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Local Baseball Players Among The Best In The West

(04/18/14) Each Friday The Asheville Citizen publishes the weeks performance data of area prep athletes. This week several players from Jackson County are listed for their baseball performance. Tops in Jackson County is Hunter Stewart who is a student at Blue Ridge High School who is number two in the standings in hitting with a .536 batting average with 14 stolen bases in 9 games. Arron Dishman from Smoky Mountain High School is 16th in hitting with a bating average of .447. Dishman also has six stolen bases. Cal Raleigh is ranks eleventh this week in pitching with an earned run average of 1.88 in 18.2 games and 22 strikeouts. He is joined by teammate Jace Mikley with an ERA of 4.52 in 31 innings of work. Mikley also has 39 strikeouts. Ranked eighth in stolen bases is Michael Jennings from Blue Ridge High School with eleven steals in nine games. There were no members of the Mustangs softball team that made the list of superlatives.

WCU Baseball To Host The Citadel In Southern Conference Baseball This Weekend

(04/18/14) Look for alot of crossed fingers at WCU this weekend. The weather forecast is not calling for favorable conditions for playing baseball this weekend in Cullowhee. The Catamounts are scheduled for action at Ronnie G Childress Field on Friday starting at 5.00 p-m. The Saturday game is at 2:00 and a Sunday Game at 1:00 p-m. The Catamounts are coming off a 6-2 loss to Tennessee on Wednesday after winning over Winthrop 9-6 in 13 innings on Tuesday. The Bulldogs are coming off a 10 to 8 upset win over nationally ranked South Carolina on Wednesday. Earlier in the season the Citadel picked to a 5-3 win over then number eight ranked Louisville.

Second Mustang Volley Player Signs to Play College Volleyball Next Year

(04/04/14) The second Smoky Mountain High School volleyball player in a week has signed a letter of commitment to play college volleyball. Laura Lindsay formally signed an agreement with Berea University in Kentucky last week. On Thursday (April 3 2014) Bonnie Derks gathered her friends, coaches, and fellow students at Smoky Mountain High School to celebrate her commitment to play volleyball for Agnes Scott College in Atlanta. This Division Three school played in the NCAA Volleyball Tournament for the first time in their 20 year history, but losing to Emory 3-0. Congratulations to these two outstanding athletes.

Mustangs Struggle At Canton In Baseball And Softball

(04/04/14) The Smoky Mountain High School Mustangs baseball and softball teams did not fare well on Thursday in action at Canton. The baseball team fell by a score of 9 to 6. The Mustangs were led by Bret Baldwin who went two for three at the plate and also scored two runs. Seven players in the starting line-up got at least one hit but were no match for the Black Bears who plated nine runs on 17 hits. The win keeps the Pisgah Bears win streak in-tack and growing to 10 and 0. The Softball team also got the Black Bear smack down losing by a score of 6 to 5. Rachel Matthews went deep for the Mustangs with her second home run of the season and was two for four at the plate. Emily Miller went the distance on the mound for the Mustangs giving up six runs on eight hits a with two strike outs and a walk. The games were advanced to Thursday in an effort to avoid the severe weather predicted for Friday.

Lady Cats Host USC-Upstate Wednesday in Softball

(04/02/14) Earlier this season the Lady Catamounts dropped a 5-0 softball game in Spartanburg. The Lady Cats are hoping for better returns on Wednesday when they host the Spartans for a double header starting at 4:00 p-m. The first game of the double header will be broadcast starting at 3:45 on WRGC radio. The Spartans are 30 and 14 on the season while Lady Catamounts are 13 and 21 on the season.

The Mustangs Jordan Couch Selected for the East West All Star Soccer Team

(04/02/14) Jordan Couch has circled the date of July 22 as the date of his next big soccer game. This time Couch will join four players from Buncombe county to represent the western half of the state at the East West All Stars Game to be played on July 22nd at UNC Greensboro. The East West All Stars Game has been played in football and basketball for a number of years but soccer was added in 1992. These games are a great showcase for the current talent pool for college and even professional recruiters. Couch joins other former Mustangs who have played in the game including Jamie Extine in Football in 1989. During the 1993 season Coach Cindi Simmons coached Angie Salyer and Pam Sumner in basketball, Cetera Degraffenreid played in the 2007 basketball game and Jackson Simmons played in the 2011 basketball game.

Mustangs Struggle Versus Brevard on Tuesday

(04/02/14) The Smoky Mountain Mustangs baseball team pitching gave up eight runs on nine hits Tuesday in Brevard while being able to come up with only five runs of their own. The Mustangs are now 4 and five overall and 3 and 2 in conference play while Brevard improved to 4 and 6 overall. Jordan Couch led the Mustangs with three hits in three at bats and also scored two runs. Jace Milkey gave up three runs in 2.2 innings of work. Cal Raleigh pitched 3.1 innings and surrendered 5 runs. The Mustangs travel to Canton on Friday to take on a strong and undefeated Pisgah team with a record of 9-0 after the Bears whipped the North Henderson Team 10-0 on Tuesday. On the softball side the Sugar Bears lost North Henderson by a score of 7-3 Callie Kukendall gave up six runs on eleven hits while Megan Edwards pitched strong for the Sugar Bears giving up only three runs. The Lady Mustangs scared the Lady Blue Devils from Brevard high School who came into the game with an 8 and 0 record. Emily Miller took the loss for the Mustangs giving up 8 runs on 16 hits in 4 innings pitched. the Mustangs made the most of the eight hits by plating seven runs. The Lady Mustangs are now 5-6 overall and 3-2 in conference play.
in other BASEBALL action the Rosman Tigers remained undefeated at 7-0 with a 7-4 win Tuesday at Andrews.

Former Mustangs Player Is A Member Of The Division Two National Champion Basketball Team

(04/01/14)Former Smoky Mountain High School basketball star Joe Davis is a member of the Central Missouri Basketball Team who won the Division Two National Championship on Saturday at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana. The Mules took the National Championship with an 84 to 77 point win over West Liberty University located in Wheeling, West Virginia. The twentieth ranked Mules faced the number seven ranked Hilltoppers, a team that has played in four straight Super Eight appearances and have advanced to the Final Four in three of the last four seasons. West Liberty beat South Carolina-Aiken 86-83 on Thursday night to advance to the title game, while Central Missouri upset No. 1-ranked Metro State 71-69 to earn the opportunity to play for the national championship.
Joe Davis graduated from Smoky Mountain High School in 2010 after being selected to both the conference and regional conference teams and helped the Mustangs with the conference championship in 2009. He also lettered in soccer and golf . After season at Brevard College where he saw limited action as a freshman player. During the 2012-13 in his sophomore season he came off the bench to play in four games and was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Academic Honors Team. As a Business Management Major Davis carried a 3 point 55 grade point average. Joe told WRGC Radio that his primary role this season was anchoring the practice team running the plays the scout team had learned from the next opponent. Joe will be graduating this May and is planning on returning to Sylva for a few weeks before continuing his education in the medical field most likely in the field of Physical Therapy.
On the 30th anniversary of their first NCAA Division II men’s basketball championship, the Central Missouri Mules overcame a nine-point deficit in the first half, to claim the program’s second national title in men’s basketball the Mules limited the Hilltoppers to just one basket during the final 3 minutes and 47 seconds of the game. This is the fourth national title for the Mules, and first since 1984, when they won both the men’s and women’s championships.

Laura Lindsay Signs to Play Volleyball With Berea College

(03/26/14) The Mustangs outstanding soccer player Laura Lindsay met with family and friends on Wednesday to officially sign the contract for a full athletic scholarship to Berea College in Kentucky. Laura met or exceeded the eligibility criteria for the scholarship. One obvious criteria is being an outstanding volleyball player, a proven leader at the high school level, having a three point eight five grade point average or better, and being from the Appalachia region. Several of Laura’s coaches spoke at the assembly and each complimented Laura on these special skills. Laura will continue to wear number six at Berea College and has already had some workouts and practices with the team.

Mustangs Baseball Team Takes Win From East Henderson Monday

(03/24/14) Quick thinking by the Mustangs and the East Henderson coaching staffs payed off for both teams. With horrible weather in the forecast for Tuesday The Mustangs and Eagles staffs agreed to move the game to Monday and Mother Nature cooperated with a perfect day. For the Mustangs Jace Milkey took the ball and three well for six innings holding the Eagles to three runs on six hits. For East Henderson Jason Conard also pitched well but could not shut down the Mustangs bats. Furthermore the Mustangs were able to cash in on their opportunities to build a early 2 run lead. They expanded the lead in the fifth and sixth innings to take a seven to three run win. Cal Raleigh closed the game in the seventh with a ground out and two strike outs. The Mustangs improve to three and four while East Henderson drops to three and seven.

Mustangs Take Two Games From Franklin This Week

(03/21/14) On Thursday the Lady Mustangs got excellent pitching from Emily Miller combined with key hitting in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead over the Lady Panthers from Franklin High School. The defense behind Miller was superb and kept the Panthers of the board till the fifth when they were got a run across on a balk call. The Mustangs added one run in the sixth to expand the lead to three til one. In the top of the seventh the Lady Panthers loaded the bases and scored once before the Mustangs defense ended the threat to seal the victory.

ON FRIDAY the Varsity boys team got the same outcome but had a much more difficult time of it. The Panthers Hayden Volk limited the Mustangs to five hits, added five strikeouts and three walks which allowed the Mustangs Jordan Couch to get to third base on three occasions but never across home plate. For the Mustangs Cal Raleigh was equally strong on the mound limiting the Panthers to four hits. Going into the ninth Raleigh gave way to Jace Milkey who continued to shut down the Panthers. In the bottom of the tenth inning with the Mustangs Cal Raleigh advanced to first on a walk, miv e to second on a bunt play, on to third on a sacrifice fly then scored the winning run on a hit by Zechariah Carter giving the Mustangs a walk off 1-0 victory. The Mustangs improve to 3 and 5 on the season while the Panthers also fall to three and five.

The Next Broadcast Game will be Monday when the Lady Mustangs take on Hiwassee Dan at the Webster Field.

Tuesday Sports Review

(03/19/14) The Smoky Mountain Mustangs baseball team struggled on Tuesday in their baseball game at West Henderson. The Mustangs manufactured a run in the third, fourth, and fifth innings but were not able to shut down the Falcons offense. The final was 14 to 3. Meanwhile Pisgah is on a roll with a 6 and 0 regular season record and 2-0 in the conference. Pisgah downed Franklin 5 to 4 and the Pisgah girls won 7 to 4. Also in baseball Andrews beat Robbinsville 5-2. The Lady Mustangs will host Franklin on Thursday at Webster Field and the Baseball Team will host Franklin Friday at the High School Field. Both games will be aired on WRGC Radio

The Asheville Citizen Awards Local Players With Special Recognitions

(03/17/14) The Asheville Citizen’s All Conference Winter Sports Teams were announced on Sunday. Several local area players and coaches were recognized including Cherokee boys basketball head coach Willis Tullos, Michael Cottrell of Hayesville, and Tommy Johnson of Robbinsville. Named to the all conference team were Dustin Johnson and Jason McMillan of Cherokee. Raymius Smith from Swain also made the team for the 1-A Big Smoky Mountain Conference. In the 1-A little Smoky Mountain Conference Daniel Hickman and Hunter Stewart from Blue Ridge were named all conference. In the Western North Carolina Athletic Association Smoky Mountain Coach Jimmy Cleveland was named the Coach of the Year and his entire starting team was named to the all conference team by the Asheville Citizen. The players were Jayce Wolfe, Jordan Couch, Spencer Norris, Zechariah Carter, and Cal Raleigh who was also named Player of the Year. Other local players named to the team were Woody Cornwell from Tuscola, Trey Maslin and Chance Gibbs from Franklin.
IN GIRLS RECOGNITIONS: Smoky Mountain High School Girls team players Maggie Deweese, Taryn Ledford, and Kaitlin Wood were named as all conference, they were joined by Franklin Lady Panthers players Sarah Henson, Vanessa and Tory Agrusa, and Mariah Wallace. In the Smoky Mountain 1-A Conference Chris Mintz from Cherokee was named Coach of The Year. He was joined in the recognitions by Kendall Toineeta as the Player Of the Year as well as all conference along with Avery Mintz. Alea Tisho from Swain was also named to the all conference team. Two Mustangs were part of the Asheville Citizen all conference wresting team including Trey Fisher and Tony Clonch. In the I-A Smoky Mountain Conference Spencer McCoy from Swain along with Levi Swearengin and Jaron Bradley from Cherokee were named to the Asheville Citizen all conference team.

The Mustangs Overcome Huge Deficit To Win At Wayesville In Baseball

(03/15/14) The Mustangs were shut down by Tuscola pitcher Nathan Messer on Friday. Likewise the Mountaineers were finding it difficult to score runs against Mustangs pitcher Cal Raleigh. When the starters and the staff ace ran out of innings both teams struggled with their middle relief pitching core. Tuscola scored six runs off Hayden Hodgin in the fourth taking an 8 to nothing lead. However when the Mustangs came to bat in the top of the fifth against Sophomore Ethan Meese the Mustangs broke out their hit parade battling back to make the deficit 9 to 4. The Mustangs struck again in the top of the seventh with seven runs to take an 11 to 9 point lead. Jayce Milkey pitched three and a third shut-out innings in relief. The Mustangs improve to 2-3 on the season while Tuscola drops to 0 and 5. The Mustangs travel to Asheville on Wednesday and to Franklin next Friday. The Friday game at Franklin will be broadcast on WRGC if the details can be worked out. WRGC also plays to broadcast a couple of women’s softball games next week as well.

Greensboro Tournaments Not Good For Mountain Teams

(03/11/14)The Smoky Mountain High School Mustang Basketball Team got the western regional playoff series underway on Thursday night with an 85 to 85 win over Gastonia’s Hunter Huss High School. All other playoff action was suspended on Thursday because of the massive winter storm that slammed into the Triad with ice and snow. Play resumed on Saturday with a packed schedule of games. North Rowan came from behind to squeak by East Rutherford by a score of 58 to 55 in the 2 A boys match-up. That set up a Sunday afternoon game between North Rowan and Smoky Mountain.When Sunday afternoon arrived the stands were packed with Mustang fans but even the huge fan advantage for the Mustangs was not enough to overcome the Mustangs woes on the court. The Mustangs were not able to effectively penetrate the North Rowan zone and when they did they unfortunately missed shots in the paint they had been hitting all season. Their back door lay-up and the three pointers were not falling for the Mustangs. North Rowan took advantage of several late game fast break opportunities with points to build a double digit point lead which the Mustangs were not able to overcome and were bounced from the playoffs by a two point loss 58 to 56. On Saturday. In the other Saturday game the Franklin girls were knocked out by Bandys by a 71 to 65 point score. Sarah Henson led the Lady Panthers with 19 points but fouled out of the game with just under four minutes to play. Bandys was awarded a contested technical foul on an in bounds play with under a minute to play. The Bandy’s player made the free throws and after getting the ball after the Technical foul their player was able to hit an additional shot from the field which turned a two point game in to a six point game. The Lady Panthers were not able to hit the three point shots needed as time ran out. In the late afternoon game the Cherokee Lady Braves were in hopes of ending the Hayesville Yellow Jackets dominance of the Lady Braves this season. But strong shooting, offensive and defensive rebounding, and a tough defensive scheme by Hayesville proved to be too much for the Lady Braves who lost to Hayesville for the third time by a score of 58 to 49. On Sunday Hayesville lost to Bishop McGinnis parochial school thus setting up McGinnis for another state championship game to played in Raleigh on March 15th. The Pisgah teams also lost in their campaign for a state championship.

Local Basketball Teams Headed To Greensboro

Several local teams are still playing for state championships in basketball. On Tuesday night at 7 p.m. the Franklin Lady Panthers will square off against East Rutherford in the Two A girls division. The winner will play for the Western Regional Championship on Saturday at noon on the UNC-Greensboro campus Fleming Gym. In the Three A division the Pisgah Lady Bears will take on Weddington Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum Special events Center at 2:00 p.m. Friday the Lady Braves from Cherokee High School will take on Hayesville at 7 p.m also at Fleming Gym. The championship will be played at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the same location.
THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN HIGH SCHOOL MUSTANGS will play Thursday also at Fleming Gym. The Mustangs will host Gastonia’s Hunter Huss High School. The Championship game will be played Saturday Night at 8:00 p.m. at the same site. In Three A Boys action Pisgah will take on North Forsyth at 8:30 Friday evening at the Greensboro Coliseum with the championship being played at the same venue at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday.

WCU Basketball Faces A Busy Sports Week

(03-03-14) This past weekend was not kind to the WCU Catamount basketball teams. In spite of it being Senior Day at WCU on Saturday the Lady Catamounts could not get the win and sweep the Appalachian State Mountaineers on Saturday in the Ramsey Center falling 63 to 56. The WCU men traveled to Samford, Alabama for a Saturday night game which they also lost 93 to 86. The seedings for the Southern Conference Tournament in Asheville are set with games to be played at both the Kimmell Center on the UNC-A Campus and the US Cellular Center in Asheville. The WCU women will open on Friday at 1:30 at the Kimmell Center when they host number ten seeded UNC-Greensboro. The Lady Cats are seeded seventh. The fifth seeded WCU men’s team will take on number four seed Elon an Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Should the the Catamounts win they will likely face Davidson on Sunday. Davidson plays the winner of Samford and Appalachian State in the early game Saturday. The Southern Conference Tournament games between the Catamounts and Davidson have been the highlight of the tournament on many occasions. The top two seeds are number two Chattanooga and number one Davidson and if the seedings play out as predicted then those two teams would meet for the championship on Monday.

Asheville Tourists Looking For Singers

ASHEVILLE, NC—National anthem auditions for the Asheville Tourists’ 2014 baseball games will be held this Saturday, March 8, from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. at McCormick Field. Potential game-day singers will perform “The Star Spangled Banner” a cappella on the field during their audition. Talented singers are always in demand to perform “The Star Spangled Banner” prior to the baseball games. Those interested should go to the field after entering the ballpark. Auditions will be conducted behind home plate.
“We have a number of returning singers from last season, but we’re always looking for new voices,” said Tourists Community Relations Manager Michelle Buss. The Tourists open their 2014 season at McCormick Field on April 3 against the Delmarva Shorebirds, beginning at 7:05 p.m. Single game tickets are currently available. For more information, contact the Tourists Front Office at (828) 258-0428 or visit theashevilletourists.com.

