High school football teams around rural West Tennessee attacked the first day of practice in full gear in different manners and at different times.
The first one to attack it was Bolivar, who attacked it as soon it could. At midnight.
“Yeah that was something we decided to do to let the kids know how serious we are as a coaching staff about getting on the field and getting to work as soon as we could,” said Bolivar head coach Woodrow Lowe Jr. “Us coaches, we’re just like everybody else. We can’t wait for the season or for practice to start.
“So we wanted to go as soon as we could.”
Going at that time came with a price, though.
“We’re all pretty dead tired now,” Lowe said with a chuckle Monday afternoon. “We stayed at the school and slept there — all of us together as sort of a minicamp.
“We practiced until 2, then we went to bed and were eating breakfast by 7. We were in film work at 8:15, and went back out on the field after that.”
South Gibson’s team also went out early, but not as early — 5:30 a.m.
As soon as there was enough light on the Hornets’ practice field, they were there doing tackling drills.
The coaching staff came with plenty of enthusiasm and encouraged the same from the players.
“We try to make them forget how early they got up to be here,” said South Gibson head coach Scott Stidham. “The way you do that is get them to focus on what they are supposed to do and act like it’s any other practice.”
Not everyone could be in full gear yet. Players who haven’t gone at least three days in shells must do that before they can go in full pads.
Most teams practiced later in the morning. South Side was one of them, and the Hawks finished up just before lunch.
“It was a pretty good day,” said first-year head coach Brian Moore. “There’s plenty to work on at this point, and some of our guys showed that.”
Dresden head coach Derek Rang and the Lions got two bits of good news. Not only were they allowed to have full contact practice, but quarterback Dresser Winn was officially cleared by the TSSAA to play this year.
“It was something we knew would happen because Dresser and his family did everything they needed for him to be able to play,” Rang said. “But we were glad to get that announcement today.”
Winn started at quarterback as a freshman before transferring to Briarcrest Christian in Memphis last year. He returned to Dresden over the summer.
Rang said the actual practice still left plenty of room for improvement for the team.
“It was a typical first day in pads,” Rang said. “There were some times when we looked really sloppy out there, but it was a good start. We’ve got a good foundation to build on for the next three or four weeks.”
Brandon Shields, 425-9751