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Western Carolina University Chancellor David O. Belcher announced Friday, Nov. 4, the appointment of a 15-member search committee that will help select the university’s next director of intercollegiate athletics.

Belcher also announced that Collegiate Sports Associates, a North Carolina-based executive search consulting firm, has been hired to assist the committee in its work. The firm was founded by Todd Turner, a 30-year veteran of intercollegiate athletics administration whose career includes stints as director of athletics at four major universities – the University of Connecticut, N.C. State University, Vanderbilt University and the University of Washington.

Shea Browning, associate general counsel at WCU, is chairing the search committee, which includes current and former student-athletes, Catamount Club representatives, and members of the external community with experience in athletics administration.


FHS band gears up after finishing season in second place

Franklin High School proved to be a powerhouse for fall sports all season long. Another group among the exceptionally talented students who endured countless practices and excelled at the state level was the Franklin High School Marching Band.

Led by Band Director Buddy Huckabee, the 73-member strong band competed in a total of six competitions this season, traveling from Charlotte, all the way to Atlanta. In each competition the band excelled, taking either first or second place in all captions.


Franklin did not waste any time getting on the scoreboard last Friday night in the team’s opening round playoff game against Hunter Huss in the Panther Pit, scoring on their first possession to take a quick 6-0, before defeating the Huskies 35-7.

The bread and butter of Franklin’s team, the big boys up front, paved the way for Franklin’s first score when freshman Jeremiah Young took it in from the goal-line. Young scored after the Huskies attempted a gutsy fake punt deep in their own territory, giving Franklin the ball at the 26-yard line to set-up their first touchdown from the triple Young set.


Franklin’s varsity football team is perfect this season, winning 11 consecutive games to earn a number one seed in the state playoffs. This is the first time Franklin has been a number one seed in recent memory, and the Panthers are more than deserving of the honor. “We’ve never been a number one seed since I’ve been at Franklin,” said head coach Josh Brooks. “I know we have been as high as a two seed, but never a one. I think it shows that we have played very good football this year and I hope we can continue to do that in November.”

The team is off to its best start in school history, and with a roster full of experience and proven talent, the Panthers are sure to make some noise in the tournament. “When you look at the season schedule you know you are promised 11 games,” said Brooks. “Now our guys know this is a different season, and I think they will be ready for it. I don’t think our team is ready to quit playing football right now. They want to keep playing.”


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