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Fans invited for food and football at annual Gathering of Eagles

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech football fans are invited to come out and bring a friend to the annual Gathering of Eagles picnic, scheduled for Saturday, August 29 inside Tucker Stadium.

The event will begin at 12:30 p.m. with free food and drinks, football posters and schedule cards for every fan.

Coach Watson Brown’s Golden Eagle football team will kick off its final fall scrimmage at 1 p.m. Following the scrimmage, members of the Tech football team and coaching staff will be available to sign posters and meet with fans.

Fans can enjoy hot dogs, chips and soft drinks during the event, as the team gears up for its season opener at home against Pikeville on September 10.

“From a fan’s perspective, this event should be a lot of fun,” Brown said on the eve of his 25th season as a collegiate head coach. “It gives the fans a chance to come out and have some good food, watch some football, and get to know the players and coaches.

“From the coach’s perspective, the final scrimmage will give our team a good opportunity to evaluate where we stand at that point during camp, and where we need to get to before our first game,” he said. “It will also give the coaching staff a chance to look at some film and fill in some open spots on the depth chart.”

The team enters its third season under Brown’s direction, and promises to bring plenty of action into the 2009 season. An exhilarating group of tailbacks will be one group to watch at the scrimmage and all throughout the season. That group is led by junior Henry Sailes, who made Sportscenter’s No. 1 play on a breathtaking 60-yard touchdown run last season. Senior Cedric Wilkerson and sophomores Tremaine Hudson and Dontey Gay will also aid Tech’s ground game with a combination of power and lightning-fast speed.

Tech’s signal callers will also draw a lot of attention in 2009, as three-year starting quarterback Lee Sweeney returns, and will likely own the majority of Tech’s all-time passing and total offense records before it’s all said and done.

However, despite being one of Tech’s most proficient quarterbacks of all time, Sweeney will see competition from four challengers, including former Minnesota quarterback Clint Brewster, who transferred to Tech and is eligible to play right away, and redshirt freshman Tre Lamb, who could be the best pure passer on the team.

Tech’s gunslingers will enjoy a host of talented receivers to throw to, led by 2008 Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Year Tim Benford.

While the Golden Eagle offense is loaded with firepower, the Tech defense is geared up to shut its opponents down. All four of Tech’s captains, voted on by the team, come from the defensive side of the ball. Derrian Waters, a former running back, Kelvin Quarles, Taron Ryce and Brendon Fisher were tabbed earlier this fall as the team’s leaders, and will all play a major role in Tech’s defensive effort.

Tech fans will see the Golden Eagles in action during the scrimmage, and also have their first opportunity to purchase the 2009 Golden Eagle Football Yearbook/Media Guide, which will be released at the Gathering of Eagles and on sale for ten dollars each.

“The Gathering of Eagles is a great event to kick off the fall,” TTU Director of Athletics Mark Wilson said. “It has been growing every year, and everybody enjoys it, from the student-athletes and the fans, to the coaching staff, and everybody who helps put on the event.”

The Golden Eagles will host five home football games during the 2009 season. After the home opener against Pikeville on September 10, Tech will welcome Ohio Valley Conference opponents Austin Peay, Southeast Missouri, Tennessee State and Murray State. For season ticket information, contact the Tennessee Tech Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center or call 931-372-3940. Tickets are also on sale online at TTUsports.com.