It’s Aug. 6, a day that coaches and players have had circled on their calendar since about mid-December. At long last, it’s time for teams to strap on the pads and begin practicing. Today’s post isn’t necessarily a question, but just a look at the official beginning of the football season.
By now, teams have gone through all of their summer workout and planning sessions. They’ve participated in 7 on 7 passing leagues (my personal favorite part of the summer schedule) and are ready to start hitting. Chances are, at least a few teams have hit the field by the time you’re reading this post.
This first day of practice comes a week earlier than normal because of the decision to move the season up a week. Moving the season up was made necessary by the addition of the regional championship games. Back when the regional games were approved, the North Coast Section was one of the detractors, voting against the addition of the games. Among the reasons, aside from not wanting to play as many of 16 games, was the fear of losing the bye week in the schedule since the NCS playoffs would have to be moved up a week.
NCS commissioner Gil Lemmon, upon the regional games begin approved, immediately said that moving the whole football season up a week would be discussed as a way to maintain the bye week. Obviously, that’s what happened, and that’s why practice kicks off today. And that’s why Wednesday, Aug. 22 is the first day teams are allowed to play games. (I don’t believe we have a Wednesday game on the schedule, but Concord does play Kennedy-Fremont on Thursday, Aug. 23).
So today is the day the coaches and players have been waiting all offseason for. We plan to have a story in tomorrow’s paper about the first day of practice so be sure to keep an eye out for that.