Lightning around the stadium delayed the squad from hitting the turf by nearly an hour with rain, and the threat of additional summer thunder showers prompted the coaching staff to shorten practice, omitting one drill period. All told, the team worked through 11 of the scheduled 12 practice sessions, concluding around 5:30 pm after just under a two-hour workout.
During post-practice comments, third-year head coach Mark Speir challenged the squad to get better mentally through the evening film study sessions.
"I felt like we had a good practice today physically. I was proud of the effort. But I told the team, we need to get better mentally," said Speir. There was some adversity today - we had to come out late because of weather, the football was wet and we had some issues with things like concentration."
Speir added, "Overall, today was good. But we don't want to be just good; we want to be great and execute like a well-oiled machine regardless of the outside forces. Control what we can control and take advantage of the opportunity to get better as football players and as a team."
Western Carolina is scheduled to put on shoulder pads for the first time for Sunday afternoon's practice session at 2:00 pm. All of WCU's preseason football practices are open to the public. It is respectfully requested that spectators observe from the stadium seating area and avoid being either on the field or the sidelines for safety.
Fans can also keep track of preseason activities through the Catamount Athletics social media outlets on Facebook (fb.com/catamountsports) and Twitter (@catamounts), as well as video updates on the department's YouTube channel (CatamountSports).
2014 Catamount Football - Opening Week of Fall Practice:
Sun., August 3: Practice #3 - 2:00 pm (shells)
Mon., August 4: Practice #4 - 4:00 pm (shells)
Tues., August 5: Practice #5 - 10:00 am (full pads)
Wed., August 6: Practice #6 - 10:00 am (full pads); Practice #7 - 5:25 pm (shells)
Thurs., August 7: Practice #8 - 2:00 pm (full pads)
* Practice times are subject to change
Important Upcoming Dates to Remember:
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 (3:45 pm)
Sat., August 9 - Catamount Tailgate Kickoff (Catamount Club members)
Wed., August 13 - Catamount football intrasquad scrimmage (4:30 pm)
Wed., August 13 - Catamount women's soccer vs. Winthrop (exhibition) (6:00 pm)
Fri., August 15 - Catamount women's soccer vs. UNC Asheville (exhibition) (7:00 pm)
Sat., August 16 - Catamount football Intrasquad scrimmage (10:30 am)
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, 2:00 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.