The calendar hasn't turned to August yet, but high school football practice is already underway in central Virginia. The Covenant Eagles were out on the field Tuesday morning, beginning preparation for their Aug. 23 matchup against Atlantic Shores Christian.
"The first time we walked in the locker room is probably the most important moment, just seeing everybody again and just getting ready to get back to work," said senior defensive end Trenton Jenkins.
"I think the players were very excited," added head coach Dave Rocco. "They were out here working out. They talk about it all the time, how this is going to be a great season, so they're very enthusiastic."
After a long offseason, the Eagles were not only excited to be playing football again, but also to be the first local team to start practice.
"Personally, I've been waiting for football season since it ended last year," said senior lineman Teddy Morse. "It's awesome to get out here a few days earlier.
"We sort of get to start talking about it, talking about how excited we are before everyone else does."
The Eagles graduated a large group of seniors earlier this summer and are now working to reload before the season kicks off in a little more than three weeks.
"We have to put an offense and a defense in," says Rocco. "Most of it's the same, but we changed some terminology around to make it easier for our team.
"I just want us to be healthy, with the low numbers we need to stay away from a lot of hitting, and you know just have the guys ready to play on the 23rd."
"We all understand that we need to keep working hard and we need to get ready for that game," added Jenkins. "We're just hoping that everyone will understand their roles on the team, and we'll be ready by that day."