WACO, Texas — The Parkview Christian Pacers could not wait one more second to take the field for their first practice of the fall football season.
As the clock struck midnight and the calendar flipped to August 2, the Pacers started doing drills under the stadium lights.
"I wanted to be out here as soon as possible," Parkview Head Coach Josh Hayes said. "Our players have been excited about it, and they showed it in our first session. They're excited. I'm excited. It's football season officially."
Parkview enters the 2021 season on the heels of a run to the TCAF State Semifinals, but this year, they will be missing two of their stars from that team. Running Back CJ Lanehart made the jump to the next level when he signed to play collegiately at Angelo State University. Pacer quarterback Jasper Watson also graduated from Parkview. He now serves as an assistant coach.
While Watson and Lanehart leave significant holes in the Pacer roster, Hayes is hopeful his younger players will bring an added element of speed to the offense.
"We're young," Hayes said. "But what I love about this team is that as a whole, we're gonna be a lot faster. Yes, we lost some of our size, but this year, we're gonna make up for that with our speed."
The team hopes to return to the semifinals again this season, but first, their goal is to simply finish with a winning record, something they did not do a season ago.
"I think we can be really good if we have the right mindset and push each other to be the best and look to help each other and not focus on just helping ourselves," freshman Kohen Mayberry said.
Parkview opens the year on the road against Mt. Calm.