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It’s finally here: fall football drills
Posted Aug 6, 2012 by Bill Ward
Updated Aug 6, 2012 at 03:30 PM
After three months of summer football “conditioning” (nod-nod, wink, wink) and enough 7-on-7 football to make The Bachelorette seem watchable, fall football drills finally began in Hillsborough County and across the state Monday.
Yes, more thrilling Olympic field hockey remains to be watched and the Republican National Convention has yet to make it impossible to reach the Taco Bus in downtown Tampa, but for now, we have real, honest-to-goodness prep football to focus on.
All of the county’s 32 football-playing squads will get to break a sweat in helmets and shorts today. Come Thursday, they can put on the pads and start popping one another. Under new rules approved by the Florida High School Athletics Association in June, practices will be limited this week. Teams can’t hold their usual two-a-day sessions and even though they can have them next week, teams that hold a two-a-day schedule one day can only have one practice the following day.
The FHSAAA also took measures to ensure athletes are being hydrated. It’s all being done to prevent heat strokes, the leading cause of preventable death in high school athletes.
At Tampa Catholic this morning, coach Bob Henriquez said the new rules might actually work to the Crusaders’ benefit. He says TC starts classes next Tuesday and that will limit his squad to one-a-day practices while his public school opponents will normally be able to hold two-a-days all week. Under the new rules, when schools hold two-a-days, they must follow them with a day of a single practice.
As the season heads toward Kickoff Classic games Aug. 24 and RNC-bumped season openers Sept. 1, more than a few compelling story lines are already here. Can Plant repeat? How will Armwood respond to its recent punishment from the FHSAA? Can TC get back to the playoffs without quarterback Chivarsky Corbett, who has decided to focus on basketball? Who is going to win a district that contains traditionally strong teams from Jesuit, Robinson, Spoto and Lakewood?
Meanwhile, seven new coaches take the helm of football programs in Hillsborough County—Blake, Brandon, Chamberlain, Freedom, Lennard, Riverview and Strawberry Crest.
Photo: Tampa Catholic had a new but yet familiar face under center Monday when Kyle Ploucher, who played his freshman season at TC but played last year at Plant, returned to the Crusaders program for his junior season. Photo by Bill Ward/The Tampa Tribune.