Vols Stage Final Spring Practice; Orange And White Game Saturday

Thursday, April 14, 2011 - by special report to chattanoogan.com

KNOXVILLE -- The Tennessee football team practiced for the final time this spring at Neyland Stadium on Thursday. The Vols' spring session culminates Saturday with their second Dish Network Orange and White Game under head coach Derek Dooley.

The annual spring game, which takes place at 2 p.m. Saturday at Neyland Stadium, isn't necessarily a barometer of how good the team is, but it does allow the opportunity for some Vols to stand out. One Vol who took advantage of that chance in last spring's Orange and White Game was quarterback Tyler Bray.

"The first time I kind of noticed some qualities in him was in the scrimmage setting," Dooley said. "Some guys just elevate a little bit and he did it in the scrimmage. I don't try to put too much stock in the Orange and White game because so many variables but it was good to see him. It's one of those deals where if a guy plays real well you get really excited and if he doesn't play well you go, `It's no big deal.' You try to have it both ways as a coach. Otherwise, you'll have nightmares all through the offseason."

One Vol who may be in that position Saturday is sophomore fullback Channing Fugate, who rushed for more than 3,000 yards as a junior at Breathitt County High School. Although the Jackson, Ky., native didn't get any carries as a freshman in 2010, the Vols are making a concerted effort to involve him more in the offense going forward.

"We're going to give him the ball," Dooley said. "I think he's going to play a big role in our offense. Guys who have that many yards have excellent instincts. There's never been a running back who can rush for that many yards and not understand the tone and see things that other guys can't see. He has great instincts and he's a heavy body, very good balance when he runs the ball. You can see why he was so productive in high school."

WILLIE WATCH

Junior Willie Bohannon, who will start at defensive end for the Orange team Saturday, is making the most of his opportunity this spring. Bohannon, who shared Tennessee's 2010 John Stucky Off-Season Award, an annual coaching staff-given honor each spring, is having another productive April this year.

"He never really was much of a threat (to reach the quarterback) but he's becoming a threat," Dooley said. "That's what this spring is doing for him. I'm really pleased with the way he has progressed and we hope he can kind of take it from here with a good summer and we'll see where he is in August."

Despite being undersized for a defensive lineman at 6-foot-2 and 251 pounds, Bohannon has been productive.

"He's playing technique a lot better, but Willie has good leverage," Dooley said. "Some guys are little, but they play with good leverage. He's a little guy but he really knows how to use his strength. He understands leverage so he plays a lot stronger than what his body type is."

QUICK HITS

-To purchase tickets for Saturday's Dish Network Orange and White Game, fans can call 865-656-1200 or follow this link: http://bit.ly/hOCG2j

-The Vols will be without defensive end Jacques Smith (foot) Saturday. The extent of his injury is unknown but he is expected to be ready to go when summer workouts begin in June.

-For complete information on all of Saturday's events surrounding the Orange and White Game, including rosters, visit this link: http://bit.ly/eiI8WJ

-For Orange and White Game updates and all things Tennessee Football, follow the official Twitter account: @Vol_Football

(E-mail Stan Crawley at wscrawley@earthlink.net)


Three Marion Players On 2A Preseason All-State Team

Marion County's Corey Tucker, Christian Stephens and Alex Kirkendoll have been voted to the Star Physical Therapy Class 2A preseason all-state team in Murphy Fair's Tennessee High School Football magazine. Other area players on the team are Tellico Plains' Ryan Bookout, Boyd-Buchanan's Eli Legg and Sweetwater's Bailey Byrum.  Marion County finished as state runner-up ... (click for more)

Three Tied For Lead In Choo Choo Golf

Three players shot 5-under 67 on Monday and share the lead in the Choo-Choo Invitational golf tournament at the Council Fire Club. Local 30-year-old golfer Taylor Lewis, Tennessee junior Jack Smith and UT-Martin sophomore Hunter Richardson finished atop the scoreboard  after the first of three rounds. Lewis shot his 67 despite a double bogey on No. 8 . He had an eagle ... (click for more)

Assessor Of Property Bill Bennett Will Not Seek Re-Election

Bill Bennett, a longtime fixture in Hamilton County government, announced Monday that he plans to retire at the end of his current term as assessor of property. Mr. Bennett said, "After careful thought, prayer and encouragement from my family, I have made the decision to retire at the end of my current term and not place my name on the ballot for assessor of property in the 2016 ... (click for more)

Funeral Service For Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Scott Smith Is Tuesday

The funeral service for Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Scott Smith will be held on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Fort Oglethorpe.   Petty Officer Smith is the last of the five servicemen, and the second in Chattanooga, to be buried after the attack on July 16.   Parking at the church is reserved for family and friends of the Smith family. The public ... (click for more)

Lorri Wyatt Thanks The Community

Over the past 10 days, my life has been a whirlwind. My entire life changed in an instant. My husband, David Wyatt, was an incredible man, father and husband. He was funny, hardworking, honest, kind, loving and devoted to everyone in it. Everyone that knew David, loved him. He had a way of touching lives, without even knowing he was. On July 16, we lost him, and our lives will never ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chanie's Puzzling Poem

Ronnie Joice was in a bar in north London when he spied a poem tacked to the wall. The more he studied it, the more it revealed and, suddenly, he was floored. I don’t need to tell you it has gone viral, cheering people up particularly in England, but it is fun to know it was written by an 11 th -grader at an all-girls school in New York. Chanie Gorkin first posted it on her page ... (click for more)