Weekend Sports Round Up

(03-01-14) The Smoky Mountain High School Mustangs dominated the Lake Norman Charter School Knights in basketball playoff action Friday night in Sylva to bring an end to a historic era for the Smoky Mountain High School Gym. The building was filled to capacity to both pull for the undefeated Mustangs in their quest for a state A A state basketball championship and to honor a building which has been home to many honors, championships, and heartbreaks over the past 54 years. Those who were members of Sylva Webster teams as well as the Mustangs all had their moments of reflection as the evening played out. The new gymnasium will open for athletic contests next season. The Mustangs took control from the beginning and never trailed led by Cal Raleigh’s 33 points. The 91 to 72 point win by the Mustangs will set them up for an appointment with Hunter Huss High School next Thursday in Greensboro at the UNC-Greensboro Campus Fleming Gymnasium. Huss was a 92 to 83 point winner over Newton Conover. Prior to that Huss had taken a 91 to 74 point win over Lexington. WRGC will broadcast the sectional finals on Thursday.

THE CHEROKEE LADY BRAVES will face Hayesville next Friday in the Sectional Finals at UNC-Greensboro Fleming Gymnasium. The Lady Braves took an 82 to 53 win over Rosman on Friday while Hayesville was ending the Lincoln Charter season 68 to 37. There are eight teams still in the chase in the One A girls division. Remember Bishop McGinnis? This is the team that slipped by the Lady Braves least year 68 to 66 to advance to the state championship game and win…..again. McGinnis will play Winston Salem Prep who got by Mount Airy 69 to 52 on Friday. Also still in the running are East Columbus and Rosewood as well as Riverside and Pamlico County. WRGC has tentative plans to broadcast the Lady Braves games in Greensboro. The games will also be available at wrgc.com and on the Tune In App on a smart phone at 540 WRGC.

PISGAH even though the Pisgah Black Bears Men’s Varsity team (25-3) was not able to beat the Mustangs this season they are still in the chase. The Black Bears edged Concord 66 to 64 Friday night to advance to the Greensboro Coliseum to face North Forsyth (21-8) on March 7th. North Forsyth got by Carson 94 to 91 on Friday. MEANWHILE the LADY BLACK BEARS stopped Southwest Randolph 79 to 44 on Friday to play Weddington also in Greensboro. Southwest Randolph had knocked Enka out of the playoffs in the earlier rounds of the playoffs. Weddington had beat N. Iredell and Crest to get to the Sectional Championship game. WPTL Radio in Canton will probably broadcast the Pisgah games and if so a stream over the station’s website will probably be be available.

FRANKLKIN GIRLS Varsity team is still in the chase having won over Lexington 62 to 46 on Friday. The winner of the game between Thomasville and East Rutherford has not been recorded at the time of the publication of this story.

Lady Braves Defeat Robbinsville

The Cherokee Lady Braves got 20 points from Kendall Toineeta, 19 from Avery Mintz, and 18 from Bree Stamper on their way to a 71 to 55 point win from Robbinsville. Kinshey Orr and Amber Long each scored 17 points for Robbinsville but that was not enough to ward off the team scoring by the Lady Braves who will face Rosman on Friday. The Tigers beat the Elkin Elks 44 T0 40. In the other sectional series Hayesville beat the higher seed Hiwassee Dam 68 to 53 and Lincoln Charter beat Bessemer City 55 to 33 to set up the Friday night match-up with Hayesville. Should both local teams win Friday they will meet for the western region championship on March 7th in Greensboro.

Mustangs Win Over West Caldwell

Still wondering how the Mustangs can handle tough competition? Watching Wednesday nights game when the Mustangs hosted the Warriors from West Caldwell High School would have given you the answer. The Mustangs were rock solid from the free throw line where they generated twenty points. Intensive play for the entire 32 minutes was another factor. Both teams 30 thirty points in the fourth quarter. Both teams had a strong bench with players coming off the bench to contribute. The Mustangs took the 86 to 75 point win but the margin would have been higher except for a 3 three pointer by West Caldwell make the score look closer. The Mustangs protected at least a 13 point lead for most of the game. Spencer Norris had the hot hand on Wednesday with 22 points, Cal Raleigh added 14. He was followed by Jordan Couch and Jayce Wolfe who added 13 points and Bret Baldwin with 12. Wolfe was nearly perfect down the stretch from the free throw line with critical points which proved to be the difference in the game. THE MUSTANGS ADVANCE to a match-up with Lake Norman Charter who knocked off Bunker Hill on Wednesday Night by a score of 73 to 54. The two remaining teams in the West Regional are Gastonia’s Hunter Huss and Newton-Conover. The Friday game will be aired on WRGC with airtime starting at 6:30.

Mustangs “PLAY ON”

(02/25/14) The Smoky Mountain High School Mustang brought an abrupt end to this season’s play for the Brevard Blue Devils men’s basketball season Monday night with a first round playoff 96 to 61 point win. In the meantime West Caldwell was tacking on the final loss of the season for Mountain Heritage 80 to 66. Thus the stage is set for the Mustangs to “Play On” on Wednesday at 6:00 when they host West Caldwell. WRGC Radio will have the game on the air starting Wednesday at 5:30.
LADY MUSTANGS END THEIR SEASON with a stunning 88 to 28 point loss to Bandy’s High School. Now the Lady Mustangs Athletes will be able to concentrate on soccer, softball, or avoid spring athletics all together. With the Smoky Mountain High School Spring Musical on the horizon expect to see some of the athletes participating in Ms Haggar’s programs and enjoy some time in the new Performing Arts Center at Smoky Mountain High School.

Cherokee Lady Braves Advance To The Second Round Of The Playoffs

(02/15/14) The Lady Braves rolled over Mitchel 72 to 37 Monday night on their way to a huge rematch on Wednesday in Cherokee against Robbinsville who got by Highlands 56 to 34. The Cherokee Boys Varsity team beat Bessemer City 72 to 56 at the same time Murphy was losing to Avery County. Now the number seven seeded Cherokee Braves will have to play up hill on Wednesday night when they travel to number two seeded Avery County.

IN OTHER GAMES WEDNESDAY
The Hayesville Boys Varsity will travel to Cherryville, number three seeded Robbinsville will host Thomas Jefferson, and Pisgah who beat Central Cabarras 73 to 57 will host Statesville who knocked out Piedmont 73 to 62. In GIRLS ACTION Franklin will be home against North Surrey on Wednesday. Rosman and Elkin were both upset winners over their competition and will meet at Rosman for the second round of the playoffs on Wednesday.

Friday Sports Summary

(2/21/2014) In local high school basketball tournament action; last night the Smoky Mountain High School Lady Mustangs could not stop the Franklin Lady Panthers who cruised to win the WNCAC Tournament Championship with a 67 to 36 win over the Mustangs.  Kaitlin Wood had the hot hand for the Mustangs with 13 points.  Pisgah girls topped West Henderson 81 to 36. Also, in girls basketball action Hayesville got Robbinsville 59 to 54 to move to tonight’s championship game where they will face Cherokee who whipped Murphy 73 to 52.  Avery Mintz led all scorers with 19, Kendall Toinetta added 14.  Brianna Jumper contributed 10 while LeLe Lossiah added 9 and Bree Stamper added 8.

In BOYS ACTION the Cherokee Boys remained the hot team with a 51 to 45 point win over Andrews. Darius Thompson had 16 points followed by Jason McMillan with 13 and Dustin Johnson with 11.  The SMOKY MOUNTAIN MUSTANGS Mustangs boys topped the century mark for the third time this season with a 103 to 55 win over Brevard.  Coach Cleveland emptied the bench giving everyone a chance to score.  Cal Raleigh led with 23 followed by Spencer Norris and Brett Baldwin with 13 and Jordan Couch with 11.  The Mustangs are now 24-0 for the season. Jayce Wolfe was recognized as the MVP. Also, making the all tournament team were Jordan Couch and Zechariah Carter. In the 3-A Division Pisgah wins the WNCAC Conference Tournament Championship and they are now 23-3 with an 81 to 49 point win over West Henderson.

Luke Worley from Pisgah was named MVP other All Tournament players included Woody Cornwell from Tuscola, Nick Durs from West Henderson, Josh Van Wingerden from West Henderson and Peyton Truesdale from Pisgah.

WCU wins 74-61 to top Appalachian State and win a first round BYE in the Tournament.

 

Mustangs To “Play On”

(02/19/14) The Smoky Mountain High School basketball teams seem to have fully bought in to the latest promotional tool for Jackson County which is the marketing theme of “Play On”. Tuesday Night during the Western North Carolina Athletic Association Conference Tournament at the Smoky Mountain High School the motivation could never have been more evident at the Mustangs rolled to a 59 to 37 point win over Brevard who did not appear to be too motivated to “Play On”. The Lady Mustangs improved their record to 10-13 and 7-7 in conference play. Trenna Worley had the hot hand for the Mustangs having a career night with 21 points. By virtue of the win the Mustangs will face Franklin on Thursday night at 6:00.
IN BOYS ACTION TUESDAY: Franklin lost to Brevard 57 to 55 thus giving the Blue Devils the opportunity to match up with the Mustangs on Thursday night in the marquee game. The outcomes of the tournament do not impact the state playoffs. The Mustang Mens team is expected to be the top seed in the western regional seedings. These conference tournament games on Thursday will not be broadcast on WRGC Radio. The WCU vs Appalachian State basketball game will be aired.

Mustangs Cap Off A Perfect Season With Win Over North Henderson

(02/18/12) The Smoky Mountain High School Mustangs let it be known from the opening tip they were at North Henderson High School to win. The North Henderson Knights played a tight zone forcing the Mustangs to open up the game from three point range which worked out fine for the Mustangs who built a 15 to 6 point lead at the end of the first quarter. The defense made things a bit tougher for Cal Raleigh and Spencer Norris but the pair still scored 43 of the Mustangs 80 points as they limited North Henderson’s offense to 49 points. The Mustangs capped off a perfect regular season at 23 to 0. The last time the Mustangs has a perfect run was during the 2010-1011 season. The Mustangs will get a short breather before they take on either Brevard or Franklin on Thursday in the finals of the Western North Carolina Athletic Conference Tournament taking place in Sylva this week.

Lady Mustang loose to North Henderson In Overtime

(02/18/14)The Smoky Mountain High School Lady Mustangs Basketall Team closed out the regular high school basketball season with their second loss of the season to North Henderson. The Lady Mustangs let the game get away in the fourth quarter when North Henderson made a 20 point run to overcome a ten point deficit at the half when the Mustangs led 20 to 17. At the end of regulation the game was tied at 41 sending the game into overtime during which the Lady Mustangs were able to get only one basket which was a three pointer by Tori Woodring at the buzzer. The Lady Mustangs dropped the 50 to 45 game to the Knights and finish 7 and 7 in conference. The Lady Mustangs will be in action tonight against Brevard in the WNCAC Conference Tournament taking place this week at the Smoky Mountain High School Gymnasium.

Atlanta Braves Keep Solidifying Their Line-up

(02/17/14) The Atlanta Braves have come to terms with All Star Closer Jason Kimbrell. The Four Year $42 million contract will make sure Kimbrell remains part of a team and line up that he has been a part of through the minor league system including Freeman, Heyward, Simmons, Teheran, Gattis, Wood, Minor, and Beachy. This is reminiscent of the Braves several years ago when a crop of young players out of the Braves minor league system were called the “Baby Braves” and changes the face of the organization. While several were traded away for players to fill gaps in the lineup, some of the others struggled at the major league level, and others became all-stars. Some of those players became all-stars and represented the they were traded to. WRGC Radio is your local Atlanta Braves Radio Affiliate. The first game in March 31st.

Asheville Tourists Job

(02/17/14) ASHEVILLE, NC—With the 2014 baseball season quickly approaching, the Asheville Tourists are looking to fill over 100 part-time positions during the span of two scheduled job fairs. Positions available include Guest Service Relations, Merchandise, Food and Beverage, Parking Attendants, Ticket Operations, Stadium Operations, Mascots, Energy Team Members, and Bat Boys.
The first job fair is scheduled for Thursday, February 20 from 5pm-8pm while the second job fair is on Saturday, February 22 from 10am-2pm. Tourists’ staff members will conduct interviews on both dates. Job seekers can find an application online at www.theashevilletourists.com and are recommended to bring out a filled out copy to expedite the process. Applications will also be available on site.
The Tourists open the 2014 season at McCormick Field on April 3 against the Delmarva Shorebirds at 7:05pm. Season ticket packages are currently available at the McCormick Field ServPro Box Office. For more information, contact the Tourists’ front office at (828) 258-0428.

WNCAC Tournament to Start On Tuesday In Sylva

(2/17/14) Officials off the WNCAC met Saturday and finalized plans for the conference tournament to be held starting Tuesday in Sylva. The first game will be Smoky Mountain women taking on Brevard Tuesday at 6:00 pm that game will be followed by Franklin men vs Brevard men.

On Wednesday there will be four games: at 4:00 Pisgah women will take on the winner of the Tuscola and East Henderson game. At 5:00 the Pisgah men will take on the winner of the Tuscola Men vs East Henderson game. These games will be followed by the North Henderson’s teams taking on West Henderson’s teams.(men and women)

ON THURSDAY at 6:00 pm the Franklin women take on the winner of the Smoky Mountain vs Brevard women’s game. The 7:30 game will feature Smoky Mountain men taking on the winner of the men’s game between Franklin and Brevard

ON FRIDAY the 3 A finals will be played on at Pisgah.

Mustang Basketball Plays Monday At North Henderson

(2/16/14) The weather has played havoc with the area basketball schedules during February. The Smoky Mountain high School Mustangs and several other teams in the WNCAC were forced to play three or four games in a five night span in order to make up the scheduled games. Now as the season approaches the end the Mustangs have one game remaining and that is with North Henderson on Monday night. In the last game the Lady Mustangs dropped a 39 to 40 loss to North Henderson while the Men’s varsity picked up a 75 to 55 point win. Airtime on WRGC Radio on Monday will be at 4:30. There will be no JV games. The girls Varsity game will start at 5:00 followed by Boy’s varsity.

WCU Baseball Upsets Mississippi State In A Last Minute Scheduled Game

(2/15/14) Starkville, Miss. Jeremy Null struck out a dozen Bulldog batters while scattering three hits over eight solid innings as Western Carolina held off second-ranked Mississippi State to pull the upset, 3-2, Friday night in the 2014 season opener at Dudy Noble Field. The Southern Conference’s Preseason Pitcher of the Year, Null struck out seven of the first 13 batters he faced and held the Bulldogs hitless until the lead-off batter of the fifth inning. He worked around a lone walk to pick up his first win of the season – and the 14th of his WCU career. In his WCU debut, freshman LHP Bryan Sammons recorded two thirds of an inning to earn his first collegiate save. The Wilmington, N.C., product secured the final two outs in the nail-biting bottom of the ninth inning as he induced a ground ball out to short to ice the Catamount victory.

Western Carolina’s players and coaches learned of their new destination – and the nationally-ranked opponent who awaited them – on Thursday evening after Winter Storm Pax shuffled scheduling on Opening Weekend. Departing early Friday morning, the Catamounts made the nearly eight-hour trek to Starkville – and then were nearly flawless for eight innings, carrying a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth. By WCU ATHLETICS

WCU Basketball Struggles At Chattanooga

(2/14/14) No surprises coming out of Chattanooga this basketball season. A quick review of the past five years of game scores between these two schools show that each team has won at home with the exception of last year when the roles were reversed. Last night all was back to normal. Z. Mason was the hot hand for the Mocs laying in 25 points to lead Chattanooga to an 83 to 73 point win over the Catamounts. The Mocs defenses were tough as well limiting Western Carolina’s top scorer to just 12 points. While the Mocs defense concentrated to Trey Sumler Brandon Boggs was able to get some better looks and nailed 21 points to lead the Catamounts. James Sinclair had another good night adding 15 points in the losing effort. WCU is now sitting at 14 and 12 overall and 7-4 in the conference. The Catamounts left Chattanooga last night headed for an overnight stay in Knoxville and will be traveling to Greensboro today to prepare for their Sunday match-up with UNC-Greensboro.

WCU Basketball And Baseball Games Rescheduled

(2/12/14) The Western Carolina University Athletics Department has announced that Thursday Night’s Men’s Varsity basketball Game at Chattanooga has been delayed for a day because of the weather. The game will be played on Friday with tip off set for 7 p.m. in McKenzie Arena a place where the Catamounts have experienced little success having won only once in the past six seasons with a 90 to 81 win last year. Also over the past six seasons the Catamounts and Moccasins has split their games.

After winning last season in Chattanooga the Cats then lost 81 to 72 in the Ramsey Center. During the eleven and twelve season WCU won 82 to 76 in Cullowhee and lost 78 to 62 at McKenzie Arena. In 2010 through 2011 season games were as thrilling 69 to 68 as one can get. The Catamounts won in Cullowhee but a lost 67 to 65 in Chattanooga In 2009 through 2010 it was a 78 – 71 win at home and 80 to 67 on the road. In the 2008 and 2009 season it was the continuation of a pattern the Cats winning at home and losing in Chattanooga this time the scores were 86 to 77 in Cullowhee and losing in Tennessee 82 to 75. 2007 and 2008 the Catamounts won in Cullowhee 70 to 64 and lost to the Moccasins 85 to 55 at their place. WRGC will air the game on Friday.

THE BASEBALL Team was scheduled to open their season with Ohio University on Friday however the team has moved the games until Saturday in hopes the snow is gone and the weather warms up. Saturday temperatures are expected to be in the forties while Sunday is expected to warm to the mid 50′s under sunny skies. By Tuesday when the Cats host Winthrop temperatures are expected to be in the 60′s.

The LADY CATS SOFTBALL TEAM opens their season on Friday in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina in a tournament where they will see DePaul, Kansas, Ole Miss, and Fordham. The Lady Cats softball team will play 21 road games before opening in Cullowhee on March 15th with their first conference opponent Elon.

Smoky Mountain High School Scrambling With Conference Tournament Schedule

(2/12/14) The teams in the Western North Carolina Athletic Conference are getting pressed for time to get the conference tournament completed before the state playoffs begin. The playoff seedings are scheduled to be completed on February 22nd and the first round of the playoffs is Friday February 21st. The State Championship games will take place during the middle week of March. The tentative proposal is for the games to be played at the Smoky Mountain High School Gymnasium starting Monday but the schedule has to be adopted by all the teams involved. The schedule could be announced as early as Thursday evening but there is no guarantee that will be the case. WRGC will post the results when they are received.

