08/02/11 — GHS - RW open practice

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GHS - RW open practice

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on August 2, 2011 1:47 PM

Four football teams in the News-Argus readership area hit the field for the first time on Monday.

For the players and coaches it was worth the wait.

Princeton, Rosewood, Charles B. Aycock and Goldsboro each grabbed their helmets and hit the gridiron for their first official practice of the 2011 season. The rest of the local schools took advantage of the extra day offered by the N.C. High School Athletic Association on Saturday.

"It feels good to be back out here and back doing what we love to do," said Rosewood head coach Robert Britt. "We have a beautiful day to get it cranked up and I know the guys are ready to get after it."

Rosewood had 49 players take part in its first workout, a number that did not include a handful of students who are finishing their driver's education requirements.

"We have good numbers this year, especially for a school this size," said Britt. "And the other nice thing is a lot of those guys are returners who have been with us multiple years."

The Eagles hit the field early in the morning to beat the heat. Temperatures are expected to climb into the mid-90's over the next three days.

Goldsboro chose to wait out the hot hours of the day and practice under the field lights on opening night. The Cougars had 58 players report on opening day. The reigning Carolina 1-A Conference champions put in a fierce physical conditioning regimen during summer break and are now turning their collective focus to learning the offense and defense.

"I feel like we are definitely ready physically," said Cougars head coach Eric Reid. "We have had really good turnout for our summer weight lifting and conditioning, and that allows us to use this time to look at the X's and O's."

Coming off a stellar season that included a conference championship and a deep playoff run, Goldsboro has several questions entering the 2011 campaign. Reid is certain that his squad will answer the call when the regular season begins Aug. 19.

"We lost a lot of key guys to graduation," Reid acknowledged. "But I feel like this team is ready to step on the field and prove themselves. They want to show people that they are still pretty darn good."