June 1, 2006
Cullowhee, N.C. - In the Southern Conference's annual battle for the Germann and Commissioner's Cups, Western Carolina posted finishes of third and seventh this year, respectively, as announced by the conference office. Western's third-place finish for the Germann Cup - the school's best-ever showing - coincides with the addition of softball to the women's sponsored regiment of sports, while the Catamount men compete in every SoCon-sponsored sport with the exception of men's soccer, men's tennis and wrestling. Western improved upon a pair of eighth-place finishes in last year's cup competition.
The Commissioner's and Germann Cups are awarded annually to the Southern Conference school fielding the league's best all-around men's and women's sports programs. Schools earn points based upon its regular season finish, with bonus points going to the team that wins the conference tournament championship. The Commissioner's Cup was inaugurated in 1970 and the Germann Cup was first awarded in 1987. The latter is named after former SoCon Commissioner, Ken Germann, who passed away in 2005. The Catamounts have been in contention for the Commissioner's Cup since 1977-78 and have battled for the Germann Cup since its inception in `87.
Appalachian State, the only school in the conference to field all 19 SoCon-sponsored sports, swept both the cup awards for 2005-06, marking the sixth-time in league history the Mountaineers have won both awards in the same year. All told, only three schools - Appalachian State, Furman, and the College of Charleston - have ever won the Germann Cup, with the 36 Commissioner's Cup awards divided among five schools - Appalachian State, Chattanooga, East Carolina, East Tennessee State and William & Mary.
In this season's finally tally, Western was a mere half point behind the second-place finishing College of Charleston, which tallied 68 points, in the race for the Germann Cup. The Catamounts garnered extra points during the season by virtue of the women's soccer team's SoCon Tournament Championship from its fourth-place season finish and tallied the most seasonal points on the softball team's regular season championship in its inaugural year. WCU also scored well with second-place showings during women's indoor track & field and at the women's golf championships, as well as a third at the women's track outdoor championship.
On the men's side, the Catamounts were just six and a half points shy of sharing a top five finish, scoring 52 points to finish two and a half in arrears of UNC Greensboro in sixth. Western posted first-place points twice by virtue of the men's indoor and outdoor track & field championships, and secured fourth-place points during football season with the first winning-record since 2001.
In the 19 years of competition for the Germann Cup, Western's previous best finish was fourth accomplished on four separate occasions, the most recent of which came during the 2001-02 season. During that campaign, the women's soccer team went 16-6 overall and won a share of the regular season championship before falling in double overtime of the conference tournament in Greenville, S.C. The Lady Catamount basketball team placed fifth in the final regular season standings with a .500, 9-9 record, while the women's golf team finished sixth at the SoCon Championship and the volleyball team posted a 21-11 overall record and finished third with a 15-5 SoCon mark.
During WCU's 28 years of Commissioner's Cup competition, its best finish was a second-place tally during the 1984-85 season, a mere 1.5 points shy of first-place ASU. That year, the Catamount football team posted an 8-3 overall record, 5-2 in the league, while the men's basketball team went .500 at 14-14, 8-8 SoCon. Also, the men's golf team finished fourth while the baseball team, under former coach Jack Leggett, won the conference tournament before advancing to the NCAA East Regional, falling to South Carolina. Since the `84-'85 season, WCU's best men's finish was third in 1993-94.
Germann Cup - Women's 1. Appalachian State 72.5 2. College of Charleston 68 3. WESTERN CAROLINA 67.5 4. Furman 65 5. Chattanooga 64.5 6. Davidson 55.5 7. Georgia Southern 53.5 8. UNC Greensboro 48 Elon 48 10. Wofford 28.5 11. The Citadel 19
Commissioner's Cup - Men's 1. Appalachian State 71 2. Chattanooga 69 3. Davidson 67 4. Furman 63 5. Elon 58.5 6. UNC Greensboro 54.5 7. WESTERN CAROLINA 52 8. College of Charleston 49.5 9. The Citadel 48 Georgia Southern 48 11. Wofford 41.5 12. VMI (associate) 6