ROANOKE and DALEVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — With less than 30 days until the Friday night lights come back on across Virginia, several programs aren’t wasting anytime preparing for the season.
“Really anxious,” Lord Botetourt senior Justin Young said. “Ever since we lost that game, we’ve been wanting to get back on the field.”
Young, a offensive guard, is like many football players at the start of August: eager and energized for practice.
For Lord Botetourt, the Cavaliers have waited for this day since losing in the state semifinals last season.
“It’s always nice to get back. Confident going into the year. Getting ready. Getting back into the swing of things,” Lord Botetourt senior wide receiver Peyton Haston said. “Everybody is happy and excited about the start of the season.”
LB’s motto this season is “DOMINATE”, a word spread across the players’ chests in practice as a constant reminder of their goal.
“Just to go out there and dominate every moment,” Haston said. “I’ve heard that from a lot of coaches. I feel like that carries over onto every aspect of every sport.”
Ten of the Cavaliers’ eleven victories last season were by double-digits.
“I think dominate is pretty much what LB football is,” Young said. “We’re a smash-mouth football team. Just describes who we are.”
Although Thursday marked Day 1 of practice, many schools have already had a head start in preparing for the season. At William Fleming, the Colonels are experiencing the benefits of the 7-on-7 work done during the summer.
“We can go a lot faster. A lot of our offense has been installed over the summer. A lot of guys that are getting these first team reps have been getting a lot of reps all summer,” Fleming head coach Jamar Lovelace said. “Our progression is a little bit faster. We’re learning a lot faster. And we’re doing things a lot better.”
For a team that had only one win last season, Fleming isn’t wasting a single second. Lovelace, entering his second year as head coach, looks for leaders to emerge during camp.
“We talk about winning every day. And we really mean that. We want to make sure we come out every day as if we’re keeping score and we want to win every single day,” Lovelace said. “We’re trying to train our guys how to compete and I think taking a day by day approach is the best way to do it.”
One day down and a day closer to kickoff on August 30th.