Although this was head coach Bob Campbell's first practice in four years, it wasn't his first day of work with the program since the January announcement that he would return to the sidelines.
"Even though it's the first day of practice, we as a coaching staff have been working for quite a while," Campbell said. "We spent all of last week meeting and working at the stadium. For us, it's kind of like we've had the season started for a while. But it's exciting to get back out here on the first day of practice."
The team first gathered at 6:30 a.m. Monday morning and had another practice at about 3:30 p.m. The team got a break when temperatures peaked at only around 90 degrees during the day rather than the 100- to 105-degree readings reported last week.
But 90-degree heat is still heat and the necessary precautions still need to be taken. Players were urged to hydrate before, during and after practice.
"We talked to the players about being hydrated properly when they get here," Campbell said. "Not just drinking a lot of water while they're here but being hydrated when they get here. If you can do that, sometimes you can stay ahead of (dehydration."
There were 44 players who reported on the varsity and junior varsity levels Monday with 23 freshmen also present. The Tigers will practice twice again today but will cut down to once a day after school when the academic year begins Wednesday.
Campbell said that the team worked on special teams and defense in the morning session, then went over special teams and offense in the afternoon.
"We were able to get in some of our running plays and throwing the ball a little bit," Campbell said. "What you would consider at least the initial steps of your offense, kind of getting those in and polished up."
The lawnchair scrimmage will be held at the practice field Saturday morning. The freshmen will scrimmage at 8 a.m. with the varsity taking the field about 9 a.m.
The annual Red & White Scrimmage will be held at Frary Field Aug. 27 at 6 p.m. The first game of the season is Sept. 3 at Labette County with the first home game the following week against Coffeyville, which is back on the schedule after a two-year absence.