The Cabot Panthers hit the turf this week for the first football practices of the season.

Cabot had 89 players come out Monday morning, or everyone who attended the summer workouts. The Panthers will feature 28 seniors this season.

"We came out Monday in pretty good shape for the most part," said Cabot head coach Mike Malham. "Nothing new over the summer, but there a few still nursing injuries a little bit from the spring."

The Panthers take the field as early as 5:30 in the morning on some days to avoid the heat of the day. They will have three days of two-a-day practices next week during teacher in-service days. Early workouts in the morning, then back at noon on the field.

Cabot will have their annual Red-White scrimmage game on Friday, Aug. 23, then come back three days later when they host Lake Hamilton for a scrimmage game and finally get to hit somebody in a different jersey.

The Panthers will be at home again for the first game of the season when they host the Jacksonville Red Devils on Sept. 3. The game between the two longtime rivals will be the final showdown for the foreseeable future as Jacksonville’s numbers have dropped them down to Class 5A, while Cabot has continued to grow.

The Conway Wampus Cats will be taking Jacksonville’s place next season for the opening game, followed by Little Rock Catholic and Little Rock Fair before the conference schedule begins.

"Conway is always a big game for us and draws a lot of interest," Malham said. "We wanted to add Bryant instead of Fair, but couldn’t get that worked out. That would have been a tough non-conference schedule."