Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina junior placekicker Joshua Gibson was today named the Southern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week following his performance in the Catamounts’ 26-7 road win over VMI.
Weekly award selections are made by the league office from nominations submitted by the media relations office of each conference school.
The weekly recognition is the first for Gibson in his career – and the seventh by a Catamount football player this year to date which is tied for the third-most by a WCU team in a single-season dating back to 1977. WCU received a school-best 11 weekly honors from the league in 2014, one more than the previous high of 10 set back in 2000.
Gibson, a walk-on from Andrews, N.C., accounted for 14 points last Saturday, hitting the first four field goals of his career and punching through both PAT attempts. Gibson finished 4-for-4, connecting on field goals from 23, 40, 38, and a career-long 43 yards in the winning effort as WCU moved to 6-2 overall, 4-1 in league play. He also kicked off once last Saturday.
Gibson’s four field goals were the most by a Catamount placekicker since 2008. Since 2002, WCU has had four different kickers split the uprights three-or-more times in a game including Gibson’s four at VMI; Blake Bostic with three successful attempts vs. Presbyterian in 2008; Jonathan Parsons with three made field goals at Georgia in 2007; and Chris Vought with three against Liberty in the 2007 season-opener.
Gibson was also tabbed SoCon Special Teams Player of the Week by the staff of Southern Pigskin (southernpigskin.com). It marks WCU’s first special teams honor of the year – and the first by a Catamount kicker since Logan Howard earned the honor back in 2015.
Tied atop the Southern Conference standings entering the week, Western Carolina returns home to Cullowhee for its annual Homecoming game, hosting another squad amidst the three-way deadlock in the standings – the red-hot Furman Paladins (5-3, 4-1 SoCon). Kickoff from E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field is scheduled for 3:30 pm. With a large Homecoming Day crowd anticipated, fans are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance through the WCU Athletics Ticket Office at (800) 34-GOWCU or (828) 227-2401, or online at any time through CatamountSports.com.
Western Carolina's 2017 SoCon Weekly Award Winners:
Week One (Sept. 4): Tyrie Adams, Offensive
Week Two (Sept. 11): Detrez Newsome, Offensive
Week Four (Sept. 25): Tyrie Adams, Offensive & Keion Crossen, Defensive
Week Five (Oct. 2): Tahjai Watt, Defensive
Week Seven (Oct. 16): John Brannon III, Defensive
Week Eight (Oct. 23): Joshua Gibson, Special Teams
Catamounts Advance in Both National Polls for a Fifth-Straight Week
Following a week that saw numerous upsets among the national Top 25 teams, Western Carolina continued to climb in both national polls marking a fifth-consecutive week the Catamounts have advanced. Western Carolina moved up one spot in both the FCS Coaches and STATS FCS media polls on Monday.
The Catamounts climbed to No. 20 from 21st a week ago in the FCS Coaches Poll following the road win at VMI. It is the third-straight week the Catamounts have been inside the coaches’ Top 25 tabulations and the fifth-consecutive week WCU has appeared in the rankings including two weeks in the “others receiving votes” category.
In the STATS FCS poll, WCU advanced from 19th to 18th overall. It is the eighth-straight week WCU has been listed on the media polling including four weeks in the “others” category and now four weeks inside the national Top 25.
Three Southern Conference teams continue to be among the national rankings, headlined now by Samford following its road win at Wofford, tipping the scale in a tie for eighth in the FCS Coaches Poll. The Terriers slipped five spots into 10th with WCU at No. 20. Two conference schools are receiving votes in both Furman and The Citadel.
Wofford managed to stay just in front of Samford in eighth in the STATS FCS Poll with the Bulldogs ranking ninth. The Citadel and Furman received the same number of votes in the “others” category of the media polling.