Hulne: Getting the feeling for football

Published 7:16 pm Monday, August 4, 2014

It may have seemed like another Monday in August, but there’s a new sense of feeling in the air. It’s football.

A few area teams opened football practice and began their seasons Monday and the Austin football team will begin practice next week. In the NFL, training camp is a time for hope and excitement. Every team is undefeated and they all spent the entire offseason stocking up on draft picks and free agent signings.

The first few weeks of the high school football season are similar to the pros in the way that optimism is floating around.

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All of the players who were undersized as sophomores last season are now tested juniors and they will have a chance to play major minutes with the varsity squad. All of the juniors from last year who may have been adjusting to varsity football last year, are now experienced senior leaders.

At this point of the year, all of the starting spots are still are up for grabs and if a player wants to catch his coach’s attention, now is the time. Everything is still wide open.

It’ll be an interesting year for the Austin Packers as they enter the third year under head coach Brett Vesel. The Packers had their best season in years when they went 5-5 overall last season, but they graduated a lot of quality seniors from that team.

It’ll be up to a lot of new faces to step up and play hard if the Packers want to continue the improvement of the program.

In Lyle-Pacelli, the program is turning a new leaf as Jeremy Wilson will take over as the team’s head coach. LP has struggled in the last couple of years, but it has some players who have played varsity football for a long time and the team could compete in some games this season.

In Grand Meadow, the hopes are the highest. The Superlarks have played in the last two state nine man title games and they took home the state championship last season. GM graduated just two starters from that squad and the Larks will be hungry to get back to the state tournament again.

We’re still three weeks from the first set of games and the Packers don’t open their season for another month, but it’s difficult not to get a little excited about high school football when there is so much optimism out there right now.

Follow Rocky Hulne on twitter at @RockyHulneADH.