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Some of the biggest names from the last 90 years of App State Athletics

Ashton Woodruff
Former App State quarterback Armanti Edwards walks off the field with his family after getting his jersey retired at halftime of the Georgia Southern game Nov. 25.

App State Athletics garners attention and support from students, locals and alumni on a daily basis. This support comes from the help of past student athletes and coaches building each program into what it is currently as they continue to grow under present-day athletes and coaches. 

Armanti Edwards

The history of App State football cannot be told without quarterback Armanti Edwards. The four-time All-American dual-threat quarterback led the Mountaineers from 2006-09, winning back-to-back FCS national championships in 2006 and 2007. Edwards became the first two-time FCS National Player of the Year in 2009.

Armanti Edwards thanks fans during his number retirement ceremony at App State’s last home game of the season on Nov. 25, 2023. Edwards was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, is a four-time All-American, two-time FCS National Player of the Year and led the team to two FCS National Championship wins.(Landon Williams)

Edwards held a 42-7 record as a starter, including upsetting No. 5 Michigan in 2007. 

“Even when we won our first, second championships, nobody really knew what Boone was,” Edwards said. “But once we beat Michigan, pretty much everybody in the United States knew what Appalachian State was.”

During his four years in the Black and Gold, Edwards amassed 10,392 passing yards, 4,361 rushing yards and 139 total touchdowns. Edwards set 64 school and 14 SoCon records.

“We all know the kind of impact he had,” said former Mountaineers quarterback Jamal Londry-Jackson. “The G.O.A.T.”

He still holds the FCS record for career rushing touchdowns by a quarterback and the most seasons with more than 3,000 yards of total offense, in addition to holding App State’s single-game passing yards record at 433.

“It’s hard work,” Edwards said. “There are a few people who understand the hard work and discipline that we put into it in the off-season and practice to get to that point.”

The iconic No. 14 worn by Edwards stands in the north end zone as his jersey number was retired Nov. 25. Edwards’ was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame Jan. 8.

After an 11-year professional football career, Edwards has focused his off the field talents toward cybersecurity.

Valorie Whiteside

Recruited by former Mountaineers women’s basketball head coach Linda Robinson, Valorie Whiteside immediately became a star player for the Black and Gold, averaging 27.1 points and 15.5 rebounds per game her freshman year. Those stat lines earned her first-team All-American, the first ever for either App State’s men’s or women’s basketball.

Valorie Whiteside shows off her collection of awards, with her career accumulating to being inducted into the App State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003.(Courtesy of App State Athletics)

In her sophomore year, Whiteside scored a program-high 48 points against Western Carolina on Jan. 23, 1986, which still stands today. She guided the Mountaineers to a SoCon regular season title and SoCon Tournament Championship game appearance. 

In Whiteside’s next two years, she guided the Black and Gold to two consecutive SoCon Championships in 1987 and 1988.

Throughout her App State career, she earned All-SoCon selection four times and was a three-time All-American. Whiteside totaled 2,944 points, ranking 17th on the NCAA’s all-time scoring list. She averaged 25.4 points per game and 11.8 rebounds per game as a Mountaineer. This led her to set 42 school records and her No. 33 jersey to be retired by App State in 1988.

She was inducted into the App State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003 and the SoCon Hall of Fame in 2009.

Jon Jon Millner

The four-time SoCon champion and NCAA qualifier Jon Jon Millner finished with a career record of 121-24 during his App State career, and ranks third in school history in victories. 

Jon Jon Millner wrestles a Duke opponent in App State’s 42-3 win on Jan. 24, 2023. Millner was a two-time All-American at 149 pounds, four-time SoCon champion and NCAA qualifier, and has a career record of 121-24, which is the third most wins in school history. (Ashton Woodruff)

As a redshirt freshman at 149 pounds, Millner was named to the SoCon All-Freshman team and had a 21-9 record in 2018-19.

Millner improved to 31-4 in his redshirt sophomore year as he started the season 12-0, and ended the season with another 12-match win streak. He earned the title of SoCon champion and was seeded No. 18 for the NCAA Championships, which was canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following season, Millner earned the nod of All-American and placed eighth at the NCAA Championships while being named SoCon champion. He went into the NCAA Championships with a 13-1 record, including an 8-0 record in SoCon duals. 

After a successful redshirt junior year, Millner responded with a 24-4 season and was named SoCon Wrestler of the Year in 2021-22. This included a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships as he became a two-time All-American.

