Football is a very exclusive club.
Even though it’s open to anyone to join, it takes more than what most are willing to give to stay in the club.
People use the phrase, “I’ve poured blood, sweat and tears into it,” when talking about doing something that they are passionate about.
While most of the time people are speaking in hyperbole, that’s not the case for football.
Most players – usually within the first couple of weeks – shed blood, shed tears, and there’s definitely a lot of sweat that goes into it.
As an athlete growing up, I played football, baseball, basketball and soccer. None of the other sports come anywhere close to asking for as much as football did.
Not only is there the physical grind with every play, but one of the most important factors in preparing for the season is conditioning.
That’s especially important with football in Southern Nevada.
The heat in this area is nearly unbearable on just a regular day. Add on thick pads and a helmet, it’s very tough to handle.
In order for a player to keep their conditioning up, they need to hydrate as best as possible.
Hydration is an important aspect in any sport. And that couldn’t have been made more apparent than it was on Monday afternoon at the Trojans’ first official practice of the season.
Head coach Thom Walker and the rest of his coaching staff were on all of their players about hydrating.
Before practice. During practice. After practice. Hydration, hydration, hydration.
The players had been used to getting their practice in early in the morning before the real heat poured in. But, that all changed on Monday when Walker moved their practices to the afternoon, which is when they’ll be held once school starts on Wednesday.
In addition to the conditioning, the coaching staff’s main focus was their defense.
The defense looked stout, shutting down the scout-team offense for the most part. They were led for the most part by senior linebacker LJ Reddick.
Reddick could be heard calling out the plays to the defense, while also hyping up the players when they got too quiet on the field.
According to Walker, Reddick will also be one of the main running backs this season after last season’s leading rusher, Cole Venturo, graduated in the spring.
Last season, Reddick had seven touches for 39 yards on the offensive side of the ball, while making five tackles and returning his lone interception of the season for 66 yards on the defensive side of the ball.
At the quarterback position, senior Brennen Benedict will be leading the Trojans out on opening night, but this won’t be a permanent move.
Walker is hoping to have sophomore Kayne Horibe as his starter by the end of September. Horibe is working his way back from a torn labrum he suffered during the spring baseball season.
Walker has full faith in Benedict to be the starting quarterback.
“He’s been working hard all offseason to prepare,” Walker said of Benedict earning the quarterback position. “He has a strong work ethic with being a state champion in wrestling.”
Pahrump will have seven more practices and a scrimmage before their first real game takes place.
The Trojans’ scrimmage will be this Friday at Cheyenne High School against the Desert Shields.
Walker and his staff will use this game to hopefully not only finalize any players that may be borderline junior varsity and varsity, but also finalize players that may be borderline starters or backups.
The game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.
Contact sports writer/editor Danny Smyth at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @_dannysmyth on Twitter.