Sunday, October 31, 2010

Golf: Catamounts to Host Hummingbird Intercollegiate

The Catamount men's golf team ends the fall part of the 2010-11 golf schedule today (Sunday) through Tuesday (Oct. 31 through Nov. 2), as they host the Hummingbird Intercollegiate at the Country Club of Sapphire Valley.

The 18-team field matches the largest in tournament history (which was established a season ago). Fourteen of the 18 teams in this year's event are returnees from last year's year. Three teams are ranked in the GolfStat top 100 and eight are ranked among the top 150 in the rankings. Kennesaw State is the highest ranked team at 62nd with Vanderbilt 73rd and Akron 97th this week.

The field includes Southern Conference members Appalachian State, Elon, Furman, Samford and Wofford, and the Catamounts. Other participating are Francis Marion, Gardner-Webb, High Point, Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne (IPFW), Jacksonville, Kentucky, UAB, Radford, Kennesaw State, Vanderbilt, Akron, and Winthrop.

The schedule:
Sunday, Oct. 31
Practice Round by assigned tee times

Monday, Nov. 1
8:00 am - Range Opens
9:00 am - 1st round tee times (subject to frost delay)

Tuesday, Nov. 2
8:00 am - Range Opens
9:00 am - 2nd round tee times (subject to frost delay)

The Dennis Wagner Show (10-31-10)

The Dennis Wagner Show (10-31-10)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Western Carolina 2011 Baseball Schedule

Catamount Baseball Coach Moranda released today a 56-game 2011 regular season schedule which includes 29 home dates at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium, and 24 road games.  The Cats will open the season at home on Feburary 18th, and conclude the season in the SoCon Baseball Tournament in Charleston, S.C. on May 25-29.

The Cats will host a six-game, four-team tournament in Forest City, N.C., at McNair Field on March 4th - 6th. The tournament field will be made up of the Catamounts, the Akron Zips, Ohio State Buckeyes and Army Black Knights, for three-days of double-header baseball.

2011 WCU Catamount Baseball Schedule

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Basketball Season - 17 days away

While everyone still has football fever, it's hard to believe there is only 17 days remaining until the Catamounts take to the basketball court against ACC foe, Clemson.

The Catamounts finished last season with a very respectable 22-12 (11-7 SoCon) record, good enough to finish in second place in the North Division. At home, the Cats won 27 of their last 31 games in the Ramsey Center, which includes a 15-game win streak. The Cats did graduate 5 seniors, but return a good nucleus, and hopefully will pick up where they left off.

Likely picks for starters this season are:
Guard: Keaton Cole, Mike Williams, & Harouna Mutombo.
Forward: Richie Gordon and Anthony Phillip.

The Newcomers: Preston Ross, Brandon Boggs, Tom Tankelewicz, & Dillon Dunford.

Preston Ross, is a 6-foot-4 guard from Fayetteville, N.C., and Brandon Boggs, a 6-foot-4 guard is from Greenville, S.C. Boggs scored 24 points in the South Carolina North-South All-Star game this past summer, while Ross dropped "19 in" in the North Carolina East-West All-Star game. With continued progress on the part of both, they may see early playing time.

Tom Tankelewicz, a 6-foot-5 forward, transferred in the offseason from Charleston Southern and will sit out the 2010-2011 season. Dillon Dunford is a 5-foot-11 guard who also transferred to WCU this summer (from Lenoir-Rhyne) and also sit out this season.

The Roster

No. NAME Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
0 -Tom Tankelewicz F 6-5 185 SO Apex, N.C. (Middle Creek HS)
1 -Dillon Dunford G 5-11 165 SO Cullowhee, N.C. (Smoky Mountain HS)
3 -Anthony Phillip F 6-4 210 SR Lauderdale Lakes, Fla. (Boyd H. Anderson HS)
4 -Keaton Cole G 5-10 170 JR Toronto, Ontario (Eastern Commerce)
5 -Trey Sumler G 6-2 175 RS FR Rocky Mount, N.C. (Nash Central HS)
12 -Mike Williams G 6-2 175 SR Baton Rouge, La. (Genesis One Prep HS)
22 -Harouna Mutombo G 6-4 195 RS JR Pickering, Ontario (Pickering HS)
24 -Brandon Boggs G 6-4 180 FR Greenville, S.C. (J.L. Mann HS)
32 -Tawaski King F 6-8 245 FR Dublin, Ga. (Dublin HS)
33 -Ishmael Hollis F 6-8 190 FR Flowery Branch, Ga. (Flowering Branch HS)
34 -Blake Gallagher F 6-8 240 SR Monroe, N.C. (Fork Union Military Academy)
40 -Preston Ross G 6-4 210 FR Fayetteville, N.C. (Seventy-First HS)
44 -Sam Smithson C 6-9 225 RS SO Horse Shoe, N.C. (West Henderson HS)
50 -Richie Gordon F 6-9 245 SR Atlanta, Ga. (Lakeside HS)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

SoCon Officials

Realizing that it's often the losing team that complains about officiating in a game, I'm going to risk any "crybaby" replies that I may receive about my complaint of the officials that worked the WCU vs. ASU game. 

