COLLEGE STATION, TX -- First year A&M Consolidated head football coach David Raffield told his players this morning before their opening workout that there would be plenty of obstacles that they would have to overcome this year. The first was "no lights".
Tigerland Stadium is getting a new scoreboard that Raffield said might be operational by Friday for the "Night in the Jungle", a city wide pep rally set to begin at 7pm.
Apparently the electricity that powers the scoreboard is also connected to the stadium lights.
The team stretched in the dark, and despite no being able to see very well the Tigers threw the ball on their first snap and completed it, hopefully a sign of things to come.
After 11 years of the "Wing T offense" that showcased the "jet sweep" under former head coach Jim Slaughter, Raffield is bringing the "spread offense" to Tigerland.
Coming from Cy Falls, Raffield wasn't so sure that two separate workouts during two-a-days and starting at 6AM would work. He had heard that 6AM practices have never been a problem in the past, but still "15, 16 and 17 year olds showing at 6AM for anything, much less football practice is something you have to experience to believe", mentioned Raffield last week.
This morning, he became a believer. "I came pulling in at 4:35AM and there was already a kid here waiting on me! As a coach that's pretty exciting," said Raffield.
Across town in Bryan, Bob Bellard and his Vikings waited until the sun came up to get started.
The "Big Blue" have plenty of holes to fill with five returning starters back on offense and five more on defense.
Coach Bellard is thrilled that August 8th has finally arrived so they could begin the reloading.
"It's been a long summer and its been hot. Hopefully the weather will turn a little bit for us for the better. But, right now its just great to be out playing football again. I wish we could do this 12 months out of the year."
Once again Bryan is taking its off week at the beginning of the season, so the Vikings will have three weeks before stepping on the field for its regular season opener on the road September 3rd against Clear Springs.