By Dave Belcher
Moapa Valley Progress
When 12:01 a.m. rolled around on Thursday morning of August 12, 87 athletes and 10 coaches were up and ready to start on the road to the Football State Championship. The memories of a poor performance in Reno last November that gave Truckee High School the championship were still vivid to some.
When 12:01 lit up the clock the players and coaches took to the field and began the grueling three day boot camp experience. This is the fifth year for this boot camp experience. The whole football program camped in the high school gym, bringing, refrigerators, TV’s, computers, mattresses, even a sleeper sofa became part of the décor in the gym.
The Pirates started off with three days of conditioning, no pads just a helmet and a desire to learn and achieve. The daily three sessions consisted of technique and skills training, running through the offense and defense, lots of running and stretching, and getting the bodies prepared for contact practice which begins this week.
Saturday morning’s practice ended as the team ran to the infamous “kill hill” one mile east of the school. This hill is known by the 4A High School cross country teams as cry-baby hill. The combination of steep grades, gravel and soft sand at the top make the hill a real challenge for all comers.
Once every member of the program made the ascent, (some being pushed up the hill by others,) the seniors lead the group in the fight song, and then returned to the school.
“There’s nothing like the beginning of football to let you know just how bad of shape you’re in,” said one player as he ran by.
The Pirates start their season at home against Desert Hills on Friday night, August 27.