Rainy weather greets fall sports teams

Fayette freshmen Chavez Kent (left) and Brennen Hudson (right) start their sprints to the sideline during a special teams drill Monday morning at practice. The Fayette football team had 32 players in grades 9-12 at the first day of fall sports practice.

Senior Stacia Wells fields a ground ball at shortstop during the Lady Falcons’ new infield drill. The new defensive drill allows players to take more ground balls from multiple coaches in a shorter period of time.

Junior Colin Thies (right) takes a handoff from Fayette assistant coach Andy Bentley (left) during a drill for running backs and wide receivers, working on receiving handoffs after going in motion.

Sophomore Maddi Duren works on taking short hops in the dirt. Duren will be in line to take the starting catcher position for the Lady Falcons.

Freshman Jonathan Jobe (right) works his way past a player holding a blocking pad during an offensive/defensive line drill.

Temperatures have been rather mild during this Mid-Missouri summer. They continued to stay that way Monday morning, greeting high school students for the first day of fall sports practice.

The Fayette High School football and softball teams were in full swing with the first scheduled practice of the first practice of 2014 on Monday. The softball team was set to take the field at 6:30 a.m. that morning, but the Lady Falcons were greeted by a cool morning rain, causing a one-hour rain delay for the start of practice. The rain only watered down the infield slightly, allowing the softball team to resume its practice as scheduled, running until 9:30 that morning.

The football team arrived at its practice field around 9 a.m. on Monday and practiced through a mid-morning sprinkle as well. The Falcons continued their first scheduled practice all the way up until the noon hour.

Because of the “Heat Acclimation” regulations passed by MSHSAA last year, fall teams are only allowed to have one three-hour practice during the first five days of practice. Teams cannot begin two-a-days until the sixth day.

Football players can only wear helmets during the first two days of practice. Starting Wednesday, players can start wearing shoulder pads at practice. By the sixth practice, players can wear full equipment and engage in full contact activity.

Fayette softball head coach Mike James said 23 girls were in attendance for the first day of practice — more than double the number from a year ago. Meanwhile, Fayette football head coach Tom Oakley had 32 players come out for the Falcons’ first day of practice. That number matches the same total from a year ago.

Fayette fall sports previews for football and softball will be featured in The Fayette Advertiser and The Democrat Leader later this month. The football preview will be in the Aug. 16 issue and the softball preview will follow in the Aug. 20 issue.

The Fayette football team opens its season at home on Aug. 22 against Hallsville, while the Fayette softball team will begin its season on Aug. 23 at the Marshall Tournament.

Other area high schools were also active in other sports Monday, including fall baseball, cross country and girls golf for the first day of practice. In addition, New Franklin had its first cross country practice, adding the program to its fall slate, both at the high school and middle school levels.

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