Football season one step closer with teams reporting to practice

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 2, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; Football season is here again.

Monday marked the first day of practice for most area teams. and for the coaches and players the start of football season couldn&8217;t have come soon enough.

At Cathedral High School coach Ken Beesley Sr. enters his 18th year as head coach of the Green Wave, but for him the start of this season is no different than any other in years past.

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&8220;Well it&8217;s always the same. The first days we&8217;re trying to find out who we have coming back and see what kind of physical shape everyone is in.&8221;

For Cathedral&8217;s offensive coordinator Bert Smith the real work didn&8217;t begin yesterday.

&8220;I have been up until 2 a.m. practically every night for the past week,&8221; Smith said. &8220;I&8217;m trying to figure out who is going to start where and like the Marines I need to find a few good men.&8221;

For the Cathedral players that process started Monday afternoon, as 35 players gathered to put on helmets and shoulder pads for the first time since last fall.

At Natchez High School things are no different for coach Lance Reed and the rest of the staff. They, too, are eager to see which players are returning for the fall.

For Reed and company the first day of practice is all about teaching.

&8220;The most important thing is intensity from a standpoint of teaching the kids how to practice,&8221; Reed said. &8220;There is a lot to be learned by these players and we have to get them moving from station to station. If they&8217;re not executing we&8217;re going to get on them.&8221;

Running back Andre&8217; Hayward of Natchez High School said he could not wait for the season to get started.

&8220;I&8217;m tired but excited. We&8217;ve been through a grueling summer program here with all the lifting and conditioning,&8221; Hayward said. &8220;I&8217;m ready to see it all pay off and I&8217;m ready for the season.&8221;

Cathedral quarterback Patrick McDonough can certainly relate to that feeling. He and many other players for Cathedral have also been working out all summer to get ready for the season.

&8220;I&8217;m excited for the new year,&8221; McDonough said. &8220;Everybody came up this summer, and got in shape. We feel like we have a good chance to make a good run this season.&8221;