The summer practice season gives high school teams an opportunity to improve on last year's weaknesses and introduce new players to the system.
Nowhere is that statement truer than in St. Albans.
The Red Dragons finished the 2010 football season with a 2-8 record, including losses in their last seven games. As a result, St. Albans coach Derek Christian is changing the way his team practices this summer and how his offense will go about business this fall.
"We've been at it for a few weeks," said Christian. "We've had a couple of 7-on-7s with Winfield and Hurricane so far. We know it's a good time to get everyone together and allow our new guys to get situated into the program."
St. Albans, which returns an experienced roster, has relied heavily on the rush in the past few years. Last year, the Red Dragons rushed 390 times for 1,759 yards and 14 touchdowns but passed for only 252 yards and one TD.
Christian looks for more passing this season and has made it the top priority of the off-season.
"It was our Achilles' heel last season," he said. "We weren't able to pass the ball last year, and I hope we can this year. We've concentrated on the passing game more this year than we have in the past."
Christian expects to play a scrimmage game with Hurricane in August and another scrimmage in the Mountain State Athletic Conference Grid-o-rama at Laidley Field.