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Camp Notebook: Fans invited to Saturday's Gathering of Eagles

Photo: Don't arrive late to the scrimmage Saturday -- in last week's scrimmage, senior Henry Sailes returned the first punt of the event 78 yards for a touchdown (photo by Nick Burns)

View video of Watson Brown's comments following Friday practice

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Football fans of all ages are invited to Tennessee Tech’s Tucker Stadium Saturday for the annual Gathering of Eagles, with free admission, free food, free football and more.

Gates open at 12:30 p.m. and the Golden Eagle football team will be on the field for its second scrimmage at 1 p.m.

Fans can pick up schedule posters and pocket schedules, free hot dogs, chips and Pepsi drinks, and following the scrimmage the players will gather for fans to meet and get autographs.

Tech opens the season on Saturday, Sept. 4 with a game at No. 18 Arkansas, followed with a contest at No. 8 TCU on Saturday, Sept. 11. The home opener is Thursday night, Sept. 16, against Lane College with kickoff in Tucker Stadium at 7 p.m.

Friday practice sets stage for Saturday's scrimmage

The Golden Eagles were greeted Friday morning by sunshine and perfect weather for their two-hour morning practice. The temperature was 74 as the session began.

After two weeks of fall camp, the attitude and enthusiasm within the team remains at a high level, according to head coach Watson Brown.

“Our attitude’s been good. Our conditioning is good. I don’t think we’re where we want to be. There are still too many mistakes but as long as we keep getting great effort, I’ve got to think it’s going to come on,” Brown said. 

“This was called ‘get better week’ and we’ll see Saturday how much better we got in the second week. Then comes the third week, which is called ‘finish week’ where we’ve got to finish our fundamentals because after that we’ve got to start playing games.”

Despite torrential rains will altered the team’s mid-week schedule, Brown said his team was able to get through everything that was planned for the second week of camp.

“I think it was a successful week,” Brown said. “We were able to get our all our practices in, we haven’t missed any meetings. We made it through the flood in the locker room and all the heavy rains that we’ve had. We’ve gone from awfully rainy days to hot days and the players have done a real nice job adapting.”

Brown has three primary goals for Saturday’s scrimmage, which gets underway at 1 p.m. as part of the annual Gathering of Eagles in Tucker Stadium.

“Number one is health. We want everybody to come through healthy, and we want to look at everybody,” Brown said. Number two, we’re looking for players who will help this football team. We cannot win a championship with 11 offensive and 11 defensive guys. It’s impossible.

“Number three, we want to see our offense, defense and kicking systems and see if they’ve improved from week one to week two. “

Tech receiving votes in FCS preseason polls

Voters around the country have taken early notice of the promise building in Tenessee Tech's fall camp, and the Golden Eagles have received votes in the FCS preseason poll. Two Ohio Valley Conference teams are listed in the Top 25 and Tech is among three other league schools listed as "others receiving votes" for the 2010 campaign.

Click here to view the complete Top 25 FCS poll

Businesses backing Tech: Nearly 60 already on board

With the first home game just 27 days away, season ticket sales continue for fans to follow the  2010 Golden Eagles, and one of the hottest buys is th 'Back The Eagles' business plan. Already nearly 60 area businesses have purchased the plan. 

The business plan is a package of 10 season tickets for just $200. Sales teams are contacting businesses in the area daily to offer the opportunity to support Tech football through this money-saving offer. 

The Golden Eagles open the 2010 home season on Thursday, Sept. 16, with a non-conference game against Lane College, the first of five home games in Tucker Stadium. After the opener, Tech hosts four consecutive OVC games against UT Martin (Sept. 30), Eastern Illinois (Oct. 16), Eastern Kentucky (Nov. 13) and Jacksonville State (Nov. 20).

Tickets can be purchased at the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center weekdays from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. (closed noon to 1 p.m.), or by calling (931) 372-3940. Tickets are also available online at TTUsports.com.