In Millner’s final year, he was named SoCon Wrestler of the Year as he finished with a 29-3 overall record. Before being seeded ninth for the NCAA Championships, Millner became a SoCon champion while being named All-SoCon. He missed the NCAA Championships with an illness, ending his Mountaineer career.

In his five seasons for App State wrestling, Millner finished with a 47-4 overall duals and 41-0 record in SoCon duals and tournament matches. 

“He’s probably our biggest leader on our team,” said head coach JohnMark Bentley. “We’ve got a lot of good guys on our team, but everyone that knows and follows the sport of Division I wrestling knows that Jonathan Millner is a two-time All-American at Appalachian State. He’s the blueprint for what we take pride in here at App State.”

Donald Sims

One of the most accomplished players in App State men’s basketball history is former guard Donald Sims. The 6’1” guard from Gaffney, South Carolina ended his career as the program’s all-time leading scorer with 2,185 points in 130 games.

Former App State guard Donald Sims drives past a UNCG defender Feb. 8, 2010. Sims finished his college career as the Mountaineers all-time leading scorer.(Courtesy of App State Athletics)

Sims played from 2007-11, averaging 16.8 points per game along with 2.7 assists and 2.7 rebounds for his career. He scored a career-high 44 points for a Black and Gold win over Davidson 78-68 Jan. 9, 2010.

Sims earned first team All-SoCon as a junior and senior, while becoming the fourth Mountaineer player to score over 500 points in back-to-back seasons. He became the third player in program history to record two 40-point games after scoring 40 against Mississippi State Nov. 19, 2010.

By the end of his career, Sims held five other program records in addition to being App State’s all-time leading scorer. He set program records in three-pointers, free throw percentage, free throws, three-point attempts and field goal attempts.

Currently, Sims plays professionally for Club Atlético Aguada in Uruguay. 

Jerry Moore

The man, the myth, the legend himself. Moore is arguably one of the most significant people in App State history. 

“I think when you say Appalachian State football, what’s the first person you think about,” said head football coach Shawn Clark. “The first word comes to your mind is Jerry Moore.”

Jerry Moore matches his statue’s pose during the unveiling of the statue and the plaza dedicated to him outside the front of Kidd Brewer Stadium on Sept. 18, 2021. Moore was the head coach of App State football for 24 years where he went 242-134-2 and led the team to three NCAA Division I-AA Football Championships in a row, the first national championships for any North Carolina college football team. (Max Correa)

Moore coached the Mountaineers from 1989-2012, compiling a 242-135-2 record while winning Southern Conference Head Coach of the Year eight times. 

In 2014, Moore was inducted into the SoCon Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame, while he entered the App State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015.

Moore coached 257 all-conference honorees during his tenure as head coach. 

He was on the sidelines for one of the program’s biggest wins when the Black and Gold downed No. 5 Michigan in 2007. App State won three FCS national championships under Moore along with 10 SoCon titles. 

“He’s a very important part of this program because he made a lot of things happen,” said former App State linebacker Trey Cobb. “I feel like that’s someone who will never be forgotten, and when he comes around, everyone tries to speak to him and at least introduce ourselves to him because we know how important he is to this program.”

In 2021, Moore was honored with a statue outside Kidd Brewer Stadium in the north end zone plaza. 

“Everybody knows that he is a winning coach, but I feel like every time, every Saturday we see him, we gotta go out and put on for him cause he built this foundation here,” said former App State running back Daetrich Harrington.

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About the Contributors
Chance Chamberlain
Chance Chamberlain, Associate Sports Editor
Chance Chamberlain (he/him) is a senior journalism major, media studies minor. This is his second year writing for The Appalachian.
Ethan Smith
Ethan Smith, Sports Editor
Ethan Smith (he/him) is a senior journalism major, media studies minor. This is his third year writing for The Appalachian.
Ashton Woodruff
Ashton Woodruff, Photo Editor
Ashton Woodruff (she/her) is a junior IDS Criminal Justice/Photojournalism major, and a Social Work minor. This is her second year with The Appalachian.
Landon Williams, Photographer
Landon Williams (he/him) is a Junior majoring in Commercial Photography from Winston Salem, NC. This is his second year with The Appalachian. 
Max Correa
Max Correa, Photojournalist
Max Correa (he/him) is a senior Biochemistry major from Black Mountain, NC.
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