BOONE — As with any prep football coach, Ryan Habich has had several positions to fill for the 2019 Pioneers because of seniors graduating or because of players not returning to the program.
Rising senior Bryce Satterfield is not one of them.
Satterfield, Watauga’s leading rusher in 2018, will play his senior season at Watauga. Satterfield’s decision was confirmed by Habich, who said Satterfield will play a variety of positions, including his familiar running back.
Habich learned of Satterfield’s return the final week of July. Habich said Satterfield enrolled at Watauga High School July 30 and attended the Pioneers’ first official practice Aug. 1.
“Obviously we’re pleased to have him back,” Habich said. “He was a good player for us. I think his parents wanted him to finish at Watauga High School and be a senior and finish out this one year. They’re making that sacrifice for him to finish here and graduate from Watauga High School.”
Satterfield led the team with 1,661 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2018. He averaged 7.7 yards per carry and helped lead Watauga to a 13-1 overall record 7-0 in the Northwestern Conference and a conference championship.
Satterfield’s future with Watauga was in doubt when his father, Scott Satterfield, was named head football coach of the ACC’s Louisville Cardinals in December. Bryce Satterfield moved to Kentucky to be with his family.
Habich said there was a change in plans and Satterfield has returned to Boone with his mother, Beth Satterfield.
Watauga boys’ soccer
BOONE — The Watauga boys’ soccer team officially began the defense of its Northwestern Conference championship with tryouts on Aug. 1 at Jack Groce Stadium.
Pioneers coach Josh Honeycutt made his cuts Aug. 2 and the Pioneers’ varsity team moves on to their first game, which is Aug. 19 at Erwin. Watauga hosts Newton-Conover on Aug. 21. Watauga will also host the Mellow Mushroom Tournament Aug. 30-31 with the Pioneers playing Asheville at 5 p.m. on Aug 30.
The Pioneers have plenty of holes to fill in its lineup, but Honeycutt feels he has the players to do that. Watauga’s top two scorers from the Pioneers’ 21-5 edition, Jair Alvarez and Gabe Highfield, are two of seven graduating seniors. Alvarez, who was named the Most Valuable Player of the East-West All-Star game in July, led Watauga with 26 goals. Highfield was next with 17.
But Honeycutt has liked what he’s seen during preseason workouts thus far.
“We are very excited about what we have,” Honeycutt said. “We’ve got a lot of guys returning. A lot of juniors are going to be on the roster this year and a lot of those juniors are going to be starters and be very key components. A lot of those guys were on the varsity last year as sophomores and got a lot of good experience and a good, deep run in the playoffs.”
App State football
BOONE — Appalachian State coaches took stock of the situation and determined this walk-on deserved a scholarship.
During a team meeting Monday night, on the fourth day of fall camp, head coach Eliah Drinkwitz stood in front of the group and praised sophomore defensive lineman George Blackstock’s extra effort before announcing that he’d be on scholarship for the 2019 season.
Teammates rushed toward Blackstock’s seat to celebrate the news, and Blackstock took his turn in front of the group a few moments later.
With the departure of 2018 senior captain and all-conference nose tackle MyQuon Stout, Blackstock is among the defensive linemen competing for important reps in the middle of the Mountaineers’ defensive line.
Ga. State game set for 2 p.m.
BOONE — Appalachian State’s road football game at Georgia State will have a kickoff time of 2 p.m.,on Nov. 16
That Saturday afternoon matchup will be App State’s second visit to Georgia State Stadium, formerly known as Turner Field. The Mountaineers won 31-10 in their first visit there two seasons ago.
With the latest update, seven of App State’s eight Sun Belt Conference games now have an assigned kickoff time.
Home games against Coastal Carolina (Sept. 28) and ULM (Oct. 19) are scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m., followed by a Thursday night home game against Georgia Southern on Oct. 31 and a 2:30 p.m. kickoff for Senior Day against Texas State on Nov. 23.
App State volleyball
NEW ORLEANS — Three members of the Appalachian State volleyball team were named Preseason All-Sun Belt, the conference announced Aug. 6.
Emma Longley, Emma Reilly and Kara Spicer were and were tabbed Preseason All-Sun Belt in voting done by the league’s head coaches.
In addition, the Mountaineers were selected to finish second in the Sun Belt East Division. Coastal Carolina was chosen to win the East Division with 67 points and seven first place votes, with App State right behind with 65 votes and five first place votes.
Defending Sun Belt Tournament champion Texas State was chosen to win the West Division.
BOONE — The Appalachian Roller Derby teams will host the teams from Classic City Roller Derby team Aug. 17 at the Youth Outreach Skating Rink in West Jefferson.
Appalachian’s top team, the Appalachian All-Stars, face the visiting Charlottesville Derby Dames at 4 p.m. Appalachian’s lower-level team, the Appalachian Boone Shiners faces the River City Roller Derby team at 6 p.m.
Tickets are $10 in advance online or $12 at the door. For more information, visit appalachianrollerderby.com.