No pads. No hitting. No Xs. No Os.
At least for now.
The Darien and New Canaan High School football teams, last year’s Class L state finalists, have opened their Fall practices today. Commonly known as “conditioning week”, this year’s Blue Wave and Rams squads will engage in one daily, non-contact practice session that must not exceed three hours in length, per the CIAC handbook. Furthermore, the use of footballs will not be permitted for the first hour of practice today and tomorrow and only helmets are allowed to be worn.
Beginning on Wednesday, players are allowed to don shoulder pads and make contact with sleds and tackling dummies. However, there are to be no live tackling drills, given each program chose to conduct spring football practices. Schools that did not practice as a team last June were permitted to begin conditioning five days ago and will be allowed to hit tomorrow, provided all conditioning sessions have been completed.
Otherwise, the majority of the work done this week will focus on fundamentals and buildi
ng stamina for the grueling, three-month season ahead.
On Saturday, August 23, all schools are allowed to practice with pads and contact. From there, both Darien and New Canaan can hold two-a-days and engage in scrimmages and/or jamborees with other local programs should they so choose.
The reigning state champion Rams open their 2014 campaign at Daniel Hand on Friday, September 12. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.