It was hot on Wednesday, but not hot enough to cool the excitement of the start of fall practices for high school football.
“I’m pretty excited, ready for the new year” Battle Ground senior Munro Smith said. “I think we’ve got a good squad out this year so I’m pretty excited.”
Hudson’s Bay got its first practice of the season started near the peak of the afternoon heat, starting off at 2:30 p.m. as temperatures rose into the mid-90s.
“It’s actually not too bad,” Bay coach Mark Oliverio said. “We really wanted to get the kids in the mode of practicing in the afternoon. It’s warm, but there is a breeze blowing.”
Coaches at practice at Bay, Heritage and Battle Ground made sure their players got frequent water breaks as they work themselves into playing shape.
The heat wasn’t going to stop Bay senior quarterback Dean Castillo.
“I’ve been looking forward to getting started,” Castillo said. “I feel like with this group we have a lot of potential here, and I’m just ready to get this show on the road. I mean, it’s hot, but I think we can get through this. So far it’s a good practice.”
High school football teams in Washington get a little more than two weeks of practices before the season gets started on the weekend of Sept. 1-3. Hudson’s Bay will open against Heritage on Sept. 2.
Battle Ground hit the field at District Stadium later in the afternoon when a layer of clouds rolled to block the sun and lower the temps to more tolerable levels.
“It cooled off enough, so it’s not so bad,” Smith said about Wednesday’s warm temperatures. “I just can’t wait to get the pads on.”
Battle Ground welcomed in new head coach Mike Woodward, who returned to his alma mater after coaching five seasons at Woodland. The Tigers will be aiming for their first win since 2019 when they host Mark Morris on Sept. 2.
“Just kicking butt, really,” Smith said when asked what he was most looking forward to this season. “And winning some games finally.”