Friday, September 28, 2012

Western Carolina at Furman

The Catamount Legacy

Catamount athletics is welcoming home ALL former student-athletes, coaches, athletic trainers and team managers home to Cullowhee for a special Homecoming reunion. The first-ever "Catamount Legacy All Sports Reunion" which will coincide with the 2012 WCU Homecoming Weekend on Oct. 5-6, 2012.

For more information or to reserve your spot for the "The Catamount Legacy All Sports Reunion," please contact Stefanie Conley, WCU Athletics Director of Special Events at (828) 227-2401 or by E-mail at

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

SoCon Football Teleconference

"It was a great ball game up here in Cullowhee - one we hate we lost with the 11-point lead going into the fourth quarter. But Samford did a great job of making plays in the fourth quarter and we didn't. It became a game of field position," said Speir while reflecting on last Saturday's four-point loss in Cullowhee. "We had a great atmosphere, a great crowd. I just hated it for our players and our fans that we didn't get it done last Saturday. But we got beat by a good football team; Samford is a class act. It was just a good college football game. But we feel like we let one get away."

"We got another tough game coming up this weekend down in Greenville against a Furman Paladin football team. You know what you're going to get when you go play Furman. They've got a lot of good football players so we're anticipating another big ball game," said Speir while breaking down the Paladins.

"(Furman's) a sound team that is going to try to establish the run game and then hurt you with the play action off of those runs they do so well. Our defense has to be disciplined," explained Speir. "On offense, we've got to finish drives. We've moved the ball at times but have trouble other times in finishing drives with points. Furman's not going to give you a lot of big plays, so we've got to stay consistent."

SoCon Football Teleconference

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lauer named SoCon Soccer POW

Catamount sophomore Jennifer Lauer is the Southern Conference’s women’s soccer player of the week for matches Sept. 17-23.

Lauer posted nine saves to go along with a 0.00 goals against average as WCU tied Elon 1-1 on Friday and topped UNCG 1-0 on Sunday.

The weekly award is the first of the Acworth, Georgia, native’s career.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Quotes about the Samford game

Quotes about the game.

 "It was a tough loss. I am proud of the effort our guys put forth, but we didn't come here to just be competitive. We came to win," WCU first-year head coach Mark Speir opened during his post-game media press conference. "I feel we let one slip away. Give credit to Samford as they made the plays at the end. When you go into the fourth quarter with an 11-point lead, you've got to win those."

“A lot of hurt coaches, players, managers, doctors, fans,” Speir said. “What an awesome fan (turnout). I can’t say enough about Western North Carolina and the fans and the band. It just hurts. I just want it so bad for this place.”

“I think the defense played a great football game,” said WCU quarterback Eddie Sullivan, who completed 16 of 35 passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns but was picked off twice. “They did what they were supposed to do. The offense, we need to tighten up and get things better. We need to capitalize on all assignments.”

“We had enough heart to come back and win the football game, and that is what’s special about this team,” Samford coach Pat Sullivan said. “Our guys have taken pride in how hard they’ve worked, and they believe the fourth quarter is their’s.”

Conner Orr scores

Senior tight end Connor Orr hauls in the first touchdown of his career Saturday night against Samford.
Photo: Courtesy WCU Sports Information

Cats let the win slip away in the 4th

Samford rallied for 15-points in the fourth quarter, to overcome the Catamouts 11 point lead, to slip away with a 4 point victory on Saturday afternoon, 25-21, at E.J. Whitmire Stadium.

"It was a tough loss. I am proud of the effort our guys put forth, but we didn't come here to just be competitive. We came to win," WCU head coach Mark Speir said during his post-game press conference. "I feel we let one slip away. Give credit to Samford as they made the plays at the end. When you go into the fourth quarter with an 11-point lead, you've got to win those."

Fabian Truss led the Bulldog attack, rushing 23 times for 180 yards and two touchdowns, and added a team-high five catches out of the backfield for 23 yards.

The Cats travel to Travelers Rest, S.C., next Saturday to battle the Furman Paladins in their annual "White Out" game. Kickoff at Paladin Stadium is at 1:30 pm.

Baseball - Scout Day

The Catamounts held scout day last Wednesday, Sept. 19 on-campus at Hennon Stadium. A total of 22 Major League baseball teams were represented, as well as the MLB scouting bureau were on campus to watch and evaluating the Catamounts' fall practice session. Fall practice continues both Saturday and Sunday with intrasquad scrimmages. Practice begins at 10:00 am on Saturday morning and 11:00 am on Sunday. Courtesy WCU Sports Information

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mitchell visits White House

The 2012 United States Olympic team, including former WCU sprinter Manteo Mitchell visited Washington D.C., and the White House last Friday afternoon.

At the White House, President Obama singled out Mitchell, saying that his story was "one of my favorite stories of the whole Olympics."

"He talked about the Olympians being an inspiration, and when he said that my story was the most inspiring, it caught me off guard," recalled Mitchell. "The White House sent me the script because I didn't believe that he actually said it, but there it was. I thought it was cool. I inspired him, and he's the President of the United States of America. It humbled me to know that he was inspired by our team and me."