Asheville Tourists Announce 2014 Coaching Staff

(2/11/14) ASHEVILLE, NC—The Colorado Rockies announced that former Tourists infielder and 2013 Manager Fred Ocasiowill return to lead the Asheville Tourists for the 2014 campaign. Ocasio will once again be joined in the Tourists’ dugout by Development Supervisor Marv Foley; Hitting Coach Mike Devereaux; and the 2013 South Atlantic League Trainer of the Year, Billy Whitehead. New to the Tourists staff and in his first year with the Rockies organization is Pitching Coach Mark Brewer. Ocasio has spent the past 18 seasons as a member of the Rockies’ organization. Fred’s coaching career started in Rookie ball with Tucson in 1998 prior to moving up to Class A Salem in 2000. A year later he became the hitting coach at Tri-City in the Northwest League.

In 2006, Ocasio became the Dust Devils’ manager and skippered the team for the next seven years. During that time he guided Tri-City to the NWL championship series on three occasions and compiled an overall record of 264-268. In 2013, Ocasio led the Tourists to a 63-73 record along with a third place finish in the first half standings. “We’re looking forward to having Fred Ocasio back in Asheville to manage the Tourists in 2014,” said team president Brian DeWine. “With his exciting managerial style, this will be a fun team to watch.”

Foley will work hand-in-hand with the coaching staff as the Development Supervisor; a leadership role that is highly responsible for the oversight and implementation of the Colorado Rockies development philosophies and practices. Foley served as Asheville’s Development Supervisor in 2013.

The 2014 campaign will be Devereaux’s third slate with the Tourists and fourth in the Rockies’ organization after spending the previous two seasons in the Baltimore Orioles’ farm system. Devereaux played 12 seasons in the major leagues. He finished seventh in the Most Valuable Player balloting in 1992 for the Orioles while batting .276 with 24 homers and 107 RBIs. He also was named the MVP of the 1995 National League Championship Series.

Brewer has over 20 years of professional experience as a Pitching Coach in Major League organizations, and comes to Asheville after most recently serving as the Pitching Coach for Triple-A Buffalo in the New York Mets organization. Overall, Brewer has been a pitching coach in the player development systems for the Dodgers, Rangers, Royals, Pirates, and the Mets. Brewer also has over 10 years of experience as a pitching coach in the Latin America Winter Leagues.

The Tourists open the 2014 season at McCormick Field on April 3 against the Delmarva Shorebirds at 7:05pm. Season ticket packages are currently available at the McCormick Field ServPro Box Office. For more information, contact the Tourists’ front office at (828) 258-0428.

WNCAC Conference Basketball Tournament May Be affected By The Weather

(2/11/14) The weather has caused chaos with this seasons high school basketball schedules. The Mustangs played four games in five nights week before last to catch up on games postponed due to snow. They have only one game remaining on their schedule which is at North Henderson. However the conference tournament is all who new set of issues. The difference is the Conference Tournament does not determine the conference’s representative to the state playoffs as is the case in college and university basketball. The Mustangs by virtue of their regular season conference championship will be the top seed from the WNCAC and will have home court advantage throughout the playoffs. The Mustangs remain ranked at number 2 in the state in the 2-A Division. In 2012 Smoky Mountain High School waived their turn to host the WNCAC Conference Tournament because they felt the new gymnasium would be open in time for the conference tournament in 2013. However it does not appear the gymnasium will be open until the end of February. None the less the tournament will be held at Smoky Mountain high School this weekend and next week weather permitting. The conference tournament is a source of much needed funds for the conference to award players with plaques and recognitions and other conference administrative costs. Normally the tournament generates between ten and 15 thousand dollars for conference operations.

Catamounts Baseball Pitcher Tyler Powell A Candidate For The Stopper Of The Year Award

(2/10/14) Western Carolina University closer Tyler Powell has been identified as one of the top 50 players to watch in this years 10th Annual Baseball Writers Association Stopper Of The Year Award. Powell had a 2-2 record with 33 relief performances for the Catamounts last season. He struck out 55 batters in 38.1 innings and has a 2.82 earned run average.

Catamounts Baseball Team Set To Open play On Friday

(2/10/14) Even though it is Valentines Day the Catamount Baseball team members most likely will prefer to see sunny skies and warm temperatures for their season opening series with Ohio University this weekend. Between Tuesday and Thursday morning the weather is predicted to be anti-baseball, but by game time Friday the temperature and weather conditions are predicted to be ideal for Spring Baseball all weekend with afternoon highs in the mid to upper 50′s and nighttime lows around 30. The Catamounts are ready to get the season underway with five players already named as preseason all Southern Conference and Aaron Attaway already named the preseason Southern Conference Player of the Year.The Catamounts have also been voted at the team most likely to win their second Southern Conference Championship in a row after a greatly successful season in 2013. WRGC Radio is planning to broadcast a few of the Catamount Baseball games but many of the games will be available on line at catamountsports.com.

Mustangs Basketball Game at North Henderson Canceled For Now

(2.10.14) The Mustangs basketball with North Henderson is regularly scheduled for Tuesday Night, But with the threatening weather on the way school officials planned to get the game completed on Monday, however the unexpected intensiveness of the snow on Monday caused the schools to close and cancel the planned game for Monday. With the weather conditions expected to deteriorate drastically in the next 36 hours it is not known if the game will be played or not. WRGC Radio will keep you posted as soon as an announcement is made.

Mustangs Varsity Boys Win Conference Championship While JV Girls Suffer First Loss

(02/08/14) There are a million stories coming out of Friday nights basketball action at Smoky Mountain High School Gymnasium. First of all the Gym was filled to capacity and no additional fans were permitted into the gym until some fans left after the JV Boys game was over. There there was the story of the delay in the Varsity girls game after a fan had to be taken to the hospital after collapsing at the game. The third story was the Mustang JV Girls ran into a hornets nest on Friday and ended up with their first lost of the season which was a 35 to 31 defeat to the Baby Sugar Bears. The JV Boys team came back late in a game that was reminiscent of the men’s varsity game that was played last month in Canton. The JV’s rallied from a nine point deficit early in the fourth quarter to take a nine point lead then watched the advance slip away. Two late free throws by Blankenship gave the JV Mustangs a five point lead which they were able to hold for a 52 to 47 point win.
After the JV Game was over there was a ceremony to retire the Number 4 jersey of Jordan Couch after his high school career in which he set over a dozen state, regional, conference and school records. About the only record he did not break was the regional all time scoring record. Congratulations to Jordan Couch. It was also SENIOR NIGHT with all the senior players, band members, and cheerleaders from the winter sports programs along with their coaches and teachers being recognized.
THE VARSITY GIRLS were unable to stop the multi-pronged attack from Pisgah but the Mustangs zone defense has improved greatly throughout the season. They were effective for much of the game on Friday to stop many of the Lady Black Bears easy and high percentage shots forcing Pisgah to shoot from further away from the basket. However the Mustangs struggled with their own shooting ability close in even though they got plenty of put back opportunities. The Mustangs lost to Pisgah 61 to 25. At the Half in the Girls varsity
THE VARSITY BOYS fell behind early in the game when faced an intense Pisgah boys team intent on applying full court pressure and coming up with a couple of steals which they turned into points and hit a three point shot before the Mustangs were able to get the ball past mid-court. The Mustangs began applying the same sort of pressure and spent more time setting for the better shot. It was obvious the Bears wanted to get into a run and gun game but the Mustangs were more successful setting the game tempo. At the Half the Mustangs had expanded their lead to 45 to 31 and the Black Bears were struggling. At the end of the third the Mustangs had given ground to the Black Bears and were clinging to a swelled the lead to 61 to 52 point lead and the Bears had captured back some of the momentum. In the fourth quarter the Mustangs were on a scoring frenzy led Cal Raleigh’s 14 points to add to his already 24 point night giving Cal Raleigh a career high night with 38 points. Pisgah had suffered through three consecutive two or three point losses to the Mustangs in the last three games, buy after Friday night’s 90 to 68 point blow out they were able to return to the Black Bear Den knowing the Mustangs had not escaped with another gut wrenching steal for a win but the Mustangs had finished the night with a solid win in all departments of the game. By virtue of the Mustangs outright conference title they should face the lowest seeded team once the state tournament is announced. The Mustangs might also be in line for a first round bye. The Mustangs must finish the season at North Henderson on Tuesday, a game in which they must guard against a let down after the emotional high from the decisive victory over Pisgah.

Tonight’s The Night

(02/07/14) Those waiting for the big game to attend, tonight’s High School Basketball Games between Smoky Mountain and Pisgah are as big as it gets. Pisgah has lost one conference game which was to the Mustangs last month in Canton and one non-conference game loss to Asheville Christian Academy. The Pisgah Sugar Bears have one loss which was in early December in Franklin. The Lady Mustangs have not fared well against either Franklin nor Pisgah and will have a tough time getting a win tonight. Even though the Mustangs have shown significant improvement these two programs have alot of weapons to throw at any team, and even each other. The Mustang boys varsity are undefeated on the season in both regular season and conference play and would certainly like to keep that streak alive and retain their number one seeding in the playoffs. The Health Occupation Students of America will be having a fundraising dinner tonight starting at 4:00 in the school cafeteria. This will be a good opportunity to get a good meal and help a school organization. Also a donation will be made by the cheerleaders from Sylva to Coach Casey Kruk who is battling cancer. The cheerleaders have raised funds with a T shirt sale this week. The girls game will be preceded with a number and jersey retirement ceremony recognition for Jordan Couch. Airtime on WRGC Radio is 6:00. A late start is not anticipated.

Catamounts Land Key Prospects On National Signing Day

Devonté Baker
CB – 5-9 – 160 lbs.
Spring Lake, N.C. (Pine Forest HS)

Nathan Dalton
OL – 6-7 – 305 lbs.
East Flat Rock, N.C. (East Henderson HS)

Derrick Davis
DT – 6-0 – 285 lbs.
Lexington, N.C. (Central Davidson HS)

Ezavian Dunn
DT – 6-2 – 315 lbs.

Breante Glover
LB – 6-1 – 245 lbs.
LaGrange, Ga. (LaGrange HS)

Tra Hardy
Athlete – 5-11 – 175 lbs.
Vidalia, Ga. (Vidalia HS)

Corey Holloway
RB – 5-10 – 215 lbs.
Atlanta, Ga. (Eagle’s Landing HS)

Tyler Junius
DT – 6-0 – 290 lbs.
Winder, Ga. (Winder-Barrow HS)

Phillips Marshall
DT – 6-2 – 245 lbs.
Charleston, S.C. (Porter-Gaud HS)

Jordan Mathis
WR – 5-10 – 180 lbs.
Marietta, Ga. (Marietta HS)

Jackson McDonald
QB – 5-11 – 190 lbs.
Flowery Branch, Ga. (Flowery Branch HS)

Andrew Miles
OL – 6-4 – 280 lbs.
Flowery Branch, Ga. (Flowery Branch HS)

Tyran Reynolds
WR – 6-1 – 185 lbs.
Crystal River, Fla. (Crystal River HS)

Chris Seaborn
S – 6-2 – 200 lbs.
Atlanta, Ga. (B.E.S.T. Academy)

Kaleb Spry
OL – 6-2 – 285 lbs.
Kannapolis, N.C. (A.L. Brown HS)

Chase Stehling
OL – 6-4 – 265 lbs.
Lincolnton, N.C. (North Lincoln HS)

Kendall White
LB – 5-11 – 210 lbs.
Jacksonville, N.C. (White Oak HS)

Humanity Takes Center Stage When Mustangs Face Pisgah In Basketball on Friday

(02/03/14) The importance of Friday Night’s Varsity Boys Basketball game between the Smoky Mountain High School Mustangs and the Pisgah Bears need not be overlooked. For the Mustangs to win the conference title outright and a top seed in the state basketball playoffs the Mustangs need to win. The Pisgah Bears can claim a share of the crown with a win in Sylva then endure a seeding process to determine which of the teams gets the top seed in the playoffs. The Mustangs won at Canton earlier with a 64 to 62 victory. The Bears put up what would have been the winning three point shot but the ball had not left the players hand a split second before the buzzer sounded to end the game. The Lady Mustangs lost 68 to 32 when they played earlier in the season but the three other losses by the Lady Mustangs will drop them in the standings which will likely force the Lady Mustangs to travel and play a higher seeded team. PISGAH head men’s basketball coach Casey Kruk is in the midst of a much bigger battle that what will be played out on the basketball court. The situation is reminiscent of that faced a couple of years ago when Jackson County native and Erwin football coach Bucky Tarr battled cancer. Teams, friends, and supporters from all over the south and western North Carolina rallied to help Coach Tarr with the medical and personal expenses which are enormous even with the best insurance policy. Now family, friends, and athletes are again being generous to help Coach Kruck the same way. Smoky Mountain High School Basketball Cheerleader Autumn Bryson came up with the idea to white out the Smoky Mountain High School Gymnasium Friday Night. A local T Shirt vendor is taking orders for T shirts with the Pisgah Bears and Mustangs logos with the lettering of SHOWDOWN. The T shirts are $10.00 with half of the money going to Coach Kruk. The deadline for ordering a shirt is Thursday. The shirts will be available prior to the game on Friday at Smoky Mountain High School. The donation to Coach Kruk will also be made immediately after the conclusion of the Mustangs and Bears JV Boys basketball game on Friday. Also Jordan Couch’s soccer Jersy and the number 4 will be retired in ceremonies Friday night at Smoky Mountain High School

Today (Wednesday) Is Huge For WCU Football

(02/05/14) Today is the biggest day of the year for the hundreds of colleges and universities in the country who have a football team. Today is National Signing Day. While hundreds of outstanding high school athletes will sign on the dotted line to assure themselves of a college education and possible career path in exchange for their talent and hard work to play football. Some of the top athletes from a school will see the day pass and their signature will be no National Letter of Intent. For these students their playing days are likely over, but a select few will find a college or university and apply for an opportunity to walk on and play without a scholarship but hoping their performance is good enough to be considered for a scholarship at a later date. For the Coaches who have spent days and months searching for the right athlete to fit into their program today they may see the first reward for their efforts when the students makes the official choice to attend their University. A successful day today will have the potential to set the course of a school’s athletic program for years. Winning college and university football football programs are based on winning the recruiting war. This will be the third National Signing Day for WCU Head Football Coach Mark Speir. The first two have been graded as successful but this will be the most important year when potential recruits evaluate the progress the Catamount Football program has made thus far and if they have confidence that Coach Speir and his staff have the program on the right track with an identity the student athletes want to identify with for the rest of their life. Another important component of the recruiting campaign is the perception of the strength of the school’s academic programs. The giant academic steps made by Western Carolina University with the addition of the new state of the art Health Sciences program, Bardo Center, and campus housing and general campus upgrade now make Western Carolina much more attractive for the athlete who also sees the educational value in additional to their athletic performance. Follow the action on National Signing today at CatamountSports.com. Those athletes signed today are invited to WCU on Saturday for a reception starting at noon prior to the WCU and Appalachian State basketball game. The players will be introduced and fans will have the opportunity to see a highlight reel of their high school career.

Mustangs Varsity Men’s Basketball Team Scored 100 Points VS Brevard

(02/05/12) The fact that it was the fourth game in five nights did not slow down the Mustangs on Tuesday night when they took the floor against Brevard. The Blue Devils kept themselves in the game in the first half with good performances by Austin Adams (8) and Trey Keysor (6) but the Mustangs found the gate open in the fourth quarter and sank 30 points and raced to a 100 to 72 point win. Cal Raleigh led the Mustangs with a season high 31 points of which 11 came in the first quarter. The Mustangs also got outstanding performances with Jayce Wolfe who split the defense for 13 points from the inside game and 9 points from beyond the arc. Spencer Norris has a strong night with 20 points. The Lady Mustangs has a hard night with Brevard. It was nothing like the first game of the season when the Lady Mustangs won easily 57 to 34. On Tuesday night the Mustangs were able to tie the game late but Peyton Bailey heated up with eight of her 23 points in the fourth quarter. Bailey was recognized half way through the first half after she scored her 1000th point as a high school basketball player. When time expired the Mustangs found themselves down 50 to 44. The Mustang JV girls team won 40 to 31, and the JV Boys came from behind to win 39 to 34. The Mustangs will finally get a couple of nights break before taking on Pisgah on Friday night in Sylva.

Mustangs Play Their Third Game In Four Nights

(02/04/14) The Smoky Mountain High School Mustangs continued their tough game package on Monday at arch rival Franklin. The Mustangs varsity girls team won 51 to 35 on Friday in a game at East Henderson, then came back home on Saturday for a 61 to 48 point win over Tuscola. After taking a break on Sunday the Lady Mustangs were back in action against a tough Lady Panthers team from Franklin giving the Lady Mustangs their worst loss of the season a 66 to 23 point whipping. Sarah Henson led the panthers with 21 points. She was supported by Mariah Wallace and Vanessa Agrussa with eleven points each. In Variety Boys action the Mustangs weathered this difficult stretch with a 91 to 39 point win Friday over East Henderson. Then rolled to an 82 to 29 point win over Tuscola, Then finally escaped Franklin with a 74 to 53 point win after enduring an extremely physical contest with the Panthers.Cal Raleigh and Specter Norris both racked up 27 points against Franklin. Zechariah Carter helped out with a 10 point game. The Mustangs JV Girls team went into overtime against Franklin before walking away with a 48 to 44 point win. The JV girls win game them a perfect season record. The JV Boys could not pull out a win at Franklin losing 59 to 51. The Mustangs get little rest. It is back to the courts on Tuesday night when they host Brevard.

Coach Speir Announces 2014 WCU Football Schedule

(02/05/14) Western Carolina University head football coach Mark Speir on Monday announced the Catamount’s football schedule for this fall. The twelve game schedule includes a couple of games against Bowl Subdivision teams as a pair of games against Division Two Schools. The Catamounts will open their season on August 20th in Tampa, Florida with a game with South Florida University, a team that went 2 and 10 in 2013 and 2 and six in the American Conference. Their only wins were 26 to 20 over Cincinnati and a 13 to 10 win over Connecticut. But the Bulls were competitive in several other games. The Catamounts will open at home on September 6th, then play Catawba College on September 13th before their open date to play for their Southern Conference schedule which looks much different this season with the departure of Elon, Appalachian State, and Georgia Southern. The Cats travel to Furman on September 27th then to old rival Presbyterian on October 4th. On October 11th Wofford will be in Cullowhee for a conference game then the Catamounts travel to Macon, Georgia for a match-up with Mercer. New Citadel Bulldogs coach Mike Houston who has tons of local connections will be the team the Catamounts play for their Homecoming Game. The Bulldogs will be coming to Cullowhee after a home game against Chattanooga which is another Southern Conference team which will be joining Conference USA for the 2015 season to compete in the Bowl Championship subdivision. After playing the Citadel the Cats will then take on Chattanooga on November 1st. As the Catamounts head down the home stretch they will travel to the state of Alabama two times. First on November 8th they will take on Samford in Birmingham, then on to Tuscaloosa on November 22nd. On November 15th the Catamounts will renew another good rivalry with Virginia Military Academy. With the changes in the Southern Conference and other scheduling the Catamounts are not coping with one of the toughest schedules in Division AA football which likely will result in some additional wins for the team in 2014. WRGC Radio will be affiliated with the Catamount Sports Network again in 2014 for live coverage of all Catamount football games.
(01/28/14)  Today’s snowfall has forced both the Jackson and Macon County schools systems to close. With the school closings the basketball games scheduled for tonight had to be called off. There is a NEW SCHEDULE FOR THESE GAMES. The game scheduled with Tuscola for Wednesday in Sylva has been rescheduled till Saturday. The JV girls schedule will commence at 2:00 p.m, the means the Varsity girls will top off around 4:30 ON SATURDAY. The game scheduled for TUESDAY Night with FRANKLIN will be played on WEDNESDAY AT FRANKLIN. THE VARSITY GIRLS GAME Will tip-off at 4:00 p.m. followed by the Varsity Boys.  If these games are snowed out the Athletic Directors and school officials will be scrambling to find make-up dates to get the games completed before the start of the playoffs. WRGC is scrambling to get the computer programmed so these games will be broadcast live and streamed on live at WRGC.com.

