- Last Updated on 12:22 PM 04/23/12
- BY Joe Chandler
Today marks the official start of practice for Halifax County High School fall sports teams, with many eyes cast toward the start of football season. Halifax County High School Head Varsity Football Coach Dave Wojtecki will have the ninth-grade, junior varsity and varsity teams participating in one practice session a day through Wednesday, with two-a-day sessions slated for Thursday and Friday.
Players will don only helmets for the first three days and will work out in helmets and shoulder pads Thursday and Friday. The players will work in full pads for the first time a week from today.
Wojtecki will be looking at a more experienced squad this season, with 27 seniors and approximately 15 players that saw playing time last season expected to be among the participants when practice begins today.
“The group that we have this year is basically the group that went 8-1 as a jayvee team,” Wojtecki pointed out.
“We’re excited about that.”
Wojtecki is optimistic heading into today’s official start of pre-season practice. The primary reason for that is a good off-season program.
“I feel like our pre-season program went very well with the weight-training,” he remarked.
“I think everybody improved in something. We’re very happy with the speed of our guys. That’s something we’re going to try to take advantage of. I think we will be very fast and will be trouble for opposing teams to handle on both offense and defense.”
Wojtecki said a good number of prospective players participated in the off-season weight program and that he is expecting to see good numbers when players report this afternoon for the opening day of drills.
“I know that we have 66 guys that are eleventh and twelfth-graders that already have lockers,” the Comets coach pointed out.
“Twenty-two freshmen (ninth-graders) have already been here and around 20 to 25 sophomores have been here. We’re pleased with out numbers, but we always love to have more ninth-graders come out for the team so that we will have plenty of numbers for our ninth-grade team.”
While conditioning will be one of the areas of focus when practice starts today, Wojtecki also wants to begin installing his offensive and defensive schemes and working on special teams play.
“We want to be able to get the play book in this week,” Wojtecki said, “and next week start fine-tuning everything and getting ready for our first scrimmage. When we roll into the second week of practice, we want to have the offense installed and want the defense to be almost all of the way in, at least to the point where we can just tweak and make small changes.”
Wojtecki said he will accept new ninth-grade players on up through the second day of school, but that all varsity players and junior varsity players need to come out today.
“We want all of the jayvee players now,” Wojtecki said.
“This year, the jayvees will play Jefferson Forest High School the day the before the varsity plays. They don’t have an extra week to prepare as has been the case in the past. Because of that, the tenth-graders need to be here now.”
Wojtecki noted it is important that as many ninth-graders as possible come in today as well.
“We want all of the ninth-graders to come out now so that we can get them ready,” Wojtecki said.
“Everybody, including ninth-graders, need to be here learning their responsibilities and their roles on the team.”