Football set for Mayor's Cup battle

Catawba's football team, the defending South Atlantic Conference Champions, are set to kickoff a much-anticipated 2002 season on Saturday at Livingstone College. The game will be the third in the Salisbury Mayor's Cup series which Catawba has own each of the previous two meetings. Both of those wins came at Shuford Stadium on the Catawba campus, while this years meeting will take place at Livingstone's Alumni Memorial Stadium. The Blue Bear campus is a little over a mile from Catawba and the kickoff is set for 6 p.m. Catawba will line-up with many familiar faces from last season's NCAA II semifinal squad. On offense, only five players of the 22 appearing on the depth chart did not see action for the Tribe in 2001. Red-shirt freshmen Gary Bass and Mike Frederick are reserves on the offensive line, while Mario Crowe is slated as the back-up at tailback. John Vernon, the starter at tight end, red-shirted last year after playing in 2000. After a year at guard, Cole Beane returns to a tackle position along side returning starters tackle Joe Nixon, guard Daniel Lynch and center Bucky Yates. Senior Demetrus Hopper will occupy the other guard spot, replacing Antwon Trice, who transferred. The backfield remains intact as Luke Samples returns to guide the offense with Rodney Wallace and Marcus Bland back at tailback and fullback. Catawba remains strong at receiver with four seniors, Nick Means, Cedric Squirewell, O.J. Lennon and Preston Lewis. Means is nearing a school record for career receiving yards. On defense, the Indians return seven starters, but linebacker is where the Indians were hurt most by graduation. Only All-America candidate Todd McComb returns, but will be joined by red-shirt freshman Durand Lipscomb, senior Marcus Hicks, a converted defensive back, and Buddy Tabron, a junior transfer from Virginia Union. Up front the Indians return starters Khanis Hubbard, Richard Scott and James McDowell, along with reserves Steven Williams, Piotr Kalinowski and Reggie Tucker. In the secondary, Jamel Jackson and Ryan Norman return at corners, while Jemonte Battle will again start at safety. The final piece in the backfield is senior Nick Hopper, who steps in for Corey Reese at the other safety spot. #####

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