High School Football Teams Hit the Practice Field
It’s finally time for football in Moore County.
After a long summer, the area’s three high school teams got back to work on the gridiron Saturday morning, the first official day of practice. The start of the new season is always a time of excitement for the players, coaches and fans.
“It’s just awesome,” Pinecrest head coach Chris Metzger said of starting the new season. “It’s great because you’ve got such great kids. They’re what makes it special. Just great kids and being around some awesome coaches, too.”
North Moore, Pinecrest and Union Pines kick off the season Aug. 19, but will participate in scrimmages beforehand. Teams may scrimmage beginning Aug. 9.
According to NCHSAA regulations, players may not wear full gear or have body-to-body contact until the sixth day of practice, which is Friday.
The squads have been practicing either in the morning or in the evening to avoid the summer’s scorching heat.
Though the Mustangs had a tough season in 2010 — their only win coming in the form of a forfeit by West Montgomery — enthusiasm remains high for second-year head coach Greg Simmons’ program.
Simmons said he has had about 30 kids participate in the first couple of practices, but is hoping to add another 15 players. Simmons has been pleased by the effort he’s seen from the kids who have been participating. He’s particularly encouraged by a group of freshmen who have been working out all summer preparing for the season.
“We’ve got some new kids out here that haven’t played before,” he said. “Our baseball coach, coach Reynolds, and our wrestling coach, coach West, and the rest of the staff, they’ve done a great job getting some of their kids out here.”
With a year in Simmons’ system under their belts, the coaching staff has noticed how much quicker the kids are picking things up.
The Mustangs will travel to Eastern Randolph for a jamboree on Aug. 13 — their only scrimmage on the schedule. They open the season at home on Aug. 19 against Union Academy.
Metzger has enjoyed a big turnout for the Pinecrest program this summer. About 110 players have showed up for varsity and jayvee practice, and he expects another 40-60 to come out for freshman ball.
The Patriots are coming off a 7-4 campaign in 2010 that included a 6-0 start and a 1-4 mark in the Southeastern Conference. Metzger said the team lost 34 players to graduation and returns 11 of 22 starters from last year’s team. There will be opportunities for younger players to make an impact.
“Phenomenal,” Metzger said of the first couple of practices. “The kids are doing a great job. Just really excited about their progress.”
Metzger said that the team has been going through the basics, working on the same concepts and trying to get the players to refine them while focusing on the details.
The Patriots will host a four-team jamboree on Aug. 10 against Douglas Byrd, Northwood and Broughton at John Williams Stadium. That is the only scrimmage on the schedule.
The Patriots start the 2011 season with former conference foe Jack Britt on Aug. 19.
Head coach Ryan Riggan said Tuesday that practice has gone well so far over at Union Pines. About 50 kids have come out for the first couple of sessions and he’s expecting to add about another 20 freshmen as it gets closer to the start of school.
The Vikings are coming off a 2-9 campaign in 2010. Only eight starters return from last year’s team, which means there will be a lot of competition for starting jobs.
“We like to approach each year as an opportunity for them to compete to keep the job they had before,” Riggan said. “We also have a couple of kids who have moved in from out of state and they will probably make a big difference for us.”
Like North Moore and Pinecrest, Union Pines has been working on a lot of general drills dealing with footwork and awareness. Riggan said he wants to have all of his kids moving around to build on the conditioning they did over the summer.
The Vikings will scrimmage at 9 a.m. on Aug. 9 at home and will travel to Purnell Swett on Thursday, Aug. 11, at 6 p.m. They will also travel to Asheboro High School on Aug. 13 at 11 a.m.
The Vikes open the season Aug. 19 against Southwestern Randolph.
Contact John Krahnert III at email@example.com.
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