April 25, 2008
Cullowhee, N.C. - Last Saturday afternoon, the annual Catamount Football Spring Game was held in front of record Spring Game crowds on the WCU campus at E.J. Whitmire Stadium/Bob Waters Field.
The event began at noon when gates opened to the public. Nearly 2,000 purple-clad fans lined up for the first-ever "A Taste of Tailgating" held on the concourse of the west-side stands. Nine local restaurants participated in the festivities and vied for the coveted Tailgate Taste-Off Award.
Bogart's Restaurant presented a luau-themed tailgating booth, complete with pink lemonade and fried Oreo cookies with ice cream. Brushy Mountain Smokehouse & Creamery of Cherokee wowed the crowd with its signature barbeque sandwich samples. O'Malley's On Main served up wings to the masses from a spirited purple and gold table, while fans got their pizza fix from Papa's Pizza-to-Go of Cullowhee.
Sub Station II introduced itself to the community with samples from its newly-opened location in Sylva. Sonic's Coney Dogs flowed freely as did the chicken sampler platters from Zaxby's. Subway of Cullowhee kept it fresh for fans with sub samples galore and a sub-eating contest winner every hour.
BoJangle's topped off the list with a sampling of Supremes, wings, and iced tea. Grading each booth on a number of criteria, the crowd selected BoJangle's the overall Tailgate Taste-Off champion.
A couple of fans also came away with prizes from the tailgate tasting area. Congratulations to Robert Temple from Clarion, PA, who won the Brushy Mountain Smokehouse/Microtel homecoming weekend package and Holly Jones who won the BoJangle's tailgating party for 30.
Following the tasting, first-year head coach Dennis Wagner took the Catamounts through a 100-play, hour and 45 minute long scrimmage that featured the offense against the defense. The team has been working hard to put a great product on the field as evidenced by the growth and cohesiveness demonstrated among the team units. Coach Wagner attributes the team's success, in part, to its dedicated fans.
"Western North Carolina wants to support a winner and that's our job," concluded Wagner. "When people come like they did today, it helps the outcome. We are very proud to be in front of them."
Fans in attendance demonstrated their pride, too, by purchasing a record number of season tickets at the event. Many people took advantage of the one-day-only special ticket deals, and families signed up their children for membership in the kids club. Excitement is mounting for a great Catamount Football season which will open Thursday, August 28, against Shorter College.
For more information about season tickets, call 800.34.GOWCU or visit www.CatamountSports.com.