It seems almost outdated now. The term two-a-days is still used, but more out of habit than any practical usage.

Even though most high school football teams have abandoned the time honored tradition of holding two football practices a day at the start of the season, the terminology is still used. The majority of schools have moved to one long practice.

However, for one local school, two-a-days is more than a sign of respect to the game’s past. Southmoore High is using the old-style practice schedule in their inaugural year. Even if it’s only for a couple of days, SaberCat coach Chris Jensen plans to use the schedule to his advantage.

“They don’t know it yet, but the first practice will be more for conditioning,” Jensen said before his team took the field for the program’s first fall practice. “I don’t want to tell them because I want everyone to show up. Then after we get that out of the way, we do football related drills in the second practice.”

In their first practice, Southmoore was on the field at 7 a.m. and ran for almost the entire hour. They came back at 3:30 p.m. and practiced for three more hours.

However, the only reason Jensen is putting his team through two-a-days is because school starts Thursday. And with this being Southmoore’s first year, he felt it would be better this way

“I would rather go with the one long practice,” Jensen said. “You get the kids there and have them there the whole time. You have their focus and attention a lot more. Today, you got kids who have jobs and it’s hard to work around those schedules. But we don’t have that opportunity.”

While Jensen was going through his first day of practice for the first time as a head coach, Westmoore’ Mike Whaley was already into is second decade at it.

The Jaguars hit the field at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday and practiced for five hours. Even though he returns an experienced team. Whaley still has the same concerns heading into the season that all coaches do.

“Obviously our biggest concern is what type of shape and physical condition they are in,” Whaley said. “We will be monitoring that in the heat. That is the biggest concern.”

Once school starts the Jags, Lion and Cats will all practice around the same time for the rest of the season. Those 2:30 to 5 p.m. practices will occur during the hottest times of the day.

“We run into this cycle once every five years or so,” Moore coach Scott Myers said. “We dealt with this once before. It’s not normal. But we have taken care of it. We are doing what we do if school had started.”

Myers said his team should be prepared. To get the accustomed to what they will experience the rest of the season, the Lions will hold one practice session 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

“For the last two weeks we have been talking to them about when we are starting,” Myers said. “We have changed the schedule a bit. Typically we would do condition and kicking game in the first part of practice. Now we will do the football part in the heat then do the conditioning around 7 or 8 p.m.”

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