Photo by Lori Poteet<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Josh Thompson was a happy man on his first day in charge of North.
Photo by Lori Poteet

Josh Thompson was a happy man on his first day in charge of North.
Oh!!! It's so good to see the fall teams out and working hard for the new season. Fall sports are back! Practices officially began yesterday and athletes all over the county were out there with lots of enthusiasm getting ready for the new year or sport.

The first day of practice, sometime coaches go in with a solid plan and then have to wing it a bit as they get last minute physicals coming in and other factors that come into play on the first day.

North football got off schedule a bit as they took longer to check helmets and make sure they are all fitted properly. Football coaches have had to go through training this year to hopefully know ways of preventing concussions as well as they possibly can. Helmet safety is a huge priority this season. Helmets have been tested and rated this season as part of an ISHAA mandate. However they must also fit properly to work right.

Speaking of North football. They started a new era of leadership as Josh Thompson led his first practice as head coach. I must say, I have known Thompson for 12 years now and I personally have never seen him look happier.

There is something about the first day of practice. Everyone has high hopes at this point, the athletes know at the varsity level they are competing for positions and trying to prove themselves. The energy level is as high as the excitement level. Even though it's hot and they are pushing themselves to get better, they want to stand out and get the coaches to notice them.

Of course, since the athletes know me and know why I'm out at practice you might get a ham or two posing for the camera during a break.

At Southmont, Coach Desson Hannum is going into his eighth season as the Mountie head coach. His practices are like a well-oiled machine. Precise and on a tight time schedule. Kids look relieved when coach yells take a water break...Even if it only last about 30 seconds before the next drill begins sometimes.

I'm always impressed when I watch Hannum's teams practice. Looks like numbers are higher this year with more young players ready to work for varsity spots this season. You gotta love when they are about to run sprints that the team starts whooping and hollering and cheering on the fact that they will get better by sprints. At South they call their sprints "gassers." Each time before Hannum blew the whistle he asked who will win this sprint. A player would raise his hand and make every effort to be the first across the line. As other players pushed to try to be first as well.

I was glad to see one of my all-time favorite players out as an assistant coach for South. Pat Myers will bring a whole new level of excitement to the Mounties. He was, without a doubt, one of the hardest working players I have ever taken photos of, I'm sure he will bring that same work ethic into coaching as well.

I will be trying to get around to all the fall sports at some point in time this week to grab some photos and see how the teams are shaping up. While at North yesterday, I saw North volleyball had an interesting way to start practice. They did a scavenger hunt to find the keys to a successful season. They were split up into groups and given the clues. Which were scattered all over the North campus outside. They were then to run from clue to clue and gather the keys to success. A clever way for Coach Jodi Webster and staff to get in a lot of running while gathering keys. From the volleyball court all the way over to the soccer fields is a pretty good little jog. I mean I drove over there, but seems like it would be a good jog.