High school football kicks off as players return to the practice field
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WAKE FOREST, N.C. -- The countdown to Friday night high school football is on. High schools across the state got the all clear to officially begin football practice Monday. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association allowed teams to take the field after midnight on July 30.
Players have been waiting all summer long to lace up their cleats, pick up a football and hit the field to practice. Some schools like Heritage High School in Wake Forest will meet later Monday.
But other teams kicked off their season just after midnight as soon as they were officially allowed to practice. As soon as the clock struck 12:01 a.m., Leesville Road High's football team eagerly ran onto the field in Raleigh.
Coaches wasted no time getting down to business, running players through a series of drills. Fans packed the bleachers.
David Butler, a dad of one of the players, is thrilled to see his son back in action.
"A lot of fans are very grateful to see football start coming around," he said. "I didn't expect that much of a crowd but I think a lot of people eager to see football starting this year."
With record high temperatures this summer, all teams will have to deal with the heat and humidity. To make sure players stay well-hydrated, trainers and coaches urge them to drink water every 15 to 20 minutes during practice.
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association requires a certified athletic trainer or first responder attends each practice and avoid heat-related problems.