Behind the scenes with UNC Wrestling at Southeastern Open

2019 November 03: Ethan Hoffman of the North Carolina Tar Heels wrestling team at the 2019 Southeast Open Wrestling Tournament in Roanoke, Virginia.

I had the unexpected opportunity to travel with the North Carolina Tar Heels wrestling team to the 2019 Southeast Open Wrestling Tournament in Roanoke, Virginia this weekend. My original plan was to only do action photos and not any behind-the-scenes photos. This was mostly owing to me having not worked with this team before and only knowing two of the wrestlers personally. Covering a team behind the scenes takes a bit of trust and time. I ended up being in a better place than I thought, thanks in large part to how welcoming the team was, from the coaches to the athletes.

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UNC Football Practice

The North Carolina Tar Heels football team kicked off their first practice of the season today in Kenan Stadium. Often I am working for the University, but today I freelanced today for Inside Carolina, filling in for Jim Hawkins who was on travel today. Below are some of my photos. You can find the entire gallery on my website as well as a smaller gallery on Inside Carolina.


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UNC wrestling graphic


One of my photos used by the graphics team at UNC for their varsity wrestling team. Pictured is Danny Chaid.

Closing of Fetzer Field

I showed up to a North Carolina Tar Heels women’s soccer game at Fetzer Field with a cheap camera to try and make some action photos. As a then freshmen at UNC, I didn’t know much about photography, but I had seen action photos by other photographers and seemed enthralled by the idea of sports photography. I developed the photos from the game and they were … horrible.

Thankfully in time I improved and by my junior and senior year Dave Lohse, a sports information director at UNC, gave me my first start as a sports photographer, something I remain thankful for to this day. In my four years of undergrad, I also spent many nights with my friend Karena Cason peregrinating the track under the lights, talking about life and working off the stress of school.

Many memories of both my undergrad days and the start of my sports photography career are inexorably tied to Fetzer Field. So, I was sad to learn that it and the surrounding Irwin Belk track would be demolished. The renovation happens tomorrow leaving today one last chance to take in Fetzer Field and the track before the new facilities are installed.

So I grabbed my camera to snap a few final photos of Fetzer Field and Irwin Belk track. In 2018 the renovation will be done; the track will be gone (moved off campus) but soccer and lacrosse fans will enjoy a vastly improved venue.

[More Photos]


Battle of the Blues

2017 April 01: The “Battle of the Blues” track and field meet between the Duke Blue Devils, the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Michigan Wolverines at Duke University in Durham, NC. [photo gallery]