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Trojans hit the practice field

Jordan Willi/Daily Globe Worthington coaches put the running backs through a series speed and agility drills during the first day of practice at the Worthington High School practice field.

WORTHINGTON — With the Worthington Trojans season opener less than three weeks away, every day of practice is as important as the next.

“The season starts now and we have to do the best we can to prepare ourselves,” senior linebacker/quarterback Will Dudley said. “We have to come out on the first day and set the tone for the season.”

The Trojans opened the 2013 season with their first practice of the year Monday on the practice field at Worthington High School.

“It feels really good to get back onto the field,” senior linebacker/right guard Zach Kempema said. “I’ve been anxious to get back to playing football all summer.”

Even though it is the first practice of the year, senior linebacker/running back Joey Mills knows that there is no time to take things easy if the Trojans want to get better as a team.

“We are trying to get back into the swing of things,” Mills said. “We had a mini camp a few weeks ago, but that was only to knock the cobwebs off. Today, we are coming out and trying to get better every day.”

During their mini camp at the end of July, coach Brad Grimmius introduced the team to a series of schemes and plays to give the players a head start come the fall.

“It helps that we had a four-day mini camp in July because we are starting here on Day 1 with six formations and eight plays ready to run,” Grimmius said. “That is huge for us. It is getting to the point where we are knocking the dust off and play some football.”

Last year, the Trojans had just over 50 players on the roster coming into the first week of fall practice, but that number has jumped to 75 this year. Although Grimmius knows the rise in numbers is a positive, it also means that there are that many more new kids to teach the game of football to.

“We have to teach those new kids how to play a little football,” Grimmius said. “The No. 1 thing we want to get across to the guys is that we want to work hard. When we are out here on the practice field we are going to run. We have a race horse mentality when we are out here. We are not going to walk during anything.”

Along with the race horse mentality the coaches are trying to instill in their players, they also want to make sure that everyone is paying attention to every word that is said during practices.

“We are trying to be really disciplined today and pay attention,” junior defensive tackle/tight end Trevor Wietzema said. “We need to know what is going on and listen to what we are being told every practice.”

The veteran leaders for the Trojans are also making sure that everyone is on the same page this season. They know that it takes 100 percent effort every day to succeed and win games.

“We are not here to mess around; we are here to work,” Mills said. “Everyone, nine through 12, if you are out here you are busting their butt every play and doing everything the coaches are asking you to.”

As the weeks go by, the practices will become more intense and more plays will be added to the playbook, but Grimmius isn’t focusing on that right now. He is just glad to be back on the football field again for another season of Trojan football.

“It is always a great day when you can be out on the practice field, or game field for that matter, with a football,” Grimmius said.