Quote: “It’s obvious football and basketball are the priorities, and that is understandable. They help bring in the money and get publicity and need to receive more for sure.”

-Matt Nelson, former App State soccer coach

It blows my mind to learn of the wonderful history that App State has with its’ soccer program. Knowing that we had such a rich history of soccer recruiting and success you would think surely we would seek to uphold our standard of soccer wealth. However, as the above quote entails, App State lost this success to a desire for sports more appealing to the masses which would bring in more money for the school. Appalachian State boasts of it’s football success from years past and seems to put this as our most enticing factor when comparing us to other schools. It seems to come down to strictly popularity. Sadly, soccer just is not as popular as football, especially in the Southeast. With this in mind, its easy to see why the school doesn’t focus on the success of early success from the 70’s and 80’s in Appalachian soccer and rather looks to the likes of Football stars like Armanti Edwards who put Appalachian into the mainstream media. The old say “Money makes the world go ’round” is true even in the case off a small mountain university. Football and basketball are where the crowds are drawn and money is made. The same can even be found true in today’s happenings. Most recently with former Chancellor Everts receiving heavy criticism over certain educational facilities being in disarray while the football team facilities/stadium receives continues improvement and attention. The accomplishments of the University are only held valuable if it brings in money and recognition, and as the quote says, this just is not the case for soccer in Boone.

One thing I just found astounding was the players on the teams who had such great success have stuck around Boone. Mike from Mike’s Inland Seafood operates just a short walk from where I reside and I would have never guessed that almost 50 years ago he was tearing up Appalachian soccer. Emmanuel “Ike” Udogu, one of the greatest soccer players in Appalachian history and has spent his career at App State as a professor. This to me, shows the true nature of early App State soccer success. App State soccer was never about money or attention, it was about playing the game for the love of the game. Now we see the a school with such a rich soccer history is surrounded by fears that it may one day have no soccer at all…