BLOWING ROCK — You just never know who is going to turn up on Main Street in Blowing Rock.
On just about any other Saturday morning in mid-November when he and his family visit Blowing Rock, Matt Lovette might be spotted carrying tailgate provisions from Blowing Rock Market to his car in preparation for an Appalachian State football game.
That’s exactly where he was on Nov. 13, sort of. Because of the COVID-19 prompted “fan ban” at Kidd Brewer Stadium, he and his friends planned on sampling their beer and wine coolers in front of a TV set from the comfort of their Chetola condominium rental.
“I might climb up on the roof of the condo,” he said. “Maybe see the game from there! Better yet, I suppose I could go up on Howard’s Knob with a pair of binoculars…”
Lovette knows his way around these parts, even though he was a Blowing Rock visitor on a sunny, if brisk, Saturday morning in November. A 2002 graduate of App State in exercise science, he is now a financial advisor with the Edward Jones & Co. branch office in Mebane, and lead singer in a country music band he and a friend formed during their college years in Boone: the Mason Lovette Band.
“Like a lot of college kids back in those days, I first came to Blowing Rock because that’s where we had to go to get liquor,” Lovette said.
“But in the years since graduation,” he said, “we love to come up here. We try to make it two or three times a year, at least, and at least once or twice for a football game. Blowing Rock has a good feel to it and everyone is always so friendly and welcoming. We feel at home here.”
Turning back to a mid-November’s main course, Appalachian State football, when he was asked about the program’s move to the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision from the lower level NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision, Lovette answered quickly.
“I think they had to,” he said. “And it is proving to be a very good decision. App State football should be competitive year-in and year-out, whether ranked or unranked, because of the culture, the grit, and the people involved. From Jerry Moore to Scott Satterfield to now Shawn Clark, there is a terrific legacy. Eli Drinkwitz was sort of a blip on the App State radar screen. Here today, gone tomorrow. I suppose the money that can be thrown at coaches with winning resumes is pretty persuasive in luring them away to what are perceived as bigger opportunities, but Coach Clark has a passion for App State. I think he is here for the long-term.”
As for his music, Lovette said that Mason Lovette Band plays bars and nightclubs in the beach area, as well as the Piedmont, and sometimes they have gigs in South Carolina, but because of the pandemic and restrictions on crowd numbers this year they are doing a lot of virtual concerts.