RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WVNS) — With the school year right around the corner, high school fall sports are getting ready for the season.

The familiar sights and sounds of the practice field sound like music to the ears of players and coaches eager to get back to action. All high school fall sports can now begin official practices.

In high school football, the Shady Spring Tigers are one of many teams kicking things off across the state. After a season that was anything but routine last year, players, coaches, and fans alike are ready to get back into some intercounty competition.

“Great numbers out, kids are working hard, and we are just hoping to get things normal and play better football this year,” said Vince Culicerto, head football coach at Shady Spring High school.

And for the seniors, this season is much more special.

“I’m trying to have the most fun I can with it since it’s my last one, and last year I didn’t get to play anything, so I am really happy with this season,” said Caleb Whittaker, a senior linebacker.

While everyone is happy to be back on the field, there is still work to be done to keep everyone playing. With nearly a dozen seniors on the team, Head Coach Vince Culicerto said it is all the more important that everyone does their part to stay safe and keep the season going.

“Stay healthy is number one for sure. Guys worked hard all offseason and just have a season where we can get on the field every week and play,” said Culicerto.

Senior linebacker and running back, Bryson Pinardo, said it is up to senior leadership to try and keep their teammates accountable, in the hopes of avoiding another season filled with question marks.

“With covid picking back up again, it’s like are we gonna have to wear masks back on the field? Are we gonna get to finish our ten-game season? Are we going to play a playoff game if we make it?” said Pinardo.

While the Tigers can only wait to see how the season will shape out, they know there is one thing of which they can be certain.

“Hopefully, get to play all your games on the brand new field and hopefully get the first win on that field so it is going to be an exciting season for sure,” said Pinardo.