Practices began yesterday for fall sports teams in the state of Minnesota while teams in Wisconsin began last week. The Lewiston-Altura football team started practice last week because they play a game on August 24th.
The Cotter football team will be beginning their second season under head coach Bruce Carpenter and they began practice at 8:00 a.m. yesterday. Coach Carpenter splits up the two-a-day practices and has a morning practice and then a second practice at 3:30. Cotter begins classes next week so they have just one week of two-a-day practices. Coach Carpenter says the first week is about getting down to the basics. The first couple weeks is important to get kids in condition but Carpenter feels there isn’t enough time to do straight conditioning stuff during practice. He likes to incorporate football into the conditioning he does with the players.
Winona High head coach John Cassellius has his players on a morning practice routine for two-a-days. The Winhawks begin practice at 7:00 a.m. and then take a half hour break mid-morning and then go again until 12:30. Winona High doesn’t start classes until after Labor Day so the Winhawks are able to put in two weeks of two-a-day practices before their first scrimmage. Casselluis says they spend only about ten percent of their practice on conditioning because the kids now days are so active in the summer that they come in pretty good shape.
Winona High players do a lot of work with the playbook during the summer months and during the first couple of weeks they’ll do more individual position drills. The quarterback position is a big question mark starting out the fall practices and juniors Hunter Volkman and Jeff Schultz are in a tight battle for the position. Cassellius says they want to have their starting quarterback in place before the week leading up to their first game. Casselluis says the scrimmage will go a long ways towards determining a winner not just at the quarterback position but also many other positions.
Winona High will host Stewartville and Red Wing in a scrimmage Saturday August 25th while Cotter will host a scrimmage against Caledonia and La Crescent on that same day. Winona High opens up their season on August 30th at Chaska while Cotter plays at Cannon Falls on August 31st.