Mocs mom finds way to enjoy loss

Leigh Allison watches her son Sloan play for Chattanooga Saturday. Allison’s husband was fired as head coach of the Mocs in 2008.

Story by Kat Ladwig and photos by Matt Masin, NewsNetNebraska

LINCOLN, NE-Among the sea of red sat one Tennessee-Chattanooga mom, Leigh Allison, who smiled bittersweetly toward the field where her son, Sloan, and his teammates charged the field to start the second half.

Leigh’s husband, former Mocs head coach Rodney Allison, was let go in 2008 as the after a 17-47 record in six seasons. The Allisons came to Lincoln to support their son in his final year as a wide receiver at UTC, and enjoyed the big red atmosphere.

“It’s been so great,” Leigh said. “Everyone is very hospitable, and it’s been a lot of fun.”

What does she think about the new Chattanooga team slogan “Restore the Glory?”

“It’s alright.”

Another Mocs fan, Erika Lerum, said the “Restore the Glory” slogan, enforced by new head coach Russ Huesman, helps the Mocs football program progress both on the field and in the community.

“Coach Huesman would be the first to tell you that the glory isn’t restored quite yet, but I think it’s making leaps and bounds for our school,” Lerum said. “It’s brought our community closer, and there’s a whole new change in atmosphere and culture as we continue to build on a winning season.”

Under Huesman, Chattanooga is coming off of its first back-to-back winning season since 1990-1991 with a 12-10 record in that span.

Despite the Moc’s eventual 40-7 loss to the Huskers, Lerum thinks the experience is a good warm-up for the team’s home opener against Jacksonville State next Saturday.

“We’re playing with a lot of heart,” Lerum said. “Nebraska’s just a tough opponent. Next week it will be a totally different ball game.”

But Leigh Allison won’t forget this game. Her son, who caught three touchdowns last season, caught just one pass in the game for four yards. The Mocs, who have never filled their Finley Stadium, played in front of a packed Memorial Stadium of 84,883 fans.

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