October-like temperatures in the upper 70s greeted athletes on the first day of fall sports practices allowed under Kansas State High School Activities Association rules.
"The big concern all summer was the extreme heat, 100-degree days," Fort Scott head coach Bob Campbell said. "To come out today -- it's cooler than it is sometimes in October -- it was awesome. The kids had a little more bounce in their step. So it was really nice."
Despite the multiple 100-degree days earlier in the summer, the efforts of USD 234 staff and donations from the Quarterback Club allowed the practice field to be in good shape when practice began.
"Big thanks goes to Gary Bolden, Joe Clary, Gary Cook and John O'Dell and basically all those maintenance guys who worked to much on it this summer," Campbell said. "We're over here four times as often as on the game field, so it's great to have good turf over here, It's been good on their kids and their ankles and knees.
The Tigers focused on offensive drills in a morning practice and on defense during the evening. Since school begins later this year than it has in the past few seasons (Aug. 21) Campbell and his staff will be able to conduct more two-a-day sessions. Once school begins, practices are reduced to one a day and there have been seasons when the team had to drop to one-a-days before they even got to a point where regulations allow them to begin wearing pads.
Campbell said 70 players reported to practice, only 20 of whom are freshmen.
Saturday morning FSHS will hold its annual lawn-chair scrimmage on the practice field. The freshmen will begin things at 8 a.m. with the varsity and junior varsity to follow at 9 a.m.
The Red & White Scrimmage will be held Aug. 24 at 6 p.m. at Frary Field. The freshmen will go first with the varsity/JV to follow.
The season begins Aug. 31 against Parsons at Frary Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. The freshman and JV teams begin their seasons the following Monday at Parsons.