Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Zack Jaynes to start at North Carolina State

During the weekly SoCon Football teleconference Coach Wagner said that Zack Jaynes would start at quarterback in the Catamounts’ season opener against N.C. State on Saturday. This was confirmed by the release of the Catamounts' Game Notes later in the day listing Jaynes in the starting position with South Carolina transfer Zac Brindise slotted in the back up position.

Coach Wagner also noted that Brindise would definately get playing time against State. Wagner also said that Adam Hearns would not play due to an injury.

The injury report:
LB - Ricky Schwarz (pectoral tear)
RB - Dion Wilson (concussion)
WR - George Richardson (ankle)
TE - Conner Orr (back)
OL - Kirk Lincoln (sick)

DB - Jideofo Okwudiri (ankle)
LB - Adam Hearns (hamstring)





SoCon Teleconference

Game Notes - NC State

Monday, August 30, 2010

NC State's Depth Chart

NC State released their depth chart today, with a surprise included.

The surprise,  missing in the backfield on that depth chart are both James Washington and Curtis Underwood. Redshirt freshman Dean Haynes is listed as the starter at halfback and true freshman Mustafa Greene is listed as the No. 2 halfback.

In my opinion, this will force state to the air even more than previously thought. We better have the pass defense ready for an aerial bombardment.

If you disagree, let's hear why.

Wolfpack Depth Chart

Friday, August 27, 2010

Today's Updates (8-27-10)

Both Soccer and Volleyball are off to a successful start of their respective seasons. The Soccer Catamounts won today over UNC Asheville (4-0) to increase their record to 2-0 overall.

The Volleyball Catamounts won their first two matches of the season today in the VB Rags WCU Tournament, over Coppin State (3-0) and later in the evening 3-2, over Eastern Kentucky.

Congratulations to both teams on a great start to their season.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Soccer & Volleyball this weekend

The Catamounts open the 2010 Volleyball season by hosting the VB Rags WCU Invitational Tournament. Participants in the tournament include Coppin St., Eastern Kentucky, N.C. State and Western Carolina. The Catamounts kick off the tournament on Friday with a noon match up with Coppin State. The tournament will run through Saturday in the Ramsey Center.

The soccer team, with one big win in this young season, travels to UNC Asheville for a 4 pm contest with the Bulldogs.  I'm sure these young women realize we should not lose to UNC-A in any sport. 

Head Volleyball Coach Manuel Concepcion talks about the home tournament this weekend: Click Here

Head Soccer Coach Chad Miller talks about the UNC Asheville game on Friday: Click Here

Both teams are looking for improvement after disappointing seasons last year. They both have good coaching staffs, and the potential for improved play. Good Luck to both teams.


Keith Heckendorf's quotes on the four quarterbacks:

"Matt Wabby is a very smart, intelligent football player. He probably knows the offense as well as anybody and overall, understands the game of football. He is battling, he's competing and before the season is out, he may be the guy in there"

"Zac Brindise has really dedicated himself to studying the offense and to picking it up, and has really done a phenomenal job at that during fall camp. He gets better every day and is feeling more and more comfortable, the game is starting to slow down for him and he made huge strides from our first scrimmage to our second,"

Brandon Pechloff who Heckendorf says has "one of the stronger arms that you're going to see at any level." He added that the first-year collegian is still young and has learning to do, but is a "football junkie" who loves the game and has worked on his body prior to and since coming to Cullowhee, adding 20 solid pounds.

"Zack (Jaynes) has done a nice job of fighting and competing throughout fall camp," added Heckendorf. "He doesn't ever want to miss a rep, doesn't ever want to miss a play, and doesn't ever want to miss a meeting - he doesn't ever want to miss anything. He's a little stubborn about it at times, but that's the way he is - he's a competitor, a warrior, he's exactly the kind of guy you want to lead your football team."

Heckendorf said they have an "on-going evaluation" of Zack's health, and that it "remains to be seen" if Zack can hold up for a season under the center.