Jordan Couch Invited To Play In The East West All Star Soccer Game

(01/28/14)The East West All Star Soccer Game will be played on July 22nd 2014 at U-N-C Greensboro. This opportunity adds to the high school career honors of Smoky Mountain High School’s most prolific soccer player. So far Jordan Couch has been honored with the designation as All-Conference and All-Region for the Conference Champions Smoky Mountain High School Mustangs (SMH). Couch was the first SMH soccer player to be named all-state in soccer.  Couch hold the WNC single season scoring record with 55 goals as a Junior.  He also scored a region high of 50 in the 2013 campaign giving him 105 over the past two seasons.  He finishes his career (with a total of 140 goals) as SMH all-time leading scorer, the conference’s all-time leading scorer and number two on the WNC scoring list and number 11 on the NC All-time scoring list.

Couch Receives State Soccer Award Sunday In Raleigh

Jordan couch photo

(01/27/14)Smoky Mountain High School Mustangs soccer all star player Jordan Couch was presented with his North Carolina All State Soccer Award Sunday in ceremonies in Raleigh. Couch was  was a member of the Smoky Mountain High  School soccer team which competes in the 2-A division.  Couch was one of just 14 players to receive the All-State distinction.  Couch earned the honor on the basis of his records which include setting the Mustangs season record in goals, finished his soccer career second on the all time career scoring total for western North Carolina,  the single game scoring record for the Mustangs, and is ranked eleventh in the state all time scoring record book. Couch was a four year starter for the Mustangs. In a separate observance to take place prior to the tip off of the Lady Mustangs and Lady  Black Bears from Pisgah High School basketball game the Mustangs will retire Jordan Couches number 4 and jersey.  Coach Dolphus Brown was also recognized as the Region Eleven Coach Of The Year.  According  to Coach Brown it was a group effort to get Couch named to the All State team since many of the premiere state soccer programs are in the eastern part of the state and because the Mustangs were knocked out of the playoffs in the early rounds many of the voting coaches had not seen Couch play. However Couch played last summer in the state invitational at Charlotte and received votes from those coaches who had also participated in the tournament. Besides the record of around  130 goals in a season can not be overlooked.  Couch is also a steady performer as a guard on the Mustangs  basketball  team. (In the picture Couch is the player on the right)

Mustangs Face A Tough Schedule This Week In Basketball

(01/26/14)  The Smoky Mountain High School Mustangs basketball teams already had road trips scheduled to Franklin and East Henderson but now the game with Tuscola has been rescheduled for the fourth time and is to be played on Wednesday in Sylva.  First on the road trip will be the trip to Franklin to take on the Panthers.  For the Lady Mustangs it will be a match up with the Lady Panthers who were handed their first conference loss of the season on Friday when the Pisgah Lady Black Bears got revenge from an early season loss to the Panthers taking a 66 to 63 home court win. This was the eleventh win in a row for the Lady Black Bears. The Lady Mustangs are coming off a huge come from behind 59 to 52 win over West Henderson on Friday night. The  Mustang Boys Varsity team continued their unbeaten streak on Friday night with a  73 to 46 win over West Henderson. The Pisgah Black Bears Boys Varsity team continued their hot streak with a 71 to a 41 point win over the Panthers. The Mustangs zipped by the Panthers as well in the meeting earlier in the season. All three games this week will be aired on WRGC  Radio

Mustangs Snowboard and Downhill Ski Team In Top Form

(01/21/14) While there are plenty of people in the area that are bemoaning the frustration of the cold and snow there are 27 people at Smoky Mountain High School who feel they have landed in paradise. Of course it is Coach Darlene Beckett and the 26 members of her snowboard and downhill ski teams. In 2013 the top finishers in the team were part of a group of students who represented Smoky Mountain High School at the  Championship meet in Colorado. Several of the students finished the medal rounds and gained valuable experience which has helped this year’s team make giant strides in performance so far in the early season. According to Coach Darlene Beckett the top three skiers for the Mustangs last week were Christopher Richard a freshman, Gavin Sterka and Todd Martin both seniors. Martin was on the team last year and most recently received The Team Key Leadership Award for his performances on the Mustangs soccer team which finished the regular season without a defeat. Last weeks top snowboarders were Sanders Berry and Kyle Clapper who are in the junior class and Tanner Beckett who is a senior this year. The top Girls finishers were Skylar Singleton and Kaitlyn Karcher

WRGC Radio Renews Contract With The Atlanta Braves Radio Network

(01/21/14) The Atlanta Braves Radio Network logo will continue to be a centerpiece for the WRGC Radio website. The agreements were signed by both parties on January 10th. The agreement keeps southwestern North Carolina a hotbed of support for the Braves. With the Braves Triple A franchise in Gwinnett about two hours away in Lawrenceville which is about 45 minutes north of Atlanta pulling huge crowds from north Georgia and Southwestern North Carolina, and the Major League club about three hours away the area is a key fan base for the Braves. Several Braves officials and Braves Radio Network executives have direct connections to Jackson County including Paul Turner who is the voice for the Braves Radio Network liners and announcements. The Braves Radio Network has enough radio affiliates to reach most fans from as far west as the Tennessee line to Charlotte. The Braves open their season on March 31st at Milwaukee with a 2:10 first pitch. WRGC Radio will preempt Tradio on that day in order to cover the opening season game.

Mustangs Game With Tuscola Canceled Due To Weather

(01/21/14) The Smoky mountain Mustangs were scheduled to host the Tuscola Mountaineers in Basketball Action on Tuesday night but the rapidly deteriorating weather conditions  led to the wise decision of cancelling the game on Tuesday. It was not immediately announced when the game would be played. In the last meeting the Mustang girls broke a season starting three game winning streak with a nip and tuck game with the Mustangs won by one point 38 to 37. The Mustang boys blew out the Mountaineers by about 40 points. The season has not been good for Tuscola. The Mountaineers Boys Varsity team has only three season wins and allowed Erwin to set a school scoring record in their last meeting. The Warriors went well over the century mark with a 60 point win over Tuscola last wee.. The Lady Mountaineers have also struggled with only one win this season. When the Lady Mustangs and Lady Mountaineers met in December both teams were winless, the Mustangs got the win and turned their season around, the Lady Mustangs have not been able to overcome the loss.

Mustangs Split With Enka.

(01/17/14) The Smoky Mountain High School Girls Basketball Team played a tough squad from Enka High School on Thursday night and remained in contention at the half. However the Sugar Jets came out of the locker room in the third period with a vengeance quickly putting the Mustangs in a ten point hole. However the Mustangs continued to make a comeback and were able to whittle the deficit down to six as time ran out giving the Sugar jets  a 53 to 46 point win. The Mustangs are now 7 and 9 overall and will be home next Tuesday against Tuscola, a team the Mustangs beat buy one point in Waynesville last month.  Kaitlin Wood led the Mustangs with a 14 point outing.  Taryn Ledford and Tori Woodring added 10 each for the Mustangs. Katie and Maggie DeWeese also with Heather Watson scored 4 points each.

WRGC REGRETS GETTING ON THE AIR LATE FOR THE COVERAGE OF THE GIRLS GAME. THE SCHEDULE CHANGE INFORMATION WAS NOT PROVIDED TO WRGC RADIO.

The Mustangs Varsity Boys found themselves in another game similar to what they ran into at Pisgah last week. The intense and physical offense applied by the Enka Jets kept the Mustangs out of their game plan for most of the event. Normally the Mustangs get a dozen or so points from three point range, however those shots were not falling on Thursday Night. As was the case with Pisgah the Mustangs fell behind bu ten points but against Enka they fell behind early and were not able to get any measurable offense going until mi9deway through the fourth quarter when they went on an 18 point run to take a nine point lead with a minute and 24 seconds to go. Enka came back led mostly by a three point play and a four point play which came after the shooter was fouled while hitting a second three point shot. With the Mustangs up by two the Jets fouled Spencer Norris when he caught the ball on the in bounds play with six seconds left to play. Norris sank both free shots giving the Mustangs a four point lead. Enka responded with a three pointer which during the shot attempt the Mustangs gave plenty of room to avoid having a last second foul call being made.  The Mustangs escaped with a 64 to 63 point win. Zechariah Carter led with 24 points.  Spencer Norris added seven and Chase Wolfe and and Cal Raleigh were held to eight points each.

Western North Carolina Has Numerous Basketball Teams With Outstanding Records

(01/15/14) The Smoky Mountain High School boys basketball team and the JV girls team find themselves in distinguished company in western North Carolina basketball. The Franklin High School Lady Panthers are also off to an undefeated start, along with the Hayesville Girls team riding a 13 game win streak. The Robbinsville and Hayesville boys teams are 11-2. The Cherokee High School Girls team is also 11-2 while the Hiawassee Dam girls team is 11-3. On the other end of the measure the Rosman boys are 0-13 and the Murphy boys team is 2-9.

Mustangs Face Enka Thursday Night In Enka

(01/14/14) The Smoky Mountain High School Mustangs will travel to Candler on Thursday to face the Enka Jets in non-c0nference action. When the teams met in early December the Lady Mustangs dropped a 57 to 30 decision to the strong Sugar Jet team. The Lady Mustangs got off to a slow start but have played winning basketball since the three early season losses. The Mustang Men’s team took an 80 to 64 point win on their way to a season still showing NO DEFEATS. WRGC Radio will have the game on the air starting around 6:00  depending on the end time of the Mustang JV Boys game.

Mustangs Reach The Century Mark With Win Over Swain High School

(01/14/13) The Mustangs game with Swain High School was moved up a couple of days to avoid any conflict with the schools end of course testing schedules. The JV teams traveled to Swain for their normal start times, and the Mustangs took the wins with the Girls JV Team continuing the season with a perfect record. The Mustang Boys rolled to a 100 to 44 point win with every player getting into the scoring action. The Mustangs pressure and accurate shooting gave the team an early 34 to 6 lead at the end of the first quarter. In the meeting in Bryson City earlier in January the Mustangs were on track to reach the century mark but went into a spread offense and maintained a forty point lead and win. Leading the Mustangs was Jayce Wolfe with 20 points, followed by 16 points from Zechariah Carter, and 15 points from Matt Cagle. Players normally getting the most points saw limited action Monday.  Cal Raleigh had ten points, Spencer Norris with 6. Tucker Woolard had his best night with 10 points, followed by Brett Baldwin with 3 points, Damon Ledford had 5 points, Jordan Couch added 4, and Hayden Hodgin scored 2. Raymius Smith led the maroon Devils but was limited to 14 points.

THE MUSTANG GIRLS rebounded from their loss to North Henderson on Friday Night with a 58 to 54 win over Swain.  Kaitlin Wood led the Mustangs with 13 points. Alea Tisho led all scorers with 17 points. The Mustangs are now 7-8 overall and 3-3 in conference play.

The Mustangs travel to Enka on Thursday. In the last meeting Enka downed the Lady Mustangs 57 to 30 while the Mustang Boys took at 80 to 64 win.

IN OTHER ACTION MONDAY The Blue Ridge Girls lost to Hiawassee Dam 80 to 22

Mustangs Split With North Henderson

(01/11/14) The Smoky Mountain High School Lady Mustangs battled the North Henderson High School Knights to a one point loss in Sylva last night. The Lady Mustangs fell behind by four at the end of the first quarter and trailed 14 to 8 at the half. The Mustangs fought back in the third to outscore the Knights 17 to 12 and ended the third trailing by one. The Mustangs appeared to be on track to take the win late in the fourth quarter but a late foul sent North Henderson to the free throw line where with five seconds left. Ellie Caldwell sank both free thrown for North Henderson giving them a four point lead. The Mustangs made the final shot which was a three pointer by Torrie Woodring cutting the deficit to one point as time ran out. The Lady Mustangs fell to 3 and 3 in conference play and 6-8 overall.

THE MUSTANGS VARSITY BOYS  team cruised past a determined North Henderson team 77 to 57 to extend their winning streak to 14 games and 8-0 in conference play. The Mustangs were led by Cal Raleigh’s  23 points followed by Spencer Norris with 18. Zechariah Carter added 10. Jayce Wolfe was limited to four points. For North Henderson a player who’s name will soon become well known came off the bench to add 15 points. Freshman Austin Nelson sparked the Knights with his outstanding play. Johnny Heim added 12 points for the Knights.

The JV Boys and Girls also won in their games.

Kent Briggs Named To Head Football Coaching Position At Cherokee

(01/09/14) The news out of Cherokee Wednesday night is that Former Western Carolina University Football Head Coach Kent Briggs has accepted the head coaching job at Cherokee High School. Briggs is an Asheville native who played his high school football at A C Reynolds High School in the early 1070′s and came to WCU and played in the quarterback position for four years between 1976 till 1979. Briggs started several games as a red-shirt freshman quarterback in 1976. He and starting quarterback Mike Pusey led WCU to four consecutive winning seasons for the first and only time in team history.  In 2002 Briggs was named head football coach for the Catamounts and over his four year stay compiled a record of 19-24. 2005 was his best year when the Catamounts played for the Southern Conference Championship. The team achieved a number 21 national ranking for the first time being nationally ranked since the 19994 season. Ten athletes from that team were named to the All Southern Conference team. Under Briggs both as a player who played for North Carolina Hall Of Fame Coach Bob Waters,  and as a coach himself the WCU teams were known for their wide open offensive style of play with exceptional passing attacks. In 20032 WCU led the Southern Conference in passing with an average of 243.5 yard passing per game. Given the personnel at Cherokee Briggs will likely attempt to bring that same offensive scheme to the Braves  football program.

Mike Houston Named Head Football Coach At the Citadel

(01/09/14)  Mike Houston, who led Lenoir-Rhyne to the Division II national championship game last season, was named the 24th head football coach of The Citadel by Director of Athletics Larry W. Leckonby on Thursday. “I can assure the alumni, administration and fans of this great school that the program will maintain the honor, integrity and discipline that has always been a hallmark of this prestigious institution,” said Houston. “On the field, I look to carry on the triple option scheme that has been employed by Coach (Kevin) Higgins over the last four seasons.” Houston spent the last three seasons as the head coach at Lenoir-Rhyne, leading the Bears to three consecutive South Atlantic Conference championships, including a school-record 13 wins last season to earn him his third-straight SAC Coach of the Year honor. Houston also was named the Don Hansen Super Region II Coach of the Year in 2013. Lenoir-Rhyne won its first three playoff games in 2013 before falling to Northwest Missouri State in the national championship game and was voted as the No. 2 team in the nation in the final polls. “I come to this job with a great deal of energy and to compete for championships at what I consider to be one of the premiere institutions in the country,” added Houston. While at the helm, Houston accumulated a 29-8 mark with Bears, and in 2012 led the team to its first outright league title since 1975 and first playoff berth in 50 years. During that season, Lenoir-Rhyne also won its first playoff game since 1962, a 21-6 win over Fort Valley State, and advanced to the second round of the Division II playoffs. Operating out of the triple option offense, Houston’s Bears were tops in rushing in Division II in 2013, averaging 370.9 yards per game, and set the NCAA record for all divisions in rushing yards in a single season with 5,563. Defensively, Lenoir-Rhyne led the SAC in total defense (317.5 ypg), rushing defense (101.5 ypg), quarterback sacks (52) and scoring defense (17.9 ppg) and boasted the league’s defensive player of the year in defensive back Michael Green. Green was joined as a Division II All-American by offensive tackle Joe Ray, who was the recipient of Jacobs Blocking Trophy in the SAC, and defensive tackle Blake Baker. The Bears have boasted the Jacobs Blocking Trophy Award winner in each of the past four seasons and have had the conference’s defensive player of the year in three of the past four years. In his first season at the helm in 2011, Houston led Lenoir-Rhyne to a 7-3 record (6-1 in the SAC) and guided the Bears to their first league championship since 1994. Before being elevated to head coach, Houston was the Bears’ defensive coordinator and secondary coach for four seasons (2007-10). In his final season as defensive coordinator in 2010, Lenoir-Rhyne led the SAC in total defense (276.6 ypg) and finished fourth in Division II in rushing defense (75.7 ypg).  “We are excited to have Mike, Amanda, Owen and Reid Houston join The Citadel family,” said Leckonby. “Mike is a man of character and integrity and will help us develop leaders who will compete and win on the field.”  Houston came to Lenoir-Rhyne after spending the 2006 season as the associate head coach and defensive coordinator at Brevard College.  Prior to his one season at Brevard, Houston served as the head coach at T.C. Roberson High School in Asheville, N.C., from 2001-05. Under Houston, T.C. Roberson went 42-18 (5-4 in the playoffs), and he was a two-time Asheville Citizen-Times Area Coach of the Year (2002 and ’04). Houston was also named as an assistant coach for the 2005 North Carolina Shrine Bowl staff and helped lead North Carolina to a 28-24 win over South Carolina.  Houston’s 2004 T.C. Roberson squad was his best ever as the team went through the regular season undefeated and finished 13-1 after losing in the state semifinals. That team averaged 38 points per game while allowing just nine points per outing as it won the first conference championship in school history.  Houston left T.C. Roberson with the highest winning percentage of any coach in school history and helped establish the Rams as one of the top football programs in the state of North Carolina.  Houston spent five years as T.C. Roberson’s defensive coordinator (1996-2000) before taking over the head job. He started his coaching career at Forbush High School in East Bend, N.C., where he served two seasons as the Falcons’ defensive coordinator (1994-95).   Houston is a 1994 graduate of Mars Hill with a bachelor’s degree in biology. He played tight end on the Lions’ football squad.  Houston is married to the former Amanda Owen from Dillsboro and the couple has two sons, Owen Michael and Reid Wilson. (The Citadel News Service supplied this story)

Max-Preps Ranks Mustang Men’s Varsity Basketball Team Number One With Trinity

(01/08/14) The Mustangs victory over the Pisgah Bears Tuesday night helped the Mustangs get a better grip on the number one ranking in the state in 2A High School Basketball.  In that division the Mustangs have a playoff ranking of 7th and of all the North Carolina basketball teams in all divisions the Mustangs are ranked 77th. The other 2A team in the picture in Randolph County team Trinity High School who are also undefeated. While the Mustangs were edging Pisgah 64 to 62 Trinity was  slapping Southwestern Randolph with a 72 to 45 loss. In the past ten games Trinity has beat Randleman 61 to 39, East Randolph 62 to 48, Southwestern Randolph 67 to 41, Thomasville 66 to 54, West Davidson 71 to 44, Southern Guilford 64 to 41, Thomasville 72 to 58, Ledford 42 to 34, Southeast Guilford 82 to 29, and Surry Central 66 to 44. They also beat Southern Guilford 65 to 37 and opened the season with a 67 to 45 win over Ledford.  Mustang Fans might need to be familiar with the name Trinity High School especially with the playoffs starting to loom in the future for the Mustangs.  Fans also remember the Shelby Golden Lions from the 2012 season.  The Lions are having another outstanding season and are likely another one of those teams the Mustangs are likely to see again. The Mustangs are also likely to see Pisgah a couple of more times before the season is over, once in the regular season game in Sylva, and probably again in the playoffs.

