Monday, April 30, 2012

The Charlotte Golf Classic

Courtesy WCU Sports Information
The Charlotte Golf Classic is scheduled for Tuesday, May 8, at Springfield Golf Club in Fort Mill, S.C.

A four-man Captain’s Choice event set to begin with a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m.  The Charlotte Golf Classic is the second stop of the 2012 Catamount Golf Tour. Individual entry is set at $150.00 per person or a team may pay $700 to be a Catamount Sponsor which includes your team’s fees and a hole sponsorship.  All entries include: 18-hole tournament, dinner, beverages, tournament gift, tournament awards and interaction with WCU coaches and staff.

For more information on the Catamount Club and the Catamount Golf Tour,  contact Assistant Director Jeremiah Fisher at (828) 227-3047 or by E-mail at

Baseball: Cats drop series to Charleston

Cullowhee, N.C. - Charleston won the series rubber match Sunday afternoon, a 6-2 victory over the Catamounts at Hennon Stadium. The Cat's seven singles on the day, stranded 11 base runners, while only pushing across 2 runs. Since sweeping Furman, the Cats have dropped two straight conference series, a sweep by Samford and this 2-1 loss to Charleston.  It does not get any easier for the Cats as they travel to Elon, then to Georgia Southern in the next two conference series.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Heffley moves into tie for career hits

Photo by Mark Haskett
Cullowhee, N.C. - Senior Ross Heffley reached first base on an infield single in the bottom of the sixth inning to move into a tie with Barrett Shaft with 336 career base hits on Sunday in Cullowhee. Along with Heffley's tie for the WCU record, he also moved into a tie for fifth-place in the SoCon record books with Shaft for career hits.

Football Season Tickets

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cats Win

The series rubber match with Charleston is scheduled for Sunday afternoon with first pitch at 1:00 pm. The game will be broadcast on the Catamount Sports Network with live streaming audio (free) and streaming video through Catamount All-Access (subscription) available on Fans can also follow the game with live GameTracker.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Cats lose

Softball: Cats sweep NC A&T

Greensboro, N.C. - The Catamounts traveled to Greensboro on Thursday and picked up a two game sweep over NC A&T. These victories extends the Catamounts' winning streak to five games, putting the Cats at 7-3 in the last 10 games. The Cats travel back to Greensboro this weekend to play UNC Greensboro on Saturday and Sunday. The double header begins at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Baseball: Previewing the Cougars

The College of Charleston Cougars (29-12 Overall, 17-7 Southern) are currently in first place in the Southern Conference baseball standings.  The Cougars will travel from the low lands of South Carolina to Cullowhee on Friday to meet the fifth place Catamounts in a crucial series for both teams. The ASU Mountaineers are currently just one game behind the Cougars in the conference standings, but with a 13-5 conference record, actually have a higher conference win percentage than CoC.

Since the Cougars joined the SoCon, the Cats are just 14-34 against Charleston on the diamond.  The Cougars are currently own a 4 game winning streak against the Cats, going back to last season when the two team met four times, with the Cougars sweeping all four.  Last season the Cougars swept the series played in Charleston last April, then eliminated the Catamounts in the conference tournament.  Along with their 20-12 record, the Cougars will bring an RPI of 33 and travel record of 11-6.  

Charleston's pitcher Christian Powell has been named to the watch list for the Pitcher of the Year, and he leads the SoCon with an ERA of 2.20 and a record of 7-2. Powell leads a CofC pitching staff that ranks fifth in the nation in ERA (2.74) and fifth in the country in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.24). Powell's teammate, David Peterson, was selected for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year watch list.

The Cougars own season sweeps this year against Furman, Wofford, Davidson, & the Citadel, and have series losses (1-2) against Elon, GSU, & ASU.