I'd say they want to go with Jaynes, but his health is still a hugh concern. In my opinion, he'll start at State, and play as long as he's able.  That could be one snap or the entire game.  I still see freshman Brandon Pechloff held out to redshirt. I also think it's possible that Matt has moved himself into the #2 position.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Catamount All Access

The Catamount All Access has video of the four quarterbacks discussing this upcoming football season.  I think the sports information office is doing a great job this year with it's "Inside Catamount Athletics" series, the best preseason football coverage ever.  A big thanks goes out to Daniel Hooker. 

Catamount Football Quarterbacks

Monday, August 23, 2010

Coach Hunter finalizes the 2010-11 Basketball Schedule

Coach Hunter has finalized the 2010-11 men's basketball schedule today when he announced the two home games not released in the recent schedule announcement. The Catamounts will play United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) member, Warren Wilson College. The Cats play the Owls for the first time in men's basketball on Monday, Nov. 22 at 7:00 pm in the Ramsey Center.

For the second year, WCU will participate in the ESPN BracketBuster series. This year, the Catamounts are hosting a game in Cullowhee on Feb. 19. The Cats opponent in the BracketBuster game will be announced in early February, 2011.

Coach Hunter also announced home game start times. Mid-week home dates will start at 7:00 pm, with Saturday games tipping off at 2:00 pm. On both January 8 and February 26 the Catamounts (men and women) will host double-headers - the women's game will start at 2:00 pm followed by the men's contest at 4:30 pm.

WCU Men's 2010-11 Basketball Schedule

Sunday, August 22, 2010

WCU at NCSU Hotel Accommodations

Just a little reminder......

September 4th  WCU vs. NC State

6 p.m. Kick off at Carter Finley Stadium
Catamount Club Tailgate:  Time and Location:  TBD
For Ticket Information:  828.227.2401 

Hotel Accommodations
The Catamount Club has reserved a small block of rooms at the Hilton Hotel/Raleigh Durham Airport at Research Triangle Park for our supporters.  The team will also be staying at this hotel.  To reserve your room, please contact the hotel directly at 919.941.600 and reference the room block “WCU Catamount Club.”  The cutoff date for reservations is 8/30/2010.  The rate is $89.00 per night. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Saturday's Practice (8-21)

Based on the update in the athletic site, it seems the offense has made some strides in the  7 days since the initial scrimmage,  with a much better showing that resulted in a total of three scoring drives, and one other drive that includes a 96-yard touchdown run by Nate Harris.

QBs - Without having seen them play, and based solely on the amount of snaps each is getting in the 2 scrimmages thus far, the breakout looks like this:

1. Jaynes
2. Brindise
3. Pechloff
4. Wabby

The defense still continues to shine with four takeaways, 2 interceptions (Brown and Clark), and two fumbles forced by the defensive line, and seven sacks (two by Robbs, and one each by C.J. Johnson, Stephenson, "Boom Boom" Murray, Selby, & Carson).

10 players were held out of practice due to injury or for precautionary reasons, including redshirt sophomore running back Dion Wilson and defenders Adam Hearns (hamstring), Jideofo Okwudiri (ankle) and Reggie America (sick).

We have 2 weeks or 334 hours to make those improvements needed in the offensive line.


Friday, August 20, 2010

1st win of the 2010-11 season

The women's soccer team earned the 1st Catamount win of the 2010-11 regular season in any sport on Friday, Aug. 20 over Campbell, 2-1.  Congratulation to the entire soccer team.   Keep the wins coming.

When is a retired jersey not retired?

An interesting question was asked by "wcu72" on the Catamount Sports Forum today about retired jerseys. Why is #14 assigned?

According to the WCU athletic web site, Kirk Roach's jersey #14 was retired on Sept. 30, 2006. However, according to the current football roster, #14 is assigned to Josh Cockrell.

Just wondering how or why this is possible? What are you thoughts on retired jerseys?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Should "Pay for Parking" come to Cullowhee?

The idea has been raised on the Catamount Sports Forum that an excellent way to raise additional funds for the athletic program would be to start charging for parking for those attending football games.  A small fee for parking is almost universal at most sporting events and at most major universities.  A parking fee would also make Catamount Club membership more valuable if parking is included in your various membership levels.  Your thoughts?  See what others are saying about this topic on the CSF:  Pay for Parking in Cullowhee ?

