With the first week of fall football practice almost in the books, area high school teams begin to look forward to contact in full pads.
"The first week was a lot of one-to-one work on conditioning and techniques," said Ida Baker coach Brian Conn. "Things are going real well, we are adjusting to the new rules. Monday will be our first day in full pads."
That's when attention turns to team functions, 11-on-11, at practice sessions leading up to the preseason scrimmages in just two weeks, on Aug. 21-22 in Lee County. The first regular season games loom large the following Friday, Aug. 29.
Mariner senior Josh Eugene runs the football during preseason practice Thursday. The Tritons are getting ready for their preseason scrimmage on Aug. 22 on the road at South Fort Myers. More photos are available online at: cu.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com.
Teams have been setting practice sessions in the morning or afternoon at the discretion of the coaches while also accounting for teaching duties before regular classes begin on Aug. 18. Almost daily rainshowers have forced teams indoors for all or part of their workouts.
"We lost a lot from last year, but we're bring back Sage (Atwood) at quarterback," said Conn. "I think we will be in the hunt for the playoffs again."
The Bulldogs host Oxbridge Academy at 7 p.m. on Aug. 22 for their preseason scrimmage. Their regular season debut once again will be a strong test against Island Coast on Aug. 29.
Other preseason scrimmages slated for Aug. 22 include Cape Coral at Riverdale (7 p.m.); East Lee County at Island Coast (7:30 p.m.); Mariner at South Fort Myers (7 p.m.); Solid Rock at Oasis (7 p.m.); and Bishop Verot is at North Broward Prep (7 p.m.) on Aug. 21.