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COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Just before beginning its two-hour practice session Monday afternoon, the Tennessee Tech football team was called to midfield by head coach Watson Brown. A little unusual, but the 95 players and staff gathered. Team manager John Albertson made his way to the middle of the crowd and handed Brown a cardboard box.
And, from it he pulled......
One of the team's brand new, shiny purple helmets. Shiny. Metallic. And, oh, so purple.
A 95-yard touchdown run might be about the only thing that could draw a bigger response from the players than Brown got when he showed the new equipment to his squad.
"They were really excited," Brown recalled. "That's just become our thing, and part of our philosophy, to change things up. The helmets and uniforms just give us a lot of different looks to wear. A lot of schools do this, and the kids like that. We've had a lot of different combinations that last few years, and this helmet will give us another different look to go with the ones we already have."
Last year, the Golden Eagles added a gold helmet to their equipment inventory to go along with their standard white helmets. The team also unveiled two new uniforms last season, a black uniform for the first Golden Eagle Blackout game, along with a specially-designed white uniform from Russell Athletics that was introduced in Tech's game at Oregon.
The Golden Eagles will open the 2013 season on Thursday night, Aug. 29, by hosting Cumberland University at 7 p.m. in Tucker Stadium. It's one of six home games for Tech this season, to be followed by visits from Tennessee State (Sept. 21), Indiana State (Sept. 28), UT Martin (Oct. 10), Jacksonville State (Oct. 26 for Homecoming) and Austin Peay (Nov. 23).
Season tickets are currently on sale, with a variety of options available including a Family Plan and a Back the Golden Eagles Plan. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center or call (931) 372-3940. Tickets may also be ordered online at TTUsports.com.
The team has one more day in shorts and shoulder pads, with a 3 p.m. practice on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the Golden Eagles will hit the turn on Overall Field in full pads for the first time in 2013. Thursday's schedule features the team's first two-a-day workout, with a 9:30 a.m. session and a 3 p.m. practice. The final practice of the week is Friday at 3 p.m., followed Saturday by the first of two scrimmages, slated for a 4 p.m. start.
After that, the team gets the day off Sunday.