Preseason football drills in Texas are normally associated with scorching summer heat, but players hitting the practice field in Houston County on Monday were treated to unusually mild temperatures that remained in the high 70s to low 80s.
With seasonal temperatures forecast to return later this week, players and coaches are bracing for the inevitable dog days of summer.
After the mandatory four-days of acclimatization, players will strap on shoulder pads for the first time Friday as the intensity level is turned up a few notches.
Crockett Head Coach Jimmy Thompson said 57 prospects reported for duty Monday, but he's expecting a few more late starters.
"We'll get a lot of teaching and technique work done these first four days of conditioning," said Thompson.
The Bulldogs are picked to finish second in their district, but have to fill some key positions left vacant by graduating seniors.
Two-a-days are held from 8 a.m.-10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. On Tuesday and Thursday evenings, the Bulldogs work in the weight room. An abbreviated workout Saturday starts at 9 a.m.
Two scrimmages are scheduled before the season opener at Trinity on Sept. 1. The Bulldogs will host Elkhart on Aug. 18 and travel to Woodville on Aug. 25 for their final preseason tune-up.
Lovelady Head Coach Jon Lowery welcomed 40 players to the first day of workouts.
"Forty is the number we were shooting for and that's right where we're sitting," Lowery said Monday morning.
"Two years in a row we graduated not only big, but very talented senior classes," said Lowery. "We've got a lot of holes to fill, but we've got a lot of young, eager kids out here and they're ready to step up to the challenge."
The Lions' two preseason outings are scheduled Aug. 18 at Trinity and Aug. 25 at home against Normangee.
Since the Lions have an open date for Week 1, they won't kick off the season until Sept. 8 when they travel to Anderson-Shiro.
Grapeland Head Coach Wayne Mahaffey had 33 players on the practice field Monday morning.
"We're just a few under the number we had the first day last year, and maybe we'll pick up a few in the next day or two," said Mahaffey.
The Sandies are working out from 8 a.m. until noon through Friday and will report Saturday morning at 8 o'clock for a short workout
Both of Grapeland's preseason scrimmages will be home appearances.
Brook Hill School (Bullard) comes to town on Aug. 18 and then Trinity visits Sandie Stadium on Aug. 25.
The Sandies host Kountze for their season opener Sept. 1.