Send the Pride to Pasadena

Reprinted from WCU Office of Web Services

Western Carolina University’s Pride of the Mountains Marching Band has been selected to participate in the 2011 Rose Parade®, to be held Saturday, Jan. 1, in Pasadena, CA.

“America’s New Year’s Celebration” is held annually in conjunction with the Rose Bowl® college football game. The parade is seen by more than one million spectators and by millions, perhaps billions, of television viewers around the world.

The Pride of the Mountains is widely regarded as one of the top marching bands in the Southeast for its elaborate field shows. The band was the 2009 recipient of the Sudler Trophy, the nation’s ultimate honor for college and university bands.  Being part of the Rose Parade® will highlight Western Carolina University on the world stage and offers numerous unique opportunities for the university:

  • The Tournament of Roses® has finalized a TV contract with China with an expected viewership of 1.1 billion.
  • The Rose Parade® is broadcast live by television networks ABC, NBC, HGTV, Tribune, Univision, Telemundo, Travel Channel, Discovery HD Theater, and Sky Link TV. Approximately 40 million Americans watch the parade live each year, plus millions more viewers in 150 countries and territories around the world.
  • The parade annually attracts approximately 1.1 million along the parade route.
  • The Tournament of Roses® has selected the Pride of the Mountains as a premier group for its entertainment value, giving the band a highlighted spot in the parade formation and on TV.
  • The Pride of the Mountains has been asked to perform its field show twice, which is a very rare occurrence, at both morning and afternoon events to showcase Tournament of Roses® performers.
As you can imagine, getting the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band to the 2011 Rose Parade® will be no small undertaking. Moving 400 members, directors and staff, along with their equipment, is going to require planning, skill and money.

Each band participant is expected to pay for a portion of the trip; however, that amount will not cover full expenses. And some band members simply cannot afford to pay.
You have an opportunity to get on the bandwagon by sponsoring this historic trip for the Pride of the Mountains. You can help those band members who cannot afford the trip and also help cover the cost above the band member contribution.

For more information:
Chris Mueller
Executive Director, Resource Development

Western Carolina University
201 H.F. Robinson Administration Building
Cullowhee, NC 28723
Phone: 828-227-3052
Email: clmueller@wcu.edu

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Western Maintains a Top 10 spot

While this is an athletic site, we certainly can't ignore academics.  Student athletes select a college not only on athletics, but it's academic reputation as well.  The good news for WCU is that the 2010 US News & World Report "Best Colleges" guidebook released Tuesday, included WCU in it's Top 10 position in the "Top Public Schools: Regional Universities (South)" category for the second straight year.

The U.S. News & World Report also ranks Western Carolina third among Southern universities whose graduates had the least amount of debt load in 2009.

To read more, click on the web sites below:

Best Colleges 2011

WCU keeps top 10 spot

Women's Soccer picked 7th

The SoCon's coaches have picked the WCU's women's soccer team to finish 7th of the 12 teams in the league.  UNC Greensboro was picked as the preseason favorite to win the conference championship. 

The Women's Soccer Preseason All-Confernece Team was also announced, with no Catamounts selected.

Read more about the Coache's Poll and Preseason All-Conference Team.

Men's Golf Schedule 2010-11

New men's golf coach Carter Cheves has announced the 2010-11 Western Carolina Men's Golf Schedule, which includes hosting the Hummingbird Intercollegiate at the Country Club of Sapphire Valley to end the season.    The schedule contains 10 events, equally divided over the fall and spring.

The Catamounts return 4 members of last seasons team, in senior Ronnie Garcia and junior Kyle Wilson and two sophomores, Jonathon Davies and Trey White. Four incoming freshman round out the team including Greg Bunner (Gastonia, N.C.), Michael Fitzgerald (Flossmoor, Ill.), Jack Walsh (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and Collin Witiak (Columbia, S.C.).

The Southern Conference Men's Golf Championship will be held on April 17-19 in Florence, South Carolina at the Country Club of South Carolina.

