• August 18, 2019

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Permian begins practice - Odessa American: Sports

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Permian begins practice

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Posted: Monday, August 12, 2019 6:29 pm

Permian quarterback Easton Hernandez didn’t get much sleep Sunday night.

The thrill of finally being able to start fall football practice was almost too much to handle.

“I was too excited,” Hernandez said. “I didn’t get much sleep at all. I probably slept like three hours.”

For the players and coaches, the long-awaited official start to the season got underway Monday when the Panthers took the field early in the morning.

“It’s the first day of high school football and it was a great day for us and a great day for our kids and coaches,” Permian head coach Jeff Ellison said. “We’re excited to be out here. It was a great first day for us.”

Because Permian had spring practice, the Panthers could not start until a week later than those who didn’t.

“We like to do our evaluation period in the spring so that we know what we have coming into the season and to fall camp,” Ellison said. “Obviously, we don’t get that extra week during the fall but we got those extra days in the spring. For us, we feel like it works well for us to be able to get our practice done in the spring.”

Permian is coming off an 8-4 season in 2018 that included a 4-1 record in District 2-6A and a run to the area round of the state playoffs.

For the Panthers, it was their first time on the field since their spring game on May 15 at Ratliff Stadium.

“It felt good to get out on the field,” Hernandez said. “We’ve been with each other all summer. We’ve been building that chemistry and it felt good to be on the field together.”

But one of the things that stood out for Ellison from Monday’s practice was the team’s carry-over from spring training.

“We’ve come a long way since the first day of spring practice with these guys so I was very excited about that,” Ellison said. “They’ve had a great summer.

“They’ve worked very hard throughout the summer. My biggest takeaway is where we’re at and I think we’re much better than when we ended the spring.”

Hernandez also thought Monday’s practice went well.

“Our team looks good, we just have to get better,” he said. “We just need to work on the little things.”

The team practiced Monday without pads and won’t be able to use them until Friday.

The Panthers will continue to hold their practices in the mornings until the school year starts on Aug. 19. After that, they will switch to the afternoons.

Permian’s early morning practice schedule is due not only to avoid the high temperatures but also since the coaches have staff development going on during the day before the school year starts.

“For us, we’re able to do it in the morning because of the heat factor but also we feel like getting out here and get it going first thing in the morning helps out since our coaches have different things going on throughout the day,” Ellison said.

The players don’t mind having early morning practices.

“I would rather practice in the morning and to get it out of the way and then come in the afternoon and watch film,” Hernandez said.

The Panthers will scrimmage on Aug. 23 at Lubbock-Cooper before starting the regular season on Aug. 30 at DeSoto.

>> Follow Michael Bauer on Twitter at @OAMichaelba

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