High school football is back! Practices kicked off across Texoma Monday like at the home of the defending state champion Gunter Tigers.
"I feel like we had a really great first day," said Gunter head coach Jake Fieszel. "We just have to use this as our baseline and just continue to improve off of today."
5A rivals, Ardmore and Durant, will meet in Week 2 of the season, but on Monday, got practice started.
"I mean it's great," said Ardmore fullback Chantz Scurry. "We got really lucky with this weather. We're loving it. We're eating it up."
"I was excited about our kids concentration," said Durant head coach Ray Richards. "They gave good effort. We're putting a lot of new things in, and they're very receptive to it."
In Texas 5A, Denison made the playoffs last season for the first time since 2013 and are hungry for more.
"I explained to them this morning, my grandmother makes the best chocolate pies and everybody is trying to do the same thing," explained Denison head coach Chad Rogers. "She gives them the recipe, she gives them the ingredients, but they can't do it the way she does it. I told them we're giving them the ingredients, but it's what they do with it. What they're doing with the knowledge we're putting into them."
The Plainview Indians have learned a lot since making it to the state finals last season. They're excitement to get going this year.
"Other than Christmas, this might be the best day of the year when we're starting football practice," said Plainview head coach Joe Price. I'm like the rest of them, I couldn't sleep last night either."
Staying in the District 3A-4, Dickson, Lone Grove and Madill are expecting big things this season. The Wildcats begin a new era with former Sherman head coach Drew Young taking the reins.
"It's great to be back in the position that I'm in," said Young. "But it's a really good job and I'm lucky to have."
"My expectations are we're going to do pretty," said Dickson right tackle Sam Herriott. "We're got a pretty strong line up front. A lot of good back. A lot of seniors this year and a lot of good coaches."
"Everybody's got a lot stronger, faster, more athletic," said left guard Braxton Campo. "Really excited to see what we can do this year."
In Texas, District 5-3A Division I is one of the toughest in the state, but Pottsboro looks to come out on top once again.
"It's from the seniors, how they teach us and how they teach the younger kids and the coaching staff," said Pottsboro defensive end Peter Poe. "Especially how they treat us and show us how to work hard and be mentally tough."
Another team looking to defend its district title and win its first state title in 10 years is Celina.
"If we play with great effort, and if we'll do it with discipline do our job and execute, the rest will take care of everything else," said Celina head coach Bill Elliott. "That's the neat thing about being at Celina. Every year, you always have that chance and everyone believes you have that chance.
We'll have much more on our area football teams with the Kickoff Countdown returning Tuesday.