TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - High school football practice kicked off Monday around the state of Mississippi, with many area teams beginning their preseason work in the afternoon.
At Tupelo, year two of the Trent Hammond era began with the Golden Wave among the favorites in Class 6A. The Wave won the 6A North Half title in 2013 and played for the state championship, only to fall to Oak Grove.
"It's an exciting time," Hammond said. "It's fun to actually get back out here....we kind of messed around and set a bar high last year, but we're all expecting to play and play hard, and that's all we want. Wins and losses take care of itself."
Meanwhile, Tupelo Christian Prep returned to practice after not fielding a varsity team last year due to low numbers. Head coach Shaune Holiday has 25-30 players on his roster this season and called Monday "a big day for TCPS."
For the second year in a row, Oxford kicked off practice at midnight. The Chargers played for the Class 5A title last season.
Head coach Johnny Hill says his younger players will have to grow up quickly with a tough schedule ahead.
"We're kind of using that philosophy, we're teaching 'em to swim, we're throwing them in the river, and they're either gonna sink or swim," Hill said.