Fall Sports Practices Begin Monday

By Derrick Forsythe, Record Sports Editor
Posted 3/8/11

Doug Smith is entering his second year as Wright City’s athletic director, but he is yet to see a home football game. It’s perhaps why he’s strongly anticipating the upcoming fall sports …

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Fall Sports Practices Begin Monday


Doug Smith is entering his second year as Wright City’s athletic director, but he is yet to see a home football game. It’s perhaps why he’s strongly anticipating the upcoming fall sports season, when the Wildcats will unveil their new-look stadium. They played all of their home contests at Warrenton last season, while changes were being made to the athletic complex at Wright City. “The football field is looking nice,” said Smith. “Having Friday night football at home again will be great. The junior varsity is excited not to be on the road eight times.” With the season opener just over three weeks away, the Wildcats are preparing to officially begin their training for the 2011 season. Monday, Aug. 8, will mark the first day of fall sports practices for high schools across Missouri. Wright City will kick off practices for four sports, while Warrenton begins preparation in five sports. It’s always a time of year Warrenton activities director Craig Frazier looks forward to, but he’s even more anxious after the success the Warriors experienced in the fall of 2010. Similar to its neighbor to the east, Warrenton is also undergoing changes within the football program, preparing to enter its first season under new head coach John Atwell. “With a new coach and coming off last year, there are high expectations,” said Frazier. “This football team is fun to watch practice, and I think they will deliver.” Each school held its football team camp last week, battling extreme heat that prompted officials to be on alert. Smith explains that if the heat index tops 105 degrees, no practices or games may take place. “There’s really nothing more important than the safety of our kids,” said Smith. “We’re not going to put kids in danger.” Frazier says Warrenton is also very adament about monitoring temperatures and making certain athletes are well-hydrated during practice. The Warriors were forced to begin camp late last Thursday, waiting until the heat index dipped below 105. Wright City will attempt to counter the heat by practicing under the lights at Rugge Park next week. Smith says the school is grateful for the city park department’s willingness to offer its facilities for use. “I don’t know where our district would be without all the help (parks director Curt Kehoe) has provided,” said Smith. “It’s a tremendous asset to have.” Both schools have undergone personnel changes, although most of Wright City’s are not related to the fall season. Warrenton, however, has two new head coaches preparing to debut their teams at the end of the month. “We don’t know what they’re going to bring to the table, but they’ve got a passion for the sports they coach,” said Frazier. “The kids are responding really well.” Trevor Hibbs will be leading the softball team that captured its first district title in nine years last season. “I’m very excited,” said Hibbs. “We’ve had pretty good numbers during our open fields. I’ve been impressed with some of the talent.” The Warriors saw improvement in each of its sports in 2010, winning a pair of district titles and sending athletes to state in two more sports. “Softball has a lot of players back, and cross country is always successful,” said Frazier. “Volleyball really got hot at the end of the season.” “Soccer has got a great group of juniors and seniors that are going to be top notch,” he added.”A couple of teams had losing records, but everybody has over 10 wins, which we can’t always say.” For Wright City, it may be a rebuilding phase in a few sports with a large, accomplished group of athletes having graduated. “The senior class in both softball and football was instrumental in the success last year,” said Smith. “This year is going to give a lot of those younger kids a chance. I’m really excited to see how the new kids shine.” While the softball team was able to play on its home field last season, some preparation was needed to make sure it was playable for the 2011 campaign. “The softball field looks pretty good right now,” said Smith. “Coach Ross and the maintenance crew are doing a pretty good job of getting it prepared for the season.” Warrenton practices will proceed as follows: cross country — 7 a.m.; soccer — 7 to 10 a.m.; volleyball — 3 to 5 p.m.; softball — 4 to 6 p.m.; football — 4 to 8:30 p.m. Each practice will be held at the high school. Wright City will practice as follows: football — 8 to 11 p.m. at Rugge Park; softball — 5 to 7:30 p.m. volleyball — 9 to 11:30 a.m. on Monday and 3:45 to 6 p.m. the remainder of the week.