WAKEFIELD – The time has come for Rhode Island high school football teams to begin their annual journey towards a Super Bowl championship as Monday marked day one of fall interscholastic sports practices.
At South Kingstown High School, the Rebels did not let the chaos and excitement of being back distract from getting right to work as they took to the field for the first time with just three weeks until their season opening injury fund contest.
“A hectic day one,” said South Kingstown coach Eric Anderson. “We had some different things going in the summer. We went up to a camp or two. Some of the other guys did some other camps. We worked together on certain days, which you can do, had some conditioning sessions, so we’ve been together through the summer working hard.
“Today is obviously more intense. The summer is more lax and guys go on vacations and stuff. This is for real now.”
With many participating in the team’s offseason activities, there was not too much rust to be knocked off for the Rebels when they returned to the practice fields behind South Kingstown High School for their first official practice just after dawn on Monday morning.
Not needing to waste too much time getting his players’ legs back and not having too much time to waste with a shortened preseason this fall with new heat acclimation sanctions on practices times and lengths, Anderson and the Rebels went straight to their more technical work on the field.
“We’re full bore,” Anderson said. “Yes there’s some conditioning, but there’s some learning going on. Guys with their plays and executing those, learning basic terminology for some things we want to do offensively, defensively.
“…We had a pretty good script for today, so it went well. It’s exciting, you talk and work so hard for what you want to do on that first day and I thought today went pretty smoothly.”
The first week of practices will be intense as the 2013 Rebels squad begins to take shape, but Anderson knows to a certain degree he will need to ease his players back into the routine of playing football, not wanting to overwhelm them before everyone can get back up to speed and implement too much of the team’s game plan before they are ready.
“We stay basic,” Anderson said of the first part of the preseason. “In order to build a house you need a solid foundation. That’s what we’re working on now. Just base offense, base defense, getting those things down and then we adjust throughout the week seeing what else we want to put in based on what personal we have.”
Day one is in the books, but the journey is a long one between now and the Rebel’s annual Thanksgiving contest with rival North Kingstown. South, however, is already wasting no time in laying the strong foundation Anderson and his staff hopes for as they look to improve on last year’s 1-11 (0-8 Division I) season.