Panama City Beach, FL---To say the least Monday's a day a lot of young men have been looking ahead to for quite some time. It marks the start of high school football practice across the state and here in our region!
Teams get basically four weeks to prepare for the season ahead, with the first slate of games set for the 29th.
We visited Arnold, the Marlins getting their start Monday morning, from about 8 to 11. The rules state helmets only the first few days, then what they call shells, they add the shoulder pads.
Next week brings full pads and some hitting, along with the option of two a day practices.
Back to Monday, since so many were looking forward to it, you might just call it an August version of Christmas for those involved. Arnold head coach Josh Wright agreed with that analogy.
""It is, it is. I know all the coaches had trouble sleeping. I imagine the players did too. Anxious to get out here, put the helmet on, join the rest of the state of Florida and have the first official day of football practice. So yeah, they were up early to open the presents."
Wright went on to say the first day of fall practice and what ensues, is a bit of an extension of spring and summer ball, which went very well for his Marlins.
"Again we've been at it since June 30th in our summer workout and conditioning. We've been able to showcase kids at the camps. And we went to the FCA camp which is paying huge dividends. Great bonding, great football atmosphere. You know they're coming off a little bit of a break and they're anxious. Anxious to get our here and fly around and continue our inserts and learning the game of football."
Coach Wright says he's looking at around 42 players on the varsity level, and that's a bump of some ten from last year.
Again, Newschannel 7 Sports will be all over the region in the coming weeks, previewing teams from Liberty to Walton Counties and all those in between.