Catamounts survive the season

Western lining up before a play. Photo by Calvin Inman.

Western lining up before a play. Photo by Calvin Inman.

The 2016 Western Carolina football season wrapped up with a SEC match-up against University of South Carolina, on Nov.19. The Catamounts lost 41-33 to South Carolina. Missed opportunities, like allowing South Carolina’s Rico Dawdle to rush for over 200 rushing yards and two touchdowns, caused the Cats to fall short of winning the game.

Detrez Newsome, the running back for Western Carolina, had two touchdowns: a 39-yard run and another on a 93 yard kickoff return. Western Carolina head coach Mark Speir was very proud of his players for playing South Carolina for four quarters and nearly beating the SEC team.

Overall, 2016 was a rough season for the Catamounts. The Cats started off the season with a win against Gardner-Webb but after six straight losses and many injuries to the core of the defense and the firing of the defensive coordinator, Dustin Landry, the Catamounts sat at 1-7 and then won a huge game on Senior day against VMI on Nov. 5. In the end the Catamounts finished 2-7 and have much to improve on next year.

Going into the 2016 season the Catamounts hired Landry with hopes that he would bring a new intensity to the defensive side of the ball. However, around the middle of the season coach Landry was let go due to the defense not performing up to the standards of the Western Carolina football program.

Daniel Hooker, Asst. AD for Media Relations, sat down with Western Carolina head coach Mark Spier, Nov. 22. Hear what Coach Speir had to say about his players performance in the South Carolina game, coach Landry being let go, and what the next season holds for the Western Carolina football program.

With the core of the offense coming back like Detrez Newsome and the new hiring of a Defensive Coordinator in the upcoming off season, the 2017 season for Western Carolina looks to be an exciting one because the team is young and they are looking to build off of this season and carry that momentum into the 2017 season.