Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina football will hold its annual Spring Game, presented by Wells Fargo, on Saturday, March 18 on the turf at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field. The free event is scheduled to start at 1:30 pm.
Saturday’s full day of activities kicks off at 10:00 am with three and a half hours of tailgating on campus in Cullowhee. The Ramsey Center and Stadium parking lots will both be reserved for Catamount Club members by permit, with parking and general tailgating available in the Creek Lot, the Fieldhouse Lot, as well as lots around Camp Lab. The Catamount Club will host an open Paws Porch on the patio of the Jordan-Phillips Fieldhouse during the game, beginning at 1:30 pm.
Fans are asked to sit on the West Side grandstands opposite the press box as the East Side of the stadium will be closed on Saturday. Spectators without proper credentials are also respectfully asked to avoid being on either the field or the sidelines for the safety of all. Concessions, restrooms, souvenir stands, and marketing materials including roster cards will be available on the West Side concourse areas.
During Saturday’s scrimmage – WCU’s 12th practice session of the spring – sixth-year head coach Mark Speir will be mic’d up to deliver his thoughts at times to the fans. There will also be live on-going commentary and information delivered over the speaker system during the scrimmage.
Western Carolina’s squad will be divided between the offense vs. the defense during Saturday’s annual Spring Game. There will also be an amended scoring system with bragging rights – and the job of serving the other unit during dinner following the scrimmage – on the line for the winner of the game.
For the WCU offense, the scoring system is normal with six points for a touchdown, three for a field goal, and one additional point for the PAT. Defensively, the amended points system will offer 10 points for a defensive touchdown with seven points to be awarded for creating a turnover. The defense can also score six points for a three-and-out with three points award for both an overall defensive stop and a blocked kick.
Earlier this week during the “Facebook Live Q&A” with Mark Speir, the coach said that he’s looking for a “clean football game” on Saturday afternoon – and for his players to have fun.
“What I mean by that is, I don’t want any pre or post-snap penalties; penalties before the ball is ever snapped. It’s hard enough to beat your opponent, let’s don’t beat ourselves,” Speir explained. “I want our offense to take care of the football. And then, I just want good assignments. Coming out of this game, I want to see that we’re a sound fundamental team that takes care of the football on offense, is opportunistic on defense and tackle well – that we’re rallying to that ball.”
He added, “I want when that when someone watches our game, they’ll say that was a well-disciplined football team that plays hard. That’s the highest compliment you can get as a coach and as a football team. But what’s excited me most about these first 11 practices sessions is that we’ve got a group of guys that are working hard and having fun.”
Saturday’s football Spring Game, presented by Wells Fargo, is just one of several events on campus this weekend in Cullowhee. Following Saturday’s football game, fans are encouraged to head over to Childress Field / Hennon Stadium for game two of the three-game nonconference baseball series against Kent State with first pitch at 4:00 pm. WCU took game one on Friday afternoon, 10-2. The series concludes on Sunday at 1:00 pm.
Catamount football season tickets for all five home dates in 2017 are on-sale now through the WCU Athletics Ticket Office and online at CatamountSports.com. Returning season ticket holders must renew their season tickets by mid-June, 2017. Fans can call the ticket office toll free at (800) 34-GOWCU or (828) 227-2401.
Fans can keep track of Catamount football and spring practice through the Catamount Athletics social media outlets on Facebook (fb.com/catamountsports), Instagram (wcu_catamounts), and Twitter (@catamounts), as well as video updates on the department's YouTube channel (CatamountSports).
Upcoming 2017 Catamount Football Spring Practice Schedule:
(schedule subject to time/date changes)
Practice #12: Saturday, March 18 - Spring Game, presented by Wells Fargo (full pads) -- 1:30 pm
Practice #13: Tuesday, March 21 (full pads) -- 4:30 -- 6:30 pm
Practice #14: Thursday, March 23 (shells) -- 4:30 -- 6:30 pm
Practice #15: Friday, March 24 (helmets) -- 4:00 -- 6:00 pm