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Published: Tuesday, 7/31/2012

Teams begin conditioning workouts


Southview coach Jim Mayzes is quite accustomed with how it works during the first official week of the high school football season.

The Cougars' longtime coach is also fond of this time of year when footballs begin to fly around practice fields and the countdown commences before the first game.

"All the coaches are fired up, and all the players are fired up," said Mayzes, who begins his 19th season in charge of the Cougars.

Southview made the most of Monday's workout, which represented the first day of practices allowed by the Ohio High School Athletic Association.

Limited by OHSAA regulations to wearing helmets, the Cougars went through a practice session consisting of conditioning work (running), skills work, special teams, and offensive drills during an evening workout.

Weather wasn't as much a factor as it potentially could have been had the daily temperature hovered in or around triple-digit figures as it had been in recent weeks, according to Mayzes.

Yet, the Cougars employed routine water breaks in order to keep the players hydrated.

"It's good it's not too hot, otherwise, we'd be out there wilting like flowers," Mayzes said.

OHSAA regulations will not allow teams to put on shoulder pads until Wednesday and Thursday and suit up in full uniforms until Friday before being allowed to participate in full contact drills on Saturday.

"It's fun," said Greg Dempsey, who begins his 13th season as Central Catholic coach.

"You spend a lot of time in the summer working out, lifting weights, and you get to this time and it's exciting."

The Irish, considered a favorite in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference, held workout sessions during the morning hours before the temperatures began to peak.

"I'm constantly nervous," Dempsey said, looking ahead. "You have all of these early season predictions, but you have to be prepared for the uncertain things that come along during the season, whether it is injuries or whatever. There are uncertain things that are going to happen during the course of a season."

All teams are working toward season openers with the first Friday night kickoffs on Aug. 24.

Contact Donald Emmons at: demmons@theblade.com, 419-724-6302 or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade.

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