Mustangs Edge Bears In A Thriller in Canton

(01/08/14) The  setting was worthy on a movie, the Mustangs with a perfect 12-0 season facing rival Pisgah who had only one loss and both determined to win the conference title outright. The contest prov ed to be the toughest of the season for the Mustangs who have been winning by 20 to 30 point margins all season. In the first half neither team was able to spread a lead to more than four and Pisgah took a hour point 36 to 32 point halftime lead to the locker room. In the first half Spencer Norris was as cold shooting as the sub-freezing temperature outside while Cal Raleigh was carrying the team 10 points. In the second half the Norris found the on switch and helped Raleigh with eleven points while Raleigh added 12 more points finishing the night with 23 points. The Mustangs trailed by eight points with about four minutes left to play but a Pisgah time out allowed the Mustangs to reset their defense. The added pressure unsettled the Bears and the Mustangs were able to fight back and take a two point lead with under two minutes to play. The Mustangs kept the Bears off the board even though several times out were called and different  offenses were tried. Pisgah did get the final shot which would have sent the game into overtime but the ball did not lead the shooter’s hand before the buzzer. The Mustangs escape with a 64 to 62 win and now come tome to face North Henderson with a 13 game winning streak and 6-0 conference record.

The Pisgah Sugar Bears Slam The Door On The Lady Mustangs

(01/08/14) The Lady Mustangs came out strong against the Pisgah Sugar Bears on a cold Tuesday night in Canton. After the Mustangs built an early six point lead in the first two minutes, Pisgah closed the door and the Mustangs were unable to get any additional points through the first quarter and only seven points in the second quarter. In the meantime Pisgah applied pressure on every aspect of the Lady Mustangs game and went to the dressing room at the half with a 40 to 16 point lead.  The Mustangs worked hard to get control in the third period but Pisgah was to strong to handle the Sugar bears who rolled to a  16 to 6 margin. In the fourth quarter the Mustangs were able to outscore a mostly second string Pisgah team 10 to 4 to cut the lead and finish 68 to 32. The Mustangs will who are now 6-7 overall and 3-2 in the conference will face North Henderson at home on Friday.

Mustangs Varsity Basketball  Handles Brevard To Take Their 12th Win

(01/04/14) The Smoky Mountain High School Mustangs continued their win streak against a struggling Blue Devils team in Brevard Friday night. The Blue Devils were able to keep the game in striking distance at the half trailing 45 to 30, but the Mustangs spread the lead to 68  to 48 at the end of the third then sealed the deal with a strong fourth quarter to finish with an 84 to 58 win. Cal Raleigh again had the hot hand with 21 points and Jayce Wolfe had a strong night with a 19 point performance with 12 of those points coming in the second half. The Mustangs will face their toughest opponent of the season on Tuesday when they travel to Pisgah to take on the Bears who have lost only one game to a strong team from the Asheville Christian Academy.

Lady Mustangs Gallop Past Brevard

(01/04/14) The Smoky Mountain High School Lady Mustangs showed their ability to dominate in basketball with a solid performance and a 57 to 34 point win in Brevard. Strong performances by Tori Woodring and Kaitlin Wood with 12 points each along with Maggie DeWeese with 6 and Heather Watson’s 7 points allowed the Lady Mustangs to set the pace and ended the first quarter with a 19 to 8 point lead which swelled to 28 to 13 point lead at the half. The Lady Mustangs defense allowed the Blue Devils only 5 points again in the third quarter. The Lady Mustangs substituted freely for the fourth quarter which gave Brevard the chance to pick up a few extra points, but the Lady Mustangs remained in control and evened their record at 6-6 and 3-1 in the conference.  Next the Lady Mustangs will have a tough challenge at undefeated Pisgah on Tuesday.

Mustangs Play Tonight in Brevard

01/03/14) While the weather might be cold outsider expect plenty of heat tonight in Brevard when the Mustangs take their game on the road to face the Blue Devils. The JV Girls will take their winning streak onto the court at 4:00 followed by the JV Boys who will have their work cut out for them again. The Mustang girls suffered a couple of set backs in the Christmas tournament in A.C. Reynolds in Asheville last week but have had time to recover and get in some quality practice time. The Mustang boys Continued their dominate winning their two matched over the Christmas Break at the tournament with wins over North Buncombe and A.C. Reynolds.  Brevard is struggling this season but neither team can be taken lightly. Airtime for tonight’s game will be shortly after six p-m. 6:10

Several Mustang Players Showing Top Numbers

(01/03/14) According the Asheville Citizen four members of the Mustangs Men’s basketball team are putting up some of the best numbers in basketball in Western North Carolina. Spencer Norris ranks tenth in scoring averaging 18 points a game. Norris also is thirty second in rebounding with a 6.5 per game average and Cal Raleigh is rebounding at 11.1 per game and ranks third in that category. In assists Jayce Wolfe is averaging 4.3 while his teammates Jordan Couch is assisting an average of 3.5 times a game and Zechariah Carter is averaging 2.5. In other scoring Jayce Wolfe  and Zechariah carter are averaging 11.2 points a game, and Cal Raleigh is third in the west in scoring at 16.8 points per game.

IN GIRLS action Kaitlin Wood is averaging scoring 12.1 points per game and 2.14 steals a game.

Alamo Bowl Has A Local Connection (Monday)

(12/30/13) Tonight’s Alamo Bowl being played in San Antonio, Texas pitting Texas against Oregon.  The Valero Alamo Bowl halftime show brings together a cast of over 1,000 high school musicians, dancers and cheerleaders from across America courtesy of WorldStrides Heritage Performance programs.One of those cheerleader teams will be the cheerleaders from Swain County High School. According to Cathlene Brooks of Sylva, her granddaughter Taylor Day is one of those cheerleaders who will be participating in the event. The game will be broadcast on ESPN with a start time around 6:45 making the half time show around 8:00 p.m.. Cheerleader fans will be hard pressed to see the local participants since the half time will be dedicated to game highlights, commercials, and other bowl summaries and football topics. None the less, congratulations to the Swain High School Cheerleaders.

Catamounts To Host Milligan Tonight At the Ramsey Center

(12/30/13) The WCU Men’s Basketball team will be hosting Milligan College tonight at the Ramsey Center. Milligan College is located at Elizabethton, Tennessee and was named on of the nations top 100 colleges in 2012, and is affiliated with the Church Of Christ religious denomination. The Buffaloes are coming into the game with an 8-4 record but are on a two game losing streak with recent losses to Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida and a 100 to 68 loss to Appalachian State. The Buffaloes are led by Hendersonville, NC native Senior Torian Sitton. The game will be broadcast on 540 A-M WRGC starting at 6:30 p-m.

Lady Mustangs Struggle In Asheville

(12/29/13) The Smoky Mountain High School Lady Mustangs did not fare as well as their varsity counter parts at the Christmas Tournament this week in Asheville. On Thursday The Lady Mustangs fell to North Buncombe 55 to 39 to drop to 5 and 5 on the season. The Lady Mustangs trailed 28 to 17 at the half but were unable to close the gap in the second half. The Black Hawks were led by Haley Higgins and Kelsi McHone who have each scored 1000 points during their high school career with the Black Hawks, a team with five seniors seeing the majority of the playing time. On Friday the Mustangs faced off against A.C Reynolds and again found themselves up against a stronger opponent going down to defeat to a 52 to 33 score. Kaitlin Woods led the Mustangs with 16 points followed by Ledford with 8, Lehman with 4, DeWeese and Worley with 2 and Woodring with 1. The Mustangs are hoping to even their record at 6 and 6 this Friday night when they face Brevard.

Mustangs Gallop Through The Christmas Tournament In Asheville

(12/29/13) The Smoky Mountain High School Varsity Men’s basketball team showed their domination over the Buncombe County teams they faced Thursday and Friday at the Christmas Tournament at A.C. Reynolds High School this weekend. On Thursday the Mustangs were led by Spencer Norris who netted 31 points for the Mustangs. He was supported by Cal Raleigh with 14 points,  then ten points a piece by Jordan Couch and Jayce Wolfe the Mustangs took the 92 to 67 point win. North Buncombe suffered their second loss within the week having lost earlier to McDowell. On Friday it was Jayce Wolfe who lite up the scoreboard with 29 points against the host team A.C Reynolds with an 85 to to 70 win. In Friday’s game the Mustangs also got 20 points from Spencer Norris, twelve points each from Cal Raleigh and Zechariah Carter, Brett Baldwin laid in 6 for the Mustangs along with Jordan Couch with 4 and Damon Ledford with 2. The Mustangs look to make it 38 wins in two years on Friday when they take on Brevard.

Mustang Varsity Boys Headed To Tough Match With North Buncombe

(12/24/13) The Smoky Mountain High School Mustangs Varsity Boys basketball team will be put their undefeated season on the line Thursday when they match up with the North Buncombe High School Black Hawks who will be coming into the Reynolds High School Christmas Tournament with a 7-1 record. The Mustangs are coming off an 85 to 58 win over a tough and resilient Mitchel team in Monday afternoon action in Sylva. North Buncombe suffered their first loss of the season when McDowell ended their seven game win streak with a 61 to 50 win. Prior to that the Black Hawks had registered two wins over North Henderson and Mountain Heritage. They had also had wins over Polk County, Brevard, and Madison. The game will not be broadcast over WRGC Radio.

Mustang Teams Roll Past Mitchel High School In Basketball

(12/23/13) The Smoky Mountain High School JV Girls set the stage for a long afternoon of basketball in Sylva with a dominating 60 to 35 win. The JV boys faltered late against a strong Mitchel team going down 63 to 54. The Lady Mustang team  got off to a quick start with an 18 to 10 point lead at the end of the first quarter, then matched points in the second quarter at 26. The Lady Mustangs outscored the Lady Mountaineers 22 to 19 in the third quarter quarter then slammed the door in the fourth quarter with a 17 to 3 run giving the Lady Mustangs an 85 to 58 point win. The Lady mustangs are now 5 and 4 on the season and will be taking on North Buncombe on Thursday in the Christmas Tournament being played at Reynolds High School. The Black Hawks enter the tournament at 4-4 on the season. The tip off will be at 1:00 p.m.. The game will NOT be broadcast on WRGC Radio.

THE MUSTANG BOYS VARSITY rolled to an 85 to 58 win over Mitchel. Cal Raleigh led the Mustangs with 23 points followed by Spencer Norris with 21, and Zechariah Carter added 16 followed by Damon Ledford with 9 points. The Mustangs are now 8-0 on the season.

Lenoir Rhyne Loses To Northwest Missouri State In Division II College Football Championship Game

(12/21/13) The Lenoir Rhyne Bears spotted Northwest Missouri State 17 points early and were not able to dig themselves out of the hole and went down 43 to 28 in the National Championship game in Florence, Alabama. The Bears struggled early to get their option offense going and the defense was burned several times by Northwest Missouri State’s passing attack with finished with 272 yards. Lenoir Rhyne controlled the night with their relentless rushing game which tabulated 273 yards. The final offense total showed Lenoir Rhyne trailing 416 to 376 in total yards.

Yet congratulations to Coach Houston who grew up in Franklin and his wife Amanda who grew up in Dillsboro.

Mustangs Crush The Maroon Devils In All Four Basketball Games Friday

(12/21/13) It was a long night for the Swain High School Maroon Devils. The teams had played only two basketball games because of the football teams deep run into the playoffs. The Mustangs have played seven games and are in tip top condition and the difference could not have been more obvious. The Mustang JV girls starting evening with a 50-11 (appro) win making them undefeated on the season. The Mustang JV boys had a hard time of it but did take the lead with less than a minute to play then kept the Maroon Devils off the board for a 45 to 43 win.  The Swain girls came out to an impressive 22 to 10 lead at the end of the first period but the Mustangs adjusted and went on a 12 to 5 run in the second quarter to lead trail 27 to 22 at the half. In the third period the Mustangs went on to a 17 to 7 point spread to lead 39 to 33 then slammed the door on the Maroon Devils in the fourth quarter with a 16 to 10 run and the 59 to 43 win.

The Varsity Boys team wasted no time to take control. Already ahead 25 to 6 at the end of the first quarter, the Mustangs took a 53 to 18 spread to the locker room. The varsity players got little playing time in the second half. Yet Swain was not able to slow down the Mustangs. The difference in the players condition was apparent which forced Swain to substitute constantly. The second string for the Mustangs continued to dominate for a 94 to 29 point win.  The Mustangs are now 8-0 while Swain falls to 1 and 2.  Next up for the Mustangs is Mitchel on Monday afternoon. Swain travels to Franklin for their next outing.

Lenoir Rhyne College Football Coach Has Close Jackson County Connection

(12/20/13)  Coach Mike Houston has guided his Lenoir Rhyne Bears to the Division II National Championship Game in Florance, Alabama on Sunday. Houston is married to the former Amanda Owen from Dillsboro. Her parents are Buddy and Sue Owen who have developed several properties in Dillsboro which are now occupied by the Holiday inn Express, Holiday BP, and the not yet opened Micro-tel. Houston and Amanda have two sons Owen Mitchel and Reid Wilson. Amanda’s grand parents were Rebecca Wilson who was a teller for many years at Jackson Savings and Loan and Wade Wilson who served several terms as the Mayor of Dillsboro. They were also part of Cannon Brothers Gas and Oil Company who had the Shell distributorship for many years in Dillsboro.

The Bears will be facing the Bearcats from Northwestern Missouri State who have three national championships in eight tries.  The kickoff will be at noon Saturday. Heavy rain is predicted to move through the area at game time. This is the first shot at a national title for the Bears since they got to the NAIA finals over fifty years ago.  Coach Houston is a Franklin native who player high school football for the Panthers before going on to Mars Hill where he played mostly as a defensive back. After graduation he moved to East Bend,  North Carolina and coached the Forbush High School football team. Houston was recruited to be an assistant football coach at T.C. Roberson. Houston was selected to the head coaching position at T.C Roberson where he compiled a 48 and 18 record before leading the school to become an assistant coach in a football resurrection project at Brevard College in 2005. A year later he accepted an assistant coaching position with Coach Fred Goldsmith at Lenoir Rhyne and became head coach upon Goldsmith’s retirement in 2011.

 Catamounts Host Charleston Southern Tonight (Wednesday)

(12/18/130 The WCU Men’s basketball team hopes to end their three game losing streak tonight when they host Charleston Southern in the Ramsey Center for a 7:00 p-m tip-off.  The Cats are 5-7 after falling to Cleveland State on Monday night in Cleveland, Ohio by the score of 66 to 55.  The Catamounts are led by Trey Sumler who is averaging 21.7 points per game and 4.1 rebounds per game and are hoping to improve now that their road warrior schedule for the beginning of the season is starting to settle down with the start of the conference schedule. The Catamounts have not played Charleston Southern since the 97 -98 season but own a winning record (8 to 5) in the series. Airtime on WRGC Radio is at 6:30 Wednesday night.

Mustangs Sweep East Henderson

(12/18/2013) The undefeated Smoky Mountain High School JV girls basketball team remained undefeated  Tuesday night with a decisive 50 to 16 point win over the visiting East Henderson High School Eagles. The JV Boys who have struggled from time to time were also dominate with a 60 to 20 win and the Lady Mustangs produced their biggest point total and point spread of the season with a 48 to 22 victory.  Kaitlin Wood led the Mustangs with 13 points. She was helped by Reanna Lehman with 9 points, Heather Watson with 8, Tori Woodring had 7 Terryn Ledford popped in 6 and Maggie DeWeese added five points. The Eagles has the advantage on the rebounds but were cold in the shooting department and also struggled to keep the ball under control well enough to run plays.  Part of their problems obviously came as a result of the Mustangs smothering man-to-man pressure.  The Lady Mustangs are now 3-4 overall and 3-1 in the conference. In the nightcap, the Varsity Men’s teams faced a stiff group of Eagles for about four minutes into the game. The Mustangs went on a ten point scoring rampage and the Eagles never recovered. The Mustangs gave up only 12 points in the first two quarters another problem that East Henderson did not have a solution for. The Mustangs went on to win 81 to 41 and are now 6-0 on the season. Cal Raleigh led the Mustangs with 16 points, Norris added 12 followed by Jordan Couch and Bret Baldwin with 9 each and Matt Cagle with 8 points in the second half. Jayce Wolfe chipped in 6 points and were helped with four points by Zeb Speir and three points from Tucker Woolard. The Mustangs are now 6-0 and 3-0 in the conference. Next the Mustangs travel to a Bryson City to take on the Swain high Maroon Devils in Friday. Airtime for that game will be around 6:00 p-m depending on the ending of the JV Boys game.

Mustangs Set To Take On The East Henderson Eagles On Tuesday

(12/17/13) The Mustangs take on their second team from Henderson County  in a week. Last week the Falcons from West Henderson High School were swept by the Mustangs. Now the East Henderson Eagles come into town with the prospects of getting kicked soundly by the Mustangs. Both the Lady Eagles and Boys team have struggled this season. The boy’s team picked up their first win of the season on Monday with a 50 to 31 win over Blue Ridge and the Lady Eagles edged Blue Ridge 43 to 35. The game will be aired starting shortly after six o’clock on 540 A-M WRGC.

