Ryan Soderquist

Special teams coach Ryan Soderquist gives instructions during the Panthers’ practice at Lufkin High School Tuesday afternoon. The Panthers will scrimmage at Huntsville at 6:30 Friday night.

The month of August usually doesn’t give many breaks from the heat for high school football players preparing for the upcoming season. This year has been no different as the season opener is just over a week away.

That is no problem for the Lufkin Panthers as they neared the middle of the second week of workouts on Tuesday afternoon. Going in full-contact drills for the second day, Lufkin was going all out in the scorching weather.

“It’s hot out there, but it’s going to be hot out there at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 30 too,” Lufkin head coach Todd Quick said referring to the season opener against Longview. “Regardless, we’ve got to be ready to play four quarters. It’s hot out here for everyone so we’re all dealing with the same thing.”

Monday was the first day in which Lufkin was able to go full contact in drills. Due to UIL rules, the team gradually works its way into full workouts over the course of a week.

Quick said the first full-contact workout was solid, although it needed some work as the team continues preparations.

“Practice was good at first before it kind of petered out at the end,” Quick said. “That’s to be expected, but the tempo was good and we got a lot of good work in.”

Quick said the tempo of the first two weeks of workouts has been dictated by their senior leaders. However, he also pointed out that was something that happened long before the team took the field for three weeks of summer workouts.

“That started back in January,” Quick said. “We’re going to play as long as those guys want to play. The only difference now is that it’s a different level. They’re to the point where they’re not getting any days back so they have to make the most of it. They’ve done a good job of that.”

At the conclusion of this week’s practice, the Panthers will head to Huntsville for a scrimmage against the Hornets, the fifth-ranked team in the Class 5A Division I poll.

Friday night’s scrimmage will take place on the campus of Huntsville High School. The freshman and JV will scrimmage at 5 p.m. with the varsity following at 6:30 p.m.

The Panthers open the season at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 30 when they host the Longview Lobos, the defending Class 6A Division II state champions.

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