tabbed the Horizon League Batter of the Week and Joey Hoelzel won his second conference Pitcher of the Week award of the season.
Meanwhile College Sports Madness tabbed Jason DeFevers as its HL Player of the Week.
Greene hit .500 in a three-game sweep of Illinois-Chicago, collecting three hits and two RBIs in the first game and four hits and two RBIs in the second contest.
Hoelzel earned the win in the first game of last Saturday’s doubleheader, striking out five over seven innings.
And DeFevers had a 5-for-5 day that included two doubles, six RBIs and three runs scored in the final game of the doubleheader.
Men’s soccer: The Raiders recently announced the signing of seven players to national letters of intent.
Joining the program in 2014 will be Peguy Ngatcha, AJ Paterson, Jalim Bayo, Blake Damato, Devin Collins, Austin Polster and Anthony Flowers.
WSU opens the spring schedule March 25 as the Raiders host the Dayton Dutch Lions at 7:00 at Alumni Field. WSU will also host Cedarville, Northwestern Ohio and Urbana during the spring.