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Catamount Football Report #5 - Aug. 10

Western Carolina first-year head football coach Mark Speir.

Aug. 10, 2012

Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina hit the turf in full pads for a 15-period, two-hour session under gray skies on Friday morning, and resumed under threatening skies around 4:00 pm in just helmets and shoulder pads in its second practice session. Friday was the second two-a-day practice for the Catamounts this preseason with the afternoon session ending amidst rain showers.

WCU is scheduled for its first scrimmage of the preseason on Saturday afternoon, lacing up for the full-contact session around 4:00 pm. The coaching staff anticipates running over 100 plays during the live, progressive offense-versus-defense practice with officials. The scheduled scrimmage will be one of the first true tests for the Catamounts this preseason.

According to the WCU Athletic Training staff, the squad continues to be relatively healthy through Friday morning's session and entering the first big scrimmage of preseason on Saturday. The squad has endured the bumps and bruises associated with football with very few injuries so far. Only six players were limited on Friday, five of which were donning the red jersey but were still able to be a part of mental repetitive drills. Two were held out for precautionary measures in anticipation of Saturday's scrimmage.

Only senior defensive lineman Andre Shishkin was completely held out of practice after suffering an elbow injury earlier in the week. He has been receiving treatments several times a day and is slated for an MRI early next week with hopes of returning to the field this preseason.

Saturday afternoon's football scrimmage culminates a busy day of activities at Western Carolina surrounding Catamount athletics. The festive day gets underway at 10:30 am at the Jordan-Phillips Field House with the "Catamount 101: Ladies Love Football" event. Geared towards WCU's female fans, the informative event is a great opportunity for women to increase their football knowledge, mingle with the WCU coaches and players, while also enjoying drinks and food with fellow Catamount fans.



The clinic will begin at 10:30 am at the Jordan-Phillips Field House and Whitmire Stadium. Activities begin with mimosas, a breakfast bar and a "Purple & Gold" fashion show. Participants will then hit the gridiron with a series of football-related activities organized by the Western Carolina coaching staff and players.

Attire for the event should be your favorite Catamount gear and comfortable shoes for on-field activities. A select number of walk-up spots remain available for registration Saturday morning at a cost of $40.

Beginning at Noon, Catamount Club members are invited to the 2012 Tailgate Kickoff, also being held at the Jordan-Phillips Field House. The event includes a cookout, as well as the parking selections for tailgating at 2012 home football games. In addition, those in attendance will be able to catch a glimpse of the 2012 WCU women's soccer team in a skills competition ahead of the football team's scrimmage beginning at 4:00 pm.

A complete recap of Saturday's festivities will be made available online at

Another Preseason Honor for Williams
Western Carolina senior linebacker Rock Williams was listed on the second team defense in Phil Steele's 2012 preseason All-Southern Conference team which was listed as a part of the "2012 College Football Preview" edition. The selection comes on the heels of Williams being honored by the SoCon's head coaches by being tabbed to the second team squad at Media Day back on July 26.

Williams is WCU's leading returner on defense, accumulating 115 total tackles a season ago - a mark that was just two shy of landing on WCU's single-season top 10. The Howell, Mich., native has 211 career tackles during his first three seasons including 13.5 tackles for loss and four sacks.