The 2010-11 Golf Schedule

Monday, August 16, 2010

Exhibition Soccer

The WCU women's soccer team fell 1-0, to Gardner-Webb on Sunday in the lone exhibition game for the team of the preseason.   Gardner-Webb is picked to finish 6th in the 10 team Big South Conference.    Senior Catamount goalkeeper Caitlin Williams had six saves in the game.

For more on the game visit  CatamountSports.com

Monday's Football Practice

Good news for the Catamount offense, Michael Johnson was able to return to practice on Monday, splitting time in the backfield with Nate Harris. While this was good news for the offense, the defensive unit continued working their way into the backfield on the strength of veteran lineman C.J. Johnson.

Center is clearly a position of concern without the services of back-up center Ryan Kurzec. Transfer Edixon Pino-Alvarez and freshman Matt Brock continue rotating at the center position. While all four quarterbacks continue to take reps with the first and second teams, there is still no clear front runner for the starting position.

451 hours 'till game time.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Offense Struggles

Was it new quarterbacks, new centers, the frequents sacks, the bad snaps, exchange problems, miscommunication problems with receivers or all of the above that resulted in one thing - the ball not crossing the end zone line for the offense on the first intra-squad scrimmage.

0 for 18 starting at the 30 yard line.

The offensive coordinator and other offense coaches have exactly 19 days (or 477 hours) to set things right before the Catamounts take the field against the Wolfpack in Raleigh.  With only 7 days of organized practice under their belt, maybe it's a little early for concern, but, 477 hours passes quickly.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Catamount's First Intra-squad Scrimmage

The first intra-squad scrimmage of the preseason was held today in Cullowhee.  Now that the scrimmage is over, what do we learn about this year's Football Catamounts?

The strength of this football team this season will be:  Defense   (the offense needs work)

But don't just take my word, here's what Coach Wagner said to the media after the scrimmage, "I really see the defense as being the strength of our football team. That's O.K. because defense wins championships. If they shut people down, we've just got to get in the end zone one time."

But, if you were ever in the Army, you probably learned this old saying "The best defense is a good offense."

Read more about the first scrimmage on the Catamount Sports Forum and at CatamountSports.com

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cullowhee's "Town Center"

Western Carolina University pitched carving out 35 acres from its main campus to create a “Town Center" for Cullowhee, in the Forest Hills/Cullowhee meeting last week. The idea is to create a new commercial hub that would bolster campus life, but being part of an "incorporated town" is essential for creating a "Town Center" development, Dr. John Bardo, WCU Chancellor told the meeting participants.

In the Town Center, building sites could be leased for mixed-use development, such as condos, as well as, retail shops, restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores, and specialty-style grocery stores. The university would ask the new Forest Hills/Cullowhee town to adopt the university’s design for the Town Center. With blanket approval for "Town Center" as a “planned unit development” within the new city, the requested approval would be good for 20 years, thus eliminating the need for each new business or building to get individual approval from the town to build.

The "Town Center" concept is in addition to the revitalization efforts discussed for "old Cullowhee". If the town adopts either or both plans, the real winners will be the WCU students. They will finally get a college town.

The North Carolina State Game

Update from the Catamount Club:

Football Season starts Labor Day Weekend!
The Catamount Club will be making the trip to Raleigh with the WCU Football Team and hosting several events that weekend to cheer on the Catamounts.  

Friday, September 3rd
The Triangle Golf Outing:  River Ridge Country Club, Raleigh NC
1 p.m. Shotgun Start.   $125.00 per person:  Includes Golf, Tournament Gifts, Beverages, Dinner, and interaction with WCU Coaches.  Coach Wagner will be in attendance for dinner to give a preview of the game plan to defeat the Wolfpack!
To Register:  Please complete the attached entry form or contact the Catamount Club Staff at 828.227.3794 orbradley@wcu.edu

September 4th  WCU vs. NC State:  6 p.m. Kick off at Carter Finley Stadium
Catamount Club Tailgate:  Time and Location:  TBD
For Ticket Information:  828.227.2401 

