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Catamount Football Opens 2022 Fall Practice on Thursday

Photo by Ashley Gibson / Flikr

By Daniel Hooker

Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations

Overcast skies gave way to brilliant sunshine and summertime temperatures on Thursday morning as the Western Carolina football team hit the turf at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field for the first preseason practice of the 2022 fall camp.

Under the guidance of second-year head coach Kerwin Bell, the Catamounts worked out for just over two hours on Thursday through 25 sun-soaked practice periods that included unit install, individual position, and team sessions. The first practice also featured a couple of special team periods concentrating mostly on the punt game on day one.

“Today was a good first day,” said Bell following his squad’s first of 13 practice sessions before the fall semester begins in Cullowhee. “I loved the energy; I loved the way they flew around and played with passion. They want to be a good football team; they want to be good individually. We have a bunch of guys who want to be really good football players. That’s good to see as a head coach.”

Overall, a total of 110 players reported back to campus for the start of preseason practice. Among those are a combined 57 newcomers between transfer and freshmen and 38 that earned letters with WCU a season ago, including 19 starters.

WCU’s offensive unit will wear the white practice jerseys through fall camp with the seven quarterbacks that suited up on day one each wearing the protected red jersey. The defensive unit wears the purple practice jerseys.

On offense, all eight quarterbacks split the reps on Thursday between run fits and handoff exchange to drills in the passing game. Among the unofficial highlights from some of the competitive individual one-on-one drills were touchdown passes from freshman QB Samuel Cornett (17) to freshman WR Jaylin Terzado (13) – who hauled in the one-handed score – and QB Carlos Davis (5) tossing a scoring strike to freshman WR Censere Lee (10). Defensive backs Rod Gattison (2), CJ Williams (4), and Jordy Lowery (28) each came up with pass breakups.

Preseason practice continues Friday at 8:30 a.m. with the second of two helmet-only practices in the NCAA’s acclimation period. The squad is slated to put on shoulder pads for the first time on Saturday morning before enjoying an off day on Sunday. Each of WCU’s preseason football practices is 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. Practice times are subject to change.

“We have a lot to learn, we’ve got a lot of coaching to do to get where we need to be. I love the ceiling we have here with this team, it’s very talented. It’s young, but we have a very high ceiling. We’re a long way from there,” said Bell. “It’s easy to say, ‘let’s make ourselves great.’ It’s hard to go and do it, so we’ve got to figure out how to do that here over the next 22 days.”

Western Carolina opens the 2022 season with consecutive road games, traveling first to Charleston, S.C., to face the Charleston Southern Buccaneers on Sat., Sept. 3 before heading to Atlanta against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Sat., Sept. 10. The home slate begins on Saturday, Sept. 17 against the Presbyterian Blue Hose as WCU will “White Out Whitmire” with the white Nike uniforms and fans encouraged to wear their white Catamount gear to the game.

Both season and single-game tickets, as well as game day parking for Western Carolina’s 2022 home schedule, are on sale now through the WCU Athletics Ticket Office on the first floor of the Ramsey Center, by phone at (828) 227-2401, and online at www.CatamountSports.com/BuyTickets.

2022 Catamount Football Preseason Practice Schedule:

Fri., Aug. 5 – Practice #2 – 8:30 am – 11:00 am (helmets only)

Sat., Aug. 6 – Practice #3 – 8:30 am – 11:00 am (uppers)

Sun., Aug. 7 – No Practice (Off Day)

Mon., Aug. 8 – Practice #4 – 8:30 am – 11:00 am (uppers)

Tues., Aug. 9 – Practice #5 – 8:30 am – 11:00 am (uppers)

Wed., Aug. 10 – Practice #6 – 8:30 am – 11:00 am (full pads)

Thurs., Aug. 11 – No Practice (Off Day)

Fri., Aug. 12 – Practice #7 – 8:30 am – 11:00 am (helmets)

Sat., Aug. 13 – Scrimmage #1 (Practice #7) – 9:00 am – 11:30 am (full pads)

Sun., Aug. 14 – No Practice (Team Photo Day)

Mon., Aug. 15 – Practice #9 – 8:30 am – 11:00 am (uppers)

Tues., Aug. 16 – Practice #10 – 8:30 am – 11:00 am (full pads)

Wed., Aug. 17 – Practice #11 – 8:30 am – 11:00 am (full pads)

Thurs., Aug. 18 – No Practice (Off Day)

Fri., Aug. 19 – Practice #12 – 8:30 am – 11:00 am (helmets)

Sat., Aug. 20 – Scrimmage #2 (Practice #13) – Noon – 2:00 pm (full pads)

Sun., Aug. 21 – No Practice (Off Day)

Mon., Aug. 22 – First Day of Fall Classes at WCU

Keep track of everything related to Catamount football and WCU Athletics through its social media outlets on Facebook (FB.com/CatamountSports, FB.com/WesternCarolinaFootball), Twitter (@catamounts, @CatamountsFB), and Instagram (wcu_catamounts, catamountsfb).

Important Dates in Catamount Athletics & Catamount Football:

Wednesday, Aug. 10 – First scheduled football practice in full pads

Thursday, Aug. 11 – Catamount Women’s Soccer Exhibition – vs. App State (CAC, 7 p.m.)

Saturday, Aug. 13 – Catamount Women’s Soccer Exhibition – vs. Lees McRae (CAC, 4 p.m.)

Friday, Aug. 19 – WCU Freshman Convocation (Ramsey Center)

Saturday, Aug. 20 – Catamount Volleyball Exhibition – vs. Anderson (Ramsey Center, 6 p.m.)

Monday, Aug. 23 – First day of classes for the fall semester – Cullowhee

Thursday, Aug. 25 – Catamount Women’s Soccer – Home Opener vs. Clemson (CAC, 7 p.m.)

Saturday, Sept. 3 – 2022 Catamount Football season opener at Charleston Southern (Noon)

Friday, Sept. 16 – The Bob Waters Memorial – Maggie Valley Club – Maggie Valley, N.C.

Saturday, Sept. 17 – 2022 Catamount Football home-opener, vs. Presbyterian (3:30 pm)

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