WCU Men’s Basketball Team Struggles Again In The Buckeye State

(12/14/13) The WCU Men’s basketball team has made three trips to Ohio this season and come away with a 1-4 record losing again Monday night to Cleveland State by a score of 66 to 55. Trey Sumler had 21 points for the Catamounts but his teammates struggled to give him any significant help. the Catamounts return to the Ramsey Center on Wednesday for a match up with Charleston Southern. That games will be aired live on 540 A-M WRGC Radio

Catamount Ladies Basketball Team Makes It Six Wins In A Row

(12/14/13) the WCU Ladies basketball team made it six in a row last night with a 56 to 47 win over the Charleston Southern University in a game played at the Ramsey Center. The winning streak is the longest since 2009 when the lady cats won 10 in a row. The Lady Cats have not lost during the month of December.  The Lady Cats went on an 11 and 0 run to end the game, were  eight of ten from the free line in the final two minutes, and Allie Lane sank three of four three throws in the final 40 seconds. The Lady Cats scored 33 points in the second half while holding Charleston Southern to 18 points. The next game for the Lady Catamounts will Thursday at 2:00 p-m.

Soccer Team Has T-Shirts For Sale To Raise Funds For The Soccer Program

(12/14/13) Soccer Coach Dolphus Brown stated Monday Night at the Soccer team’s Awards Banquet that the 2013 Soccer team which set numerous scoring and defense records was NOT the best team and what he termed as “finesse soccer.” He also stated they were not the best practice team he had coached. Coach Brown did say that when it came to hard work, determination, and confidence this team excelled. He complimented the team for their many occurrences of being patient and keeping focus to come back against strong competition and win.  He defined the soccer team as playing “mountain soccer” and stated that means you always play to win and figure out how to win even when the stakes are down. To honor that attitude the players were given a Realtree pattern T-Shirt with SM soccer printed on it. The T-Shirts are now available for sale at Smoky Mountain High School to help raise funds for the soccer program.

Soccer Team Recognized At Banquet On Monday

(12/14/13) The Western North Carolina Athletic Conference Soccer Coach Of The Year, Dolphus Brown was busy Monday handing out plaques to the members of this year’s Mustang soccer team which finished the season with record setting performances.  The team tied their record for undefeated seasons at 14  with the 2009 season. Jordan Couch also set a new school record with 137 goals.  Couch was also recognized for being selected as a member of the 2013 All State Team.  Todd Martin received the Mustang Award for his demonstrated team leadership during the 2013 season. Also recognized as All Conference and All Region were Couch, along with Zack Bryson, Lucas Savage, Gabby Fuentes, and Lance Buskey. Brown gave a heartfelt farewell to the seniors on the team who never lost to arch-rival Franklin during their four years playing for the Mustangs.  The Senior members of this year’s soccer team are Zack Bryson, Jordan Couch, Hayden Hodgin, Todd Martin, Lance Buskey, Aaron Dishman, Jonah Caplinger, Lukas Savage and Brendon Deitz. Kirk Childress received the All Conference Award for assistant coaches. Coach Dolphus Brown also sent a message for those thinking the Mustangs would be down after graduating this crop of all conference players.  Brown stated the members of this years team who will be seniors next year are an extremely talented group who know what it takes to win. Brown added that looking even further down the pipeline that the current freshman class of players looks to be the most talented group yet. The coach’s optimism was apparent. He also gave a special word of appreciation to the parents and “soccer mom’s” for their dedication to the program.

Numerous Mustang Players Earn All Conference Honors In Fall Sports

(12/13/13)  The Smoky Mountain High School athletics program continues to see their star athletes gain region and statewide recognition. First, in the Cross Country sport Evan Grant and  Jonathan Dean were named to the All Conference Team, and Shannon Grant and Sarah Spiro received the honor in the ladies division. Named to the Football All Conference Team were Chase Morgan, Zechariah Carter, Jonah Lossiah,  Trey Fisher, and Zeb Speir. The All Conference and All Regional Soccer Team included Jordan Couch, Zack Bryson, Lucas Savage, Gabby Fuentes and Lance Buskey. Dolphus Brown was named the Coach of The Year.  In volleyball Emma Raleigh and Bonnie Derks were named to the All Conference Team.

Mustang Swimmers Compete In The Tuscola Invitational In Waynesville

(12/13/13)  In regional swimming competition on Saturday in Waynesville the Mustang boys  swimmers finished eighth in the twelve team competition with an overall score of 127.  The Mustang girls completed the competition in fourth place with a score of 233.5

Mustang Boys Basketball Team Crushes Panthers

(12/14/13) While the Lady Mustangs could not stop the Lady Panthers in Friday night basketball the Men’s Varsity team crushed the Panthers with an 81 to 40 win Friday night in Sylva. The Panthers soon found out they were no match for the Mustangs high octane offense which cruised to a 25 to 3 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Mustangs led 25 to 3 at the end of the first period. They expanded the lead to 47 to 17 at the half then pushed the lead to 39 at 68 to 29 at the end of the third and finished with an 81 to 40 point win. The Mustangs were led by Cal Raleigh with 18. Zechariah Carter added 15 and Spencer Norris with 14. Bret Baldwin had a career night with 13 followed by Jayce Wolfe and with 8, Jordan Couch with 4 and Hayden Hodgin with 3. The Mustangs are now 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the conference. Next up for the Mustangs, the Eagles from East Henderson will be flying in on Tuesday.  The Mustang JV Boys lost.

Lady Mustangs Not Enough Enough To Stop The Panthers

(12/14/13)  The Lady Mustangs two game winning streak in basketball came to an end Friday night against a strong squad from Franklin. The Panthers took advantage of their speed and height to send feeder passes to Mariah Wallace who always seemed to be open under the basket. While the Lady Mustangs were trying to establish a defensive perimeter away fro,m the basket, the Panthers were able to slip Wallace in for the back door shots. Between the 22 points from Wallace and the 17 by Sarah Henson the Panthers were able to roll up a 61 to 42 point spread against the Mustangs who now drop to 2-4 overall and 2-1 in the conference.  The Mustangs got 12 points from Kaitlin Wood followed by seven points each from Tori Woodring and Terryn Ledford. The Panthers improve to to 4-1 overall and 3-0 in the conference. The Lady Mustangs JV team remained undefeated with their win against Franklin.

Mustangs (Varsity Boys)  Gallop Past The High Flying Falcons In Basketball

(12/10/13)  About a minute into the Varsity Boys basketball Tuesday night in Hendersonville the Falcons Coach called time out and must have asked, “What just happened?” Just as the Mustangs had sprinted to a 6-0 lead in the opening minute against Tuscola last Friday, on Tuesday the Mustangs raced to an 8-0 load over the Falcons before the time out. Putting one-on-one pressure on the Falcons created four turnovers which the Mustangs were able to cash into points. The Mustangs went on to hold a 26 to 11 lead at the end of the quarter, expanded the lead to 51 to 31 at halftime. In the second half West Henderson began using their height advantage to run a tough zone defense which forced the Mustangs to employe a more intense offense to penetrate the zone. The result was  a 21 to 11 point spread in favor of the Mustangs in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter West Henderson cut the lead to seven before the Mustangs Jayce Wolfe stepped up his game with 8 points to seal the win for the Mustangs. The Mustangs left Hendersonville with an 80 to 66 win and will face a struggling Franklin Panthers Team Friday In Sylva.

Mustangs (Varsity Girls) Handle West Henderson

(12/10/11) Tuesday night was another barn burner for the Lady Mustangs basketball team. The Falcons came out strong and took a 10 to 7  lead in the first quarter. However the Mustangs came alive with a 17 to 9 run in the second quarter and went to the locker room at the half with a 5 point lead at 24 to 19 lead. Coming out strong after the half the Mustangs were able to control the tempo of the game with defense. While the Mustangs were limited to 4 points in the quarter so were the Falcons. In the final quarter the Falcons had the scoring advantage by a single point which was not enough to make up for their deficit. The 39 to 35 win puts the Mustangs at 2-0 in the conference and 2 and 4 overall. The Mustangs will be be facing a tough Franklin Panthers squad Friday who will arrive at Smoky Mountain High School with a 3 to 1 record and  2-0 in the conference.

Mustangs Headed To West Henderson for Crucial Early Season Conference Match

(12/09/13) The Smoky Mountain High School Mustangs had little time to relish their victories over rival Tuscola. By the time the bus returned to Sylva Friday night Coaches Cleveland and Toedmann were turning their attention to their next opponent, the West Henderson High School Falcons who are flying high in their own right. The Falcons women’s basketball team is off to a 2-4 start with wins over North Henderson and Hendersonville. The Lady Falcons have lost to Enka, (46 to 44) to Roberson (40 to 31) to Owen (42 to 32) and to Enka (76 to 46).  The Lady Falcons are averaging 35.8 points a game  and have a 37% field goal percentage. For the boys varsity they are off to a 4-2 start. They have won over Enka 66 to 63, over North Henderson 52 to 50, over Owen 71 to 69, and over Hendersonville 69 to 46. The Falcons have lost Enka 51 to 36 in the first game of the season. The lost to Roberson 65 to 55.  The starting line-up for West Henderson will be impressive with a couple of players in the six five height, plus three overs over six feet. The Mustangs overcame a height disadvantage against Tuscola with speed and accurate outside shooting. Then the taller mountaineers were drawn out to play the Mustangs who were running the press to perfection, they were no match for the speedy Mustangs. Had the Mustangs not been able to consistently sink the three pointers it could have been a long night, but it did not turn out that way. Tuesday will be a similar situation for the Mustangs. Join WRGC on line at wrgc.com, on the Tune in Ap on your smart phone, or over the air at 6:00 for the pregame show with Roy Burnette and Leo Ruff.

Mustangs Dominate Versus Tuscola Mountaineers In Basketball On Friday

(12/07/13)  The night belonged to the Mustangs. The JV Girls started the show with a win which set the stage for an intense JV Boys game which was won 64 to 59. The Mountaineers had taken the lead with just over a minute to play but the Mustangs responded and took the lead by a point. Down the stretch the Mustangs foul shooting was sufficient to expand the margin of the win.  In Girls action both the Tuscola and Smoky Mountain High School teams were coming into the game winless (0-4) Tuscola (0-3) Smoky Mountain and both teams determined to end their miseries and played with a passion but it was the Mustang girls who took early control behind the strong shooting of Kaitlin Wood with six points. For Tuscola in the first quarter Klassisa Bryson let the Mountaineers with three points. Wood added five more in the second half to lead the Mustangs with 11 points followed by Magee DeWeese with 8 points and  Trenna Worley with seven points. The Mustangs were leading by eight points with three minutes remaining but Tuscola mounted a run to get the tie but a single free throw with just under a minute to play was enough but the Mountaineers were not able to find the basket, the Mustangs defense was intense with the smell of their first victory in the air. The Mustangs picked up their first win of the season with the 38 to 37 score, the Mountaineers are now 0-5.

IN BOYS ACTION the Mustangs made a statement early  and did not look back. The Mustangs won the Andy Shaw Ford Tip Off and scored then stole the Mountaineers  in-bounds play two times and scored both times giving the mustangs a 6-0 lead with less that a  minute played and the ball not having crossed the mid core line at all. Jayce Wolfe was red hot from three point range knocking down nine points in the first period followed by Spencer Norris with eight points and Cal Raleigh had six points all in the first period. The Mustangs were on top 37-15 at the end of the first quarter and expanded the lead to 61 to 28 at the half. Half way through the third quarter the Mustangs started substituting freely and continued to add to the lead  to end the third with a 75 to 38 point lead and finished the night with an 87 to 45 point lead.  The Mustangs could have easily topped the century mark but chose to give their bench more game experience. The Mustangs are starting two juniors, two seniors, and a sophomore. With the win the Mustangs are off to a 4-0 start and are leading their opponents 278 to 197 in total points.

Familiar Faces On The Basketball Court Tonight When the Mustangs Visit Tuscola.

(12/06/13)  There probably will not be a meet and greet social prior to the tip off of tonight’s basketball games at Tuscola.  For Tuscola, familiar names include football players Houston McCracken who was a running back, Adam Chambers who was a receiver, and quarterback Woody Cornwell who passed for over 1100 yards. The Mustangs will also counter with their football quarterback Zeb Speir who passed for 1945 yards, Zechariah Carter who caught 50 passed for 1049 yards, Jayce Wolfe with 23 catches for 403 yards, along with Bret Baldwin for the Mustangs. Bryce Myers who played football for Tuscola has moved to North Asheville and will play for North Buncombe in the future. He was not on the basketball team.  In soccer the Mustang defeated Tuscola times this season. The Mountaineers Brandon Singleton, and Keaton Romberger will get another look at Jordan Couch. Matt Cagle, and Hayden Hodgin but this time on a basketball uniform.  The Mustangs are 31 and 2 against the Mountaineers since 2005. The Mustangs will enter play with a 3-0 record for the varsity, the girls team is 0-3 and will be facing the Tuscola girls who are 0-4.

Bobcats Fall To Brevard In Basketball Thursday

(12/05/13) The Bobcats made the journey down Highway 64 on Thursday to tangle with the Brevard Blue Devils.  Its did not turn out well for the Blue Ridge Bobcats. The girls were shut down 68 to 19, the boys were also stopped by Brevard 67 to 43.

WCU Men Struggle Against Coastal Carolina

(12/05/13) The Catamounts fell to 5-6 on the season after losing to Coastal Carolina Wednesday Night. The Chanticleers held the Catamounts to 68 points. Brandon Boggs led the Cats with 12 points followed by Trey Sumler with 11 points. The Catamounts make their third trip this season to Ohio next week when they travel to Cleveland to take on Cleveland State on December 16th.

Lady Cats Basketball Team Makes it Five in A Row

(12-05-13)  Western Carolina women’s basketball (5-3) pushed its winning streak to five, defeating Presbyterian (1-6) 42-38 Wednesday in the Templeton Center.

The Catamounts were 5-of-6 from the free line, in the final 40 seconds of the game, to keep Presbyterian at bay. Leading by two, 38-36, junior guard Ali Lane was 4-for-4 from the charity stripe and Justin Taylor was 1-of-2 to ice the game.

The 42 points was the lowest scoring output of the season for Western Carolina and the 38 points allowed was also the lowest scored by an opponent this season. Both teams struggled from the field with WCU hitting 15 field goals to the Blue Hose 14.

Three-pointers and free throws were the difference in the game. After hitting just one three pointer in the first half, Western Carolina hit three treys in the final 20 minutes. Presbyterian had just one three pointer in the contest. At the charity stripe, Western Carolina hit 8-of-11 while Presbyterian connected on 9-of-13.

Western Carolina trailed 20-15 at the half. The Catamounts came out in the second half scoring five straight points to knot the game at 20. In the first five minutes of the second half, WCU outscored Presbyterian 10-4 to take its first lead of the game, 25-24, at the 14:50 mark.

Presbyterian would take its final lead of the game off a lay-up by Serece Smith with 14:07 remaining. Taylor answered with a lay-up of her own to give the Catamounts a 27-26 advantage and WCU would never trail in the game again.

Senior guard Rena Wakama’a three-pointer, with 9:08 left, gave Western Carolina its largest lead of the game, 36-28. Presbyterian scored five straight to trim the game to three, 36-33, with 7:43 left.

Neither team would score for the next four minutes. Western Carolina broke the scoring drought when senior forward Alex Abraham worked her way under the basket for the score at 3:13. Trailing by five, Presbyterian went 3-of-4 from the free throw line to make the score 38-36 with 45 seconds left. The Catamounts 5-of-6 free throw performance at the end of the game shelved the Blue Hose to end the game.

Taylor led the team with eight points and Hana Haden scored all seven of her points in the second half. It was Haden’s field goal, after Taylor’s pair of free throws that tied the game at 20 to open the second half.

Western Carolina held Presbyterian to 10 offensive rebounds but the Blue Hose out rebounded WCU 40-30. Smith, for Presbyterian, led all scorers with 13.

Western Carolina will take 12 days off before hosting Charleston Southern at 7 p.m. Dec. 16 in the Ramsey Center.

 

Mustangs Basketball Teams Travel To Tuscola On Friday

(12/05/13) The Smoky Mountain Mustangs will be facing the Mountaineers on Friday in Waynesville. The Mountaineers girls and boys varsity teams both have struggled early this season and are off to an 0-4 start. The Lady Mustangs are off to an 0-3 start, but the Mustangs Boys are red hot with a 3-0 start with wins over Madison (59 to 43) Hoggard (52 to 45) and Enka (80 to 64).

Airtime for the games will start around 6:00 from Tuscola High School. Roy Burnette will be handling the play by play.

Mustangs Split With Enka.

(12/04/13) In high school basketball Tuesday night the Smoky Mountain High School Mustangs Girls team could not stand up to the strong performances of the Jets Morgan Hollifield and Whitney DeMoss who scored 12 and 11 points respectively.  The Mustangs fell 57 to 30 for their third loss of the season.  The Mustangs did show some firepower of their own against the much taller Jets team. Maggie DeWeese led the Mustangs with 9 points. She was followed by Torri Woodring with six and Reonnah Lehman with 4. Terryn Ledford, Heather and Danyelle Watson along with Brooklyn Hensley had two points and Taylor Medlin tossed on one free throw. Enka improved to 3-1 on the season while the Mustangs fall to 0-3. The Mustangs girls JV team won.

In Varsity boys action, Spencer Norris led the Mustangs with 22 points to lead the Mustangs to an 80 to 64 win. Norris was helped by Jordan Couch who hit 11 of 16 free throw attempts. Eight of those were in the second half. Jayce Wolfe played most of the night in foul trouble but had ten points in the fourth quarter including being 6 for 6 from the free throw line. The Mustangs got 18 points from three point range, nine of those points came off the hand of Spencer Norris.  Zechariah Carter had eight points for the Mustangs. Luke Rutherford for Enka led all scorers with 23 points. He was followed by Chace McAdoo with 16 . Enka is now2-1 on the season. The Mustangs are 3-0. The JV boys lost a thriller. The Mustangs will travel to Tuscola on Friday for a conference match-up with the Mountaineers.

Former Catamount Football Player Is Joined In A Lawsuit Against the NFL

(2/04/13) According to the Associated Press former WCU defensive back Louis Cooper is one of five former NFL players who played for the Kansas City Chiefs professional football team  who are brings a lawsuit against the team. The court documents show the former players are claiming  the team did not inform the players about the risks involved with continued play after sustaining a head injury. The injuries to the players occurred before collective bargaining started in the NFL. The lawsuit filed in Jackson County Circuit Court in Kansas City, Missouri asked for $15,000 in actual and punitive damages. The players involved with this case had opted out of a suit announced by the NLF this summer. That suit would compensate those players deemed to have suffered the most severe head injuries. Under this suit involving Louis Cooper the players would receive no compensation, but would receive ongoing medical monitoring for their head for any emerging brain disease which could be linked to the repeated concussions.

