Aug. 3, 2013
• Season Preview
WCU Football Practice No. 2 Photo Gallery
Cullowhee, N.C. -
Under partly cloudy skies and hot, humid summer temperatures, the Western Carolina Catamount football team held its second preseason practice on Saturday afternoon on the turf at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field. The squad worked out in just helmets, jerseys and shorts, the second of two in the NCAA-mandated acclamation period.
The squad worked through a combined 17 sessions that spanned the better part of two and a half hours, capping the second, up-tempo practice session with more team conditioning. Sessions included a lot of individual position and unit work, implementing much of the install portions taught by the coaches during their position meetings. There were also brief special teams sessions on PAT / field goal and punt team drills.
"Today was another good practice for our football team," said WCU head coach Mark Speir. "We're just excited about being back out here together. These players put a lot into their summer workouts and it shows. And although we haven't put the pads on yet, we feel like this could be a special group."
With competition for starting jobs and playing time abounding across the field, one position that remains open entering fall camp is that of starting quarterback. Redshirt junior QB Eddie Sullivan and sophomore Troy Mitchell are the two front runners from a season ago, with redshirt junior Jawan Simmons and redshirt freshman Jonah Duggan also vying for time in the Catamount backfield.
"That's a decision that we probably won't make until that first week of classes heading into our opener at Middle Tennessee," said Speir during a Saturday afternoon interview on WLOS-TV, the ABC affiliate out of Asheville. "Our plan is to rotate the two with the first string throughout our preseason camp, go back and evaluate their performances on film and make our decision from there."
Sullivan took most of the reps with the first string during Friday's first practice with Mitchell taking most of his snaps on Saturday with the first unit. The quarterbacks will continue to rotate through the preseason.
Through the opening two days of camp, the Catamounts have remained healthy with just a few cramps the most tended to ailments by the WCU sports medicine staff.
WCU's preseason schedule features 20 practices prior to the start of fall classes on Mon., Aug. 19, and a combined total of 29 sessions before the season-opener at Middle Tennessee on Aug. 29. Though each practice will feature scrimmage-like scenarios, there are three intrasquad scrimmages on the preseason docket including Aug. 10, Aug. 14 and Aug. 17.
The team returns to the practice field on Sunday morning at 10:00 am wearing shoulder pads for the first-time this preseason. Team photos and head shots are on the Sunday afternoon docket for the Catamounts with several players involved with summer school final exams on Monday before an afternoon practice session.
Fans can keep track of WCU's preseason activities through the Catamount Athletics social media outlets on Facebook (fb.com/catamountsports) and Twitter (@catamounts). CatamountSports.com will be updated throughout fall camp.
This Week in Catamount Football:
Sunday, Aug. 4:
Practice #3, 10:00 am (shells)
Photo/Media Day, 3:30 pm
Monday, Aug. 5:
Practice #4, 3:30 pm (shells)
Tuesday, Aug. 6:
Practice #5, 3:00 pm (full pads)
Wednesday, Aug. 7
Practice #6, 9:00 am (full pads);
Practice #7, 7:30 pm (shells)
Thursday, Aug. 8:
Practice #8, 1:30 pm (full pads)
Friday, Aug. 9:
Practice #9, 9:00 am (full pads);
Practice #10, 5:30 pm (shells)
Catamount 101: Ladies Love Football, 5:30 pm
Saturday, Aug. 10:
Scrimmage (Practice #11, full pads) 3:30 pm
Catamount Tailgate Kickoff (Catamount Club Members)
* Practice schedule is subject to change
Important Catamount Football Dates to Remember:
Tues., August 6 - First scheduled football practice in full pads
Wed., August 7 - First Two-A-Day Football Practice
Wed., August 7 - The Western Open golf tournament; Waynesville Inn Golf Resort & Spa
Fri., August 9 - Catamount 101 - Ladies Love Football event, Cullowhee (5:30 pm)
Sat., August 10 - Catamount Tailgate Kickoff (Catamount Club members)
Mon., August 19 - First day of fall classes at WCU
Mon., August 19 - 2013 Catamount Football single-game tickets go on sale
Thurs., August 29 - 2013 Catamount Football season-opener at Middle Tennessee; Murfreesboro, Tenn. (6:30 pm CT / 7:30 pm ET)
Fri., September 13 - The Bob Waters Memorial golf tournament; High Vista Country Club in Mills River, N.C.
Sat., September 14 - 2013 Catamount Football home opener vs. The Citadel (3:30 pm)