April 15, 2013
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina's football team went helmets and shoulder pads only on Monday evening, taking to the turf at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field for nearly a two-hour practice session.
Monday's 16-period practice - the 12th of the NCAA-regulated 15 allowed during the spring - was scripted much like the previous 11 with a variety of individual position and unit drills with a several sessions of intra-squad scrimmage scenarios.
Highlighting the situational scrimmage scenarios was a pitch-and-catch from quarterback Troy Mitchell to Karnorris Benson on a third and short for a touchdown. Defensively, Ace Clark came up with an interception during the offense-vs.-defense situations.
Western Carolina will practice in full pads on Wednesday evening beginning at 5:30 pm before a helmet and shoulder pad session on Friday afternoon from 3:00 pm until 4:15 pm. Drills culminate with the Spring Game - an offense vs. defense intra-squad scrimmage - on Saturday, April 20. Tailgating for the annual event officially begins around 9:30 am on Saturday with the team scheduled to hit the turf around 12:45 pm with festivities getting underway at 1:00 pm.
In other Catamount football news, Western Carolina and head coach Mark Speir have signed defensive back and return specialist Shane Samuels to a National Letter of Intent which cleared this week. Samuels is a defensive back and return specialist from Byrnes High in the Upstate of South Carolina.
The addition of Samuels brings the current 2013 incoming class for Catamount football to 24 including running back Garry Lewis who is currently on-campus and participating in spring drills.
DB - 5-8 - 170 lbs.
Duncan, S.C. (Byrnes HS)
Prior to Western Carolina:
Named to the Region II-4A All-Region team ... A ball-hawking defensive back, finished with 63 tackles, a tackle for loss, a forced fumble, four fumble recoveries, eight pass breakups and three interceptions as a senior ... Was a three-time Max Preps Defensive Player of the Game in 2012 ... As a junior, had 36 tackles including one for loss, 10 pass breakups and seven interceptions, returning two for touchdowns against rival Riverside ... Named to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal All-Area football team as well as an All-Region selection.