The Orange Leader
High school football practice cranked up for the first time Monday as players and coaches battled the sultry Southeast Texas heat.
Over at Little Cypress-Mauriceville, the Bears got their first workout of the season going at around 7 p.m. while over at West Orange-Stark, the Mustangs started to work on their conditioning at around 8 a.m.
“There’s no question about it, it’s a awesome part of the year,” said LC-M coach Randy Crouch. “High school football in the state of Texas is like no other. The kids rolled in here with a lot of enthusiasm and you gotta love that.”
“You can tell football season has arrived, not only with the heat but you have everyone arriving and getting ready to go to work,” said Mustang coach Cornel Thompson. “It’s in the early stages still. Some kids look pretty good in shorts and a helmet and some don’t. By Friday, when you start lacing up those pads, you start seeing some separation.”
The Bears separated into different skill sets early on as they worked on their conditioning and they were getting plenty of reps in.
“Conditioning is so key in the early going,” said Crouch. “We’ve got close to 90 in the program, which isn’t bad.”
The Mustangs, as always, hit the track early on for the Mustang Mile and then hit the weight room for an extended workout.
“We’re not in the best of shape but neither are a lot of other folks at this time and date,” said Thompson. “We have a lot of kids that know what it takes and they’ll come around soon, that’s usually the way it works.”
Crouch is eager to watch the improvement of the Bear squad over the next few weeks before things kick off for real.
“We were really pleased about the participation we had over the summer,” said Crouch. “We’ll condition them pretty good this week and then it will be all about the learning process. You never know about high school kids. They take different spurts. You never know who will put on that extra muscle, who will get taller, who will get faster. It will all come together by the time you get through that second scrimmage, at least you hope so.”
Thompson can hardly wait for the Mustangs to put on those pads for the first time Friday.
“Things tend to change when Friday arrives, that’s when you really feel that it’s really here,” said Thompson. “That’s when the juices really start flowing. We have close to 90 kids, which isn’t bad at all. We’ve got a young team with some question marks in spots but they’re eager and ready to soak it all in.”
The Bears will scrimmage against Goose Creek Memorial Aug. 16 at Baytown’s Stallworth Stadium with the freshmen starting at 5 p.m. followed by the JV (6 p.m.) and varsity (7 p.m.)
The Bears will host Orangefield in a scrimmage Aug. 22 with the freshmen starting at 5 p.m. followed by the JV (6 p.m.) and varsity (7 p.m.).
LC-M, which will be seeking its first playoff appearance since 1997, will open their 2013 campaign at home Aug. 30 against West Orange-Stark. The Bears’ first District 20-4A game will be Sept. 27 at home against Livingston.
WO-S will host Nederland in a scrimmage Aug. 16 with the freshmen starting at 5 p.m. followed by the JV (6 p.m.) and the varsity (7 p.m.). The Mustangs will head to Vidor for a scrimmage Aug. 23 with the freshmen starting at 5 p.m. followed by the JV (6 p.m.) and the varsity (7 p.m.).
WO-S will open its season on the road Aug. 30 at LC-M and will start District 21-3A play Sept. 27 at Hamshire-Fannett.
The Vidor Pirates will look to pick up where they left off last year behind long-time head coach Jeff Mathews.
Vidor made the playoffs for the second straight year, finishing 9-2.
The Pirates’ first scrimmage will be at Orangefield Aug. 16 with the freshmen starting at 4 p.m. followed by the JV (5 p.m.) and varsity (6 p.m.). Vidor will host WO-S in a scrimmage Aug. 23 with the freshmen starting at 5 p.m. followed by the JV (6 p.m.) and the varsity (7 p.m.).
The Pirates open up their season Aug. 30 on the road at Santa Fe. They will begin District 20-4A play Sept. 27 on the road at Nederland.
The Bridge City Cardinals will be looking to secure a fifth straight playoff appearance behind the leadership of Coach Cris Stump after going 5-6 in 2012 and making it to the bidistrict round.
Bridge City will visit Lumberton Aug. 16 at 7 p.m. in its first scrimmage and hosts Woodville in its second one Aug. 22 at 7 p.m.
The Cardinals will kickoff their campaign Aug. 30 at home against Newton and will begin District 21-3A play Sept. 27 at home against Buna.
The Orangefield Bobcats will be seeking their first playoff appearance since 2003 as second-year head coach Josh Smalley is ready to lead the Bobcat charges after a 4-6 2012 season.
The Bobcats’ first scrimmage will be Aug. 16 at home against Vidor with the freshmen starting at 4 p.m. followed by the JV (5 p.m.) and varsity (6 p.m.). Orangefield will scrimmage at LC-M Aug. 22 with the freshmen starting at 5 p.m. followed by the JV (6 p.m.) and varsity (7 p.m.).
The Bobcats will open the season Aug. 30 at home against East Chambers and will start District 21-3A play Sept. 27 at Silsbee.