Apparently someone forgot to tell the participants during the first South team practice at Fort Bend Christian Academy on Wednesday night.
Long used to hearing words like solid and fundamentals during post-practice interviews, even after a first practice on a chilly night, players were left talking about the experience and the bonds they formed.
San Marcos Academy lineman Eddy Haddad said it best when talking about how the team came together so quickly.
“It was fun. Everybody seemed to have a good bond,” Haddad said. “We feel like we are already becoming a team, which is the best thing that could honestly happen.”
While private school athletic programs are often unheralded and unrecognized, there is a healthy competitive spirit, and while most of these students are coming together, they are used to staring each other down across the line.
Corpus Christi John Paul II quarterback Blake McKenzie agrees.
“Usually you’re rivals and kinda want to kill each other on the field, but now we gotta come together and be a family.”
San Antonio St. Anthony running back Michael Akers echoed McKenzie’s sentiments.
“We’re all here because we love football,” Akers said. “It’s real easy to just come together and just put our best out there. We have a common goal in trying to win.”
South coach Bruce Lane agreed that there was something special about the first practice. While running players through offensive and defensive plays and trying to put players in positions, he noticed the special effort the players were giving, even if it was the first time they were together.
“Pleasantly pleased tonight. It was a great night. We’ve got basically four and a half hours to play a football game,” Lane said. “This is my fifth all-star game that I’ve had the privilege of coaching in and I kinda knew what to expect, but I would say this, for the first day it’s probably the best experience of any of those all-star games.”
“Guys came in and really have worked hard through one practice and we expect that’ll continue.”
But as far as that competitive spirit. I would expect it to make a prompt return, likely around 8 p.m. on Saturday night.
“I’m excited to see what the other team has to offer and how they’re going to come out and play us,” Akers said. “And we get to show off what we’re going to practice this week.”
Tomorrow’s itinerary includes a trip to the Houston Aeros games and North and South practices at 7 p.m.