I say "worked" because that is what they did, they are employees of the Southern Conference, and were paid for their efforts, and should be held accountable for their actions on the field by their employers.   These officials were not paid to ensure a Mountaineer win, which is what their on field actions guaranteed.  Had the game been called right down the middle, the final outcome may well have resulted in an ASU win anyway, but, we'll never know, as the Catamounts were not afforded a fairly called game. 

Fair and competent officiating of a contest is to be expected and deserved by every member institution of the Southern Conference.   However, these officials did make incorrect calls at critical points in the game, that killed or reversed scoring opportunities and momentum for the Catamounts.   This game could have (and should have) ended with a much more competitive score. 

Since this game was shown on SportSouth, a game review of the conduct of game officials can and should be conducted by SoCon officials for any bias shown against WCU in this game.   In the last 5 years, there has certainly been no home field advantage for the Catamounts playing in Cullowhee.

ASU 37 - WCU 14

Appalachian State rushed out to a 20-point lead in the first quarter en route to a 37-14 victory over Western Carolina on Saturday at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field.   With the win, the Mountaineers retained possession of the Old Mountain Jug for the sixth-consecutive year while also capturing their 25th-straight Southern Conference victory.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Game Day in Cullowhee (10-23-10)

             Appalachian State Mountaineers (6-0)
               Western Carolina Catamounts  (2-5)
When / where:
Oct. 23, 2010 at 3:00 p.m. / Bob Waters Field at E. J. Whitmire Stadium (13,472), Cullowhee, North Carolina

Last Week:
The Catamounts lost on the roat to Wofford (14-45), while the Mountaineers won at home against The Citadel (39-10)

The series:
Western Carolina and Appalachian State, will meet for the 75th time – the “Diamond Anniversary” – in their annual gridiron grudge match, this game will also mark the 35th "Battle for the Old Mountain Jug".  

The Catamounts trail in the all-time series, 18-55-1, in a series that dates back to 1932.   WCU has lost 23 of the last 25 overall meetings in the head-to-head series. 

 Head Coaches:
WCU - Dennis Wagner (Utah ‘82) Overall Record: 51-60-1 (12th season), at WCU: 7-23 (3d season)

ASU - Jerry Moore (Baylor, 1961) Overall Record: 222-124-2 (29th season), at ASU: 195-76 (22nd season)


Catamount Sport Network
WWCU, Power 90dot5 – Cullowhee
680 AM WRGC – Sylva
920 AM WPTL – Canton
1150 AM WAVO - Charlotte / Rock Hill, S.C.
1410 AM WTIX - Concord / Kannapolis
1480 AM WPFJ, The Dove – Franklin
1600 AM WTZQ – Hendersonville

ASU Sports Network
WKBC-FM 97.3
WATA-AM 1450
WFMR-AM 1230
WZGM-AM 1350
WTOE-AM 1470
WCOG-AM 1320
WLNC-AM 1300
WLON-AM 1050
WSML-AM 1200
WZTK-FM 101.1
WCMC-FM 99.9

Online:  Stretch Internet

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Beat Appy

               This year's Beat Appy tee-shirt

Rally in the Ramsey

"The WCU Athletics Department will host "Rally in the Ramsey" at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday,  10-21-10) a tip-off event for the men's and women's basketball teams.

Head Men's Basketball Coach Larry Hunter and Head Women's Basketball Coach Karen Middleton will preview their respective teams and also introduce the players.

Doors open at 7:15 p.m. and free pizza will be available for the first 100 students. The event begins with a drum line show and then each team will be introduced.

After the introductions, the real fun begins, with a skill show, highlighting the basketball prowess from individuals on each of the men's and women's teams. Paws and the cheerleaders will be on hand for a pep rally that will precede a skit performed by the men's and women's basketball players. Then, the floor will be opened up for selected students to participate in an obstacle course with the players.

At the conclusion, as those in attendance are exiting the event, the first 500 students will receive a "Beat App" T-shirt. The give-way coincides with the Catamount football team hosting rival Appalachian State at 3:00 p.m. Saturday."

