Lonoke’s Jackrabbits started football season last week where they hope to end it in December.
Coach Doug Bost said a parent rented War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock for the Jackrabbits’ first official practice the morning of Aug. 4. A hamburger lunch and tour of the facility capped off the first day’s drills.
War Memorial is the site of all Arkansas state football championship games.
"The kids were excited," Bost said. "Then we came back to Lonoke to work out through Friday. We had good energy in all of our practices."
The Jackrabbits donned full pads Monday. They practiced Monday and Tuesday afternoon and were scheduled to work in the morning the rest of the week. With classes beginning next Monday, the schedule will be from 3-5:30 p.m.
Forty players reported for drills, down a bit from the spring.
"But the 40 we’ve got are the kids that want to be there," Bost said Sunday. "We’re excited. We had two weeks of spring practice, and all summer we’ve been lifting and running, and we’ve gone to several team camps and 7-on-7 tournaments.
"The kids have been doing it. Now it’s important to slow it down and make sure it’s perfect. We’ve got to make sure our back-ups are ready."
He said Sunday the Jackrabbits were eager to do some tackling.
"And we’ll keep working on our special teams," he said of the week’s schedule. "We don’t work on that in the summer, but we started putting it in last week."
The Jackrabbits will travel to Maumelle, the team that eliminated them in the second round of the Class 4A state playoffs, for a scrimmage at 6 p.m. on Aug. 25.
"We felt like we let that one slip away from us," Bost said, referring to the 34-13 season-ending loss. "We’re looking forward to it."
The 2-4A will look a bit different in 2014. Central Arkansas Christian, Helena-West Helena and Riverview are new to the league after realignment. Newport is the coaches’ pick to win the conference, according to Hooten’s Arkansas Football.
"It’s a tough conference," Bost said. "Looking at it, we know Newport and Helena-West Helena will be there, and we feel like we’re the third team in the mix. That’s what we’re working on. We’ll play a tough non-conference schedule to get ready."
Lonoke finished 9-3 last season and conference runner-up.