Two former all-conference University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football players made news this week by signing with professional teams.
NFL veteran cornerback Buster Skrine signed as a free agent with the Chicago Bears, and more recent Mocs linebacker Dale Warren signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League.
Skrine was a fifth-round draft pick by Cleveland in 2011 and played four years with the Browns and then four with the New York Jets. In 123 NFL games, he has started 85 and made nine interceptions, 77 pass break-ups, 457 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks, with three forced fumbles and four recovered.
His Bears contract reportedly is for three years, according to a UTC release.
Warren, who ended his Mocs career in 2017, had 19 tackles for loss — tying the school record — and six sacks in 2016, when he had seven tackles, three for lost yardage and a sack against Alabama.
"I had an opportunity to coach Dale during my time here as an assistant, so I know what he is capable of as a player," new UTC head coach Rusty Wright said in a school release. "I think this is a great opportunity for him, and we wish him luck this season."
Softball Mocs roll
The UTC softball team improved to 18-5 for the season with a 9-1 run-rule win over Eastern Illinois on Thursday in Clearwater, Florida.
UTC had 14 hits in the six-inning game, including three for Amanda Beltran and two each for Emily Coltharp, Sidney Swantic, Halie Williamson and Hayleigh Weissenbach. Emily Sturdivant and Devan Brown had two RBIs each, Brown's coming on a triple.
Mariah Ramirez (8-0) earned the win with three innings of four-hit, one-run pitching. Ali Swinford started and worked the first two innings, allowing no runs and three hits.
UTC scored three runs in the first inning, when Coltharp and Aly Walker walked and seniors Sturdivant, Williamson and Beltran hit consecutive RBI singles.
The Mocs continue play at the USF Under Armour Invitational with five games over the next three days, including contests against Wichita State and LIU Brooklyn Friday.
UTC net losses
The UTC women's tennis team lost 6-1 to Florida Gulf Coast on Wednesday and 7-0 to Liberty on Thursday at Fort Myers, Florida, and the men fell 6-1 Thursday at College of Charleston.
Annie Tarwater won 6-1, 4-6, 1-0 (14-12) at No. 6 singles against FGCU (5-6) for the UTC women (7-5), and Tarwater and Lilly Holmes won 6-1 at No. 3 doubles against Liberty (7-5).
For the UTC men (9-7), Tomas Rodriguez prevailed 4-6, 6-2, 1-0 (10-6) at No. 2 singles and Kerim Hyatt and Simon Bustamante won 6-3 at No. 1 doubles.
Wrestlers' foes set
The four Mocs in the NCAA wrestling national tournament next week in Pittsburgh now know their places in the brackets.
Alonzo Allen, the Southern Conference runner-up at 125 pounds and an at-large addition to the national field, is seeded better than league champion Korbin Meink of Campbell (No. 27 to No. 32) and will open against Minnesota's Sean Russell.
The Mocs' 141-pound SoCon champion, Chris Debien, is a No. 28 seed set to face Missouri's Jaydin Eierman in the first round Thursday, and UTC freshman Tanner Smith is seeded 32nd at 149 pounds and begins against Michigan's Malik Amine.
Rodney Jones opens against Rider's Ethan Laird at 197 pounds.