The sun emerged Monday morning after an overcast start, turning the Evans High School practice field bright green and creating a steamy heat.
Few seemed to notice as the football team returned from a break during its second official practice of the season.
As the offense huddled before returning to drills, one player yelled one word: "FOOTBALL!"
"Enthusiasm, and people getting after it," Knights coach Marty Jackson said of what he wanted to see during the first days of practice. "I like to see the collision and running around. It was good."
Football practice started in Georgia Saturday, with most of the county's teams taking advantage.
Greenbrier players were advised to be at the school at 6:30 a.m. the first day, and practice started a half hour later. Evans also kicked off practices on Saturday morning.
Grovetown High School's staff opted for an evening start, opening its first practice at 6:30 p.m.
Whether teams practiced on Saturday seemed to depend on scheduling.
Harlem, which has an open week and doesn't play its first game until September, started Monday. Grovetown starts the season at Buford on Aug. 21
With a new program and starting during what is known as "Week 0," Warriors coach Rodney Holder wanted to use the available day.
"The first full day, you can't miss it," Holder said. "I don't think that would have sent a good message to our kids. If we had an opportunity to practice, why are we not practicing when they worked hard all summer?"
Coaches were quick to keep players hydrated, breaking about every 15 minutes and allowing players to drink when needed.
At Greenbrier, a loud horn sounded to signal each session.
Wolfpack players crowded a running supply of water spraying from a pipe on the sideline.
Both Greenbrier and Evans practiced in full pads Monday.
Georgia High School Association rules stipulate teams can't practice full contact on back-to-back days during the first week, so coaches switch it up.
After a summer of working almost exclusively on the passing game, Wolfpack coach Brian Smith was emphasizing other areas Monday. Coaches taught proper blocking technique and how to wrap up a ball carrier.
Teams also spent a bulk of the early days working on special teams. The Wolfpack spent the first day in helmets and no pads while working on special teams.
The Knights removed pads for about the last hour of practice and installed or reviewed special teams formations.
"Almost everything we do is game-oriented," Smith said. "We try to do all our drills, everything we do pertinent to the game."
Augusta Chronicle staff writer Matt Middleton contributed to this report
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