Hotel Accommodations
The Catamount Club has reserved a small block of rooms at the Hilton Hotel/Raleigh Durham Airport at Research Triangle Park for our supporters.  The team will also be staying at this hotel.  To reserve your room, please contact the hotel directly at 919.941.600 and reference the room block “WCU Catamount Club.”  The cutoff date for reservations is 8/30/2010.  The rate is $89.00 per night. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Thanks for reading our blog

We're getting a good number of visits for a new blog, so I know that there are many out there that are starting to make our blog a regular viewing habit, for that - we say Thank You (see our visitor counter at the end of the blog).   I know it's real easy to just stop by, read what's posted then go on about your other business, but we're hoping for not only your time of reading our posts, but also your involvement in our blog.

Please visit, but also consider posting your opinions below the articles, and if you have a good idea for a subject you think others might also be interested in reading about, please make a written contribution to our blog by e-mailing it to me at ( CatamountSportsForum@gmail.com ), I'll certainly give you credit  or make it anonymous - which ever you prefer.

Once again, thanks for reading and we certainly hope you enjoy you time spent both here and on the Catamount Sports Forum.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Saturday, August 14th

Saturday, August 14th is turning out to be a big day for both Catamount football and the Catamount Club.

The football Catamounts will hold "Media Day" on Saturday, August 14 and conduct the team's first intra-squad scrimmage of the season. Football practice will be from 9:00 am until 11:00 am and then the media can conduct interviews and fans can mingle with the players and coaches following the scrimmage at Noon.

While the emphasis is football, team members from other fall sport of women's soccer and volleyball will also be participating in Saturday's festivities.

The Catamount Club will be holding it's annual Tailgate Parking Cookout near the Stadium Lot for club members to choose tailgating parking spots. For more information on the Cookout or "Pick your Parking Space" or to join the Catamount Club, call (828) 227-3794.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Matt Evans named Academic All-American

Recent WCU grad Matt Evans has been recently named an Academic All-American by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Along with this honor, Evans won a pair of conference championships at the SoCon Outdoor Track and Field Championships WCU's as well as WCU's record holder in both the high jump and javelin.

Our congratulations go out to Matt in his distinguished career in both the classroom and in the field. 

Bostic on the Fred Mitchell Award Watch List

Senior kicker Blake Bostic is one of 40 kickers to be named to the 2010 Fred Mitchell Award watch list. Bostic is one of only 15 from the FCS level and the lone nominee from the SoCon. Bostic was also named to the SoCon preseason All-Conference team.

Read more about the Fred Mitchell Award on the Catamount Sports Forum:


Friday, August 6, 2010

Zack Jaynes

As Western Carolina welcomes the entire football team back to Cullowhee today in anticipation of the first day of practice tomorrow, Tyler Goode of the Asheville Citizen Times released a story revealing that Zack has a herniated disk in his back and has not been cleared for contact practice.

It looks like Zack, now a red shirt junior, is in one of those catch22 situations, either tolerate the pain or under go surgery that may be career ending.  Coach Wagner told the ACT, “… It's a thing that if he plays, he's not going to hurt himself for life, but it could be a thing if he can't play with the pain, then they're going to have to have surgery that could end his career. We just have to wait and see.”

It looks like the competition for the starting position at quarterback just became a little more critical.  See the Catamount Sports Forum for more on this developing story.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hunter releases the 2010-11 Men's Basketball Schedule

On August 4th, Head Basketball Coach Larry Hunter released the 2010-11 men's basketball schedule. Well, almost all, he released 29 of 31 games the Catamounts are to play this season. What was missing is two home games, one on November 22 and the second on December 21st.

Here's hoping Coach Hunter is looking for some pretty good "home and away" games from D1 schools that are willing to come to Cullowhee for the "home" part of the deal this season.  I'd certainly favor an entire schedule of D1 games for the Catamounts this season. It's time for Western and the entire conference to upgrade their schedules and eliminate non-D1 games.

But Coach Hunter has upgraded in many ways the overall schedule, as there's some attractive "out of conference" games. The only problem is, most of them are away games, with the only "big" name coming to Cullowhee this season (so far) is Bradley of the Missouri Valley Conference. The Cats start off the season at Clemson, at DePaul, and at UTEP which should give us a good measure of the capabilities of this young team.

