The first week of preseason practices for high school football teams across the state came to an end today. Three more weeks of conditioning lie ahead before the first regular season games on Friday, Aug. 30.
Two weeks from today, squads will get a chance to test themselves against other teams in their one and only preseason classic game on Aug. 23.
There is a new coach in charge at Mariner High, but he's all too familiar with the Southwest Florida football scene. James Hale, who spent nine seasons at Cape Coral High (1990-1998), is charged with rebuilding the Tritons into a district and playoff contender.
Ida Baker junior Sage Attwood sprints with the ball during football practice Tuesday. Teams were not allowed to put on full contact pads before Thursday.
Hale compiled a 51-42 record over nine seasons with the Seahawks. He had only three losing seasons during that time and led the school to its all-time best season in 1993 at 12-1. His overall record there would have been better were it not for the 0-10 record in his final season before moving on to Lehigh.
The only other coaching change over the summer took place at Oasis where Jason Bowman takes over from Jeff Brady, who held the job just one season. Bowman coached the Sharks once before and has relinquished his duties as athletic director.
Oasis is one of three Cape schools with new ADs. Katie Plageman takes the reins at Cape High, where she once was a student, Brian Montag steps in at Oasis while football coach Brian Conn assumes the role at Ida Baker.