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Warriors begin fall practices under the hot Texas sun (video)

By Taylor Mitchell
Aug. 12, 2013 at 3:12 a.m.

Defensive coordinator Randy Perez works with a small group of players near the end zone on the first day of practice for the West Warriors.

Monday morning's football practice at Victoria West wasn't the prettiest.

There were dropped passes, fumbled snaps and missed assignments, but that is to be expected on a team's first day of practice.

"There were some struggles with plays and stuff," senior lineman Andrew Neuvar said. "Whenever we went to team drills, it was iffy. But we got some plays in and started to look good."

The Warriors got their 2013 season officially underway Monday morning, the first day of fall practices allowed to schools that participated in spring practice in May. Calhoun and Bay City were the only other schools in the Crossroads to hold their first day of practice Monday.

The day began with an early morning conditioning test followed by four hours of practice, film study and weight training.

"A majority of our kids are in good shape. The heat didn't seem to bother them much," Warriors coach Leonard McAngus said. "Our coaches and trainers have done a good job of pacing out practices and having long breaks. It was a good day to start practice."

The conditioning test is especially crucial. West is working on installing a fast-paced offense and needs all of its players in shape. Throw in the Texas sun beaming straight down on the practice field, and conditioning becomes more and more of an issue.

"It makes it a little harder, but you just have to push through it," Neuvar said of the heat. "We're all in shape here because of the summer workouts, but we should be used to it."

West, like most other schools, puts its players through a summer conditioning and training program. That helped them be ready for Monday's hot, long practice and many more like it.

"You're not running in the heat, but you're getting in shape," senior Qualian Bryant said. "Whenever you come out here is for the love of the game, and you just have to get over the heat."

"The way we practice is very up-tempo, so we'll get a lot of conditioning that way," McAngus added. "In time, we'll be in shape, but our first game is in three weeks, and that makes us concerned about conditioning and playing full speed for a full game or even overtime if it goes to that.

"The kids have worked hard and will overcome any challenges laid in front of us."

The Warriors will continue practicing in shorts and helmets until Friday, when the first day of full-pad practices are allowed. But that doesn't mean the Warriors can't practice like normal.

"It doesn't change a whole lot except for you're not hitting," McAngus said. "We'll work on assignments, fundamentals and just all of the little things. We work a lot on special teams."

The first day of practice is never perfect and rarely does it ever look good. But that won't last for long.

"I think you have it maybe the first day and a little bit of the second," Neuvar said. "I think by the third day is when you get things going."

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