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Stephen Hargis

Stories by Stephen

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — Thursday's game at Central Michigan was a much tougher way to open the season than the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga had planned.

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — The opportunity to pull off a road upset of an FBS opponent was within reach for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team, right up until the final two minutes of Thursday's season-opening game.

With the same captivated devotion of a woman watching "The Bachelor," Dee Virgin has spent countless hours bleary-eyed in front of a video screen. Knowing the stout challenge he is about to face, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga sophomore cornerback has studied as many highlights of Central Michigan star receiver Titus Davis as possible.

One of the last remaining depth-chart questions for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football program has been answered.

Chattanooga Mocs have great expectations

Senior All-American Tull plays with a chip on his shoulder

The memory of being a football orphan is still fresh for Davis Tull. When national signing day came and went his senior year at Bearden High School without a single call, Tull recognized the harsh reality — nobody wanted him.

While it may be better to give than receive, an unproven group of pass catchers are looking to give the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga offense a shot in the arm by receiving more.

It's a Sabbath day of rest, and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team intends to do just that.

SOUTH PITTSBURG, Tenn. — The bus trip from home took longer than it did for Bell County (Ky.) to establish who was the better team Friday night.

A coach's whistle chirps and six rows of players, each row 10 players deep, begin pumping their legs forward, one after the other high-stepping in quick motion.

In just six days, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team can officially turn the page from last season.

The 2013 prep football season ran the gamut.

It was the football version of kismet. A fateful relationship that is filling a void for both sides.

For the second year in a row the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team suffered a devastating blow in the final scrimmage of preseason camp.

Baylor quarterback Nick Tiano is the No. 2-ranked college football prospect among area high school seniors.

STEVENSON, Ala. — One thing is certain: Whatever happened on the field last season was not North Jackson football.

Whether sparked by the memory of the improbable ending to last year's Alabama/Auburn game or just the inner boy scout within coaches to be prepared for any situation, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team spent the final stages of the last day of preseason camp working on end-game situations Saturday.

For seven year old James McCorkle, getting to meet University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football players was great and all, but the biggest thrill was getting an autograph from 'Scrappy', the Mocs mascot.

South Pittsburg High School has named Brian Paris as its new head baseball coach.

Before either had spoken a word, the nodding heads were a sure sign that both Adam Braithwaite and Jeff Durden, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team's defensive and offensive coordinators, were satisfied with what they saw on video from the starting units during Friday's scrimmage.

With the exception of going over any mistakes coaches saw from Friday afternoon's scrimmage, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team can finally turn its full attention to the season opener.

WHITWELL, Tenn. — As debuts go, this one couldn't have gone much better. With his team hosting the annual Sequatchie Valley jamboree, new Whitwell coach R.C. Helton unveiled an impressive brand of physical football in front of a packed stadium.

The evaluation process is nearly complete as preseason camp winds down for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team.

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.

Ralph Potter grimaces at the mention of it. When told that other coaches in Division II-AA chose McCallie as the team poised to join the ranks of league contenders, the Blue Tornado head coach makes a face like he just took a sip of spoiled milk.

About midway through Tuesday afternoon's practice, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football coach Russ Huesman had seen enough.

Having spent the better part of their "off day" Sunday watching video from the previous afternoon's scrimmage, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football coaches used Monday's two practices to clean up the mistakes they saw.

The way Nakevion Leslie saw it, it was just a little Hillgrove Hawks hello.

While many in the Chattanooga area enjoyed a leisurely summer Saturday, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team put in another day's work, holding the first scrimmage of preseason camp.

Chris Mayes admits there are still times when, as the team breaks into groups, he starts to take a step toward going with the defensive line.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team held the first of four planned two-a-day practices Wednesday, with the evening session held in shells (shorts, helmets and shoulder pads) and a lot of emphasis on specific late-game situations.

Something most of the Chattanooga area already knew has been confirmed by MaxPreps, the national high school sports statistics website.

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football coach Russ Huesman typically is not big on slogans. He prefers a hard day’s work over clever word play to inspire his team.

Regardless of the drill or whether players are in shorts and helmets or full pads, the one constant since spring practice and throughout each day of preseason camp for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team has been the emphasis on ball security.

From Metallica to Lil Jon, nothing gives the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football practice the early-morning jolt players need to stay energized for two-plus hours each day better than music blaring across Scrappy Moore Field at somewhere near jet-engine decibels.

Although University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football coach Russ Huesman downplayed the progression to a full-pads practice today, several players admitted it's a move they're eager for.

There were a few louder thuds during the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's 2 1/2-hour football practice Friday morning.

The braces hugging both their right knees, worn mostly for precaution, are the only reminders.

Aside from a good day’s work put in before most of the rest of the city had even made it to their job site, the one certainty that came from the second day of fall camp for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team was this — the players were due for a nap once team meetings ended.

Like a character from the Snickers commercials Russ Huesman just wasn't himself Wednesday.

There was no shortage of enthusiasm throughout the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team’s first fall practice Wednesday afternoon.

Housing has been assigned, physicals have been administered and equipment has been handed out. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team now is ready to take the field this afternoon for the start of preseason camp and the first steps toward the season opener at Central Michigan in just four weeks.

As someone who loves high school football, I look forward to the area tour each year. So for the 15th consecutive year, on the first day Tennessee teams are allowed to practice in full pads, I tried to visit as many area schools as possible.

Football practice time in Tennessee

Get live updates as Stephen Hargis tours the area as high school drills begin

It all begins anew. Winter workouts became summer conditioning, which led to 7-on-7 passing camps, and now cleats will dig into dew-soaked practice fields this morning as high school football teams across Tennessee are allowed to put on full pads and prepare for the season's kickoff.

When Bernard Childress took over as executive director of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association five years ago the first thing he had to do was hark back to his days as a prep basketball coach.

Nearly a dozen former University of Tennessee football players were in South Pittsburg this weekend to help with Eddie Moore's youth camp.

JASPER, Tenn. — The anticipation has been building for prep football teams throughout the Chattanooga area since last season ended. Teams across the state are allowed to begin practicing in pads Monday in preparation for kickoff to the new season, which is less than four weeks away.

The last time the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team was the preseason pick to win the Southern Conference Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album had just been released, E.T. was the top grossing movie, Danica Patrick and Lil Wayne were newborns and Knoxville hosted the World's Fair.

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