- Courtesy of the WCU Sports Information Dept.

Men's Golf Finishes Second at the Davidson Invitational

The Western Carolina men's golf team rallied to a second-place finish on Tuesday afternoon at the Davidson College Invitational held at the par-72, 7,209-yard River Run Country Club. WCU stood in fifth place entering the final 18 holes and posted a 293 to advance to the runner-up position.

Women's Golf Wins Tribe Invitational

The Western Carolina women's golf team maintained an opening round lead on Sunday, to claim the 2010 Tribe Invitational held at the Hollows Golf Course in Montpelier, VA.

This is the first team championship of the season for WCU and the first under first-year head coach Mallory Hetzel. "I am really proud of the effort this team gave this weekend in securing a team championship," said Hetzel. "WCU has played at a high level and experienced team championships for a long time now. This squad knows how to play at the championship level. Each week presents a new challenge, and we will look to build upon this title and use it as we move forward in finishing the fall strong and to propel us into our spring season."

Congratulations to the women's golf team on this championship.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Football: SoCon Saturday

Appalachian State
Western Carolina

Date:  October 23, 2010

Location:  Cullowhee, NC

Time:  3:00 p.m.

Monday, October 18, 2010

History of the WCU-ASU Rivalry

(This article was originally composed by Western Carolina Hall of Fame member, Steve White, who served as Western Carolina sports information director for 28 years before his retirement in 1998. It has been edited and added to by the current Western Carolina Media Relations staff. White has been involved with the Catamount Sports Network, broadcasting WCU football and basketball games since 1970)

History of the WCU-ASU Rivalry

When the football teams representing Appalachian State and Western Carolina will lineup for kickoff annually, they renew a rivalry that has been - and will continue to be - one of the finest and most enduring in NCAA Division I-AA football, the State of North Carolina, and the South.

The rivalry had natural origins. Appalachian and Western were the only public colleges in the western half of North Carolina for decades and made similar steps to their present status as comprehensive regional universities. Both basically recruited athletes from the same high schools in the early years and their graduates were, in large part, public school teachers. The alumni of the schools found themselves working together, which helped foster the rivalry.

There have also been enough impact games in the series to stoke the fire of the rivalry, earning Sports Illustrated magazine's designation in the mid-1980s as "the best football rivalry you've never heard of."

The schools began meeting on the football field back in 1932 and it was all App State in the first 13 meetings as Western only scored five touchdowns in that dismal stretch. The Catamounts finally found the answer in 1949 with a 13-6, streak-snapping win. WCU went on to win the North State Conference championship and received a postseason bowl bid.

The rivalry had its moments in the 1950s and 60s, but was somewhat overshadowed by the dominance of Lenoir-Rhyne, which ruled small college football in the Carolinas in those decades.

There was a strange stretch of games from 1964 through 1971 in which neither team could win at home. Western won four-straight in Boone, while the Mountaineers took four consecutive in Cullowhee.

Western Carolina's longest string of victories in the series - a modest five-game streak - began in 1971 when, ironically, Appalachian State began playing in the Southern Conference. ASU became WCU's sponsor for conference membership, but it took six more years for the Catamounts to join its arch-rival in the SoCon.

An incident related to WCU's quest for Southern Conference membership occurred during the 1974 season that threw gasoline on the fires of the rivalry. Appalachian State officials informed Dr. H. F. Robinson, WCU's Chancellor, and Bob Waters, the athletics director and head football coach for Western, that if Jerry Gaines, the Catamounts' all-star wide receiver/kick returner - and arguably the school's best athlete ever - were allowed to play in the WCU-ASU football game in Boone, ASU would withdraw their support of Western's membership for the Southern Conference.

The premise was that Gaines was playing in 1974 season as a fifth-year medical red-shirt and red-shirting was not permitted in the Southern Conference. Gaines was injured in the first half of the second game of the 1971 season, incidentally against Appalachian State. Catamount fans believed Appalachian State's motive was based upon Gaines' performance in the previous two meetings in the series, both won handily by Western.

Gaines did not play in 1974, but his replacement, true-freshman Wayne Tolleson, caught what proved to be the winning touchdown pass in a 21-17 Catamount victory.

The old cliché "you can throw away records in this one" always applies to rivalry games and rang to its truest in the 1975 meeting in Cullowhee. The Catamounts were having a miserable 2-7 season and had been humiliated the week before by Furman, 34-0. On that same Saturday, Appalachian had pulled off perhaps its biggest upset ever in a defeat of the University of South Carolina in Columbia, and arrived in Whitmire Stadium with an overall mark of 7-2. The Asheville Citizen-Times said the Mountaineers were favored "by the temperature at kickoff," which was predicted to be 62 degrees. The Catamounts supplied perhaps the biggest shocker in the series history with a 20-11 upset win for hits fifth-consecutive victory in the rivalry.

