70 players report to Early's first practice

EARLY — The third season of the Blake Sandford coaching era began Monday morning, where the Early Longhorns are focused solely on what lies ahead.

“The enthusiasm was great, very high, and the kids took on a seriousness in practice to erase anything that happened in the past,” said Sandford, who reported a total of 70 players at the first football workout. “They're looking forward to putting their mark on this season.”

The Longhorns, who are coming off an 0-10 campaign, are seeking their first trip to the playoffs since 2008.

Sandford said a steady turnout during voluntary summer workouts allowed the Longhorns to start the season ahead of schedule.

“They've been working all summer on their own, throwing and catching,” Sandford said. “We had a pretty successful 7-on-7 and it translated over to this first day. They came out and executed well offensively, caught the ball well and the linemen were coming off the ball with a sense of purpose, which I thought was refreshing.”

Early dodged the overnight rain that ended prior to practice Monday morning, but is prepared if thunderstorms linger throughout the week.

“If it does rain we're fortunate enough to have great facilities here in Early and we'll be able to get our work in the turf room,” Sandford said. “We won't miss any practice time.”

The Longhorns will hold their first practice in pads Friday.

“We just want to make sure what we're doing now in shorts translates to a more physical team,” Sandford said regarding his practice goals the next few days.