published Monday, March 12th, 2012

Signal Mountain Eagles' Reese Phillips stays busy

Although he had his heart set on improving his quarterback skills, Signal Mountain's Reese Phillips has decided to squeeze baseball into an already busy schedule.

"It seems like he has something every weekend until football season starts," Eagles football coach Bill Price said.

Phillips has started just one season at quarterback, but the 6-foot-3, 215-pounder has drawn much interest already. He has been invited to participate in the Elite 11 series beginning with a regional on April 20 at Buford (Ga.) High School. Top performers there would then move on to the national event in California.

He also has been invited to a USA Football regional competition. He has talked already with University of Tennessee at Chattanooga coaches, but the Mocs might be outgunned by the number and quality of other Division I schools that have expressed an interest.

"I talked with Duke a long time the other day," Price said, "but Reese probably gets 20 pieces of mail per day."

Letters have come from Tennessee, Notre Dame, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and Kentucky, among others. Phillips already has agreed to attend Mississippi State's spring game.

"I talked with Tennessee's offensive coordinator, but he's on the radar more now than ever before," Price said. "I've probably heard more from Georgia, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Auburn and South Carolina than Tennessee.

"There's no doubt in my mind that Reese is a Division I [bowl subdivision] prospect. He hasn't decided where he wants to go and a lot of people haven't seen much of him because he's only played 10 games at quarterback. He's impressive when you see him in person, and I think it will be packed up here this spring."

The Eagles' spring practice is scheduled May 7-18.

Calhoun to Connecticut

Central offensive lineman and heavyweight Zac Calhoun has decided to attend Wesleyan College in Middletown, Conn. He will play football and wrestle for the Division III school.

Calhoun met Wesleyan coach Mike Whalen at a Brown University football camp and Whalen kept up with Calhoun and encouraged him to work on his ACT and class ranking. The 6-foot-5, 265-pound Calhoun brought up his ACT score (28) and is ranked fifth in his class (3.98 GPA). He was named to the All-District 6-AA football team and was a member of the Purple Pounders' Class AA state duals championship team.

Harris has 'good days'

Soddy-Daisy outfielder Talon Harris continues to recover from an automobile accident earlier this month but remains in Erlanger's trauma intensive care unit, according to Trojans coach Jared Hensley.

"From what I've been told he had a scary day on Friday, but his mom said Saturday was a great day and his aunt said Sunday was a good day," the coach said.

Harris, who had signed with Cleveland State and was expected to be one of the area's top prospects, is still in a drug-induced coma.

3 baseball tourneys

There are four baseball tournaments on the first weekend that Tennessee high school teams can officially compete. All four -- McCallie's Scenic City Classic, McMinn Central's Playing for a Cure tournament, Hixson's Wildcat Classic and South Pittsburg's Homerun Club Classic -- begin Thursday. South Pittsburg's championship is at 3 p.m. Saturday and the Scenic City will have its final at 7 p.m. Saturday at McCallie. The Wildcat Classic final is scheduled for 4 p.m. Sunday at Hixson.

High school fields that will be in use include McCallie, Hixson, South Pittsburg, Central, Red Bank, Signal Mountain, Grundy County, Sequatchie County, Lookout Valley, McMinn Central, McMinn County, Polk County, Baylor, Ooltewah and Soddy-Daisy.

Contact Ward Gossett at wgossett@timesfreepress.com or 423-886-4765.

about Ward Gossett...

Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...

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