July 30, 2012
High school football season is officially here.
Teams across Central Virginia took to the practice fields Monday, the first official day teams can begin camp.
Some teams, like Louisa County, were on the field at the stroke of midnight, an annual tradition in Mineral.
At William Monroe, coach Mark Sanford has his Greene Dragons back for more after the team had a successful debut in the Bull Run District last season.
"This is one of my favorite days of the year, because you have a long off-season," Sanford explained. "The anticipation; all the off-season programs, all the work that the kids have put in. So it's fun to come out here first day and see everybody enthusiastic and fired up, and ready to go."
Sanford is a seasoned veteran on the local scene but Western Albemarle's Ed Redmond is in his first season on the Warriors' sideline.
Redmond spent the last 20 years as a had coach in New York, but the first day of practice brings a universal excitement no matter where the teams line up.
"Summer's been interesting because they're optional workouts even though kids understand if they want to get better and improve they need to get here but it was good. All the kids joined, it was good to see everyone get together officially," Redmond said.
As for the players themselves, they were understandably excited to get things started.
"It was real nice to get back out here," Monroe's Dakwan Morris said. "Because we've been working hard during summer conditioning and stuff, so I guess me and the guys were really eager to get out here. Practice was very intense today. They were ready to get after it from the get-go, from stretch."
"We've been practicing already a lot but its been the optional workouts so there's been like 20-25 just filtering through from vacation. I don't know how many we had but it seemed liked 50-60 which is really good," Western's Nick Drapanas added.