Cherokee Braves Clobber Rosman in Basketball

(12/04/13) The Cherokee Braves may have had their struggles in the prior fall football season, but with the early basketball season now underway seems the Braves are going to be the red hot team. The Braves shut down the ranked Rosman Tigers Tuesday night in Cherokee 100 to 59. Jesse Toineeta led the Braves with 20 points,  Raven Frankelwics added 14, Dustin Durant  had 14 points,  and Eli Littlejohn had 11 points. The Cherokee Girls team also won 61 to 35.  Avery Mintz led the Braves with 24 points. She was followed by Kendall Toineeta with 15, and Brenna Stamper had 11.  The game scheduled for Friday with Swain has been postponed due to the Maroon Devils continued participation in the state high school football playoffs.

Lady Cats On A Four Game Winning Streak

(12/02/2013) The WCU Lady Catamounts took a two point win in a thriller played Sunday in the Ramsey Center. The 58 to 56 win over the East Tennessee State University Buccaneers was important for the Cats in that ETSU will be returning to the Southern Conference next season, so Sunday’s game was a warm up for a potentially exciting renewal of a one time great rivalry between the two mountain schools. Rena Wakama led the Cats with 17 points, followed by Kristie Lyon  with 14 points. Lindsay Simpson was held to a season low 5 points. The Lady Cats have taken wins over Georgia State,  UNC-Asheville, Appalachian State, and ETSU to make it four in a row, The Lady Cats will be back in action on Thursday when they travel to take on Presbyterian.

Catamounts Stopped By Wright State On Saturday

(12/02/2013) The second of three trips to the Buckeye State did not turn out well for the Catamount men’s basketball team on Saturday when they were defeated 85 to 77 by Wright State in Dayton, Ohio. The Raiders had five players in double figures, and scored 20 points off 17 Catamount turnovers. The Cats cut the lead to five with three minutes left to play but Wright State hit 13 of 16 from the free throw line during the final three minutes of the game. Trey Sumler and Tom Tankelwicz let the Catamounts with 15 points and Brandon Boggs added 15.  The Cats will travel to Conway, SC on Wednesday to take on Coastal Carolina. The game will be aired live starting at 6:30 on WRGC Radio.

MUSTANGS TO HOST ENKA IN BASKETBALL ON TUESDAY

(12/02/2013) The basketball games scheduled to be played in Enka on Tuesday December 3rd have been rescheduled for Sylva. The games were scheduled for last week but were canceled due to the inclement weather. Tonight’s game was scheduled to be at Enka but ity was decided to play the game in Sylva and send the Mustangs to Enka on Thursday January 16th.  The Mustang girls are coming off a 50 to 43 to Hoggard while the Jets were defeated by Weddington 56 to 48. The Game will be aired on WRGC starting with the pregame show at around 6:00.

Mustangs Women’s Team Falls To Hoggard.

(12/-2/2013) The Smoky Mountain  High School girls basketball team ran into a tough crew of Vikings from Hoggard High School on Saturday at the Coaches Versus Cancer Clinic at the UNC-Asheville Kimmel Center. The Mustangs feel to the Four A division team by a score of 50 to 43. Heather Watson led the Mustangs with 11 points followed by Terri Ledford with 8 points.  Kaitlin Wood chipped in seven,Tori Woodring added 6, Katie DeWeese had 2 points, Maggie DeWeese and Trena Worley had four,  and Brooklyn Hensley got one point. Next Up The Mustangs play Enka who lost to Weddington 56 to 48 in the tournament.

Mustangs Men’s Basketball Team Wins Saturday

12/02/2013) The Smoky Mountain High School Mustangs took care of business Saturday afternoon when they tangled with the Hoggard Vikings from Wilmington at the Coaches versus Cancer tournament played at the Kimmel Center in Asheville.  The Mustangs were led by Spencer Norris to take a 52 to 45 win. The Hoggard Vikings went deep into the state playoffs last year in the Four A division. The Hoggard team was shorthanded on Saturday because several of their key players are multi-sport athletes who were into the third round of the state football playoffs. Spencer Norris led the Mustangs with 18 points. Cal Raleigh Chipped in 14 followed by Zechariah Carter with 7, Jordan Couch with 6, Jayce Wolfe with 5 and Hayden Hodgin with 2. The Mustangs are off to a 2-0 start and will play Enka on Tuesday.

WCU Women’s Basketball Team To Take On UNC Asheville

(11/19/13) The rivalry intensifies between the Western Carolina University Catamount Basketball Team and UNC Asheville.  These two powerful Division One Teams located just 50 miles apart find themselves competing for players and the fan base in the mountains. The Lady Cats have struggled so far this season while getting outstanding performances from key players, the defense has not been sufficient to shut down offenses but should find themselves more equally matched on Wednesday. WRGC Radio will have live coverage of the game starting at 6:45 on Wednesday from the Catamount Sports Network.

Couch Named to All State Soccer Team And Joins Teammates On The All Regional Team

(11/19/2013) Smoky Mountain High School soccer team member Jordan Couch has been named to the All State Soccer Team by the North Carolina Soccer Coaches Association.  Couch joins Caleb Ford from Owen High School as the only players from western North Carolina to be named to the All-State Team. Couch set school records for both the number of goals in a season and for the most goals in a career during his four years at Smoky Mountain High School.  In addition to the All State team, Couch and three teammates were named to the All Region Soccer Team including Zack Bryson, Lance Buskey, and Toff Martin.  The Mustangs finished the season undefeated in conference play and 17 and three overall. The Mustangs lost in the second round of the playoffs.

WCU Women’s Basketball On The Road To Campbell University

Senior guard Hana Haden is averaging 11 points per game bolstered by her 18 point performance at Mercer Nov. 8.

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Western Carolina went without the services of junior college transfer Justin Taylor for the majority of the game against Mercer, after going out with an injury, and all of the game at Georgia Tech. In just six minutes of play at Mercer, Taylor had five rebounds against the Bears. Taylor is probable for the game at Campbell.

Defensively, Western Carolina has a pair of strong rebounders in senior Shauna Terry and sophomore Erika Joseph. Each is averaging six rebounds per game with Terry averaging 6.5 rebounds per game and Joseph six.

For Campbell, Kiera Gaines paces the Camels averaging 13 points per game. She had 11 points against Erskine and 15 against Wake Forest. Western Carolina will host UNC Asheville in its home opener at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20.

 

 

 

The Smoky Mountain High School Mustangs football game for scheduled for tonight (Friday) has been canceled. According to Jackson County Schools Superintendent Dr Michael Murray it was discovered Friday morning that required documentation for one of the players physical was not on file. Once the violation was discovered Jackson County school officials immediately notified the North Carolina High School Athletic Association who ruled the mustangs MUST FORFEIT tonight’s game and most likely forfeit all the games played this season in which this player participated.  Consequently the Mustangs 7-4 season,  the best season since 1999 could be in jeopardy as far as the record of wins and losses is concerned. With the forfeit by the Mustangs what assures Forest Hills will proceed on to round two of the playoffs  against the winner of tonight’s game between between Franklin and Parkwood. Dr. Murray said that procedures have already been announced to make sure this type of mistake does not happen again and was distraught that the football players and coaches who have worked so hard to get to this point will not get to continue in the playoffs.

Comment:Since this story broke earlier today the Facebook chatter has been interesting. These times are difficult for everyone concerned and especially the players and coaches who will not have the privilege of seeing just how far the team could go in the playoffs. The bigger story that needs to be considered is the lesson of credibility. Some of the Facebook chatter shows frustration and expressed the opinion that Principal Jake Buchannan should have said nothing and hope the violation was not discovered, and that he is at fault for being a credible person. As painful as it is,  the school officials involved have demonstrated the greatest value and that is that credibility is the most important lesson of all. That is a decision that should be heralded and championed because these are the people who are the leaders of the school system and influence hundreds of children and young adults. This is a lesson these students will have on their mind for the rest of their life. It should be positive to practice doing the right thing.  Those who failed to properly audit the paperwork will have to live with that mistake and be reminded that mistakes have consequences.  Roy Burnette

Coach Cindy Simmons Gets A New Athletic Assignment In The Jackson County School System.

(11/15/13)  Retired Smoky Mountain High School Women’s Basketball coach Cindy Simmons has been appointed by Superintendent Dr Michael Murray to conduct a feasibility study to look into the development of a middle school athletic program. This year the school system fielded a middle school football team which played an eight game schedule against Bethel (scrimmage) Flat Rock, Apple Valley, Canton, Bethel, Madison, Waynesville, and Macon. Dr Murray stressed two major points. One is that currently in Jackson County there is a great program of competition between the elementary schools in several sports, and also the Jackson County Youth Sports program fields teams in football and basketball which plays teams from other sections of the county and some teams from the adjoining counties. The purpose of the study will be to find out if there is a place for a middle school program without interfering with these existing teams, then address the logistics of getting these teams together, identifying coaches, and making out schedules. The study is expected to be completed by the end of the school year.

Mustangs May Be Playing In The Rain Friday Night

(11/15/13) The Mustangs are hoping that since the rain started earlier than expected on Friday that it will also stop earlier than predicted on Friday night. The weatherman is calling for a 60% t0 70% chance on rain on Friday night which could affect the Mustangs passing game. However the Mustangs have western North Carolina’s third best running back. Chase Morgan has 1718 yards rushing in 213 carries and 13 touchdowns. A two thousand yard season is in reach for Morgan, depending upon how strong the Forest Hills defense is against the run. If the passing lanes are available the regions fourth best quarterback, Zeb Spear has several dependable targets including Zechariah Carter with 50 catches for 1049 yards and 12 touchdowns. Also for the Mustangs Jayce Wolfe has 23 catches for 403 yards and two touchdowns and Chase Fisher has 20 catches for 218 yards and one touchdown. Nick Napier also has 20 catches for one touchdown and 168 yards of offense.  For the Mustangs to have a chance to win they will have to control the Forest Hills Yellow Jackets quarterback. Jarad Lee has over a thousand yards in offense and is a threat to run and pass in their Yellow Jackets option offense.

Franklin, Erwin, Pisgah, Tuscola, Swain, Murphy, and Robbinsville all have home field advantage going into tonight’s playoff action.

Simpson ready to Lead Catamount Ladies Basketball Team Against Campbell

(11/15/13) The WCU Lady Catamounts dropped a pair of games in its opening weekend. WCU was edged by Mercer 76-64 before falling to Georgia Tech 87-47. Campbell is coming off a 73-75 loss at Wake Forest.

 

The Last Meeting
Campbell 55
Western Carolina 40
November 12, 2012
Cullowhee, N.C.
Catamounts Drop Home Opener to Campbell, 55-40
Western Carolina women’s basketball (1-1) dropped its home opener 55-40 to Campbell University (2-0) Monday in the Ramsey Center.

Sophomore guard Lindsay Simpson, from Franklin, N.C., picked off where she left off from her 2013 Southern Conference All-Freshman selection performance of the previous season. She is averaging 17 points per game in the first two contests of the 2013-14 season scoring in double figures in each game. Simpson just missed her second 20 point performance pouring in 19 points in the loss at Georgia Tech. She also connected on a career-high four three pointers against the Yellow Jackets.

Senior guard Hana Haden is averaging 11 points per game bolstered by her 18 point performance at Mercer Nov. 8.

Gameday Information
Western Carolina at Campbell
Sat., Nov. 16 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Buies Creek, N.C.
Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader
Coverage
Live Blog
Campbell Live Video
Live Stats

Western Carolina went without the services of junior college transfer Justin Taylor for the majority of the game against Mercer, after going out with an injury, and all of the game at Georgia Tech. In just six minutes of play at Mercer, Taylor had five rebounds against the Bears. Taylor is probable for the game at Campbell.

Defensively, Western Carolina has a pair of strong rebounders in senior Shauna Terry and sophomore Erika Joseph. Each is averaging six rebounds per game with Terry averaging 6.5 rebounds per game and Joseph six.

For Campbell, Kiera Gaines paces the Camels averaging 13 points per game. She had 11 points against Erskine and 15 against Wake Forest. Western Carolina will host UNC Asheville in its home opener at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20. (WCU Sports Release)

Catamounts Host Furman in Football On Saturday

(11/15/13) The Catamount nation is hoping the Cats upset win over Elon earlier in the season is not the end of the teams winning for this season. The Furman Paladins are a team the Catamounts were hoping to catch during what might be called a down year,  but Furman has knocked off Samford and Georgia Southern in their rebound. Both Samford and Georgia Southern had little trouble with the Catamounts and coasted to easy wins. The Catamount nation is keeping the hope alive that the Sophomore and Freshman players which make up much of the starting line-up will have gained enough experience thus far to compete with the strong Paladin team. The weatherman is calling for a 40% chance of rain late in the game. Airtime Saturday on WRGC is at 2:30.

WCU Men’s Basketball Team Headed to Virginia For Two Games

(11/15/13) The WCU men’s basketball team continues their season opening road swing tonight in Blacksburg to take on the Hokies.  The Catamounts are coming off a 107 to 83  loss to the Oregon Ducks Wednesday night in Eugene. The Ducks depended on career night performances from three of their starters but had to fight off a major challenge by the Catamounts led by Trey Sumler’s 29 points. Sumler was reinstated to the team after assault charges brought against him by another student were dropped. Virginia Tech is one and one on the season. They were stunned in the season opener when a strong University of South Carolina Upstate team held on for a one point win. Wednesday the Hokies got a five point win over West Virginia. The Catamounts have five seniors on the team and are picked to finish third in their division of the Southern Conference. The Catamounts will stay in Virginia for a Saturday contest against the Liberty Flames. Friday night’s game with Virginia Tech can be seen on ESPN Three.

WCU Men Host UNC-Asheville Monday Night

(11/11/13) The WCU Men’s Basketball team will try to add to their season opening success when they whipped up on Wittenburg 77 to 55 on Friday Night. The UNC-A Bulldogs took it on the chin with an 87 to 57 loss at Kentucky on Friday. These two schools with developing athletic programs are starting to get a good rivalry going even though they do not play in the same conference. In both Basketball and Baseball the teams are having some of their best games of their seasons. Airtime for tonight’s game is 6:30 via the CSN on 540 A-M WRGC Radio.

Simpson Shines For The Lady Catamounts Basketball Team

(11/11/13) The Western Carolina Lady Catamount Basketball 2013-2014 season opens with three games on the road. The first two games have not turned out well for the team but Macon County native Lindsay Simpson who has direct linage to the Wike family in Cullowhee as well as to one of Jackson Counties most famous athletes, Eddie Sutton. Simpson poured in 19 points to lead the Lady Catamounts against Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Sunday. This is Simpson’s highest point production in a game to date. This performance is a follow-up to the 15 point performance against Mercer on Friday Night.  The Lady Catamounts had production off the bench and in the paint on Friday led by Hana Haden who led all Catamount scorers with 18 of the 38 points added by those coming off the bench. The Catamounts added 32 points in the paint. But the 20 opf 27 from the free throw line were more than the Catamount team could overcome.  On Sunday the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets opened the game with a 14 to 2 run which had the Catamounts on their heels from the start. However Simpson kept hammering away with 19 of the Catamounts 47 points. The Lady Catamounts end the season opening road trip on Saturday with a game against Campbell University.

Mustangs Football Season Ready To Roll Out the Welcome Mat For Forest Hills for Playoffs Round One

(11/11/13) The Smoky Mountain High School Mustangs are the hot team heading into the playoffs coming off decisive wins over East and North Henderson, a crucial win over Brevard, and a season defining upset win over Pisgah to propel the Mustangs to a 7-4 win season and 4-2 conference record. on Friday Night the Mustangs will be hosting Forest Hills High School from Marshville, NC the number two seed from Conference Nine. The Yellow Jackets are coming into the game with a 4-1 conference and a 5-6 overall record. Forest Hills got off to a slow 0-4 start before getting their first season win, a 57 to 28 win over Cuthbertson. They fell the following week to North Rowan then came back to win four games in a row with victories over Mount Pleasant, Parkwood, West Stanley, and Central Academy. Last Friday night the Yellow Jackets were dominated 40 to 0 by Monroe High School thew number one team in the conference who concluded their season with a 9-2 and 5-0 record. The game will be broadcast live on 540 A-M WRGC Radio and streamed at wrgc.com as well as Tune In Radio the app on a smart phone.

Mustangs Soccer Season Comes To An Early End.

(11/03/13) The Smoky Mountain High School soccer season ended abruptly on Saturday night at Carr Hooper Stadium when the Mustangs were unable to penetrate the Lincolnton defenses for the necessary. At the seven minute mark  the Mustangs went ahead but late in the game Lincolnton got two penalty kicks which gave them the victory.  The Mustangs will end the season with a record of 19-3-1.  Coach Brown was especially complimentary of the huge number of fans who turned out on Saturday night to cheer on the Mustangs. Now several of the Mustangs soccer players will turn their attention to basketball. The soccer team was recognized for their exceptional height,  those players who are transitioning to the basketball team will continue to give the Mustangs a strong athletic program this winter.

Mustangs SHOCK the Pisgah Bears In What Some Are Calling the Upset of the Season

(11/01/13) The Pisgah Bears arrived at Carr Hooper Stadium on Friday with every intention of solidifying their playoff position and putting a damper on what has become the hottest team in the mountains. Early on the Mustangs Zeb Speir found an open receiver which set up the Mustangs first score. The teams exchanged scored with the Mustangs finding themselves down 24 to 20 with about two  minutes to play. Chace Morgan and Zeb Speir went to work on Pisgah with a pounding running game the Bears could not stop. Pisgah did not help their cause with a couple of fumbles which killed their drives however the Mustangs were aggressive on defense which Pisgah soon learned what very hard to get ahead of. The 27 to 24 score gives the Mustangs a 6-4 record and 4-2 in the conference. Pisgah drops overall to 7-3 and also 4-2 in the conference. Next week the Mustangs have North Henderson. This is another tough and suddenly a very important playoff game.  The Mustangs have shown improvement with every game and have reeled off two closing minute wins in the last two weeks. Going in tonight’s game the Mustangs are the hot team

Mustangs to face off with a tough Pisgah Black Bears Squad Friday.

