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Football, fall sports team practices, try-outs under way

Halifax County High School fall sports teams opened pre-season practice and try-outs Monday, with all noting good starts.

The three Halifax County High School football teams practiced together Monday and Comets Head Coach Dave Wojtecki said everybody that he expected to see on the field was on hand for the first day’s workouts.

“Everybody that we expected to see was here,” Wojtecki said.

“We have a couple of guys that are still out with baseball. We knew about that. We’re waiting for them to get back, hopefully with a national championship. They will be here when they get back into town.”

Wojtecki said that on an overall basis, the first day went well.

“The guys already know a lot of the drills that we do,” the coach explained.

“Guys that have been here and have played here in the past know a lot of what we expect from them and they’re doing a good job helping the younger guys.”

As far as progress is concerned, Wojtecki said the team accomplished several things on opening day.

“I thought we had a pretty good offensive period,” the Comets coach said.

“The defense did a pretty good job during its periods. We were pretty pleased. We had to iron out some issues early, but I know we won’t have a problem after this.”

As far as getting into the team’s playbook was concerned, Wojtecki said progress was made in that area.

“We will move on in the playbook offensively and start installing the rest of the offense,” he noted.

“We got the majority of our runs and some of our passes in. Defensively, we’re trying to get our coverages and fronts in. We will move on with that and try to get better every day.”

The biggest area of progress was seen in the mental aspects, Wojtecki pointed out.

“I think we made progress mentally,” he pointed out.

“Physically, I thought we were a little sloppy, but mentally, I thought we did a lot better. Anytime you put a helmet or equipment on for the first time it gets a little sloppy. They were more worried about how tired they are than they are pushing through some things.”

The football teams had to work out in the tough late-afternoon heat Monday. Wojtecki said there were no problems among the players in terms of their ability in dealing with the heat.

“The heat isn’t too bad of an issue,” Wojtecki said.

“We keep the guys watered and well-hydrated. We do our part here. When they leave here, it’s their turn to do their job.  When they go home they need to do their part as far as eating the right things and drinking water and keeping fluids in them.

“It’s important that they do what they need to do at home,” added Wojtecki.

“It can really affect your performance every day if you don’t do the things you need to do.”

The ninth-grade, junior varsity and varsity teams are participating in one practice session a day through today, with two-a-day sessions slated for Thursday and Friday.

Players will don only helmets through today, and will work out in helmets and shoulder pads Thursday and Friday. The players will work in full pads for the first time this coming Monday.

Comets Golf

Halifax County High School Golf Coach David Graham said approximately 20 players were on hand when the team’s first practice was held Monday at 8 a.m. at Green’s Folly Golf Course.

“Everybody that I expected to see was here,” Graham pointed out.

“We had a good turnout. I’ve got one or two players that are out of town with their parents on vacation, but I was aware of that.”

Graham is optimistic about the upcoming season, which opens with the team competing in the annual Heritage High School Invitational Tournament this coming Monday.

“We should be very competitive this year,” Graham pointed out.

“We have two seniors on the team that have played together for the last four years. We have a couple of kids that can shoot in the low to mid 70’s and four or five more that can shoot in the middle to low 80’s. All we need to do is to be able to have four kids that can shoot an average of around 80 in the matches. If the kids will work hard, we should be able to be contenders in the district.”

Cross Country

Halifax County High School cross country coach Brady Taylor said he a good number of runners reported for the opening session of cross country drills.

“We had 20 runners show up for the first day of practice, and we should have eight or 10 more coming,” Taylor said.

“That’s the largest first-day attendance we’ve had in years. Coach Riddle (Coach David Riddle) and I are really encouraged by both the numbers and the condition of our runners. They showed up in good shape for the most part, and were eager to get started.

“It looks like we’ll have a good mix of youth and experience this season,” Taylor added, “and hopefully we can build on that.”

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