The Reporter (Lansdale, PA)
Scholastic football training returns
High school football returns with first day of heat acclimation
TOWAMENCIN >> High school football teams were able to put their pads on for the first time Monday.
North Penn, the defending Suburban One League Continental Conference champions and District 1 Class-6A runner up, took the field in the morning on the first day of the heat acclimation period at North Penn High School.
The teams are not able to tackle during this time, but they can still benefit from their first mandatory sessions on the practice field this season.
“We can do almost everything,” head coach Dick Beck, who had nearly 100% attendance during the voluntary offseason program, said, “just no tackling or live blocking. We want to continue to teach the kids the plays and the blocking techniques and footwork stuff.”
“Get used to the equipment because this is the first time we have shoulder pads on and also work on the craft,” senior cornerback and wide receiver Kevon White added as benefits. “Make sure our technique is good before we’re actually slugging it out between each other.”
White was watching from the sidelines Monday. He got lightheaded during an offseason prac
tice and will see a doctor Wednesday before hopefully being able to join the team on the field.
“They just want to make sure I’m safe,” White said. “I have to get checked out by a doctor. My appointment is Wednesday for my maybeheart condition. They just want me to take it easy on certain things until I get better.”
White saw playing time as a backup last season and is projected to move into a starting role this year. As a senior with more responsibilities on and off the field, this offseason has had a different feel than those in the past.
“It’s a different feel because it’s your last offseason as a senior,” he said. “This year, every practice or every game isn’t guaranteed because it’s our last year. You want to keep winning, keep pushing to continue the season, end it on a good note.
“You want your position, but you also want to help the young guys get better,” White added as he moves into a leadership role. “If you go down or if someone else goes down it will be like the same person there.”
The 2019 Knights have big shoes to fill after the 2018 squad went 13-1 and reached the district championship game. White and his teammates are keeping expectations high.
“We want to do better,” he said. “Hopefully get to a state (championship).”
Like all high school teams, the Knights will need to replace their seniors from a year ago.
“We have key guys coming back but we did lose a lot of starters,” White said. “Most of the team last year was seniors.”
The only loss last year came in the district final against Coatesville, a 4213 defeat. Has North Penn been thinking about that this offseason?
“Yes and no,” White said. “You want to keep remembering the mistakes you made and what to get better from, but you also don’t want to dwell on them. You want to continue to get better.”
The regular season starts in less than three weeks — Friday Aug. 23. Just like last year, North Penn will start with tough non-league games against Neshaminy, La Salle College High School and Pennsbury.