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Bob Waters Memorial

Catamount Golf Tour – The Bob Waters Memorial 

 September 21, 2012 (Friday before WCU vs. Samford)
 High Vista Country Club - Mills River, N.C. 

10:00 am Shotgun Start

All funds raised from this event will benefit WCU Athletics.

Individual Entry: $125.00 Team Entry: $600.00 (Includes 4 Man Team plus Hole Sponsorship)

All Entries include:
 · 18 Hole Golf Tournament
 · Dinner · Beverages
 · Tournament Gift
 · Tournament Awards
 · Interaction with WCU Coaches and Staff

Hole Sponsorships for this event only are available: $100.00 per hole

Tournament Format: 4 Person Captain’s Choice (Scramble)

Contact the Catamount Club office to register at 828.227.3047 or

Monday, September 17, 2012

Football: Samford Bulldogs on Saturday

Wofford rolls over the Catamounts

Wofford's ground game pounded out 49 points as the ninth-ranked Terriers romped over the Catamounts, 49-20, at Gibbs Stadium Saturday night.

Wofford senior Eric Breitenstein finished the night with 160 yards on 18 carries and three touchdowns. Wofford quarterback Michael Weimer rushed six times, for a total of 141 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Donovan Johnson finished the night with 126 yards rushing and one touchdown.  The Terriers gained over 590 yards total on the night, with only 5 of those yards coming from their passing attack.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Wofford Terriers

The third in a series of looks ahead at WCU 2012 football opponents. 

Game 3 -  Wofford Terriers

Date with Wofford: Saturday, Sept. 15th, 7:00 p.m

Site: Gibbs Stadium (13,000 - Natural grass, Bermuda), Spartanburg, SC 

Series: WCU trails 12-22-0

Head Coach: Mike Ayers (162-111-1 in 24 yrs)

2011 Record: (8-4, 6-2 in SoCon)

Basic Offense: Wingbone

Basic Defense: Multiple 50

Lettermen Returning / Lost: 47 / 17

Starters Returning / Lost (O/D/S): 17(7/7/3)  /  8(4/4/0)

The Catamounts travel to Spartanburg, SC to open the conference regular season against the Wofford Terriers on Saturday, Sept. 15th 2012.  The Cats and dogs will be meeting  for the 35th time on the gridiron. The Terriers own a 22-12 record against the Cats, and have won the last six straight games. The Cats trail 3-13 in games played in Spartanburg.

Head Coach Mike Ayers is entering his 25th season as skipper of the Terriers, and is 162-111-1 as their head coach. With a total of 14 starters returning (seven on offense, seven on defense), Ayers and his Terriers expect to be challenging once again for the Southern Conference Championship.

On offense, the good news for Coach Ayers and his triple option offense that led the nation in rushing last season is returning Walter Payton Award candidate Eric Breitenstein (1,474 yds, 19 TDs, 5.5 YPC). Thankfully for the rest of the SoCon, this will be Breitenstein's senior season. Flanking Breitenstein as the two wing backs will be Donovan Johnson (110 ATT, 967 YDS, 9 TDs, 8.8 YPC) and Brad Nocek (28 ATT, 168 YDS, 6.0 YPC), both are experienced and are threats on the perimeter for the Terriers.

Wofford must replace three-year signal caller Mitch Allen, who was also a big running threat.  Allen finished his career with 2,574 yards rushing. Rising senior Brian Kass has emerged as the likely starter during spring practice. James Lawon appears to be the top backup to Kass. The offensive line returns four of five starters.

Key Offensive Returnees:  fullback Eric Breitenstein (1,474 yds, 19 TDs, 5.5 YPC); wingback Donovan Johnson (110 ATT, 967 YDS, 9 TDs, 8.8 YPC); wingback Brad Nocek (28 ATT, 168 YDS, 6.0 YPC); wideout Jeff Ashley (7 REC, 188 YDS, 2 TDs, 26.9 AVG)

On Defense, Ayers has returning seven starters from a defensive unit that was among the SoCon's best last season.  Wofford ranked second in total defense (311.8 YPG).  However, their biggest losses are on the defensive line,  Ameet Pall, Eric Eberhardt and Alex Goultry all graduated.

Linebackers, are a strength for Wofford and the Terriers return all four starters from last season, however Wofford will open the season without outside linebacker Alvin Scioneaux (85 tackles, 17.0 TFL, 8.5 SCK, 5 FF). Scioneaux had offseason knee surgery and will probably miss at least the first two games ; senior inside linebacker Mike Niam (83 TACK, 6.0 TFL); inside linebacker Mike McCrimon (62 TACK, 5.0 TFL); outside linebacker Phillip LeGrande (34 TACK, 3.0 TFL).  The secondary also returns good talent, with three of four starters returning. The only loss was cornerback Preston Roseborough.

