Area football teams hit the field on Monday in preparation for the new season. Locally, New Albany and Union County both opened two-a-day practices, each with high hopes for 2011.
For the Bulldogs, it is all about building on their accomplishments from 2010. After losing 22 seniors, there are several new faces on both sides of the ball, but they are not listening to the outside distractions and are focusing on putting together another successful season.
“We’ve had some discouragement with people saying we can’t live up to last year’s team, but the seniors, we want to make everyone remember our team as well,” Josh Creekmore said.
“Reloaded is what our slogan is.”
“Everyone says it’s a rebuilding year, but we’re looking forward to not dropping our expectations from what they were last year,” Riley Alef added. “Nothing against last year, but hopefully we can make this one just as much of a season to remember as last year.”
Creekmore and Alef talked about the overall excitement of being back on the practice field, especially since both missed spring drills playing baseball.
“It’s hot, but it’s exciting,” Alef said. “It was a long baseball season, and it’s really good to get back out here and see what we can do.”
Union County also opened practice on Monday with roughly 40 participants from the four county schools. For Broderick Montgomery, the wait is over, as the team prepares for their first full varsity season.
“I’ve been anxious and waiting for this for so long. I’ve been excited about the varsity season since last year because the two games we played last year really weren’t long enough for me,” he said. “Coming out here, starting back, feels good because I’ve been out of shape. I’m just ready.”
Returning at quarterback, D.J. Armstrong has high hopes for what the team can accomplish this season.
“It’s been good to be back out here with the team and practicing. It’s been a good day for us to be out here as a team,” he said.
“We’re going to be better than what we were last year. It’s been great working with others from around the county and getting to know them as well.”
“We have great expectations,” Montgomery added. “Coach Duley told us that the teams we have on the list, we can win every one. If we don’t, it’s because we haven’t worked hard enough.”
Both teams will continue two-a-day workouts this week, and New Albany will take part in a scrimmage at Kossuth on August 12. The Bulldogs will open the 2011 season at Ripley on August 18 and Union County will follow with their opener at Hatley on August 19.