Western Albemarle opened preseason camp Thursday as king of the mountain in the Jefferson District.
The Warriors won the title in coach Ed Redmond's first season on the job and hit the practice field to get a jump on defending their title.
"Well I think it's exciting anywhere you go for high school football, it's the first day of camp," Redmond said. "I think anybody that's involved in the game is excited. We're certainly equally excited to get going, to get back. It seemed like it was a very fast offseason."
The Warriors return two big pieces from last year's team in senior quarterback Kent Henry and wide receiver/defensive back Nic Drapanas, both first-team All-JD selections.
"It was fun to get out here and see some new faces," Henry said. "We're all a little bit rusty but we have about two weeks to work that off before the first scrimmage so it was a good time, everybody put in good work and can't wait to get back here tomorrow."
"It's been a long time coming," Drapanas added. "We've been doing the 7on7's and some of the guys have been going to summer camps for colleges and it's just exciting."
Redmond tempered his expectations for the first official day of practice but was satisfied with the team's effort.
"We had some kids come into camp in great shape and other kids obviously need to work on that. But I thought for the first day our kids practiced at a high speed, high intensity level so overall I was pleased."
Drapanas and Henry are also excited to see their teammates ready to get to work.
"We had those 7on7's and we had like 13-15 people, now it's 60-65 people coming out and it's just exciting to see all the new faces," Drapanas said.
"It really shows how much talent we have on our team," Henry added. "We just have to get it rolling, get the chemistry back we had last year."