Baseball: A Win

Johnson City, TN - The Catamounts traveled to the mountains of Tennessee and picked up a much needed win against former SoCon foe ETSU. The Cats snapped a four game losing skid with a 6-1 victory in Johnson City. A four run first inning sealed the win for the Catamounts, as the Bucs were never closer than 3 runs.  Adam Curtis (5-1) picked up the victory for the Catamounts.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

2012 Soccer Schedule

Head Soccer Coach Chad Miller announced the 2012 Catamount soccer schedule.

"Opening the season with Clemson in an exhibition at home, and West Virginia on the road, is exciting for the players and should be very good early season test to gauge where we are at as a team," Miller said. "As coaches we believe this schedule will prepare us to be successful in our league with some very good opponents on the road."

"Once again we have put together a tough non-conference schedule including teams from the ACC, Atlantic 10, Atlantic Sun, America East, Big East, Sun Belt and Big South conferences," Miller said. "The Southern Conference is a very challenging and demanding league, it continues to get more competitive every year, and to be honest, the pack is very tight and every minute of every game matters."

Monday, April 23, 2012

Softball: Garrett Named SoCon Pitcher of the Week

Catamount freshman Jordan Garrett was named SoCon Pitcher of the Week honors for all games April 16-22, 2012.

Jordan is the first Catamount softball player to earn Pitcher of the Week honors since 2007, and just the second overall to be selected. During the week's games, Garrett finished 2-0 as the Catamounts earned their first series sweep of Elon. In the series, she tossed a total of 11.1 innings, and recorded a 1.24 ERA.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Softball: Cats Sweep Elon

Cullowhee, N.C. - The Catamounts won their first SoCon sweep of the season defeating Elon 10-3 Sunday at the Catamount Softball Complex. Sunday's win, combined with Saturday's double header sweep, resulted in the most dominate play for the Cats this season. The Cats head back on the road this week in conference play, as they travel to UNCG on Saturday for a three-game series.

T&F: Cats finish second in SoCon championships, again

For the second straight year, both the Western Carolina men's and women's teams placed second in the outdoor championships to Appalachian State.

 Men's Team Results - Final 
1. Appalachian State 238
2. Western Carolina 225
3. Samford 107

Women's Team Results - Final
1. Appalachian State 207.50
2. Western Carolina 149
3. Samford 113

SoCon results

Softball: Cats sweep double header

Cullowhee, NC - Catamount softball won a doubleheader over Elon Saturday at the Catamount Softball Complex. The Cats won game 1 by a 4-3 score in nine innings, then took a 7-4 victory over the Phoenix. The Cats are looking for their first SoCon series sweep of the season as they host Elon at 1 p.m. in Cullowhee.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hatcher on Stopper of the Year Watch List

Junior Preston Hatcher was been named to the watch list for the 2012 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year Award.

Hatcher currently has a perfect 5-0 record with seven saves, he has allowed just 19 base hits. Hatcher's seven saves ranks him in eighth place in Western's single-season record book, and he currently stands tied for third in the SoCon in both saves and in games finished (17). Hatcher has struck out 39 batters in 32.2 innings tossed on the season.

The 45 pitchers on the watch list were selected from 90 nominations received by the NCBWA. From the list of 45, five finalists will be selected on June 6. The winner will be announced during the 2012 College World Series, on June 15-26 in Omaha, Neb.

Cats drop game one at Samford

Birmingham, AL. - The Bulldogs scored four runs in the seventh inning to come from one run down on Friday to win the the first game of the series 6-3. Game two is scheduled for 3:00 pm EDT in Birmingham.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Baseball: at Samford

Homewood, AL - The Catamounts travel to Samford's Joe Lee Griffin Field for a three game baseball series this weekend. Game number one in the series gets underway at 7 pm (EDT) on Friday. The Cats lead the series with Samford, 5-4. The Cats won 2 of 3 last season in Cullowhee.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

2012 SoCon Outdoor Track & Field Championships

Cullowhee, NC - The 2012 Southern Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships will be held Saturday, April 21st and Sunday, April 22nd 2012.

The event will be held in Cullowhee, N.C. and hosted by Western Carolina University at the Catamount Athletic Complex. This will be the 88th annual Outdoor Track and Field Championship for the men and the 26th annual for the women.

