June 7, 2021 The Boone EQUIP 11U baseball was back in action last weekend, winning the USSSA TN Memorial Day Classic in Kingsport, Tennessee, with more than 13 states represented on the rosters. In pool play, they defeated the Tri-State Titans out of Kentucky by a score of 9-4 and the Traveler Rest Rockies out of South Carolina by a score of 15-3. They advanced to the Gold Bracket, where they won the first game against the Bristol Crusaders by a score of 11-2 to advance to the Championship Game against the Diamond Reds of Knoxville. The Championship Game went down to the wire, and was tied at 7-7. In the top of the final inning, the Diamond Reds knocked in two runs on a line drive to center, before center fielder Chase Watts’ throw to catcher Zack Woody was fired back to shortstop Coy Greer at second base for the final out.
June 2, 2021 App State Athletics will operate all venues – including Kidd Brewer Stadium for football – at full capacity for the 2021-22 academic year. “We are excited to welcome the App Nation back to our beautiful campus this fall,” said Director of Athletics Doug Gillin. “We will continue to prioritize the health and safety of everyone at our athletics venues. When our alumni, fans and families are cheering for our teams, it makes a big impact on the experience we provide our student-athletes in our pursuit for competitive excellence.” On May 21, Appalachian State University announced its campus would return to pre-pandemic operations for the fall 2021 semester, with safety precautions in place. That announcement followed North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s lifting of the state’s capacity and gathering limits, social distancing requirements and most face covering mandates.
May 12, 2021 NFL Network analyst and App State football alum Daniel Jeremiah will serve as the keynote speaker this summer when App State Athletics hosts the Legends Gala in the Grandview Ballroom at the new north end zone facility in Kidd Brewer Stadium. Scheduled for Friday, June 18, the event will begin at 6 p.m. that night and feature many legends with connections to App State and the High Country. Following in the footsteps of previous keynote speakers Mack Brown, Joe Gibbs and Bobby Cremins, Jeremiah is known for both his accomplishments as an App State quarterback from 1998-2000 as well as a leading NFL Network analyst and NFL.com writer with a focus on the NFL Draft. Following his time as an App State player, he was a college scout with the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles.
April 26, 2021 Watauga County Schools has named Bryson Payne as Watauga High School’s next Men’s Basketball Coach. Payne is set to take on the role after serving as head coach of the schools’ junior varsity and associate head coach to the varsity basketball team over the past four years. Payne will take on the coaching position in addition to his current classroom role teaching American History and Civics at WHS. Since coming on board with Watauga County Schools in 2016, Payne has worked in various capacities in the WHS basketball program. In his time at the school, he has coached at the Freshman and junior varsity levels and recently served as Associate Head Coach under former men’s coach Laura Barry. Watauga High School Principal Dr. Chris Blanton said Payne’s experience and commitment to his community made him the best candidate for taking the lead role in the WHS Basketball Program.
April 26, 2021 The 2021 Mountaineer Spring Tour will be held virtually on Thursday, April 29 on Facebook Live. The show will begin at 6 p.m. on the App State Athletics Facebook channel and will feature live interviews with App State student-athletes, Director of Athletics Doug Gillin, football coach Shawn Clark, men’s basketball coach Dustin Kerns and women’s basketball coach Angel Elderkin. The event will include updates on facility projects, information on the newly structured Mountaineers Athletic Fund, ticket promotions and highlight videos. Despite major obstacles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, App State has enjoyed another strong year in the classroom and on the competition fields and courts. Mountaineer student-athletes achieved record-setting grade point averages the last two semesters.
April 16, 2021 The home football game that anchors the annual Family Weekend on App State’s campus will be the Mountaineers’ 2021 home opener against Elon on Saturday, Sept. 18. The action-packed day will also serve as a celebration of the App State Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2021, as well as a special tribute to Hall of Fame football coach Jerry Moore and the unveiling of the new Coach Jerry Moore Plaza and statue. Kickoff against Elon is slated for 3:30 p.m., subject to change for national television. Moore won 215 games as the Mountaineers’ head coach from 1989-2012. He led App State to three straight national championships from 2005-07, the historic 34-32 road upset of Michigan in 2007 and 10 conference titles. He has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, the Southern Conference Hall of Fame and the App State Athletics Hall of Fame. To learn more about the Coach Jerry Moore Plaza, visit www.JerryMoorePlaza.com.
