Mustangs Boast a Large Turnout
The National Football League’s players weren’t the only players hitting the gridiron for preseason conditioning and practices in the last couple of days.
On Monday, high schools across the state took to the fields for the opening day of football practice, which is allowed by the North Carolina High School Association.
North Moore head football coach Greg Simmons welcomed one of his largest turnouts for opening day in his third season of heading up the Mustangs program.
Simmons had more than 30 players show up for practice Monday morning.
“I was very pleased with the number we had show up for the first day,” said Simmons. “We should have had more seniors show up, but hopefully we’ll get some more numbers out in the next couple of days. I would really like to get to 50 players. That’s a good number to have at the 1-A level.”
The players spent the first part of opening day getting weighed and picking up their helmets and shoulder pads. Then they spent the next part of the three-hour practice going over the new offense being installed and its terminology.
After a 30-minute chalk talk about the offense, the players hit the practice field for conditioning drills. Then the team was broken down to position work, with linemen going over the blocking and tackling sleds while the skill positions ran drills to improve their playmaking skills.
“I’m real excited about the season,” said senior linebacker Kyle Kidd, who is a three-year starter for the Mustangs. “I think we have a good chance to get to the next level and be competitive and win some games. If we get everybody out, I feel we have a chance to be pretty good.”
The players can only wear helmets and shorts the first two days of practice, and then they don their shoulder pads for the next three days of conditioning and hitting dummies. The players can start hitting each other on the sixth day of practice and can start scrimmaging on the eighth day.
North Moore has a preseason scrimmage scheduled Aug. 10 at Eastern Randolph, featuring many of the local Randolph County teams. The starting time has not yet been determined.
Another Mustang senior and three-year starter Landon Auman said, “After being injured much of last year, I’m really looking forward to getting back on the field and playing some football. I think we can start winning some games with the group of seniors we have. We’ve been together for a long time and we’re ready to win.
“I’m really excited about what we can accomplish this year. Coach Simmons has got us going in the right direction.”
The Mustangs will practice from 9 a.m. until noon for the rest of the week and then vote Friday if they want to practice in the mornings or in the evenings the following week.
“It’s the first day and I love it,” said Simmons. “Getting out here and getting started. The kids are working hard and we’ve got some things to learn with our new offense being installed. We want to get better each day and become a better football team.”
After the Mustangs participate in their preseason scrimmage at Eastern Randolph, they will start preparing for their season opener at Union Academy in Monroe Aug. 17.
North Moore’s first four games are on the road, with their second contest at cross-county rival 3-A Union Pines Aug. 24. The Mustangs’ first home contest is also their Yadkin Valley Conference opener, hosting West Montgomery Sept. 7. All the games are scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m.
North Moore’s junior varsity opens its season Aug. 16 when they entertain Union Academy.
The game is slated to start at 6:30 p.m.
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