"We are very excited to be able to host the 2012 championship meet," said head coach Danny Williamson. "It will bring many to our beautiful campus between the participants, fans and the many WCU Track & Field / Cross Country alumni that have decided to return this weekend."

"We come into this competition with the men's and women's teams with a chance to shake things up at the top of the team standings," continued Williamson. "It will not be an easy task as the conference is probably the deepest and toughest that it has ever been. Our goal, though, is to put ourselves in a position to have a chance to contend for the championship on a yearly basis."

Schedule of Events

Monday, April 16, 2012

Baseball: A week of Bulldogs

The Catamounts will open a week-long battle against Bulldogs, or at least 3 teams that carry the Bulldog mascot.

On Tuesday, WCU travels to Boiling Springs, NC for a game against the Runnin' Bulldogs of Gardner-Webb University, then on Tuesday, the Cats return to Cullowhee to host mountain foe, Asheville, a plain Bulldog team (appearantly they walk) on Wednesday. Then the Catamounts travel to Alabama on Friday for a three-game series against the Samford Bulldogs (another walking dog team). Here's hoping for much success against the dogs!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Baseball: Cats sweep Furman with 11-5 win

Cullowhee, NC - For the first conference series of the season, the Catamounts dominated their opponent and took a three game sweep over the Furman Paladins.  The Cats shut out the Furman in game one for their first season shut out, 3-0, then the Catamount bats exploded in games 2 & 3 for 9-2 and 11-4 victories.

Todays win, combined with Appy State's loss to GSU, and Charleston's win over Samford, creates a 4-way tie for first place in the Southern Conference between Western Carolina, Appy State, Elon, & Charleston.

Baseball: Cats win big

Cullowhee, NC - Western Carolina overpowered Furman, 9-2 Saturday at Hennon Stadium. The Catamounts improved their record to 24-11, and 9-5 in the Southern Conference, while the Paladins dropped to 17-19, 7-10 SoCon. The win gave the Cats a series victory over the Paladins 2-0, and they will go for the sweep Sunday afternoon.

“I thought we played really well today,” said head coach Bobby Moranda. “We played well defensively, turning a few big double plays. We had some big hits with two strikes today. I thought two strike hitting was the difference today in the game. I thought Tyler White’s approach was outstanding today through the middle of the field. We had a few two-out RBI and those are backbreakers for opposing teams. Morgan [McKinney] made some big pitches when he needed to and competed. He just competes. The bullpen came in and helped us out in a big way. They all came in and threw strikes and did exactly what we needed them to do.”

Saturday's Spring Game

Cullowhee, NC - "We were excited to have the opportunity to come out here in front of a great crowd," said head coach Mark Speir after Saturday's Spring Football Game. "The team competed today and they had fun; they were excited about today's opportunity. That will leave the team with a good taste going into summer that they are working for something and that people care about them, and that is what this game is about. It is about relationships, caring about your teammates, about your university and about Western North Carolina. I thought it was a great day."

"I think we made great strides (this spring). I think we've got a long way to go and I make no bones about that, but I think we've got a foundation set. As a team, we've established what kind of work habits we want to have; what kind of tempo we are going to have. What kind of demands we are going to put on them and we've established what it takes to be a champion."

He added, "We are not looking ahead at winning this many games or that many games. But instead, we are looking at going out and playing hard every game. We're going to play until someone kicks us off the field and we can't play anymore. Rome wasn't built in a day, but I think we've got good foundation established. We are looking forward to our new class coming in, signees I think will add to what we have here and I'm excited for the fall. August 1st can't get here fast enough."

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spring Football Game/Baseball vs. Furman

April 14, 2012

Tailgating starts at 10:00 am. Live music beginning at 11 a.m. in the Stadium Parking Lot.

- The Catamount Club will have beverages and light snacks under a few tents located in the grassy area between the Stadium Lot and the Ramsey Center.

- The Fieldhouse Patio will be open for Catamount Club members to watch the game from the patio.

