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Trio of Catamounts Named All-SoCon by Beyond Sports Network

Karnorris Benson is the Southern Conference's top returning wide receiver in terms of yards receiving (834) and yards per game (4.2).

July 2, 2014

Beyond Sports Network - 2014 Preseason All-Southern Conference Football Team

Beyond Sports Network - 2014 Preseason FCS All-America Football Team

Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina had three football players named to the preseason All-Southern Conference team selected and released by the Beyond Sports Network (BSN). Wide receivers Karnorris Benson and Terryon Robinson, as well as linebacker Christon Gill were among the 22 players tabbed by the group.

The official 2014 Preseason All-Southern Conference teams as selected by the league's head coaches and voting media members will be released in conjunction with the media day scheduled for Wednesday, July 23 in Spartanburg, S.C.

Benson was a second team All-SoCon selection following the 2013 season, earning recognition from both the league's head coaches and the media, while also securing first team plaudits from College Sports Madness. He led the Catamounts with 51 receptions for a career-high 834 yards, matching WCU's 30-year old single-season touchdown receptions record with 12 TDs. The Atlanta, Ga., product ranked second in the SoCon with a 69.5 receiving yard per game average coming on a fifth-ranked 4.2 catches per game.

Benson, who enters 2014 with 1,183 career yards and 13 receiving touchdowns, was additionally on the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) wide receiver watch list released back in late June.

Robinson started 11 of the 12 games in which he saw action as a true freshman in 2013, finishing the year ranked ninth in 86receiving yards per game at 46.8 - third among rookies. His first career reception also accounted for his first collegiate score - a 35-yard pitch-and-catch strike in the second quarter in the season-opener at Middle Tennessee. Leading the Catamount squad in receiving the final three games of the year, Robinson closed the year with 41 catches and 562 receiving yards, second only to Benson.



WCU's lone defensive selection by BSN was Christon Gill. The senior from Bridgeport, Conn., ranked second on the WCU squad with a career-high 101 tackles last fall and is WCU's leading returner on defense. He posted double-digit tackles four times a season ago including a career-best 13 in the Homecoming overtime victory over Elon

Gill enters his final year with 172 career tackles including 86 solo stops and 5.5 tackles for loss.

According to the BSN ( press release, the preseason All-SoCon selections were made by the BSN staff based on returning performers from the 2013 all-conference football team, game evaluations, and overall statistics. There were no offensive linemen that were all-conference award winners in 2013 from the SoCon that were returning, therefore none are listed in the publication's preseason all-conference awards.

BSN additionally unveiled its 2014 preseason All-America squads which featured five players from SoCon schools including a pair of first team selections. The five all came from either Chattanooga or Samford.

Western Carolina completes its first session of summer school on Wednesday with the second session slated to open following the 4th of July holiday on Monday, July 7. WCU anticipates having the bulk of its incoming football freshman class enrolled in the second session.

WCU's football student-athletes officially report for fall camp on Thursday, July 31 with the first, helmet-only practice scheduled for the following day on Friday, August 1. The Catamounts open the 2014 season - the third under head coach Mark Speir - on Saturday, August 30 at USF in Tampa, Fla.

Season tickets for all six of WCU's home games in 2014 are on-sale through the Catamount Athletic Ticket Office and online at Purchasing season tickets also allows fans to secure tickets before single-game sales begin on August 25. With Western Carolina University celebrating its 125th anniversary, fans can purchase a reserved adult season ticket for all six home games for just $125 with youth reserved starting at $65.

For more information or to purchase 2014 Catamount football season tickets, contact Director of Ticket Operations Michael Lee by calling (828) 227-2401 or toll free at (800) 34-GOWCU, or via E-mail at

Important Upcoming Dates to Remember:
Mon., July 7 - 2nd session of summer school begins
Fri., July 11 - The Great Smokies Invitational golf tournament; The Ridges Golf Club in Hayesville, N.C.
Wed., July 23 - Southern Conference Football Media Day in Spartanburg, S.C.
Thurs., July 31 - 2014 Catamount football student-athletes report for camp
Fri., August 1 - First scheduled football practice of the 2014 preseason (helmet only)
Tues., August 5 - First scheduled football practice in full pads
Wed., August 6 - First scheduled two-a-day practice sessions
Sat., August 9 - Catamount Football Intrasquad scrimmage
Sat., August 9 - Catamount Tailgate Kickoff (Catamount Club members)
Wed., August 13 - Catamount women's soccer vs. Winthrop (exhibition), 6 pm
Fri., August 15 - Catamount women's soccer vs. UNC Asheville (exhibition), 7 pm
Sat., August 16 - Catamount Football Intrasquad scrimmage
Mon., August 18 - First day of fall classes at WCU
Fri., August 22 - Catamount women's soccer vs. Eastern Kentucky (2014 home opener), 7 pm
Sun., August 24 - Catamount women's soccer vs. East Carolina, 2 pm
Mon., August 25 - Catamount Football single-game tickets go on sale
Fri., August 29 - Catamount cross country hosts the Western Carolina Invitational, 6:30 pm
Sat., August 30 - 2014 Catamount Football season opener at USF in Tampa, Fla.
Fri., Sept. 5 - 10th Annual Bob Waters Memorial golf tournament; Maggie Valley Club, Maggie Valley, N.C.
Sat., Sept. 6 - 2014 Catamount Football home opener vs. Brevard in Cullowhee
Fri., Sept. 26 - The Upstate Classic golf tournament; The Preserve at Verdae in Greenville, S.C.