April 15, 2021. It’s time to dust off bats, balls and gloves, as the High Country Senior Softball League is gearing up for the 2021 summer season. The High Country Senior Softball Team recently resumed play and is recruiting men ages 60 and over and women ages 50 and over to join in on the games. Players get together every Monday at 9:30 a.m. at Avery County High School in Newland and on Fridays at 9:30 a.m. at the Watauga County Parks and Recreation’s Complex Field in Boone from April through September. Interested participants are invited to choose one location to play at each week or play at both spots. Bats, balls and gloves are provided, but players can still bring their own or any other equipment they might need. There is no cost to get started. There are two styles of play for the group: A competitive team that wants to play games against teams from surrounding areas and a casual team that wants to use the sport as a good way to be outside and get exercise. By Harley Nefe
April 5, 2021 App State will welcome alumni and fans back to Boone this fall for its annual Homecoming football game, set for Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. Kickoff for the Mountaineers’ Sun Belt Conference game against ULM is slated for 3:30 p.m., subject to change for national television. Activities for students and alumni can be found at homecoming.appstate.edu in the coming months. App State Athletics will also hold its annual football alumni reunion that weekend. More information will be provided directly to football alumni. If you are a former player or staff member of the football program and would like to give your updated contact information to the Mountaineers Athletic Fund staff, please email [email protected] or call 828-262-3108.
March 22, 2021. The High Country will have a new summer baseball team with the establishment of the Boone Bigfoots, who have partnered with App State Athletics and will play their home games on Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium. Tentatively scheduled to play a season that runs from early June to mid-August, the Bigfoots will compete in the Textile League, an independent summer wooden-bat league for collegiate players from across the country. With teams in North Carolina and Virginia, the league is expected to release its full schedule soon. Home game tickets are available now at www.bigfootsbaseball.com. The Bigfoots are a non-profit organization with a mission to offer exciting, high-level summer baseball to the High Country and provide scholarship support to App State Athletics.
March 19, 2021. Tenths of a second ticked off the Assembly Hall clock in what seemed like slow motion. App State players, coaches and fans had seen this before. It was almost assumed that Justin Forrest’s last-second heave would find its way into the basket for a history-making Mountaineer victory. But this time it fell just short. From 19 points down to a six-point lead – and a wild ride in between – App State’s rollercoaster First Four game against Norfolk State ended as a 54-53 loss, narrowly preventing the Mountaineers from earning the program’s first NCAA tournament victory. The defenses for both the Sun Belt Champions and MEAC Champions clamped down in the waning moments of the contest as neither team converted a field goal over the final three minutes.
March 17, 2021. The Appalachian State Mountaineers are back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 21 years and will hope to secure a win for the first time in program history. The Mountaineers will take on Norfolk State in the First Four on Thursday night with tipoff at 8:40 p.m. live from Indiana University’s Assembly Hall. The game can be seen on truTV, the March Madness Live app and can be heard on the Appalachian Sports Network and SiriusXM channel 85. App State has a little bit of history in Assembly Hall. That was the location of the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance back in 1979 when the Mountaineers lost to LSU, 71-57. In 2000, after another 21-year tournament hiatus, Appalachian State earned the 14-seed and took on third-seeded Ohio State. The Buckeyes marched to an 87-61 win in Nashville. This year, App State faces a much more beatable opponent in its first round contest. Norfolk State, also a 16-seed, won the MEAC Tournament with a 71-63 win over Morgan State in the championship game. By Nathan Ham
March 17, 2021. The excitement continues to build around Appalachian State University basketball with its first tournament appearance in two decades coming up on Thursday. Basketball head coach Dustin Kerns was a guest on the Jim Rome Show on CBS Sports Tuesday talking about building a winning program at Appalachian State. “App State has a great brand, we’re very successful in a lot of sports, especially football. Our football team has been in the top 25 the last three years, won six straight bowl games, so if we can win at football, why can’t we win at basketball,” Kerns said at the beginning of the interview with Jim Rome.
March 15, 2021. The stage is set! After punching the program’s first ticket to the NCAA Tournament in 21 years, App State men’s basketball will take on Norfolk State in the First Four of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday. Tip is set for 8:40 p.m. on truTV at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind. The Mountaineers are making the program’s third appearance in program history. App State also appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 2000 and 1979.
March 14, 2021. After winning its first Sun Belt Championship, App State is heading to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament for the first time since 2000. The NCAA Selection Show that announces the tournament field, matchups and game dates will take place Sunday at 6 p.m. on CBS. App State is inviting students and fans to watch the selection show on the video board in the Holmes Convocation Center and cheer on their Mountaineers alongside members of the App State cheerleading and dance teams. The App State Bookstore will be on site selling Championship merchandise.
March 9, 2021. App State Mountaineers men’s basketball team won four games in four days at the Sun Belt Tournament in Pensacola, Florida, to earn the program’s first NCAA Tournament berth since 2000. The team will return to Boone at 2:30 pm today! Come out to celebrate and welcome the Champs back home along the team’s route via Highway 321, King Street, Depot Street, Rivers Street and Holmes Drive. It will be a great moment to cheer on the men’s basketball team buses as they arrive back on campus.
March 9, 2021. The 21-year wait is over. App State men’s basketball is headed back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2000. Dustin Kerns’ Mountaineers capped an impressive Sun Belt tournament run with an 80-73 win over Georgia State Monday night, hoisting the program’s first Sun Belt trophy at the Pensacola Bay Center. The No. 4 seed in the Sun Belt East division, App State (17-11) won four games in four days to capture its first league title since a Southern Conference crown in 2000. “I thought we outplayed [Georgia State]. We deserved to win the tournament,” Kerns said. “Our guys were incredibly tough winning four games in four days. We believed. I’m just so proud for our players and our university.”