Football Practice/Spring Game starts at  at 1 p.m.

All WCU Former Football Players are invited to attend a meet and greet with Head Coach Mark Speir at 12:30 p.m. prior to the Spring Game in the Hospitality Room of the Ramsey Center.

- Following the game will be an autograph session with the players and coaches in the Stadium Lot, giving you the chance to meet the coaching staff and interact with our Student Athletes.

Baseball:  vs. Furman at 4:00 pm

Go Catamounts!

Basketball 2011-12 Year-End Awards

Head Coach Larry Hunter and his staff held their annual season wrap-up with a men's baskerball team dinner on Wednesday evening on-campus.

 At the dinner, Hunter and staff handed out its team superlatives and awards.

Western Carolina Men's Basketball - 2011-12 Team Awards:
Captain's Award: Keaton Cole and Harouna Mutombo
Scholar-Athlete Award: (highest GPA beyond 24 hrs of undergraduate study) Sam Smithson
Best Assist/ Turnover Ratio: Trey Sumler
Top Rebounder: Harouna Mutombo
Best 3-Point Shooter: Keaton Cole
Best Free Throw Shooter: Trey Sumler
Top Defensive Player: Trey Sumler
Best Field Goal Pct. Shooter: Tawaski King
Most Improved: Kenneth Hall
Mr. Hustle Spirit Award: James Sinclair
MVPs: Keaton Cole, Harouna Mutombo, Trey Sumler
Catamount Attitude Award: Tawaski King

"Our staff really enjoyed coaching this team," said Hunter. "This group of young men was talented, receptive to coaching, consistently worked hard and were competitive. We were a very good team at the end of the season - our `never say die' attitude, heart, competitiveness, toughness and will to compete and win in the face of severe adversity touched a lot of people - not just Catamount fans, but people all across the country."

Track & Field: SoCon honors Bradshaw & Van Pelt

Vsn Pelt
Spartanburg, SC - Alisha Bradshaw and Jamie Van Pelt are the Southern Conference's Women's and Men's Field Athletes of the Week. The selections were made by the SoCon's track and field coaches.

Van Pelt recorded two personal records over the weekend at the Auburn Tiger Track Classic, a 49.00m (160' 9") mark in the discus and a 55.33m (181' 6") mark in the hammer throw.  He is the first WCU male to be selected this season.

Bradshaw, took the conference lead in the discus at the Auburn Tiger Track Classic by tossing a WCU record of 46.33m (152' 11"). She recorded a personal best in the hammer throw with a mark of 47.85m (157'8").

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Coach Speir on practice & Saturday's Spring Football Game

Head Coach Mark Speir
Cullowhee, NC - "I was pleased with the intensity and the progress we made today - as well as the focus we had coming off the break," said Head Football Coach Mark Speir. "We've got three more practice opportunities including our final spring scrimmage on Saturday. These three days and especially what we do on Saturday is what we're going to take into the off-season and fall camp. We've got to continue to improve and continue to push ourselves with every chance we get."

"Saturday is an opportunity to come out and watch some football here in the spring. It's a chance for our fans to see the new schemes, the new systems. But more importantly, it's a chance for us to give back to our fans. We always ask them to support us and this weekend is our opportunity to interact with our fans and get our players around them," said Speir.

He added, "The `Whee is going to be rockin' this Saturday and we want everyone to be here this weekend."

Basketball: Hana Haden added to 2012-13 roster

Hana Haden
Cullowhee, NC - The Cats have added a junior college transfer to the 2012-13 incoming class that consists of Lindsay Simpson (Franklin High School, Franklin, N.C.), Brianne Mack (Southlake Christian Academy, Gastonia, N.C.), Lindsey Burleson (North Stanly High School, Albermarle, N.C.) and Erika Joseph (Parkview High School, Lilburn, Ga.). Hana Haden (Springfield, Mo.), will transfer from Mineral Area Junior College and her addition will round out next season's women's basketball class.

