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Posted: August 2, 2011 5:28 p.m.

Sunday night lights

Local high school football teams open practice for 2011 season

It’s official. Football season is underway. Teams were able to practice for the first time Monday and for Eastside, that meant hitting the field at the stroke of midnight.

The Eagles went through their first practice with a large group of fans on hand for their traditional midnight madness practice. Eastside has practiced at midnight Aug. 1 every year since head coach Rick Hurst arrived in 2005.

The Eagles went through their first-team offense and defense and gave everyone in attendance a glimpse of what to expect in 2011. Simply put, the Eagles will win with defense.

Sheldon Rankins, who is being recruited by some of the strongest Division 1 football programs in the country, wasted no time knocking off the rust when he exploded through the offensive line before jumping to deflect a pass, then intercepting it and taking it to the other way.

Alcovy was also on the field, albeit a little later in the day. The Tigers held their first practice after school Monday. Teachers reported to schools Monday morning for the first time and students return Thursday.

The Tigers will be looking to rebound from a disappointing 1-9 season. They’ll be led by returning running back Tre Sorrels and Devon Edwards and have an opportunity to get off to a better start as they play four straight region home games early in the schedule.

The Rams went to the Newton County FFA camp for the weekend before hitting the field Monday. Newton broke camp pre se Tuesday to return home where the Rams will continue their first week of practice.

Newton will start the season with many new starters as they graduated many of their skill players on offense and defense. The Rams do return starting senior linebacker Antonio Williams who will look to build on his stellar sophomore season after he was slowed by injury last year.

Be sure to look for the special edition football preview in the Aug. 26 edition of The News.

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