The first day of football practice for Glen Rose and the rest of the high school teams across Texas will be Monday, Aug. 3, and Tigers’ head coach Cliff Watkins is cranking things up early enough in the day to beat at least some of the still-scorching summer heat.

The Tigers will hit the field for the first day of non-contact conditioning at 6:30 a.m. Players will wear helmets but no pads the first two days, and will add shoulder pads on Wednesday. They will have practice at 6:30 a.m. again through Thursday, then have an even earlier start Friday, Aug. 7, at 5 a.m.

The first day in full pads allowed by the University Interscholastic League rules will be Saturday, Aug. 8. Watkins said that the Tigers will have an intrasquad scrimmage that day, with the junior varsity players starting at 9 a.m., followed by the varsity at about 10.

“They had a good summer, and now they’re excited it’s finally here,” Watkins said. “There is a lot of excitement now. You’re excited to get started.

“Every year is a little bit different. Until you get out and get the pads on, it’s an exciting and nervous time (for the players).”

Watkins led the Tigers to a 9-2 record last season. They swept through District 4-4A Division II undefeated but were eliminated in the bi-district round of the playoffs by Vernon. 

Their first scrimmage is set for Aug. 17, at Stephenville. The regular-season opener will be at home on Aug. 31 versus Grandview.