Getting organized and dodging the weather made for an interesting first week of football practice at area high schools.
"The first week went as well as it could," said Ida Baker coach Brian Conn. "We lost some time to the weather, but the kids are motivated and I think we are ahead of the game."
Coaches are dealing with some nuances this season. An earlier dismissal time for high school students means practice can start about 2 p.m.
Ida Baker sophomore Christian Goss, center, runs with the ball surrounded by blockers and defenders during preseason practice Friday afternoon.
"We are able to get more meeting time for films and such before we get on the field," said Conn.
"We're starting at 2 o'clock now, which is good," said Mariner Tritons coach Chris Siner. "We're more likely to get done before the bad weather moves in."
The FHSAA handed down two mandates this year concerning concussions and heat related illnesses. It's more of an educational directive, outlining the signs and symptoms everyone should watch out for in addition to consent forms to be signed by students and parents.
"We're taking good care of that and have plenty of water breaks," said Siner.
In addition to the heat and concussion concerns, the Tritons are busy installing a whole new offensive system.
"We were stuck inside for Day 1, but we got all the equipment out and managed to get a lot done," said Siner.
Siner is evaluating two candidates for starting quarterback, allowing both plenty of action up to and through the preseason game on Aug. 24.
"We will let them both play and make the decision before the first game against Bishop Verot," said Siner.
The first three days were spent in T-shirts and shorts before being able to don full pads on Thursday.
Preseason practices continue for two more weeks leading up to the preseason classics on Aug. 24.
The first regular season games are scheduled for Aug. 31, which is the start of the Labor Day weekend.
Mariner High graduate Tyler Bender recently signed a letter-of-intent with Long Island University.
Out of 90 offers, Bender chose Long Island over Alabama State and Bethune-Cookman. Bender is expecting to pitch and play outfield for the Division 1 LIU Blackbirds.