The more the calendar eats up the August days, the more check marks are made to signal that football season is here.
The first of those dates will occur Monday, when teams that didn’t participate in spring practice will begin conditioning training.
The first day of contact, as mandated by the University Interscholastic League, will be Friday.
But for most teams across the state, Monday will be when players and coaches are reunited as they begin the 2013 campaign.
“You get that anticipation and that excitement going,” Ryan coach Joey Florence said. “It’s my favorite day of the year — that, and Christmas and Thanksgiving.”
Lake Dallas, Guyer and Denton will start practice next week, since those District 5-4A schools participated in spring practice.
Florence and the rest of the Raiders will begin practice at 7 a.m., before the draining Texas heat takes its full effect. Ryan will attempt to make the postseason for the 14th straight season.
The head coach with five state championship game appearances said he’s amazed at the condition his kids come back in after the summer, and that he eagerly anticipates the first day of practice.
“I think the first day is always exciting,” Florence said. “Everybody’s on the field and expectations are high. It’s always a fun time. It signals the start of the season.”
At other area schools, coaches are approaching things a little differently.
At Krum and Sanger, practice will start after the stroke of midnight, when the teams are legally allowed to start the pursuit of their aspirations.
Krum and head coach Gary Robinson are attempting to return to the postseason in their second year of UIL district play, while Sanger will begin a trek to erase the memories of a winless season.
Sanger coach Chuck Galbreath said his team is excited, dedicated and ready to have a great season.
“I’ve coached since 1989, and this is the most excited I’ve ever been for football season,” Galbreath said. “We did have a tough season last year, but more importantly, our senior kids and coaches worked really hard starting back in November.”
After the Indians’ midnight practice, the team will reconvene for film study in the afternoon, after which they’ll conclude the first day of the season.
Down in Argyle, the anticipation that’s hovered over the area has been visualized since the spring.
When Argyle was eliminated from the Class 3A baseball playoffs, a clock on the wall of the Eagles’ fieldhouse began counting down the minutes until the first day of football practice.
That’s when Argyle football coach Todd Rodgers will see his team again, and see which kids got stronger, got taller or remained the same. Rodgers said it’s exciting to get all the pieces of his team back together after the summer, and that his team will approach the first day of practice the same as days closer to the first game of the season.
“We try to treat it like a regular football practice,” Rodgers said. “I talk to the kids about how it’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint and each day is its own. You’ve got to get improvement on a day-to-day basis.”
After Monday, the clock in the Argyle fieldhouse will be cleared. When the clock is reset and the numbers start counting down again, it will be ticking off the minutes until the first game of the season.
BEN BABY can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @Ben_Baby.