Today is the first day high school football teams in Texas can begin workouts. All of those except Class 4A and 5A teams that had spring training got going this morning. The rest will join them next Monday. Even though the temperature says otherwise, it's the unofficial end of the summer for a lot of coaches and players.
After years and years of this, and now even out of sports, there's still something special about this day. Enthusiasm is high, optimism, even for the most downtrodden programs, is high, and it's the countdown for the start of the season. Reality will intrude later, but right now, all teams believe this could be a surprising year.
Our sports staff will all over the Panhandle in the next couple of weeks taking mug shots and team photos of players for the Aug. 27 Pigskin Preview. Even though it could be a bit of a pain to hit 10 towns in two days, I always kind of enjoyed it.
You get to visit with coaches in a bit of a relaxed atmosphere. You can an early look at how some players look, although they are in shorts and shirts. And you get out of the office for a good while. And if you play your cards right, you can time it for a meal at Dyer's in Pampa or El Camino in Tulia or some good place to stuff yourself.
Kickoff is 25 days away.