Catawba athletics: Busy fall planned

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 1, 2021

By Mike London

SALISBURY — The first of seven Catawba College home football games — yes, seven — is set for Sept. 4 at Kirkland Field in Shuford Stadium.

After the two-game mini-season last spring, that heavy home schedule, including three straight home dates right at the start,  has excited a lot of football fans, a lot of Catawba fans and a lot of folks who are simply fans of life getting back to normal.

Catawba’s first football game (vs. Erskine) will be special. For most fans, it will be their first time seeing the new turf field and video board and hearing the new sound system.

Catawba’s second football game  and only night game (vs. Winston-Salem State) will the centerpiece of Family Weekend. The third game (vs. Barton) will bring former Catawba head coach Chip Hester back to Salisbury at the helm of a young program.

Catawba has planned events such as Community Appreciation Day, Military Recognition Day, First Responders/Healthcare Appreciation Day and Catawba Faculty and Staff Day.

The Oct. 9 home football game against Carson-Newman will be held in conjunction with Hall of Fame Weekend.

Homecoming has been scheduled for the Tusculum game on Oct. 30.

Reunions are set to honor many of Catawba’s championship teams, including the 1990 and 1991 men’s soccer team, the 2000 cheerleading team, the 2000 and 2001 football teams and the 2000 men’s tennis team. There also will be a COVID-postponed 30th anniversary celebration for Catawba’s first women’s soccer team.

While the first week of September means a football comeback at Catawba, it also will mean the return of standard schedules for volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country.

Many of the 500 athletes who compete in Catawba’s 23 varsity sports benefit from scholarships.

Instrumental in raising the funds to provide 117 scholarships is the Catawba Chiefs Club, which has the goal of reaching 500 members before Sept. 1.

Henry C. Bernhardt, Class of 1950, is credited with founding the Chiefs Club in 1976,  when he was director of development at the college.

Forty-five years later, the Chiefs Club continues to carry on Bernhardt’s vision of an organization that promotes a spirit of camaraderie, goodwill and sportsmanship.

Four new Chiefs Club board members joined in 2020 — Andre Godfrey (Class of 1992), Rodney Goodine (1991), Allen Simmons (1977) and Rori Godsey (2007).

This year there are nine new board members. Laura Beth Barnhart (2004), Deidra Blabon (1993),  Shari Graham (1983), Shawn McBride (2003), Leslie Poteat (1990), Tom Sexton (1979), Jason Wilson (1997), Kathy Rusher and Dr. Pam Thompson.

New Chiefs Club president this year and next is Thomas Readling. Vice president is Allison Dupree Adams.

The Chiefs Club also benefits from the leadership of past presidents Don Don Clement, Bucky Cline  and Bob Setzer.

Members of the Catawba Chiefs Club receive a newsletter on Mondays with the past week’s results, upcoming games and special events, updates on athletic projects such as the renovation of Newman Park  and lots of pictures.  Chiefs Club members have use of the Catawba athletic facilities when available. Gifts are tax deductible.

The first Chiefs Club board meeting will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 23.

“Our Catawba Chiefs Club continues to grow with the loyal support from the Salisbury community and our former student-athletes,” said Jeff Childress, Associate AD for Athletic Development and director of the Chiefs Club.

. “We will also have a home cross country meet at Salisbury Community Park and home soccer, volleyball, and swim meets before we start up with our men’s and women’s basketball games in November. A very nice way to spend some family time together at a Catawba home athletic event.”

If you would like more information on the Catawba Chiefs Club, contact Childress at 704-637-4265 or