I felt kind of silly when I began writing this column because, well, because most of you diehard Eagle fans pretty much know all there is to know about the hated Mountaineers of Appalachian State University.
You’ve beaten them 10 times so they’ve beaten you 10 times. They rammed goalposts through your team bus so you rammed 54 points down their throat in the next meeting. You’ve won six National Championships so they won one…ok, maybe that last one wasn’t apt, but you get the idea.
So as I digress into this piece of literary mastery, hopefully there will be a few facts you didn’t know about the school that sits at 3,333 feet above sea level at the base of Howard Knob. Boom! You didn’t even see that info coming!
Appalachian was founded as Watauga Academy in 1899 by brothers Blanford and Dauphin Dougherty.
I promise those are their real names.
The school had an enrollment of just over 50 and was aimed at educating teachers. Today enrollment stands at 14,653, making App the second largest school in the Southern Conference.
State is located in Boone, N.C., a city that claims to be the firefly capital of America. Even today students catch the magical insects and place them in a jar with a stick and a leaf to recreate what they’re used to as part of their orientation.
I might have made that part up.
Notable alumni from ASU include St. Louis Rams linebacker Dexter Coakley, country music singer Eric Church and the reigning 2006 Mrs. United State — Shannon Devine. Somewhere one of her cousin’s is drooling (that’s what we call a cheap shot).
Author Charles Frazier (Cold Mountain) also received his Ph.D. from App.
App started a football team in 1928 (then known as the Appalachian Teachers College) and have had 56 winning seasons. They’ve won six SoCon championships since becoming a member in 1972 and were the first team in the state of North Carolina to win a National Championship in football when they beat Northern Iowa last December. They say head coach Jerry Moore is still a smilin’ and the moonshine is still a flowin’.
The Eagles have played the Mountaineers 21 times since 1932, the most against any other opponent. Southern holds the longest winning streak (four) from 2000-2002. That mark includes a 38-24 win in the quarterfinals of the playoffs in 2001. State holds the largest margin of victory with a 59-0 win in 1939. The overall series stands tied at 10-10-1, the tie coming in 1935 when both teams were held scoreless. The Mountaineers won last year’s bout 24-7 in Boone.
The Mountaineers play their home games at Kidd Brewer Stadium, or as they call it, “The Rock”. The picturesque venue was built in 1962 as Conrad Stadium and App’s first victim was Emory and Henry. Those two guys just couldn’t stop the run.
The stadium sits at 3,280 feet and is currently named for one of ASU’s all-time winningest coaches.
Finally, I’d be remised if I didn’t discuss App’s lovable yet creepy mascot - Yosef. Yosef (mountain talk for “yourself”) is named after the character Dan’l Boone Yosef. Yosef symbolizes the App. State diehards, implying the Mountaineer heart is “full of black and gold,” probably from Yellow Fever and all those tick bites.
So if you’ve read to this point, and I know you have because you just couldn’t take your eyes from the page, you’re now full of useless information about the men from the mountains. Use it at your own risk.