RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WVNS) — Summer workouts, afternoons in the weight room, and seven-on-seven matchups each have their special place in the progression of a team’s offseason. But nothing can quite compare to stepping out on the practice field for the first time.

“Yeah it is a little hard I mean sitting in there anxious to get out on the field and play but I think it is worth it,” said Cyrus Goodson, a senior wide receiver and defensive back for the Independence Patriots.

On Monday, August 1, 2022, teams across the area were itching to get out on the field. Some teams could not even wait for the sun to come up as a handful of teams took to the practice field the minute the calendar read Aug. 1.

The day is a reminder that the regular season is only a few short weeks away.

“I have been working day in and out since last December, I was just ready for this day and ready for august and ready for the season,” said Trey Bowers, a junior and the newest starting quarterback for the Patriots.

New faces on the field for the first time, and new leaders taking the helm both on the field and on the sidelines. Each team looking to make it to Wheeling at the end of the season.
The work to do so hit a new level on Monday, Aug. 1.

In Coal City, John Lilly and the Independence Patriots look to finish what they started last year, and take the title they came so close to calling their own.

“Well, I’ll tell you honestly, you know, God put eyes in front of our heads instead of the back of our heads. You know, we really haven’t spoke about it. You know, right now we’re just worrying about us and getting ready for the new year. You know, we’re, everybody is excited and the whole state is excited. Its the first day. But my only concern right now is getting us prepared, getting us in shape and getting us focused in on what we got to do for game one,” said John Lilly, the head coach at Independence High School.

They have just a few short weeks until their first game. They take on the Liberty Raiders on Thursday, August 25, to kick off the regular season.