Experienced Eagles ready to soar again on Signal Mountain - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Experienced Eagles ready to soar again on Signal Mountain

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SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, Tenn. (WRCB) -- The first official day of high school football practice in Tennessee is business as usual on Signal Mountain.

"It's Coach Price. He runs an intense practice every day," noted junior tight end Harrison Moon.

Bill Price said he does not intend to make a statement to his players, especially the young ones, on the first day or the first week of training camp.

However, his first few hours back on the field are noticeably louder.

"First day he is always yelling," said junior quarterback Jack Teter. "He is just all angry and yelling and stuff."

It wasn't as much anger on Monday as it was pure energy for Price, who views the first official day of camp as a holiday of sorts after a few months without real contact.

"It's just good to get pads on out here," Price said. "7-on-7 stuff is great, but you win games with your interior people and in those things they get left out. This is something now where we can get our lineman and put more emphasis on team."

The TSSAA pushed the opening week of the season back to August 23 and ruled earlier this year to move the start of preseason practice a week earlier, hoping to give teams a better chance to get acclimated to the heat.

Monday was the first of three mandatory days of workouts in only helmets or shoulder pads.

While an extra week of practice is not on every player's wish list, it comes as a gift to Teter. The junior is soaking up every extra rep and throw while getting comfortable in the big shoes left under center by Kentucky signee Reese Phillips.

"It's going by fast already," Teter said of his offseason training. "I'm trying to follow Reese's steps, so I need to play well and be smart. He was always really good in practice. He practiced how he played, so I need to practice really well."

Price aims to make sure of that. The former Red Bank quarterback has always taken a special interest in coaching his signal callers.

Luckily, Phillips gave Teter a little advice for dealing with the talkative coach.

"You just have to block him out and do your thing," Teter said with a smile. "Reese told me to just try to ignore him. He's always yelling at me. He's always in my ear. All the time.

"He's yelling at me 24-7."

Price has no doubt in Teter's ability, calling him "the next great one in our line of quarterbacks."

"He hasn't played much, but the 7-on-7's were really important to him and he took them seriously," said Moon, the 6-foot-6 230-pound tight end who will likely be one of Teter's top targets. "He really started to show out and we had some receivers step up, too."

Teter expects to have plenty of help with nearly every other starter returning on both sides of the ball from last year's 7-4 squad. The Eagles' inexperience was obvious in a 1-3 start in 2012, though they rallied with a six-game winning streak to close the regular season.

"Last year we had a lot of young kids that played. We started off slow then ended really good, so we're an experienced football team this year," Price said.

Despite the strong finish, Signal Mountain was eliminated in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs last fall after failing to make the postseason in 2011.

The Eagles are hungrier than ever to live up to lofty expectations set by 2010's state championship season, not to mention motivated by revenge as they start the countdown to their season-opener against East Hamilton, who routed Signal 55-14 last year.

"I think this is one of our better teams," said Moon. "I'm just ready to play and scrimmage and stuff. I'm ready for game one against East Hamilton. I think we're all just excited for it to come."

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