There are certain dates on the calendar we all look forward to more than others.

For prep football enthusiasts, Tuesday was one of them.

“This is Christmas to me,” Waupun first-year head coach Ethan Kintzler said of the first day of practice for the 2017 season.

“You wait all year for this day and then it’s finally hear and you’re excited to get out here with the guys,” added Columbus head coach Calvin Zenz, also in his first year at the helm.

The first week is for work on fundamentals and conditioning, where players aren’t allowed to wear full pads, only helmets the first two days and helmets and shoulder pads the next two.

But the cleats are on and work is getting done nonetheless.

And that’s all that matters.

“We’re absolutely excited about today and anytime you get a chance to play football is a great day,” said Beaver Dam head coach Steve Kuenzi, whose team is embarking on its maiden voyage in the Badger Conference. “There’s nothing like the start of the season. There’s a lot of excitement it brings.”

Indeed, the season is upon us.

But while Tuesday was just one day, it was an important one.

“However you approach that first day – not to say it can’t change, but that’s generally the course that it’s going to take the rest of the year,” Kintzler said of the first day – the first few days, really – being a tone-setter. “So we wanted to come out here intense and really start getting to work so we know what we have to do for the rest of the year.”

“We’re going to definitely be expecting hustle and energy this first practice,” Fall River head coach Joe Zander added, “just how the rest of the season is expected.”

Follow Dan on Twitter @Danny_Larson_8.