Sept. 29, 2006

Cullowhee, N.C. - The hills will be abuzz with activity this weekend, mostly centering around Western Carolina University and Catamount athletics. In addition to the annual Mountain Heritage Day and Family Weekend events in the Valley, the WCU soccer, women's golf and football teams will all be in action in the area. With all of the activities on campus on Saturday, fans are reminded to come early to participate and also encouraged to exercise patience when dealing with traffic and parking on campus.

Athletic activities commenced this morning as 23 teams will converge on Waynesville Country Club as Steve Lott and the Catamount women's golf team hosts the eighth-annual Wachovia-Great Smokies Intercollegiate. Practice rounds for the tournament participants will take place all day on Friday, with the opening round teeing off at 9:30 am on Saturday morning with a shotgun start. The Catamounts have captured five-consecutive individual titles and won the overall team championship four years in a row. The second and final round will tee off at 9:30 am on Sunday morning. (Check back with for full results and second round pairings on Saturday).

Tonight (Friday) the defending Southern Conference champion Catamount soccer team hosts league rival, Furman, at the Catamount Athletic Complex in a rematch of last year's tournament final. The match is set to begin at 7:00 pm. Tonight has also been designated as "Salsa Night" in helping celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month on campus. El Pacifico Mexican Restaurant in Sylva has donated chips and salsa dip for the fans. Western is unbeaten in its last four matches, which included a 3-0 shutout win over mountain-rival, UNC Asheville, last Tuesday night in the Parkway Series.

Saturday's game day on the Western Carolina campus - specifically on the intramural fields directly across from the Ramsey Center - begins with the 32nd Annual Mountain Heritage Day, which runs from 8:00 am-5:00 pm. Mountain Heritage Day is a combination old-fashioned mountain fair and showcase for authentic Southern Appalachian folk arts. Admission to the festival grounds is free. The festival regularly attracts more than 25,000 visitors and is rated as one of the top 200 craft events in the United States. The festival's most vital role is in linking generations and helping maintain authentic folk arts of the mountains. Western Carolina University's Mountain Heritage Center once again will provide demonstrations and exhibitions of traditional mountain crafts and skills such as woodcarving, basket making, blacksmithing, quilting, and weaving.

Due to parking and traffic concerns, fans planning on attending the football game at 6:00 pm are encouraged to arrive on campus earlier than normal. The Stadium Parking Lot (behind the West Side Stands) will be reserved for Catamount Club members who have Stadium Lot clearance and the Field House Lot will available for current WCU students on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Creek Lot (across from the Ramsey Center and normally reserved for lower-level Catamount Club members) will be mostly during Mountain Heritage Day and will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Also, the baseball parking lot will be heavily used during Mountain Heritage Day, but spots may become available as the event draws to a close.

Adding to the population explosion in the area this weekend is Western's annual Family Weekend, where parents of current student are invited to visit campus and experience all the University has to offer. For more information on Family Weekend, visit:

As Mountain Heritage Day winds down, pre-game activities surrounding the Western Carolina-Georgia Southern football contest will be underway. The Catamounts will take the field at approximately 5:50 and the Department of Athletics encourages everyone to be in the stadium to be a part of "Catamount Thunder."

At halftime, Western will retire the jersey of Roach, who is one of the most honored Catamounts in football history. Roach was a three-time, first team All-America and member of the Southern Conference's 75th Anniversary Football Team. Roach, a 1996 WCU Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, was Western's and the Southern Conference's first, three-time All-America Selection (1984, 1986 and 1987). He additionally was the first player in league history to be a four-time, first team All-SoCon selection (1984-87), an accomplishment which has since been duplicated just three other times. Roach also still holds the distinction of being the highest Catamount taken in the NFL draft, going in the fifth round by the Buffalo Bills in 1987. He still holds six NCAA records, an additional three SoCon records and is Western's all-time leading scorer.

Roach is scheduled to be a guest on "Catamount GameDay," the official countdown to kickoff tailgate show which airs on WWCU, 90dot5 FM in Cullowhee. The hour-long program originates from near the student entrance to Whitmire Stadium and begins at 4:00 pm, running right into the opening of the Catamount Sports Network pre-game coverage at 5:00 pm with Steve White, Gary Ayers and Brandon Stephens.



Catamount Calendar of Events for Friday - Sunday

Friday, Sept. 29 Women's Golf - All Day - Waynesville, N.C. Practice Rounds for Wachovia-Great Smokies Intercollegiate

Women's Soccer - 7:00 pm - Cullowhee Vs. Furman Lady Paladins (Salsa Night) LIVE GameTracker presented by Carolina West Sports Medicine

Women's Tennis - All Day - Raleigh, N.C. At Residence Inn North Wolfpack Invitational

Rhonda Vincent and the Rage in Concert - 7:00 pm - Cullowhee Tickets on sale at the Ramsey Center

Saturday, Sept. 30 32nd annual Mountain Heritage Day - 8 AM-5PM - Cullowhee

Cross Country - 9:00 AM - Louisville, Ky. At Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic

Women's Golf - 9:30 AM - Waynesville, N.C. At Opening Round of Wachovia-Great Smokies Intercollegiate

Women's Tennis - All Day - Raleigh, N.C. At Residence Inn North Wolfpack Invitational

Football - 6:00 pm - Cullowhee Vs. #25 Georgia Southern

Sunday, Oct. 1 Women's Golf - 9:30 AM - Waynesville, N.C. At Final Round of Wachovia-Great Smokies Intercollegiate

Women's Soccer - 2:00 pm - Greensboro, N.C. At UNC Greensboro

Volleyball - 2:00 pm - Statesboro, Ga. At Georgia Southern

Women's Tennis - All Day - Raleigh, N.C. At Residence Inn North Wolfpack Invitational