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Fall sports season practice begins

By Staff | Aug 5, 2009

START?OUT?RUNNING — Silver Knights Head Coach Rob Caldwell looks on as his team goes through some running plays on the first day of practice.

While August is usually designated as the “dog days of summer,” the first Monday of the month signifies something else to the student athletes around the state.

It marks the return of students to the practice fields as they get ready for the fall athletic season. Schools everywhere in the state came to life on Monday to start getting organized for the upcoming sports season.

Tyler Consolidated High School was no different as kids came out for football, soccer and cheerleading practice.

A total of 55 athletes donned the silver helmets in hopes of playing football this season. It’s a high turnout for the Knights as the past few years have seen around 40 players come out for the first day. Six more players were absent but accounted for.

“As of right now, we’re looking at 55 to possibly 60 people,” said Head Coach Rob Caldwell.

“That’s 55 legitimate kids that are going to stay out. I don’t see many of them turning it in and quitting. That’s pretty good numbers for us.”

Part of the increase in numbers comes from upcoming freshman class which bodes well for the future of Silver Knights football. Caldwell mentioned that 16 to 17 freshmen came to the first practice.

“It’s always exciting to start that first day, and I know so many kids, you can see it in their face, they’re excited to be here and that’s the main thing,” added Caldwell. “They worked hard [Monday] and a lot of them worked since the end of last football season. Some of them couldn’t wait for this day to get here. It’s here and now it’s time to prepare.”

The football team wasn’t the only squad to show an increase in first-day numbers. The girls soccer team had 17 athletes come out for the first day of practice. Last year’s team had only 12 players.

The Lady Silver Knights will also have a new coach this season with Clifford Warner. He has coached youth soccer 15 years up to the middle school level and now has made the jump to high school.

“I just don’t want to see the program go away,” said Warner. “I was afraid there wasn’t going to be a coach this year. After last year’s coach resigned I thought I’d apply for it and see what happened.”

As for the first day of practice, everything seemed to be going well for Warner and the new group of Lady Silver Knights soccer players.

“I’m very happy, very enthusiastic,” Warner said after practice. The girls are enthusiastic and they worked hard all day. It was a very good practice.

The boys soccer team also had 17 players on the first day.

The cheerleading squad had tryout practices on Monday and Tuesday before tryouts were held this morning, but numbers look to be up for the cheerleading squad as well.

Paden City’s football team counted 17 players as the Wildcats get ready for the upcoming gridiron season.