The heat turned up this week and it's officially the dog days of summer for high school football players and coaches who have been working pretty much every day for the past month in preparation for the 2019 season.
On Tuesday morning, White County High School head coach Tim Cokely looked on from the sidelines as the team went through another summer workout and said to no one in particular, “I'm so ready to play somebody in a different color uniform.”
Thankfully for Cokely and the players, the season is getting closer and closer with each passing day.
The Warriors are almost at the finish line of the summer workout program. The team had four workouts this week, and will finish off the conditioning program with three workouts next week. Next Thursday, July 25, is the official opening day of practice for football teams. The Warriors will hold a series of five GHSA-mandated acclimation practices in helmets, T-shirts and shorts, before putting on the pads for the first on Aug. 1.
The first padded practice will be held from 3-6 p.m., followed by a mandatory parent meeting at 6 p.m. in the WCHS cafeteria. The team picture day will be held Saturday, Aug. 3, beginning at 8 a.m.
"It's been a great summer, but we're ready to play somebody," Cokely said. "I'll be glad when we are back in school, and get back to doing what we do and playing on Friday nights."
As of today, the Warriors have 29 days until taking on Stephens County in a preseason scrimmage Aug. 15 in Toccoa. The two teams met in a preseason scrimmage last fall, and the Indians went on to finish 5-6 in head coach Wesley Tankersley's first year with program.
The Warriors kick off the regular season on the final Friday night of August, taking on Lumpkin County in the season-opener at Warrior Stadium. The rest of the Warriors' non-region schedule includes Habersham Central, Pickens County and North Hall. All three of those teams made the state playoffs last season.
If the non-region portion of the schedule isn't tough enough, the Warriors have a mammoth task ahead of them when region play begins on Sept. 27 with a trip to Marist. The War Eagles, along with Blessed Trinity, Flowery Branch and Denmark are all considered among the Top 10 teams in Class AAAA heading into the season. In one preseason poll, those four teams are ranked in the Top 7 teams in the state. The Warriors also have to do battle with West Hall and Chestatee during region play as well.