"Hana is a tough -nosed point guard who has a knack for finding her teammates and leading them to easy baskets," Head Coach Karen Middleton said. "She understands the game very well, has a high basketball IQ, and has great on-court leadership skills. We are extremely excited Hana is joining the Catamount Family."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Breaking News - Former WCU football player shot

Buddy Robinson
Forest City, NC - Former Western Carolina student and football player Antonitius "Buddy" Robinson was fatally shot near his hometown of Bostic, NC in the afternoon of April 10th, 2012.

At approximately 2:34 pm, the Rutherford County Sheriff's Department responded to a residence on Old Ross Road in Forest City, NC, and found Robinson at the residence with multiple gunshot wounds. Robinson was pronounced dead on the scene, and no suspects in the shooting have been identified.

Mid-week Softball

The Catamount Softball team will travele to Rock Hill, SC on Wednesday to take on Winthrop in a doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m.  Both clubs are riding a losing streak and will be looking to snap that streak against each other. The Cats are 0-4 against Winthrop after losing a pair of games in Cullowhee last season. The trip to Rock Hill will be the first time the Catamounts have played at Winthrop.

The Cats will then host a doubleheader with Alabama State on Thursday, beginning at 4 p.m. at the Catamount Softball Complex. The "pink game" is part of a year-long initiative through Western Carolina's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). The student-athlete run organization will be at the game selling pink T-shirts as part of its breast cancer fund-raising for $10.

Cancun Challenge

Triple Crown Sports officials announced the eight teams slated to compete in the preseason 2012 Men’s Cancun Challenge to be played at the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun, Mexico.

The field includes Iowa (Big 10), DePaul (Big East), Western Kentucky (Sun Belt), and Wichita State (Missouri Valley) playing in the Riviera Division. The Mayan Division features Howard (MEAC), Austin Peay State (Ohio Valley), Western Carolina (Southern) and Gardner-Webb (Big South).

The tournament format includes eight games played in the United States (Nov. 15 and 17) with the four teams in the Riviera Division hosting the four schools in the Mayan Division. All eight teams then travel to Cancun, Mexico for two games (Nov. 20-21) to be played at the Moon Palace Resort. A champion is crowned in both divisions.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A tough weekend for the Catamounts

This has been a very difficult weekend for Catamount sports teams. The baseball team dropped a weekend series to last place Wofford, 2 games to 1. The softball team was swept by a bad ASU softball team, and tennis was once again swept by who ever they played.  Every time you think WCU athletics may have turned the corner, reality hits right between the eyes, and knocks Catamount fans out of their day dreams.

If Western fans want athletic teams that can compete (and regularly win) in the Southern Conference - they will have to step up to the plate and get the athletic program out of last place in funding of athletics in the SoCon.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Football Spring Game/Baseball vs. Furman

April 14, 2012

Tailgating starts at 10:00 am. Live music beginning at 11 a.m. in the Stadium Parking Lot.

- The Catamount Club will have beverages and light snacks under a few tents located in the grassy area between the Stadium Lot and the Ramsey Center.

- The Fieldhouse Patio will be open for Catamount Club members to watch the game from the patio.

Football Practice/Spring Game starts at  at 1 p.m.

All WCU Former Football Players are invited to attend a meet and greet with Head Coach Mark Speir at 12:30 p.m. prior to the Spring Game in the Hospitality Room of the Ramsey Center.

- Following the game will be an autograph session with the players and coaches in the Stadium Lot, giving you the chance to meet the coaching staff and interact with our Student Athletes.

Baseball:  vs. Furman at 4:00 pm

Go Catamounts!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Winter Academic All-Conference

Spartanburg, SC - The Southern Conference announced the 2011-12 winter season Academic All-Conference team. A total of 158 student-athletes earned the recognition, with six student-athletes having maintained a perfect 4.0 cumulative GPAs, including Western Carolina's Alex Abraham and Morgan Turner.

Western Carolina had a total of 17 named Academic All-Conference. To be eligible, student-athletes must carry at least a 3.3 cumulative grade point average entering the winter season and were required to compete in at least one-half of their team's competitions during the recently-concluded campaign. In addition, the student-athletes must have successfully completed at least 24 credit hours in the previous two semesters.

