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By Bret Strelow, AppState Athletics. March 13, 2019. BOONE, NC  Improve technique and fundamentals. Lay the foundation for Appalachian State’s offense, defense and special teams. Identify strengths and weaknesses in order to play to the strengths and build up the weaknesses.

COVER IMAGE: Junior wide receiver Jalin Virgil goes up for a pass in offensive drills during Wednesday session. All photographic images by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News
Coach Drink, will that — and perhaps a Diet Mountain Dew — complete your March order?
The Mountaineers, who began spring practice under new head coach Eliah Drinkwitz in late February, are back at work following App State’s spring break. It’s still extremely early in the process as the team begins development toward a successful 2019 and learns from a coaching staff with several new faces in the High Country.

QB Zac Thomas (12) has a receiver in mind during spring drills.

“It’s like you’re driving through a drive-thru window and a guy is just throwing the fries at you,” Drinkwitz said. “Right now, we’re hoping to get one or two of the fries in the window, and other than that, we’ll figure it out this summer. It’s a whole new offense, a new scheme with new terminology, so you have to pick little pieces. The thing is, if you make a mistake, that’s part of learning. Make a mistake, make it at full speed and then correct it on the field the next day.”
With an energetic Drinkwitz flipping footballs to App State’s quarterbacks and teaching some of the new terminology, the Mountaineers went through a highly organized and productive practice Wednesday in a sunny Kidd Brewer Stadium.

Transfer QB Jackson Gibbs (9), a redshirt sophomore, was a two-time all-conference performer for Hough High School (Davidson, NC) before enrolling as a true freshman at UCLA.

Whether it was freshman running back Camerun Peoples throwing a physical block, talented receiver Corey Sutton sharpening a route or a young defensive back intercepting a pass, the energy level was high all over the field.
App State is moving forward from a 2018 season in which it went 11-2, won a third straight Sun Belt Conference Championship and improved the program’s FBS bowl record to 4-0 with the nation’s third-youngest roster. Six early enrollees have joined the returning players, Drinkwitz is officially three months into his new job and the complete staff has been together for the last month.

Junior running back Marcus Williams, Jr. (26) finds a hole in 11×11 scrimmages.

“You try to get into a routine and get some normalcy, and as far as the whole staff, the transition of the families and everything,”Drinkwitz said. “Being on the grass, that’s where you feel the most comfortable. You’re ready to go, and it’s been a lot of fun.” 
Fans interested in purchasing 2019 football season tickets and joining the Yosef Club can do so online by clicking HERE, by calling 828-262-2079 or by visiting the App State Athletics ticket office, located at the Holmes Center. The deadline to renew season tickets for the upcoming season is April 30.

Anyone who renews or purchases 2019 football season tickets by Friday will have a chance to win one of several of the following exclusive offers. 
Chance to Win:

  • Breakfast with Coach Drinkwitz
  • Call a play at spring practice
  • Pregame sideline passes (20 individuals)
  • 2 seats at the Legends Gala
  • 2 seats at Club Level (standing room only)
  • 2 spots in the Yosef Club Golf Tournament
  • Signed football by Coach Drinkwitz (25 account holders)

Everyone Wins:

About The Author

As Editor and Publisher of Blowing Rock News, David Rogers has chosen a second professional career instead of retirement. For more than 35 years, he served in the financial services industry, principally in institutional equity research. He grew up in the oilfields north of Bakersfield, California and was a high school English major and honors student. From an economically disadvantaged family background, he worked his way through college (on grounds crew and in dining hall, as well as advertising sales for college newspapers), attending Johnston College at the University of Redlands, Claremont McKenna College, and California State University, Bakersfield. Other jobs to pay for college included a Teamsters Union job in South Central Los Angeles, a roustabout in the central California oilfields, and moving sprinkler pipe and hoeing weeds in the cotton fields west of Bakersfield. Rogers' financial services industry career took him from Bakersfield to La Jolla and San Diego, then to Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Newport Beach and Charlotte before arriving in the High Country in 2000 to take a volunteer position coaching the rugby team at Appalachian State University and write independent stock market research. He spent three years as a senior financial writer for a global financial PR firm with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Shanghai, Beijing, Tel Aviv, and Frankfort (Germany). Rogers is the author of "The 90% Solution: Higher Returns, Less Risk" (2006, John Wiley & Co., New York). He is married to wife Kim (Jenkins Realtors), and shares in the joy provided by her three grown children and five grandchildren.

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