By DAVID HUNTER
The summer is officially over for the Cannon County student-athletes as preparations begin for the upcoming fall sports season next month. Cross Country has been in a preseason practice mode since April, while the other four fall sports, volleyball, football, girls soccer and golf started just recently.
It only means one thing, the season is just around the corner, and I am excited for it. Last week, the Courier ran the semi-annual state of the program question and answer session with CC athletic director Matt Rigsby, which is one of my favorite stories to do during the year. Rigsby is always open and honest during these interviews, which we appreciate.
This school year is no different as a new group of seniors are working to continue the improvement made by their recent graduates for all of the CCHS teams, while trying to make their own legacy.
The fall sports season gets going next month as school will be back in session. Hopefully, the weather will be cooler than some of the practices last week. Due to the heat index over 100 degrees, and the TSSAA heat policy, the teams who practice outside either had to have early morning or late evening practice because of it.
Honestly, I thought it was the best idea besides keeping them out of the heat, it also gave the student-athletes a chance to get used to competing under the lights like they will during the games. For example, the Lions football team had their first practice in pads on July 25 at 8:30 p.m. Of course, it was weird they had to start practice in the dark with the only light coming from their coaches' trucks.
Eventually, the stadium lights came on, and practice was moved inside the football field, where the games will be played on Friday nights this fall. I know the players and coaches were excited not only to hit each other in pads, and do it under the lights, all while not getting sunburned.
I thought it was the perfect way to welcome the start of football, but I am kind of bummed we will have to go back and forth between it and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, which starts on August 3 with the opening soccer matches with the opening ceremonies following two nights later.
For the past few years, I have made a small donation to the US Olympic Team since the athletes do not receive government assistance, which I understand since there are bigger issues in the United States.
Anyway, it will be fun to watch the football and the rest of the fall sport teams win a lot of games, while the USA Olympic athletes dominate the world again.