Academic All-Conference

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Softball: Cats travel to ASU for a weekend series

Boone, NC - The Catamount softball team travels to archrival Appalachian State for a three-game Southern Conference series at the Sywassink/Lloyd Family Stadium this weekend. The series will open on Friday at 5 p.m. and will conclude on Saturday with a doubleheader starting at 12 noon.

The Cats enter Friday's game with a 13-22 overall record and a 3-6 SoCon record, while Appy State enters on a seven-game losing streak, and is 12-17 overall and a 3-7 in league play.  However, the Cats are winless in the road, and are hopeful to pick up a series win this weekend.

Kvarnstrom SoCon Women's Golfer of the Week

Spartanburg, SC - Freshman Sofie Kvarnstrom is the Southern Conference Women's Golfer of the Week for all competition from March 28 - April 3.

Kvarnstrom won the individual medalist honor at the Mimosa Hills Intercollegiate last Tuesday with consecutive rounds of one-over par winning by three strokes. Led by Kvarnstrom's efforts, Western Carolina posted a 16-stroke victory over six other squads in the team competition.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Baseball: Cats sweep Clemson

The Catamounts won thir first, seasonal sweep (home-and-home) over Clemson with a season high 22 hits, on their way to a 13-8 victory at Clemson's Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

“We didn’t pitch well today,” Clemson Head Coach Jack Leggett said. “I thought we had an opportunity in the fifth inning, scored our four runs. Whenever we had control of the ballgame, we lost it just like that. We had guys on the mound who just didn’t get the job done today. Period.” “We made a lot of mistakes,” Leggett said, “and they made us pay for every single one of them.”

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Women's Golf: Cats win Mimosa Hills Intercollegiate

Courtesy WCU Sports Information
Morganton, N.C. - Sofie Kvarnstrom carded consecutive rounds of one-over par, 73, to win the individual title by three strokes over a second-place tie between Amanda D'Ostroph of Charleston Southern and Wofford's Elizabeth Thompson, to lead WCU to a team victory in the Mimosa Hills Intercollegiate.

The Catamounts cruised to a 16-stroke victory over six other squads at the par-72, 5,810-yard Mimosa Hills Country Club.

"Today was a true team win as everyone had a chance to contribute," said WCU head coach Mallory Hetzel. "It's nice to have that level of confidence going into the Southern Conference Championship. Mimosa Hills is a wonderful course, but it's not Hilton Head Island. The two have similar course defenses with difficult approaches to the tight greens - so in a small way, it did help prepare us, especially mentally, for the conference event."

"I am very proud of Sofie (Kvarnstrom) on her two rounds in scoring the individual championship today," said Hetzel. "She has had a tremendous freshman year with two individual championships. But most of all, I have been very pleased with her consistency for the team, especially here lately."

Morton Honored by SoCon

Spartanburg, SC - Meghan Morton was named by the Southern Conference as March women’s field athlete of the month, as well as, named the women’s outdoor field athlete of the week by the conference. She won the javelin event with a throw of 42.69m (140’1”) at the Mountains vs. Beach Invitational to close out March. Morton currently leads the conference in the event by close to 11 feet.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ask the AD

Courtesy WCU Sports Information
April's edition of "Ask the AD" by WCU Director of Athletics Randy Eaton has been posted. April 2, 2012

"It has been clearly evident that many of you, from both your questions here on “Ask the AD” and having a chance to meet you during our Catamounts Unite Tour, are extremely fired up about the changes we have made in our football program. Coach Speir, his staff, and our football student athletes have been working hard over the past few weeks during spring practice to improve both the team and the entire program as we begin this new era of Catamount Football. I would like to take this opportunity to invite all of you to this year’s Spring Game to be held on April the 14th at 1 PM. Come out and show your support for the new coaches and let our student athletes know there will be support for them and the team this fall!"