This season the Cats will again play an 18 game conference schedule, playing all the teams in the North Division twice, and all the teams in the South Division once, with the exception of the Citadel and College of Charleston, which they will they play twice.

"With a lot of road games the first two months of the season, our young players will have to follow the lead of the veterans and grow up fast under some challenging conditions," Hunter said to CatamountSports.com. "We have good players with a lot of talent and character - it will be fun to see what happens."

See the entire schedule at:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

WCU Football Staff Changes

Today, Head Football Coach Dennis Wagner announced new staff members, as well as, new job responsibilities for two members of the football staff for the upcoming season.

Two former intern assistants, Ty Davis and Dan Gibson, have been promoted to full-time positions within the athletic department at WCU.  Coach Wagner also welcomed three new football coaches for the upcoming season, Jeremiah Ross; Michael Mayers; and Pat Arthurs.

Davis assumed the video coordinator position and Gibson (two-time graduate of Western Carolina) was named the Director of Football Operations.

Jeremiah Ross will serve as an offensive assistant working with the offensive line; Michael Mayers joined as a defensive assistant; and Pat Arthurs joins the offensive staff and will work with the WCU tight ends. 

I think Coach Wagner has assembled a very capable staff, and we should see the results as this season progress.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Retired Numbers

As the football team is about to report for summer practice, I thought it might be appropriate to discuss a subject I'm sure each and every one of our reporting athletes dream about.  Having their jersey number "retired".  Here at Western, we've only had three such individual's dream come true in this respect, and these were three truly special football players.   Can you name them? 

The first football player to have his number retired, was also the first football player selected as an All-American at Western Carolina.  He played guard on both the offense and defense (imagine that today), and was a member of the Catamount team to win their first North State Conference title, and the same team holds the honor of earning the first postseason bid, a visit to the Smoky Mountain Bowl in Bristol, Virginia.

His retired number - #54, his name is Art Bird (1946-49).

The second Catamount to have his football number retired was also selected as an All-American (AP & AFCA), and also earned selection as an All-American in two other sports, Baseball  and Track & Field. This individual remains the only three sport All-American in Western Carolina history.  Over his career, he established over 40 football records, and was selected as the North Carolina College Athlete of the Year in 1975.

His retired number - #23, his name is Jerry Gaines (1970-1975).

The third and final Catamount to have his football number retired is probably the most honored football player in Western's football history. Named All-Conference 4 times, he remains Western's and the SoCon's only 3 time All-American selection (1984-86-87).  He owned 5 NCAA 1-AA kicking records, 10 Southern Conference records, and 18 Western Carolina records as well as having the distinction of WCU's highest NFL draft selection, fifth by the Buffalo Bills in 1987.   Kicked 71 field goals (11 of  which were 50 or more yards) and only missed one (1) extra point attempt in four seasons.

His retired number - #14, his name is Kirk Roach (1984-87).

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Finally, August and Football

Well, August is finally here.  As you probably already know, August is a big month in college football.

A great deal will be also be happening in Catamount football during the month of August. In just 5 days from today, on Aug 6th, all members of the Catamount football team officially report in for football camp.  In just 6 days (Aug 7th), the first official practice will be conducted on Bob Waters Field. In just 11 days (Aug 12th) the Catamounts will take to the field for their first practice in pads. These are the events we've been impatiently waiting for all those months since the end of the 2009 season. (The Cats official practice schedule has not yet been posted, but when it is, we'll make sure it gets posted here.)

Another big event scheduled for August is a practice scrimmage. This scrimmage is to be conducted in conjunction with a "cook-out" and "Pick your parking place" day to be held in Cullowhee. So join the Catamount Club (if you have not all ready) and make plans to come to Cullowhee on August 14th for the cookout, to pick your parking place, then enjoy all the action of a Catamount practice scrimmage.

Remember, we've got 4 great quarterbacks looking to earn a starting job, so get your first sneak peak. It doesn't get any better than this.