Flucos practice on their new home turf

Head Coach Jason Barnett brought the young men out at 7 a.m. to try and beat Central Virginia’s soupy, midday heat.

And there was plenty of water for all. From peewee to pros, football players doing two-a-days in the summer have been struck with sicknesses brought on by dehydration. Because of the deaths of some professional players over the years from heat stroke, the best coaches let players drink whenever they feel the need. And Barnett is one of them.

“Get water in you,” Barnett said when he called an official water break just 20 minutes into practice. “You’re supposed to get water any time you need it.”

One of the players took off his shirt as they were running drills. One coach saw him and set him straight.

“Put your shirt on now,” the coach said. “You fall on this and you’ll know what turf burn feels like.”

A few parents watched from the sidelines along with the cheerleaders.

Senior cheerleader Sarah Wheeler said she was excited about cheering on the new turf because “the grass won’t get all over us.”
More importantly, Wheeler said she liked the stands.

“They are so much bigger, we’ll actually be able to go up into the stands and cheer.”

Cheerleading Coach Julia Hogue started cheerleading camp Monday as well.

“We’re working on developing a strong program,” Hogue said.

Out on the field Barnett put the players through their paces.

“I don’t need people out here watching,” he said. “This is not a watching sport. If you want to be a follower, get off the field. We’ll find out soon enough if you’re a follower.”

Photo by David Stemple.

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