Knoxville area players benefit from ETSU’s return to football

By Steve Williams The excitement over the return of football at East Tennessee State University can be felt 100 miles away. That’s about how far it is from Knoxville to Johnson City, where the Buccaneers will kick off their first season in 12 years Thursday night. Many players from the Knoxville area will be a […]

Behind the numbers, Dobbs provides hope for banner year

By Steve Williams My advice to Tennessee fans heading into the 2015 football season would be to enter with cautious optimism. I say that after reviewing the past six rebuilding seasons. The Vols’ combined won-loss record over that stretch was 35-40, and that included wins over Chattanooga, Austin Peay State, Georgia State, Buffalo, Tennessee-Martin and […]

Fittingly, 2013 season opener at Gibbs ended under a full moon

By Steve Williams It was a high school football season opener worth recalling. I can’t remember ever seeing a better one, and that’s going back to the mid-1960s. On Aug. 23, 2013, I was covering the Carter at Gibbs opener for The Knoxville Focus. On this night, I took my notes on the visitors’ sideline. […]

Vols have been in and out of college football’s national spotlight

By Steve Williams Tennessee football has received plenty of positive recognition on the national scene since the Vols capped off the 2014 season by blasting Iowa in the Tax Slayer Bowl. When preseason chatter first started, Tennessee was even mentioned as a “darkhorse” to make the College Playoff field this year. That certainly got the […]

Vols can gain more from beating Georgia than Florida this year

By Steve Williams Despite how much Tennessee football fans want to end that 10-game losing streak to Florida, SEC Eastern Division favorite Georgia is the team they should be circling on their calendars this coming season. I really don’t believe the Bulldogs can overcome a loss in Knoxville on Oct. 10. That would give the […]

Forecast at SEC Media Days: Alabama or Auburn in title game?

By Steve Williams The preseason football forecast that came out of SEC Media Days last week was a head scratcher. Georgia was picked to win the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference and Alabama was tabbed to come out on top in the Western Division. What was crazy was Auburn being voted to win the […]

Keeping busy in athletics helped A-E’s Stephens stay focused

By Steve Williams Ahjanai Stephens picked participation over specialization in her high school athletic career at Austin-East. The Lady Roadrunners’ Student-Athlete of the Year participated in three sports plus band her senior year. I think that’s great. It may not be for everybody, but it fit Ahjanai’s needs. It also led to the first question […]

With Pat’s help, there’s still time for a change of Hart

By Steve Williams I’ve tried to get Dave Hart’s attention about this Lady Vol thing. In my annual Dear Santa letter, I asked for Hart to be showered with Lady Vol gifts, with the hope that might make him a more passionate Lady Vol fan and understand better all the fuss about eliminating the iconic […]

Vols’ football season will get off to a sizzling start

By Steve Williams Start the countdown. It’s 10 Saturdays until the Tennessee football opener. Television bigwigs last week put out the starting times for the season’s first three games. They pay no attention to such things as heat or cold when making these decisions. Of course, they pay big bucks to the universities’ athletic football […]

Tennessee basketball has another dark cloud overhead

By Steve Williams Just what we didn’t need. Another dark cloud over the University of Tennessee men’s basketball program. Allegations of serious academic wrongdoing in the Texas program when new Vols head coach Rick Barnes was employed there were reported last week. Both Dave Hart, Tennessee’s athletic director, and officials at Texas have said they […]

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