Prep football is officially underway.
Three area SCISAA schools -- Hilton Head Prep, Hilton Head Christian Academy and Thomas Heyward Academy -- opened practice Thursday morning as players and coaches began preparing for the upcoming season.
At Hilton Head Prep, coach Kevin Wald was pleased with the first day's effort, saying that logistically, everything went as planned.
"Always feels good on the first day," Wald said. "All paperwork was turned in. Nobody had to sit out. Everybody is all squared up."
Now in his third year at the school, Wald said he has enough experienced players that things are running smoothly, even on Day 1.
"Focused really hard on conditioning today," Wald said. "Most everybody passed. Some guys are in better shape than I thought. That was pretty much the brunt of it. Overall I thought it was really positive. They're going to be sore in the morning."
Wald said a long summer of offseason workouts will pay dividends, and he was encouraged by the performance of a few new faces.
State runner-up Hilton Head Christian Academy also hit the field for the first time Thursday, though coach Ryan Mitch said he didn't yet have a complete squad. Some skill players, including standout linebacker Luke Higgs, will join the team next week. New quarterback Ryan Barrett looked good, though Mitch said he'll be more sharp when he gets used the pass rush.
"We're missing four of our skill guys who are going to play a lot of minutes for us," Mitch said. "In terms of that I thought it was a little rough. We had a couple dropped balls. I think we're going to be all right."
Mitch said the offensive line looks like it could be a strength, and that these first few practices will be about implementing a new, no-huddle offense.
"I think everyone was exciting to get rolling," Mitch said.