Photo by Breanna Taylor/STAFF
On Oct. 29 at 3:30 p.m., the Catamounts battled the Chattanooga Mocs during what most students would consider the most important game of the year: Homecoming.
Several clubs, organizations and departments including Greek life and residential living were located outside the E. J. Whitmire Stadium in anticipation of the game. The smell of hot dogs, hamburgers, and barbeque filled the air as students, alumni and fans laughed, danced and celebrated the hours before kickoff. Homecoming is about reconnecting with friends, family and creating new memories along with remembering the old ones. Alumni from all decades made an appearance at the game.
Alumnus Becca Gardner stated: “Western is like a second home to me. When I come back here, I come back to my family. I really love seeing all of my friends and family here at Western.”
Homecoming is all about coming back to where it all began and remembering the good old times for alumni, but it offers a lot for current students, as well.
Western Carolina junior, Rachel Young, stated, “Homecoming is a time where everyone comes together and has a good time. There are tailgates and other activities for students to participate in which makes homecoming great.”
The game kicked off with the Pride of the Mountains marching band’s opening performance followed by the cheer and dance team leading the Catamounts onto the field. The crowd roared as the stadium filled with players from both teams. To pump the crowd up, the cheer and dance team performed along the sidelines as the athletes prepared for battle.
Chattanooga opened up the game with a 60-yard pass. The Catamounts countered with a 75-yard touchdown by Detrez Newsome after a kick from Logan Howard. They continued to prowl until Chattanooga fought back with another touchdown. On the first down, Catamount Quarterback lost control of the ball pushing the home team back four yards. Making a field goal, the score at the end of the first quarter was Western Carolina 10, Chattanooga 14.
Things shifted in the second quarter and unfortunately the Catamounts did not take the lead. The end score for the second quarter was Chattanooga 17, Western Carolina 10. During halftime, the Pride of the Mountains marching band performed their fantastic halftime show “Whee See You.” The dance team joined them in a short performance during the band’s take on Megan Trainer’s “Lips are Movin’.” After the crowd-boosting show, the university recognized four individuals for their excellent work in the community and achievements earned outside of Western Carolina.
Dancer Madison Iurato stated, “There’s so many more people here, and there’s alumni here so they can see how the school has progressed over time – how different it is from when they went here. How there might be some of the same stuff, but how big the band is and the dance team is third in the nation, which is a huge accomplishment.”
Throughout the semester, students have been voting and supporting different candidates for Homecoming King and Queen. The candidates were Avery Morgan, Alexandra Brunt, Kendrick Johnson, Leah Gryder, Kani Totten, DJ Williams, Alexis Ross, Trevor Crouch, Adam Hampton and Brandi Bruton. The crowd waited restlessly as the announcer listed their names and they walked onto the field with their partners. After more anticipation, the crowd loudly cheered as Alexis Ross and DJ Williams were crowned.
During the third and fourth quarter, the Catamounts gained some momentum and scored 15 points altogether. Unfortunately, this was not enough to prevent the Mocs from victory. Win or lose, the Catamounts kept true to their spirit and enjoyed all of the support from students, faculty, alumni and the public.
Quarterback Tyrie Adams stated: “Every game we come out and expect to win. Of course we didn’t get the win, but we fought hard. Hopefully there will be a better turn out next week. Season-wise, it hasn’t gone as expected, but we will get back to work and finish the season strong.”
The Catamounts see this loss as a way to improve themselves. The team is looking forward to the future and a better turn out. The final score for the game was Chattanooga 38, Western Carolina 25. If you would like to know more about our football team or purchase tickets for upcoming games, contact the Western Carolina Athletics Department at 828-227-7338 or visit their website at www.catamountsports.com.