Cullowhee, N.C. - As the opening of the 2018 Catamount fall camp and the 2018 home-opener against Newberry rapidly approach, CatamountSports.com conducted a series of question and answer sessions with Western Carolina senior football players.
The 2018 football preseason ramps up on July 25 as the Southern Conference is expected to reveal its preseason coaches' and media polls, as well as the preseason All-SoCon teams as voted on by the league's nine head coaches. WCU’s football student-athletes officially report for fall camp on Friday, Aug. 3 with the team’s first helmet-only practice on Saturday, Aug. 4.
Season tickets for all five home dates in 2018 are on-sale now through the WCU Athletics Ticket Office located on the first floor of the Ramsey Center or by phone at (800)34-GOWCU or (828) 227-2401. Fans can also purchase season tickets online by visiting CatamountSports.com. General admission season tickets for adults begin at just $75 with a limited number of chair back seat season ticket options still available priced at just $125 for adults and $65 for youth (ages 3-12).
Single-game tickets for the 2018 season are slated to go on sale Tuesday, Aug. 7.
The first in this year’s "Catamount Football Q&A series" is Ian Berryman, a senior punter from Marietta, Ga. A three-time All-Southern Conference selection, Berryman is coming off a redshirt junior season that saw him collect four All-America honors, finishing the season among the top five nationally in punting for a second-consecutive season.
Name: Ian Berryman
What is your nickname?
Berryman: Don’t have one/was never given one
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
What is your favorite animal at the zoo?
Which team do you pick in Madden?
Berryman: Falcons; Gotta always rep the Dirty Birds
What is your favorite off-season activity?
Berryman: Playing golf
What has been your favorite class to take at WCU?
Berryman: Television Production II
What motivates you to work hard?
Berryman: To be the best player I can be and to help us win a SoCon Title.
What is something you always love doing, even when you are tired or rushed? Why?
Berryman: Play FIFA (video game), I always find it as a great way to relieve stress and can knock a few games out pretty quickly.
Who is the most important person in your life?
Berryman: My parents, without them I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Berryman: A professional athlete
What was the best advice you were ever given?
Berryman: Don’t focus on the big things. Focus on the little things and, in turn, the big things will become great.
What position do you play – and what is the one key thing to know about playing that position?
Berryman: I’m the punter and holder. One key thing to know about Punting (hard to pick just one) is the swing the punter has is a lot like a golf swing, if one little thing is off, then everything is off and you won’t hit the ball you want to hit. One key thing to know about holding is that the holder has 1.25 seconds or less to hit a dime sized spot on the ground, spin the laces out so the kicker has a clean point of contact on the ball, and be sure the football has a nice slight lean forward and a slight lean towards you.
If you weren’t playing football, what sport would you have played in college?
One major goal for the 2018 season?
Berryman: Win the Southern Conference
What's your favorite part about being a student-athlete at Western Carolina?
Berryman: The family-like atmosphere the athletic department here at WCU has.
What’s the most challenging thing about being a student-athlete at Western Carolina?
Berryman: Managing the schedule between class, weights, and practice
What is your favorite thing about home games in Cullowhee?
Berryman: Getting to play in front of such a large home crowd every week! They always bring a great energy and vibe to EJ!
What does #CatamountCountry mean to you?
Berryman: It shows the unity that WCU has across the country. No matter where we go in the country, we always have the Catamount faithful coming to support us and cheer us on.
What is your favorite quote or saying from Head Coach Mark Speir?
Berryman: His talks on Galatians 6:9 and that a man will “reap what he sows” in anything he does in life. If you put in the work, you will ultimately be rewarded.
What does it mean to you to play in front of a large home-game crowd at WCU?
Berryman: It means a bunch to the whole team! It is always awesome to play in front of the largest crowd in the SoCon, they are awesome and always rowdy!
What has been your favorite athletics moment at Western Carolina?
Berryman: Probably making my debut for WCU my redshirt freshman year in the season opener against Mars Hill back in 2015. Although it was only the beginning of my career, I felt very satisfied with how far I had come after walking on in 2014.
What will you miss MOST about being a Catamount?
Berryman: I’ll miss being around the guys every day and the locker room atmosphere during the season!
What does your athletic scholarship mean to you?
Berryman: Without my athletic scholarship, I would not be able to play the sport I love and also receive the great education I am able to get at Western Carolina.
What message would you like to send to the Catamount Nation?
Berryman: We are going to do everything we can to bring home a Southern Conference Championship to Cullowhee this year! Also, remember that ‘Punters are people, too!’