Warriors get started on the gridiron

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 8, 2005

Nothing in the sports world goes along with autumn more so than football.

&uot;Friday Night Lights,&uot; marching bands, tailgating, pleasant fall afternoons or evenings! Maybe even coats, seeing your breath, and snow late in the season! All that stuff goes with football right?

Well maybe so, but not Friday, not in the first week of August, and not at Nansemond River’s first football practice of the new season.

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With temperatures in the mid-afternoon on Friday in the low 90s and the usual dose of Tidewater humidity thrown in, the Warriors took to their practice field between the football stadium and the softball outfield.

No lights, no bands, no cheerleaders; only the rationed water breaks between 2 and 4 p.m.

Offensive linemen are the big guys doing all the hard work, the blocking, the grinding, the trench work, right? Well, that was not quite the case either.

While the big guys by no means slacked off on their hard work, wide receivers were practicing blocking, scraping, and stopping defensive backs for 15 to 20 minutes.

Practice wrapped up with two strings of the offense running plays.

But first, the 11 players had to huddle up.

Huddles seem easy, but, &uot;I don’t care if we run a play the entire rest of the day,&uot; said head coach Brian Maus. &uot;We will get the huddle right.&uot;

Everyone in the right spot in the huddle, everyone breaking from the huddle together, and everyone looking like a team doing it, all that is getting &uot;the huddle right.&uot;

&uot;It’s hard work, we got to put a big effort into it,&uot; said Nathan Rodgers after practice. &uot;But that is what we need to get better, is hard work.&uot;

&uot;With teammates behind you, pushing you, that helps us,&uot; said Brian Pisani, a senior offensive lineman, &uot;it’s a team out here, and you’re only as strong as your weakest link.&uot;

The toughest part of practice, other than the searing heat of course, were &uot;the stations they got us going through.&uot;

There were eight stations that the players rotate through with about five minutes per station.

&uot;It’s really intense.&uot; Rodgers said, &uot;and there’s no time to rest.&uot;

Pisani agreed about the dreaded stations.

When asked about the start of the season, when everyone sees the result of August, Pisani said, &uot;That makes my blood boil.

I just can’t wait to make someone feel it.&uot;

And with that, Pisani went back in the locker room to get some liquids, a lot of shade, and about 90 minutes worth of rest.

Oh yeah, forgot to say, these are two-a-days, next practice at six.