RALEIGH, N.C. — Both bodies of the North Carolina General Assembly honored Appalachian State University football for its historic 2015 football season on Tuesday in Raleigh.
Senator Deanna Ballard submitted a senatorial statement congratulating the Mountaineers for their 11-2 campaign in 2015, which was capped by a last-second 31-29 victory over Ohio in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl. Ballard and Representative Jonathan Jordan read the statement on the floor of both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The senatorial statement not only congratulated Appalachian State for owning the best record of any NCAA Division I FBS program in North Carolina last season but also lauded the program’s success in the classroom, headlined by linebacker Cody McKinney (Vilas, N.C./Watauga) earning one of the Sun Belt Conference’s two most prestigious individual academic honors as the 2015-16 Sun Belt Male Postgraduate Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Appalachian State football is no stranger to the North Carolina General Assembly. The Mountaineers were also honored by the N.C. Senate and House of Representatives following each of their three NCAA Division I-AA/FCS national championships from 2005-07.
CONGRATULATING APPALACHIAN STATE UNIVERSITY’S FOOTBALL TEAM ON ITS OUTSTANDING 2015 SEASON
WHEREAS, in 2014, Appalachian State University (ASU) moved from the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), where it won three consecutive national titles and 18 conference championships, to the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) as a member of the Sun Belt Conference; and
WHEREAS, ASU finished the 2015 season with an 11-2 record, the best overall record of any North Carolina FBS team; and
WHEREAS, ASU became the first team to win 11 games in its first season as a bowl-eligible member of FBS and the first team in Sun Belt Conference history to win 11 games in a season; and
WHEREAS, ASU became the first team to win a bowl game in its first season as a bowl-eligible FBS member, defeating Ohio University 31-29 in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl on December 19, 2015; and
WHEREAS, only eight of 128 FBS teams had more overall wins than Appalachian State University, which finished 33rd overall in the final 2015 Associated Press poll; and
WHEREAS, ASU football represents a commitment to athletic and academic excellence, producing 13 all-Sun Belt Conference honorees, including Sun Belt Defensive Student-Athlete of the Year Ronald Blair, a fifth round 2016 NFL Draft pick by the San Francisco 49ers, and senior linebacker Cody McKinney who earned the Sun Belt Conference’s highest individual academic honor for a male student-athlete, the Sun Belt Male Postgraduate Scholar-Athlete of the Year;
NOW, THEREFORE, the student-athletes and coaches of Appalachian State University’s football team should be congratulated on an outstanding 2015 season.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned certifies that the foregoing statement was read in the Senate and placed upon the Journal on the 14th day of June, 2016.
Submitted by Senator Deanna Ballard