For most high school football players, the three-week approved practice period in June provides them a chance to prepare before preseason workouts begin in late July or early August.
For players at both Hurricane and Winfield, it is more than important to do such prep work this early.
That's because the two Putnam County schools have new coaches for this season. Jeremy Taylor takes over at Hurricane and Craig Snyder is now at the helm of Winfield.
Taylor, a former Hurricane standout, has spent the last two seasons as coach at Hurricane Middle. He took over for Willis May, who relocated to Florida this past winter. May went 59-30 in eight seasons and led the Redskins to six playoff appearances.
"When I left for the middle school, I took Willis' system with me," said Taylor. "I'm a believer in teaching them while they're young, and when it's early."
The Redskins have spent most of their off-season practices in 7-on-7 drills, but also spent some time at a camp at Cabell Midland.
"Nearly 90 percent of my kids had never been to a camp before," said Taylor. "It was a good experience for them, plus we got to see some other coaches from the area."
Taylor looks to continue focusing on his younger players for the rest of the out-of-season practice.
"We've got to build for our future and it starts with our freshmen and sophomores," said Taylor. "We're going to continue to give them looks and see if they are ready. It will pay off big dividends in the future for us."
While the change has been subtle at Hurricane, it has been more massive 81/2 miles away in Winfield. Snyder, an assistant at Winfield since 2000, takes over for Willie Wilson, who went 19-31 in five seasons.