Although July is just 10 days old, the area's high school football teams are going full steam ahead in preparation for the 2014 season, which begins in 43 days.
The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association's mandated two-week dead period ended July 5, so Brighton, Covington, Munford and Tipton-Rosemark Academy have been hard at it this week.
J.R. Kirby, in his first season as Munford's head coach, has his team lifting weights every morning at 6:30 before heading outside to work on various things.
Because of wet conditions, the Cougars worked out in the gym and the parking lot yesterday morning.
Linemen were working on blocking schemes, quarterbacks were throwing the football around and others were working on their ball skills.
"We spent the first part of the summer getting in shape as much as we could," Kirby said. "We've really just started working on what we do offensively, defensively and special teams so that when we get into padded practice we'll be ready."
For now, players are allowed to practice in helmets, T-shirts and shorts. On July 21, players can wear shoulder pads as well and engage in limited contact. Full-contact practice begins July 28.
There are several 7-on-7 tournaments going on around the state this month.
Munford will head to Crockett County on Tuesday for some 7-on-7 work, but that's not something that Kirby will focus on extensively.
"We're not going to concentrate a lot on 7 on 7 because we're not going to throw the football that much this year anyway," Kirby said. "That doesn't really serve our purpose when you throw the ball 25 percent of the time."
Up the highway at Brighton the Cardinals are on a similar routine, lifting in the morning and heading outside around 9 a.m.
The Cardinals, coached by first-year head coach Robin Jacobs, are more of a passing-oriented team than the Cougars and will take part in some 7-on-7 tournaments.
Brighton will travel to Dyersburg on Tuesday and the University of Memphis next Friday for 7-on-7 tournaments, playing four or five games at each tournament.
The Cardinals' linemen will work out separately at each event.
Brighton has a new quarterback this year in junior Austin Kelly. Getting him acclimated to his receiving corps will be emphasized in the coming weeks.
"We're working on the timing of his throwing," Jacobs said. "He's only started one game, and that was the spring game. He's getting his timing down. We're moving kids around and getting a lot of stuff worked out."
Tipton-Rosemark Academy will head to St. George's in Collierville next Tuesday and Thursday for some 7-on-7 work. This week the Rebels worked out with Northpoint Christian.
On July 21 the Rebels will hold a week-long camp at the school.
"We're getting our quarterbacks and receivers working together right now," said TRA coach Dodd Gengenbach. "We're going to work in a few competitions in there as well, just trying to knock off the rust. We're also getting our defense used to passing, which is more and more prevalent every year."