The rivalry was personified and renewed with the creation of the "Old Mountain Jug" in 1976. The theme was devised by the Western Carolina and Appalachian State sports information directors and promoted by the student government associations of both schools. The trophy - a representation of an old moonshine jug commonly used by bootleggers in the mountains of western North Carolina - is graced on either side with each school's respective logo from that 1976 year.

The first Old Mountain Jug was presented after the 1976 game played in Boone, where it stayed for a year after the 24-17 ASU victory in the "new" rivalry.

The remaining meetings in the 1970s were memorable for a variety of reasons. The 1977 game, won by Western, was the first played in the series as a Southern Conference game, as WCU finally received admittance to the league. It also marked WCU's first victory of the trophy in the series. The Mountaineers came to Cullowhee in 1978 and knocked the Cats' out of the conference championship before an ABC-TV regional television audience. In 1979, Western and App played the second football game ever televised by ESPN in Boone.

After losing three Old Mountain Jug games in a row from 1978-80, the Catamounts put together a four-game winning streak. The most significant came in 1983 when Western clinched a bid to the NCAA I-AA playoffs with a 41-15 rout of the Mountaineers in Cullowhee. WCU went on to play for the I-AA National Championship.

"The Streak" - the string of 13 consecutive Appalachian State wins from 1985 - 1997 - was marked by the outstanding play of ASU teams that won four conference championships and seven that advanced to the I-AA playoffs. It also included a string of near-misses by WCU squads.

In the 1986 game, Western's captains messed up the coin-toss resulting in the Catamounts having to kickoff to start each half. ASU scored 10 points off great field positions following those kicks in a 17-13 win. The 1992 Cats would have claimed an automatic I-AA playoff bid with a win in Boone, but a pair of missed conversions and a blocked field goal led to a 14-12 defeat in the first of three-consecutive agonizing Western losses in the rivalry.

The next season, Western Carolina led 14-0 in the first quarter, but the Mountaineers rallied for a 20-16 victory. Over 15,000 fans overflowed E. J. Whitmire Stadium for the '94 game as WCU's frustration continued. Appalachian State completed a 95-yard pass play out of their own end zone on a third-and-seven play on the last play of the third quarter to setup the winning score in a 12-7 thriller.

Catamount fans rejoiced the end of "the Streak" six years ago by bringing down the Whitmire Stadium goal posts following the Catamounts' dominating defensive - yet still unlikely - 23-6 win over the playoff-bound Mountaineers.

From 1998-2003, the Mountaineers won five-straight, but in the Battle for the Old Mountain Jug fashion, the past four of those five were settled by 10-or-fewer points. In 2001, Appalachian raced to a big first half lead only to see the Cats rally in the second half. A late interception by ASU in the end zone killed the Western's thoughts of a comeback victory.

And in 2003, Appalachian State scored 14 of its 26 points off of Western turnovers - while overcoming six fumbles of their own - en route to the 26-18 victory in Boone, retaining the Jug for another season.

Then, in 2004, one of the most memorable "Battles for the Old Mountain Jug" took place in front of 14,714 - the second-largest crowd ever in Cullowhee - the newly expanded E.J. Whitmire Stadium. Reserve quarterback Justin Clark completed all five of his pass attempts, two for touchdowns, to lead an 11-point comeback that will go down in the record books as one of the greatest in this rivalry's history. A combined total of 45 points were scored in the game's final 23 minutes with Western ending the five-game skid to ASU.

The Appalachian State - Western Carolina rivalry is just one of the many that have helped make college football the classic American spectacle that it became in the last century, and hopefully, will continue to be in our ever-changing society.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Game Day in Spartinburg (10-16-10)

                 Western Carolina Catamounts  (2-4)
                  #14  Wofford College Terriers  (4-1)

When / where:
Oct. 16, 2010 at 1:30 p.m. / Gibbs Stadium (Grass - 13,000), Spartanburg, SC

Last Week:
The Catamounts lost at home to Samford, while the Terriers won on the road at Georgia Southern

The series:
Wofford and Western Carolina have faced each other 32 times since 1952, with Wofford holding a 20-12 lead in the series.   The Terriers have won eight of the last ten games, including the last four in a row.  At Gibbs Stadium, Wofford is 6-0 against the Catamounts and 14-3 overall in Spartanburg.

