Tuesday, August 16, 2011
One of the things that makes playing Texas schoolboy football memorable is that the players report in for their first workouts about this time of year. If it's a tough year, like this one, then it only means that it is a little hotter than it was last year. As any Texan knows or recalls, a Texas August is hot.
Since the first game of the season is only a few days after the start of school and the last time we had any organized physical conditioning was in the Spring, the coaches had a job getting us into condition, so for 2-weeks, we had 2 workouts each day; one at something like 6:30 A.M. and the other perhaps 4:00 P.M. For much of the 2-week period your 16-17 year old muscles ached constantly and the morning workout was additionally painful owing to its early hour--felt kind of like working 12-hour shifts, day after day. The morning workout was relatively cool, but that afternoon workout was really hot. Nevertheless, sometime during those 2-weeks, your body would imperceptibly adjust itself and one morning you became aware that you were "in shape"...your muscles no longer ached. Now, for a 17-year old, "in shape" means that you feel like you can walk through walls. I've never felt that way since, but remember it well.
Coaches kept ice handy for use instead of drinking water, which was not permitted. Salt tablets were readily available for those who wanted them.
Beyond that, it was business as usual, heat be damned. That's something, isn't it? Could be why Texas schoolboy football is legendary throughout the country.
Come to think of it, the band had to be ready, too. Those kids must have been out there somewhere, getting their routines perfected, but I don't recall seeing them.
The school picture used in this blog's masthead is from a postcard that was sent out calling us in for an August 23rd physical and the start of 2-a-days.