Softball, football teams honored by State House and Senate in Capital presentations

Photo at right: Tennessee Tech Football coach Watson Brown speaks to the Tennessee Senate while Senator Charlotte Burks looks on.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Players and coaches from the Tennessee Tech softball and football teams were at the state capital Monday as each squad received special recognition via proclamations by the House of Representatives and Senate. State Representative Ryan Williams and Senator Charlotte Burks sponsored the two proclamations, which were read to each body in the Monday afternoon session with the team members in attendance.

Coach Watson Brown's football team was honored for winning the Ohio Vallay Conference championship for the first time since 1975 and advancing to the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs for the first time in school history. Most of the team's seniors were on hand for the recognitions.

Coach Tory Acheson and seven of his players were in attendance as the team was recognized for winning the "national championship" in academics in 2011 with the highest combined team GPA among all NCAA Division I programs.

Joining the student-athletes and coaches were Tennessee Tech President Dr. Bob Bell and First Lady Gloria Bell, along with Director of Athletics Mark Wilson.

In photos below -

Top photo -  State Representative Ryan Willams (at podium) is joined by members of the Tech softball team, from left: Dr. Bob Bell, Coach Tory Acheson, Melody Christian, Claudia Harke, Brittney Spalding, Chanelle Spalding, (Williams), Samantha Everett, Holly Thomas, Brooke Basten, First Lady Gloria Bell, and Director of Athletics Mark Wilson.

Second photo - President Bell (at podium) addresses the Tennessee Senate Monday, with, from left, Jamere Hogue, Dwight Evans, Corey Watson, Coach Watson Brown, Senator Charlotte Burks, (Bell), Malcolm Jones, Travis Adkins, Scott Schweitzer and Ryan Weeks. Other players at the event but not pictured, were Nick Campbell, Jake McIntosh, Dontey Gay and Matt Mercy.

Third Photo - Coach Watson Brown and Representative Ryan Williams are joined by the members of the football team in displaying the Proclamation.

Bottom Photo - Outside the chambers, awaiting their honors, members of the Tech contingent visit with Representative Ryan Williams. From left, Brittney Spalding, Holly Thomas, First Lady Gloria Bell, Williams, Director of Athletics Mark Wilson, Melody Christian and Brooke Basten.