Head Coaches:

WCU - Dennis Wagner (Utah ‘82) Overall Record: 51-59-1 (12th season), at WCU: 7-22 (3d season)

Wofford - Mike Ayers (Georgetown, Ky. ‘74)  Overall Record: 158-126-2  (25th year), Wofford Record: (23d year)

Catamount Sport Network
WWCU, Power 90dot5 – Cullowhee
680 AM WRGC – Sylva
920 AM WPTL – Canton
1150 AM WAVO - Charlotte / Rock Hill, S.C.
1410 AM WTIX - Concord / Kannapolis
1480 AM WPFJ, The Dove – Franklin
1600 AM WTZQ – Hendersonville

Wofford Sport Network
ESPN Spartanburg 1400 AM, 97.1 FM
1440 AM (Greenville)

Online:  Stretch Internet

Live Video:  Wofford Terrier All Access

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Dennis Wagner Show (10-14-10)

WCU at Wofford

Western Carolina (2-4, 1-2) at  #14/17 Wofford (4-1, 2-0)

Location: Gibbs Stadium, Spartanburg

Kick-off: 1:30 p.m.  (10-16-10)

Pregame: Meet the Southern Fried Football Tour & the Catamount Club will be hosting a tailgate for Catamount Club Members at this weekend's game against Wofford in Spartanburg to support the Catamounts!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Samford blasts WCU at Homecoming

Four interceptions and two fumbles set up Samford touchdowns on their way to a 38-7 spanking of Western Carolina in front of a homecoming crowd in Cullowhee Saturday night.

Western Carolina now has a home losing record of 0-5 going back to the 2009 homecoming game,  and is currently 1-2 in conference play.  The top 5 teams in the conference remain on the Catamount schedule, with the Catamounts traveling to #2 Wofford next week.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Game Day in Cullowhee (10-9-10)

                                       Samford Bulldogs (2-3)
                       Western Carolina Catamounts (2-3)

When / where:
Oct. 9, 2010 at 3 p.m. / Bob Waters Field at E. J. Whitmire Stadium (13,472)  Cullowhee, NC

Last Week:
The Catamounts won in Charleston (24-13), while the Bulldogs falls to Elon (24-19) on the road.

The series:
Samford and Western Carolina are meeting for the eighth time, with Samford holding a 6-1 advantage in the series .   Western Carolina won the first meeting of the series in 1969, but Samford has won the last six meetings in a row, Samford has won both meetings since joining the Southern Conference in 2008.

Head Coaches:
WCU - Dennis Wagner (Utah ‘82) Overall Record: 51-58-1 (12th season)
At WCU: 7-21 (3d season)

Samford: -  Pat Sullivan (Auburn, ‘72)   Overall Record: 41-63-1 (10th year)  Samford Record: 17-21 (4th year)

The Game:
Western is coming in off a road win at The Citadel, while Samford is coming off a road loss at Elon, and still looking for their first SoCon win of the season.  Samford's senior running back Chris Evans was named to the preseason watch list for the Walter PaytonWard and Bulldog senior linebacker Bryce Smith was named to the watch list for the Buck Buchanan Award.

For the past three weeks, Western Carolina’s defensive unit has come up with big plays and turnovers – 13 in the past three outings.  WCU scored defensive touchdowns in two of the last three games and Western Carolina is THIRD in the SoCon against opponents’ rushing attacks, limiting foes to 110 yards on the ground per game.

Catamount Sport Network

WWCU, Power 90dot5 – Cullowhee
680 AM WRGC – Sylva
920 AM WPTL – Canton
1150 AM WAVO - Charlotte / Rock Hill, S.C.
1410 AM WTIX - Concord / Kannapolis
1480 AM WPFJ, The Dove – Franklin
1600 AM WTZQ – Hendersonville

Stretch Internet

Live Video at: Catamount All Access

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Brandon Pechloff

True freshman Brandon Pechloff got his first ever college start Saturday at the Citadel. Playing in only his second college game, and after throwing three interceptions against Chattanooga the prior week, Pechloff tossed two touchdown passes, going 10 of 19 completions with no interceptions, and throwing for a total of 154 yards.

Pechloff got something else Saturday night, a win and a whole lot of new found confidence.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

WCU 24 - The Citadel 13

Western Carolina led the entire game in beating The Citadel Bulldogs 24-13, Saturday afternoon at Johnson Hagood Stadium in Charleston, SC.

The win snaps WCU's 16-game SoCon road game losing skid, while Brandon Pechloff tossed two touchdown passes in his first collegiate start.

more to follow.....