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Camellia Bowl Notebook: Thursday, Dec. 17

Appalachian State football student-athletes observe a bust of the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement” during their visit to the Rosa Parks Museum in downtown Montgomery on Thursday morning. Photo courtesy: Allyson Lamb

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A team trip to Montgomery’s Rosa Parks Museum, a Dreamland BBQ dinner and a “No Sweat Thursday” practice highlighted Appalachian State University football’s Raycom Media Camellia Bowl experience on Thursday.

The Mountaineers began the day with a short walk to the Rosa Parks Museum, where they learned more about the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement,” her arrest for refusing to give her seat up on a Montgomery bus and the 381–day Montgomery Bus Boycott that proved to be a seminal event in American history. The museum stands just yards from where she boarded the bus on Dec. 1, 1955.

“It was a great experience,” linebacker John Law (Atlanta, Ga./Grady) said. “Coming here gave us the opportunity to look back at the events and the people who shaped America, especially in the South. It was a reality check to see what they had to deal with and the process they had to go through just to be treated fairly. It’s amazing how much we’ve improved and how many steps we’ve taken as a society.”

“Coming here was a great experience,” offensive lineman Parker Collins (North Augusta, S.C./North Augusta) said. “I wasn’t aware that Montgomery has so much history but to be able to learn about things like the civil rights movement in such a first-hand and interactive way has been a great exposure for our team.”

Following the eye-opening trip to the Rosa Parks Museum, all thoughts turned back to preparation for Saturday’s Raycom Media Camellia Bowl versus Ohio (5:30 p.m. ET – ESPN), culminating with the Mountaineers’ customary “No Sweat Thursday” practice at Huntingdon College. The walk-through workout lasted less than an hour.

For dinner, App State was treated to ribs and pulled pork and chicken from world-famous Dreamland BBQ, courtesy of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce. Montgomery mayor Todd Strange welcomed the Mountaineers to the dinner and, on behalf of the city, congratulated the team on its spectacular season and first-ever NCAA bowl invitation.

Both teams went on to enjoy an exclusive show by comedian Ronnie Jordan on Thursday evening at The Warehouse in downtown Montgomery.

WHAT’S ON TAP FOR FRIDAY: A full slate of events is set for Raycom Media Camellia Bowl eve in Montgomery.

  • The travel parties for both teams will participate in the Alabama Football Legends luncheon. As part of the event, Pat Dye will receive the 2015 Raycom Media Camellia Bowl Alabama Football Legend Award, presented by Regions Bank. Dye compiled a 153-62-5 (.707) record in 19 seasons at East Carolina, Wyoming and Auburn. He is best known for his 12-year tenure at Auburn, where he led the Tigers to a 99-39-4 (.711) and four Southeastern Conference championships from 1981-92.
  • Appalachian State will visit the historic Cramton Bowl for the first time on Friday afternoon. Appalachian will take a team photo and hold a brief walk-through at the site of Saturday’s Raycom Media Camellia Bowl.
  • Perhaps most significantly, App Nation is expected to begin rolling into Montgomery in droves on Friday. Events slated for Mountaineer fans include:

Montgomery Advertiser Street Fest and Pep Rally

The Montgomery Advertiser Street Fest and Pep Rally begins at 4 p.m. CT on Friday, Dec. 18 at the Union Station Train Shed (300 Water Street) and coincide with Montgomery’s annual Christmas Parade.

In addition to the parade, activities include live entertainment, interactive games for kids and a pep rally for each team.

4 p.m. CT: Street Fest begins

5:30 p.m. CT: Appalachian State pep rally

6:15 p.m. CT: Montgomery Christmas Parade (starting at State Capitol on Dexter Avenue and concluding at Commerce Street)

Mountaineer Talk

A special Raycom Media Camellia Bowl edition of Mountaineer Talk is set for 5-7 p.m. CT (6-8 p.m. ET) at the Union Station Train Shed (300 Water Street). The “Voice of the Mountaineers” David Jackson will be on hand live with full pregame analysis and a slew of special guests.

For fans not in Montgomery, Mountaineer Talk will air live on Appalachian IMG Sports Network affiliates across North Carolina and online at appstatesports.com.

App State Gathering at AviatorBar

AviatorBar in downtown Montgomery (166 Commerce Street) will serve as the headquarters/gathering spot for Appalachian State fans on Friday night, beginning at 7 p.m. CT (following the conclusion of Mountaineer Talk). The Yosef Club and Appalachian Alumni Association will be on hand with pom-poms, buttons and other items to help Mountaineer fans paint Montgomery Black and Gold.