It's not exactly Christmas morning but for high school football coaches in the CSRA, the first official day of practice is something they look forward to all year.
"It certainly is, next to playing for a state championship. That's probably the most exciting day of the year,' said Silver Bluff head coach Al Lowin. "We've worked a long time since December. a lot of man-hours in the summer and spring in the weight room. it's good to get out here and get our season started."
"It's always exciting to see these young men start from the beginning and hopefully gel together and we put a good product on the field during the season," said Aiken head coach Carey Johnson.
For players and coaches, the early morning wake-up call is tough on the body.
"It's tough, waking up early in the morning, getting out the bed and getting out here and work hard," said Williston-Elko senior Quantel Mack.
"You know we always try to look after the safety of the kids and we wanted to try and beat the heat this morning," said Williston-Elko head coach Dwayne Garrick. "We're not even going to again this afternoon. As long these boys stay as cool as they were this morning, we feel like we can get more out of them."
And the hard work done here will hopefully pay off down the road, making the first practice just as important as the last.
"I don't care if you've been doing it 29 years or one year, you get excited about it," said South Aiken head coach Robert Wrightenberry. "The older I've gotten, I think my patience is better than what it was 28 years ago. But it's always exciting, without a doubt. You know, if you're not having a good time, you've got to find something else to do. It's that simple."