A pair of familiar faces have made their way back to the High Country. Dustin Clark, a standout player at Avery High, and Tommy Spagnolo, who led Ashe County High to a pair of Class 2A
Western Regional appearances, will be walk-ons at Appalachian State University, according to the school's athletic department.
Clark attended Hartford University in Connecticut, a Division I school and a member of the America East Conference, last season. He saw minimal playing time as a true freshman. He transferred in July and was originally going to attend Gardner Webb University, a Division I school in Boiling Springs, N.C., and a member of the Big South Conference, before changing his mind and enrolling at ASU. Clark, a two-time Western Highlands 1A/2A Conference Player of the Year at Avery, will sit out a year in accordance to NCAA transfer rules. But he will still have three years of eligibility remaining.
Spagnolo spent two years at Radford University in Virginia, a Division I school in Radford, Va., and a member of the Big South Conference. He red-shirted his freshman year. But Spagnolo, who stands 6-foot-7, spent a rocky couple of years at Radford. His problems included academic issues and being ticketed for misdemeanor marijuana possession in a residence hall. He had not played since the early part of the 2010-11 season because of an injury and other unspecified problems.
His highlight at Radford was a 20-point, eight rebound effort against Wake Forest in Winston-Salem that season. According to the ASU athletic department, they are checking to see if he is eligible to play this season. He does have three years of eligibility remaining. Spagnolo played in the Carolinas All-Star Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C., his senior year at Ashe County High in 2009.