Now for questions I received this month:

Q-The turf was recently replaced (3-4 years ago) and it still has a shine/glare when the sun is on it. I was hoping that it was related to the field being new but it doesn’t seem the case. From a new point of view, how is it holding up?

A-We recently were visited by the manufacturer’s representative for the “mid-life” check-up. It seems the field is holding up well and should, at this point, make its eight to ten year life expectancy. I have heard from others about a glare the field has, but I have not seen it myself. My guess is this is due to the direction the individual fibers lay in comparison to the angle of the sun. I sense there isn’t a lot we will be able to do to fix this phenomenon.

Q-I would like to know what you plan for the soccer program at WCU? I would like your feedback on the facilities they use.

A-I finally had the chance to tour all of our facilities about two weeks ago and while not impressed, I can tell you they were not nearly as bad as I was led to believe. Yes, we do certainly have areas to address, but overall, we are neither at, nor near the bottom of, the Southern Conference when it comes to facilities. As for the soccer facilities, in particular the locker room, let me just say at my previous job at Maryland, our Women’s Soccer locker room was WORSE than what we have at Western! We do have room for improvement, but as I have said from the beginning, scholarships and operating budgets must be increased first before we can begin addressing any facility needs. Soccer, like many of our other programs, needs an influx of funding for scholarships to remain competitive in the Southern Conference. We could improve the Soccer locker room tomorrow, but unless we fund the needed scholarships, the student athletes will not come here for free.

Q-I was wondering what your plans were for the upcoming football season. I have seen so many changes made, I can hardly keep up. Everything from how tailgating is run (restrictions, parking payments, reserved parking lots, etc.) to which sideline we place our players on.

A-We are currently working on plans for the upcoming season, but many areas were addressed prior to my arrival. You may or may not know that the University established a “Tailgating Task Force” to review the policies associated with tailgating at athletic events. For the upcoming season, the Task Force recommended increasing alcohol consumption during tailgating from 3 hours to 3.5 hours prior to each game. Since all of our game times are 3:30 PM (except the Thursday night opener against Mars Hill), this means alcohol can be brought out beginning at noon on game days. The other area that was changed that will impact tailgating is doubling the number of spaces available in the Field House lot that the students use. This will be done by decreasing the number of reserved spots for each group from 6 to 3. All other lots will remain the same as they were last year, either reserved for Catamount Club members or open to the general public. All other items and areas you inquired about are still being discussed.

Q-Since there is a large alumni base in Charlotte, why do we never play Davidson in football (which is a SoCon member in every other SoCon sponsored sport) at home or away instead of playing a D-II team at home or a D-I FCS school that is further away? Also, are there any plans to play UNC-Charlotte in the future?

A-To answer your question about Davidson, we could theoretically play them, but I would NEVER travel there, just as we should never travel to a D-II school. Playing a D-II or non-scholarship program (such as Davidson) actually hurts us, to some degree, with the committee that selects the at-large FCS playoff teams. Playing a D-I FCS program gives us a better “strength of schedule” in the eyes of the selection committee versus playing a D-II or non-scholarship program. As for Charlotte, we are currently discussing a home and home series with them in the coming years.

Beaches win Fourth Annual Meet

Wilmington, NC - The Beaches - East Carolina and UNC Wilmington - defeated the Mountains - Western Carolina and Appalachian State - in the Fourth Annual Mountains vs. Beaches Track & Field Meet held in Wilmington, NC. The win for the Beaches marks the first time the teams from the east coast of North Carolina defeated the schools from the mountains of North Carolina.

Men: Beaches 354.5, Mountains 310.5
Women: Beaches 353, Mountains 321

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Cats Split Double Header Saturday

Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina and Davidson split the SoCon double-header on Saturday at Hennon Stadium, with Western taking the first game 12-6. The Wildcats rode three Catamount errors to victory in the second game of the day, with a 7-5 score.  Sunday's rubber match is scheduled for first pitch at 1 pm, with both audio and streaming video through Catamount All-Access (subscription required), both online at