Polk’s Tyler Philpott gives nod to Western Carolina

Published 5:22 pm Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tyler Philpott (right, with teammate Ryan Thomas) announced Friday that he will play football at WCU this fall. Thomas will also play for WCU. (photo by Daniel Hecht)

Choosing which college to attend is a difficult decision for any high school senior. For Tyler Philpott, the choice was tougher still, as Polk County’s gridiron standout entertained offers from institutions of higher learning throughout the area.
Friday afternoon, after months of carefully weighing his options, Philpott announced that he will attend Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C., this fall.
Philpott, whose future career plans include teaching and coaching, had been leaning toward Western Carolina in large part because of the university’s renowned teacher education program. After WCU coaches came calling last week with a sweetened scholarship package, the 6’3”, 280 pound lineman decided to end the suspense surrounding his school selection and don the purple and gold of the Catamounts.
“Western Carolina is nice and close to home,” said Philpott Saturday. “It’s a great school with a great education program.”
Philpott will join Wolverine teammate Ryan Thomas, who signed with WCU last month.
Persuading Philpott to come to Cullowhee is a feather in the collective caps of head coach Dennis Wagner and the rest of the football coaching staff at Western Carolina.  The Wolverine football team captain had 104 tackles during his senior season and tied for the team lead in sacks with eight, on his way to being named both Lineman of the Year and Male Athlete of the Year in the Western Highlands Conference.
As a three time all-conference and four time all-area selection, Philpott will compete next month in North Carolina’s East-West All-Star football game in Greensboro.
“We’ll miss his leadership and work ethic as much as his play,” said Polk head football coach Bruce Ollis Saturday. “The best thing I can say about Tyler is that he is a winner – he is a leader and people want to follow him. He has a very high football IQ and has been our coach on the field.
“Tyler’s accomplishments are a shining example of what hard work and dedication will do for you,” continued Ollis. “This is a very big deal and we are awfully proud of him.”

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