Two hours into Evans High School's first football practice camp for 2008, it was time for a break.
Knights players jogged toward the open gate, except for defensive end Reuben Faloughi. He took a direct line to the chain-link fence, ignoring teammates' calls that he was going to hurt himself, and in one hop was the first to the covered picnic tables.
Minutes later, he and his teammates enjoyed freeze pops in the shade.
"Everybody's excited to be back in this environment," Faloughi said Friday, the first day of preseason football camp.
The Knights started at 7:30 a.m. Greenbrier's players gathered in the school's gym at 6 a.m. and left the practice field at noon. Lakeside got under way at 5:30 p.m.
Harlem practiced Friday morning and in the early evening.
Evans coach Marty Jackson and his staff covered as much as they could during their four hours on the field, including an open audition for a punter to replace Kevin Millward, who graduated, and running through other special teams sets.
Junior Troy Griffith will replace Millward at quarterback.
"We're looking all right," Griffith said. "We've just got to get all our timing down."
They'll have until Aug. 29, when Evans opens the season at Greenbrier.
The Wolfpack, who will be led by new head coach Brian Smith, also will have a new quarterback this season. With standout Nick Richards at Valdosta State, Blake Ross and Chris Smith are getting looks in Smith's spread offense.
Smith said many of the schemes were still fresh from June's passing camps and that most of his work on the first day dealt with ensuring players were in their correct spots.
Jackson will have a new quarterback for the first time since 2005. Griffith started at quarterback for all 10 of the Knights' junior varsity games last season, while Millward led the varsity to a playoff berth.
Griffith will have the benefit of a talented surrounding cast. Senior wide receiver Brandon McCladdie was named to Georgia High School Football Magazine's preseason All-State team. He'll be asked to pick up a receiving corps that lost three key members from last year.
"It's a challenge, but I'm excited about it," McCladdie said.
After Greenbrier's first practice, sophomore D.J. Tyson and junior Kendrick Wilson joked about possible nicknames. First mentioned was "Thunder and Lightning," a la Clemson running backs James Davis and C.J. Spiller.
But Smith said Tyson could be used as a receiver during his first varsity season and that Wilson likely would see time at running back.
"We're starting to bond more as a team because of camp," Wilson said.
"It's a great atmosphere," Tyson said.
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