TEXARKANA — Fall camp for football started yesterday for three of the four local high school programs.
Arkansas High, Liberty-Eylau and Pleasant Grove all started football Monday, while Texas High will begin fall camp next week.
Sulphur Springs native Klint King is starting his first year as athletic director and head coach of the Liberty-Eylau Leopards, who had 130 players report for the first day of the football season.
"We had a lot of really good kids show up," King said. "They were really upbeat, and they had really good tempo throughout practice. Our energy, effort and attitude was great. Everyone that we were counting on showed up.
"We're really excited to get these guys in here and finally get a chance to work with them all day."
The first day's turnout met King's expectations but the first-year head coach also has more goals to attain this upcoming season.
"The numbers were right at what we expected," King said. "I'm super excited to get a chance to work with these kids everyday. I'm excited about the year and the potential we have moving forward. Hopefully, we can grow as a team and get better everyday.
"Everybody wants to fast forward to the trophies but we have to understand what it takes to do that on an everyday basis. We have to have championship effort and attitude daily. It's a dream of ours to win a state championship but we're setting reachable goals each day."
Arkansas High had its junior and senior class report for opening day. The Razorbacks are expecting 115 today, when the sophomores join the upperclassmen.
"We're in really good shape physically," Arkansas High head coach Barry Norton said. "As far as retention, I felt like they retained it really well from what we did in the spring. Obviously, we're trying people at a bunch of different spots. That's the fun part and the hard part of all of it.
"Kids are trying to learn several different things, and for the most part they did a good job. Practice was good for the first day."
Arkansas High players were in helmets and jerseys, until later this week when they will practice in full pads.
Arkansas High will face Liberty-Eylau on August 30 at Harris Field.
Pleasant Grove had 115 players show up across grades 9-12. The Hawks' first game is on Aug. 30 at Hawk Stadium against Paris.
"We had a great day, and it was one of the best first days that I've had since I have been coaching," Pleasant Grove head coach Josh Gibson said. "Our kids are focused, excited, and they want to make a mark. They went about it in a professional way.
"They want to do well and want to be remembered for doing things the right way. They came out and attacked it. I knew it was coming based on the way they worked all summer."