There are certain dates on the calendar we all look forward to more than others.
For prep football enthusiasts, Tuesday was one of them.
“You wait all year for this day and then it’s finally here and you’re excited to get out here with the guys,” said Columbus head coach Calvin Zenz, who’s in his first year at the helm of a program that last year won a conference title for the first time since 2003 and is coming off back-to-back appearances in the Division 4 state quarterfinals.
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.
For Zenz, though, it’s his first time wearing the whistle that everybody else listens for.
It still feels the same, he said.
“Coaching the football’s the same, the only thing that’s really different is all the paperwork and all of that that I have to deal with,” he said. “Other than that, it doesn’t really feel a whole lot different, to be honest with you.”
As far as goals for the first few days, Zenz said it’s more so trying to make progress inch by inch than it is trying to build Rome in a day.
“We don’t really put in a lot of new stuff, it’s just to make sure that they know what we’ve already put in during the (WIAA-allowed summer) contact days,” he said. “Basically just trying to hit the ground running from where we left off in July.”
In that regard, he was pleased Tuesday.
“Sometimes on the first day they’re dragging. But I like the energy and enthusiasm and the way that they’re talking — I like what I see,” he said.
Meanwhile, expectations were the same in Fall River.
“We’re going to definitely be expecting hustle and energy this first practice,” Fall River head coach Joe Zander said, “just how the rest of the season is expected.”