The start of football workouts in South Texas is synonymous with hot, steamy weather. Rainstorms on the first day of practice in San Antonio are about as rare as Democrats and Republicans in Congress agreeing on anything.
Per UIL rules, Monday was the first day of practice for Class 6A and 5A schools that did not have spring training and for all other classifications (1A, 2A, 3A, 4A). Class 6A and 5A schools that had spring training start workouts next Monday.
“All we can control is what we can control,” Judson coach Sean McAuliffe said. “We got some pretty good work done inside.”
Across town at Harlandale, coach Albert Torres said it was pouring when he drove up to the Indians’ field house an hour before their 8 a.m. practice. The Indians stayed indoors and spent about an hour lifting weights and working on conditioning drills before breaking into meetings by positions.
“The rain didn’t stop at all,” said Torres, who is starting his first season at Harlandale after a 10-year stint as head coach at Edison. “We toyed with the idea of maybe going out there once it passed, but it was still coming down when we were almost done with our workout. It’s just one of those deals. I thought we did a good job of making the best of the situation.”
Judson was ready to hit the field at 7 a.m. but never went outside. The Rockets practiced in the gym after a team meeting with McAuliffe and another session to review Judson’s offense and defense. The Rockets will try to return to their regular workout schedule at 7 a.m. Tuesday.
“Hopefully tomorrow the weather will be a little more cooperative,” said McAuliffe, who is starting his fourth season as the Rockets’ head coach. “I think we’ve got a rain plan that works. We felt pretty good about what we did today, considering the weather.”
McAuliffe said that while his players were disappointed that their first workout was washed out, they took the last-minute change in stride.
“We’re fortunate enough that there’s some pretty decent leadership on our team,” McAuliffe said. “Our players adjust as we adjust as coaches. They know that we’re going to take advantage of what opportunities we have. I’m sure they would have rather been on the field, but they’re probably happy that they didn’t go and run sprint laps at the end of practice, either.”
Texas Football magazine has pegged Judson and district rival Steele to win the Class 6A Division I and Division II state championships, respectively, this season.
The regular season starts on Thursday, Aug. 1 and ends on Saturday, Nov. 11. The playoffs kick off on Thursday, Nov. 11 and culminate with state finals in all six University Interscholastic League classifications over a four-day period, Dec. 20-23, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Judson opens its season against Austin Lake Travis on Sept. 1 at Rutledge Stadium. Although the Rockets haven’t won a state championship since 2002, the Rockets extended their state record for consecutive winning seasons to 40 last year.
Judson has won six state titles, including one by forfeit. The Rockets went 236-36-5 from 1983, when they took their first crown, to 2002.