Josh McKinney

High school football practices began this week, and I’m doing my best to go see all of the area teams before the regular season starts. I had an extremely busy day on Thursday, traveling to Bunker Hill and Maiden that morning before swinging by Hickory and St. Stephens in the evening. On Friday morning, I visited Fred T. Foard.

This weekend, I’ll be trying to get some much needed rest before going to several more practices next week. I still have to see Bandys, Newton-Conover, Alexander Central, South Caldwell, West Caldwell and Hibriten in action before the end of the week.

The past few days were quite fun, but they were also quite tiring. I had never been to four practices in one day before Thursday, and by the end of it all my feet were killing me. But it was great to meet some of the coaches and players I’ll be covering during the upcoming season.

There’s still plenty to do before games begin on Aug. 23, but I’m happy with how much I have been able to get done in such a short period of time. And the more teams I visit, the more excited I get about games kicking off in less than three weeks.

In glancing at the schedule, I have already noticed that there are multiple intra-county games set to take place on the first night of the season. Those should be fun contests, and while I haven’t yet decided where I’ll be Week 1, I’m definitely looking forward to it.

Speaking of things to look forward to, I’m also looking forward to the release of our annual high school football preview, which will appear in the Hickory Daily Record the day of the first games. It’s not an easy publication to pull off, but I hope you enjoy the finished product and are able to see the hard work that went into it.

Admittedly, I’m still adjusting to sports in Catawba County and the surrounding area. There’s a lot to get used to, but there truly seems to be something here for everyone. From the Hickory Crawdads to Lenoir-Rhyne athletics to Hickory Motor Speedway to high school sports to everything else, there seems to always be something going on.

Nevertheless, no matter where you go, people love their football. The question is, are you ready for some football?

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