Football practices began Monday for Mathews High School football, as the squad hopes to recapture some of the magic that led the varsity Blue Devils to a 10-2 record last year.
Head coach Paul White has about 65 players who have come out for the varsity and jayvee programs this year, following a good summer with a strong off-season conditioning program.
"Yesterday was the first day and the kids showed up with a lot of energy," White said on Tuesday. "So far, so good."
White will be hard pressed to find players who can step up and fill the shoes of last year’s seniors. The 2011 team was senior laden, with eight earning all-district and/or all-region honors—Deon Blake, Trent Mason, Willie Moore, James Pavik, Chris Davis, Lorenzo Wright, Detray Washington and Tyler Tillman.
The Devils will begin practicing with shoulder pads today, and will go to full gear on Saturday. Just six days later, Mathews will have its first test in a pre-season scrimmage against AA Jamestown. The Eagles will visit Mathews next Friday, Aug. 17, for a 6:30 p.m. varsity/jayvee scrimmage. The following Friday, Aug. 24, Mathews will scrimmage Charles City in a varsity-only event.