Golden Eagle football team gets 2009 camp underway

Team works more than two hours in shorts Wednesday

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- A spirited group of 90 players went through meetings, an hour of photo sessions, and more meetings Wednesday, before finally getting out onto Overall Field in the afternoon for the team's first day of practice in Tennessee Tech's Fall Football Camp.

The Golden Eagles have 29 days to prepare for their season opener on Sept. 10 against Pikeville, and if Wednesday's workout is any indication, coach Watson Brown can look forward to a camp filled with enthusiasm and hustle.

It's also going to be a learning experience, as the 90-player roster includes 31 first-year players. Brown addressed the team at the conclusion of the workout and told them they needed to be focused and use this time to improve on a daily basis.

"This is the most important time of the year," he told them. "You cannot play confused."

Brown heads into his 25th season as a collegiate head coach, his 37th year overall coaching college football. It will be his third year as Tech's head coach.

The schedule calls for two more days in shorts without pads, with morning practices Thursday and Friday. Tech wears shoulder pads in its Saturday morning practice, returns to shorts for a Sunday afternoon workout, then dons full pads Monday morning for the first time. The first two-a-day is scheduled for Tuesday.

The Golden Eagles will hold their first scrimage on Saturday, Aug. 22, at 7 p.m. under the bright lights in Tucker Stadium.

An intersting battle will shape up quickly at quarterback, where senior starter Lee Sweeney enters camp as the starter for his fourth season. He'll be challenged by two returnees and two newcomers.

Junior Cass Barnes has moved back to signal calleer after one year at wide receiver, while redshirt freshman Tre Lamb worked with the Scout team last season. Both saw plenty of reps in Spring drills.

The battle will also include sophomore transfer Clint Brewster and freshman Ryan Tilghman. Brewster is a strong-armed quarterback from Denver who originally signed with the University of Minnesota and spent last year at the College of the Sequoias in California junior college ranks. Tilghman is a walk-on from Columbia (Tenn.) Central High School.