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Football practice underway

Hartselle football players and cheerleaders take a candid photo during picture day last Saturday at J.P. Cain Stadium. Photographers were taking pictures for the 2011 football program. Football players then began practice on Monday afternoon to prepare for the upcoming season. Today, Thursday, is the first time football teams can put on pads for full-contact practices. | Brent Maze

Football teams across the state of Alabama began fall drills on Monday to prepare for the 2011 season, which begins in just three weeks.

While many teams are participating in two-a-day practices, Hartselle is not one of those teams. Coach Bob Godsey said they haven’t held two-a-days over the last few years because of the early start of school.

“We could have had two-a-days this year because we have a full two weeks of practice before school starts,” Godsey said. “But we see the players so much over the summer that I don’t think we have to.”

Hartselle will pretty much keep the same practice schedule throughout the season with practices each afternoon, most lasting about two hours.

Hartselle will play its jamboree game at Huntsville on Friday, Aug. 19, at 7 p.m. They will open the season the following week at Athens. The home opener will be on Sept. 2 when the Tigers host Brewer High School.

One other factor that football teams have been dealing with has been the heat. Temperatures were expected to rise above the 100-degree mark Wednesday.

The heat index has also been approaching the 105-110 mark all week.

At Priceville, new head coach Dirk Strunk said his players should be able to work through the triple-digit heat that is forecast this week.

“They’ve worked hard enough on their conditioning in June and July to be able to stand up to it,” he pointed out.

Weightlifting and special teams drills carried the day at the first session with 47 ninth through 12 grade prospects participating.

Two-a-days were scheduled through Tuesday with practice in pads slated to start on Thursday. The Bulldogs will open their season on Friday, Aug. 26.