Wheeling native Whipkey overcomes adversity in senior year

By Mimi Albon, Contributing Writer
 
Austin Whipkey plays offensive on WLU’s football team. His primary position is right guard on the offensive line and his job is to protect the quarterback. This is a position that requires strength, size, and footwork.

“I’m a little banged up right now,” he said after going through treatment because of a cheap-shot injury on the field. He says that football can take a toll on your body since you have to do many reps without breaks. When players are tired, they get injured more often. 
 
Last season, Whipkey battled through an injury that sidelined him for half of the season, but he was able to play in six games and even make four starts. This season, Whipkey has had to battle injuries again but he has played in six of the nine games so far. 
 
He enjoys the tight-knit community at WLU because he is from Wheeling and so are his friends. The campus and classes are small compared to other schools such as WVU, so teachers are willing to work individually with students. He enjoys the homey atmosphere up on the hilltop. 
 
His mom works in the admission office, so he can spend time with her in his downtime. She has had a great impact on his life, raising him as a single mother from age 18. “She got me where I am, it’s all thanks to her,” said Whipkey about his mother who has supported him through other sports, such as basketball and baseball. 
 
When he is not playing football, he is studying geography. Although the program is growing, there are few students in the major. He started out wanting to be a historian, but switched to geography after he got invited to the national honors society. 
 
In class, he uses informative systems such as QGIS3.2 where city boundaries are already in the system and they can be downloaded then pieced together like puzzles.
 
“Dr. Crawford makes it fun,” he said about hands-on classes using the computers. Geography means studying land as well as anthropology. Through geography, he can see people evolve through scenarios. 
 
In his downtime, Whipkey does homework and plays video games. “I’m kind of a nerd,” he said when explaining that he likes anime. Since he has no time to actually watch anime between classes and practices, he has decided to participate in the anime club on campus. 
 
This is Whipkey’s last year on the field, as he is expecting to graduate in May.
 
For more information on the football team and Whipkey, log onto hilltoppersports.com and make sure to pick up next week’s issue of the Trumpet.
 
Photo Credit: Hilltoppersports.com