Falcons pleased with first day of football practice

Central coach Rowdy Hoover works with a group of linemen during their opening day of practice on Thursday. Rich Cooley/Daily

WOODSTOCK — Central was on the move in its first day of football practice on Thursday morning.

Central coach Mike Yew said he decided to do things a little differently this year for the first day of practice.

“Our goal (Thursday), (Friday) and Saturday is to move,” Yew said. “Our drills, the moving concepts of everything we do. We’re spending some time in individual, but were not doing anything team-wise until Monday. We just took the approach of we want to move. We want to move with everything we do. We want to get in shape through our drills. … We’re getting our kids to buy into sprinting to get water, sprinting back.”

Thursday was the first day football teams throughout the state were allowed to practice in preparation for the upcoming season. Central was the only local team practicing in the area Thursday. Sherando went to Graves Mountain Lodge to hold practice for the weekend. The rest of the area teams will start football practice on Monday.

Yew said they worked a lot Thursday on learning drills that they will be doing throughout the season.

Alonzo Charity, 16, takes a water break during Central High School's first day of football practice. Rich Cooley/Daily

“We’re doing a lot of the drills that we teach throughout the season,” Yew said. “We’re spending time teaching them now and we’re over-exaggerating the steps, the fundamentals of every drill and we’re just moving constantly.”

Yew said that the practice went very well. He said there were 35 kids there. He said that they have four kids who still need to turn in their physical forms and four that were on vacation. Central practiced from 9 to 10:40 a.m. outside, and then lifted weights and worked on different drills inside for the last 50 minutes of practice.

The players were happy about how things went on the first day.

“We did a lot of the right things that we needed to do,” Central rising senior Carston Shockey said. “We worked very hard. It was a good first day. … Everybody responded well. Everybody worked hard. We did the right things. I’m really excited for everything that I saw today for the first practice and just in the offseason and the 7-on-7 camps. I’m really excited to see what this team can do this year.”

The Falcons were 6-5 last year, losing in the first round of the playoffs. Yew said that they have about 11 seniors and seven juniors with 19 sophomores this season.

He said that they are expecting a lot from their juniors and seniors.

“I’ll be honest with you, the juniors and seniors we have, we feel like we’re going to count on all of them,” Yew said. “We just really think each one of them is going to have a role to play and accountability is going to be big for those guys.”

Central’s freshman team went undefeated last year, and many of the players from that team have moved up to the varsity level this season.

Central rising senior Alex Sibert said he was very pleased with how the younger players did at their first varsity practice.

“They did great. I was very, very excited to see how good they were doing,” Sibert said. “It was a good first day. Hopefully they’ll progress as the season goes on and be even better.”

Yew said that the team had a good offseason, and that continued on the first day of practice.

“It’s a good vibe right now,” Yew said. “Our vibe started back on 7-on-7 at Shenandoah (University). We talked then about being positive with each other, picking each other up. It got better at the next 7-on-7, and then at team camp it was tremendous and now it’s carried over.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com