Practice kicks into high gear
Football season is officially underway.
After weeks of voluntary mini-camps throughout the summer, area football teams opened official practice Thursday, including two High Point teams — High Point Central and T.W. Andrews. (Southwest Guilford and High Point Christian will be featured Saturday.)
According to the NCHSAA rules, the first five days of practice are for physical conditioning. The first two days are with helmets, jerseys and shorts; the next three, shoulder pads are added but no contact; and after that, full pads and full uniforms and contact are allowed.
“For us, the day’s about going back and reviewing some of the things,” Bison coach Wayne Jones said, “and we’re going to start working on special teams, which we haven’t had a chance to work on this summer. We’ve been working on our scheme, offensively and defensively, and getting in shape.
“So, today we’ll just continue practicing our scheme and start practicing our special teams. So far, we’ve got pretty good numbers. We’ve got a lot of players back from last year. The kids have been working hard, getting themselves in shape.”
Both teams, which have been two of the area’s better programs both traditionally and in recent years, have drawn pretty good numbers. Jones said the Bison had about 83 players (40 varsity, 37 JV), while the Red Raiders had about 85 players (60 varsity, 25 JV).
So, while they’ve put in good work over the summer, conditioning and working on the fundamentals of their systems, now is the time for them to buckle down.
“We’ve got some work to do,” Andrews coach Rodney McKoy said with a smile. “We’ve got some experience coming back, which is good. We feel like we’ve got a pretty good group. This team can determine its own fate, and we’ve got to continue to get better every day we’re out here.
“I think that’s huge. The kids have bought in to working hard and doing all the right stuff. We just have to be consistent. That’s the biggest thing. We have to be consistent on a regular basis and I think we’ll do OK.”
High Point Central went 9-3 overall last year, including 5-1 in the Piedmont Triad 4A Conference, and lost in the first round of the state playoffs. Andrews went 11-2 overall, including 5-0 in the PAC-6 2A, and fell in the third round of the state playoffs.
The archrivals once again open the season against each other on Aug. 23 at A.J. Simeon Stadium. The Bison won 17-6 last year.