Aug. 6, 2004
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina had 12 student-athletes who participated in the University's graduation ceremony on Friday night. Of the 12, seven were on teams that won a Southern Conference championship, including representatives from baseball, women's golf and soccer. In addition, two student-athletes (Rans Brempong and L.J. Williams) will return and compete in the 2004-05 season.
Brempong (Thornhill, Ontario) will return for a fifth season after fracturing his mandible in the 2003-04 season opener at Georgia and missing the rest of the season. The 6-8 forward is the WCU all-time leader in blocked shots with 225 and only needs 45 more to become the Southern Conference's all-time leader as well. (Note: Brempong has had at least 65 blocked shots in each of his three full seasons.) Brempong, who has a cumulative grade point average above 3.0, will be receiving his degree in Communication and is a two-time member of the Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll.
Williams, a wide receiver from Shelby, N.C., played in all 12 games in 2003, starting twice. He caught 16 passes for 153 yards, posting career-highs with three receptions at N.C. State and 33 receiving yards at Duke. Through Williams' contributions, Western led the SoCon in passing in each of the past two seasons. Williams, like Brempong, is a Communication major.
Those who were part of Southern Conference championship teams include Alan Beck (Hudson, N.C.) of the 2003 SoCon baseball championship team, Becca Twiner (Crystal River, Fla.) and Meredith Beck (Fletcher, N.C.) of the 2003 women's golf SoCon championship team and Lauren Bramlett (Anderson, S.C.), Jamie Pawlik (Kingwood, Texas), Tina Weaver (Hendersonville, N.C.) and Felicia Wilson (Charlotte, N.C.) of the 2001 women's soccer SoCon championship team.
Alan Beck was named the 2003 Southern Conference Baseball Player of the Year, was a three-time All-SoCon pick on the field and was a SoCon Academic Honor Roll honoree three times as well. He led the SoCon in home runs and RBI in 2003 and is a Sport Management major. Twiner, who is the first Lady Catamount to ever win individual medalist honors, is a two-time All-SoCon selection and a four-time SoCon Academic Honor Roll honoree. Meredith Beck was also a four-time SoCon Honor Roll honoree and, like Twiner, is a Sport Management and Marketing major. Bramlett (Sport Management) and Pawlik (Parks and Recreation) were both All-SoCon selections in leading Western to the 2001 regular-season title. Weaver (Sport Management) led the SoCon in saves in 2003 (123) and Wilson (Sport Management) ended her career tied for fourth on the WCU career goals scored list, despite missing eight games last season due to injury.
An assistant coach on the 2001 women's soccer team was Jerrod Roh, who will be receiving his Master's in Business Administration. Also, Andy Dunn, a graduate assistant for the football program for the past two seasons, will be receiving his Master's in Physical Education.
The men's golf team will have Gorham Bradley (Spring Hope, N.C.) and Tim Eckberg (Walnut, Ill.) graduate. Bradley, who served as on officer on the WCU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and Eckberg both receive their diploma in Sport Management. Eckberg became the first Catamount men's golfer to claim individual medalist honors since 1996 and was a two-time SoCon Academic Honor Roll honoree.
Rounding out the list of Catamount student-athletes to graduate on Friday is cheerleader Erin Mackie (Sport Management).