Friday, August 1, 2008

Random thoughts on first day of practice

I am convinced that morning football practices are the way to go.

The earlier the better, too.

Waiting until 6 p.m. rarely means a drop in temperature. Some teams prefer mornings, but others go late for various reasons – tradition, easier for players to get rides if needed, volunteer coaches can arrive from day jobs, or just a coach’s preference.

But it’s much cooler from 7:30 to 9 a.m. than anytime in the afternoon. And you rarely have to worry about thunderstorms in the morning.

Friday’s opening practices didn’t get steamy until the sun had been out in full force about an hour.


The two practices I attended – West Mecklenburg and Waddell – were a contrast in numbers.

West Mecklenburg had about 70 players (varsity and junior varsity) spread through five or six drill locations. Athletics director John Yewcic said it was the largest number in recent years. Might be a good sign for new coach Mark Harman, who takes over after Rocky White left for a coaching job in South Carolina.

Waddell, which has struggled the past few years, had 15 players on the field under new coach Quentin Hines. Several others were waiting to file paperwork to become eligible to practice. A few more might arrive once school opens. But the Raiders will battle depth problems.

Hines didn’t fret about the small roster, and had an enthusiastic quote about “coaching the ones we’ve got.”

The rebuilding process seems to be in good hands.

- Cliff Mehrtens