September 16, 2022 As a former athlete, coach, current fan, and lover of sports, I am fond of phrases and words that lift up the teams I support and jabs and jokes towards teams I do not support. Numerous times in my life I have connected with amazing people because of our mutual affection for a team, disdain toward an opposing team, or friendly rivalry between “my team” and theirs. By Sam Garrett
September 15, 2022 HUDSON, N.C. — Whether spiking a kill, demonstrating ballet between sets, or even mishitting a serve into the net, Watauga’s women’s volleyball team had fun on Sept. 14 in Hudson, against South Caldwell. They staged a 3-set sweep of the Spartans, 25-15, 25-8, 25-13. By David Rogers for HighCountrySports.net
September 15, 2022 HUNTINGTON, W. Va. — As first impressions go, good luck topping this one. Opening its fall schedule this week, App State Men’s Golf was dominant at the start and resilient at the finish in winning the Joe Feaganes Marshall Invitational. The Mountaineers completed the 15-team, 54-hole event with a 7-under team score of 845, giving them four shots of separation from second-place Marshall. The tourney was hosted by Guyan Golf and Country Club in Huntington, W. Va. By David Rogers for HighCountrySports.net
September 14, 2022 COVE CREEK, N.C. — Close calls and comeback rallies were the order of the day on Sept. 13, at Cove Creek School, where the Raiders played host to tri-match volleyball in welcoming Parkway and Blowing Rock. None were more thrilling than Cove Creek rallying from an 11-1 deficit in the second set, surge ahead at 22-21, but then fall to Parkway in overtime, 27-25. Given the Parkway girls first set win of 25-19, the match goes down as a straight set sweep even if the outcome was much closer than the set score suggests. By David Rogers for HighCountrySports.net
September 14, 2022 BOONE, N.C. — After T.C. Roberson sophomore dispatched Watauga sophomore Sienna Davidson in the No. 1 singles match on Sept. 13, some of the Pioneer supporters feared that the women’s tennis rematch results would be similar to the 7-2 drubbing on the Rams’ home court in Asheville on Aug. 24. By David Rogers for HighCountrySports.net
September 13, 2022 It was another near-sweep of a conference opponent for Watauga women’s tennis on Sept. 12. This time, their Northwestern Conference victim was Lenoir-based Hibriten. The Pioneers lost only the No. 6 singles match to the visiting Panthers, going 8-1 on the day. By David Rogers for HighCountrySports.net
September 13, 2022 Even though Watauga’s Sept. 12 men’s soccer match will be recorded as a 1-0, non-conference loss to Northwest Guilford, the Pioneers left Jack Groce Stadium knowing they had battled toe to toe with one of the better high school teams in western North Carolina. By David Rogers for HighCountrySports.net
September 11, 2022 The App State football team was welcomed back to Boone Sunday morning as hundreds of fans gathered to cheer for their Mountaineers after they upset the No. 6-ranked Texas A&M Aggies 17-14 on Saturday in College Station.
September 11, 2022 It was a day that included upset wins and nail biter losses for the Sun Belt Conference on Sept. 10, the athletic conference that defied recent national trends. Instead of broadening its geographic scope to create cross-country footprints like the SEC and Big 10, the Sun Belt opted to strengthen regional rivalries. Arguably the strongest “non-autonomous” athletic conference now, the Sun Belt registered significant football successes over the weekend. By David Rogers for HighCountrySports.net
September 11, 2022 A top-10 road win Saturday afternoon helped facilitate more big news Saturday night. ESPN’s College GameDay is coming to Boone. Appearing in the High Country for the first time, the popular college football pregame show will be on campus next weekend, on Saturday, Sept. 17, for App State’s Sun Belt Conference opener against Troy. Kickoff, subject to change, is currently scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
September 11, 2022 With the kind of time management that would make a Swiss watchmaker proud, Appalachian State rolled into the Longhorn State and took down nationally No. 6-ranked Texas A&M, 17-14, on Sept. 10. It was the second time in the Mountaineers’ program history that they upset a “top 10” ranked team, the first coming in 2007, against then No. 5 ranked Michigan. By David Rogers for HighCountrySports.net
September 10, 2022 For three-quarters of the Sept. 9 high school football game between host Burns and visiting Watauga, both teams had answers. But with a 21-point scoring outburst in the fourth quarter that took advantage of Pioneer turnovers, the Bulldogs gave their enthusiastic home crowd a lot to cheer about in carving out a convincing, 48-28 win. By David Rogers for HighCountrySports.net
September 10, 2022 All but 1:20 had ticked off the game clock on Sept. 8, with West Caldwell holding a tenuous, 2-1 lead over Watauga men’s soccer. And that is when the game was called after a more than half-hour delay while school officials and EMS first responders tended to a seriously injured Warrior midfielder. By David Rogers for HighCountrySports.net
September 8, 2022 It was a straight set sweep on Sept. 7 at Lentz Eggers Gym, but visiting Hickory rallied to challenge Watauga volleyball’s roster depth, 25-11, 25-18 and 25-21. The Pioneers’ big hitters, seniors Caroline Farthing and Brooke Scheffler, powered their way through the contest with 22 and 11 kills, respectively. Scheffler added 18 assists to her stat line, along with a serving ace, two stuff blocks and eight digs, reflecting her balanced production all across the court. By David Rogers for HighCountrySports.net
September 7, 2022 On Friday night, September 2nd, the Avery County High Vikings walked down their home stands carrying American flags as they came onto MacDonald Stadium’s field to face the number two-ranked school in Tennessee-the Hampton Bulldogs. Despite losing 36-27, Avery quickly erased any doubt that they could not only play the favored Bulldogs well, but also have a good chance to win. By Leah Potter
