And so it begins

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Was that a whiff of pigskin in the air?

By Mike Forster

  It won’t be long now, folks.

For all of you who go through the motions of life, keeping things going until you can savor the crack of pads on the gridiron, your long vigil is nearly complete.

The very first step to kicking off the season was in evidence on Monday, as local high schools began to issue equipment to aspiring players.

There was a familiar scene at Liberty High School as young men, both stout and speedy, queued up for helmet fittings.  By week’s end, the Minutemen aspirants will be fully outfitted, ready for the practice labyrinth that lies ahead.

The Minutemen seemed juiced at the prospect of the upcoming season, one in which Liberty will seek to defend the Seminole crown it shared last year (with Brookville and Amherst).

“I’m excited,” said quarterback Josh Martin, as he looked over a crop of helmets.  “(Getting our gear) tells us it’s right around the corner.”

Linebacker Cory Witt seemed to have mixed feelings.  “It’s the last time we’ll do this,” said the senior.  

Witt added that he’s looking forward to seeing how good this team can be, particularly given its dearth of seniors (less than ten).

“Hopefully, the young guys can step up and do the job,” said Witt.

Meanwhile, Jefferson Forest is scheduled to issue all of its players their full complement of equipment on Friday, just ahead of JF Football Night at La Carretta, on Sunday.

Staunton River will soon be in the swing of things.  After hosting its youth football camp this week, the Eagles will receive their gear.  That’ll be a first step as the Rivermen seek to match last year’s 8-4, playoff-laden campaign.

As usual, Liberty and Staunton River will start their double sessions in the mornings.  Jefferson Forest begins its sessions at 3 p.m., running into the evening hours.

Either option has a cool portion.  Both, however, run smack dab into the day’s heat.  That’s just unavoidable.

Per Virginia High School League  guidelines, the following restrictions are in place for  all schools’ football practice sessions: 

Day 1-3: helmets only;

Day 4-5: helmets and shoulder pads 

Day 6 and beyond: full pads.