Big Hits, Tempers Shown at UTC's Spirited Football Practice

Mocs Hold Scrimmage Friday at Finley

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - by B.B. Branton

UTC Football practice No. 16 was Die Hard, True Grit and the Good, the Bad and the Ugly all rolled into one, two hour practice at Scrappy Moore Field Tuesday afternoon.

The defense got blown up early on a Jacob Huesman long touchdown pass, coach Russ Huesman yelled about having pride on defense, true freshman Penny Smith got his toes down in bounds on a couple of good touchdown catches (a little push off on the second one, but who’s counting) and a few punches were thrown as tempers flared late in the day.

Bruce Willis, John Wayne and Clint Eastwood would have smiled from the sidelines saying in unison “make my day” on sophomore receiver C.J. Board’s bone jarring, helmet-rattling block on junior defensive back Sema’je Kendall.

“No doubt that was the play of the day,” said wide receivers coach Will Healy with a smile.

“There was some tempers showing out there today, but it means they are tired of hitting each other and getting ready for Central Michigan.”

But defensive line coach Marcus West was not pleased with the throwing of punches by linebacker Nakevion Leslie towards a couple of offensive linemen after one play when both the No.1 offensive and defensive units were facing off.

“We need controlled energy out there and that (fighting) doesn’t help us,” said West shaking his head.

Coach Huesman was preaching pride and he didn’t even need a pulpit.

“Whether it’s one on one, seven on seven or 11 on 11, you have got to have pride,” he yelled at his defense. “Great defenses have pride in what they do.”

Yet he did give a hand slap to true freshman Trevor Wright on a well-executed pass break-up.

After the players headed off to the locker room, Huesman also stated that “we had a few fumbles (third unit), but overall we had pretty good ball security.”

The sixth year head coach smiled and walked off Scrappy Moore Field knowing that the season opener is 16 days away (Aug. 28 at Central Michigan) and hopefully enough practice sessions remaining to have the Blue and Gold ready for the start of season No. 107.

What’s Next: The Mocs are back at it Wednesday with the last two-a-days (7:45 a.m. & 5:45 p.m.), followed by single practices Thursday and Saturday sandwiched around a 3 p.m. Friday scrimmage at Finley Stadium prior to the 55th annual Prep Football Jamboree starting at 7 p.m.


contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net


UTC's Foster Voted TSWA Coach Of Year

Tennessee-Martin represented half of the college basketball award winners during the Tennessee Sports Writers Association’s annual selection of the state’s college basketball coaches and players of the year honors.   In a vote of TSWA members, Tennessee-Martin men’s basketball coach Heath Schroyer and Ashia Jones, a forward on Tennessee-Martin women’s basketball team, ... (click for more)

Former Baylor School Golfer Alyssa Brown Named To 2015 Southern Athletic Association All Conference First Team

Alyssa Brown, a senior at Centre College and former Baylor School golfer, was named to the 2015 Southern Athletic Association All Conference First Team.  Alyssa placed third in the conference tournament at Old Fort Golf Course in Murfreesboro, TN with a three-day score of 236.  Alyssa was the leading scorer for the Colonels, who finished second in the tournament. (click for more)

Mayor Berke To Give State Of The City Address Monday Night

Citizens across the community are invited to attend Mayor Andy Berke’s second annual State of the City address, which will be held Monday at 5:30 p.m. in the ballroom of the Chattanoogan Hotel. The event is free and open to the public. “The State of the City is an important time to celebrate our accomplishments, discuss our challenges and chart a new course together,” said Mayor ... (click for more)

Anonymous Facebook Posters Pose Possibility Of Signal Schools Separating From Hamilton County School System

"Should Signal Mountain Schools separate from the Hamilton County School System?"   That’s the question posted on a Facebook page titled, simply, Signal Mountain Independent School District.   The creators of the page do not identify themselves. “(W)e certainly don’t want our kids dragged into the issue or targeted for special treatment by any ... (click for more)

The Heart Of A Teacher Makes A Difference - And Response (2)

In less than four weeks, I expect to be one of 216 graduating seniors from East Hamilton School. One could say all possible variables help a student rise to the highest levels in school; but a student is more than his environment or genetic code. He is a mixture of his own propensity and dedication to academics, coupled with a systemic team of mentors who give their all as a student’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The P.S. To A Sad Story

Back in the days when we were determined that the Chattanooga News-Free Press would have the best sports section in the country, I was traveling a whole lot. For example, back then I would be leaving today or tomorrow for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, this after hardly recovering from a week spent at The Masters. And, as it happens with those who are constantly in search for tomorrow’s ... (click for more)