Helmets on as high school football practices begin

Football players closed the opening day of official practices at Central Catholic High School in preparation of the Aug. 24 season opener. (Greg Halbleib/WJBC)

By Greg Halbleib

BLOOMINGTON – With less than three weeks until the first game whistle blows, high school football programs have begun preparing for the upcoming season.

Monday marked the first day of practice for all high school sports seasons. At Normal Community High School, former assistant coach Jason Drengwitz was pleased with his first day of official practice as the new Ironmen head coach.

“Number one in what we’re trying to establish is who’s ready to go and see who’s in shape,” Drengwitz said. “We’re also going to do a little bit of conditioning to try to start to develop some mental toughness to be able to play when you’re tired.”

At Central Catholic, Joe Walters held his first practice with the Saints just two weeks after taking over the program. Walters admits there’s some catching up to do, but will attack the short preparation time in a basic way.

“When I was younger, all my mentor coaches said to keep it simple and never try to do too much. That’s when coaches get into trouble,” Walters said at the conclusion of the opening day’s second session. “Stay focused on the fundamentals and very few plays, executed well. We’ve got no choice this year, so that’s what we’re going to be doing and we’ll see if they were right.”

The WJBC Friday Night High School Football Extravaganza returns with complete coverage beginning with the season openers on August 24.

Greg Halbleib can be reached at greg@wjbc.com. 



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