BOONE — Appalachian State head coach Scott Satterfield is fully aware of the strength that Hurricane Florence packed over the weekend.
That doesn’t mean he liked his Mountaineers missing their home game with Southern Miss on Saturday, Sept. 15. He just understood why it happened.
Appalachian State canceled its game with Southern Miss on Sept. 12 as the storm had grown into a category 4 monster.The App State athletic department officially said Sept. 18 the game would not be made up in 2018.
By the time it made landfall on Sept. 12, it was downgraded to a category 1 storm, but dropped record-setting rain on parts of North and South Carolina.
On Sept. 12, a Wednesday, the storm was forecast to hit North Carolina on Saturday. Other teams used that forecast to move their games to earlier in the week. Charlotte played its game on Sept. 13, while Coastal Carolina moved its game at Campbell from Sept. 15 up one day to Sept. 14.
Satterfield said there was an effort made for the Mountaineers to play Southern Miss, but nothing could be worked out.
“There was all kind of talk mostly between our administration and their administration about moving the game. We offered to move it to another location and another time and we really wanted to play the game. For whatever reason, we couldn’t get it worked out. I wasn’t in those conversations. I told our A.D. was we want to play the game. If we need to move it we’ll move it. It just didn’t work out.”
Satterfield said the Mountaineers wouldn’t get another chance to play the game in 2018.
“We knew our schedule was not going to allow us to play any other time,” he said.
Satterfield said the Mountaineers held their normal practice schedule early last week. Practice was canceled Thursday and Friday as Satterfield said the Mountaineers went into a routine of the team having a bye. Satterfield said the team’s reaction was good despite not getting a chance to play the game.
“Our guys do a great job of just rolling with the flow,” Satterfield said. “We always talk about things that we can control. That’s what we’re worried about. If we can’t control it, we’re not going to worry about it.”
Satterfield said there weren’t a lot of players who were heavily affected by the storm. Any that were had the support of the staff.
“Most of our guys, after talking to them, there wasn’t a lot in harm’s way with their families,” Satterfield said. “It seemed that things were fine. Obviously there’s going to be a lot of people who were affected by it, but what we do is just stay in contact with our guys and their families and see if there is anything they need or anything we can do for them.”
Satterfield added that the team handled players attending to their families the same way if they faced a family emergency.
“It’s really no different with one of our guys if something happens to one of their family members, maybe a death in the family or anything of a crisis in their family,” Satterfield said. “We’re always there to support our guys, whatever we can do to help and to allow them to get back home when they need to go back home.”
App State was back at practice Sept. 18 getting ready for visiting Gardner-Webb. The Runnin’ Bulldogs are 1-2 this season having won their first game 52-17 against Division II Limestone, but losing to FCS programs NCA&T 45-6 and to Western Carolina 28-10.
Appalachian State is two weeks removed from a dominate 45-9 win over Charlotte, but the Mountaineers made national headlines with a 45-37 overtime loss to Penn State on Sept. 1.