Routine first practice for Hornets in transition

Published 3:37 pm Monday, August 6, 2012

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

The Chelsea High School football team will play its first region game against Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 6A competition in less than one month, but the first day of practice Aug. 6 for the Hornets wasn’t any different from previous seasons under coach Wade Waldrop.

The morning practice between 6:30-10 a.m. on the first day of fall practice allowed by the AHSAA pretty much resembled summer workouts, Waldrop said, with the association’s guidelines calling for helmets and shorts only during the first three days of practice.

“It was a good first day,” Waldrop said. “We beat the heat. It was no different than what we’ve been doing all summer.”

The routine remained the same, but Waldrop said he was pleased with the energy level his players had in the team’s first practice after taking the final week of the summer off from workouts last week.

“I liked our pace,” Waldrop said.

Chelsea will put on pads for the first time Thursday morning, which Waldrop said will help the coaching staff size up the team as it enters the season as the smallest school in AHSAA Class 6A.

“Thursday will really be a day to judge our progress,” Waldrop said.

The Hornets will host a Blue/White Night scrimmage Aug. 17. Waldrop said the team will likely hold two scrimmages before an Aug. 23 jamboree against Calera and Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa.

Chelsea kicks off the season Aug. 31 on the road at John Carroll Catholic before traveling to Thompson for its first AHSAA Class 6A, Region 4 contest Sept. 6 against Thompson. The Hornets’ first-ever region game against Class 6A competition will be televised live by My 68 as part of the network’s Thursday Night Lights schedule.

Six new coaches opened fall camp with their teams across Shelby County.

Oak Mountain took the field under first-year coach Cris Bell for its first practice Aug. 6, while Thompson entered fall camp under the guidance of Michael Montgomery, a former assistant coach. First-year Shelby County coach Brent Smith and new Montevallo coach Andrew Zow also joined their teams for opening practices Aug. 6.

New Coosa Valley coach Arlton Hudson and new Hope Christian coach Tony Nafe began fall practice with their respective squads in late July due to earlier fall practice dates for the Alabama Independent Schools Association and Alabama Christian Sports Conference, respectively.