Nov. 18, 2011
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina plays its final football game of the 2011 season on Saturday afternoon as it hosts Coastal Carolina in the first-ever meeting between the two schools on the gridiron at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field. Kickoff of the annual Senior Day game is scheduled for 2:00 pm with a special on-field ceremony honoring WCU's seniors.
A combined 14 football seniors, three Catamount cheerleaders and 54 members of the "Pride of the Mountain's" Marching Band are among those make their final Whitmire Stadium appearances on Saturday afternoon.
Fans can also follow all of the action of Saturday's game through the Catamount Sports Network, locally on WWCU-FM, Power 90dot5 in Cullowhee; 96.7 FM WNCC in Franklin and Macon County; 920 AM WPTL in Canton and 1600 AM WTZQ in Hendersonville. The broadcast is also streamed online through Stretch Internet at www.CatamountSports.com. Gary Ayers has the call alongside Jeff Bryson and Greg McLamb.
Video of the game will also be streamed through Catamount All-Access (subscription required) available through CatamountSports.com. WCU students Roger Cote and Logan Sherrill will handle commentator duties on the video stream.
Western Carolina also welcomes home all of its football alum in the first-ever Catamount Football Reunion. There is a special continental breakfast on the main concourse of the Ramsey Center from 8:30 am until 10:00 am on Saturday morning, which will be promptly followed by a tour around WCU's campus which has undergone vast improvements over the recent years, as well as a look at the Catamount athletics facilities.
Focus will shift to football at Noon with a cookout and tailgate party for all former WCU football players that will last until 1:30 pm ahead of kickoff at 2 pm.
WESTERN CAROLINA VS. COASTAL CAROLINA SERIES:
Western Carolina and Coastal Carolina will meet for the first-time ever on the football gridiron Saturday in Cullowhee in the front-end of a home-and-home series ... As a point of reference, in other sports, WCU is 2-4 against Coastal in men's basketball; women's basketball is 6-3 against CCU and hosts the Chants on Tuesday, Nov. 22 in Cullowhee; volleyball is 4-2 and women's soccer is 4-1; finally, the Catamount baseball team is 1-7 all-time against the Chanticleers - a combined mark of 17- 17 across sports.
SOCON PURPLE - WCU/CCU SEASONAL TIES:
Western Carolina and Coastal Carolina only shared one common opponent this season - the Furman Paladins ... Coastal tripped the SoCon's other "purple" in week one before the Paladins had found their mid-season magic that included upsetting nationally-ranked Appalachian State ... the Chanticleers pulled out a 30-23 victory at home over Furman.
WCU VS. CURRENT MEMBERS OF THE BIG SOUTH:
Western Carolina is 32-17 all-time versus current members of the Big South Conference - a number that is bolstered because of 20 meetings all-time between WCU and the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) back when the Keydets were members of the Southern Conference ... WCU has won three of the last four meetings against the Big South Conference including a home win over Presbyterian (2007) and road wins at Presbyterian (2008) and Gardner-Webb (2010) ... In 2011, the SoCon is 4-1 against the Big South with the lone blemish coming on an early-season, 30-23, loss by Furman to Coastal Carolina.
WESTERN CAROLINA IN SEASON FINALES:
Since joining the Southern Conference in 1976, Western Carolina is 12-23 all-time in final regular season games, including a 10-11 mark when the season's last game is played at home ... the Cats have dropped seven-straight season finales, last winning in 2003 with a 39-16 home victory over Gardner-Webb.
SENIOR PUNTER Blake Cain CLAIMS FIRST ON CAREER CHARTS:
Western Carolina senior punter Blake Cain broke the school record for punts in a career against Wofford, finishing with four kicks on the day ... He currently has 254 punts in his career, bypassing the previous school record of 244 held by Steve Kornegay (1982-85) ... Cain broke the school record at the 8:35 mark of the second quarter with a season-long tying 53-yard boot against Wofford (11/5/11).
ALL IN THE FAMILY - CAIN FAMILY REUNION IN CULLOWHEE ON SATURDAY:
Western Carolina punter Blake Cain will see a few familiar faces in his final game for the Purple & Gold ... Blake's older brother, Grant, is an assistant coach on the Chanticleers' staff as the defensive end coach ... His younger brother, Austin, is the current punter for the Chants ... a fourth Cain brother, Travis, played at CCU in the inaugural season in 2003-06;
- Blake Cain enters today's game second among active punters in NCAA FCS football with 254 career punts, already WCU's career punt record holder ... He has amassed 9,855 yards in his WCU career, averaging 38.80 yards per kick to continue to rank sixth in school history ... His seasonal average of 39.2 ranks 43rd nationally and fifth in the SoCon - though he has 11 more punts than any other kicker in the league.
FAMILIAR FACES PART TWO:
The current athletic director at Coastal Carolina - Hunter Yurachek - spent four years as the Associate AD at Western Carolina from 2001 through 2004 where he worked with marketing and other external affairs for Catamount athletics ... the current Associate AD for Media Relations at Coastal, Mike Cawood, was the sports information contact at WCU during the same time frame as Yurachek ... Cawood left for Akron in 2006 before making the move to Coastal Carolina two summers ago.