Football season began in full force for about 100 athletes Monday morning at Athens High School.
The Hornets began workouts at 8 a.m, to combat the Texas heat that we deal with during the summer months.
Second-year head coach Zac Harrell said the players dealt well with the conditioning aspect on the first day of workouts.
“It has been really good,” Harrell said. “We had almost 22 days during the summer workouts with 90-percent of the team being here. Most of these guys have been running and have been in good shape. We have a few guys that we didn't see much who are a little bit behind. Hopefully we can catch them up this week.”
He said of the 100 kids who showed up for opening day, he was a little concerned with his freshmen numbers.
“Everybody was here and our freshman group is a lot lower than it needs to be,” Harrell said. “We need to find those guys, but with the upperclassmen I think we have 75 which is a good number and where we want to be.”
With the first four days of workouts being in shorts and shirts only, Harrell said the Hornets were excited to show up and get to work.
“I think they have been good and these guys have been around us for a year and a half,” Harrell said. “They know what we expect, and with their attitude and their approach they are excited. The first day is always easy because everybody is excited.”
The Hornets coaching staff spent most of the two-hour workout teaching fundamentals and drills before they focus on position battles starting next week.
“To be honest with you on day one when you have just t-shirt and shorts, it is really hard to see who is going to win the position battle,” Harrell said. “A lot of people can look good in just the shorts, but once you put the pads on it is a little bit different. The first day we are trying to teach and getting everyone to understand what they are supposed to do. We will really start evaluating hard once we start to put on the pads.”
Harrell said the main focus of this first week is making sure the athletes are giving 100-percent as they prepare for the first scrimmage Aug. 20 at Canton.
“I want to see guys having fun and really selling out on effort,” Harrell said. “That is something that we are trying to preach and get better at. We are going to play with relentless effort in everything that we do. We are looking for guys to sell out in everything that we do and have fun and energy doing it.”