Oct. 18, 2006
Cullowhee, N.C. - The Western Carolina Department of Athletics is inviting everyone to Bogart's of Sylva on Monday (Oct. 30) to eat dinner with and listen to Catamount head basketball coaches Larry Hunter and Kellie Harper speak. While everyone is invited, space is limited so those wishing to attend must R.S.V.P. by Wednesday (Oct. 25) by calling 828-227-7338. Cost is $15, which includes either a chicken or steak dinner, and the program is set to begin at 6:00 pm.
Hunter, one of the winningest coaches in NCAA history, is entering his second season as the men's head coach at Western. This past season, Western set a school record by draining 221 3-pointers last season. The Catamounts may well exceed that number this season as the team returns senior Kyle Greathouse, who made 64 treys last season and ranks fifth on the school's all-time list with 159 made 3-pointers, and junior Antonio Russell, who sank 41 3-pointers last season. In addition, juniors Negus McKenna and Eric Wilson, who ranked among the SoCon top 10 in 3-point field goal percentage, are back. Junior Josh Dees, who sat out last as per NCAA transfer rules, and sophomore Stan Johnson are part will be part of a young roster, featuring freshmen Nick Aldridge, Brandon Giles, Jake Robinson, Omar Thomas and Brigham Waginger. Another newcomer, junior college transfer Arnold Gore, will become eligible after exams of this fall semester.
Harper, who led Western to the 2005 Southern Conference Championship, enters her third season and features a veteran roster with four of its top four scorers returning, including 2007 SoCon Freshman of the Year and All-SoCon performer Lauren Powell. Also back are seniors Erin May and Lynsie Lamitie; juniors Monique Dawson, Chevon Keith, Ashley Pellom, Jessika Johnson and sophomores Teshymia Tillman and Kendra Eaton. The team only features three newcomers, freshmen Heather Swayne and Kristen Feemster as well as sophomore transfer Brooke Johnson, who will be eligible at the completion of this fall semester.
The basketball teams are scheduled to make their debut on Thursday, Nov. 9 in an extra-special Catamount Madness event to be held on the lawn at the Hinds University Center (UC) on-campus in Cullowhee. Festivities are scheduled to begin at 6:00 pm and continue into the evening.
The following night, the Lady Catamounts will open their 2006-07 season by hosting the Auburn Tigers at 7:00 pm in the Ramsey Center, which will be followed by a men's basketball exhibition against Muskingum, coached Geno Ford, who played for Hunter at Ohio and is the brother of WCU assistant coach Dustin Ford.