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Good numbers on hand as HCHS officially opens football drills

The litany of off-season spring and summer pre-season conditioning and drills has ended and the real business of football has begun for the Halifax County High School football teams.

Halifax County High School officially kicked off football practice Monday, with a good number of players coming out for all three of the school’s teams.

Head Varsity Football Coach Michael Roark said 56 varsity players were in the fold, with 30 junior varsity players also on the field. Joining those groups were a group of 40 players that came out for spots on the ninth-grade football team.

This week’s practice schedule has the teams working from 3:30 p.m. until 9 p.m., with the work being divided into two practices with a break between them. Monday’s opening session was devoted to dealing with the necessary paperwork and issuing equipment. The second session was tagged for on-field workouts, with that session being cut short by a half an hour as the result of a thunderstorm. 

“I’m happy, it’s finally football season,” Roark said with a huge smile as Monday’s opening session headed toward its conclusion.

“The first day is ugly any way you look at it. We’re working on paperwork, getting out gear, getting the kids here and those types of things. Other than that, it was fine.”

Roark said he was pleased with what he saw from the players on the field. 

“They’re tired,” he pointed out.

“We pushed them hard in a two-mile timed run. It’s something they’re not used to and it got them. That was the whole point of it. They need to understand that we have to play through adversity. Being tired is a part of it. They were tired, but they were still coachable, and that’s huge.”

Roark said most of the work he had planned for the players Monday was completed before the thunderstorm forced them off of the field.

“We got in over an hour and a half of practice, so we only had 30 minutes that we didn’t get in,” he pointed out.

“We wanted to work on special teams and finish the tackling circuit we were working on, but we didn’t get those two things in. We’ll finish those things tomorrow.”

The bottom line for the day, Roark said, is that it was a good opening day.

“These are good kids, and they’re happy and excited,” he noted.

“If you see kids excited on the first day of practice and they’re still excited after we have just run their butts off, that’s a good thing.”

Players will practice in helmets only through today. On Thursday and Friday, players will don helmets and shoulder pads. The first practice in full gear will come Saturday morning.

The Comets football team will get its first taste of live action on August 10 when it has its first pre-season scrimmage. On Friday, August 17, the Comets will host Buckingham in a VHSL Benefit Game at 7 p.m. at Tuck Dillard Stadium.

Halifax County High School will play its first game of the season here on Friday night, August 24, at 7 p.m. against Jefferson Forest High School.


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