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Appalachian State in a frenzy after upset over Michigan

Posted: Tuesday September 4, 2007 11:10AM; Updated: Tuesday September 4, 2007 12:47PM
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Ryan Wixted is a junior at Appalachian State University and Sports Editor for The Appalachian.

Appalachain State students -- and their bodypaint -- let the world know Michigan is old news.
Appalachain State students -- and their bodypaint -- let the world know Michigan is old news.
• Monday Awards:  SIOC honors the best of Week 1

By Ryan Wixted

Appalachian State's victory over the Michigan last Saturday is arguably the biggest upset in college football history. However, it's the events after the big win that made this little town of Boone, N.C., come alive.

Boone, a relatively quiet town nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, is just two hours northwest of Charlotte. The area most often recognized for its beautiful scenery and attraction to outdoor enthusiasts became an entirely different scene Saturday as ASU shocked Michigan, 34-32.

"It was crazy," ASU student Garrett Twist said. "It was something out of a movie, we were just going crazy, people running up and down the street chanting, there were car horns blaring everywhere."

The Mountaineer pride was out in full spirit prior to the victory with students scattered all over town at various bars and restaurants to watch the game: The Library Restaurant, Wings-to-go, Legends, Klondike Café, Macados Restaurant and Bar and Geno's Sports Bar all had fans sitting at the edge of their seats.

"We were at Geno's," ASU sophomore Clayton Hall said. "There were hundreds of people ... I could not believe how many people were there. They had a huge projection screen where they had the game on."

After the win, students began parading up and down two of the main streets in Boone, King and Rivers, eventually descending onto Kidd Brewer Stadium to tear the goal post down.

"We carried the field-goal post all around campus," Hall said. "We brought it down Stadium Street, through the Sanford Hall, back down by Raley parking lot, then up to Chancellor [Kenneth] Peacock's house."

The goal post parade through Appalachian's campus was only the beginning of the celebration. Word spread quickly of the football team's arrival later that night.

"We heard about it through other students," Twist said. "A bunch of people were saying that the team bus would be coming back later that night."

Thousands of students and Mountaineer fans gathered outside Kidd Brewer Stadium to welcome back the ASU football team.

"It was awesome," Twist said. "There were people all over the place. I got up on a TV van to get a better view. We all were chanting and yelling; when the buses pulled up, there were football players on the top of the bus and fans were pounding on the bus."

Twist said the celebration and partying was nothing he has ever experienced before.

"I was at the Youngstown State game last year and I thought that was pretty fun, but that does not compare to Saturday night," he said.

The partying was only half the excitement here in Boone. The Boone Mall was flooded with cars late Saturday afternoon after the game.

Sports Fanatic, located in the Boone Mall, had lines out the door with people waiting to purchase ASU merchandise. "We've had seven times the amount of sales we usually have," owner Jody Pruess said.

"I was at the sports bar watching it and soon as the game was over, I got in the car and came over here," Pruess continued. "We had a line of people almost out the door, even though, we didn't have the shirts [ASU versus Michigan shirts] people we just trying to find anything from ASU flags to shirts."

Pruess said his store had shirts designed and ready to sell two hours after the game. They also plan on designing more and having them on sale throughout the week.

"By Thursday we will have four different designs. We are working on the designs right now with the artist," Pruess said.

The 2007 season has just become a lot more exciting for all Mountaineer fans, school spirit is at a all-time high around Boone.

The Web site of the Appalachian State University student newspaper, The Appalachian, doubled it's usual hits Saturday after the game and received e-mails from all over the country requesting information about purchasing "Michigan who?" T-shirts.

The shocking result of one football game has changed the little mountain town of Boone, N.C., and the university for good.

That first weekend of September will be engraved in ASU and college football fans' minds for the rest of their lives.

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