Courtney Boyce, the Victoria West coaching staff and players felt at home under the lights of Memorial Stadium on Monday night.

“It’s always nice to get that first practice of the season when everyone is excited.” said Boyce, who is entering his fourth season as the head coach of the Warriors. “To get back on this field and just give the new guys a feel of what it will be like is nice as well. It was a great conditioning test today, it was great to have everyone back and the level of attention they had was awesome to see.”

Boyce led his team on to the field and put them through a plethora of conditioning drills, as well as drills testing the basics of the Warriors playbook.

“The thing we want most from these first practices is knowledge and just getting these guys into shape,” Boyce said. “If you are in good physical shape, then there’s a good chance that you’re going to be able to think clearer and play at your best level.”

The Warriors return nine starters from last season: Quarterback Donovan Harris, running back Tyvon Hardrick, wide receiver Kevin Rankin, linebacker Bill Sciba, linebacker James Avery, defensive lineman Tyler Miller, defensive lineman Colten Matus, defensive lineman Beau Sciba, and safety Bryce Sitka.

“Any time that you have experience it’s a good thing,” Boyce said. “We have some three-year starters and guys who are second-year starters but have played on varsity for three years. When you have guys like that, they set the tone and help bring everyone together and teach the younger guys.”

Hardrick returns for his senior season after rushing for 1,837 yards and 29 touchdowns last year and being named the District 15-5A Offensive Back Co-MVP.

Sitka was the team’s leading tackler last season with 86 in total. He was also named defensive and team MVP by his teammates.

“The district is going to be very difficult this year, there are a lot of teams with explosiveness on both sides of the football,” Boyce said. “That is what we have to prepare for, if we want to succeed we have to be both mentally and physically tough. Our district has a lot of really good football teams and we have to focus on us and being the best team we can be.”

The Warriors will look to make it back into the playoffs after going 4-4 in district last year. They advanced to the area round in 2017.

“You have to take this day by day,” Boyce said. “You can’t look too far ahead or look at things that in the future, we have to take care of the here and now and if we do that things will work themselves out. If we come to work everyday and do this the right way, this team will find success.”

Tyler Tyre is a Sports Reporter for the Victoria Advocate. He can be reached at 361-580-6576 or at ttyre@vicad.com or @tylertyre.

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Sports Reporter

As a Texas native I am so happy to be joining the Advocate staff and be staying in my home state. In May, 2019 I graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in Journalism. I love to use the medium of sports to tell peoples stories.

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