High school football under way

My story from Tuesday’s Star…

The time and place didn’t matter — be it Shelby or Crest on Monday morning or Burns or Kings Mountain later in the evening — one thing was the same all day at every school on Monday.

It was hot.

An unforgiving July sun baked the freshly mowed football practice fields as the mercury hovered in the low 90s, but as they say in Hollywood, the show must go on.

The show Monday was the opening day of high school football practice across the state and a late-summer heat wave made things tough on players and coaches alike.

“The players are doing just fine,” Shelby’s head athletic trainer Jim Prevost said. “The players we’re dealing with right now didn’t eat breakfast this morning. Some of them are just out of shape. They’ve had an easy summer and didn’t come to conditioning.“

We’ve got such great student trainers. Any time they see an athlete that looks a little bit in distress, it’s kind of over-care, which is the way you should do things.”

Getting started at ShelbyUnder the watchful eye of Prevost and a swarm of student trainers, the Golden Lions started defense of their 2AA State Championship.About 125 varsity and junior varsity players turned out for opening day — a figure that will likely shrink a bit in the coming days.

And all of them, according to head coach Chris Norman, will be starting off slowly.“

Just take the first step, basically,” he said. “Everything we’ve done in the summer’s been optional. The attitude seems good on the first day and we’re excited about getting started.”

Chargers looking to turn the page

The last time the Crest Chargers stepped onto to the practice field, it was the day before the 4A Western Finals.

That game never happened after Crest was forced to forfeit that and all of its other games in the 2005 season because of an ineligible player, so Monday’s workout was a chance for the program to move on.

“Last year was last year,” Crest head coach Roy Kirby said. “We’re going to get back and try to win every game we play just like we always do.”

The Chargers welcomed about 100 players for the first day, including a few unexpected offensive linemen.

“It was great to see the offensive line guys come out,” Kirby said.

Bulldogs take the field

Burns High also had around 100 players on hand for an evening practice, and head coach Ron Greene believes that attendance is half the battle.

“We’re just trying to get them here,” he said, driving around from station to station on a Gator. “We had minicamp to teach drills. Just carrying over that and getting into a little more depth.“Just getting them here and getting these early days of acclimation to this weather. Of course, we’ve been out here in helmets all summer long.”

The western end of the field — which happened to be in the shade — was the place to be in Lawndale.

Kings Mountain gets under way

Kings Mountain head coach Dave Farquharson took a break from supervising the 80-plus players who came out for the first workout of the season to share his plans for the first few days of practice.“

Today. we’re just picking up from minicamp. Just spending a lot of time teaching, trying to pick up where we left off last Thursday.“

Just trying to get everything in that we want to have in before we start contact.”

All four teams have scrimmages scheduled on the first day allowed under state guidelines — Thursday, Aug. 10.

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