September 3, 2022 Let it be known that Appalachian State and North Carolina were not playing basketball on this picture perfect, early autumn weekend, even if a 63-61 score in favor of the Tar Heels suggested it. No, they were playing football on Sept. 3, a brilliant Saturday afternoon — and many in attendance at Kidd Brewer Stadium left at the end believing they had just witnessed the greatest show on turf. By David Rogers
September 3, 2022 By David Rogers for HighCountrySports.net – It was a battle of ‘Neers, a study in contrasting “blue collar” offensive styles. It was thrilling, Friday night football at its best — and it was especially good for Watauga football fans, whose team rallied from behind to defeat 1A powerhouse, Mitchell, 28-21. It could easily have been a different result and that is what makes for a good football game. A costly turnover and a mental lapse by the host Mitchell Mountaineers are all that kept the 2021 state runner-up team at the 1A level from upsetting a strong 4A team in Watauga. Key difference makers: a Mitchell fumble on the opening kickoff and a well-executed onside kick by Watauga in the fourth quarter. By David Rogers
September 3, 2022 In a wild offensive shootout, the North Carolina Tar Heels escaped Boone with a 63-61 win over Appalachian State on Saturday after the Mountaineers failed on consecutive two-point conversions in the game’s final minute and despite surrendering 40 fourth-quarter points at Kidd-Brewer Stadium.Played before a record crowd of 40,168 fans for North Carolina’s first visit to Appalachian State, the game between the in-state schools was perhaps the most gigantically anticipated in Mountaineer history. The game had been sold on for a long time, and according to reports, the cheapest ticket on the resale market was going for $158 on StubHub for a general admission ticket. Prices were also reportedly as high as $810 for a seat in a club suite. By Tim Gardner
September 1, 2022 The App State men’s and women’s cross country team is set to open its season with the Covered Bridge Open on Friday at the Don Kennedy Trails at State Farm in Boone, N.C. The women’s 5K is slated to start at 5 p.m. with the men’s 8K to follow at 5:45 p.m. Friday’s field of competition will include Florida State, Louisville, Mercer, UNC Asheville, Western Carolina, Lenoir Rhyne, High Point, Lees-McRae, Tennessee Tech, Milligan, Southern Indiana, and West Florida.
September 1, 2022 Dale Earnhardt Jr. brought innumerable fanfare and excitement to a sold-out North Wilkesboro Speedway on Wednesday night, but the spotlight shined brightest on one of Earnhardt’s JR Motorsports drivers. Carson Kvapil dominated the Window World 125 CARS Late Model Tour event, a showcase of past-meets-present that concluded the paved portion of XR Events’ Racetrack Revival presented by Raymer Oil Company.
September 1, 2022 Coming off a defensive battle that resulted in a 14-0 loss at Cherryville on August 19, the Avery County Vikings played their football home opener verses the Wilkes Central Eagles last Friday evening (August 26th). But the Vikings fell 49-13 in the non-conference game at Newland’s MacDonald Stadium. By Leah Potter
September 1, 2022 From one wrestling powerhouse to another. That would aptly describe two former Avery County High School wrestlers joining Appalachian State University’s wresting program as freshmen for the 2022-23 season. Appalachian State head wrestling coach John Mark Bentley, also a former Avery High wrestler, has announced the Mountaineers’ fourteen newcomers for the 2022-23 season. They include Levi Andrews (285-weight class) from Newland and Ethan Shell (133-weight class) from the Cranberry Community. Both Andrews and Shell were star wrestlers for the Avery High Vikings. By Tim Gardner
August 4, 2022 Are you interested in playing soccer? High Country Soccer Association is accepting registrations for youth players ages U6-U10 for the fall season. The U6, U8, and U10 Academy programs are designed to teach kids the fundamentals of soccer and prepare them for travel soccer. All Academy Soccer programs will be held at Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex on Brookshire Road in Boone. Each team will be assigned a licensed, paid coach. HCSA, which opened in 1986, offers soccer training to youth ranging from U6 to U18 and competes in the North Carolina Youth Soccer Association. HCSA also operates adult leagues and winter futsal youth training and summer camps. In all, HCSA has more than 600 youth players and more than 300 adult players from Avery, Ashe, Caldwell, Wilkes, and Watauga counties.
July 26, 2022 The 2022 Tommy Burleson Basketball Camp held July 18-22 at the Old Rock Gymnasium and adjacent auxiliary Newland Elementary School Gymnasium was the largest in number of campers and called one of the best in over-all talent of its participants in its 39 years of existence by its namesake and director. By Tim Gardner
June 24, 2022 How many basketball camps have clinicians and lecturers that include three former professional players, two former college National Players of The Year, two former United States Olympians, one of the winningest college coaches ever, three College Basketball Hall of Famers, three former North Carolina High School Players of The Year and another standout former college player who has both high school and college coaching experience? Well, the Tommy Burleson Basketball Camp, one of the High Country’s most annually anticipated sports events, will have this year. The camp will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon from July 18 to 22 at the Old Rock and adjacent auxiliary elementary school gymnasiums in Newland. In fact, the former gymnasium’s playing floor is named “Tommy Burleson Court” in honor of Avery County’s most famous athlete ever. By Tim Gardner