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Home News-Telegram Sports Wildcat Football Begins -- Sulphur Springs giddy’ first day of practice

Wildcat Football Begins -- Sulphur Springs giddy’ first day of practice

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A pleasant wind whistled across the James Cameron Sports Complex as the defending state champion Sulphur Springs Wildcats took to the gridiron for the first time in 2009.

By the time the Wildcats had ended the first of two morning practices, the sun had climbed a little more into the Monday sky, but still 87 degrees is like a winter day compared to what it could be in early August.

“Some folks already say I have made a deal with somebody. I walk out, the sun comes out,” said Sulphur Springs head football coach Greg Owens with his tongue firmly in his cheek.

Owens said, “Yeah, the kids were pretty giddy just to get out here today and get after it. They’ll be sore in two or three days. The weather is great, the cool front that brought in the rain left the cool wind. Everybody is excited the first day of football. It’s good to be back out here with the guys and see their excitement.”

The first day of football practice was perhaps more uplifting than in other years. The numbers were up and the fields full of players all dreaming about what could happen if they put it all together- like last year.

“I can’t do anything about the fans  want  this year after what we did last year. We still talk about last year, we still think about last year, sure. But this is a new year and it’s a new team,” Owens said.

Owens said he saw LeMarcus Kendricks do something in practice which displayed his leadership.

“LeMarcus was through with the ‘gassers,’ but he ran it with the guys anyway,” Owens said. “That’s great, that shows leadership. He was encouraging them and talking about going to get another (state championship) ring. These guys have been there and done it and know what it’s like.”

Players ended the first practice with “gasser” sprints designed to determine which players were in shape and which ones needed more conditioning work.

“We do the ‘gassers’ not as punishment, but to see who’s in shape,” Owens said. “We want people on the field in condition who can help us. The better shape you are in, the less likely you are to get injured. It’s tough, but it’s a good thing, they run them until they get into shape.”

The first practice was more like a Football 101 class or maybe orientation.

“They get used to being around things and our pace. Things like wearing a helmet, the ones who were in 7-on-7 got used to competing without one and don’t like to put it on,” Owens said. “It feels weird to them. They’re getting back into the right frame of mind and then we put pads on Friday.”

Scrimmages are coming up soon for the Wildcats.

Sulphur Springs scrimmage Henderson here Aug. 15 and then host Terrell on Aug. 21 for another scrimmage.

“We have to replace Kalon Alexander, a running back who moved to Denton, we had him penciled in to be the starting running back,” Owens said. “But we will have to more some people around and see how that works out. We got to stay healthy, we did not have major injuries. We have to be prepared to step in when a player goes down.”

 

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