Over the next couple of weeks, CatamountSports.com will feature positional previews of the 2014 Catamount football team including the write-ups from the 2014 Western Carolina media guide, and Catamount Sports Network All-Access video features.
2014 Position-by-Position Preview - Offensive Line:
Western Carolina's offensive front returns four of the five players which started the bulk of the games in 2013, needing to replace just graduated senior Quevalas Murray. Leading the way is junior Josh Wineberg, who has started all 22 games of his career including 12 starts in 2013, missing just one game over the past two seasons.
Wineberg garnered first team preseason All-Southern Conference honors from the league's head coaches at the annual media day held in Spartanburg, S.C., back on July 23. He was additionally mentioned as a preseason All-America selection along the offensive line by College Sports Madness, an online publication.
Another returning starter is offensive center redshirt junior Jake Thornton, who battled through both wrist and knee injuries in his first season for the Catamounts. The duo of Wineberg and Thornton are flanked by redshirt junior Andrew Potts (five starts in 12 games) and second-year linemen sophomore Tanner Poindexter (six starts in 11 games).
WCU has the luxury of experienced depth along the offensive line in redshirt junior Tyler Philpott (22 games played, 10 career starts), junior Hunter Kirby (21 games played, six starts), and sophomore Ethan James (nine games, two starts).
Other keys along the offensive front will come from linemen who took a redshirt in 2013 including Brandon Berridge, Anthony Galavotti, Austin Jacobs, Ryan McLaughlin and Tyler Williamson.
A talented group of incoming freshmen includes Andrew Miles (Flowery Branch, Ga.), Kaleb Spry (Kannapolis, N.C.), Chase Stehling (Lincolnton, N.C.) and local products, Nathan Dalton (East Flat Rock, N.C.) and Zach Weeks (Bryson City, N.C.). All are expected to push the veteran unit, if they are not called upon in a starting role right away.