March 8, 2021. For the second straight night, 40 minutes was not enough. App State men’s basketball advanced to the Sun Belt Tournament Finals with a 64-61 overtime victory over Coastal Carolina on Sunday night. The Mountaineers (16-11) will now face Sun Belt East Division champion Georgia State for a chance to punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament on Monday evening at 7 p.m. EST on ESPN2. App State won two of the three meetings with the Panthers this season. The Black and Gold will make its first appearance in the Sun Belt Tournament Championship since joining the league in the 2014-15 season. It also marks the first conference championship game appearance for the program since the 2010 Southern Conference Tournament.
March 7, 2021. App State men’s basketball posted a thrilling 76-73 overtime victory over top seed Texas State in the Sun Belt Tournament Quarterfinals on Saturday night. The Mountaineers (15-11) advance to face Sun Belt East Division No. 2 seed Coastal Carolina in the Sun Belt Tournament Semifinals on Sunday night at 9 p.m. EST in the Pensacola Bay Center.
March 7, 2021. App State women’s basketball pulled out a gutty 54-46 win over UTA in the quarterfinal round of the Sun Belt Tournament on Saturday afternoon at Hartsell Arena. App State advances to the semifinals to face top-seeded Troy on Sunday at 12 p.m. (ET) at the Pensacola Bay Center for a trip to the finals.
March 5, 2021. The goal is the same for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams at Appalachian State: Make the NCAA Tournament. The Lady Mountaineers, who are the third seed in the East Division, will begin their quest to make it to the Big Dance with a first-round matchup in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament at noon today against sixth-seeded Louisiana-Monroe. Appalachian finished the regular season at 13-11 overall and 10-8 in the Sun Belt. They will also enter the conference tourney winning five of their last six games. UL-Monroe finished the regular season at 3-19 overall and 1-15 in conference play. By Nathan Ham
March 4, 2021 Avery County High School in Newland announced a two-week shutdown for its football team on Wednesday, one day after an athlete tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). The Vikings had planned to play their Friday game against North Iredell despite the positive test as subsequent tests administered to all players returned no additional positives. On Wednesday afternoon, though, the team tweeted that “all football operations have been suspended until March 17.” That means the cancelation of Week 2’s contest against North Iredell, as well as Week Three’s Western Highlands 2-A, 1-A Conference opener against Mountain Heritage.By Tim Gardner
March 4, 2021. Starting with a Thursday night game against East Carolina to kick off the college football season in North Carolina, App State will play an exciting 2021 fall schedule in head coach Shawn Clark’s second full season at the helm. The Mountaineers, moving forward from a 9-3 campaign and the program’s sixth straight bowl win in as many tries, will kick off the fall with back-to-back games in NFL stadiums. A Sept. 2 neutral-site tilt against ECU will be held at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, followed by a Sept. 11 road game at Miami, played at Hard Rock Stadium. Kidd Brewer Stadium will host six games this fall, starting with nonconference matchups against Elon (Sept. 18) and Marshall (Sept. 25). The season ticket renewal deadline is April 30, after which App State plans to sell new season tickets.
February 19, 2021 High Country Soccer Association, in partnership with Appalachian Mountain Brewery (AMB), is excited to offer the 11th Annual AMB Premier Adult League this spring, with three levels of league play: Bronze, Silver and Gold. The skill levels of the players in the AMB Premier Adult League range from recreational players 35-year-old and older and females of any age (Bronze) to highly competitive and former collegiate players (Gold Division). HCSA currently serves more than 300 adult soccer players (in addition to offering youth training) in the NC High Country. The Boone-based soccer club is always searching for new ways to continue building the local soccer community to include all players and skill levels.
February 17, 2021 Appalachian State men’s hoops had to hit pause on their season back on February 2 following three positive COVID-19 tests among team members and others having to quarantine following exposure to those players. On Friday, the Mountaineers will be back on the court for the first of back-to-back games against South Alabama. Tip-off on Friday is set for 6 p.m. and the teams will play each other again on Saturday at 4 p.m. These two games will be the final home games of the year. According to a scheduling update from the university, the two games against Coastal Carolina have been canceled and will not be made up. The Mountaineers will play at Georgia State on Tuesday, February 23 as part of the two-game series that was postponed earlier this month. The other game with the Panthers will not be rescheduled. By Nathan Ham
January 29, 2021 Craig McPhail of Lees-McRae will be the official nomination from Conference Carolinas for the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) AD of the Year Award for the 2020-21 academic year. McPhail will serve as the official nomination for Conference Carolinas after receiving the honor from a vote among the current Directors of Athletics in the conference. “Conference Carolinas is excited to submit this nomination for Craig McPhail as our nominee for the NACDA Athletic Director of the Year Award,” Conference Carolinas Commissioner Chris Colvin said.