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Prep football practice kicks off next week
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Now, it’s time for some football.

But first, the athletes in the Turlock area have to endure two days of mandatory conditioning. After that, they can put on helmets and pads and prepare for the moment they’ve been waiting for since last season ended.

This is a general outline of the fall schedule:

Aug. 8 is the first day of fall practice, with the first two days dedicated to conditioning and two-a-days.

Aug. 10 is the first football practice, with helmets and pads.

Aug. 20 is the first day of scrimmaging.

Aug. 26 is the first football games.

Players and coaches from Pitman High, Turlock High, Turlock Christian High, Denair High and Hilmar High all have been waiting for this moment. And each of the teams has its unique story line.

Turlock hopes to make the statement that last season, which included turning a 0-10 team into a playoff contender, wasn’t a fluke. The Bulldogs will have a new quarterback but return an experienced offensive line. Pitman hopes to continue its winning ways, having never had a losing season since the school opened in 2002.

Turlock Christian hopes to stay healthy after enduring an incredible amount of injuries last season, which resulted in having just 13 players by the season finale. Turlock Christian shares the same street as Denair, which sits on Monte Vista Avenue and hopes to make another run at the playoffs.

And Hilmar is experiencing one of the toughest preseasons after the sudden passing of assistant coach Franky Silveira. The Yellowjackets will dedicate this season to the Hilmar graduate.

But first, all the footballers have to endure conditioning.

“It’s been a productive summer. I’ve enjoyed greatly the time with our young men,” said Turlock Christian coach Rusty Lyon said. “I’ve been extremely encouraged with our players. Now, we have to concentrate on the nuts and bolts of football. I’m really excited about getting started.”

To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.