After nearly three weeks of preseason camp, and only one off day mixed in, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football coach Russ Huesman decided it was time for a break.
The Mocs were scheduled to have their third two-a-day practice Wednesday, but those plans changed when instead of walking to Scrappy Moore Field for the evening practice, the players were treated to a movie.
During a team meeting, Huesman went over the new NCAA rule about sideline warnings and penalties then dismissed the players to the locker room to get ready for practice. The players were surprised to find a sign in the locker room declaring practice had been canceled and to instead get ready to go to the Majestic Theater downtown as a group.
"We try to do something fun for the kids every year near the end of camp," Huesman said. "We've taken them to Lake Winnie or Sir Gooney's before, but that always worries me a little. The movie theater seemed like the safest place for them.
"They were dressed and ready to go to practice, so I think they were really surprised when they saw the sign in the locker room. Some of the assistants said they were really excited and pumped up."
Once they arrived at the theater, players were allowed to choose which movie they wanted to see. Coach Huesman said he watched "The Purge" with his son Jacob, but that only a handful of players watched that movie with them.
"I guess maybe they felt like they spend enough time around me," Huesman joked. "Camp is never easy, so this was a good way for everybody to get away and relax. We'll be back on the field [Thursday afternoon] ready to go to work."
Before this afternoon's practice the football players, as well as other athletic teams, will spend two hours helping freshmen students move into their dorms and getting acclimated to the campus.
Following the team motto "Do more," defensive end Davis Tull and linebacker Nakevion Leslie stayed after Wednesday morning's practice to run extra wind sprints on their own.
"We weren't in trouble or anything, we just felt like we needed to run as part of the "do more" work ethic," Tull said. "I need to work on my speed a little more anyway."
Meet the Mocs set
UTC will host its annual "Meet the Mocs" Sunday at the First Tennessee Pavilion from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The football team will take its team photo at Finley Stadium at 12:30 before heading over to sign autographs from 1-3 just outside the main pavilion entrance. Other teams in attendance include volleyball, cross country, softball, men's and women's basketball, tennis, the golf teams and the spirit and cheer squads.
Contact Stephen Hargis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6293.
Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...