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Getting back on the field
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The 2012 high school football season has come a little earlier than usual thanks to new rule changes by the Georgia High School Association.

To get players better accustomed to the heat, the GHS moved the start date of the first practice, sans pads, up a week.

Rockdale, Salem and Heritage have already been on the practice field with schools' doors opening on Monday. Football practice with pads begins Wednesday with the season opening Aug. 31, pitting Rockdale against Salem and Northgate at Heritage.

"It's been going interesting," Salem coach John Starr said. "We've got some young guys who have to play."

Starr said the Salem Seminoles, who finished 5-5 in 2011 will need to look toward their younger players for improvement in 2012.

Veteran players dot Salem's lineup but young players will be needed in key position, such as running back, linebacker and defensive line.

"We're going to play a lot of young kids and we're going to see how it goes," Starr said.

Salem, along with Heritage, enters its first year in Class 8-AAAAA. Class 8-AAAAA is similar to 8-AAAA, with the addition of Gainesville and the subtraction of Rockdale and Habersham Central.