By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
It is a much anticipated day every year.
But, in reality, it was just a continuation of the work the Piqua football team has been putting in since the 2018 season ended with a 6-4 record and a share of second place in the Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division.
It was the first day of practice in preparation for the 2019 season Thursday.
“It was the first ‘official’ day of practice,” veteran Piqua football coach Bill Nees said. “It was nice to get out there. We went through the passing scrimmages and camp part of the summer. We just want to continue the momentum from there.”
And Piqua started that step Thursday.
“We want to implement the running game to go with the passing scrimmages and do it with pads on,” Nees said. “And the key is to remain healthy while we do it.”
The weather cooperated on Thursday.
“It wasn’t too bad,” Nees said about the opening day of practice. “We had three practices and we cut the last one a little short.”
This season has a very different feel than last season.
“Last year, we had one week of two-a-days,” Nees said. “This year, we will have almost three weeks of two-a-days. That is a huge difference.”
Piqua will practice under the lights on Friday and face three strong tests in the preseason before opening the season Aug. 30 when the Indians host Chaminade-Julienne.
Piqua will travel to Springboro Aug. 9, go to Celina Aug. 16 and host Northmont Aug. 23 for 7 p.m. scrimmages.
“You start out in the summer teaching,” Nees said. “When practice starts, it shifts into coaching. If you are still teaching in August, you are probably in trouble.”
Nees explained the difference.
“When you are coaching, you are motivating players to execute what you have taught team,” he said. “And it looks like we are going to be able to do a lot of coaching in August.”
After Chaminade-Julienne, Piqua will travel to Lima Senior to complete non-conference play.
Piqua will open play in the new Miami Valley League by hosting Stebbins in a Fox 45 Thursday Night Lights game, before hosting Sidney in its inaugural MVL home game in week four.
That will be a big night at Alexander Stadium\Purk Field, with former MVL players as well as Piqua’s past NFL players being invited back as part of Alumni Football weekend.
Piqua will compete in the Miami Division of the MVL with Vandalia-Butler, Greenville, Tippecanoe and Troy.
The Valley Division will include Sidney, Fairborn, Stebbins, West Carrollton and Xenia.
Piqua will play all but Fairborn this season, before opening the 2020 season with Belmont, followed by nine conference games.
And the Indians took the next step towards that Thursday with the first “official” practice of the season.
Contact Piqua Daily Call Sports Editor Rob Kiser at email@example.com
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