Today first day of official practice for MCHS fall sports teams |

Today first day of official practice for MCHS fall sports teams

Nate Waggenspack

Football players run drills at team camp earlier this summer. Players will be able to put helmets and pads back on this week for the first time since June, as practices for fall season sports at MCHS got under way today.

Today is the day coaches and players have been looking forward to since the end of last season.

Aug. 13 is the first day of official practices allowed by the Colorado High School Activities Association.

Most athletes have been doing some level of conditioning to get ready for the season, but there’s a long way to go before they’ll be at a competitive level.

"The first week is more like a tryout process for teams, determining junior varsity, varsity, C-team," MCHS volleyball head coach Sandy Camilletti said. "In the following week, we'll actually start getting to putting people in positions."

The football team, which is installing a new offense this season, will have a full plate during its first week of practice.

"The kids did a great job this summer," coach Kip Hafey said. "We got a lot of the offense installed. We're going to keep working on that and of course keep working on our conditioning."

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The football team will also install more of its defense and learn special teams procedures starting today, Hafey said.

For football, contact between players is not allowed until Thursday, so until then Hafey said the team will focus on skill work.

The volleyball team, which spent its summer trying to develop individual skills at camps and open gyms, will prep for its first game Aug. 31 by making sure players have a well-built foundation.

"We're mostly going to review skills and fundamentals," Camilletti said. "The first day will be kind of slow. It won't be much different from our open gyms other than the expectations will be higher.

“Now, I'll be expecting more effort and focus."

The boys soccer team, which has not had much time as a team over the summer, will have two practices a day for the first two weeks.

Head coach Rusty Cox said conditioning will be the most important thing for his team in the early season.

"Morning practice is going to be nothing but conditioning," Cox said. "If you look at soccer, it's two halves, 40 minutes each with no timeouts. Conditioning has to be at a very high level because I'll have players that might never come out of the game."

Night practices will focus on ball skills like dribbling and passing touch, as well as going over style of play.

Todd Trapp, cross-country head coach, likes to build a base before training his runners for speed.

Both the boys and girls cross-country teams will begin by doing more long-distance runs to build stamina.

"The first few days is getting kids used to running and back into the mode of practicing every day," Trapp said. "We'll start some strength training and circuit training later, and maybe get into some hill workouts by the end of the week."

With the competitive season now two-and-a-half weeks away, it’s close to crunch time for coaches and players. It’s also an exciting time for coaches, as they get early looks at what their teams might be when games begin and everything counts.

"As a coach, you're always looking forward to the next season and seeing what you can accomplish," Trapp said.

"In today's technological age that we're in, you have contact with your players all the time," Hafey said. "They're texting me all the time. They can't wait to get on the field."

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“The first few days is getting kids used to running and back into the mode of practicing every day.”

—Todd Trapp, Moffat County High School cross-country coach, about the first practices of the 2012 fall season