Aug. 4, 2006
Cullowhee, N.C. - Seven Catamount student-athletes participated in Western Carolina's annual summer commencement exercises, held Friday night in the Liston B. Ramsey Regional Activity Center. The list included three from football, two from women's golf, one from soccer and one from baseball.
Two starters from this past year's football team, Jacob Hannah and Wendell Singletary each received their Bachelor of Science in Sport Management and Marketing, respectively. Hannah (Canton, N.C.) had four starts at tight end averaged an impressive 7.2 yards on his five receptions on the 2005 season. Singletary (Whiteville, N.C.) served as a starting left tackle over the past two seasons. Singletary started all nine games for the Catamounts at right tackle this past season. He was named the team's offensive lineman MVP for the Elon game. In that contest, All-SoCon tailback Darius Fudge rushed for 99 yards on 14 carries (7.1 yards per carry), while running back Lamont Reid averaged 7.0 yards per carry (63 yards on nine carries).
Michael Reeder, who finished his playing career in 2004, received his B.S. in Sport Management. The Wagener, S.C., native led Western in receptions in his final season, hauling in 48 passes for 547 yards to rank fifth in the SoCon. As a junior, he caught 58 passes for 638 yards, helping the Cats lead the SoCon in passing for a second consecutive year.
The women's golf team, who had three seniors this season and saw Ashley Hovda graduate this past spring, had Brandy Andersen and Erika Danford received their B.S. in Sport Management. Andersen (Orlando, Fla.) is a four-time National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) All-American Scholar as she graduated magna cum laude, taking a 3.728 GPA into her final semester this summer session. She concluded her four-year career ranked third on the career stroke average list (77.37). Western's only SoCon individual champion, Andersen was a two-time All-SoCon performer and was dubbed the league's Freshman of the Year in 2003 after guiding the Catamounts to its first-ever women's golf championship. Danford (Lake Wales, Fla.) is a two-time NGCA All-American Scholar and graduated summa cum laude, taking a 3.966 GPA into her final semester this summer, and finished her career at Western after transferring from the Univ. of Florida after her freshman year. She competed in 17 career events and ranked eighth on WCU's career scoring list, including her career-best round of 71 and best-ever finish of 14th at the `05 Great Smokies Intercollegiate.
Marie Nicolini becomes the fifth member of the 2005 SoCon championship soccer team to receive her degree, receiving a B.S. in Communication. The Cary, N.C., native helped WCU's defense pitch a school-record and SoCon-best 13 shutouts in 2005. Also, by winning the 2005 SoCon tournament championship, Western earned its first-ever berth in the NCAA College Cup Championships. Western enjoyed an NCAA-best 8.5 game turnaround in the win-loss column, also the best-ever in the SoCon, turning a 5-10-3 season into an 18-6-0 mark. The 18 wins were also a school record.
Rounding out the list is Chris Davis, one of the most prolific hitters of late in the SoCon. The Goldsboro, N.C., native, who completed his baseball playing career in 2005, received his B.S. in Sport Management. A 2002 All-SoCon honoree, Davis was a two-time All-SoCon Tournament selection, including Western's 2003 championship run and 2004 SoCon runner-up finish. Davis was additionally named to the 2003 NCAA Wilson Regional All-Tournament team. He ended his career with a .328 batting average and 45 doubles, which ranks 12th on the WCU all-time list.