Appalachian State is going to enter the 2015 football season with a lot of hype. 20 returning starters, a decent schedule and a six-game win streak to end 2014 has made the Mountaineers a sexy pick to win the Sun Belt.
While the Apps can't win the Sun Belt Championship in the spring time, head coach Scott Satterfield has created a competition for a different type of belt championship. Spring practice ended in early March, giving the Mountaineers extra time to get a full off-season in the weight room.
For the last month, strength and conditioning coach "Iron" Mike Sirignano has overseen a 10-team, five-week, winner-take-all war for a custom App State championship belt.
Thus was born the Battle For The Belt.
The captains were picked by the coaching staff, who then in turn drafted their teams with certain parameters in relation to positions eligible.
Below are the ten teams with the captains who drafted their squads in parenthesis.
-Silent Assassins (Taylor Lamb
-Bomb Squad, (Jesse Champman)
-Bone Collectors (Simms McElfresh)
-Legion of Boone (Doug Middleton)
-Macarras (Keenan Gilchrist)
-B.W.A. (Ronald Blair)
-Blue Hunnids (Malachi Jones)
-Brick Squad Monopoly (Marcus Cox)
-The Mob (John Law)
-Olympians (DJ Ward)
The competition envelops not only strength and conditioning (including optional yoga), but other core values such as going to class, going to breakfast and character moments.
Sirignano's Twitter @IRON_CoachMike has the week-by-week breakdown with score updates. The competition ends on Thursday, April 30th where the winners will be presented the title belt.
Below are the weekly videos highlighting the Battle For The Belt. One thing that is apparent is that the program is embracing the role as the hunted instead of being the hunters.