(11/01/13) the Mustangs had a tough contest with Brevard last week in Brevard, but when the final horn sounded it was the Mustangs with a 31 to 28 win. Pisgah cruised over North Henderson.  The payers to watch are Pisgah Quarterback McKinley Brown who is the third ranked quarterback in western North Carolina. The Mustangs counter with Zeb Spier who is the fifth ranked quarterback. The Mustangs running game with Chase Morgan gives the Mustangs an added option when teamed with receivers Zechariah Carter and Jayce Wolfe. The interesting comparison about this game is how quickly coach Chappel got the Pisgah Bears playing outstanding football. For the Mustangs the progress has been slower, but has been drastic, not both teams are coming into their own. Pisgah lost a close match at Franklin, a team many Mustang fans feel the Mustangs should have shown themselves better against. The Mustangs found Tuscola to hot to handle but the Bears took advantage of the rivalry and the emotions to win in a decisive manner in Waynesville. The Mustangs matured alot last Friday at Brevard and may be more prepared for Pisgah than some believe. The game will be aired live of 540 WRGC both over the air and on the internet at wrgc.com and streamed on the smart phone through the tune in radio app.

Mustang Soccer Team Earns The Right to “Play On”

(11/01/13) It took the Mustangs much of the first half to get a grip on the tight defense being applied by West Wilkes in Soccer on Wednesday night. West Wilkes took an early lead at the twenty one minute mark on a shot by Deleon, It was fourteen minutes before the Mustangs could get on the board, but once they found the goal the scored again two minutes later to go to the dressing room at half time with a 2-1 lead. In the second half the mustangs defense tightened and allowed only one more shot at the goal while the Mustangs has 22 shots of which six found the goal to give the Mustangs a 6-0 win. Five players contributed to the scoring for the Mustangs.  The Mustangs will be tangling with Lincolnton on Saturday night at 6:00. Lincolnton edged Monroe to continue play. The Mustangs will have home field advantage throughout the playoffs until they loose or face Salisbury who is the number one seed which would force the Mustangs to travel. However if Salisbury happens to loose then the Mustangs would have the regional championship game at home.

J.T. Poston takes top honors in this weeks Golfstats

(11/01/13)  Western Carolina University Golfer JT Poston finished second in the Invitational by the ocean last week.  this adds to his top five finished in the four tournaments the Catamount Golf team has entered so far this season. Coach Odom says the competition last week was as touch as the Catamounts have seen this season and commended Poston for his second place tie finish. The Junior player from Hickory is the first WCU Golfer to win this honor while the season was underway.

Mustangs Cross Country Team in State Championships

(11/01/13) The Smoky Mountain High School women’s  cross country team in in Winston Salem this weekend to participate in the state finals. Several runners from the Mustangs have qualified for the finals including Sarah Spiro who finished fifth in the regional match in the fastest time, the Mustangs finished second in the tournament last weekend in Morganton.

Mustang Basketball Practice Starts Wednesday

(10/29/13) Some of the dual sport athletes at Smoky Mountain High School may find themselves warming up in one sport to play another starting Wednesday. Zachariah Carter and Jayce Wolfe will be counted on to make a swift transition from playing football for the Mustangs to playing basketball. Jordan Couch and a couple of other players from the soccer team are expected to also transition to the basketball team. The Mustangs are expected to see Spencer Norris and Cal Raleigh back with more height and experience after outstanding performances on last years 26-4 season.  Coach Cleveland will find himself with solid returning performers to fill the vacancies created by last years graduates.

Smoky Mountain Mustang Soccer Team Hosts the West Wilkes Blackhawks Wednesday

(10/29/13) The Smoky Mountain High Soccer team is riding high with a 15 game winning streak and not having lost since September third when they dropped a 6-5 shoot out with Asheville. The Mustangs are one win away from setting a new school win record. The team is now tied with the 2009 team with a 14-0 record. The Mustangs have scored 94 total goals and have limited their opponents to just 30 goals. The Mustangs are averaging 4.5 goals per game while their opponents are averaging 1.4 goals per game.  The West Wilkes Blackhawks got off to a poor start with six early season losses and two ties. They came back to win four of their next six games then tied with Elkin. The tie was followed by back to back losses with Surrey Central and Wilkes Central. As the regular season concluded West Wilkes surged with four wins in a row  before closing out the season with a 2-1 loss to Ashe County, a team they had whipped 5-0 earlier in the season. The Blackhawks have six seniors on the team which finished 7-11-4 on the season and 6-4-3 in the 2-A Mountain Valley Conference. The kickoff for Wednesday’s game will be at 6:00 p-m at Carr Hooper Stadium. The game will be broadcast on WRGC Radio starting with the pregame at 5:30 with Roy Burnette and Jarrod Couch with the coverage.

Jackson County Based Teams Pile Up The Wins This Weekend

(10/28/13) On Friday night the Smoky Mountain Mustangs staged a furious comeback to settle down a much improved team from Brevard. Trailing 28 to 10 at halftime the Mustangs held the Blue Devils scoreless in the second half while tabulating 21 points in the second half.  The Mustangs were finally blessed with the return of several players who had been either hampered or sidelined with various injuries.  Zeb Speir was 21 of 29 in passing linking up with Zechariah Carter for a couple of touchdowns. Speir also rushed for one touchdown and Jayce Wolfe had a four yard scoring scamper just before halftime.

The second big event was in the Regional Cross Country meet Saturday morning in Morganton.  In boys competition Smoky Mountain finished in seventh place. The top runner for the Mustangs was Evan Grant with a time of 16:51:55. In girls competition Smoky Mountain finished second behind East Lincoln. The top runner for the Mustangs was Sarah Spiro with a time of 20:07:36 and finishing fifth in the competition.

The third huge event was the fabulous win by the Catamount Football Team over Elon. The Catamount 27 to 24 victory broke a 26 game losing streak against Southern Conference Schools and a 33 game losing record against all Division One Schools. The excitement of the win by the Catamount fans is hard for words to describe. Perhaps a win over Appalachian State Mountaineers on their last trip to Cullowhee might be more exciting than the exuberance by the Catamount fans on Saturday.  The Cats are off for a week to prepare for Georgia Southern. The next home game will be November 16th against Furman.

The fourth  event was the Lady Catamount Soccer team picked up two wins this weekend.

Mustangs Volleyball Team In Playoff Action Tonight

(10/22/13) The Mustangs Volleyball team will be traveling to Hendersonville tonight to take on the Bearcats in the second round of the State playoffs.  The Mustangs are 12-10 and are facing Hendersonville with a record of 19-5. In other action tonight Bunker Hill (20-6)  will be at Brevard (18-6), Hayesville (14-11 at (23-7) Swain,  and 10-10 Robbinsville at 22-1 Rosman.

Mustangs Dominate The Black Bears In Soccer On Senior Night

(10/21/13)  Two games against the young Pisgah Bears soccer team and the Mustangs are up 18 to 0. Both games against the Black Bears this season have been called early because of the Slaughter Rule which ends the game once the margin gets to 9 points. The sixth ranked Mustangs will be traveling to take on a strong North Henderson team on Wednesday. This will be the final game of the regular season and the last hurdle for the Mustangs who could finish 14-0 in conference play with a win. Overall the Mustangs are 17-2-1 The Mustangs had 21 shots at goal including five goals by Jordan Couch. Zack Bryson the Mustangs goalie had two saves on the two shots by the Black Bears. The Mustangs commence the playoffs on October 30th in a game to be played at Carr Hooper Stadium.

Catamounts Smack The Terriers, But Loose In A Squeeker

(10/20/13) From all accounts the Catamounts won in numerous categories in the football game Saturday in Cullowhee except the one used as the measuring standard from now on….. the score. The Cats took an early lead and made it stand up until the fourth quarter when the Terriers got the lead which they did not relinquish and took the win 21 to 17.  The Catamounts were able to tabulate numerous penetrations into the Wofford defense,  time and time again the Cats stopped the option play by turning the play inside and keeping the pitchman out of the play. Absent a couple of breaks for long runs and which the Terriers turned into scores the Catamounts could have ended their long drought in Southern Conference winning. The Catamount offense struggled on critical third down conversions with dropped passes, and inches short on the run.  The Catamounts hurt themselves early with three holding penalties which caused promising drives to stall, or bring long plays back to the scrimmage line then back fifteen more yards. There was much progress made by the team. The Cats had two opportunities at the purple grass in the last 90 seconds of the game but were not able to penetrate the Wofford red zone defense.

Catamounts Set For Key Conference Game

(10/19/13)  Who would have thought the Appalachian State football team would have the record they have at this state in the season. One would have thought the team would be slicing through the Southern Conference like a hot knife through bees wax….. but something happened on the way to the gridiron for the Mountaineers. Who would have thought the Catamounts would be able to upset the Wofford Terriers who have been the hot knife this season in the Southern Conference. The big difference is the baby Catamounts (freshmen and and sophomores) who have had to carry the load for the Catamounts have faced not only Bowl Series Division One Teams, but they have faced top tier teams from that league. While they have not fared week on the scoreboard the players have learned by experience from players who may be in the NFL next season. While the team gets a payday,  the players are getting an investment as well. One hope some of that experience learned and the frustration of getting beat or outsmarted at the line of scrimmage will start paying off for the Catamounts. Today’s game with the conference foe Wofford will give the Catamounts the opportunity to face an opponent at least considered in the conference category. The Cats have invested much to be a winning team and one day they will, it might be today.

Mustangs Win Big!!!

(10/19/13) It did not take the Mustangs long to take control of Friday nights football game with East Henderson.  Even though the Eagles smacked the Mustangs hard last year…. 2013 proved to be a different story. No longer leading the Eagles of Coach Brett Chappel and gone are several of last years play makers throwing East Henderson clearly into the rebuilding mode. Two quick touchdowns early and the Mustangs were up 14-6 . The Mustangs defense had their most effective night and the passing game recorded more catches and the important part of yards after the catch. The Mustangs were able to capitalize on the East Henderson weaknesses and coast to a 35 to 13 win. The mustangs improve to 4-4 overall and 2-2 in conference play. Next week the Mustangs travel to Brevard. That will be followed with home games against Pisgah and North Henderson. The Mustangs are sitting in the position to have another winning season unless a key injury hampers the team.

Homecoming Weekend For the Mustangs (Drive One For Your School)

(10/17/18) The Class of 1993 will be honored this week for homecoming activities at Smoky Mountain High School. The teams and numerous programs from Smoky Mountain High School will be featured in a Homecoming parade through downtown Sylva on Thursday evening starting at 6:00 p.m. On Friday Andy Shaw Ford will be running a “Drive One For Your School” event on Friday in an effort to get 300 people to drive a Ford product and raise $6000 for the school. WRGC Radio will be broadcasting live and handing out promotional materials.

Mustangs Edge Brevard Wednesday in Soccer

(10/16/13) The late game goal and the second goal by  Jordan Couch sealed the victory for the Mustangs against a stubborn Brevard in conference play at Carr Hooper Stadium on Wednesday night. Brevard managed to slip two easy rollers into the goal when they trapped the Mustangs defense out of position. The Mustangs were relentless in their penetration and shots at goal but were experiencing one of those nights  plagued by near misses. Gabby Fuentes gave the Mustangs an early lead, buy minutes later Brevard managed to tie the game on the fluke shot that just cleared the heads of the defenses and goalie Zack Bryson. Thirty Minutes later the Mustangs took the lead  only to see Brevard some back with their second goal. However with five minutes left in regulation Couch took advantage of a split second opening in the Brevard defense and drilled a bullet into the goal for the winning shot. Zack Bryson had four saves while the Blue Devils goalie registered seven. The Mustangs are now 16-2-1 and 12-0 in conference play. The final home game will be Monday when they host Pisgah. The final game will be Wednesday when the Mustangs travel to North Henderson. The playoffs will commence on October 30th with a home game. The opponent will likely be from the Southern Highlands Conference.

Mustang Soccer Team Faces Brevard Tonight

(10/16/13) The Mustang soccer team faces a tough Brevard squad tonight at Carr Hooper Stadium in conference play. The Mustangs will be out to protect their unblemished conference record which is currently 11-0.  After this game there will be only one more chance to see the soccer team at home until the playoffs start. The players always enjoy having a cheering crowd. All are keeping their fingers crossed the rain will hold off until the game is over.

Mustang Volleyball Team Concludes Season With A Loss

(10/16/13) The Smoky Mountain High School Mustang Volleyball season ended Wednesday night with a 3-0 loss at North Henderson. Parings for the playoffs will be announced soon and will be published when available.

Mustangs Soccer Team Claims Sole Possession Of the Conference Title

(10/14/13) A late comeback by the Mustangs soccer team forced overtime play which was enough time for Jordan Couch to get his third goal of the night and edge East Henderson for the second time this season and claim the WAC Conference title.  the Mustangs are now 11-0 in conference play and 16-2-1 overall.  The Mustangs will return home on Wednesday to face Brevard.  Zack Bryson had seven saved. This is one of the few games the opponent had more shots at goal than the Mustangs who had 15 compared to 21 for East Henderson.  Recording assists were Lance Buskey and Lucas Savage. Coach Brown thanks the large contingent of fans from Sylva who traveled to Flat Rock Monday to support the Mustangs.

Mustang Soccer Teams Announce Schedule Changes For Monday

(10/14/13) The Smoky Mountain High School JV Soccer team’s game with East Henderson will not be played tonight. Efforts will be made to reschedule the game. According to Coach Dolphus Brown a death in the family of one of the players has led the team to realize the importance of being with their teammate during his time of loss. The cancellation of the JV Soccer game for tonight has allowed the Varsity game to be moved to till 6:00 p-m. The game will be played at East Henderson High School. The Eagles have been tops in the conference in soccer for several seasons but the Mustangs knocked them off earlier in October in a game played in Sylva. Tonight the Mustangs will stake their 10-0 conference record for the win.  East Henderson is likely to be the toughest conference opponent the Mustangs will face for the remainder of the season. The Mustangs have already taken two from their nearest opponents Franklin and Tuscola. The Mustangs slipped by East Henderson earlier but Coach Brown sees a tough match in Flat Rock tonight with the Eagles in their home nest.

The Auburn Tigers Just To Much Cat For The Catamounts

(10/12/13)  It only took a couple of minutes for the Auburn Tigers to demonstrate why they are a top 25 team in the latest polls. Using a strong defensive line to dominate every aspect of the game where the Catamounts needed to get some leverage resulted in the Cats only getting close enough for an early game field goal. They was their only whiff of the Auburn Tigers end zone. Midway through the first half quarterback Troy Mitchel sat out for a few series’s while Sullivan came in to try to ignite the offense for the Catamounts.  His efforts were no better that Mitchel’s against the Auburn defense. Auburn began substituting freely in the second half but continued to be able to score at will against the Catamounts.  ending up with a 62-3 win.  There score could have just as easily been 70 or even 77 but in the final possessions Auburn was more concerned with running out the clock than running for the end zone. This concludes the Catamounts match-ups this year with division one teams, however the Catamounts checkbook is about a million and a half dollars in the black resulting from the paydays by Virginia Tech, Auburn, and Middle Tennessee which are all division one teams.

This coming Saturday the Catamounts will be back home against the Wofford Terriers in the Hall Of Fame Game. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 in Carr Hooper Stadium.

Panthers Too Hot For The Mustangs To Handle

(10/12/13) The “Hail Mary” pass to close out the first half of action on Friday Night at Carr Hooper Stadium did not turn out the way quarterback Zeb Speir desired.  Instead of landing in the hands of a Mustang for a score which would have tightened the game going into the dressing room,  it was the Panthers who captured the pass and took it the length of the field to cushion an already comfortable lead over the Mustangs.  In the third quarter the Mustangs came out red hot and put three touchdowns on the scoreboard and appeared poised to make a game of it. An injury to Chase Morgan cooled the Mustangs hot offensive explosion while the Panthers were regrouping. In the fourth quarter the Panthers took control of the game and stretched the lead to 48 to 24 and giving them their thirteenth win in the last fourteen opportunities and retain the distinction as the King Of Cowee Mountain.

Mustangs Football Faces A Tough Panthers Squad On Friday

(10/10/13) The Franklin Panthers are coming off a nail bitter from last Friday night when they edged the Pisgah Black Bears 15 to 14 as time ran out. The Pisgah Bears are playing their best football in several seasons under the guidance of Brett Chappel who came over from East Henderson after the 2012 season. The Panthers meanwhile have had little trouble with Murphy (41-17) and Swain (35-14). The two teams against common opponents the Mustangs are 2-3 and are coming off an impressive win 42 to 14 win over West Henderson last Friday Night. A game in which the Mustangs had some of their most impressive stats of the season and excellent play from many of their younger players who are growing up fast. The Panthers have dominated the series for the past 12 years and the Mustangs will have to play their best game of the season to get a win.

Soccer Team Makes It 24 In A Row Against Franklin

(10/10/13) the Panthers jumped out to an early 2-0  lead against the Mustangs, and led at halftime. But the Mustangs fought back and gave the Panthers no shots at the goal in the second half while tying the score at 2 at the end of regulation. In overtime the Mustangs added three goals to take the win at 5-2. Couch had three goals, Caplinger with one and Henson with one. The Mustangs are now 10-0 in the conference and 14-2-1 overall. Zac Bryson had 6 saves. The Mustangs out shot Franklin 14 to 9 shots at goal.  The Mustang JV team also won 4-0

Soccer Team Facing A Tough Challenge Tonight in Franklin

(10/09/13)  The Mustangs own a 23 – 0 record over Franklin gong back over five seasons.  That record will again be on the line tonight when the Mustangs travel to Franklin for a 7:00 p.m. match up at the Macon Middle School Complex. The JV team will kick off action at 5:00 p.m. The Mustangs got a solid win the the last match two weeks ago in Sylva.  The Mustangs height and speed were advantageous in the Mustangs win but tonight’s challenge will again test the Mustangs. Fans are urged to make the drive to Franklin to support the Mustangs.

Mustangs Volleyball Team Falls To Brevard

(10/09/13) Tuesday night was a special night for the Smoky Mountain High School Volleyball Team. Prior to the game the Varsity and JV players conducted a fundraiser for breast cancer awareness. once the game started the Mustangs played with alot of heart against a tough squad from Brevard but were not able to take the win. The Mustangs record falls to 3-7 in the conference and 10 and 7 overall

Mustangs Win Big On Monday And Face A Tough Week

(10/07/13) The Smoky Mountain High School topped West Henderson Monday night in soccer action at Carr Hooper Stadium. In the first minute the Mustangs took command with the first of three scores in the first ten minutes. By the half the Mustangs were leading 7 to 1 and would add another score midway through the second half. Coach Brown substituted freely which gave West Henderson some scoring opportunities late which they took advantage of by adding three additional goals. the Mustangs are not 9-0 in conference play and will be traveling to Franklin on Wednesday for both the JV and Varsity action at the Macon Middle School field.