It’s been a busy week for Watauga running back Bryce Satterfield.
When July started, Satterfield thought he would be attending school at Christian Academy at Louisville. He also thought he would be playing running back and linebacker in the fall and playing basketball in the winter for Christian Academy.
That all changed toward the end of July.
Instead of attending Christian Academy, Satterfield returned to Watauga for his senior year. Instead of playing running back in Louisville, he is back running the ball for the Pioneers.
Best of all, Satterfield said he will graduate from Watauga.
“My parents thought it was best for me to come back here and play football because I wasn’t sure if I was going to do anything in Louisville or not,” Satterfield said after the Pioneers scrimmaged at Maiden Aug. 10. “So, they decided that I could come back and play.”
Bryce Satterfield went to Louisville with his family when his father, Scott Satterfield, was hired to be the head football coach at Louisville last year.
“I knew my dad was going to get a job sometime soon,” Satterfield said. “I wasn’t sure. I was hoping I would finish out high school before he got a job and that didn’t work out. I didn’t think I was going to come back, but I’m glad it worked out that I did.”
Satterfield said he moved back to Boone with his mom, Beth Satterfield.
“My mom is staying with me most of the time, but whenever she goes to Louisville, (former Appalachian State quarterback) Logan Hallock is one of our family friends and he’s going to stay with me, too.”
Satterfield said his days in Louisville were a lot to take in such a small time. One day he was playing his final game of the 2018 prep season against Weddington on Nov. X, and then the first week of December Satterfield and his family, consisting of his parents, his younger brother Isaac and younger sister Alli, were attending a press conference in Louisville filled with media and fans.
Instead of wearing the familiar Appalachian State black and gold, he was wearing Louisville’s colors of black and red.
“I really didn’t know what to think,” Satterfield said. “When we were sitting up there at the press conference and there were so many people there I was trying to meet and do everything (right). It was kind of crazy and it all happened pretty fast.”
He got to Christian Academy in time to attend spring workouts during a time when he did not know he would be returning to Boone. Satterfield said he wasn’t guaranteed a spot in the starting lineup just because of his father.
“I knew there was going to be some competition at the running back position,” Satterfield said. “I was just doing my best.”
While Satterfield was getting ready to play for Christian Academy, Watauga was preparing for life without Satterfield. Watauga coach Ryan Habich moved returning tight end, senior Jake Watson, to running back.
Watson took the bulk of the reps at running back in the spring and summer and also stayed at outside linebacker.
That all changed on the final week of July. Watauga’s running game added another weapon in Satterfield, as he gained 1,661 yards and scored 23 touchdowns in 2018.
It didn’t take Satterfield long to get into the end zone in the scrimmage at Maiden. His first carry went for no gain, his second went for five yards and he scored on a 1-yard touchdown run on his third.
Satterfield, who made it back to Boone in enough time to participate in the Pioneers’ first official practice on Aug. 1, also saw time at linebacker against Maiden. He said he was ready to rejoin the Pioneers when he returned.
“I wasn’t really that concerned,” Satterfield said. “Once I found out I was coming back, I was ready to leave and come here and play football.”
Football is just one of three sports Satterfield plans to play at Watauga. He also plans to play basketball and run track for Watauga.
Satterfield stayed at Watauga until April of 2019, but did not run track after qualifying for the 2018 state 3-A finals in the 400-meter dash.
“I’ll be here the whole year,” he said. “I’ll probably play basketball and run track. I didn’t run track last year because we moved during track season, but I will (run) this year.”