Key Offensive Returnees: outside linebacker Alvin Scioneaux (85 tackles, 17.0 TFL, 8.5 SCK, 5 FF); inside linebacker Mike Niam (83 TACK, 6.0 TFL); inside linebacker Mike McCrimon (62 TACK, 5.0 TFL); outside linebacker Phillip LeGrande (34 TACK, 3.0 TFL)

In preseason polling, Wofford was picked 3d by the coaches and 2d by the media, so this could very well be an outstanding season for the Terriers. Winning has always been tough for the Cats at Wofford, and this years game will certainly be no different.  I'm not prediction a victory, but the Cats should not come away embarrassed with another 42-24 loss.

Update - the Terriers have played two games thus far.  The first, a 34-7 win at Gardner-Webb and then a 82-0 beat down of Division II, Lincoln.

Wofford's only Div I game was against the Runnin Bulldogs, which lost lastt weekend to Richmond by a score of 41-8. The Terriers have not been seriously tested this year, so even two games into the season, it's difficult to know what to expect from the Terriers, except for a hard fought game. This game should be a much better measuring stick of the Cat's progress under the new coaching staff than last week's game  against the Thundering Herd of Marshall. The Terriers will be ready, unless their players have already marked this one down as a win.

2 Days until Game Day

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cat Chat with Mark Speir

The September 11th edition of Cat Chat on Big Wise radio (ESPN 1310), with Catamount Head Football Coach Mark Speir.

Listen here 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

SoCon Football Teleconference

Comments from Head Coach Mark Speir.

"I thought our players played hard for the most part. We got kind of worn down late in the third and early in the fourth quarters. But I thought our kids battled and played hard. We've just got to each week get better," said Coach Speir about the Marshall game.

"We've got a huge opponent coming up this weekend, opening up SoCon play against Wofford. I think a lot of Coach (Mike) Ayers and his staff there. They've got a lot of respect from our coaches and our players. They do a great job with coaching and their players do a great job with executing their scheme and playing hard. We've just got to get better and prepare ourselves for a big-time ball game."

"They're just an old-school, physical football team," said Speir. "They do a lot offensively as far as motion and giving you a lot of formations. Their (coaching) staff has been together a long time and they can keep working those formations and motions until they find something they feel like is an advantage for them. Our defense has to be sound and disciplined and we have to tackle extremely well."

"We've just got to make plays. At Marshall, we had some opportunities to make plays. We had too many dropped balls, too many penalties where we kind of self-destructed on offense. We cannot do that (Saturday) because Wofford is going to control the clock and not give you a whole lot of opportunities. When you do have opportunities, we've got to capitalize," Speir said.

Comments from Coach Speir

Monday, September 10, 2012

Remember September 11th 2001

Cats fall to Marshall

Western Carolina dropped a 52-24 decision to Marshall at Joan C. Edwards Stadium Saturday night in Huntington, West Virginia.

 "We played a good football team tonight in Marshall. We knew it was going to be tough coming in here with them coming off a tough loss to an in-state rival," said WCU head coach Mark Speir. "I was proud of our guys. I thought they played hard. Too many times we shot ourselves in the foot. We dropped more balls than we did in the preseason and the spring. We just had to execute better, but I'm proud of our guys' effort."

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cat Chat on Big Wise Radio

The September 4th edition of Cat Chat on Big Wise radio (ESPN 1310), with Catamount Head Football Coach Mark Speir.

Listen here 

SoCon Football Teleconference

The SoCon Weekly Football Teleconference was held on Tuesday, 9-4-12.

Listen to Coach Speir here

"We're going to go let them see who is the most productive this week in practice," said Speir. "We feel this competition is only going to make them better. In this offense, with as much as we do with our quarterback, you've got to have two really good quarterbacks. We feel like this will do nothing but help us."

Monday, September 3, 2012

Mitchell Named SoCon Freshman of the Week

Troy Mitchell was has been named the Southern Conference's Freshman of the Week for his performance in the 42-14 victory over Mars Hill at E.J. Whitmire Stadium. He is the fourth WCU signal caller since 2007 to earn SoCon Freshman of the Week accolades following his first career start.

Mitchell completed 20-of-29 passes (69-percent) for 149 yards and rushed for 38 yards and a pair touchdowns as the Catamounts snapped a nine-game losing streak.

Mitchell completed passes to eight different receivers, finishing his first collegiate game with a 112.12 passer efficiency.

He is a native of Mobile, Alabama

Saturday, September 1, 2012

West Virginia rolls over Marshall

Morgantown, W.V - No. 11 West Virginia rolled up 655 yards and put up 69 points on the scoreboard against the Catamounts next opponent, the Thundering Herd of Marshall. 

In the Mountaineer's balanced attack, almost half of the yardage was rushing and the reaminder in the air, in a 69-34 beat down of  Marshall,  in the highest-scoring opener in West Virginia's history.

Marshall's sophomore quarterback Rakeem Cato had a good night passing, as he completed 38-of-54 pass attempts for a career-high 413 yards and two touchdowns.

Senior Aaron Dobson led Marshall's receivers with four catches for 72 yards. However it was sophomore Eric Frohnapfel that's Cato's favorite target. Frohnapfel had six receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown.

Penalties also hurt the Herd, committing 11 penalties for 112 yards.