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Simpson trades in the red and white to sport purple and gold

Franklin High School senior Lindsay Simpson signed to play basketball at Western Carolina University on Friday.

The 5’7” guard had been heavily recruited since her freshman year and decided to play for the Catamounts because of the opportunity to receive a quality education while playing for a dedicated sports team.

Numerous people spoke at the signing ceremony to honor Simpson including Gary Shields, John deVille and Bobby Kuppers.

“People told always told me to keep an eye on this little girl who kept showing up to play basketball in the gym because they said she was going to be good” said Kuppers. “Well, they were wrong, because she isn’t good, she is great.”

Simpson’s mother and former Lady Panther’s coach, Anna Shields was also recruited by WCU and played four years of volleyball and basketball at WCU on an athletic scholarship. Simpson’s father, grandparents, aunts, uncles, step brother and step sister have also all attended Western Carolina University, and Simpson is excited to continue the legacy.

In September of 2011, Simpson was named Most Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year in the individual division of the distinguished “The Little Pigs Award” from the Mountain Amateur Athletic Club of Asheville. Simpson beat out nominees from every 3A school across Western North Carolina to earn the honor.

Simpson was recognized for her excellence as a dual sport athlete, earning, “Player of the Year” in two varsity women’s sports: volleyball and basketball, as well as district “Player of the Year.”

Throughout her career with the panthers. Simpson has been recognized for numerous accomplishments which include being recognized for four consecutive years as an “All Conference” player in both volleyball and basketball. The FHS stand-out also received the “All WNC”player award in both sports, and “All district selection, and all-state honors for the panthers.

In December, Simpson continued to make FHS history when she surpassed the 2,000 career point mark during a home game against Pisgah. Simpson, who also holds the record for most points ever scored at FHS, scored the first five of her team’s seven points against Pisgah in just four minutes to reach the milestone.

The returning WNCAC player of the year and future WCU Catamount became only the 10th girls basketball player from WNC in history to break the 2,000 career points threshhold.

Western Carolina is in the Southern Conference and is a division one university. Head Coach Karen Middleton is in her third season with the Catamounts. She was an assistant at Stanford University before landing the job at Western Carolina.


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