Boone Bigfoots

BOONE — The High Country will have a new summer baseball team with the establishment of the Boone Bigfoots, who have partnered with Appalachian 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 nonprofit organization with a mission to offer exciting, high-level summer baseball to the High Country and provide scholarship support to App State Athletics.

Bigfoots owner Bob Wilson, who lives in the High Country with his wife and two Australian shepherds, is an entertainment industry veteran with 35-plus years of experience directing or producing films and television series, including production of the popular “Cobra Kai” series on Netflix. The team will have many other ties to the Mountaineers, with App State volunteer assistant Ryan Smoot serving as the Bigfoots’ head coach.

“With the pandemic-induced lull in live sports and entertainment, Bob saw an opportunity for the community to rebound with a great American tradition: summer baseball,” Bigfoots supervising partner Tanner Graeber said. “His first priority was to create a partnership with Appalachian State that would simultaneously benefit the school and greater community. With the help of Director of Athletics Doug Gillin and Executive Associate Athletics Director Jonathan Reeder, the Bigfoots will be playing their home games in one of the most beautiful stadiums in college baseball at App State’s Beaver Field.”

App State baseball staff member Matt Anders is set to be Smoot’s assistant coach with the Bigfoots, while current App State baseball player Andrew Papp and App State softball player Baylee Morton will work as the operations manager and communications director respectively once their senior seasons are finished.

“I’m excited to work with Bob in bringing summer collegiate baseball to Boone,” Smoot said. “I look forward to joining him, Andrew, Baylee, Tanner and everyone else coming onboard in building an organization that is not just competitive on the field but is an asset to the community off the field.”

Those interested in contributing to the mission, information about sponsorship opportunities for individuals, corporations and local businesses can go to www.bigfootsbaseball.com. The team can be contacted at bigfootsbaseball@gmail.com to learn more about the opportunities to be a summer host family for a Bigfoots player or players.

Fans interested in purchasing Bigfoots merchandise can also visit the website in the coming weeks to order hats, shirts, koozies and other items.

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