Leander got its football season started with some rowdy tunes, heavy on beats and fiery verses Monday morning.
The Lions and the rest of the LISD schools kicked off the fall football season with their first organized practice to start the week and the field at Bible Stadium had a relaxed feel with a speaker playing music.
“The kids are always excited to get back, especially the seniors,” Smith said. “We’ve got really good leadership and they’re setting the tempo at practice. The players were excited and they were bouncing around. It’s fun to watch them start like that and it just starts with our tempo.”
Rouse, Vandegrift, and Vista Ridge began practice in the morning, while Cedar Park and Glenn took the field for the first time this season in the evening.
Leander is looking to rebound from last season when it missed the playoffs for the second year in a row. A close 23-21 loss on the road against Lehman in the final week of the regular season eliminated the Lions from postseason contention.
The coaches have been working all summer and the players have been around the school, including three weeks in June and three in July.
“It feels like we never left,” Smith said. “The kids have been here all summer working hard, but it’s good to get the footballs back out and it’ll be a lot of fun on Friday when we can get the pads out and hit somebody.”
Carl Abseck asked his team before Cedar Park began practice what they wanted to be remembered for at the end of their careers.
The senior class has the chance to become the winningest class in the school’s history and they set the goal to win the state title — something the Timberwolves have done twice since opening in 1998.
“We talked about what your legacy is going to be,” Abseck said. “We’ve won a lot of football games here and we should have a chance. We set the goals out in front because I don’t want them wondering what we want to accomplish.”
The Timberwolves won the district title against last year, but ran into a tough Manvel team in the third round of the playoffs and despite a fourth quarter surge, fell 47-35.
They were the only LISD team that made it to the state 7-on-7 tournament in College Station this summer. Cedar Park went undefeated in pool play and dominated Plano in the round of 32 before losing on the last play of the game in the Round of 16.
“It feels great to finally be back at practice,” Abseck said. “We’re excited about this particular team. We’ve got a good mixture of experience coming back and youth. They’ve really grown close as a team and had a great offseason.”